“What is this thing the elders speak of?” asked Donald’s grandson, Malcolm. “The inter-net?”

Storyteller Donald, taken aback, paused for a moment to consider his reply. Trixie and Kayla each stifled a laugh, though quietly both were glad that they hadn’t been asked. Cooperston lay in the ashes of the old world, after all, but the old world it was not, and how does one explain something like that?

“You know of books, do you not, child?” Donald said at length.

“Oh yes! Mom reads to me often. I love the stories about the world before the sundering.”

“Well, the internet was like a book in which the whole world could write, and of which the whole world could read,” the Storyteller continued. “If you were to write something on a page of that book, anyone with a copy of that same book could read what you had written when they turned to that page.”

Malcolm took this in silently, then nodded. “So the elder elders would write stories in their books of the inter-net for others to read?”

“Some did, yes,” Storyteller Donald laughed. “Bloggers, we called them. But not just stories. People wrote down things they knew to be true, had arguments in writing, and sent messages to each other. It was a long book, you see, and unless you knew which page to turn to it could be very difficult to find what you were looking for by chance.”

“How did people find things?”

“Do you know the encyclopedia your mother has? Have you seen the book at the end that has a list of everything?”

“The in-ducks,” Malcolm said gravely.

“Yes, the index. There was an index to the internet, the Book of Googol, that the elder elders would consult to see which page they should turn to.” Trixie and Kayla snickered anew at this, but Storyteller Donald ignored them.

“That sounds wonderful, grandfather,” Malcolm continued. “May I read the book?”

“I’m afraid not,” said Donald. “For you see, ah, each internet book relied upon the others. What you wrote could be seen in other books but it was only really in yours, so if your book was lost your words would be lost too. When enough people lost their internet books in the sundering, that was that. The books are still around, such as they are, but blank.”

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