The cross was made out of old terminals, motherboards, heat sinks. The associated debris of hardware, hard wired and versatile. Like some kind of religious cross, but so much more meaningful, so much more versatile, so much more user friendly. The new opium of the masses, for who needs opium with this sort of power. And so, with no small effort, me and Swl lifted Douglas onto the cross. We spread his dead arms out onto the branches of the cross, and then I picked two screws from my top pocket. Nearly six inches long and cold and hard steel. Swl unfolded his clenched hands, and I pushed the screw into his palm, hammering it down through his hand into the circuitry beneath. He was now pinned by each palm, but not held firmly enough. I wound a parallel cable tightly around his chest, just under his arms, and tightened it. His short sleeved shirt crumpled, but he was held firmly to the cross. "We donít want his head to tip down", said Swl, and he wound another cable round his neck. Small patches of blood were gathering on his hands, and together we hauled the cross upright. His head lolled, despite the cables round his neck.
"This is going to be the coolest thing ever", I said. An icon for our generation. Douglas Couplandís corpse, strapped and screwed to our hardware cross. We were the new elite, and this was a symbol of our power. Of course, I was a bit concerned that it was going to catch up with us. But that was the beauty of the net. Pretty soon, anyone who was anyone would see our creation. The speed at which anything which looks cool gets around the net is something which surprises even us sometimes. But the beauty of it is that itíd never get back to us. By the time anyone gets concerned about poor Douglas here, the picture will be on hundreds of servers all across the world, and finding us was going to be impossible.
Weíd come up with the idea whilst going out for coffee and milkshakes at Cafť Rumour in Covent Garden. I was sipping at my Mock-Mocha, beautifully synthesised coffee without ever being in the hands of any oppressed fair trade coffee slave, but manufactured from a universal chicken protein. Apparently, they could make milk, sugar and biscuits out of the same substance. Swl was drinking his five-dollar shake, which apparently contained the chocolate from five Mint Aeros. The straw had a scoop on the end because the shake was too thick. Rabbit was there, but he just had a decaffeinated glass of water. Douglas was in town that afternoon, signing copies of Do sheep dream of becoming-machine?
Douglas! The thought of him, here, in London, was too much. Rabbit mentioned the kidnapping as a joke. St. Douglas. Blessed are the geek, and all that. He dies for our sins. The New World, lives on the Internet, connected by the sparks of electricity and fibre-optic. We donít need to go out, for this, here, now, is our destiny. Why go out and change the world when I can stay right here and write code that makes the world sit up and listen. Computers are our future, and I am their master.
But first, we do need to go out. We need to capture the living icon of this, and assimilate him entirely. His flesh will merge with technology, a living god, wired forever into the computers that gave us power. We finished our drinks, and drove to the bookshop. There he was! At the desk, looking just like us in his short sleeved shirt and dark hair. He was the symbol of all of us, but still, distressingly mortal.
I am writing this, just as it happened. A record needs to be kept. This is where it all begins. An hour and a half later, he left the bookshop, and thatís when we made our move. The three of us took him by force, pushing him into the back of my car. I drove, whilst Swl and Rabbit held him down. But that wasnít the end of it. For the machine to live, the person must die. So, as I turned up Radio 1 on my car stereo, Swl pushed a screwdriver into the top of Douglasís head, and he died. Rabbit was screaming, donít do it, what the hell! There was more blood than Iíd expected. Here I was, driving my car back to my flat, with the dead body of Douglas Coupland in the back of my car. Meanwhile, my two friends, on either side of Douglas, covered in his blood, were screaming at each other.
Back at the flat, we attached Douglas (for we were now on first name terms) to the cross, and hoisted him up. Cables were wound across his body, but other cables ran from the cross itself, leading into ports on the server. Douglas was about to go online. "Are we all ready?" asked Swl. "Sort of, " replied Rabbit, and I flicked the switch. Bang! As fast as my T3 Broadband connection could go, Douglas was now part of the internet. Twelve web cams all kicked in at once, thousands of signals spreading the word of St. Douglas. This was it. The revolution was here.
An hour later, images of our crucifiction, of the becoming-machine, were all over the world. and we were completely untraceable. "Technology, Ďreligioní, sex and death - the worldwide obsessions" said Swl. "Sex?" asked Rabbit. "Oh, youíll just have to wait and see", said Swl, who had already taken the leather gimp mask out of his bag.