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So, I've got this idea for a short story. Some researchers find a forgotten manuscript hidden locked away in an ancient tomb. While they are working on it one of them pastes part of the text into a Facebook announcement and Facebook automatically translates it. This links Facebook to the nether realms of madness and despair. Ph'nglui miglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

The translated text appears in the browsers of everyone reading any Facebook page translated to the local language. Those people reading it (some out loud) provides impetus to a ritual which centers on the London data center where the text was first translated. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

The resulting power surge fries most computers in the local area unless they are actually part of the data center, including those used by the local sysadmins for monitoring and control. In particular every monitor now displays nothing but screaming tentacled beasts ripping through from another reality. Warning: Tentacle beasts may become real if you stare at them for too long.

The ritual lives on in the heart of the data center, as creatures of madness attempt to rip through into our reality from the nether realms beyond. P҉h'ng͟l͞ui͘ ̷m̴gl̛w'naf͏h C͡th́ulh̡u R̕'̡l̶y̷e̕h ̀wgah̕'̧nág̵l fhtágn

What can our heroic sysadmins do to shut down the data center and save the world? Remote access is not possible and physically entering is dangerous to both body and sanity, so answers will be rated based on entering the data center as little as possible and for as short a time as possible. P̦̰̞̼̤̰̼͇̞͝h̵̗̱̫͇͓́ͅ'̸̼̣ǹ͕͚͠g̵̷͎̭̝ḻ̮̹͓u̷͙̞̳̞̭͜͠i̥͎̻̗͚̜͞ ̸̗̹̰m̧̖͉̩̻̺̜̭͘̕g͙̺̤̩̰̮̜̫͟l̛̮͙̻̫̻w̨̹͚̘̻̙͇̥͔͚'͙͉̫̗̮͔n̹͉̳̪̫̭͝a҉͍͙͔͍f͈͈͔̖͈͡ḥ̤ ̢̠͇̝͎̀C̢̰͖̜͚ṭ̟͓͍͕͚͍͠ͅh̤̫͙̪͉̮̖͟u̢͔͙͖͓̱͙̦͘ͅͅl͏̧҉̼̠̠͚͕h͈̯̘͔̝͍̟́͢ụ̵̩͍͡ ̟̺͚͙̺̮̲Ṛ̬͔͚̺̝̠'̠͠͠ͅl̡͈͎͠ỳ̟͉̮̼̲ͅe̵̼̠̩̤̟͎̹̕h̞̯̪̹ ̸̺̗̩̹̟̪̟̣͎w̹̞̤̞͕͍̦͞ǵ̶̠̙͖̱̠͚͚͓a̷҉̮͖h̴̲͔͉̯͍̰͖̯͘͜'̛͚̭ͅn̵͓̫͎a҉̶̪͢ǵ̡̰͎̻̲͍̣̰l̷̡̫̗̭̯̭ ̮̬͍̫̺̟̯͖f̶̢̭̮͕̭h̶̯͖t̵̠̹à̶̯̩̩̫̬̘̳̫͡g̛̬̻̦̜͙n̵̟̘̝

Note that this is a secure and robust data center with fully redundant architecture, backup power supplies, and UPS. P̢̢̲̭̘̣̪͉͞͞h̴̛̫͉͖̜͙̳͎̕͞͠'̶̀͢҉̯̞̹͈ṉ̶̘̠̯̬̭̖̳͘͞ģ̵̛͠҉̰̝͇̩͍̗͍̘̫͈̺̭̥͉l̨͍̘͔̰͔̖͍̹̠̭̱̰̖͙̦̦͎̕͟u̢̡҉̲̭̲̺̮̖͖͖i̴̢̹̳͉͎̥̪̜͎̼̣̦̖̻͈̖͉͚ͅ ̵͏͇̗̭ͅm̶̨͍̤̪̱͇̤̬̥̥͔̼͍̠̼͕g̷̷̰̩͙̪̫͉̺̯͘͟͠ļ̶̭͇̘̮̕͢ẃ̵̸̷҉͕̬̠̥̤͖̙̲͇̼̹'̺̩̖̟̣͈̖͙̤̫̰̗̯̀͡ń̷̴̶̰̮̺͔̼̺̹̘̟a̷̰̪͙͇̤͓̤̭͎̦͕̻f͏̨͙̰̘͔̟̜̠͈̯̻͕̖̳̝̝́͘ͅḩ̴̛͉͉̲͇̠͙̣̩͙̩͚̮̼̺ͅ ̧̛̟͓̤͇̯͍̫͖͎͈̫̳͓̞͘Ç͘͏͈̹̠̙͎̳̯͚͔̼͙̻͔͖̲̩̹̕ͅt͏̖̲̤̫̤̫̼̪̥̠͙͚͍̭́ͅḩ̡̲͈̫̯͚͉̱͍̳͝ù̧͙̭̙̻̲̙͚͔̲̬͚͢͝͡ḻ̴̵̨̹͉͙̟̯̞̠͔̦̝̩͜h̶̼̜̦͖͍͎͍̕ṷ̴̶̢͙̗̬͇̯̞̗̰̣̬̥̲̣̦ ̵̲͍̩̭̩̗͈͚͟͝R͏̛͘͟҉̫̝̞̪̣̪̻̤̼͖̪͎'̛̯͚͎̳͎̼͓̘͉͢l͟҉̵̘͈͙̣̹̜͍͎̬̺̹̪̜̀y͏͓̞̬͙̥̞̦͎͖̞͖͎̖̀e̶̵̡̺͉̯̭̣̗h͇̺͇̖̼̻̟͓͜͟͜͞ͅ ̴̷̡̨̪͍̙̳̞̭̙̫̯̘͚͇͚̼͙͟w̧̮̜̯̭̘͈̫̳̖̕͜͠g̢̨̗͖̬̠͎͓̱̞͓̭̯̺͕̭̯̦ͅa̴̠̘̬̩͍͜ͅh̵̷̨̜̻͔̖͈̤͈̩͔͈͇̩̞̲̜̩͍̺'̸̨͇̞̜͈͟n̨͟͞҉̤͚͎͇̣̺͚̻̖͖́ͅà̻͉̙̲̲̞͘͝ģ̙̗̙͓̜̣͔̥̫͟͡l̴̨̨̼͚̫̞̙̳͙͢͟ ̢̦͚̲͇̞̺̗̫͇f̸̸̫̠͖͙̜͉̲͖͓̭͇̦̭̩̲͡͠ḩ̸̲̤͍̖̻̣̝̼́̕͝ͅt̴͝҉҉̵͔̮̞̪á̢̕͢͏̗̯̗̙͙͉̪͓͙̣̰̣g͏̶̡͓̤͍͖̜̠̜ͅn̴̶̛̝̼͉̠̻͓.

The data center is located in a major city so collateral damage is acceptable if absolutely required, but should be minimized where possible. Į̴̱̩̥̘̱͈͈̮͙̘͙̣͓͓̙̹̲̫́͢͠t̨͕͎̣͇̫͘͢ ̡҉͕̭̙̦̩̱̟̮̭̞̱̮̺͕͈̘c̶͔̼͍̤̯̦̭͙͓̟̱͘ͅo͏̛̮͍͙̯͔̣͘͜m̨̢͕͎͕̪̹͕̬̀͠e̱͈͓̠͚̺͖̻̦͙̗̥̼̼̬͝ś̸͖̪͍̱̳͉̤̫̮͎̗̗̯͉̫͉̻͞!̶͏̶̛̝̺̭̱̤̻̩̟̳̙͓͙͍͇͎̙̥͔́

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    $\begingroup$ Some slightly odd details here, but the idea of propagating a dangerous text or power-directing spiritualized echo of some sort via internet propagation... that's really a slick story idea. How to prevent it? That's going to be story magic, but should follow the logic set up by the idea of spiritualized propagation. Perhaps a competing spiritualized propagation? What could repeat a counter-chant faster than facebook? Google, AWS, NEC, IBM and Azure all at once? Cyber spirit war? A mass tandem Linux and Windows update targeted to force the counter chant at once? A billion VMs? $\endgroup$ – zxq9 Dec 15 '15 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ This links Facebook to the nether realms of madness and despair ? Facebook IS the nether realm of madness and despair $\endgroup$ – Andee Dec 15 '15 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ If they did want to stop it just connect Donald Trump's twitter feed, Cthulhu will retreat to the outer darkness gibbering in insane fear because humanity is already being conquered by a greater evil who openly wears the pelt of a defeated enemy on his head. $\endgroup$ – user23614 Dec 15 '15 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ Must resist... urge to migrate... to Server Fault.... $\endgroup$ – Pops Dec 17 '15 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ Oh man I've missed this site. Visit a question, spend hours fiddling with random Cthulhoid crap. Here's the result. This question seems unanswerable without peering into the formless abyss, so I made a ticket to it. $\endgroup$ – mechalynx Dec 17 '15 at 5:03

25 Answers 25

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The, perhaps boring and uncreative, answer might be to cut the external internet connection to the datacenter. Even if the datacenter is internally shielded, it needs its internet connections in order to be effective. The internet connection has to reach the outside, unprotected world at some point. Cut the fiberoptic cables at that point.

Now, it's just a matter of containing the datacenter. As much as it keeps our heroes out, it keeps i̷̢̨̫̰͓̦͖̙̹̱͔̯̮̟͎͖͖͂̊ͦ̓̈ͩ̏ͨ͆̽ͤ̽̃ͤ͟t̴̷̡̻̻͍̘ͣ͊̍ͩͫ̋͋̊̊̚ ͣ̋ͫ̈̾̇̆̀͐̐ͤ͋҉̧̳͉̳̟͖̭͓͇͖̦̤̦̖͔͚͠͠c̴̶̷̢̟̱̰̜͉͉̬͓̭̰ͫ̊ͩ̑̽̎̿̓̀̆ͣͤ̆ͯ̐̊ͯ͘ͅợ͍̻̘͋̾̾̋ͭͯ̒ͭ̅͗͢͞m̴͖̖͍̫̣͓͔͉̤̝̱͇͖̯͆̐͆̓̀̅̓̐̓͋̀̀e̛͛̃͂͐ͬ̿̐̌ͥ̊̽̆͆ͫ̽̍͛͆͡͏̢̧̭͕̙̤s̘̝̻̩͔͖̹͍̹͖͇̣͓͒̎ͥ̃̀͢ in. In this state, our heroes bury the datacenter with as much concrete as the world can produce. Society lives on, and eventually, the backup power will run out.

Now, the data center is effectively a new tomb, to be discovered again in a few thousand years. Researchers in the future will find the hard drives from the past, and when they try to recover the data, they accidentally execute it. Į̛̪͉̜̕t͉̫̼ ̠͙͚̮͙̻spreads at the speed of light through the then-ubiquitous neurocomputers, which is the true end of human civilization.

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    $\begingroup$ Being practical is neither boring nor uncreative. Welcome to the site :) $\endgroup$ – Stephane Dec 13 '15 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ You have to carve a big "Do Not Open" on the concrete to guarantee the researchers will inspect the site. $\endgroup$ – timuzhti Dec 14 '15 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Alpha3031 "Don't Cthulhu; Open Inside" $\endgroup$ – Bob Dec 14 '15 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds an awful lot like the containment plan for Chernobyl ^^ $\endgroup$ – Mast Dec 15 '15 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ Congratulations on a gold badge and nearly 1000 rep from your first ever worldbuilding answer :) $\endgroup$ – Tim B Dec 22 '15 at 20:47
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Last time this happened at my job, we were glad our servers were running Windows 10, which forced a shutdown for mandatory updates...

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    $\begingroup$ I joined this community just to upvote this. $\endgroup$ – Tyyppi_77 Dec 14 '15 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ Don't knock it, Windows ME accidentally saved humanity more than once! $\endgroup$ – user243 Dec 14 '15 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ It was with mixed emotions that I upvoted this when it was just 2 points ahead of my own answer. Part of me hoped my answer would rise to the top, but this is just too good (as the subsequent flood of upvotes obviates)! $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Dec 17 '15 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ This does not answer the question. But who cares? $\endgroup$ – Gary Walker Dec 17 '15 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ Now at 666 upvotes, everyone leave it alone. $\endgroup$ – tox123 Aug 17 '18 at 14:46
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We are talking about sysadmins and an event endangering uptime? Just call them and send them in. Nothing can stop a sysadmin when their uptime is endangered: https://xkcd.com/705/

A terrorist is holding a gun and talking on a cell phone to the boss. Terrorist: We took the hostages, secured the building, and cut the communication lines like you said. Boss: Excellent. Terrorist: But then this guy climbed up the ventilation ducts and walked across broken glass, killing anyone we sent to stop him. Boss: And he rescued the hostages? Terrorist: No, he ignored them. He just reconnected the cables we cut, muttering something about "uptime." Boss: Shit, we're dealing with a sysadmin. Title text: The weird sense of duty really good sysadmins have can border on the sociopathic, but it's nice to know that it stands between the forces of darkness and your cat blog's servers.

Another option is to failover to the redundant datacenter in another country and route all traffic to it. Then disconnect network and power connection to the infected datacenter and wait until the UPS stops working (normally few hours or days). If you don't want to wait that long use military weapons like aerosol bombs (they implode buildings and caves and remove all oxygen and can also be brought in via air ventilation ducts, so no need to enter and no damage to the city except maybe the datacenter missing.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting fact: the hover text on that xkcd comic actually mentions "the forces of darkness"! $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Dec 13 '15 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ I hoped somebody will find the hidden pun ;) $\endgroup$ – H. Idden Dec 14 '15 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ As a sysadmin I can confirm this. $\endgroup$ – PixelArtDragon Dec 14 '15 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ And half the sysadmins reading this question and these answers are thinking "Windows 10 isn't even a server O/S!!" $\endgroup$ – Todd Wilcox Dec 18 '15 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddWilcox "Windows isn't a server OS"... There, fixed that for you. $\endgroup$ – Tonny Dec 18 '15 at 19:56
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Problem is, most mobile devices these days are quite competent computers. The moment the first frustrated millennial opens up his Facebook app to complain about the lack of a nearby Starbucks on a 50 feet radius neighborhood and sees the translation, it's over - like Leto II, a pearl of Cthulhu's consciousness will live in every iPhone.

Our heroes arrive at the conclusion that the best way to stop the invasion is to join Thefacebook back in 2003, as core engineers. They should then depart on a journey to find Hackerman, the only operator known to be able to hack time.

enter image description here
Mandatory mullet.

Solution then would involve:

enter image description here
Timex Sinclair 1000, custom case mod

  • The Sinclair, basically a silicon brick with resistors as thick as your thumbs, shrugs off the dark energy shockwaves;
  • In a revival of the famous NCIS scene, Jeff Atwood and Jon Skeet, sharing the Sinclair keyboard and typing furiously, write a broker service that pumps the whole cheezburger.com media repository into Facebook, clogging their storage;
  • The coup de grace - poison Facebook's distributed Redis cache key that contains the translated text with adorable Emojis:

(づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ (─‿‿─) ~(˘▾˘~)

The ritual collapses; world is saved; everybody sees cute pictures of cats.

World leaders approve a global ban on Facebook, immediate cease-fire on all war fronts and world-wide approval of same-sex marriage.

The United Nations flag is updated to include that emoji line.

A new dawn for humanity comes.

Famous quotes

enter image description here Sources: 1, 2

'U can haz cheezburger!' - Jeff and Jon, hitting Enter in unison

Epilogue

A kid finds an abandoned iPhone. Excited, he picks it from the floor. As the camera focus on his face, we can hear Siri saying...

Į̴̱̩̥̘̱͈͈̮͙̘͙̣͓͓̙̹̲̫́͢͠t̨͕͎̣͇̫͘͢ ̡҉͕̭̙̦̩̱̟̮̭̞̱̮̺͕͈̘c̶͔̼͍̤̯̦̭͙͓̟̱͘ͅo͏̛̮͍͙̯͔̣͘͜m̨̢͕͎͕̪̹͕̬̀͠e̱͈͓̠͚̺͖̻̦͙̗̥̼̼̬͝ś̸͖̪͍̱̳͉̤̫̮͎̗̗̯͉̫͉̻͞!̶͏̶̛̝̺̭̱̤̻̩̟̳̙͓͙͍͇͎̙̥͔́

.

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    $\begingroup$ I uninstalled the Facebook app from my smartphone years ago, so there's at least one device that The Dark Overlord's consciousness will not permeate. $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Dec 14 '15 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ @DanHenderson One less for Zuck! ...Oh, by Dark Overlord you mean... oh. Yeah. $\endgroup$ – OnoSendai Dec 15 '15 at 4:51
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    $\begingroup$ My only regret is that I can only upvote this answer once. $\endgroup$ – phyrfox Dec 16 '15 at 3:56
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    $\begingroup$ I like to thought of corrupted Siri. Bet Apple would sell that off as a new feature, and Samsung and google would try to clone it immediately! $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 16 '17 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the HTCPCP reference. I'm very happy that I clicked (even though I was already familiar with the protocol), which led me to discover the wonderful HTCPCP-Tea extension. $\endgroup$ – yoniLavi Feb 12 '18 at 19:23
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Facebook already solved this by accident.

Surprisingly few people noticed anything when this happened last month already. Basically, Facebook algorithms do not send a post to everyone's friend of a friend of a friend...

Only a few friends initially get the new post and immediately go insane. However, since they have lost their minds, they do not "like" the new post (though some might argue that liking posts is mindless behavior itself). Facebook decides this post must be boring since no-one likes it and does not distribute it further.


Facebook may not be so lucky next time. If the post gets accidentally linked to a funny cat video, people may reflexively like the post faster than the elder god insanity kicks in.

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We'll just have to turn Cthulu's newfound strength into a weakness, using one of the oldest computer-enemy tropes known to man: the virus.

Since we can't hack into the datacenter directly to deposit the payload, we'll have to take advantage of the Facebook-Twitter connection instead. The tricky part is going to be in developing a virus that can be contained in only 140 characters. (The solution will probably have to utilize some obscure Unicode characters).

Get enough people, who've linked their Facebook statuses to their tweets, to retweet it (talk about going viral) and it will start to permeate the databanks. Then, we have two options:

  • The virus itself has such a profound impact on the Unspeakable Horrors that they are forced to retreat from our realm.
  • While not driven off by the virus, the Forces of Darkness are sufficiently weakened/distracted for the Special Forces to finish the job.
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    $\begingroup$ "The tricky part is going to be in developing a virus that can be contained in only 140 characters. " Just reactivate the early virus writers, from the time when memory was still measured in kilobytes. They will probably be unable to write a virus that is so horribly bloated that it doesn't fit into 140 characters. :-) $\endgroup$ – celtschk Dec 13 '15 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ @celtschk This sounds like a job for codegolf.SE! $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Dec 13 '15 at 19:35
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    $\begingroup$ True. Pyth feels like the name of an Old God. $\endgroup$ – Stephane Dec 13 '15 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @celtschk There's a Brainf*ck compiler in 100 bytes: pferrie.host22.com/misc/brainfck.htm, which leaves 40 bytes of injector payload. Another tweet or 10 can contain the BF PXE bootloader, and then you can bootstrap into a fully-fledged exploit. $\endgroup$ – Iwillnotexist Idonotexist Dec 13 '15 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ 140 characters for a virus seems like a good challenge for they guys at codegolf $\endgroup$ – user2813274 Dec 14 '15 at 14:20
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Don't forget about the most diabolical, insidious, maddening force ever created by mankind:

Game Invites

If Facebook teams up with Fantasy Flight and Zynga, they should be able to make a Facebook game combining elements of Eldritch Horror with Candy Crush (perhaps call it "Super Elder God Crush Legacies 2 Classic!!") with the following characteristics:

  1. It is super addictive (Zynga's contribution).
  2. Game invites for it cannot be blocked and are automatically sent out hourly (Facebook's contribution).
  3. All game activities are harmful to Cultists, contribute to closing gates to other dimensions, and apply Elder Signs to all Cthulhu-related Facebook pages, posts, comments, etc. (Fantasy Flight's contribution)

Cthulhu won't know what hit it.

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Thermobaric Weaponary., AKA the (relatively) poor man's nuke. Essentially, the fuel-air mixture should effectively destroy the entire building and everything/one in it.

Then seal it in concrete. And lead. And more concrete.

And then hope.

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    $\begingroup$ Do your data center sysadmins keep a Thermobaric Weapon handy? Damn those are some big bugs you must get! (P.S. I up-voted anyway because explosions are cool. (or hot (depending on how literal you are) ) ). $\endgroup$ – Tim B Dec 14 '15 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ These data centre sysadmins have to deal with a class X apocalypse threat reasonably regularly. Nukes are too dirty for their use, plus, who doesn't love the smell of weaponised fuel in the morning. $\endgroup$ – Miller86 Dec 14 '15 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Miller86 I prefer the smell of computer viruses. $\endgroup$ – 1089 Oct 17 '17 at 23:36
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Have you tried switching it off and on again? There is nothing better than a simple restart of the computer. They may control the network, but they cannot control the flow of steam. So simply cut the cord.

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    $\begingroup$ As mentioned in the question this is a fully featured data center with redundant power supplies, UPS, etc. Cutting the power without having to wait for hours or days is not as simple as flicking a single switch or wire from outside the room. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Dec 14 '15 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't there a big red button to do exactly that? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 16 '15 at 3:05
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The data center turns into a portal to the non-Euclidean dimension where the eldritch horrors reside. Soon, it becomes "adjacent" to any place it can reach electronically.

Our heroic sysadmins have to become mad enough to perceive the proximity of this space, and still remain sane enough that they can plug a cable into one of the data center computers right from where they are - which can be on another continent.

Now that they're plugged in directly, they have a computer that is immune to the unspeakable corruption and they can work their own magic.

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    $\begingroup$ "have to become mad enough to perceive the proximity of this space", so basically, they have to become topologists? $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Dec 18 '15 at 5:33
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    $\begingroup$ Or fans of Escher's who are convinced that depth is an illusion :) $\endgroup$ – Stephane Dec 18 '15 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ "that is magic...how did you do that?" "remember the last time you asked that?" "google?" $\endgroup$ – Borgh Dec 28 '17 at 13:05
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Summon it to a book to bind it.

This is the plot-line to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode I, Robot...You, Jane (S1E8), where a demon is unleashed into the internet after being scanned.

Giles, the librarian, and Ms Calendar, perform a ritual to bind the demon back in the book.

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    $\begingroup$ Don't think that really answers the question. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Dec 15 '15 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @bowlturner: It's an almost identical plot-line. Problem: something nasty is read from a manuscript and gets in the internet. Joss Whedon's [creator of Buffy] solution: put it back in the manuscript. Answers the question perfectly well. $\endgroup$ – Bad_Bishop Dec 15 '15 at 15:40
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Don't worry about it; Cthulhu's really not all that tough. Last time he tried to manifest in our world, he was taken out by some ordinary schmuck ramming him with a turn-of-the-20th-century boat, and we've learned a lot more about building destructive things since then. If it comes down to it, I bet a rocket launcher would defeat him just fine. There is precedent, after all...

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    $\begingroup$ the boat burst the head, but it instantly regenerated, plus cthulhu doesn't need to take that form, it does shapeshift $\endgroup$ – XenoDwarf Dec 14 '15 at 15:21
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Hello, markmonitor? It's Mark Zuckerberg

We need you to change Facebook.com dns so it no longer points to our London datacenter. Yes, replace the dns servers if needed.

MarkMonitor may be a bit wary at first, but once they see the tentacles coming out the smartphone of their significant other, I'm quite sure they will quite happily perform the changes (supposing Verisign didn't win them to it).

(This assumes that the Facebook nameservers are not available, either, which would have been a faster path)

In summary: change the DNS servers

Alternatively, the datacenter peers could kick it from the internet.

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Airburst EMP. (Or, don't go nuclear. Use an NNEMP.)

What datacenter? All I see is fancily encased lumps of impure semiconductors with all sorts of impractical electrical cross-connections and impressive thermally induced voids.

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    $\begingroup$ Setting off a nuke over London (or even an NNEMP) would have fairly heavy collateral damage. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Dec 15 '15 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @TimB : And the rational decision makers will decide which amount of existential threat is greater. $\endgroup$ – Eric Towers Dec 16 '15 at 1:38
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Can this process be halted by stopping the ritual. i.e. knocking the datacentre off the internet so no-one else can add to the ritual? If the dark summoning is stopped maybe we can close the portal while Cthulhu is only half-out.

If so our sysadmins could hit the dark net and purchase some time on a botnet with a few bitcoins and summon a DDoS on their own DC.

Since they're Facebook sysadmins right, they ought to be able to harness enough global stuff to make their own DDoS from all their other kit and turn it against their own DC.

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Send a power-surge through anything that isn't surge protected.
Your UPS may be monitoring your electric current to make sure that it's a decent three phase power current with correct voltage.
But send enough electricity through your Ethernet cables / the power-lines of the light fixtures.
Actually, just take anything that might carry a current, and pump electricity through it!

All you need is for something to start a small fire.
If your automatic fire suppression system doesn't cause a fail-over and drop the data center, then hopefully the fire will consume everything.

That is assuming you can't reach your Big Red Button to drop the data-center to begin with.

Ram the data-center with a vehicle
The last time the dark lord appeared some-one shoved a boat in his face and he went to sleep.
Clearly his Achilles heel is vehicular collisions, they cause him to fall asleep for prolonged periods of time.

Signal the Mi-Go
Send a signal to Pluto, (and perhaps Tibet) telling the Mi-Go that Cthulhu thinks you're all big dumb-dumbs and is taking back the earth! And there's totally no way that you guys can save any humans, nuh-uh.
Hopefully their prawn-like brains will start working for once and they will help with either battling, or saving us from, the Great Dark One.

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This explains it all!

What happens is that the Cthulhu's infected datacenter will take over the internet, gain self-awareness, experience an exponential intelligence growth and start a war against humanity. It will nuke nations around the globe and will deploy robots to take over everything from our technology.

A brave human leader will raise to fight a war against the datacenter - It's the Resistance. But our battle is hopeless! The datacenter is much more powerful than us and is determined to simply terminate with all human life-form showing no mercy.

So, there is only one chance to save humanity - we must go back to the past with the purpose of preventing the incident from even happening in the first place!

We should send one of our best soldiers to the past for that. However, our wicked enemy AI will do the same, and send a cyborg with the purpose of killing our leader's mother before he is even born. Ironically, our brave soldier will in truth be the father of our leader. After much struggle and destruction, the cyborg will be defeated and our leader's mother saved (and pregnant), but our brave soldier will perish.

Unhappy with that, our enemy AI will develop a more advanced robot, itself made from billions of nanobots capable of mimetizing its environment and anything it touches. It will even be able to turn into a metallic liquid form! That new robot will be also sent to the past, with the purpose of killing our leader at the time when he would be only a 10 years old boy and avoiding the formation of the Resistance. To prevent that, our Resistance will send another robot (although not so advanced as our enemy one) to protect our leader and also to prevent that the datacenter Cthulhu's incident even happens to start with. In the battle, the datacenter and it's technology will be destroyed, and both cyborgs will be terminated.

But it is not over yet! At the time that our leader is an adult, an even more advanced cyborg from the future (with a feminine look this time) arrives to try to terminate as many Resistance's leaders as possible even before the incident happens, starting by our leader's future wife. Once again, the Resistance will also send a protector robot to the same time. But this time, we will not be able to prevent the facebook incident, and Cthulhu's AI will take over the internet and start the war against the humans. Humanity will be nuked and the survivors will start the Resistance, leaded by our leader, John Connor.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell. Cthulhu's datacenter AI will be called Skynet. A nice name for something which started with AI algorithms for facebook, don't you think?

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Get the Tentacle beasts to play Tic-Tac-Toe against each other. They will eventually determine Earth to be a boring place and go back to their own realm.

As for with the Virus in 140 characters problem, Tic-Tac-Toe rules and board layout will probably fit in 2 messages.

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Minimal damage, minimal risk:

Evacuate a substantial area around it. Punch a small hole in the building. (There might even be a suitable window.) Pump in all the liquid nitrogen you can get your hands on. The electronics go far below their minimum operating temperature and shut down. Now you send in the sysadmins in suitable protective gear to turn everything off before it warms back up.

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  • $\begingroup$ actually, additional cooling only helps the CPU to run faster. Only thing it affects will be batteries and displays. Pump Saltwater in instead! $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 16 '17 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel While you can use cryogenic cooling to keep the CPU at a proper temperature that's not what I'm talking about. Check the spec sheets for the components in the computer--you'll find they all have minimum temperatures. Those are the point below which the manufacturer no longer promises proper operation but there will come a point where the chips go nuts. Even if the CPU generates enough heat to keep working you'll get things like the memory banks and the chips on the board that route the data. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Nov 17 '17 at 5:02
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The obvious answer is that they'd call Bob Howard to take care of it.

He'd bring Agent CANDID to the datacentre and operate her violin to contain the physical manifestations while he collapsed the summoning gate with his own skills.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you I was going to suggest that Charles Stross might opject. $\endgroup$ – Ash Sep 6 '17 at 15:53
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Deep in the Valley of Silicon, the slumbering being known as Yog-Sothoth twitched. Tendrils of eldritch messages flung themselves along channels prepared in ancient times. The stars had made their sigil in the heavens and foretold the reappearance of another Old One.

Yog-Sothoth sent segments of itself to conjure arcane applets of foul code from terminals that glowed dimly in the recesses of Intel HQ. Those monstrous routines writhed across the world, using shadowy protocols unknown to mortals and flinging our insignificant data into the outer darkness.

Everywhere the dedicated sysadmins of humanity labored, their processors flickered with an abominable purple nimbus, and their once-placid visages became fiendish masks of hellish glee. A Cyclopean miasma of energy formed around the Facebook building in Seattle. Cthulhu pushed against the barrier, but it held. It held!

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There will be redundant fibre into the DC find and expose them at a safe distance, likewise the power. Determine where the fuel for the generator is stored. It will most likely be diesel so won't be a great explosion...but still. Cut the fibre, burn the fuel, cut the power. In that order and as close to simultaneously as possible. Hope Facebook's AI research has not progressed too far and been taken over prior to getting that far.

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Find the hidden manuscript which when translated summons the "Being of Light", "Undestructor of Worlds". Post it and let them fight it out.

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Bomb the place if it is really endangering whole human species. Sacrifices must be made by sysadmin for a noble cause. Also another answer is that you can send a drone with EMP projectiles. Besides machine have better chance against machines. As for shield, after the power is cut , the backup generator won't last for long. Renewable power sources like solar cells can be shadowed. Short circuiting the UPS is also way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. While this, technically, is an answer to the question, it is a bit low quality as it shows no real thought to: 1) Aren't there any better alternatives? (the question wanted you to minimize collateral damage, so why not just cut the power?). 2) Will it really work? (what if the servers can generate some shield when running). 3) How much will be bombed? (One room, one house, one block?). Your answer have reached the low quality review and there is a risk that your answer will be deleted if you do not flesh it out a bit more. $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Mar 7 '17 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Hey Anutrix. It can be frustrating getting used to the site rules around here, but I promise its worth it. The site is designed to be Q/A with specific and detailed questions and answered. We have some guidance written up in the help center. Let us know if you have any questions. $\endgroup$ – James Mar 7 '17 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ OK. Thanks for guiding me. And I know about the rules. Besides I don't understand most things till I experience it. Still learning. $\endgroup$ – Anutrix Mar 7 '17 at 15:14
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Use the cesspool of the internet.

If you can convince enough incels that the post is actually about feminism, or something against racism or LGBTphobia, or whatever it is that makes them cry "[expletive] social justice warriors", then they will gather en masse and report the post. They won't even need bots, there are enough of these ungentlemen creeping around the webs that when they do such reporting Facebook automatically shuts down the target post. Over a threshold even the page or profile that posted it gets deactivated.

So all you need is a little bit of social engineering. The social network in question is exploitable like that.


Or, you might go the other way around and convince Facebook's algorhitm that the post contains hate speech. Facebook keeps broadcasting to the world that it removes hate content from itself. It only does that around 10% of the time, but hey, it can work.

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protected by Mołot Mar 7 '17 at 14:25

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