After we’d lost our way

It was here before I was born–before any of us were born, and no one knew exactly what it was. The priests were raised to maintain it. They were each assigned modules to look after, memorizing line by line millions of bytes of letters and punctuation. The priests understood little but the people even less. They knew about the twelve gods; constructs of the ancient language no one knew, and each god had its temple. The gods had strange names, like Ifthen, For, and Switch. The priests sat hunched over flickering glass sheets and watched and listened and learned. They would tell the people when it moved and how things should be.

And it had been like this since anyone could remember.