So yeah, I still do art-related things. I don't really draw, but I do a smattering of other art forms.
I make some stuff in my AP Music class, some of which I suppose I'll post here. A song - Kind of a mix between orchestral and electronic music. 3.14 - Orchestral piece Demon Spawn - A "metal" project I've been "working on" in my spare time. Just two songs NOPE FIVE for now.
the picture on above Facebook page, named "omg angsty photo"
I also play the violin, and consider myself pretty good at it. If I do anything cool with that, I'll post it here.
Welcome to the Internet
I assume you’ve been on the internet, right? Most of us have. Well, maybe not most of us – 37% of people worldwide use the Internet. Yes, this statistic includes Asia, where about one out of every three people uses the Internet. Remember that there are almost four billion people in Asia. Anyway, chances are high that you’ve been on the internet if you’re reading this. A lot of people have an internet story to tell – whether that story is an epic fight over Facebook, getting the high score on some game, or dealings with Anonymous, there’s a story for everyone. Me? Well, I can top all of these stories.
You see, I’ve been inside the Internet.
No, I’m not kidding about this. I really have been in the Internet. I know you don’t believe me. Heck, I barely believe it myself. But I swear to God it happened. I was just sucked into the Internet one day. If you want to hear my story, keep reading. If you don’t, stop reading this right now and go get some coffee or something. Make it worth your time. If you’re still here, thanks for staying. So here’s my story – the story of how I was sucked into the World Wide Web and the events inside of it.
So there I was, sitting in front of my computer hammering away at the keyboard. It was about 4:30 and my parents were away visiting my older brother at college. I wasn’t doing anything really important. I don’t quite remember what I was doing. I’m one of those people who spends more time on the Internet than off of it. Sad, I know. Anyway, I stopped typing and sent whatever message I was making and started browsing through the website I was on. Suddenly the screen reloaded. I guess I accidentally clicked on an advertisement. But when it finished loading, it didn’t look like any webpage I’d ever seen. Apart from the normal window with my tabs and everything, it was all a mass of purple. Was it a bad webpage? I thought it was a glitch, but it didn’t go away. The purple mass started to swirl. Slowly at first, then faster. I noticed that the room was getting brighter, and soon the monitor was glowing so brightly I had to turn away from it. Then there was a bright blue flash of light, and I felt like I was being pulled off my chair, flying head over heels into some unknown world. I had no sense of direction until I slammed into what I assumed was the ground and blacked out. I woke up some time later to see a bearded face peering down at me, looking concerned but nonetheless happy.
“Dude, that was a nasty fall; are you all right?” the face asked in a surprisingly light tone of voice. I sat up and looked at it. The face belonged to a man in his mid-30s or so, tall and a little on the heavy side. He was wearing a yellow shirt, blue jeans and old tennis shoes, and had some sort of backpack on. I didn’t really want to know what was inside.
“I guess so,” I replied, still somewhat dazed. “What just happened to me?”
“Well, kid, you’ve entered the Internet!” He laughed, as if I should have known what happened to me. Unbelieving, I looked at my surroundings. Wherever I was, it looked a bit like a normal home eaten by cyberspace. The floor could have passed for any old floor, with a worn-out brown carpet. At least it was relatively soft. The ceiling and walls could be made out easily, but they gave off a faint purple light, with green strings of numbers floating continuously through them. The walls had what appeared to be doors as well as openings with light shining through them. The ceiling had plain old light fixtures on it, but in the center was a swirling mass of purple not unlike what I saw just as my computer had me for breakfast. I was at a loss for words.
“Don’t worry, man, time’s not passing on the other side. Once you get out, you’ll be exactly where you were in space and time before,” he explained. “The way out is through that blue door to your left. But now that you’re here, why not take a look around? The Internet’s way cooler inside than out.” I nodded in agreement, still not believing that any of this was real.
“Well then, welcome to the Internet. I’ll be your guide!” With that, he smiled and turned towards a light blue door, beckoning me to follow. Through the door was a small walkway passing over a sprawling yet highly organized plaza. People congregated in its various sections, which all seemed different in some way. The man spoke again to me.
“This, my friend, is an Internet forum,” he explained. “Everyone here is finding the specific section they’re looking for and discussing relevant topics there.” I already knew what a forum was, but this insider’s view was amazing to behold.
A thought struck me, and I posed a question. “So, um, Mister…”
“Call me Gerald.”
“Okay, Gerald, well… are all of the people down there in the same predicament as I am?”
“Nonsense!” Gerald laughed. “Those aren’t actually people down there. It’s sort of like a digital image of the person. You could walk right through one and they wouldn’t notice. I’m not one of them though – a couple years ago I got sucked in and didn’t care to leave.”
“So… where are we in the forum?”
“We’re in the admin control panel! When you’re inside the internet, most things aren’t hard to get through. But aren’t forums wonderful to behold?” I didn’t answer. From what I could hear, we were next to a sports forum, and beyond that was a political section where a nasty debate seemed to be going on. One of the users, presumably a moderator, walked over and simply ended the debate. Continuing to look around, something in the upper corner of the vast room caught my eye – a small, pulsing mass of black. Gerald apparently saw it too, and hurried us out of the room through another door, and into a smaller, less organized room. Groups of people were talking about various things, and a large sign proclaimed that the topic was something about video games. It looked like a chatroom. One particular user caught my eye – a short guy with a heavy accent, saying that he was new and wanted help. People mostly ignored him, but a couple offered a few pointers. He began to walk away, but then stopped and turned around. Throwing up his arms, his eyes turned black and he began to shoot a strange, dark-colored light from his hands with binary zooming through. People nearby began clutching their sides and turning away in fright. One person who strayed too close was caught in the light and dissolved. Almost as if out of nowhere, a huge hammer was brought down onto the strange man, crushing him. With this crushing, most of the light actually appeared to shatter, as if it was cracked glass. A loud voice spoke out.
“Don’t go near the pockets of light!” The owner of the voice revealed himself to be a tall man in his early twenties or so, as well as the wielder of the hammer. Looking around, he took a swing at a leftover spot of the strange light, shattering it with the hammer. Then he noticed Gerald.
“Hey Gerald, what’s up?”
“Sorry, man, I’m a bit busy. Got some things to do.” With that, we hurried out of the room and back into the hallway I originally saw when I landed. I noticed a nook that I hadn’t before, and there was a man sitting behind a desk. It appeared to be a service counter. Behind it were rows of bookshelves so long that I couldn’t see the end - and they were well lit, too. It took me a while to notice the huge Google logo for some reason or other. Gerald murmured something to the attendant, who nodded and moved towards the bookshelves. He took a key from his hand and pressed a button, and the floor began to move at a remarkable pace with a slight hum. The man walked along with it out of sight. Gerald turned to me.
“Okay, listen up. I shouldn’t been keeping this from you for so long, but we have a bit of a problem. There’s this virus that’s been spreading faster than anything I’ve ever seen. That was the dark spot in the forum, and the attacker in the chatroom. Now that you’re here, I’m going to need you to help me get rid of it. Sorry, this wasn’t the plan when I invited you to look around here, but it’s the plan now,” he explained, noting my scorn near the end. “I am led to believe that the man behind the desk has some information on this particular virus. Once he comes back, I’ll figure something out.” Almost as if on cue, the humming came to a stop. It resumed a minute or so later, after a sound like that of a shelf collapsing and a muffled curse word. I took a moment to think about the situation, weighing my options a couple times over. Eventually, remembering that time isn’t really passing back home, I made up my mind.
“So where do you think we can find this thing?” I asked. I was at least glad he finally told me everything, and maybe even a bit impatient to find this thing. The Google man came back, almost as if on cue, muttering something about e-termites, and handed a small book to Gerald. Gerald thanked the man and began flipping through the book. About a minute later, while I pondered what to have for dinner that night, he closed the book and handed it back to the Google man.
“I hope that didn’t take too long, I couldn’t find a tl;dr note. Okay, so we have a couple hours before this thing gets too big to handle, but for now we have a chance. We have to completely destroy it – a banhammer won’t affect it, and it’s good at getting past firewalls. I know a place where we can get something to destroy it, but it’s a bit risky.” He paused.
About twenty minutes later – at least it seemed like twenty minutes – we were in front of a dark red rectangle in the wall. My head was spinning from the “safety” lecture Gerald had just given me, and the faint sound of gunfire through the hole didn’t help. Regardless of my state of confusion, we stepped into the rectangle and emerged in a WWII-era battleground. The ground was splattered with blood, covered in footsteps, and punctuated by debris. It looked like the spot we came in on was once a house, but I couldn’t really tell.
“Quietly now, we don’t want to attract attention,” Gerald warned, “The weapons will be here somewhere.” I didn’t understand what kind of ‘40s weapon could help us against an advanced computer virus, but I figured I should wait until we found what we were looking for to express that. After a lot of crawling and a near miss from a stray hand grenade, we arrived in a small nook in a sheer cliff. Crawling into the rock, we eventually came to a space tall enough to stand in, lit by a faint light from farther back in the cliff. Farther back, we found a glowing crystal shining on two small metal objects, roughly cylindrical in shape. Gerald, motioning for me to stand back, went over to the objects and picked one up. Looking at it more intensely – but at a distance – he seemed to find something, and orienting the object differently, pressed a button. A long shaft of green light erupted from the object. Swinging it like a sword, he attacked a nearby boulder, slicing it cleanly in two. What do you know? It was a lightsaber.
“I didn’t know they had lightsabers in World War II…” I said.
“They didn’t. But this is the internet. Pretty much anything is possible.” Gerald turned off the lightsaber and pulled a small box from his backpack. The inside appeared to be padded, with two small chambers. He placed one weapon in each chamber, then closed the box and stowed it back in his backpack. As we headed back, I noticed a weapon lying on the ground in what seemed like pretty good condition. As I went to grab it, Gerald apparently noticed.
“Kid, get bac-” Well, that’s all I remember. I completely blacked out and woke up somewhere I hadn’t seen before. What’s even weirder is that the various cuts and scrapes from crawling around were all gone. I couldn’t see or hear Gerald anywhere. Looking around, I saw a few flashes from guns, but nothing I could recognize - just more rubble and whatnot. I did find the cliff though, so I started crawling towards it. Narrowly avoiding gunfire, I slowly made it closer and closer to the cliff. Suddenly, a sheer drop opened up in front of me. That’s just great, I thought. Of course, I felt like I’d make it there in decent time, and suddenly there’s this huge cliff right in front of me. Kind of like trying to eat ice cream and dropping it three stories into a fireplace. Not a life-threatening thing, but pretty darn disappointing. So anyway, there’s this huge drop in front of me and I have no idea how to get around it. Out of nowhere, I felt this tap on my left shoulder. I turned around nervously, but breathed a sigh of relief when I realized it was only Gerald.
“Come on, the way out is over there, we need to get out,” he wispered. We hurried over to the portal (which I seem to have missed before) and hopped out.
“Kid, are you okay?”
“Yeah, um, I think so. I just remember blacking out.”
“Okay, just making sure. So... What the HELL were you thinking?! Wandering off in a shooting game with no helmet? That’s like asking to get shot full of holes! And what did you do? You took a bullet to the head! If we weren’t online, you would be dead! DEAD! Why did you ever do that?! Don’t do stupid things like that!” It took me this long to realize that the blackout was caused by me being shot. The full reality of that hit me a few minutes after he stopped yelling. Once my head stopped spinning, we set off again in search of the virus.
At length I started hearing strange noises. Some sounded like angry voices, some like laughter, and some just completely unidentifiable. We were in a hallway back in the complex I landed in. I eventually looked off to my left and saw a door, slightly ajar at the end of a different hall, with a big CAUTION sign over it. An ugly green light was streaming out of the opening.
“Hey Gerald, wha-?” “That’s 4chan, kid. And if possible, we are avoiding that awful place. Awful users, awful content, awful layout... It’s everything bad about the Internet in one big, ugly package. The thing is, a place like that would be-” Suddenly, a piercing scream cut Gerald off. The light from 4chan turned red and black, and a shadow began to creep from the opening.
“Kid, it’s the virus! Look!” The shadow began to take on a humanoid shape, growing larger and larger until it seemed to stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Zeroes and ones zoomed through its skin, giving off an evil glow. Two bright red eyes opened up on what could only be its head, and began to glare at the two of us like we were two foxes in a trap. But it wasn’t done. Reaching a shadowy arm back into 4chan, it pulled out a pulsing mass of gray, which it smashed between its hands. The impact released a massive burst of sound, which I will try to recount here. Profanity will be starred out for your convenience. (Seriously, why is 4chan so horrible?)
LOL U SUCK I HERD U LIKE MEMES ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY DO IT ****** tl;dr NOPE **** THE WORLD DON’T YOU RUSTLE MY JIMMIES BOY Redundant Phrase is Redundant O RLY? FAKE AND GAY WE ARE LEGION 9GAG SUCKS …
Yeah, that’s not even half of the garbage the depths of the internet have to offer. Trust me, that blast was easily the worst moment of my life up to that and probably for a very long time after. By the time Gerald and I could stand (it was that bad), the virus was rounding the corner at the far end of the hall.
“After that thing!” The chase wasn’t that interesting, so there’s no need to recount it. What happened afterwards is more important anyway. Finally we caught up to the virus as it entered an empty chatroom. Gerald tossed me a lightsaber, and together we charged the thing. It was stronger than either of us would ever have thought possible, to be honest. After one particularly strong blast that knocked all three of us back, I took another good look at the thing. It looked pretty much the same, but it now had a mouth. It was full of gleaming white teeth that came to a wicked point. And it was smiling. It reared back and opened its hideous mouth, and a ball of energy formed in its throat. It whipped its head forward, turning the ball into an intense beam of energy that Gerald’s lightsaber couldn’t block. The blast sent him back several feet into a wall, which he hit with tremendous force and slumped against. While the virus was weakened from firing off the blast, I... sat there. This thing was so freaking terrifying at this point that I couldn’t move. Apparently thinking it wouldn’t need that energy beam to finish me off, it broke out in a run towards me, intending to finish me off by hand. I did the first thing that came to mind, and ran like hell. Of course though, it was between me and the door, and I ended up cornered. I could hear the hiss of its breath. It lunged at me, and I did the only thing I could think of doing. I swung at it. The shadowy hand I feared fell to the ground, and the monster shrieked in pain. Feeling oddly empowered, I jumped forward and began hacking at its legs. Bits of shadow were cast aside from the lightsaber, disintegrating on contact with the ground. Its legs destroyed, it collapsed. I made one last stroke. With a flash of blue, its horrible head was cleaved off, the wicked smile banished for good. What was left of the virus crumbled to dust and disappeared.
Gerald finally came to about an hour later. He didn’t believe me at all when I told him what happened, but didn’t seem to be in the mood to argue. I handed over the lightsaber, the blade at an angle from the sheer force of the virus. We left the chatroom, talking about the experience along the way and quietly closing the 4chan door when we came to it. Eventually we came to the swirling purple door I recognized so well.
“Well, kid, I guess this is goodbye. Have fun back out there.”
“Good luck in the Internet, Gerald.” With that, I closed my eyes and stepped into the vortex. I landed somewhere and opened my eyes. It was the same room I was in when this experience started. I looked at my computer screen. The strange purple mass was dissipating, and in its place was the regular old Internet startup page. It was a pretty awesome experience, looking back, but there was one thing that suddenly came to mind.
I was really, really hungry.
The woman strolled through the store, browsing the aisles. She was wearing a blue T-shirt and khakis, which happened to be the uniform of the employees – a group she was not part of. She wore dark glasses as well. “I’ve got an eye disorder,” she remarked when anybody asked her about them. Technically she did – a minor case of Duane Syndrome – although it didn’t require dark glasses at all. The glasses actually concealed high-tech equipment important to her success. Although the glasses made her look a bit suspicious, all anyone could tell was that she was looking for a deal, or perhaps she was an employee seeking out customers. She was on a mission though, a dastardly escapade. She was going to steal something. As usual, her conscience was screaming at her.
Are you really sure you should do this, Natalie?
“Relax,” she muttered, “I’m doing fine.” She might have been a bit crazy, but she wasn’t crazy enough to not hide it.
But what you’re doing is wrong!
“I do this all the time, I’ll be fine.”
That doesn’t matter! You could land yourself in jail!
“Think about the people I’m helping! Don’t you think this store – no, this entire community - has enough problems without what I’m helping them with?” That shut her conscience up. She began to make her way to the door. Standing in an open space and looking around, she noticed a man dressed in at least two jackets striding along with a cart, lightly filled. Her glasses noticed something else of importance. He was nervous.
You were like him once, remember?
“Shut… up…” She pressed a tiny button on the top of her glasses. The lights on the security posts went dark. With sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the glasses were operating at maximum capacity. The nervous man, having paid for the goods in the cart, began to make his own way towards the door. It was here that her suspicions were confirmed. There was something in the man’s pocket. Something that shouldn’t be there. As the man walked past, she waved and put on her best smile, posing as an employee. The man sent a “how do you do?” her way and went on. She moved silently behind the man, noticing his sigh of relief as the security posts didn’t even pick up the item in his pocket. As he turned to leave the building, she pulled a cloth bag from her pocket. Shoving it over the man’s head, she swung her forearm in a tight but quick motion, knocking him out. She carried his limp body out to her car and laid him in the back seat. The items he purchased, she would send to his family. The item he stole would be returned to the store at a later date. As for the man… well, he would never shoplift again, that much was certain.
Later that night, with the man tied up in her closet for the time being, she turned on the news.
“Breaking news this afternoon: a man was attacked and kidnapped in a convenience store parking lot by a mysterious woman. Neither person’s identity is known. Anybody with evidence is advised to call local police. Now, in sports this afternoon…” So somebody had seen the attack. But that didn’t really matter. Natalie, the Shoplifter Thief, was in business once more.
The following images were taken with a film camera (which has since broken), self-developed, and later scanned onto a computer.