New Year's day was quiet, and no one seemed concerned. The accumulated stories of the past three months had not coalesced into a phenomenon in the mass consciousness of the people. Some wondered. A few folks, call them paranoid, or simply perceptive, felt something was up.
Could it be? Could it really be that it has collapsed? Surely our way of life has ample safeguards against irreversible decline? We are Modern, for goodness sake. Our system works.
Some recalled reading something about how money doesn't really exist anymore, that it is just a bunch of computers talking to each other, making scientific and reliable decisions. Sure, there was corruption, and some people stole other people's savings, but they got caught, and they paid for it. Didn't they?
Sam was online when he got a message alert: "IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM YOUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER". Sam thought it was junk mail at first, and continued playing the computer game he had recently received at Christmas. But the alert grew in importance in his mind until it distracted him to fantasy death. He clicked on his email desktop icon and went straight to the message's link. The page opened, "Dear Valued Employee...