We have discussed before how some field projected by Gabriel sends forking cracks through the machines in his life, bringing them to ruin. Brenna has a similar effect, but the underlying mechanism is different.
When you and I see a site that purports to offer a banquet of illicit digital delights, and then brings up an installation window for some unsigned application and asks us to install it, we don’t. We know what kind of fruit that is. If you’ve ever wondered who installs those things, well, I know somebody.
Every few years, I get an “opportunity” to experience the state of the art where viruses are concerned. It’s unpleasant. These things slosh around in reeking, syphilitic fluid, lapping with infinite patience against the hull. There is no possible future where they do not gain entry, and in a pattern that echoes the tiny wars inherent in all biology, doing battle with these creatures has the effect of honing their collective intellect.
I have a lot of compassion for Brenna, and not only because she is knitting us a daughter at the molecular level. There is no reason for her (or anyone else) to know the true extent of the villainy made possible by the Internet. There’s no reason to assume that installing one thing will allow it to install other things without your knowledge, and that those things can install other things, and that one of these things will throb beneath the computer’s normal operation like an abscess.
I’ve spent the last week nursing the machine back to some semblance of normal function. I hold my computer’s health to a much higher standard than I do the health of my own body. If I’m at Sakuracon, lets say, and I see some kind of pretzel that has a spicy squid paste inside it, fuck yeah. That shit is going in my mouth. I get a new experience, one I might be able to mine for a post someday (ding!), and those in my immediate vicinity can be amused by the horrifying contortions of my husk. It would not be mere poetry to suggest that I have internalized the concept of the computer to the extent that it is at the very least an organ, if not another body altogether.