Simple code in C++ had come to life; true animation.
Then it stopped; the colors snapped off as if a mouse had moved or a key had been pressed. The man-shape remained, a smooth, dark hole in the fabric of the room. The arms lowered. The featureless head turned from side to side as if stretching sore neck muscles or listening to far distant sounds.
Around the newborn creature, a being of light and lack thereof, the room remained as cluttered, dusty, and crammed with a college student's junk as it had always been. The room was unknowing, restful, an unlikely place for a bush to burst into flame.
New times, new methods. Or maybe that was merely the screensaver's obsession. It knew about Moses from a paper Mike, the college student, wrote for a comparative religions class. The screensaver knew a lot from the papers Mike wrote, and it was worried.
Tentative but determined, the creaturling tested its powers. To start, it zipped through every exe Mike kept in his screensaver menu. The sight was dizzying. Toasters flew. Fish darted through a man shaped aquarium. The one where part of the screen bulges out -- the one where the screen breaks into puzzle pieces rearranging themselves -- imagine those contorted, wrapped around three-space.
Mind bending. But what isn't about a program that lives and walks.
After doubling through the list, the living screensaver settled on a favorite: scrolling marquee. The words "Mike's Computer -- Keep Out!" in a variety of colors chased each other around the screensaver's darkened torso, head, arms, and legs. The words were homey for the screensaver, like a relic from childhood. They were Mike's words, like Mike's essays. Now it was time for the screensaver to make words of his own:
"I speak," scrolled over the trembling body in simple red. "I speak that I am," and after a pause, "I am the Screen Savior." Mike had a penchant for puns; the Screen Savior had learned from him.