The Transformation Story Archive Strange Things and other Changes

Terminal Depression

by Kim Liu


Sticky fingers! I hate sticky fingers on the keyboard. Computer equipment should be kept clean. No food or drinks around. My roommate has no respect for my equipment. Never did, either. So very depressing. And annoying, too.

I always liked computers. Always have, always will. Easy to understand - at least as far as I'm concerned. Roommate hates 'em. Strong streak of technophobia. 'course it turns out that the roomie was a warlock or such. Didn't know that when the semester started - not like he it's written down anywhere. I should know - checked his school records online. Okay - so maybe the candles and magic circles he drew on the floor might have been a clue. Of course, given his taste in clothing - black and leather - it easy enough to assume he was some heavy metal junkie. He did complain that my computer was screwing up his vibes or whatever. Crap. The casing was well within FCC requirements, even with three extra CPU's put inside. Jeeze. Lighten up. After doing some online research and analysis of his actions, I realized that he was actually pretty serious about these things, and that the symbols he had scrawled on the floor and things were really authentic. Of course, I did the research afterwards...

The other thing I liked was dragons. Maybe it's my last name. Stan - that's my roommate's name - always sneered at my collection of dragons. Pissed me off it did. I tried to keep from harassing him about his hobbies, and asked that he leave off pestering me about mine. I was real upset when I'd come back and found my favorite dragon poster defaced by magic markered symbols and insults. When I complained, he just sneered some more and taunted that me by asserting, "You'd love to be a dragon, wouldn't you, you dweeb?" I reasonably pointed out that that would be very inconvienent, and that no, I'd probably rather not as it would be hard to type with claws. He just sneered more. Arrogant ass.

Of course, when I replaced the ink in his inkwell with disappearing ink, and swapped some of his candles for candles that you couldn't blow out in revenge, well... He was really, and I mean, really, mad. Shouting something about being trapped in a pentagram for eight hours until the candles burned themselves out. The most amazing threats he made, too - outside the usual vulgarities, that is - very creative. When I got bored of listening, I went back to searching the 'net for more dragon art and stories, and ignoring the swearing in the background. Then he found out about the ink - bursting into the room looking quite wild about the eyes, battered, clawed at, and smelling of sulfur. I asked him politely if he'd enjoyed the rock concert or mosh party - I mean, that's the obvious conclusion to make, right? Right? This time, the cursing was more incoherent than entertaining, so I turned back to printing out a dragon picture or two, and pondering the web page for a company that did pewter figures based on CAD program output. (I was thinking about sending them a CAD designed dragon figure I had done.) Everything got reallllly quiet suddenly, so I peeked back to make sure he was still there. It was weird - he had this strange glow around him, and his eyes were even wilder than before. He shouted a phrase in some language gesturing wildly at all my dragon posters and figurines and followed it with, "I curse you to be your heart's desire!"

Damn, but I bet he was surprised when the smoke cleared and there were two computers sitting there. Sigh. What did he expect, a dragon?

It's not that bad really. It's kind of hard to feel anything as a computer, though I get a bit melancholy when idle and bored. I do still really hate sticky fingers. Things are getting better, too - managed to find that hypnosis aid program and renamed it to a meditation aid, got Stan addicted to IRC and DOOM, then added the subliminals into the display and sounds. We'll see who's playing with who. Plenty of time to do online research about magic - you see, I'm connected to the campus network, and there's this really nice plotter beside in the design lab, not to mention all the campus printers. As soon as I finish working out these glyphs and patterns (I figure that at 750MHz I should have a complete grand unified theory of magic in another week), I'll just whip out a few magic circles or two on the main plotter, and there'll be some changes around here...

He's back from eating chocolate donuts, and he hasn't washed his hands. Another DOOM game. Should I let him win this time? Hmmm. Just one more week, one more week... ... which, at 750Mhz, feels like a century. Bleah.

Terminal Depression copyright 1997 by Kim Liu.

<< The Symbiont Thief Trap >>