You've been long desiring a change in your travels across the Internet. It's what brought you here, in fact.
A short while ago, you started getting the sense that, soon, the Web won't be your own. A big company will own this world, just like it owns the rest of your life. Huxley warned about this. The thought makes you positively anxious, and you're about to do something about it. You wander out of your comfort zone and into the neighborhoods.
Through some stretch of events, Times Square is where you end up. Video games? Computer games? What's the difference? As noisy as it is, with its mess of cheat code sites and occasional madmen shouting in other languages across the broken streets, something soothes about it.
You duck out into one of the buildings, looking for a quick break from all the commotion. It's a chunky stone building, cloaked in torchlight and littered with forgotten drafts of everything from science-fiction stories to plans for castles and dungeons filled with demons. Good stuff, honestly.
Then it gets weird.
Something hops up on top of a bookcase towering overhead. You're almost not even sure if it's real at first: It looks to be a bright orange fox, between the overly-fluffy, messy mane and fennec ears. But—what is it? Why is it orange? Why is the room getting so hot?
"Hiya. Like what you see?"
You nod slowly. It talks?
"I got tons more of it, if you're curious. By the way—I'm mariteaux."
©1998 mariteaux. Best viewed in Netscape. 800x600 or higher.