|The Transformation Story Archive||Strange Things and other Changes|
Carl was never the nicest of people, even when he was alive. He didn't get any nicer after he died.
He wasn't dead in the usual sense. Sure, they buried his body several months ago, but he really wasn't dead. He had just left his body, abandoned it really. Not like a soul moves on to the afterlife, but more like someone would move out of their home to take a new job. He just now resided elsewhere.
He had always been the type of person to cause problems, he seemed to feed on it. As a child he picked on the smaller children, would insist on having the toys other kids had, and generally didn't play well with others.
As he grew older, he progressed to beating up other kids. He would vandalize things for no apparent reason. No anti-social act was beyond him.
When he reached his teens he discovered computers. He was greatly encouraged in his new venue. If nothing else, he was leaving others alone, and besides, his parents and authority figures no longer needed to deal with him.... as far as they knew.
Carl soon discovered numerous ways of causing electronic disorder. He learned how to crash the systems at school, moved on to mail bombs, and soon figured out how to make viruses.
It was when Carl entered the world of hacking that the real mayhem began. He started out hacking into other people's web sites and rewriting the pages to contain mostly obscene messages and pictures, but he soon moved on to larger things.
He found that some of the business web sites weren't much harder to hack into, and found that he could cause even more mischief by doing so. Soon, he was diverting orders to sex sites and stealing credit card numbers to distribute on some less than honorable bulletin boards.
Taking down internet service providers became his next game. The small, local ISPs started out as his main target. He would shut them down with surprising ease. This growing old, he moved on to the large national companies. MSN, AOL, and Compuserve became his favorite targets. Shutting down their mail servers or killing large sections of their network became a personal joy for Carl.
Carl soon was spending his time hacking into anything and everything. No target was too large or too small. Nothing was off base. He broke into the Miller children's personal web page and posted kiddie porn, he broke into the Department of Defense system and inserted several viruses, he even took down the National Organ Donor Network.
He did finally bite off more than he could chew.
One day while surfing the net, looking for likely targets, he spotted one that just begged to be broken into. It had the title Hacker Proof in large letters across the screen, an obvious challenge. This was too much for Carl to pass up.
Carl spent every waking hour for several days and short nights working on the site. Every firewall that he managed to break through was followed by another. Every failure was met with a taunting message. Who ever had created the sight was good at this.
Finally, after almost a week, Carl got through. His blackened heart leapt with joy and sadistic pleasure at the thought of what he would do to this site, but he never got the chance as the room suddenly filled with smoke and a figure began to emerge from the smoke. A figure that didn't look quite human.
Carl nearly fell off his chair when he saw what walked out of the smoke. The figure stood about seven feet tall, had ram's horns growing from his head, and was fully goat from the waist down with the exception of the long pointed tail.
The words wouldn't come out of Carl's mouth when he tried to speak, they couldn't seem to get past his tongue. The demon just laughed at this.
"Congratulations on being the first to hack into our site," the horned one said. "We have just the position for you."
"B-b-but what if I don't want it?" Carl managed to spit out.
"It doesn't matter, you already earned it by having a darkened soul. You proved it by entering our site." The demon laughed at Carl's obvious confusion.
"You thought that it only took the ability to crack code to get into there? It also took someone who had no remorse for anything they did, that didn't think twice about doing anything, and had no qualms about doing anything. You have been the only one who has met these standards and have been able to crack the code as well."
Before Carl could speak, he found himself being pulled from his body and watched as it fell off the chair and onto the floor in a lifeless heap.
He felt his senses change as he found himself in a dimension that he never knew existed. Sight and sound no longer existed in the way that we know it. Carl could no longer see in this realm, but could visualize what he was seeing. Sound was nonexistent, but he still knew what he was there to be heard and what it sounded like. This new world consisted entirely of ones and zeroes.
His new assignment was made clear to him, without any words being exchanged. His new home was very familiar to him, since he had spent most of his teen years here, although never from this perspective. Soon, everyone would know him at some level.
You may know him by many names, but none of them is Carl. He is called a gremlin, a glitch, a bug. Often he is called Lag, or Peer. Every time a packet gets misdirected, mail is lost, or a system blue screens, Carl could easily be the cause. Can't hook up to your ISP? Can't find a good server? All of your mail keeps bouncing? Your system keeps locking up? There is a good chance it's Carl.
He now feeds off of the misery that his mischief causes. The more upset that you get, the more you curse, the more likely it is that Carl will stay around your system. If you have a machine that just doesn't seem to ever work right, what you may need isn't a serviceman, but an exorcist.
So the next time your system crashes, or you can't seem to stay connected to the internet, you don't receive your mail, or can't seem to get a good connection on IRC, remember, it's probably Carl.