RECURSION- Original story by Michael Murphy-Amen
Synopsis- When a signal transmitting from the center of the earth is discovered by a group of hackers, they end up following the signal to the core and inciting a triggering of a recursion virus that send the Earth into a spiral of continuous natural disasters.
The year is 2016, the location a small flat just outside of London where a computer programmer, Sonny Newman, age 24, is playing World of Warcraft online and talking some trash with his girlfriend, Amy Borland, a 22 year old videogame programmer from Wales and his best friend Rudy Avalos, a master of electrical engineering student at London University from Spain. The three are at their own flats wearing their headset with the glow of their computer screens illuminating their faces with constant chatter and clicking of their keyboards. Sonny mentions to Amy and Rudy that there is ten minutes until “mission shut eye”. Mission shut eye is a plan that the three of them have been plotting for the 2 months, the idea is to hack into Interpol’s computer mainframe during a routine maintenance diagnostic. Unknown to the general public Interpol sets random times to run diagnostics, tests and updates that shut down surveillance for exactly two and a half minutes. Once inside the mainframe the plan is to disable all of London’s surveillance cameras by placing a virus that sends the system into maintenance mode over and over. Leaving the most watched city in the world in a surveillance darkness and launching Sonny, Amy and Rudy into hacker infamy. The time comes to execute “shut eye” and the three are clicking away on their keyboards, Rudy speaks up, “I’m in.” Amy is working on password codes and Sonny is planting the virus. It is a couple tense moments because they have such a short period of time to get the job done. After Sonny is done programming the virus they only have twenty seconds to get out of the mainframe or else they could get tracked down. Rudy barely gets out with a nano-second left. “I’m out!” It’s all smiles and celebratory banter, Sonny filled with adrenaline and accomplishment suggests a drink at the pub, Amy and Rudy agree and make plans to meet up, but just before Sonny heads out the door he notices a strange series of data has taken over his screen. The data begins repeating over and over, filling the screen. Once at the pub Sonny is visibly worried, fearing that they might be in trouble. Sonny tells Amy and Rudy about the strange data on his computer, instantly the mood shifts and everyone is uneasy thinking that Interpol has somehow tracked and marked Sonny’s computer. Rudy remains confident in his work that they could not track the computers and wants to see the data, so they leave their unfinished beers and go back to Sonny’s. The uncertainty of the situation leaves them anxious, Sonny explains that he has never seen anything like this in all his years of programming and once Amy and Rudy see the data repeating over and over on Sonny’s computer as though it was possessed, they agreed. For days the data continues to repeat and the three are on edge but laying low, after a few more days of nothing Rudy and Sonny decide to tap back into the Interpol mainframe only to find that the system is still stuck in maintenance mode. Their hack did what it was supposed to do but never made it to the news sources. Rudy and Sonny then realize that the data can’t be coming from Interpol. Sonny to Rudy “So where then?” Rudy to Sonny, “No idea.”
Amy later has to hack into Sonny’s computer, she discovers that with Interpol down there is another system using a feed of Interpol data and must have locked on to Sonny’s interference during the hack. She also discovers that the data is coming from somewhere near Paris. Amy instantly tells Sonny and Rudy about her discoveries, further adding to their curiosity. They become consumed by the data and the idea of Paris, night and day they research and attempt to discover who or what is creating this strange feed. Sonny finds out that the data is coming from a transmitter located in the underground of Paris. When Amy finds out she burst out “The catacombs!” Baffled and intrigued the three feel it is worth it to take a long shot and plan a trip to Paris to track down the transmitter.
After a week of planning the three find themselves in the heart of Paris riddled with curiosity their adventure begins. Armed with their laptops and cell phones they enter the catacombs, the walls are draped in human bones and skulls setting the tone for their adventure. Amy starts getting a stronger signal from the transmitter but can’t tell exactly where it’s coming from. They just keeping walking, hours pass and they have no idea where they are. The last human they saw was about an hour before, feeling lost and confused tension rises and begins to take over. They start following rats in hopes they would find another turn that will lead them to the source. Overwhelmed and hungry they start to panic, Rudy fears the worst and begins to regret his decision to get this involved, but as they take another turn Sonny spots a faint light off in the distance. As they walk towards the light they see a silhouette figure dash in front of the light and then disappear. Sonny, Amy and Rudy start running towards the light and they can hear feet shuffling ahead of them. They continue chasing the sound while yelling for it to stop and help them. As they follow the figure for a while the catacombs begin to open up, amazed at the surroundings they lose track of the figure for a moment as they descend deeper and deeper into this labyrinth filled with huge mechanics, pumps and gears that turn and undulate in synchronicity. Rudy points and yells, “There it is!” They can see the figure begins to disappear into the distance. Amy shouts, “The signal is coming from in here!” Sonny responds, “Keep going! Follow it!” After chasing the figure for a while they start to see an intense white light directly in front of them, they can see the figure’s silhouette get smaller and smaller, fading into the light. They descend into the light in a hypnotic-like trance, Amy grabs Sonny's hand. For a moment they forget where they are, as a structure starts to break the light they begin to snap back into reality, looking for the figure once again. In front of them an expansive space of illuminated conductors and receivers passing data back and forth. A large encased motherboard transmits a steady glow, impressive in size and surrounded by large, sleek, transparent touch screens. It is unlike anything they have seen before. Above and below them a geometric system of gigantic cylinders, pipes and pumps; panels acres long adjusting and resetting every few seconds, so many separate responses and actions that it seems to be alive, breathing in, breathing out, maintaining a conducted homeostasis. Sonny spots the figure, it is lanky and thin with long, white hair and bolts towards it, Rudy and Amy follow. They can see it is operating some sort of computer. As they approach they hear it speak, the voice is weak but confident and says, “You couldn't leave well enough alone!” A tremendous wave of terror falls over Amy, Sonny and Rudy, they stand frozen. “You just had to push it, couldn't mind your own business. I run away but you follow and if you found me they will find me, like a virus multiplying and spreading through the veins. I have watched humanity devour itself and this earth for too long and now I must destroy the monster I've created.” Amy breaks the silence, “Who are you? And what is this place?” The figure speaks, “I and all that you see is everything you thought you knew about the earth. If a tree grows in the mountains, if a landslide destroys a village, if the tides swell it is of my doing. This is what you know as the earth’s core but in reality it is a system connected to a motherboard, and I and who you know as Mother Nature. Day and night I control and monitor this planet, but that all ends now.” Mother Nature with the touch of her finger launches a program into the system that sends the motherboard a recursive virus that triggers nonstop natural disasters all over the planet. The pumps pistons and panels start to speed up, jolting back and forth, building and releasing pressure. Everything around them begins to tremble and twist, fault lines all across North America start to open up, swallowing and leveling the land. Tidal waves envelop Australia to Japan; volcanoes erupt all over South America dousing cities in lava. In a last ditch effort to save anything, Rudy tries to once again tap into the motherboard via his laptop, but the earth is rumbling so hard he can't type. He can barely even focus on the screen. Amy and Sonny are trying to hold on each other but can barely control their own movements. The gigantic structure around them begins to give way allowing the cavity to fill with rock dirt and water, debris of metal, wood and flesh occupied any crevasses of space possible. In a matter of moments life on Earth has vanished, its muscles and heart once convulsing now cease, the Earth releases its final burst of energy into the atmosphere and now lies motionless amongst the universe.