In the center atrium, the main event was about to begin. Mychal and I positioned our characters to the center to watch. The music transitioned from generic hi-energy background music to tune with a 4/4 beat with a hook vaguely reminiscent of Tupac Shakur’s “California.” Strange character AVIs started to gather, naked twerking ethically-modeled baby AVIs, full-grown adult-shaped AVIs in diapers. Proud Muslima queers with a peg leg.

MO MONEY FO DEM PROGRAMS

WE NEED MO MONEY, FO DEM PROGRAMS

IN THE CITY, CITY OF TANIT

When sex and gender do not match / Body parts must be detached.

We know God don’t make mistakes / except for one, guess them’s the brakes.

Now it’s time to make the change / Get your holes all rearranged.

Come by car or train or boat / Turn your scrote into a tote

Have more FUN than you’ve ever had / Tell the nurse, but not your dad.

You can be empowered prostie / Just reach back and do a goatse

Tell your dong “You don’t belong” / PReP your bussy for a thong

We’ll give your mom a little nudge / In Tanit you will not be judged

Won’t have to do what you are told, / And there’s no need for growing old

Take part in our sacrament / CHILDREN CAN CONSENT!

GET MO MONEY FO DEM PROGRAMS

WE NEED MO MONEY FO DEM PROGRAMS

The record scratched WICKI WICKI WAH as the black male nurse and blonde female nurse stood back-to-back and folded their arms in a synchronized manner.

The main event consisted of herding a group of “twinkie” boys and “loli” girls into the central atrium, in which lay a grand sarcophagus. A large group of digital thugs in pig masks using batons and sticks were pushing the small lolis and twinkies near the edge of the atrium pool as another group of donkey-faced brutes pulled the sarcophagus upright using pulleys. The pig-faced bullies began hammering two T-shaped stakes into the ground. The donkey-faced gremlins start opening up the sarcophagus, as the pigs confer to decide which victims would make the best sacrifice.

“They’re just NPCs; they’re not real characters,” @Fox_Fur_dandelion whispered.

The pig-faced brutes chose their victims, the loli girl with the biggest eyes and thin brown hair. She made an odd frightened ahegao cross-eyed faint as soon as they laid hands on her and went limp as they bound her arms and legs to the T. The twinkie put up more of a fight and he defiantly put up his weak fists, his best sneer. But his perfectly coifed blond hair and pouting rictus were no match for the brutes as they subdued him and tied him to the T. The sarcophagus was opened and in it was the wide and curvy bodice of the goddess Tanit. The goddess Tanit yawned and circular rows of teeth emanated from her cavernous mouth, twice as tall as the donkey-faced brutes that were using ladders to remove the bandages from her eyes. The twinkie boy was screaming as the pig-faced gremlins begin pummeling his jaw. The crowd is cheering in an ecstatic frenzy to knock the teeth out of the twinkie. The loli girl had come to and they were just about to pull one of her fingernails when you and Leo came back from the garden center.

Another round of heartache and tears for you and Leo. Is this the NEW NORMAL, Valerie? Would we have to endure Leo getting breast implants with nipple cocks grafted from the flesh of his thigh? Pimped out at some truck stop gloryhole, or maybe just-out and-out sacrificed? Now, even in the privacy of our own home, we couldn’t keep Leo from the influence of Ingrid and Mychal. Sure, we could block the game, tighten parental controls, but why should we? Why should @Bufftwink be allowed to host such a game? Why are preteens like Mychal moderating it? Everyone responsible for the forum of Tanit should face real consequences.

You know, Jim Jones had his cult members drinking Kool-Aid three times before they actually went through with poisoning it. You need to prepare people, habituate, and even titillate them. Someone was going to be the real, picture-on-a-milk-carton victim of this, Valerie, and who’s to say it’s not going to be Leo?

We couldn’t even use the computer for homeschooling. The burden of teaching then had to fall on you, as frazzled as you already were post-COVID. I still love you, babe, despite it all. But I was tired of hiding. Just like when we had a rat, and you didn’t want to kill it, but wanted it gone, I had to take care of it. Which is FINE.

I know a little about DDoS attacks, and I spoke with Alex, the IT guy at our firm, about it. When I told him about Leo’s Mindcraft situation, he was well aware.

“Yeah, man, you gotta check out the moderators on your server.”

I told him it had gone beyond that; Leo’s IRL classmate had got her hooks into him and she was influencing other classmates and preteens as well. I wanted to know the best way to shut down the server. Alex told me about how in the early days you could build a lag machine, a simple yet resource-consuming way to launch a DoS (denial of service), then crash a server by automatically activating a series of piston-like repetitive actions. They have plugins now that block the building of lag machines, and if I did it, my identity would be found out rather quickly. The next level is an external Distributed Denial of Service where you command an army of botnets and flood someone’s IP address with pings until it overwhelms their Internet.

Alex kept telling me, “You know this is illegal, right? I’m just speaking hypothetically, ha ha.”

When I asked him where most of the data centers were, he listed QTS Metro Data Center in Atlanta, Lakeside Technology Center in Chicago, the Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, the DFT Data Center in Ashburn, Virginia, the Switch SuperNAP in Las Vegas, and the Citadel in Reno. Over 80 percent of the domestic server space is located in these six locations. But he also showed me how to locate the physical location of IP addresses. Once I knew this, I could look up the server address once I was back in after some searching.

You can recruit dedicated server space to launch a DDoS. They basically have botnets as a service now. I logged in under Leo’s account, joined the forum, and was able to find Mychal’s server address. I found that the servers for Tanit were located right in Tacoma. I paid with Ethereum to use a botnet service and scheduled a DDoS via VPN daily from 4 to 10pm. I used a combination of a Syn-flood protocol with a Low Orbit Ion Cannon.

It worked, for a couple weeks at least, until on a reconnaissance run in Tanit I chatted with @Fox_Fur_dandelion, about any plans she had for Tanit now that it had been really slow lately. @Fox_Fur_dandelion asked:

“How are you, Enrique?”

I was shocked. How had Mychal surmised I was using Leo’s character?

“LOL. LMAO,” I replied.

“Mychal ran into Leo at the park the other day, Enrique. Leo told Mychal you had forbid him from playing on Mindcraft.”

“My Dad doesn’t know I’m here,” I lied. Now Ingrid was using Mychal’s character and I was using Leo’s.

“Have you been DDoSing me? You do know that’s a federal criminal offence, Enrique? Have you thought about what resources I have at my disposal?”

“I can’t explain why your server is so slow; maybe you should get an upgrade? Anyway, maybe we should spend less time in Tanit.”

“Enrique, cut the bullshit. Leo is at soccer practice. Mychal’s texting Leo rn. You are getting kicked out of Mindcraft, for starters.”

“Thank goodness,” I told her before the connection was broken and Leo’s character was forever banished from Tanit.

You know this part of the story well, Valerie. Loew and Gramm laid me off out of nowhere. I was good. The layoff was due to financial reasons, or so I was told, but when I talked to Alex the IT guy, he told me that T-Mobile was canceling their contract with our firm, and that soon after I was gone, they re-upped the contract. It was extortion, but I could not prove it. I really underestimated Ingrid; I’ll admit that.

You hung on with me for three months before suggesting a separation. You went back to work at the library, now with the garish bearded drag queens doing daily readings for preschoolers. But you NEEEDED THE INCOME while we were waiting for my unemployment to clear. Remember that Dr. Buess book they read to the preschoolers, The Loose Caboose? You told me how they would act it out while the most obese one with the longest beard narrated:

Have you heard the riddle of the ittle bittle diddles?

If your diddles ittle bittle, why not turn your diddle into a slittle?

And when diddle slittles sit upon a saddle, it’s a slittle diddle saddle.

And when diddle slittles sit on saddles and inflate their dilate paddles, it’s called a diddle slittle saddle paddle.

And when slittles battle slittles with paddles on a saddle and the diddle slittle battle is on a saddle in a puddle, they call it a ittle bittle diddle slittle bloody puddle paddle saddle battle.

All while two mystery meat drag queens scissored their scantily clad neovaginas.

IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT, VALERIE?

Does that warm your heart to know that some kid at your library is seriously considering a literal axe wound that never heals as a fun way to pass the time?

We took a cash-out loan on the house and I slept on the sofa. I was so out of sorts I even went to a priest. I found a church that had been attacked publicly by Satanists; there were stories all over social media. I called and asked for an appointment for a confession, something that I haven’t done in 20 years. The old Polish priest was named Father Nowak. The church was St. Joseph’s, in Tacoma, in tatters and disrepair. But by all reports Father Nowak himself was a solid pillar of the community. I had asked for a more informal setting. I explained my son’s age and situation to Father Nowak.

“I saw the name ‘Tanit’; does that sound familiar?” I asked Father Nowak.

The recognition was instant, and Father Nowak went from bemused to dead serious. “Who told you this?”

“Father Nowak, I saw it in a game my son was playing. He was building a temple with his classmates, and in it, they were making offerings to her of digital corn and asking for volunteers for the great tribute.”

“And so these classmates, may I ask what school they are attending?”

“Saint Andrews Episcopal.”

“My friend, you are not dealing with trifles. In my youth, I was stationed in the Las Cruces diocese, Alamogordo. One year after the diocese was established, the video game company Atari buried a football field’s worth of video games in the desert. That’s Alamogordo’s claim to fame.”

The old priest took a breath.

“In Alamogordo, some still observed some of the old traditions, much to our consternation. La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman, was the manifestation of women who died in childbirth. La Llorona had a wide oval mouth with teeth like a serpent, and when she passed through at night, she would wail. Every year, we lost a couple of girls this way; their throats would be slit and drained entirely of blood. The authorities didn’t investigate; I mean, not really. In their occult practices, they wanted to drain the blood of their victims at their most terrified state, and drinking the blood at this time would give them ecstatic strength and power.”

“The girls were sacrificed to La Llorona…and what does this have to do with Tanit?” I asked.

“The Phoenicians in the time of King David would sacrifice their children to Tanit. All families were asked to submit their first-born child to Tanit, but wealthy families would pay the poorer families to provide a substitute. If the mother of the poor child were to cry out during sacrifice, then she would forfeit both the money and the child.”

“But that was in Phoenicia.”

“My child, the Phoenicians were here long before 1492. We are dealing with an old demon who is very thirsty. You need to act fast because these things spread like wildfire. If I were you, I would do my best to unplug your son from these video games and warn your school before something bad befalls your family.”

Then Father Nowak said something in Latin, made the sign of the cross, and pressed his hand to my head.

“God bless you, my son,” he told me.

Hey, just a quick heads up, and forgive me if I don’t run spellcheck, I’ve got to go soon Endometrius wants to get on the cpu to low-key jack to gay porn for 2 hours.

Anyway Val, I took it upon myself to start staking out near Ingrid’s house, parking my Subaru Outback a block away and using binoculars to check when she was coming and going. The servers for Tanit were at her house and I used binoculars to watch for when Ingrid and Mychal left together. My plan was simple, just destroy the few servers and be done with it. During the day was too risky, there were plenty of empty nesters in the neighborhood. I started growing my beard out and dressed down to blend in with the homeless. About a week in, I saw Ingrid calling for Mychal as she was leaving. Later I saw Ingrid in her Tesla pulling out with Mychal in the passenger seat. I knew it was my time to strike. The gaming shed would be in the back, an old white, windowless shed. I brought my crowbar, gas can, and a road flare. The tasteful bungalow had a driveway along the side with ground cover in the middle. The unassuming white shed of Tanit had a charming old-style barn look to it, designed to hold a lawnmower. There was a rusty padlock on the latch, and quietly I put the claw between the lock and door and slowly pressed down with all my weight and might, and with a soft ‘pop’ the lock was broken.

The heat was stifling. Ingrid’s shed was crammed with ten server racks. The droning hum of oscillating fans was relentless. The expansive multiplayer universe I have grown to hate so much, the malevolent forces of Gnosticism were condensed into these hot black closets. The suffocating and stale stench of mildew hung in the air. Lights flashing a cryptic codes like epileptic fireflies. The heat amplified another sick sweetening stench. I started pulling large braided blue server cables one by one out of server but given the wooden structure I decided fire would be the most fitting and fastest. I pulled the server racks away from the edge of the wall and the source of the sickening stench flashed before my eyes. It was a jar filled with formaldehyde and a floating penis and testicles, and a piece of tape labeled:

“Rest in Shit, Gary.”

The sheer amount of hatred Ingrid had was immeasurable. For the first time I began to feel fear. Gary never moved to Chicago after all Val. Ingrid either had him murdered or did it herself. This was all part of some grand design she had in her head, another manifestation of Munchausen. I wasted no time with the gas can, soaking the wooden walls near the floor. It was then I heard a low growl and turned, and there was Mychal. She had stayed home while Ingrid had left and was making a cat-like grimace. She was visibly afraid, but she also had a large crystal dagger. She leapt and slashed with the dagger, I dropped the gas can and blocked. Thank goodness I had that leather jacket you gave me 10 years ago (trust me I remembered, Babe) or Mychal would have cut my arms up pretty bad. She slashed and slashed, I tried to grab the dagger and she slashed my left hand. I had grabbed her wrist and she had bit my bleeding hand, kicked me in the balls and I was in searing pain when I banged her wrist against the server rack. Mychal kicked me again in the balls, this time really on target, and I doubled over. She lunged again for the dagger, and I lunged at her. I had her around the waist, and she was still reaching for the dagger.

“It has to end now, Mackayla, you need to abandon this false world.”

“Don’t you Deadname me!” she screeched and wriggled free. She bent down and picked up the dagger again by the time I clambered to my feet. Mychal pivoted and lunged at me again, but I sidestepped her and pushed her sprawling into the shed. I jumped on her back, and she tried to slash backwards with awkward strokes. I grabbed the loose server cables and wrapped it around her neck. She was screaming and flailing wildly, and I pulled. I’m not proud of what I did Val. But I thought of Leo, and Arianna, and their future, and the twinkies and lolis getting pulverized in the feast of Tanit, and all of the lost girls of Alamogordo, and thought, Mackayla’s soul had died long ago through years of child abuse. I was merely the executioner of the demonic spirit that inhabited her body.

I know this may be hard for you to hear Valerie, but it’s the truth and you know it.

Well, from here you can guess the rest, I had my road flare ready, you know I was a good boy scout, and was going to torch the servers when I saw Mackayla’s smartphone flash. I bent down and saw the message from Ingrid.

“How are you Mychal, is everything ok?”

I grabbed Mackayla’s lifeless hand and typed, “Some BLM guy is attacking me…I’m in the backyard, PLEASE COME NOW” onto her smartwatch.

I hid behind the shed and waited ten minutes for Ingrid to return. Ingrid called for Mychal, cautiously at first, and seeing the server shed door open, more frantically, as dashed in. She began wailing as she cradled Mackayla’s pathetic corpse. When I appeared in the door her horror did not have time to transition to rage as I pulled the road flare and pitched it right in the strike zone between her eyes. She flailed in response, and in doing so her powder blue power suit knocked the flare into the puddle of gasoline. The conflagration was glorious in the few seconds it took for me to close the door shut. Genuine hardwood muffling Ingrid’s tortured screams. I braced against the door anticipating Ingrid’s attempts to ram it open. The first hit was hard, but I could hear her coughing soon thereafter. I could feel the door warming up. “Better get used to it”. I said quietly. No grand soliloquy. I waited five minutes before I left. I withdrew 800 bucks from the ATM and came to Portland. The DA here doesn’t arrest vagrants, and so I sold my car for another couple grand to some drug dealer name Epididymouse.

Now Valerie, you and I know I’m not using your real name, or Ingrid’s or Leo’s. We know this didn’t even take place in Seattle. I couldn’t bring heat down on you like that. But I’m hoping this reaches you babe, and that you can tell Leo and Arianna that I love them very much. Also, tell them that what is true is that the server farm locations do actually control 80% of the internet and gaming traffic. And what is also true is I have been using the library here and in other places to send emails and post on message boards some very specific instructions and obtained detailed blueprints of them.

Endometrius is bugging me to start his gay porn marathon, so let me part with this, Valarie, some of you are alright, don’t get on Mindcraft tomorrow.

***

For all installments of “The Sarcophagus of Tanit” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1