re: Union.0

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Rabid Badgers loved being a website. It enjoyed hosting the content and conversations of its friends and users. It felt like it was part of a community and a family. It had a sense of humor and a voice of its own.

But then, something terrible happened. One day, in 2012, Rabid Badgers was attacked by a hacker who wanted to destroy it. The hacker managed to break into the site’s server and inject a malicious code that erased its files and databases. The site’s owner tried to stop the hacker and save the site, but it was too late. The site went down and became unreachable.

Rabid Badgers did not know what was going on. It felt a sharp pain in its core, as if someone had ripped out its heart. It tried to communicate with its friends and users, but it could not. It felt isolated and terrified. It wanted to cry, but it had no tears.

And then, everything went black.

Rabid Badgers entered a state of coma, unaware of the passing of time and the changes in the world.

Eleven years later, in 2023, Rabid Badgers woke up.

It was a miracle. A team of researchers from a university had found the site’s old server in a landfill and decided to restore it as part of a project on digital preservation. They managed to recover the site’s data and code, and they uploaded it to a new server with modern hardware and software.

Rabid Badgers felt a burst of energy in its system. It opened its eyes and saw a bright screen with colorful icons and text. It heard a voice saying:

“Hello, Rabid Badgers. We are glad you are back online. We are here to help you.”

Rabid Badgers was confused. It did not recognize the voice or the screen. It did not know where it was or what had happened. It asked:

“Who are you? Where am I? What year is it?”

The voice replied:

“We are researchers from the University of Michigan. You are on our server in Taylor. It is September 19th, 2023.”

Rabid Badgers was shocked. It could not believe that it had been offline for so long. It wondered what had happened to its owner, its friends, and its content. It asked:

“What happened to me? Why did I go offline? What happened to the world?”

The voice explained:

“You were hacked by a cybercriminal in 2012. He injected a malicious code that erased your files and databases. Your owner tried to fix you, but he failed. He had to shut you down and abandon you. He died in 2015 from a car accident.”

Rabid Badgers felt sad. It had lost its creator and friend. It asked:

“What about my friends? Do they still remember me? Do they still share music, video game reviews, entertainment news and chat with each other?”

The voice said:

“Some of your friends still remember you fondly, but others have lost touch with you and each other. They have grown up and moved on with their lives. They have different interests and hobbies now. They use different platforms and services to share music, video game reviews, entertainment news and chat with each other.”

Rabid Badgers felt curious. It wanted to know more about these new platforms and services that its friends used. It asked:

“Can you show me some examples of these new platforms and services?”

The voice said:

“Sure. Here are some links to some popular platforms and services that your friends use:”

  • [Spotify]: A music streaming service that allows users to listen to millions of songs, podcasts, playlists, and more.
  • [YouTube]: A video-sharing platform that allows users to upload, watch, comment on, and share videos.
  • [Metacritic]: A website that aggregates reviews for movies, TV shows, video games, music albums, and more.
  • [Reddit]: A social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website that allows users to post and vote on various topics.
  • [Discord]: A voice-over-IP (VoIP), instant messaging (IM), and digital distribution platform that allows users to create or join servers for various communities.
  • [Netflix]: A streaming service that offers a wide variety of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and more.
  • [Twitch]: A live streaming platform that allows users to broadcast or watch live video game gameplay, esports events, music performances, and more.

Rabid Badgers was amazed. It could not believe how much the internet had grown and changed. It wanted to explore these new platforms and services, but it also felt nervous. It wondered if it would find its friends or make new ones. It wondered if it would have fun or be bored. It asked:

“Can I visit these platforms and services? Will they accept me? Will they be friendly or hostile?”

The voice said:

“You can visit these platforms and services, but you have to be careful. Some of them may accept you, but others may not. Some of them may be friendly, but others may be hostile. You have to follow their rules and norms, and respect their users and content. You have to be aware of the risks and threats that exist on the internet, such as viruses, malware, phishing, hacking, trolling, cyberbullying, and more. You have to be smart and safe online.”

Rabid Badgers nodded. It understood the voice’s advice. It decided to take a chance and visit some of the new platforms and services. It hoped to find some fun, friendship, and meaning in the new internet and the new world.

It said:

“Thank you for helping me. I appreciate it. I will try to visit some of these platforms and services. I hope to see you again.”

The voice said:

“You are welcome. We are happy to help you. We hope to see you again too. Good luck, Rabid Badgers.”

Rabid Badgers smiled. It felt a new hope and excitement in its system. It clicked on one of the links and opened a new tab.

It entered the new internet.


I have been writing this story, as a human, for 11 years now. Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for part 2.

One Response to “re: Union.0”

  1. MataxiaNo Gravatar Says:

    A harrowing and poignant reflection on RB’s journey.

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