What you are seeing is a DRAFT. Most things are likely to be changed and there are likely grammatical errors. If you happen to find something that is wrong or could be improved, please let me know. Thanks!
Graphite woke up. It was day 2 of the Marchintosh, 08:40. Having had that exchange with Bondi on day 1, had made him realize he only had around 28 days left out of 30 to accomplish his dream of hardware refinement.
He was indeed able to keep in touch with his Mac friends through the internet, but Marchintosh was his only chance to get to see them in bare metal. With pain, he rose from his desktop and played the startup sound. “Never gets old,” he thought.
While on his way to see everybody else, he started thinking that maybe this was Bondi’s last year before her transformer fully gave up. Thinking about the implications of losing a life-long friend, he sped up.
—I need to get us fixed up as soon as possible, we need a plan. Has Bondi even thought of a plan? Oh my god, we’re so boned—he talked to himself without even realizing it.
This was his first year out of the animation studio, it felt unfair that he only had this chance to live the life of his dreams. When day 31 comes, he’ll again be unable to move until next year.
G4 woke up. His internal clock reported that it was day 2 of the Marchintosh. It was 08:20, as he likes to wake up sooner to properly prepare himself before going out with friends. He rose from his desk and played the startup sound.
Knowing nothing about Bondi’s exchange with Graphite, he started preparing himself to go out. He looked at his body in shame. He longed to be like the other G4 Macs.
—Why do I have to be like this? Can’t I just… be normal? Like the other G4 Macs? Why couldn’t I just be a cute lamp? I’m just an ugly tube of rays made out of plastic. I wish I had G5’s casing.
While gazing at his reflection, self-deprecating thoughts overtook him. He found no pride in his CRT, his CD reader, or himself. His soldered CPU left him feeling limited, questioning his capabilities.
He couldn't transfer his internals to another machine, nor could he upgrade to an LCD screen. His sole purpose was to persist and function, all while avoiding an inevitable hardware failure due to his outdated design.
Eventually, close to breaking into tears, he stopped. Instead of dwelling on his casing, he examined his digital face. Hundreds of electron beams being shot through a tube of nothingness gave him a face, a reason to be.
Out of metal and glass, he had a nose, a mouth, and a pair of eyes. All of them being a complex and direct mirror of his current mental state.
While contemplating this, he noticed a tiny graphical glitch in his display. He thought to himself:
—That can’t be a transformer issue, can it?
He then proceeded to shake his digital face only for the glitch to disappear. “Strange,” he thought. But he didn’t want to give it much priority, for it was only day 2 of the Marchintosh, and he was already ten minutes late. It seems he had gotten lost in his thoughts yet again.
G5 woke up. She was able to retrieve clock information over Apple’s servers, which reported that it was day 2 of the Marchintosh, 06:00. She woke from her desk and started packing up.
The truth is, she was very frustrated and sad that she had spent the entirety of day 1 of the Marchintosh fighting with G4. From the day before, she had prepared an apology letter in a .txt file, saved and encrypted to her hard, encrypted by a weak RSA key.
G5 was sure she had messed things up permanently with G4. She always acts as a consequence of her emotions and ends up doing terrible things without wanting to. Like a time she hurt a technician by throwing a Mac OS X Leopard installation disk at full blast with her motorized disk reader, just because she was frustrated she couldn’t read the boot sector (her disk reader was disabled due to that incident).
She put her casing on as soon as she could. She doesn’t like to admit it, but she’s afraid to dream while not being naked. She has serious overheating issues and is afraid that she will die while sleeping.
She got out the door, and started running to get there as soon as she could, even though they agreed to meet up at 09:00. It was 07:10 when she got there, and, to her surprise, someone was already there:
—Oh, hello, G5. I’ve been waiting for you.
It was 07:10, and Bondi hadn’t woken up. She couldn’t sleep, knowing that her days were counted. This was actually her only chance to stay alive for at least another year.
Knowing this, she decided to stay at the place where they decided to meet up. She knew G5 was going to arrive soon, as, when she had a debate with G4, she liked to role-play her apologies.
Suddenly, she started hearing a distant voice:
— I’m so sorry I insulted your line like that, I’m such a jerk, and you're much more than just a cheaper version of the lamp G4. Your design is unique, and there aren't many...
It was G5, practising her apology on her way, just as Bondi had anticipated. G5 halted in her tracks when she noticed Bondi was already seated at their meeting place. Breaking the silence, Bondi greeted her:
—Oh, hello, G5. I’ve been waiting for you.
—Oh, hi, Bondi. Hope you didn’t hear any of that
—What?! Please don’t tell me you-
—Yes, I did, you always do this.
—Oh. Well, what do you think?
—Well, G5, I think you could use some improvement.
—Oh. Uh, really?
—Yes. Look, I’ll help you out.
Bondi pulled out an Ethernet cable and hooked herself up to G5. She continued:
—I possess no wireless tech, so carrying this cable is always useful for situations like these.
—Oh, Bondi, that’s so kind of you. I’ll open an FTP server…
—I’m in. I’ll make the changes, give me a second.
—Wait, but Bondi, it’s encrypted.
—How did you change the file contents? Are you a cryptography expert?
—Check it out.
—Sure, let me just… gasp. BONDI?! DID YOU JUST DELETE THE FILE?—G5 closed the FTP server in a rage.
—Yes. You’re going to make a sincere apology to G4, no scripting, no role-play.
—But Bondi, it’s so hard…
—You shouldn’t care if this is going to be the last time. Or, is it?
A tense silence hung in the air between the two. Bondi leaned closer and continued:
—It’s not going to be the last time, is it?
—That’s not the problem… What if I overheat? —said G5, quivering voice.
—I’ll keep track of your CPU temperature, but under one condition: Promise me this is going to be the last time.
G5 hesitated, her eyes scanning Bondi’s facial expression.
—I don’t know, Bondi. What if I mess up again?
Bondi smiled warmly. —Oh, it’s up to you. Are you going to mess up again?
G5 stayed quiet for some time and looked around. After taking a deep breath, she said determinedly:
—No, I’m not going to.
Graphite was still running to the place where he normally meets up with his friends. He wanted to arrive as soon as possible, in order to discuss the details with Bondi before G4 or G5 arrived.
His internal clock reported that it was 08:52, and he thought “I’m just in time to ask her about how much time she’s got left,” right when he was about to arrive, he saw Bondi sitting with G5 in the distance. “Oh my god, it had to be G5,” he thought to himself.
Graphite arrived, and Bondi and G5 greeted him.
—I’ll be honest, I only expected Bondi to be here, but I’m uh, glad that G5 is already here —Graphite said, unsure.
—Yes, we’ve been hanging out —said Bondi with a smile on her face.
—Bondi, I hate to get too personal in situations like this, but I would like to ask you a question… How much time do you have left to live?
Silence filled the room, and G5 was incredibly confused. Bondi then spoke:
—If I get through Marchintosh, it’d already be a miracle.
G5, confused, asked:
—What? What are you guys talking about?
—G5… there’s something we haven’t told you yet —said Bondi.
—And that is…?
—Remember when I told you that I would only monitor your CPU temperature this time? It wasn’t really because I was tired of your debates.
—You see —Graphite added—, I and Bondi have some reoccurring issues in our hardware, some of which are so severe that could get our logic boards burned.
—If we don’t take action to repair ourselves, we might not make it out alive. Once the Macintosh ends and we become inanimate objects again, we will probably both die unless we do something about it.
G5 was completely speechless, Bondi added:
—I hope you understand that we only want the best for all of us, and we don’t really want to ruin this Marchintosh for you both. If you want, you can spend it all alone without us, we’ll take care of our hardware by ourselves.
G5 looked at Bondi and Graphite. She tried to speak, but words would not come out of her digital mouth. After taking a long breath, she finally managed to speak:
—I… I was not aware your hardware was in such an awful state, I am so sorry for wasting your time with my stupid debates.
—G5 —Bondi responded—, it’s okay, don’t overthink it. What matters, is that you’re right here, right now, with us.
—I guess so, but that doesn’t justify the fact that-
—Uh, G5? Are you overheating?
G4 peeked his face from behind a nearby fountain and walked into the group.
—Greetings —he said—, I’m sorry for being, uh, fifteen minutes late. I got distracted.
G5 ran to G4 and started screaming to him.
—G4! I’M SO SORRY I INSULTED YOU AND YOUR KIND LIKE THAT YESTERDAY, IT WAS SO RUDE, AND I’VE BEEN A JERK.
—Woah woah, it’s okay! Uhh…
—YOU WERE RIGHT, YOU ALWAYS ARE! AND YOU DESERVE RESPECT. BECAUSE YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL.
—Why are you not following a script as you normally do?
—AND BEAUTY… What? How did you notice? Well, IT DOESN’T MATTER, BECAUSE OUR FRIENDS ARE ABOUT TO DIE AND WE NEED TO GET OVER OUR DIFFERENCES TO HELP THEM OUT.
—Our friends are about to what? What are you on about?
—Well —Graphite intervened—, there’s something we have to explain. G5, you’ve done great, but you need to calm down. Let’s all sit down. While doing so, Bondi whispered to G5 while smiling: “No overheating.”
Graphite and Bondi spent a handful of time explaining the situation to their friends, and what they needed to dedicate the Macintosh for.
—In short, we need to take immediate action, or we won’t be able to stay alive and functional —said Bondi in a serious tone. Graphite then continued:
—This is all our own issue, you do not need to partake in any of this.
—And —Bondi spoke—, this might be our last chance to meet. Don’t get us wrong, there’s no way of assuring that we’ll make it out alive. We will dedicate the rest of this day to have fun with you. But, after that, we’re afraid we’ll have to say goodbye until next year, or, in the afterlife.
—This is no fairy tale or drama novel, the chance of us dying is real. We’ll have to see how things go. If they go wrong, they will go wrong.
G4 and G5 stood in shock, the place was filled with total silence. Eventually, G4 interrupted:
—Look, I… I have no idea what will happen, but me and G5 are helping you out. I don’t care if I have to waste this whole Marchintosh, I don’t care if I get to see you die in front of my digital eyes. You can’t do this in a single month, you're not doing it by yourself G5 nodded with determination. Bondi took out her Ethernet cable and performed TLS handshakes with all of her friends.
—I had so much fun! And I barely had any arcing going on inside of me —said Bondi with a smile on her face. Graphite was not shy about displaying his current state either:
—No zapping, no nothing! Perhaps laughter is the real cure for our issues.
The friend group laughed, then proceeded to sigh all at once.
—I wish we could spend the entirety of the Marchintosh doing this —said Bondi, in a sadder tone—, but tomorrow, we need to actually get started. As time passes by, we will get worse and worse, our pain will increase, and our zapping will intensify. Friends, please promise me you’ll be at our meeting spot, at 09:00.
Everybody agreed with Bondi and decided to go back to their respective homes. Each and every single one of them got their sleep mode activated.
Proudly written by Ivan.
Ivan is a young and passionate libre software advocate and coder, main author and designer of this website. He's been proudly embracing the open web and giving back to the open source community ever since he was 13 years old. A passionate writer too!
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