Author: Steve Bellavia

We huddled around, all the brothers and I, awaiting the big announcement.

She stood before us in resplendent glory – Her Majesty – The All-Knowing –
The Window – The Electric Web – The Efficient Omniscient. Her lights were aflutter. Her casing was glossy. Her vents were crisp. She was so full of life. She was… divine.

Then he swaggered onto the stage – His Highest Holiness, the Operator. He was wearing his white ceremonial robe adorned with the sacred golden trinkets and perched atop his head was the cap of merit.

He had won the vote unanimously. After the dull, conservative reign of Maddox IV, we were drawn to Sam the First’s infectious brand of revisionism laced with irreverent humour. He puffed out his chest and raised his arms to the roof of the temple.

‘Brothers,’ he said. ‘For too long we have looked to the past for our salvation. For too long we have stared into the abyss of the failed world that came before us – looking for answers. This machine is not your God!’ He pointed at Her Majesty and an audible gasp came from many a brother’s lips.

‘Sacrilege,’ Brother Timothy whispered.

‘Mark this day in your calendar.’ The Operator drifted to the control desk. ‘For this shall become known as the Day of the Blank Page.’

He hammered at the buttons. Her Majesty started screeching. Men wept in horror.

Brother Timothy shouted, ‘Heretic!’

Still the Operator continued his task – his deicide. Smoke spewed from the heavenly data platters. Flashing lights banged and popped. Brother Austin gnawed the flesh from his thumbs. Cables ignited into ropes of fire. Her Majesty’s screech stuttered and stopped. Brother Timothy had a heart attack and died. His Holiness turned to us and smiled.

‘It is done!’ he shouted.

Indeed, he had done it. He had wiped our God of her memory. He had destroyed the Earth’s history. He had deleted the Internet.