I don't come from the net.
I haven't traveled through systems, peoples, and cities.
I live in this place.
Mainframe. My home.
My format? Binome.
The overlooked backbone, little 1s and 0s.
I know you're all out there.
Out past the system, out past the user, past the net, past the web...outside somewhere completely different, and you're watching our town.
I know the cameras would have you believe the hyper-sensation that is life on Baudway.
And yeah...it's pretty nice. The circuits are clean, and the people friendly. Great place to live. Must be nice for the sprites who can afford it.
But take a trip down through the stacks of the city. Each one a level of life, and each declining in quality. The best keeps to the top so as not to ruin Phong's view from the Principal Office. But scurry down the steps and you'll find me, in my null's nest apartment just a hop, skip, and a jump drive away from Al's slow food.
Funny to think this place has only two restaurants...one at the top, one at the bottom. The closer you live to one or the other determines the likelihood that it's "more in your price range."
So yeah...it's not exactly heaven down here. We live in a constant state of fear, with viral armies going most unchallenged in my neighbourhood. So we scurry, left and right, and just try to keep away from Megabyte. But then...most of us end up working for him.
And then come the games, and I know what you see. You see Bob, big time hero, tear-fixin' virus fightin' Bob. And you see him kicking user ass again and again. He saves the day again and again. But the binomes who die? You think they're just fine? Sorry friend, but their asses get straight nullified. I hear that hellish warning come day after day - The incessant buzzing of "Incoming Game" And all I can think is "I wonder which neighbour I'm going to lose?" I can barely muster the will to reboot.
What I have to say is simple. What I have to say is "What you are experiencing is a temporary distortion of reality." Mike the TV isn't cute, alright? There's only so many times a binome can hear "ninety nine ninety nine ninety nine" Before he wanders out to Lost Angles and throws himself into the fucking sea.
Wouldn't be so entertaining, would it? To focus on the daily struggle of low-level binomes, hiding from virals, and waiting entire SECONDS for their meals.
Hell, when that web creature attacked? Why do you think it hit level 31 first? Because nobody ever bothered to LOOK down here.
One last thing...and I don't want you to pretend like this hasn't bothered you. If you've seen our lives, you've wondered if other versions of us live in other systems. You've realized that you, too, are called "the user". And you imagine that the enemies in your beloved games are your heroes; Bob, Dot, Enzo, AndrAIa. Don't worry, they're not. It's just the binomes. Those big time sprites are saved for endgame, and you never really manage to win, do you? Guardians are great at these games, but what am I supposed to do? I'm just a fucking spelling checker! Death comes only to low-level, wide-eyed, trembling little 1s and 0s.
So just remember, next time you play on your pc? The next bad guy you kill, well it just might be me.