Welcome to the most absolutely ridiculous story you have ever heard of.
Perhaps your computer does suspiciously strange things on the odd occasion - except with Martin, it isn't on the odd occasion. Ever since his warranty ran dry, his PC has started acting up. First, by electrocuting the fish in the tank on the other side of the room, then by emailing the Queen, asking her politely to abdicate the throne.
Now Martin has to find out why, and it's not going to be pretty,
"Nah, dude. It just keeps doing it's own thing..." I repeated for quite honestly the hunredth time. I heard silence down the other end of the line, and I knew my friend wasn't going to be answering any time this century. Fab.
Not that I was expecting any help off him in the first place. I took an slow sip of my coffee, and strained my eyes to scan the data again. Man, if only my uncle was here...
He designs computers, see. Taught me everything I know, built me a muse. I owe everything to him. Sometimes I dream that maybe I could surpass him. Sometimes.
Other times, I just wonder how I ever ended up with such a crappy computer. And before you start with all the 'You're lucky to even have a computer!' stuff, maybe I should fill you in. Plenty on stuff's been going on in my attic, I can tell you. Things have been broken, letters written, fuses blown....anything you can imagine! I've already considered it to be a virus, but I scanned it as soon as I bought it, since It was second-hand, but it was clean.
Half a week ago, my warranty on the damn thing ran out. It was running smoothly, everything worked to a T. Then, on Monday after school, I came home to find my mum crying. At first, I was real scared. I mean, Mums never cry over just anything, or at least mine doesn't. When I asked, she barely managed a mumble.
It took a minute to sink in. I looked quizzically at the sink behind her, only to find a steaming, blackened fish tank. Daring myself to reach into the murky water, I groped around. Eventually my hand brushed against something cool and rough. My fish. Dead.
"I-I told you.....Martin....not to put him in the same room as electrical equipment!" Mum cried. I rolled my eyes at her frenzied reaction. Yeah, ok, poor Gordy. I was more concerned about how this had happened.
"I'll go check the PC." I said, amidst her complaints, and rushed up the stairs to the attic.
"All you care about is that stupid computer! I wish you would care about other people for once! Just wait till your father gets..."
Sheesh. Does she ever shut up?
* * *
A few minuted later, I had completed the hurried check of the system. Everything was fine, bar the snapped cord that had weaved it's way out of the mess. It seemed strange, though. The cord had been beneath the desk, I was sure of it, and it would have been impossible to reach the tank from there. Maybe the cable had whipped out when it snapped? But what had snapped it?
Everything from that day remained a mystery. I could never come to a conclusion on how the broken cable got all the way over to Gordy, and i never told anyone what I knew. Not that they could help. I would probably just be taken for a few wires short of a circuitboard.
The technical friend I had been chatting to moments earlier suddenly piped up and offered some ground-breaking advice...
"Have you tried re-booting it? Sometimes that works..."
Oh, how fun it is having boobs for friends. I do enjoy their company so.
"Ok, sure, I'll try that." I replied in a mocking tone, but he didn't quite catch it. By the way he continued, I could tell he was beaming at his 'superior knowledge'.
I moved the mouse gently, and tried clicking the on-screen 'Shut down' button. Except, every time I came close to touching it, the cursor snapped away and back to the centre of the screen. I sighed. This is what I had meant by 'It just keeps doing it's own thing...'
My eyes wandered down to the face of the actual machine. Could I really be bothered kneeling down to turn it off?
I decided that, since I would be forced to move eventually anyway, I might as well get it over with.
I kneeled my elbows back on the desk, in prime position to cup my head. Any second now, I should be able to hear the internal fan stutter to a halt.
Any second now?
I took a lazy gander at the screen. One solitary message was displayed over my cursor.
'Computer is unable to shut down, because it does not want to.'
And blinked again.
"You don't have to be such an ass about it." I groaned, mostly to myself. This was clearly such a waste of time.
'Do you want to say that again, you funny, funny man?'
Yes, at this point, I did choke on my own breath. Though, I suppose it was entirely appropriate seeing as I was now engaged in verbal combat with a metal box.
"Wh....what the hell? What kind of virus is this?" I exclaimed, whilst I wondered if the computer could actually hear me talking.
'Yes, I can. You installed a microphone.'
The reply came almost as soon as I had had the thought. This was really weird. I took an anxious look down at the 'On/Off' button on the front of the case. Then, over to the loaded socket on the wall. If I could just get...
'If you dare even think about turning me off, you'll regret it.'
I shivered. Maybe someone jacked my webcam?
"Why would I regret pulling the plug out?" I tried to ask, even if I didn't know who to direct the question to.
My cursor switched to the shape of a timer, as (I assume) the computer thought about it's reply.
'Because it hurts. >:( '
"How badly does it hurt?" I asked another question, carefully.
Again with the timer. Now was my chance!