The Ring meets high tech

The following is extracted from an exchange on the newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written in mid-1999. It started as the thread "The Things I Will Do if I Am ever the Hero", and segued on to what happens when The Ring next resurfaces, in a high tech world?

William December Starr >

As an SF fan, the resolution I envision is that when the Ring finally does resurface it'll be an Tech Level n artifact in a Tech Level Lots-more-than-n world. :-) (Some poor shmuck finds the Ring. It tries to corrupt him. His onboard System Integrity agents see it happening and shut him down, take over his nervous system, make his body drop the Ring, reboot him from the most recent quarter-hourly backup prior to contact with the ring, and present him with a report of their actions and a recommendation that he call in a toxic data disposal team. Next thing the Ring knows, it's on the wrong side of a quarantine field having all of its secrets squeezed out of it, bit by bit, quark by quark...)

Daniel C Stillwaggon >

As a person who loves twists at the end of story, I love this ending. The only change that I would add is that as the scientists were discovering the secrets of the ring (bit by bit, etc) they would slowly begin to become more and more suspicious of one another. Accusations would fly of unsupported theories, stolen work, unbooked/unlogged computer time, misplaced files, etc. The accusations would increase in bitterness and the personal nature until none of the scientists speak to each other at lunch, begin to suspect the others of of sabotaging their projects, and begin to see evidence of this sabotage on all sides. Soon they would retaliate, all against each other, by actually sabotaging the experiments. The situation will degenerate rapidly from this point until a long series of fatal accidents occur. At the end of it all there will be one of the scientists who sits on a throne atop the laboratory, a shade of a human being, with a glowing band around her finger and the animated corpses of the other scientists (glowing red eyes and all of course) around her feet, bound to her service.

Eileen Lufkin >

In a universe like that the ring would have to be a post-singularity artifact designed to work at low tech levels. It would probably start by corrupting the System Integrity agents.

Danny Sichel >

the Ring as Agent of the Perversion, anyone?

Phil Fraering >

Neotenous ents on little robotic carts?