Invasion of The Crawlbots



Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬


[1] Neil Young “Computer Age”

[2] Rob Dougan “Clubbed To Death II”



The Crawlbots are coming. I’m not sure whether I should be rejoicing or clutching my cranium in terror. I’ve watched The Matrix on numerous occasions and know full well of the threat posed by the Sentinels so why should Crawlbots be any different? Ultimately aren’t they just a harsh reminder that we are all being harvested as we speak? Doubts aside, it would appear that I will be required to place my faith in these tiny arachnid-like nodes and allow them to scurry around Rivers of Grue willy nilly. Technology waits on no man, sooner or later they’ll gain control so I guess the only smart move would be to invite them in? Despite the fact that resistance appears futile, I still reserve judgement.


So what exactly is a Crawlbot anyhoots? I’ve been curious about the answer to that particular poser of late as I’m told that they’re coming whether I like it or not and will soon be a necessary evil. They collect data for the most part, scurry about your URL connecting the nodes and sending their findings back to the mother brain. If you wish your site to gain larger recognition then it is the Crawlbots who can make that happen; a feat they achieve by hoarding data and relaying that information back to a Diffbot API. It’s starting to get rather perplexing already; nobody told me about Diffbots. I’m just starting to wrap my head around Crawlbots and no there’s another bot vying for my attention. Apparantly they’re benign and their only concern is finding the host more traffic but it sounds to me like a cunning plan by Bill Gates to construct his own Cybernet.


Ever since watching Julie Christie succumb to the Demon Seed and become a prisoner in her own homestead I have been wary of technological advancement and a decade later Seth Brundle proved, without reasonable doubt, that we haven’t come as far as we originally expected. He must have thought that he was a shoe-in for a Pulitzer but, days after sharing that relocation pod with an ill-placed insect, he was left frantically attempting to evade a giant rolled-up newspaper whilst vomiting in the salad bowl. I was duly concerned and decided that the best way of fragmenting my fear was to get into a more earthy pursuit such as gardening. So I went to watch The Lawnmower Man at my local multiplex. Bad move. I had hoped for green fingers but Jobe didn’t seem fussed about tending for his chrysanthemums before they withered. That’s false advertising if you ask me.


Videodrome had already done a number on me by that point. Even the formerly docile VHS format turned out to have dishonorable intentions, a fact which begs the question “did Betamax fall or was it pushed?” By all accounts, it was the superior technology so how come that didn’t translate to tangible sales? I have conflicting theories here, the first is that VHS snuffed it out unceremoniously because the virus was already aware and the second is that Betamax was inherently evil all along and VHS just put off the inevitable. Should that be the case then Betamax has had three decades to regroup and plan an altogether more bankable battle plan. It was likely at the tavern drowning its sorrows when the bolshy Crawlbots staggered in half-cut and suggested it join them in a hearty rendition of Show Me The Way To Go Home. I just don’t know who to trust.


The Terminator dropped a particularly uncivilized fly in my ointment when proposing that the future is more knowing of the past than was purported. The moment they sent T-100 back to scout for the head of Sarah Connor, I knew things would no longer ever be quite the same. Then he had an upgrade. Sure, Edward Furlong managed to evade the mercurial malevolence, but at what real gain to mankind? Mortal man is not endowed with the ability to look into the future, whereas there are almanacs available in every highway service station which provide all the statistics the future needs to bet on the Superbowl. No wonder those cantankerous Crawlbots paid for the first round of drinks. They were evidently minted!


To many William Shatner is an immeasurable icon. I’m not so sold if I’m honest. Had he not been so fired up to go where no man had gone before, then maybe we wouldn’t be in this sorry mess to start with. Khan’s wrath was always portrayed as a distinct negative but what if he was actually our last line of defense? Man wasn’t supposed to beam up; we are given legs for a reason, that being to walk where no man has walked before. The moment James T. Kirk and his crew began showing up unannounced in all manner of distant solar systems; mankind’s whole equilibrium became soundly compromised. Have you ever entertained the notion that perhaps Spock never wished to be found? Perhaps he just desired to play no further part in such shady shenanigans.


You can see now why I would be vaguely disenchanted by the concept of affording the Crawlbots access to my archives. I’m assured that initially it will prove beneficial as they scurry back to HQ with the tethers of multiple links back to my site for the Diffbots to process. More traffic is pledged, superior exposure, and that means more Grueheads right? Yes, I feel that would be an accurate portrayal of events. However, when you throw a soirée for your nearest and dearest, invariably all manner of unsavories catch whiff of your home-brewed cider and, before you know it, they’re pilfering bread sticks from your buffet at an alarming rate and ultimately throwing them back up in your jacuzzi. Who knows what tomfoolery such nomadic narcs will incite once they learn the lay of the land? One virus finds its way inside and becomes aware and suddenly the whole kit and caboodle is in jeopardy.


I’m running out of fight. Eventually they will invade whether facilitated or not and therein lays my dilemma. If I befriend the Crawlbots, laugh at their failed attempts at humor (AI may be many things, but funny ain’t one of them), allow them to thumb my records, invite them into my inner sanctum; then at least I will be aware. No plundering required or sneak attacks while I’m running myself my afternoon bath. I can keep my eyes on them the whole time and it’s better the devil you know than one unexpectedly in tow don’t you know? It’s quantity that has me scratching; I can’t feasibly be expected to keep tabs on every last Crawlbot and they seem to travel in swarms. I could be overrun in weeks, days, hours! Mere minutes after they settle in for analysis, my hull could be breached, and Def Con 5 necessitated. Please feel free to weigh in at any time as I’m worryingly low on ideas and can’t keep them at bay for much longer.


Flight Lieutenant Scarlet Genesis has been my wingwoman for the past few weeks and has been testing the nodes out on my behalf. The problem is that she has been itching ever since and the manifestation of her malady coincides suspiciously with the emergence of the Crawlbots. Right now she’s in the medical bay resting but we have nothing concrete just yet, merely speculation and irritation. We shall continue our research, get on first-name basis with as many of these Crawlbots as we possibly can, dine with them, tickle their bellies should they wish, and share anecdotes on whatever actually became of Nauls from The Thing. But we won’t let our guard down for a picosecond. Neither of us wish for a pandemic for the Grueheads; we can’t have you all scratching in unison, that just wouldn’t do. I can hear the jibes already. “Look, here comes one of those Grueheads. Be sure to keep your distance and disinfect yourself thoroughly if you make contact” Not on our watch.


So I guess that what I’m really doing right now is asking a favor Grueheads. I apologize for coming across needy but a little help from my friends could see us good for the foreseeable. You may soon notice the odd Crawlbot as you peruse the site and, should this be the case, I would be eternally indebted if you could not let them out of your sight. They are coming whether we like it or not, indeed, there may well already be a few stragglers in my belfry. Together we form a small army and, in Rivers of Grue, we have our very own Nebuchadnezzar. I think the time has come to neck the red pill, remain in wonderland, and see how far this rabbit hole goes.







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