A Journey to uiuc.test


It's getting late, and the last rays of the daytime sun are dissipating through the thick trees which line the road. You haven't seen a building for hours; the only signs of civilization you can discern are the solitary power and phone lines. A faint howl of wolves echoes in the distance, and with a shudder you wrap your cape tightly around your shoulders.

Over the course of the past few miles, the road has degenerated from concrete to gravel to dirt, but the horse pulling your cart continues to amble along slowly. Finally you come to a stop, the driver explaining he will take you no further. You hop off the cart and give him a few gold pieces before he makes a hasty retreat. Lighting your torch, you are able to make out a rotting wooden sign, labeled "uiuc.test" and pointing further into the darkness. You start walking...

Finally, after negotiating several hundred yards of thicket, you stumble into a clearing and are suprised to see the mouth of a cave. 'This must be the place,' you think to yourself. Ignoring the various skeletons scattered about the entrance, you proceed unfazed into the cavern.

Immediately inside the entrance is a dank alcove, which opens into a larger walkway into the earth. It may just be your imagination, but you seem to perceive a faint cackling coming from deep within the cave. Checking your equipment, you start down the path.

Just as you reach the first room, several small green creatures scurry past you, but they move too quickly for you to get a good look. To your surprise, the room is equipped with power and ethernet jacks, and several old computers are set up around the perimeter, each running Unix. A figure hunched over one screen mutters something, then starts laughing evilly.

The next hallway is littered with shiny green metallic cylinders, and a sticky yellow-green substance covers the floor. You reach down and take a sample with your finger; it tastes sugary. As you are about to continue, a deep belch rings out from somewhere within, and the gust of air knocks your hat off your head. You pick it up and hurry down the hallway.

You enter a much smaller room, with much older computers. This room is considerably more crowded than the last; dozens of pale-skinned creatures are typing away on command lines. They seem to work with fervent speed, their fingers leaving the keyboard only to stretch or pick their noses. Disgusted, you hastily make for the opposite side of the room, but your eye catches one machine in the corner. As you approach it, you begin to hear a faint clicking noise. You realize, to your horror, that this machine is running a prototype mechanical microprocessor, and is manned by the smelliest, wartiest, most vile troll you have ever seen. In panic, you enter the door and continue further into the cave.

After stumbling down a particularly narrow and dreary hallway, you enter what appears to be a central chamber. Hundreds of creatures are dancing in a circle around a pillar in the center of the room, chanting the phrase "netiquette" over and over. On this pillar is a bronze plaque, with two horizontal lines etched in the metal to form dashes. You peer quizically at the plaque, and notice it seems to have a little extra space on the right side. You approach one seemingly friendly-looking creature and start to ask about it, when the room suddenly becomes eerily silent. Gulping, you realize the trolls have all stopped dancing and are all staring straight at you. You stand completely still as one of the leaders of the dance sneers and approaches you. He inspects you carefully for a few moments, and jeers "Your sig is broken." Before you can answer, he suddenly rips off your cape. The crowd of trolls lets out a collective gasp as they see that underneath the cape, you are wearing a shirt embroidered with the name "Microsoft."

You turn around and start running faster than you have ever run before, but despite your efforts the maniacal cackling you hear behind you only intensifies. Flames lick your back as the trolls-in-pursuit swing their torches at you. You make it through the the two main rooms, and with a faint glimmer of hope, you see the mouth of the cave approaching. Just as you reach the alcove and get a faint whiff of the outside air, you trip over a large boulder in the path, and violently meet the ground. You land next to a stone plaque on the floor which you hadn't noticed before. Reading its words is the last action you will ever make, "Abandon all sanity, ye who enter here."