Stamp came to Calliope one evening, pretending to be very distressed. He explained to her that his alters had been neglected, and that his wife had just informed him that she was with child. He begged Calliope to promise that his child would have a place in her world of e-mail, since his domain was fading. Calliope felt terrible for causing a fellow god distress, so she immediately promised that his child would always have a place with her. Stamp went away happy, for he had seen the future. A few months later his wife gave birth to twins, Spam and Pop-up. Since a goddess can never go back on her word, Calliope had no choice but to allow them to mar her precious creation.
Spam and Pop-up were only minor annoyances, and the wonderful gift, which had been called Internet, continued on uninterrupted. But then some very disturbing news reached Britannica. Some humans were abusing the Internet. The precious gift of accessible knowledge that Britannica had so carefully crafted had become nothing more than a way to plagiarize the hard work of others. Men were not trying to understand new ideas. They were using her precious gift as a tool for deceit, the most hateful of all human characteristics.
Just moments after Britannica discovered the treachery of the humans, Java’s cousin, Cinema, came to make her own complaints. Even though Java had given his word, somehow people had gained access to movies before they ever reached her temples. Entire music CD’s were also being stolen from the Internet and the artists who created them received no payment for them.
While Cinema was still speaking, Midas stormed in. He had just discovered a system that the humans created that allowed them to steal money from one another. When a person visited one of his on-line markets, other people would take his or her credit information. Still other people would go to the on-line markets claiming to have great products, when in reality they were scamming fellow men.
After she heard this, Britannica flew into a blind rage. She remembered all of the work that she and the other gods had put into their gift. And the humans thanked them by abusing their power and harming themselves and others. She regretted that she had ever created the Internet, and she vowed to destroy it. Out of her anger came thousands of viruses. They attacked every part of the Internet, demolishing it one piece at a time.
Only Calliope was sorry to see their creation coming to this. She listened to the screams of anguish from honest students as their research papers disappeared into cyberspace. She watched as people tried to retrieve important communications from their inboxes with no luck. Finally she devised a plan of her own. There were far too many viruses for her to gather up, so she created a firewall. The viruses could not break through this barrier, and people who could prove themselves worthy and attain it were saved from the destruction.
But the Internet was severely damaged. While Calliope had been busy creating the firewall, Java and Midas managed to calm Britannica. They were all sorry to see what had happened to their beautiful creation. They set out to repair the Internet, but the damage was extensive, and the project took months.
When the repair was finished the gods made a covenant to never destroy the Internet again. But it would no longer be a free gift to mankind. From that day on humans had to pay for the privilege of using the Internet. Every month some of the minor gods, AOL, Cox, and Netscape, are sent out to collect the fees.
So, what do you think? Did it really happen that way???