Google v. China, Day 2: Live From the Frontlines

By Dan Bergstein

 Day 2: War

JASMINE :Good evening. The Google/China conflict has escalated into a war. We now go live to our reporter Randy Gall, who is covering this tragic event from the frontlines of the Google Chinese headquarters. Randy, are you there?

RANDY GALL: Hello Jasmine. I’m here. Can you hear me?

JASMINE: Yes. We can hear you. Can you tell us where you are right now?

RANDY: I’m inside the Google headquarters here in China. Around me the Google employees are hard at work, both strengthening defenses and organizing a counterattack. If you look over to the left, and I’m not sure if we can show this, you will see a pile of infected and frozen computers. This pile of dead computers is a grim reminder that every cyberwar has tragic casualties.

JASMINE: What is morale like inside the offices?  

RANDY: You may catch a smile or two if you look hard enough. But these brave men and women of Google are working on zero sleep. Sobs of frustration and anguish can be heard as employees attempt to restart infected computers, or run virus scans. At night, several workers will huddle together to keep warm, as they desperately try to remember their important contact lists. Even the .txt documents are gone. But as one courageous employee told me, “If you feel pain, that means you’re still alive, right?”

JASMINE: You are inside the offices. Are you at risk of a cyber attack?

RANDY: My security liaison here at Google has outfitted me with this anti-cyber-attack suit, which consists of several layers of denim. I’m certainly at risk inside the walls here at Google, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take, Jasmine. This will…No! (INAUDIBLE) Jasmine! Jasmine! (PANICKED SCREAMS)  

JASMINE: Randy? What’s happening? Randy, are you there?

RANDY: Do not open (INAUDIBLE). Repeat, do not open e-mails with the subject lines “Funny vid” or “Puppy vs. cardboard box.” It’s a trap! The Chinese have sent out spam-ridden e-mail viruses! Oh my God! Oh my God. This is it, Jasmine. The virus has been released. The world is at risk.  (PANICKED SCREAMS)

JASMINE: Randy! 

RANDY: (OUT OF BREATH) We’re running for the cyber-attack shelter. We cannot take the elevator because it’s a coffin ready to happen if a cyber attack knocks out the elevator servers here at Google. Several brave men and women of Google have stayed at their computers to fight. The shelter is just a few feet away. I can see the denim curtain. I can see it! (END OF FEED)

JASMINE: Randy? Randy? We will try to check back with Randy Gall a bit later and just pray that he is OK.  

Dan Bergstein is a freelance writer. His latest novella, “Giggle Plop,” still needs an ending, and a beginning. Basically, he only has the title right now.