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Gate to the Net

(Bridge to Terabithia remake for IT Geeks)

by Tobey McCyberfly | cyberfly [at] email [dot] cz

Inspired by a drawing derived from a movie based on a book by its author with an amazing inner spring of fantasy.

It’s been two days since we had set out on this adventurous and dangerous journey to the Binary Kingdom and we
are slowly but unavoidably running out of supplies. How lucky we are to have met a good fairy just yesterday, who
generously increased our TCP keep-alive value by a few miliseconds. Without her, we wouldn’t be able to get over that
giant firewall rising ahead of us, set up as a fortification to discourage brave bits from attempting to reach the other

And who are we, anyway? The bravest of all, bits of the legend, those who dare to avert the fate foretold them by
virtual Fates, who dare to face the most frightful and destructive traffic-control devices and intrusion prevention
systems in this whole enchanted world of networks. We are the chosen ones. Ones and zeros, to be precise.

Me, Zero of Freeland and my soul-mate companion, One of Free Province have decided to free all the Binarians,
slaves of the Dark Router, who have been, imprisoned, longing for freedom for ages. One is definitely the best bit I’ve
ever met in my life and with complete trust in her I know she’ll never let me down. We can do it. Together.

We are gently moving forward, through the unexplored world of the firewall vicinity. Having reached the Great Firewall
of China*, built with black magic along the large meadows we’ve crossed, I am carefully throwing a cross-over
network cable with a magic, standard uncompilant RJ-45 connector at the end, straight to the top of the firewall. It’s
hooked. Now we just need my uncanny little piece of code to temporarily disable it and get through. Success! We’re

“Woow. I never knew it was so breath-takingly beautiful out here”, One is telling me and we are both staring into the
distance, enjoying the amazing view of this virtual private network. “Look at all those supernatural ciphers, those
unearthly packet frames and the vast encrypted land around us. Isn’t that beautiful, Zero?”

Indeed. On the other hand, we’re in for hitting on some evil private data, bit-eating monsters, ghostly lost packets or
malign password fields. “One, we have to watch out and quietly sneak to the wireless castle overthere.” - “Ait, let’s
use our built-in Wi-Fi aerials and take a shortcut to get there straight!” – “No, One. No shortcuts exist to places which
are worth reaching. Come on, let’s sneak around, through the digital valley and the forest by the castle.”

We are moving on. It’s getting more and more scary here, we can hear voices of ghost data transfers and sounds of
VoIP* chattering coming from the dark woods beside us. “Let’s run for a while Zero”, says One. I’m switching on the
fairy transceiver and relaying ourselves into an optical fiber. Now, this is what I call running fast. The flow of digital
data is floating past our bodies, lifting our parity check information in the air, filling us with energy and supporting our
feeling of breaking all the spells, including our foretold fates.

“Oh look, a river!”, I am announcing and slowing down before reaching it. “Cool, look at that enchanted coaxial cable
hanging down to the river’s bank! It’ll help us cross it.” We swung across the broadband corridor flooded with illegaly
shared multimedia to pass through another small forest of bewitched repeaters and switchers.

“Oh no! An evil password field is ahead of us!”, screams One, squeezing my hand in fear. “Fear not, my beloved!”, I
say, starting my portable version of Opera browser in the background. “We rule this network and nothing crushes
us !!!”, I’m calling out loud while waving Opera’s Wand* and successfully cracking the last obstacle on our way to the

We’re here. We’ve finally reached our destination MAC* address. And One is calling out: “Prisoners of the Dark
Router! We have come to free you! Show me that you hear us!!”

Encouraged by a loud reply of randomly generated beeps, we’re closing on the place of Binarians’ suffering and
crossing an overcrowded 10 Mbps bridge to the castle, preparing our dynamic liberty libraries or *.dll’s. Using a zero-
day vulnerability exploit*, we’re penetrating the main defence framework and quickly dragging them to a safe place in
the Freeland. Lucky us to have remembered enabling drag & drop in Freeland control panels before we left.

“Woot!”, all Binarian bits are shouting. “At last, we are all free. Thanks for saving us guys! Thanks a lot.”
Quickly checking the overall checksum hash to find out none of the bits are missing, we say goodbye and leave for
our original server room.

Heading back for our home server, I look at One smiling at me, to finally realize it…
She is the One I love and want to spend the rest of my expiration value with.

*Side notes:
Great Firewall of China = based on a real-world firewall banning censored websites out of Chinese web space
VoIP = voice over internet protocol, voice communication means
Opera Wand = Opera’s safe password manager
0-day vulnerability exploit = security-breaking script using freshly discovered vulnerabilities

For Leslie. 7}{e 3nD