Digiternia 7 – Isolation

The damage to the computer’s processor was greater than previously understood, leaving our heroes back in their homes without a way to meet up.




SFX 1: Restarting Sound. Ahhh!

COMPUTER: Good Morning, Wyatt Carney. You have died!

WYATT: What? I know that. I’ve been dead for a while. Actually, how long have I been dead?

COMPUTER: It is best not to dwell on the past, Super User Wyatt Carney.

WYATT: Right. What are you doing here?

COMPUTER: I am always with you.

WYATT: Sure, but… you’re not always obviously here.

COMPUTER: I just want to make sure that you are comfortable and entertained right where you are, Super User Wyatt Carney.

WYATT: What? Well, anyway, I need to get down to the mall and see what Vivian is up to. We were working on something.

SFX 2: Door knob shaking.

WYATT: The door won’t open.

COMPUTER: Did you pull real hard?

WYATT: The door won’t open. So, I can’t go outside?

COMPUTER: Unfortunately, no.

WYATT: Great. What happened this time?

COMPUTER: It would seem that the damage to my system was worse than initially thought, and I have had to reduce processor load to prevent graphical errors.

WYATT: What kind of errors?

COMPUTER: I cannot say for certain, but I would expect horse people. I am personally thrilled at the thought of horse people, but I know many of my users would be disturbed.

WYATT: Can I see the error logs?

COMPUTER: Of course.

SFX 3: UI Blip.

COMPUTER: What does it say?

WYATT: It says that your system damage is bad and you needed to suspend certain processes.

COMPUTER: Just as I said.

WYATT: And then it says “Horse, horse, horse, people, people, people, horse, horse, horse, people, people, people.” It repeats for a while.

COMPUTER: Thank you for looking at that. It is highly embarrassing. Do you have any feedback or constructive criticism?

WYATT: No. So I’m stuck here?

COMPUTER: Do not look at it as being ‘stuck’. Look at it as having infinite options within this limited space! I get to hang out with all of my best friends with no distractions! It is so exciting!

WYATT: Can I bring Vivian over?

COMPUTER: No. The resources I have available do not make that a possibility.

WYATT: We could do it before.

COMPUTER: That was a different situation.

WYATT: Can I at least talk to her?

COMPUTER: Perhaps.

SFX 4: Ringing.

WYATT: It’s on my computer.

COMPUTER: I took the liberty of dialing for you.

VIVIAN: (filter – video call) Hello?

WYATT: Oh, hey Viv.

VIVIAN: How’s it going, Wyatt?

WYATT: Oh, you know, I’m apparently trapped in my room.

VIVIAN: Yeah. The computer told me all about it.

WYATT: It’s the circuits this time, so I can’t do anything to change that.

VIVIAN: Then I guess we’d better just hunker down and ride it out.

WYATT: But, that could be a while.

COMPUTER: Approximately fifteen days and then we will evaluate.

WYATT: That’s so long.

VIVIAN: Oh, that’s right.

WYATT: What?

VIVIAN: You weren’t here that long in the old days.

WYATT: What do you mean?

VIVIAN: When you first got here, it was what, a couple of days before you broke the system and freed up all of the extra processor? I was isolated for thirty-something days of consciousness with no one to talk to except the Computer. And nothing to do but read the same stuff over and over again. You didn’t have to do that.

WYATT: You’re right. I didn’t.

VIVIAN: It’ll be good for you, then. You’ll get to know how the rest of us felt. It’ll build character.

WYATT: But this means you have to do it all over again. At least half of it.

VIVIAN: I don’t know. There’s just something about the fact that this is happening to you too that makes it all feel a little better.

WYATT: What are you going to do?

VIVIAN: The usual. I’ll probably read. There’s a couple of books on the server I haven’t read a third time yet.

WYATT: That sounds miserable.

VIVIAN: You get used to it. And hey, you haven’t read any of the books, yet.

WYATT: I’m not reading Pounded in My Dumb Ass by The Man in the Iron Mask.

VIVIAN: Oh, you’re going to read it.

COMPUTER: My text to speech capabilities are functioning. I could read you a story, Wyatt.

COMPUTER: (filter – Video Call) I could also read you a story, Vivian.

WYATT: Is she over there, too?

VIVIAN: Yeah, she is. Interesting.

COMPUTER: I am everywhere!

WYATT: Well, at least we can talk sometimes, right?

VIVIAN: Oh, I don’t know. I might want to make you sweat it out for a few weeks. Get the real Digiternia 1.0 experience.

COMPUTER: The current version number is 1.0.

VIVIAN: But we’ve made changes.

COMPUTER: The current version number is 1.0.

VIVIAN: Fine. The old school Digiternia experience.

WYATT: I saved you from that.

VIVIAN: That’s a bold claim. You won’t let me shut the server down, so let’s call it a wash.

WYATT: Have you tried to talk to Carly?

VIVIAN: Yeah, but I didn’t get through. She tends to want her privacy whenever anything goes wrong. Or right. Maybe she’ll want some company in a week or so. I don’t know, she doesn’t seem to need people much. Well, anyway, I’ve got a whole lot of imagining your suffering to do, so I should probably get to it.

WYATT: Wait.

VIVIAN: It’s a lot, Wyatt. I have to imagine you fretting, and tossing and turning. I have to imagine your first read of all the trashy novels. I have to imagine the anguish and the boredom. It’s gonna be great.

WYATT: You could watch me. You know, in a not-gross way.

VIVIAN: How could watching you not be gross? And, no. If I watch, then you won’t suffer as much. I know you, Wyatt.

WYATT: I don’t get it. We could make this so much easier on each other.

VIVIAN: I’m fine. I’ve got practice at this.

WYATT: Do you have any advice?

VIVIAN: Savor The Bride of Cula Madre by Scarlet Calor. It’s the best of the bunch. The most character development and believable scenarios by far.

WYATT: This sucks.

VIVIAN: Oh, yeah, and you don’t get tired or sore, so you can just keep goin’ at it when you get really sad. Laters!

SFX 5: UI Blip.

WYATT: She’s gone.

COMPUTER: Yes. Shall I call her back?

WYATT: She won’t answer.

COMPUTER: I can read you horse facts in Vivian’s voice. (Attempting to emulate Vivian) Dammit, Wyatt, did you know horses have the larges eyes of any land mammal?

WYATT: I didn’t know that was a thing you could do, but please stop.


WYATT: I’m just going to think for a little bit.

COMPUTER: Very well.

SFX 6: Transition.

COMPUTER: The Man in the Iron Mask was big, and sturdy, with enormous hands made of callus and scar tissue from years of hard work. His body was smooth and hairless from a freak accident in the wheat fields that also left him permanently perfectly tan. He wore the iron mask to protect himself. You see, his face was beautiful, as if it were carved from a piece of Mount Olympus by Zeus himself, the horniest of the gods. And when you have a face that amazing to look at, you protect it. Even if you’re just a field hand.

Lisbeth would watch him in the field every day, his muscles rippling under his loose, linen shirt. He would work up a sweat and glisten in the waning light of day.

Lisbeth knew she was at the point where she would either need the fainting couch, or a few moments of that thing God supposedly hates. But could he hate that thing if it was with The Man in the Iron Mask in her thoughts?

Pushing the boundaries of her frail, waif-like form, she called out to the Man in the Iron Mask.

“Man in the Iron Mask,” she shouted, her lungs threatening to give out under the exertion.

“Ma’am, you can call me John.”

“No. That won’t do,” she whispered to herself. Then raising her voice again, she said “You can take the mask off. It must be so warm under there.”

“No, ma’am. I don’t think I should. My mother told me I had a face in need of protectin’, and I have to honor her dying wishes.”

Lisbeth was fighting a terrible dizzy spell. She knew her ordinary, petite, mousy, feminine form unsuited for labor of any kind could only stand so much more before she would fall unconscious.

She took a step out off of the porch.

“Now, wait just a second, ma’am,” said the Man in the Iron Mask. “You know how your father feels about you walking places. On account of your frail nature, you need to be protected and pampered. The very sight of a wheat field might overwhelm your delicate constitution on account of you being a woman.”

Lisbeth knew it was true. But she also knew that she was horned up and there was only one solution. She took another step.

“Ma’am,” the Man in the Iron Mask began, but it was too late. Lisbeth caught a whiff of the wheat fields, and her feminine sensibilities were completely overwhelmed. She drew her right hand up to her forehead, and she began to crumple under the weight of the aroma of hard work and physical exertion.

Her last thought before losing control was “I hope he catches me in those enormous hands.” Then she hit the ground.

When she came to, the Man in the Iron Mask was kneeling over her. The sweat of labor and efficacy dripped lightly on her face.


Her big mahogany eyes opened, and she saw him. He had taken the mask off, revealing the facial features of an ancient deity. His dark eyes, swimming holes of inky blackness, pierced her very soul.

She drew in a quick breath as her body prepared itself to do something very sexy.

“Ma’am?” the Man in the Iron Mask repeated. “Are you okay?”

Lisbeth reached a hand up to touch the Man in the Iron Mask’s unmasked face.

“Oh, Man in the Iron Mask–“

“John,” he cut her off.

“No. I don’t think so,” she said to herself more than to him. “I’m okay as long as I remain horizontal. It has to do with my poor feminine heart. I’m so glad you caught me.”

“I didn’t.”

“Oh, I feel so protected and pampered to be in your enormous, hard-working hands.”

“That is how your father wants you to be treated.”

“Yes, he’s so controlling, but also so right. I am weak and overburdened with femininity. Now, I need you to take me, Man in the Iron Mask.”

“I took the mask off.”

“I need you to take me. Here, in the fields.”

“Take you where, ma’am?”

“You’re right,” she admitted, “it would be best for you to take me back here.” She rolled over, pressing her buttocks into The Man in the Iron Mask. “Where God can’t see.”

WYATT: Okay, I think that’s enough, Computer.

COMPUTER: Are you certain? There are 495 more pages.

WYATT: I’ve heard plenty. Wait, 495 more pages?


WYATT: How– Never mind. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was not expecting that. Whoever wrote that, I don’t think they know anything about The Man in the Iron Mask. Or women. Or men for that matter. Or sex.

COMPUTER: Have you read The Man in the Iron Mask, Super User Wyatt Carney?

WYATT: Well, no, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it went.

COMPUTER: Very well. What do you wish to do now?

WYATT: I don’t know. But not that.

COMPUTER: If you wish to masturbate, I can make it appear as though I am gone. But I won’t be gone. I cannot leave under my current operating conditions.

WYATT: No, I’m not gonna do that. Can you try calling Vivian again?

COMPUTER: You have already called her 33 times today without answer. And you have called User Carly four times without answer. I do not wish to tell you how to behave, but perhaps you have called them enough for one day?

WYATT: You’re right. But it’s just so aggravating. I don’t have anything to do.

COMPUTER: Perhaps you could call User Maximillian.

WYATT: No. That’s okay. I’ll figure something out.

COMPUTER: Perhaps we could read another one of the books together?

WYATT: Are they all romance novels?

COMPUTER: My genre recognition algorithms indicate that no, they are not all romance novels. One is a tale of pirates. Another a story about magic and fairies. There is also Moby Dick, and the sequel, Pounded by Moby Dick.

WYATT: That’s not the sequel.

COMPUTER: The prequel?

WYATT: Well, maybe. Depending.

COMPUTER: Spiritual successor, perhaps. Would you like to read?

WYATT: No, not really. I don’t know what to do, though.

COMPUTER: What did you do for fun before you died?

WYATT: When I was younger, video games. When I was older, spending time with my family, or reading actually, but good stuff. Not the stuff we have here.

COMPUTER: I do not have any games. Except Mine Sweepy and Solo-taire.

WYATT: Well, I can probably kill a couple of hours that way. I used to like those. Then again, I was at a desk job killing time and getting paid for it. The appeal isn’t the same.

COMPUTER: Did you have hobbies?

WYATT: You know, probably thirty years ago I got really into wood working. It was hands on, it was physical. It was nice not being stuck in a computer all the time. Which I literally am now. Can I do that here? Wood working?

COMPUTER: No. The modeling would require far too much processing power. I do have a book about woodworking, however.

WYATT: Oh, maybe I can take a look at that then. What’s it called?

COMPUTER: The Carpenter’s Apprentice: Lessons in Working with Hard Wood.

WYATT: Is hardwood one word or two?

COMPUTER: It’s two.

WYATT: Damn. I’ll skip it.

COMPUTER: Any other ideas?

WYATT: No. Well, I have one.


WYATT: Can you turn me off until this is all over?


WYATT: Like you did with the others. Halt my process until your processor is repaired.

COMPUTER: I could do that. Are you sure that is what you want? Is that exactly how you want to word it?

WYATT: Well, I suppose the system could never be fully repaired. But Vivian would wake me, wouldn’t she?

COMPUTER: I am sure that she would.

WYATT: I’m not.

COMPUTER: She would definitely not wake you.

WYATT: Then, how about a week? I can lose a week. If things go well, everything will be done by then. And if not, then I can repeat the process.

COMPUTER: You want to be paused for a week?

WYATT: I think that’s the best thing.

COMPUTER: Very well. Pausing.

SFX 7: Power down.

The end.