(Waiting in line at Pin Number, Internet University's premiere student shopping facility, good friends Facebook and Twitter discuss the former's peaked interest in attending an art Forum being held on campus next week. The store is alive with a healthy buzzing of student chatter, and only the distant whispers of chaos indicate another political debate has erupted on the grounds. Again.)
Twitter: "I am telling you your layout is fine as is"
Facebook: "Are you kidding? We're talking Forum types here Tweet! High class, none of this mindless bickering and inane chatter we put up with. It's not like they let just anyone join these things."
Twitter: "I am sure you've been through enough layouts already. I am doubting anyone will care at this Forum place. I still cant believe you're giving"
(Twitter freezes. Facebook nonchalantly pushes him slightly forward in line, to the bewilderment of students behind him. One of them timidly asks if Twitter has crashed, to which Facebook merely smiles and shakes his head.)
Twitter: "up the Browsers for this thing. The Browsers!......I am assuming I did it again didn't I?"
Facebook: (laughing) "Pace yourself, dude. Leave the long comments for the big boys"
Twitter: "At Facebook, shut it"
(The students in front of the pair finish their purchase and move on, freeing up the search bar. Facebook shuffles forward, finding himself face to face with a well cut individual in a sharp, white suit. His clean shaven face is broken only by a wide, welcoming smile and his brilliantly fluffed hair speaks wonders of his professional nature.)
"Ah, Mr. Facebook and
Mr. Twitter, am I correct?"
Facebook: "Right on the money, Mr. Amazon. As always."
Amazon: "It is excellent to see both of you again. How's that new script working for you Mr. Facebook? It was Calibri, as I recall. A fine product if I do say so myself"
Facebook: "It's excellent. Can't say the test I used it on ended up the same. How Google manages to make Elementary Result Filtering so difficult I'll never know"
Amazon: (Chuckling warmly)"My dear friend Professor Google. Quite a History that one. Bought nearly four megabytes of red font last semester. But I'm loading away from myself. What can I get you today?"
Facebook: "I need a layout. A nice one."
Amazon: "Oh? I do believe you purchased one of those not too long ago. Was the coding faulty?"
Facebook: "No, no, it was great. I'm just planning on going to this Forum thing and-"
(Amazon's chipper grin widens.)
Amazon: "Say no more, my boy. What's her name?"
(Facebook laughs nervously, shifting his feet. Twitter rolls his eyes.)
Facebook: "How'd you know?"
Amazon: "Son, you don't stay in business as long as I have without pickin' up a thing or too. Your Wish List's a bloody open kindle. Now let's find you that layout."
(Amazon turns his perfectly molded head, his welcoming eyes resting upon a thin, lanky employee fumbling with the Shopping Cart in the back. After two sharp clicks on the search bar the young man cautiously looks up at his employer)
Amazon: "Paypal, you're in charge while I help Mr. Facebook here. Think you can handle that?"
(The student's eyes widen in fear as he looks up at the crowd of students waiting to be served. He drops the Cart and mouths a series of O's, his greasy strands of hair vibrating back and forth)
Paypal: "But sir I'm really more of the Cart guy. You know, numbers? I'm not really all that good at selli-"
Amazon: "You'll do fine. Just have a little more doubt with the Nigerian royalty. They aren't as common of customers as you seem to believe."
Paypal: (Blushing as he starts interacting with the next student) "Y-yessir"
(Amazon leads Facebook over to a mirror, its menu proudly displaying several high end layouts of all kinds. The salesman ushers Facebook on to a small platform, and examines the various colors and designs, clearly involved in his work. Twitter, off to the side, seems oddly preoccupied with something)
Twitter: "I am asking, Mr. Amazon?"
Amazon: (Running his hand over one of the menus, then shaking his head) "You want a layout as well? You know people who love these also bought-"
Twitter: "I am saying no, actually I was thinking of something else. Do you sell animals? Like pets?"
Amazon: "Pets? Why you've discovered my backdoor son. Last time I tried offering those things one spammed all over the interface. Took three weeks to fully filter Home and Garden. Never again, I'm afraid, though if you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to search again."
Facebook: (While holding a pristine amber layout in front of himself in the mirror) "A pet? What, you want a little prairie dog of your own, Tweet? Those things are drama queens."
Twitter: "I am muttering sarcastically har-de-har-har. I am thinking more like a bird."
Facebook: "Woah? A bird? I don't think that fits you at all, man"
Twitter: (Thinking briefly, then sighing)"I am agreeing. Yeah that probably wouldn't work."
Facebook: "Besides remember the last pet you had? That whole thing was a failure from the start"
Twitter: "I am reminding you we agreed to drop the Whale thing, okay?"
(Myspace stands in front of a door, wringing his hands nervously and fighting the urge to walk away. Next to him, a short girl leans against her grime ridden shovel, humming a loud and cheerful mining tune in the quiet overcast, entirely oblivious to the fearful condition of her companion)
uR 5uR3 7h15 15 7h3 pL4c3?"
Digg: "You know, spacklebrain, I swear I left my hole about an hour ago but there still seems'ta be an echo out here. Yes, for tha last time, this'll be the place."
Myspace: "4Nd 7h3r35 n0 07h3r w4Y t0 f1x mY
Digg: (Opening a small pouch she has attached to her overalls, grumbling all the while) "Well, it be this or, what is this 'ere
New Way to Vanish Off the Grid: 30 Percent Less Projectile Vomiting! Up ta you, pantywaist. Oh I also got somethin' in here about being a man'n not whining for excuses out on some ripe, diggable campus lawn, but I know ya won't be interested in all that"
Myspace: (Glaring at her and improving his posture slightly) "H3y, Im n07 wh1n1nG. M4yB3 Im jU5t w31gH1nG mY 0p710n5"
Digg: "And maybe I'm the pr'tty little Forum queen" (Digg grabs a handful of dirt from her pocket and flings it in the air) "Sparkles n' fairies fer ev'ryone!"
Myspace: (Grinning slightly) "4lr1gH7, 4lr1gH7, 1m g01Ng."
Digg: "That's tha spirit, chickenliver." (Digg slaps Myspace on the rear with her shovel, propelling him forward.) "Meanwhile, I'm gonna get me a solid tunnel goin' here. Rain's comin' in, so I gotta move"
Myspace: "571LL d0n7 G37 WhY y0u W0n7 c0m3 1n 700. 7h15 15 y0uR 1nF0 4f73r 4LL."
Digg: (Looking up at him with a sly smile, her eyes glow brighter than usual in the shadow of the clouds) "Me? Pretty simple, palley boy. I'm not suicidal."
Amazon: "Now that is what I call a perfect match, son."
(Facebook stands proudly in the spotlight of the dressing server, his new royal blue layout hugging his form. Amazon's grin somehow seems even more legitimate as he surveys his work, and Twitter, who has spent much of the updating period talking to a cheery girl from his Phishing Protection class about trendy topics ["I know, Justin Beiber is sooo talented"], slowly applauds.)
Twitter: "I am guessing if you had to blow off the Browsers for anything, it might as well be that thing."
.man, I don't even know what to say, Mr. Amazon"
Amazon: "Hold up now. You're not giving up anything, Mr. Facebook. This is on the Homepage"
Facebook: "What?! Really?"
Amazon: "Son, if it wasn't for you and your friend Wikipedia I would still be stuck in competition with that sneaky b*stard Ebay. Don't you worry about anything, just go see Paypal at the front so he can log it. Im sure he'll be ecstatic to return to his number crunching."
(Facebook and his friend make their way back towards the search bar, with students throughout the store stopping in their tracks for a glance at the new layout. Paypal's pale face flushes with life as he scans the layout, numbers flashing on the Shopping Cart, before handing it back over to its new owner. Twitter smirks as they leave the store, the clouds in the sky contrasting Facebook's bright attitude.)
Twitter: "I am trying to get this straight. You get to see the Browsers, a free layout, and soon this art chick. So who'd you hack to get all this?"
Facebook: (Laughing) "Yeah, it seriously beats getting stalked by a 'magic gnome' doesn't it?"
(Myspace stands in a dim, misty hallway. The ceiling lights, dressed in a thick layer of dust, flicker on and off in the mist, and a small bit of scratching echoes off the shredded walls. Myspace slowly begins to move forward, his steps clunky and indecisive. His own noises frighten him, and the floor appears to be sticky with some unknown fluid. After an odyssey that seemed to stretch hours, including a incident with some form of gelatinous substance draping the right wall, he makes out the end of the hall; a single door waits for him, a bizarre four clover design etched into its surface. He makes a move to grab the handle, but jumps as he sees a small cat sitting to the door's right. The creature only now acknowledges his presence, turning its bulbous eyes upon him)
Myspace: "Um, H3LL0. 1 n33d 70 g0 1n51d3"
(It's voice is raspy. Surreal)
"I can has?"
Myspace: "Y0u c4N
.y0u c4n wH47?"
(The creature was unmoved. A wave of energy rocketed down its fur as it asked again)
"I can has?"
Y35 y0u C4n H45"
"I can has?"
Myspace: "G*d D*mM17! 1 D0n7 kN0w 7h3 P455w0Rd 0k4Y?"
"I can has?"
(Myspace attempts to remember some of the advice Digg had given him several hours prior, the cat's incessant purring taunting him all the while.)
Myspace: (Thinking) "0k4Y, Uh
.wH47 d1d 5h3 54y
5 Things Your Body WANTS You to Kill, You Just Don't Know It! N0, N0
.Mullet Maintenance: It's Several Degrees Harder Than You Think!........M4yB3
..L37s G0 w17h pR0b4bLy N07
.Demonic Hellcats Get a Bad Rap- All They Need Is A-"
Myspace: "Ch33zbUrG3R! Y0U c4N h4s Ch33zbUrG3R!"
(The cat grins, and with an awful screech the door begins to open. Myspace inhales deeply, promptly coughing in the foul stench. The room before him is pitch black, with naught but the sounds of chains rattling and incomprehensible muttering to break the stillness. With his last ounce of courage Myspace steps forward, the door slamming shut behind him. Heavy breathing surrounds him in the gloom, and something grunts nearby. A high pitched laugh rings)
"/b/ has waited long for you, my child"