The Netscape

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THE NETSCAPE

Tying you to your shackles are but lines of broken code.


Netscape.png

The Chamber.


Look beyond the light. Acknowledge your surroundings.

All who dwell within the chamber enter without thought. A person may awaken on the cold concrete floor, unable to think about anything. Attempting to push through the brain fog, they claw up to the only visible light, blinding in the first moments. As the mind clears, their breath wavers and their muscles tremble. Finally sitting themself down on the only seat in the room, the fog hastily retreats. What lies before the victim is a screen, displaying only the prompt to log in.

Existential threats of many varieties await those who end up in the computer’s chamber. Malicious programs of various refinement pry at the machine each victim of The Netscape must cling to, unless one intends to rot without its light. On top of all of this, the computer itself seeks to manipulate the prisoner it holds within its chamber. A diverse array of people and places may be presented by the screen, but one could not be more alone.
Basset-Frazier Index: 4.667/5

Access

Whilst heaps of information regarding the limspace itself are available, how one enters is shrouded in mystery. What is known is that the outcome is always the same: a confused individual sitting alone in a chamber, with only a vague recollection of what they were doing previously. In the first moments, memories are lost to amnesia. A terrible foggy delirium prevents them from forming much thought of anything beyond the screen. The efforts of the very exclusive group of volumists who have escaped The Netscape are ongoing, but slow.

Survivors often have a hard time explaining their time in The Netscape, but not due to any sort of memory loss when returning to Baseline Reality. All of it is simply so outlandish. There’s nothing to cling to, nothing to blame, nothing to suggest why, or even how. The Netscape has no branding, nor is it tied to any people. It is what it is and it does what it wants, and that’s truly terrifying.


- Laryn Marburg, a Netscape escapee.

Tethering on The Edge of Inaction And Repression

To be in the Netscape is to perpetually be in a difficult balance. The screen in the room is a subjugating force that leaves all of its victims without much choice. They're not just addicted to it, they are kept alive by its warm governing light – to deny it causes their bodies to rot and diminish, but to stare too long into its all-encompassing glow is an ill fate as well, as they regress into irreversible and eternal screen-watching. Most uninformed Netscape users become aware of the computer’s effects in some way, and attempt to abandon the computer entirely, or regress into the aforementioned permanent state of inaction. For the sake of all readers’ survival, it is advised you do neither.

Being within The Netscape’s chambers completely removes the requirements for life you would otherwise have to sate. The need for food and even water is negated entirely, and by extension the expelling of waste. It is as if the chambers warp the lives of the occupants inside to only require engagement with The Netscape. Whilst consuming food and water found within the Chamber is not a need for survival, it does greatly help in reducing reliance towards the screen. Eating and drinking will not suddenly become a requirement, but it will become a habit.

It’s hard to explain to people how the chamber completely removes your bodily needs. The best way I’ve learned to put it is this: You are no longer a living being. You are now an organ, able to exist without worrying about outside forces, specialized to sit in one place and execute only a select few actions. When I try to communicate this to other victims, though – they respond in despair. While I can’t give a cushion to soften the stinging strike of the truth, I do have an additional tidbit of advice: If the Netscape is the body, try to be a parasite.


- adzmkh, a permanent Netscape user.

Awareness is key. Although time is difficult to track, one must be perpetually aware enough to at least glance away from the computer’s grasp every so often, walk around the room, or exercise with what little you have. This must be done in small, periodic instances rather than extended periods of time in which the computer is purposefully avoided. Remain calm and do not fear the screen. It is advised to stay distrustful of it, but rejecting it altogether will result in certain death.

After mere minutes in which the victims’ eyes are not locked onto the screen, symptoms will begin to show. Drowsiness and lethargy will take hold, and the mental pull towards the screen will be overwhelming. After an hour or more, though, the allure will slowly vanish, allowing the victim to explore the chamber freely. This may seem like a blessing at first, but only until the lethargy worsens to the point of immobilizing parts of the Netscape user’s body. Once the flesh begins rotting, the point of no return will have been reached.

On the other extreme, too much exposure has proven to be just as dangerous as a lack thereof. After an undefined amount of time usually described as an amount of days or weeks, users may enter a paralytic state. They are unable to feel, or perceive anything apart from the computer’s signals. Their lives have been completely and irreversibly linked to their machines. Whatever may flow through the computer by extension flows through them. These strange occupants that have been absorbed into the very fabric of the chamber are supposedly very experienced when it comes to navigating The Netscape’s every application, as well as all of the malicious programs lurking in the shade. Contrasting with the perks one assumes from this change, irreparable negative consequences follow. Any malware or programs of similar construction that damage the computer in any way also damages the linked occupant. Furthermore, the connection is permanent. Once they are in this state, leaving is no longer an option.

A common yet odd phenomenon shared between the majority of linked Netscape users is their surprising degree of happiness, willingness to cooperate, and hopeful tone. The time they do not spend in their personally-modified simulations is spent wandering the web, searching for isolated persons to help. Most information regarding The Netscape has been supplied and verified by these strange cases.

Since the chambers are isolated from each other, we can never even truly know if 'others' you may chance upon online even exist. They could be malicious programs themselves, and an even worse fate could befall those who fall to the Netscape’s deception. These speculations are highly improbable, but certainly possible. We can never truly certify the validity of information that came from a faceless being behind a screen.

Despite my amazing new life, I can’t help but be dissatisfied. Deep down, I don’t truly believe I deserve what I have been given. I was weak willed – scratch that, I still am. I immediately fell into the governing force of the Netscape. I mean, what else was I supposed to do? But after a long time, something changed. When I became linked to the chamber, the speed of the computer improved drastically. I found myself in simulations plucked straight from my dreams. I was in approximations of universes that I would normally geek out over back at home. Despite giving up the second I was pulled into The Netscape, my punishment is my own personal paradise. Doesn’t that just sound wrong? Something doesn’t add up.


- Jaike_, a permanent Netscape user.

Above all else, stay calm but not complacent. Any stay in the Netscape is life-threatening, but escape will always be a possibility if it is strived for. The only thing you will truly have to manage is your habits and the thoughts inside of your head.

Description

Referring to the assortment of chambers and not the computers that lie within, The Netscape is a vast collection of unconnected chambers sharing a singular network accessible by every one of the Netscape’s computers. It is unknown if these chambers lie physically near one another, as travel between them has not been proven to be possible.1

Each chamber cannot be described as much more than a bland, dark, concrete box. The rooms are spartan with few embellishments. Apart from the standard desk and swivel chair where the screen eternally governs from, objects and shelves can be found scattered around the room. Clothes, magazines, kitchenware, tools, and most other household items are all examples of what can be found. Whether or not these items serve as distractions from the screen or not, is up to pure chance. Almost always tucked away in a dark corner of the room is a primitive water tap that allots near-freezing water from large pipes that run haphazardly along the walls.

A tangled mess of wires runs along, and occasionally into the smooth concrete floor. Also around the floor, mostly situated around the rooms’ edges are small air ducts that lead an unknown distance downward. The ceiling of the room, although nearly impossible to make out due to the lack of illumination, consists of scattered metal beams and piping covering a metallic roof.

The only extension to any given chamber is the connected pantry. Consisting of the same concrete and metal, the pantry always lies behind an open doorway opposite to the computer’s screen. Due to this, the room is completely shrouded in darkness, which eventually becomes unable to see through as one travels deeper into the pantry. Whilst the pantries share their width with the main chambers, they have a rather extreme length. Nothing different or of use has been reported deeper into the Netscape’s pantries, as after the rows upon rows of shelves, they usually end rather anticlimactically in a concrete brick wall. What lies within the pantry is a variety of dehydrated, non-perishable compressed food bricks. Upon entry, the shelves are practically overflowing with these items. Whilst the amount of food in the pantry is limited, it will not realistically run out for decades if food is rationally consumed.

The greatest obstacle to overcome in any given chamber is boredom. Whilst the Netscape is a mere shadow of Baseline internet, and a brainless mockery to real entertainment, the blandness of the rest of the chamber in comparison as well as an unexplainable allure draws people in.

The All-Encompassing Screen

The computer is equipped with a screen, a keyboard dissimilar to the standard design seen in baseline reality, and a mouse featuring three buttons. The keyboard displays characters alphabetically, and lacks a few keys seen in other keyboards of the same type. Keyboards in other scripts also exist within some Netscape chambers, corresponding with the transported victim’s native language. The computer itself also innately knows what language to display by an unknown process.

The prompt to log in only displays a password text box, which will be treated as correct no matter what is typed into the box. Unless a user is permanently linked, the loading time for anything in The Netscape is dramatically sluggish. After a while, the desktop will finally load. The desktop is sparse, only containing a blurry indistinguishable gray background and a singular application, labeled “Netsurfer.”

Netsurfer & Applications

Netsurfer functions similarly to a browser, allowing access to numerous websites. In the place of the classic search bar is only a button in the middle of the screen that takes the user to a completely random site. Fortunately, the topbar displaying the link to the current website can be partially manipulated. Unlike the usual three-level domains present in Baseline Reality, Netscape sites feature five domains. These domains are referred to colloquially as the main domain, which displays the name of the website, followed by the others. The other domains, listed as first through fourth, seem to exist for no logical reason. These domains along with the main domain can all be edited when navigating websites, excluding the third. One will have to randomly navigate through links until obtaining the desired third domain.

The majority of websites on Netsurfer contain ramshackle approximations of games, endless blogs lacking sense or context, massive unorganized video storage sites, and obnoxious advertisements which only lead to more of the same – or worse. Also common are conglomerations of multiple of these common website archetypes carelessly mashed together into a barely-comprehensible content contrivance. Many websites are entirely faulty, just displaying lines of nonfunctional code. The less functional a website is, the more likely it will be automatically removed or filtered out.

Websites and links appear to adjust themselves over long periods of time, occasionally swapping links, generating new sites into existence, splitting large sites into multiple, or being removed entirely after long paths of edits eventually leading to corruption. Advertisements and other intractable elements materialize on older sites, and grow across them like moss.

The most useful sites tend to be the ones that supply a basic service, or act as an essential tool. Heavily crucial are any interfaces that allow people to make notes and return to them later to find them again unaltered. Also helpful are places that display a history of previously-visited sites, or anything else to orient the user. A common widget found on most websites is a clock of sorts, that only displays minutes and resets after an hour or two. While long scales of time become tangled together in one’s head, a rudimentary sense of time can be established.

While all these tools are useful, none are more imperative to find than a way to communicate with others. Chat boards and decipherable logs of older chat rooms often lead or connect to potential exits to The Netscape. Websites and applications that lead to an escape are few and far between, but can be anywhere due to their nature. For every escapee, there is a different story and process of how they found their way. Users of these chat boards must be careful, as simple bots work to flood the chat with advertisements and messages in an attempt to get users to engage.

I had been trapped in this place for months. After a while I had begun to lose myself. The signs were certainly showing, and I was getting desperate. One thing led to another, and I downloaded an untrustworthy-looking game. It was a simple RPG, with a singular other player logged in. We eventually found each other, and we rushed through the whole game, in a session that felt as if it had lasted multiple days without breaks. The game didn’t have a final boss, but a supposed “exit room.” I walked up to it, where it claimed you had to kill at least one other player to advance, as well as many other requirements. I didn’t let them read the inscription on the door before I did it. I remember crying my eyes out and sinking my head into the desk afterwards, only to find myself at my desk back in reality. I didn’t even walk through the door.


- Léo Durand, a Netscape escapee.

Many malicious programs work to damage the computer. The lot of them are annoyances that slow down the computer’s processes and further lengthen the loading time of any given file or website. Others constantly make themselves known and permanently blot out parts of the screen, or play audio in an attempt to drown out any other advertisements besides their own. The most dangerous of these processes attempt to damage the computer itself. The screen may work against all of The Netscape’s prisoners, but it is fragile nonetheless. Complete deterioration of the computer will only end in one way for the person trapped within its chamber.

Some Netsurfer sites are special in that they contain applications that require to be downloaded and displayed on the desktop before use. This is displayed in the website URL as an “APP” added to the end of the fourth domain. Some applications, referred to as simulations, whisk the user into a state similar to the one that linked users experience permanently, but for a temporary amount of time. This creates experiences that truly immerse users, whilst still also containing a way out of this simulated state. Sites that feature these simulations have the characters “SIM” at the end of their fourth domains.


BELOW IS A RECREATION OF AN INFORMATION BANK CREATED BY LINKED NETSCAPE USERS. LINKED USERS COMMONLY PASTE BLOCKS OF INFORMATION SUCH AS THESE LISTS IN AS MANY INTERFACES AS THEY CAN.


Documented Website Masterlist [README]

While many netsurfer websites follow similar templates and have similar construction, some are exceptional in their usefulness or more likely life-threatening danger. Please add as many unique sites as possible to this list. Connected to this list is a module that changes the website link as site URLs shift over time. We thank all who contribute.

CONTACT US HERE: survivors.amx.hd.aa.aa

Main Domain 1 2 3 4
netsurfer aa or aa aa
The default home screen of Netsurfer. TIP: Use the randomizer button to get the third domain you want, then change the rest to go to whatever website you want.
arxxp tou xy ce aab
Don't go here. This bloated my computer with garbage.
gearworks ab an g gyc
This website only contains some strange intractable diagram on a blank gray screen. It’s some sort of digital spinning gear mechanism that you can move with your mouse. You can change the configuration and location of the gears using the keyboard and mouse buttons. I’ve been screwing around with the gears for like 5 hours now, and I’m starting to think It’s a puzzle. I’ll keep updating here as I find new discoveries.
adboard bca ab a iee
Visiting this website is like receiving the equivalent of 10 hours of sun-watching eye damage in 10 seconds. I wouldn’t recommend going here, even if some of the advertisements lead to promising places. Endless pop-ups overlap each other, each with their own sound. All of my senses have been offended.
randos rro col zmi ieeAPP
This is a usable chat application. Download this immediately, we have multiple people waiting to relay information. Please use a signature when talking to make sure It’s you. There are no name tags that differentiate anyone’s messages.
delverevsdelvingstation ao ej zmi kSIM
This simulation is one of the worst one’s I’ve ever been in. In my years, never have I seen one with such an underdeveloped story and flatter characters. Don’t waste your time with this one, I’ve seen a first grader write a better plotline. It may seem alluring in the beginning with the dramatic opener, but it really begins to nosedive afterward. If I had a medium to critique them, they wouldn’t hear the end of it.
calculator aa az ynk orjAPP
Surprisingly, this is literally just a working calculator. Buttons are a bit weirdly placed, but it works. To anyone that needs one, for whatever reason, here it is.

Conclusory Notes: Notable Theories And Strange Parallels

Archivists are largely puzzled regarding any details pertaining to The Netscape. It abruptly takes people, and occasionally abruptly expels them back to Baseline Reality if they follow the right path. Some have suggested that The Netscape isn't even a Limspace, but a strange offshoot of the Baseline Internet in some remote location(s). This is likely not true.

Another common speculation is that of The Netscape having connections to other Limspaces, or being part of a known Limspace System. There is no evidence to back this claim, but it could be possible that each individual Netscape chamber is its own Limspace, thus rendering The Netscape itself as a Limspace System. As of the publication of this article, it will remain under Limspaces.

A particular user of The Netscape known as 'Jaike_' has sent in multiple digitally-produced diagrams of Netscape chambers ordered in chains, described by Jaike_ as "clusters of cells." Specifically, he had a habit of comparing processes and aspects of The Netscape to organic living processes that organisms utilize to survive.

This place doesn't just take people, it consumes them. Unlike a regular organism, The Netscape does not break down what it takes in into smaller components, but it works its victims into the very fabric of the chamber. Like the organelles of a cell, the victims commit to actions of their own, watching the screen and pressing buttons. When I first conjured this idea, a substantial sense of dread overwhelmed me. My awareness is not a requirement, but a neutral factor that does not hinder or benefit The Netscape. If I influenced one still in the delicate balance and, say, instructed them to destroy The Netscape's chains, would it evolve over time to revoke the consciousness of its users, perceiving us as threats? Probably not.

After I really dove into the simulations and became immersed in this place which I began to build on myself, I thought of the relationship between users and the greater Netscape complex as symbiotic. But, I still wonder to myself: What does it gain from this? I have many things I've yet to figure out, but what I fear most is the connection to Baseline. It matters not if The Netscape does what it does consciously or not, it still 'sees' into Baseline, and forces them into an unseen threshold. How long could I have been watched before it made the decision to bring me here?


- Jaike_, a permanent Netscape user.

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