I finished clearing up, throwing the foil packets and plastic bottles away. Across the room, the news feeds kept rolling. It was worldwide now, they said. The government – all governments – had lost control. On shaky video I saw hordes bringing down barred gates and toppling fences.
Meanwhile, the precious servers continued their relentless humming – at once reassuring and foreign. I turned my attention back to the screens, to the business of the old world. Ironic, really, that I should worry about these machines when they might well outlive me.
On yet more screens, I kept watch as I had kept watch for years. Websites that had not gone offline for decades flickered, 503’d, and died. Chat rooms flared with activity, roared with panic, and went out. I hopped from server to server as each emptied in turn.
At long last, on some lonely Internet Relay Chat, I signed off too.
> 184.108.40.206 [firstname.lastname@example.org] has disconnected from the server.