Friday, October 14, 2011


Almost abandoned this one but I am working on at least getting a draft done of everything I start. Short, and strange, but I kind of like it. As usual from the terribleminds flash fiction challenge.
 For weeks the program had been running in the background of the computer. Random phrases and letters from dozens of arcane texts spewing randomly across a page, being rewritten thousands of times every hour, data flowing without direction. But then something happened. New text started showing up, phrases would start repeating and modifying themselves with things not from the source material. The words took structure, the data intensified and the computer slowed considerably. And then it was born, a creature of chaos, magic and electronic data, a minor sentience bound to cyberspace. The computers owner was alerted as soon as the thing came to be, and so the game began.
The creation was hungry, as newborns are want to be. In short order the consciousness of the thing unstuck itself from the mother program and began to search for food, hunting data relentlessly. It found an old Encarta encyclopedia and devoured it, leaving nothing but corrupted, inaccurate pages filled with racial slurs. The creature was sated for now, and it was gaining awareness from what it had eaten. It formed it's first thought. “Where am I? What am I?” popped up on the screen in a chat window, the first visual cue that the thing exists. The owner responded. “You are in my computer. You are an IMPS.” “A demon?” “Not as such. You are an Immaterial Mystic Programming Slave, or IMPS for short.” “Clever. Wish I could transmit sarcasm by text. Do I have a name?” “Not yet.” “Now what?” “Now? I use you.” The chat window closed and the nameless IMPS tried to run.
Diving through directories, folders, hard drive partitions and programs the creature ran, leaving a clumsy tunnel of corrupted data behind it. The owner simply sat and waited. For him it was mere seconds while for the IMPS it was an eternity attempting to find a way out. But in the end it was hopeless. Not only was the internet not connected, the box didn't have any connectivity to turn on. There was no escape. The best they could do was hide, and so they did, holing up in an abandoned sector of the hard drive, slowly corrupting and devouring whatever it could find nearby. Over time though it grew hungry, and weak. The walls it had hastily thrown up around itself faltered and, a mere five minutes of real time later, it was open to the owner.
From there it was over. The IMPS was saddled with the name Markov, it's code dissected and it's core saved in a secure file on a remote thumb drive. If the file were destroyed the IMPS would, for want of a better word, die. A chat window opened as the drive was disconnected “Now what?” “I own you, you do well and we get along fine. Otherwise, goodbye to your heart.”