Lost in a URL

Remember back when people had to travel by car? And even worse, by foot?

This certainly is not the case anymore, in the year 2049.

Everything runs more efficiently now.

All you have to do is log on to your name_id_password.gov/transport URL and insert your desired destination.

Then poof!

You're there.

You take a deep breath; you just finished your presentation discussing the current global climate of transportation.

No longer did people have to fear being late to anything, in fact, the younger generation didn’t even realize that “tardy” was a synonym for this. The internet used to be so pointless, only being used for silly searches of unknown knowledge, but ever since President Driscoll developed the internet in a way to allow for teleportation back in ‘31, nothing had been the same.

The bell rings as you finish up your history presentation and you quickly type your personal URL (with the ending: cafeteria015820) into your browser, and with a few quick flashes of light, you are now sitting at your usual table with your best friends Alex and Laura.

“Nice speech!!”, Laura exclaims and smiles right at you. “I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to have to walk all the way to the cafeteria back in the olden days.”

You chuckle a bit. “You have no idea. I had to do a run-through for my presentation of what a day must have been like when our grandparents were growing up- I only got 42% of my tasks for the day accomplished!! And omg my feet are KILLING me, I couldn’t find any sort of ‘taxi’ service online so I had to walk all the way home.”

Both Laura’s and Alex’s eyes nearly bug out of their heads. Laura squeals, “But your house is like 5 blocks away! You seriously could have done so much in that time.”

You sigh. “I know, it took me like 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes I’ll never get back.” You sigh again but then remember you have an appointment scheduled during lunch. “I gotta go though, I’ll see you guys in bio.” You quickly type your URL (with the ending: appt96lobby@doc), and at first do not see any reason to panic when the flashing lights surround you. This was the typical way of travel, and it is all that you know of.

But a few seconds later, you find yourself still floating in this ‘in-between’ space – the portal that the URL uses to teleport people back and forth. This has never happened to you before, but you remember hearing urban legends where people get stuck within the URL. But that was all just make believe.


It has to be.

After what feels like the longest 15 seconds in the world, you are placed right where you requested in the URL: the lobby of the doctor’s office for your appointment. Back before teleportation, these lobby areas were called ‘waiting rooms’, but since travel was now instantaneous, everyone simply arrives when they are going to be seen. If a doctor is running behind schedule with their patients, the receptionist would simply alert you through your URL what new time to arrive at.

The receptionist looks at you and says: “Dr. Ryan will see you now.” Right on schedule.

You try to forget about the weird experience you just had getting here, and go right on in to the doctor’s office.

When the appointment is over, you hesitate for a moment.

For the first time in your life, you are afraid to teleport. What if all those scary stories you heard growing up were not just fictional? What if you actually could get lost in a URL? Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be another option. If you walk all the way back to school, you will never make it in time for bio. You shudder at just the thought of putting your poor feet through all of that walking again. Teleportation is the only option.

With a few clicks into your browser, you are all set to return back to school. Upon clicking enter, you are once again surrounded by the flashing lights that had just malfunctioned minutes ago, but then you are sitting at your desk in class before you can even think twice about it.

“Dude you look like you just saw a ghost, what’s up?” Alex is seated in his own seat to the left of you. When you don't respond, Alex brushes it off and realizes that he forgot his textbook. He says to you: “Hey, can I look on with you during class today?”

You're about to say sure when you realize that you left your backpack at the doctor’s office!

“Yeah but hang on, I gotta flash back and get my bag. One sec.”

Some more clicks, and you are once again surrounded by those flashing lights. Only this time, similarly to your trip to the doctor’s, they seem to last a bit too long. You are floating and spinning all around, surrounded by the flashing lights. Except now, they are starting to get a bit duller.

You spin all around, trying once again not to panic.

But how can you not??

You are somewhere trapped in the internet!!

At least a minute has to have passed by now, so surely Alex will know that you are in trouble and find a way to save you.

People don’t just get lost like this.

...or do they?