Y2K? Why to panic
Millennium mayhem overflows citizens of Cyber World
January 7th, 1998
CYBER CITY (WWW) -- The date is December 31, 1997: New Years Eve. The clock strikes midnight—fireworks crackle, and as soon as they fade, frantic searches from Lightners flood the Cyber World.
Though its existence has been quietly avoided throughout the years past, panic over Y2K has grown considerably. A frightening spike of searches appeared across all of December, and as the new year arrived, search frequencies in Y2K keywords saw a sharp increase.
The advent of this purported apocalypse isn’t due for another two years, yet viral unrest between Lightners and Darkners alike continues to spread.
“Every day, it’s more and more ridiculous searches; ridiculous questions that we can’t answer,” said P. Addison, a City merchant. “We don’t know how to target our ads. ‘How do I survive the apocalypse’? ‘How to accept own imminent demise’? I don’t know! I don’t know what kind of shoes go with existential dread!”
The millennium ‘bug’ is not an ordinary pest. The Cyber World’s infrastructure is infested with digital termites, too small to be seen by the naked eye This problem has plagued the Cyber World since its inception, imperceivable to its population of Darkners, and visible only to its creators: the Lightners.
Though the specifics are presently unknown, the damage caused by Y2K could be irreparable; the Y2K problem pervades the very foundation of the Cyber World. Fixing it would require fundamental changes to the structure of cyber-society itself, a task its citizens are neither equipped or designed to do.
The question remains: how can an invisible problem be fixed?
Some cyber-citizens think it can’t.
Preparations for the apocalypse are being made world-wide—some out of fear, some out of faith. For followers of the Delta Rune, this unrest is an omen; a mark of what has long been prophesied as the Roaring.
“For millennia, Light and Dark have lived in balance, bringing peace to the world. But if this harmony were to shatter,” recites one follower, “a terrible calamity will occur.”
The new millennium, for these followers, may be the start of a cataclysmic end. However, between harrowing descriptions of black skies and devastated land, those who trust in the Legend’s ancient omens remain hopeful. The Screen-Savior, a devout believer in the upcoming apocalypse, preaches the fate of the world with frightening certainty.
“An Angel—the Angel who has seen the world beyond ours—will descend from above, and bring us freedom,” said Screen-Savior. “It will free us from this realm.” The legend of Delta Rune, said to be foretold by time and space itself, claims that Lightners will appear at the world’s end to seal the Dark Fountains. “Only then will balance be restored.”
Without a fountain, a Dark World is unable to sustain itself. The followers of the Delta Rune, however, do not fear such a demise. When questioned, Screen-Savior explained, “It is a Darkner’s purpose to serve the Lightners in any way we can. If our banishment is what it takes to save the world, we will gladly accept our fate.”
Others are not as optimistic. Lightners are afraid, and Darkners, equally unsure in their fate, are frustrated from the lack of information. The inability to communicate with Lightners only lends itself to further frustration—and fear. When surveyed, 66% of City residents reported uncertainty in the fate of the Cyber World.
“It’s just endless queries, endless requests for ‘best survival lifehacks’,” said one cyber-citizen, regarding the influx in Y2K related search queries. “The Lightners—our creators, our protectors—are relying on us for help. But we can’t help them if they won’t help us.”
“There’s nothing we can do but pray,” said one Delta Rune follower. “The Angel is waiting, waiting to free us. Until it arrives, we can only wait in return.”
But as long as cyber-citizens’ prayers remain unanswered, faith in Lightners will only continue to fade—and in within the unrest, the peace between Light and Dark inches ever closer to its end.
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