We had two bags of RJ45 connectors, seventy-five sticks of ram, five RU of high-powered rackmount servers, a saltshaker half-full of jumpers, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored imacs... Also, a quart of tequila, a tb of porn, a case of hard drives, a gigabit switch, and two dozen usb mice. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious CJ collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the gigabit switch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an LAN party, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

How long could we maintain? I wondered. How long until one of us starts raving and jabbering at this list? What will they think then? This same lonely basement was the last known home of the Smith's kid; will they make that grim connection when my attorney starts screaming about macs and huge penises coming down on the car? If so, well, we'll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere, 'cause it goes without saying that we can't turn him loose. He'd report us at once to some kind of netnanny law enforcement agency and they'll firewall us down like dogs. Jesus, did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me?

Panic. It crept up my spine like first rising vibes of a zerg rush. There I was. Alone in Las Vegas, completely twisted on bawls, no cash, no story for the blog, and on top of everything else, a gigantic god damned wireless bill to deal with. How would Horatio Alger handle this situation?

I want you to understand that this man at the wheel is my ircop. He's not just some hacker I found at defcon, man. He's a foreigner. I think he's probably Romanian. But that doesn't matter, though, does it? Are you prejudiced?

Know your CJ. You will not be able to see his eyes because of retina burn, but his knuckles will be white from aspergers and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when his parents go out to shop groceries.

Hey honkies. You folks wanna buy some wireless? Goddamnit, I'm serious. All I'm trying to sell you is some pure fucking unmetered 54mbit wireless! This is the real stuff! You might get hooked on WoW. I just got back from a gamer convention. Ahahaha... scag! Pbbbbbbb... I wanna sell you some pure fucking wireless internet... pure... fuck...

My attorney had never been able to accept the notion, often espoused by former gamers, that you can level a lot higher without bots than with them, and neither have I for that matter.

Know your WoW fiend. You will not be able to see his eyes because of tea shades, but his knuckles will be white from inner tension and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he finds a night elf.

The bawls was wearing off. The mountain dew was long gone. But the raid was running strong. Good raids come on slow. The first hour is all waiting. Then about halfway through the second hour, you start cursing the creep who buffed you because its almost gone. And then - ZANG!

We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that LANs. That was the fatal flaw in Linus Torvald's code. He crashed computers around America selling "free software" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager GNU junkies who thought they could download Peace and Understanding at a few megabits per second. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Torvalds took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of free Unix users, neckbeards, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the free software movment: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is managing all of these users.