A Window appeared on my laptop screen:
LETHAL VIRUS DETECTED
PLEASE TAKE IMMIDIATE ACTION
It was accompanied by the usual warning sound.
I ignored it, figuring my antivirus software would deal with it, but it returned moments later. After the third such interruption, I clicked on the hyperlink.
It took me to a webpage, which explained in great and boring detail how malicious the Trojan S0u15te@1er.666 if left on my system. Rogue hackers had found a back door into my Windows system, and had access to all of my personal details. However, a simple patch was available, which would fix the problem and prevent any further contamination.
Naturally, I clicked and allowed the software to download.
Another window appeared with the usual terms and conditions. I scrolled down to the bottom without reading it, and clicked yes I was over 18, and yes, I had read and agreed with the terms and conditions … and then clicked the download button, followed shortly after by the Run button.
My laptop went back to normal, and I thought no more about it.
The following morning I woke in a semi -catatonic state. Vaguely, I heard something on the news while eating my cornflakes. It spoke about an unprecedented wave of violent crimes, shootings, mass murders etc. but I didn’t pay it any attention. Nothing new there. I just waited for the second cup of coffee to kick in before heading to work.
It was only when I heard the policeman shout “Drop your weapon!” that I finally awoke from the lethargy that had gripped me all morning.
In a daze, I looked around. I was standing on my desk, holding a submachine gun, though I didn’t own one. The barrel was hot and the air was thick with the smell of cordite. My finger was still tightly squeezing the trigger, but only an annoying clicking sound came from the gun.
Apparently, it had jammed.
My work colleagues lay around me, friends and co-workers that I had known for years. Blood pooled under some of their bodies, while others hid beneath their desks and whimpered in terror.
“Drop your weapon!” the SWAT team leader yelled again.
Confused, I did as he commanded. “It wasn’t me! I didn’t do it!” I mumbled, but he wasn’t interested.
“On the ground, NOW!”
Staggering, I made my way down from my desk and stumbled onto the acrylic carpeting, where I was soon trussed up like a Christmas turkey.
They read me my rights and dragged me away, blubbering like a baby.
Similar scenes were being re-played throughout the city; the country, all over the world, in fact.
It took the police forces several days to finally find the common denominator: S0u15te@1er.666, or rather the software patch that was supposed to fix the fictitious virus.
By clicking to sign the terms and conditions, I had signed away my soul.
The end of the world was at hand, and the Devil was playing to win.