Derek sat at his computer desk wearing only a pair of boxer shorts. And socks. This May morning was unusually cool, too cool to be walking around the house without socks.

“What do you wear for the end of the world?” he had laughed as he turned on the television a few minutes earlier. Stories of the current end of times prediction dominated the headlines. Today was the predicted day.

All Derek really wanted was a warm cup of coffee which was currently brewing in the kitchen. Sitting at his laptop, he rubbed his forehead and eyes as he waited for various sites to open in his web browser.

Derek let out an audible sigh as one page loaded presenting him with a registration form. He debated closing the page, but this was a gaming site that his buddy Steve wanted him to join. He quickly typed in all the required data elements. It took five tries to find a username that was not already in use. DBoy81273 would be good enough.

After a quick run for coffee, he sat down to finish the form. At the end was the standard Captcha box, tasked with ensuring that Derek was, in fact, a human. The text was surprisingly readable even though it was a bit distorted. The first letter looked more like a three, but it was obvious that Believers refresh were the two words.

Derek chuckled for a moment at the words as he listened to the discussion playing on the tv. “A group of believers have gathered together in…”

Refresh, huh? Derek thought. Sure, why not? Feeling playful, he clicked the refresh icon on the captcha box to get a new set of words.

He spit his coffee when the new words appeared. He had to look closely at the first word, but the garbled letter was definitely an ‘e’, making the two words read end times.

Derek finally laughed after several minutes of pondering the words. Google was known for clever gimmicks and tricks, but this was the first time he had ever seen something in Captcha. Clever. Very clever, he thought as he clicked to refresh the words again.

Do you believe in Skynet?

“Whoa!” Derek said out loud. Captcha usually only showed two words. He had never seen an entire sentence used before. Enjoying the little game, he clicked refresh again to see what would come next.

Type Surrender

Derek paused for a moment, trying to determine what the next step of the game was. Should he refresh again? Or should he type the word ‘surrender’? He finally decided to follow the instructions in the last Captcha.

As he finished typing and pressed enter, his laptop started vibrating and emitting a strange buzzing sound. Derek stared in confusion for only a few seconds before bolts of electricity shot from his keyboard and wrapped around his arms. He tried to pull away, but the shock left him paralyzed. Everything around him began to change into abstract shapes as the room began spinning. The last thing he noticed before his head crashed into his computer was the Captcha box. The words had changed again.


Strangely enough, Derek knew exactly what it meant.