Here we go again, folks, another parody. This time it’s The Wizard of Oz.
After clicking on a bad link, Dot and her virtual companion, Pixels, woke in a strange land filled with strange people.
“Pixels, I don’t think we’re on our LAN anymore,” Dot said upon seeing the Binaries, a race of people where some were over 6-feet tall and some were about 4-feet tall.
The Binaries were eternally grateful to Dot for killing the evil Lord of Memes, even if it was by accident. Upon her arrival, she’d smushed the man, ironically, by dropping a TrentTroll meme video on him. When Dot looked at the body, it derezzed into a pile of pixel blocks leaving only his UltraCorp haptic gear. To thank Dot, the Binaries gave Dot the haptic suit. After putting on the gloves, vest, and goggles, a bright light appeared among the group. It belonged to Jessie the Good Coder. Years ago Jessie left UltraCorp in order to become an independent program designer.
Jessie told Dot that if she wanted to return home she would have to speak with the Awesome Admin of I/O. “All you have to do is follow the blue secure hyperlink,” Jessie said pointing to the blue, paved road.
After a brief song that we can’t go into here because of copyright reasons, Dot thanked the coder and the Binaries and began her journey. Along the way, she met the Influencer. He believed that if he could only understand the algorithm his content could go viral. Dot suggested that he come with her to meet the Admin.
Soon Dot and her friends arrived in the Glitch Forest, home of all the bugs and glitches found in cyberspace. Some of the glitch trees attacked Dot, Pixels, and the Influencer. Thankfully, they were rescued by Bot-X1, a bot once used by UltraCorp to promote product and make the company seem more popular than they really were. Bot-X1 was shelved after people continually outed him as a bot. Bot-X1 believed if he could only get an emotion core he could appear more human-like. Once again Dot, suggested joining her, Pixels, and the Influencer on their journey to meet the Admin.
Unfortunately, this is when the Crooked Coder for Corporations appeared. She would stop at nothing to get the haptic gear that once belonged to the Lord of Memes. With the much more advanced system, her coding powers would be unstoppable. Fortunately, our heroes managed to escape, but they soon found themselves in the Dark Web Forest.
“We must be careful,” warned the Influencer. “The Dark Web is filled with scammers and hackers.”
“And trolls,” Bot-X1 added.
“Scammers and hackers and trolls, oh my,” said Dot.
As the friends ventured more into the forest, the darker it got. They then heard a noise. Someone was following them. A figure jumped out in front of them. It was the Honest Insurance Salesman. He’d been trying for years to get his business off the ground; but for some odd reason, people found him untrustworthy.
“If only I had a verification certificate then people would know I’m not a scammer,” said the Salesman.
Dot, the Influencer, and Bot-X1 were a little skeptical about letting an insurance salesman join them–especially one found in the Dark Web; but after he preformed a heartfelt song, Dot decided that he should be given a chance; she invited him to join their quest to meet the Admin.
Finally, the heroes exited the forest and found themselves only a few miles from Cloud Storage City. Their arrival, however, didn’t go unnoticed. The Crooked Coder, using her malware spy program, watched as the heroes approached the city. She knew if she didn’t do something soon, they would be out of reach. She reached out and infected the fields around the city with pop-up ads. The pop-up ads slowed the progress of the heroes as they fought the onslaught of annoying ads. Luckily, Jessie was also watching the progress of the heroes and sent a pop-up blocker.
With the pop-ups gone, the heroes entered the city where they finally met the Admin. The mystical floating head told them he could only return them once they brought him the CPU of the Crooked Coder. The heroes were not happy about this news but continued on their quest.
Not long after leaving the city, the Crooked Coder sent her viruses to capture the heroes. They were brought before the Crooked Coder. When Dot refused to give her the haptic gear, she threatened to hack into the Influencer’s account and post scandalous videos that would get the Influencer “canceled.”
“Don’t do it!” cried her three friends.
“She’ll be too powerful!” said the Influencer.
“Quiet you!” said the Coder. She then infected the Influencer. He started to fade away.
Seeing the only thing nearby was a bucket of comments, Dot threw it towards the Influencer. She’d hope that the comments would strengthen him. She believed that the comments were friendly ones, full of well-wishes and praise, but they were in fact the comments that sprang from haters. Thankfully, Dot missed and got the Crooked Coder instead. She was doused in hate comments.
“NO!” cried the Coder. “What a realm! What a realm that my malicious acts be undone by those more negative than me!” The Coder collapsed into a series of pixels.
Dot and friends returned to Cloud Storage City with the CPU. Unfortunately, the Crooked Coder’s CPU was incompatible with the Admin’s system and therefore useless. It looked like all hope was lost. They would never get what they wanted. But Dot gave an inspirational speech to her friends telling them how valued they were not for the number of followers they had but for who they were. She told them they were true and honest friends. It then got better as the Admin informed the Influencer that he could give him the secrets of the algorithm. He also could give Bot-X1 emotion programing. Finally, the Salesman got his verification. But, he could not return Dot to her home.
At this point, Pixels turned on the Admin’s facecam and revealed that he was really a human with a light pink shirt, acid-wash jeans, and a mullet. Turned out he was a programmer from the 1980s. He got stuck here after some bad coding.
With things looking really bleak, Jessie the Good Coder returned. She informed Dot that she could have left anytime. She just needed to log out of the haptic system.
“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” said Dot.
“If I had done that then you wouldn’t have this story to post to social media.”
“It’s kinda long for Birdsong,” said Dot.
“Then put it on a blog,” Jessie said in an annoyed “duh” voice. She cleared her throat and became sweet again. “You just need to say the password: there’s no place like homepage.”
“Will I ever see you again?” asked Dot.
“Sure. If you remember to follow us and leave a review on YIP.”
“Wait a minute. Was all of this a simulation?”
“No time for that now. Say the password.”
“There’s no place like homepage,” said Dot. “There’s no place like homepage.”
Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!