That Week When The Internet Went Down

Well... What do we do now?  
— Everyone
  That week when the internet went down was, well, a week during which the internet was completely inaccessible in the Megacorpolis. It's also called the Great Buffering, the Big Disconnect, or Modem Monday (as, of course, it started on a Monday), because it's a bit of a mouthful otherwise. Besides the usual - brief economic collapse, millions laid off, fiscal quarters missed, riots, and doomsday cults - the entire city went through a whole week where no one was really sure just what to do.  

tenor (2).gif

by Fight Club


What Happened?

[Click] ...Huh, this is taking a while to load.  
— Everyone, again.
  The Great Buffering started on Monday, [REDACTED, THANK YOU - The Computer ], at 12am. With little warning, the entire city's connection flickered, then died - plunging the city into mild boredom followed by exasperation. Workers were left without videos to watch while pretending to work, businesses could no longer operate their gaudy ads, and most gamers were locked out of their platform accounts.  



After a few hours of that, people started to get worried. Technicians throughout the city were scrambling to identify and fix the problem. At the same time, Malcontents took the opportunity to launch all sorts of mayhem - unfortunately for them, bullets don't require an internet connection.
  When hours turned into days, that's when the real trouble started. Javamat started to go empty, unable to send a signal back to their repositories, and that lead to riots. Countless meetings had to be postponed, which surely broke the heart of millions and led to much emotional damage. The 37th annual "End of Days" convention had to be canceled, but that was more due to the Doomies taking to the street and shouting that the end was nigh.  
The antique item known as 'books' saw a brief resurgence during the Great Buffering, which has limped on since then. It's now common for corporate drones to keep a book (unread for decades) at their desk, 'just in case'.
  At the end of the week, entire industries had risen from the brief outage ashes. Corporate profits had taken a real hit, but like the cockroaches they are, corporations proved resilient and more than able to off-load most of the hurt onto their employees. An entire generation of lost souls now wander the Chipless slums of the Megacorpolis, fired en masse during the Great Buffering.  

Why, though?

Is it back yet?  
— Everyone (again)
  It's not really clear exactly what happened, and there's never been an official explanation. In the absence of fact, wild speculation has rushed to the void. When the corporations bother talking about it, they usually blame each other and point fingers at everything from malcontents to solar flares.   Nobody knows what happened, but for a full week, people had to raise their eyes from their screen and look at the world around them - and there were plenty who didn't like what they saw.   Whatever happened, it isn't likely that the Corps is keen for a sequel, for once.  


The Likeliest and Most Reasonable Explaination by Giorgio Tsoukalos

Ah, FINALLY! It's back on! Now I can get some work done... Let me just check my email first.  
— Everyone

Suspects, Theories, Explainations

  As with any event of this magnitude, it is important to first assign blame.  


by Simon Weaner
  Always a favorite scapegoat for Corporations, the hacker MÓRRÍGAN have launched countless cyber-attacks of varying degrees of severity and sanity in the past.   It would seem counter-intuitive for a hacker to disable their own weapon, but that hasn't stopped anyone from blaming her.  

The Yeti

  Some believe that no matter how many birthdays thrown for them, any surviving Yeti are still pretty sore about that whole extinction thing.   What better way to get revenge than to disable people's internet for a whole week?  
by Supernatural



The Computer

by 2001: Space Odyssey
  Some think that the Great Buffering was not a malicious attack, but an accident. A result of a good ol' fashioned Windows update, temporarily crippling even the mighty Computer.  

The Computer Again

But this time, as a victim. Some think that the disconnect was either an attack on the Computer or the test of some EMP weapon.   The culprits behind this are usually the Corporations or when they're the one fronting the theory, various malcontent forces within the city, there to take away our freedom.  
Others think the Buffering was the birth cry of a new god, born of the internet and wholly made within the digital realm.   There's no evidence for that, but that's never stopped anyone from drawing wild, unsubstantiated conclusions out of thin air.

Cover image: by ThePatent


Please Login in order to comment!
17 Jul, 2020 16:13

Countless meetings had to be postponed, which surely broke the heart of millions and led to much emotional damage.
NOT THE MEETINGS!!!! NOOOO!   I also loved the bit about the "end of days" convention! This is once again hilarious, well written, and such a perfect fit to the world! :D   Also, I BLAME THE BLASTED WINDOWS UPDATE!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
17 Jul, 2020 16:56

I love this! It got me to smile, then I remembered that I need more 'just in case' books. Also, fun to see what people come up with when playing the blame game. And of course: Cursed are the updates.

17 Jul, 2020 17:00

I'm going to blame Windows because the idea of internet god is entirely too terrifying to contemplate...

17 Jul, 2020 17:33

By the Java! A whole week??   *laughing*   So mass layoffs... that can only mean one thing...   Deployment of the PINK SLIP CANNON!!   Since it started on a Monday, how did the Taskforce respond? They had to be putting in some serious overtime!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
17 Jul, 2020 19:42

Alt CRT Delete, Damn! I may wake up at night in a cold sweat after reading about this terrible disaster! We done. Most likely related to Windows, the only virus you willingly install. And for a brief moment there was book!

18 Jul, 2020 07:30

And as this was being read on stream, Cloudflare went down for 10 minutes or so - whoops :D

17 Jul, 2020 20:28

It would seem counter-intuitive for a hacker to disable their own weapon, but that hasn't stopped anyone from blaming her.
  Would it, tho? Maybe she just wanted to go on vacation for a bit. Rumor has it, it's good to take a break from time to time...

18 Jul, 2020 07:23

The Corporations refute such wild and improbably claims about taking breaks.   But you might be onto something - maybe it did just happen to align with her trip to the Sahara Nature Reserve :D

18 Jul, 2020 07:50

Well, that be a funny coincidence indeed.

18 Jul, 2020 13:41

'The 37th annual "End of Days" convention had to be cancelled, but that was more due to the Doomies taking to the street and shouting that the end was nigh.'   Well, of course they were, where else would they be?

  • ASJ
  • 18 Jul, 2020 14:27

    Good point, not like they could rant about the end being nigh online!   :D

    18 Jul, 2020 23:43

    This is my favourite part:

    It's now common for corporate drones to keep a book (unread for decades) at their desk, 'just in case'.
      I hate to think what would happen in our world if the Internet was to go down for an entire week.

    Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
    19 Jul, 2020 01:34

    Just look what happened a few days ago when Cloudflare went out for 20 minutes xD

    Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
    CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
    4 Sep, 2020 11:09

    Keeping books at desks "just in case" it happens again - and the fact that workers can't pretend they're working... *applauds*

    5 Sep, 2020 07:10

    Considering what the world already looks like, it might actually be impossible to do any work without connectivity in the future :X Better hope CloudFlare holds up

    22 Oct, 2020 16:38

    Maybe someone just tripped on a cable? Gotta organize those wires.

    23 Oct, 2020 15:11

    Maybe! It'd be one big cable.

    2 Dec, 2020 20:50

    oops all offline   I love the sidebar with guesses on what caused the internet to go kaput. I say blame the aliens as well, never can trust them.

    I do the writey thing
    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    15 Jun, 2021 15:44

    Great article! I love all the theories XD Did everyone ever recover from the emotional loss of all those meetings? :p

    15 Jun, 2021 18:26

    Thank you! :D   I'm sure they got over it, somehow. Maybe the managers double-booked all meetings for the next month to make up for it