The rash of bots has made me paranoid. This story is the brainchild of that paranoia. Enjoy.
Image of Fail Whale by Yiying Lu
The sky was blue, an unnatural neon shade that made one see bright orange upon blinking. White puffy clouds dotted the celestial dome like darling cartoon sheep, only they stayed fixed in the air, unmoving.
The four figures stared up and blinked at the static, sunless sky. With a deafening fanfare and an explosion of fireworks, they saw it. Descending from the sky, suspended by a multitude of chubby birds was a large whale. The leviathan nodded benevolently at his small assembly as the birds (with no small effort) lowered him into his tank. It sang a few bars of “Pokerface” and then turned to his men. Whales cannot giggle, but a cetaceous squeal of mirth was piped in the air as it breached.
“WELCOME!” said the Fail Whale. “I’ve invited you three to this special hashtag chat (#twitterpocalypse) because as denizen of this social media network, I have grown bored. I believe that Twitter has evolved beyond its purpose and must be destroyed. What started out as a neat way to stalk celebrities and piss off people with abbreviated sentences has turned into a place for people to connect and share ideas and promote and support each other. It makes me sick. That being said, with my awesome Fail Whale powers I hereby begin the destruction of Twitter! That’s why I have called you four together! What say you?”
The four avatars looked either unimpressed or ignorant of what was going on. The Whale eyed them critically. One was a smiling man in his late fifties standing on his yacht in Eddie Bauer shorts. Another was a Young woman with far too little clothing, who kept shifting into poses she probably thought was alluring. One was a badly sampled image lifted off the internet of a Cat with a Lime rind on it’s head. The last was simply an egg. The egg confused the whale most of all.
“Um, guys?” asked the Fail Whale. Perhaps they hadn’t heard him.
“"We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose." - Bishop Desmond Tutu” said the man on the boat.
“i wood totally have hawt sex w. lady gaga!! ; )” said the young woman.
“GLENN BECK IS THE DEVIL WE SHOULD STAB HIS BRAIN WITH A TOOTHPICK!” said the cat in all-caps.
“writers wanted: http.tiny/iouoa9357q9ls.fke” said the egg.
“You’re not the traditional four horsemen are you?” asked the whale with sinking realization.
“Visualize the “you” you want to become. You are only as strong as that positive image!” said the man on the boat.
“OMG! Jus Beiber iz cuttin hz hair!” cried the girl.
“OBAMA IS A RACSIST WARMONGER!” shouted the cat, beginning to foam at the mouth a little.
“Protect your computer,” said the egg, who then posted another link.
“Who the heck ARE you guys?” asked the Fail Whale in despair.
The be-shorted man blinked and briefly got off his yacht.
“We’re the four horsemen of the Twitterpocalypse. My name is “Life Coach.” You’ll have to forgive me, I don’t interact with people much. I generally just post quotes by other people and platitudes.”
“Why do you do that?”
“I like to think that if I follow several million people and one million of them follow me and find my quotes inspiring that I can feel educated and superior.”
“But they’re not your thoughts or words. You haven’t posted one original idea!”
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchhill”
The whale shook his head sadly. Life Coach would not be his lead horseman. He lacked initiative and originality. Maybe the others would make up for it. He eyed the scantily-clad girl with enthusiasm. She was evil, there was no doubt.
“Would you like to bring this media site to its knees, um… are you ‘Porn?’”
“Um… kaynothnxbye,” said the girl in annoyance. “Im, StalkR. I foloo pple I like an post evry aticrle, video, and link abot thm. I alzo offr my body daily to thm in the hopes tht they aknoldg me or evn block me.”
The Whale had trouble deciphering the string of consonants and creative spellings, and eventually stopped listening.
“Why can’t I understand you?”
The girl flipped her hair and scoffed. “YU tri tweetg whl drivin, ass! Itz fcking HARD!!!1”
The Whale lamented that the one word the girl had bothered to spell correctly was “ass” and moved on to the cat. He hadn’t much hope for this one. His doubt was justified.
“Alright. Who’re you?” he asked the cat.
“COLD WATER GIVES YOU CANCER! THE LIBERALS FUCKED THE WORLD! MY FOOT HURTS! WHAT IS A GLEE? GLENN BECK IS HIDING ON MY LAWN IN A PANZER!”
“Oh, you’re a Moron. I get it,” said the Whale. He swam a few inches away from the glass walls of his tank in case the cat attacked. Breaching again, he cursed his luck. How could he bring about total destruction with a small army of paranoid, elitist, illiterate ass-hats? He looked at the egg.
“Okay, egg. Impress me.”
The Egg Robot spun a little on it’s wide base and glowed. It then began shouting a strange litany in a monotone voice.
“United Church of God, Masses Weekly! (link) RT this ad to get a pink iPad 2 (link)! Real estate Prices are crashing! Get your forclosure today! (link) Obama wants to pay you to go back to school! (link) Why you need liability insurance! (link)…”
The whale froze in awe of the robotic voice devoid of emotion trying to reach the hopes and fears of hopeless mortals. The egg spun faster and glowed brighter. The Whale could feel the glass heating up from the shear energy and turned his large head. After a blinding flash of light, the whale dared look out the glass again.
There were millions of them.
A million eggs. Each spinning and glowing and making more eggs. An army of eggs. An invasion of cold, unattached mercenary eggs.
The Fail Whale looked out at the egg robot army and nodded his approval. It was good. He would lead this army to the ruination of Twitter.
It was the dawn of the Twitterpocalypse. None would be left in their wake.
Parody picture by Sabrina @introvertedwife