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Ether Mind

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Survey

I'm taking a questionnaire thing

You drove a car after having several drinks or after drinking too much [Yes/No]

How many is several?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Way to go, freedom of speech.

"Elfriede’s nipples were erased during her bondage-torture scene to make it acceptable for the 13 and up rating." - dude

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tales of the Cypherpunk, 3

Index

The van was hot, even with a cheap cooler running. Electronics give off a lot of wattage, especially the antiques Shilo was running in the cargo area. He shifted uncomfortably on a padded stool that was welded in place, just far enough back to expose his back to a slice of sun. Well, his shirt. His hot, sweaty

"Shy? Are you listening?" squawked the webcam.

"yeah, yeah, Jonas is safe, hit squad in place, pretty face, chantilly lace. Got it."

"Right. How are things there?"

"If I'd known it would be this hot I would've double-crossed Jonas instead of triple-crossing the cops. The hard net's quiet, the ad hoc's quiet. The scanner is normal. I've got passive scan calibrated. The squad comms work. I'm also trying to win tickets to see American Taliban from KWTF."

The boss leaned back behind his desk, moving out of camera range. "Great. You kids and your punk rock."

"Weren't you in a band, old man?"

"Before I realized I had no talent."

"Oh, the computer just finished predicting the next artist. Now when they play the song I can be the first caller! Maybe I'll take Betty with me." The boss was silent. Shilo kicked a radar unit nonchalantly. "Ya know, I wish I had a sister. This cop's all hot to get his back, even though she ran off with a rich old geezer. And you get your meals delivered on a silver platter by Betty Bionic."

"I paid good money for that silver platter. And you, you need to get laid before you get a little sister complex. Well.. I've gotta personnel problem I have to go officiate, so everyone will get back to work-"

"Who?"

"T-rex and William, 1.8:1."

"Put me down for fifty bee on William."

Shilo was left with his thoughts. At 1135, there was a soft chime from the sensor computer. Radar picked up two armed men exiting a vehicle, but the sensitive technology couldn't tell if they were cops. Shilo looked out the window. Yeah, it was them. Two navy blue uniforms entered the insurance agency. Two more, according to radar, were waiting at the building's rear entrance.

Shilo set the coordinates for his audio and listened to the voices inside. One was asking if Jonas was there, appointment this, lies that. Another voice said Jonas would be back in thirty minutes, wait here, lie lie lie. Shilo watched as the blips representing the hit squad encircled the police in the alley and crept towards the front entrance. All at once, the cops inside drew weapons; the suits hit the floor; the hit squad burst in. Shilo's headphoned muffled the loud noises in realtime, but he could still hear the shots themselves from across the street. He saw the front window shatter as hollowpoints ignited and flashed from existence. A khaki uniform performed a flawless triple roll through midair, and its head twisted to the side as it hit the sidewalk face first. It lay still in that unnatural position, then spun and resumed fire a moment later. Lightning arced from its hand. A rapid burst of slugs hit it in the torso and mostly severed its neck.

At the sound of the first shot, the sensor computer- the sniffer- started gently chiming. Shilo looked up to see extra fuzz behind his van. One raised a large pistol in the classic two-handed grip and fired at the van's window. The bullet ricocheted and narrowly missed his partner, who yelled, turned and headed back toward their vehicle.

"Driver? It's getting hot back here. Cool us off?"

"Boss, they got us blocked in. I gotta go over."

"Kay." The van was already lurching forward. Shilo threw himself to the floor and grabbed onto a cabinet just as they rammed something. There was a sudden stop- a lurch, and the van tilted up. The engine roared and the sky tilted past the windows at odd angles as the unmarked white van climbed over a car.

The sniffer, although unattended, registered three blips diving out of the path of the van. It chimed gently to warn that the vehicle was airborn and sensor readings could be inaccurate. Another speaker beeped twice, just before the whole interior slammed down onto the ground. The driver was still standing on the gas, and sparks flew from the entire exhaust system for one brief, shining moment.

In an unmarked blue van down the street, a speaker twirped to acknowledge the thermal intensity of that brief, shining moment. No one was there to hear it, but a moment later the officer that had avoided friendly fire a moment before yanked open the door and made off with a crowbar.

Shilo struggled into the passenger seat, managing to hit both walls and the ceiling in the process as the van swerved through traffic. "Driver- we've got to stay within two blocks to maintain comms for the squad. Well, it'll be done soon. Just keep making lefts," Shilo armed himself with a pistol and bayonet from the glove box "and stop if you see a good parking place. Damn, the sniffer's going to be wonky now."

"Why lefts?"

"Two reasons. One, it's human nature to turn right when driving, so it might throw the 5-O off our tail." Heh. "Also, that's a one-way street."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Omfg

Vox Popoli posts without counting to ten first.

Haha, he's misogynistic, but his occasional points are always spot-on.

Explanation

I mentioned that I think most of the cyberpunk genre sucks.. but I like the genre. The authors tend to portray drastically different, usually totalitarian or anarchist, societies. Neal Stephenson has used it for the latter with nice effect.

The term Cypherpunk is a play on Cyberpunk and has a more definite ideological bent.

Without further ado, here is the list of permalinks to Tales of the Cypherpunk.

Edit 1 April 2008 - Upgraded the name to The Cypher's Tale.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
Part 18
A
Part 19
Part 20
Part 21
Part 22
Part 23
Part 24
Part 25
Part 22 / 1
Part 26
Part 23 / 1
Part 23 / 2
Part 27
p1
Part 28
B
Part 29
Part 30
Part 31
Part 32
Part 23 / 3
24/1
25/1
33
C
34
D
35
49
36
36/1
37
37/1
37/2
38
39

Tales of the Cypherpunk, 2

Part 1

Shilo found himself outside the office the next morning with a ball cap on the bandage on the wound on his head. He entered from the street with a merry jingle from the glass door. The sun shone in behind him and cast the shadow of "Tom's Travel Agency" across the floor. Two identical potted plants stood sentry beside him. The floor and ceiling were a cheery bluey grey. The counter was a cheery bluey grey. Behind it, Betty the Receptionist beamed at him with wide, blue eyes. Her cheery grey dress squirmed around in her seat.

"Oohayo Shilo-kun! It's not even eight thirty yet! Are you supposed to be in here? Or did you want me to skip out and get us all breakfast?" Pout. "You know that no one else is qualified to sit here when I'm gone. Ne, Shilo, you shouldn't wear hats. They make your ears stick out funny."

He smiled and patted her on the head as he passed behind the counter and into the back offices.

Out of her line of sight, he glanced around and then sniffed his hand. .. Unlike most Modern Women, she had her natural hair, her natural color, but yet.. the blonde curls had a different scent every day. In the three weeks since he'd noticed, it hadn't repeated once.

The back offices were white plaster, grey steel, even one patch of brown plywood by the restroom. Two desks sat unused in the front left of a large open space; the shoddy carpentry was to the back right; every wall held one or two offices with with windows and subdued activity within. Shilo crossed the central area, passed the water cooler and punching bag, and entered the boss's office.

It was one with white plaster walls. He stood in front of an oversized steel desk cluttered with memory and tried to wake the boss. "Hey, fatty.. wake up." Shake, shake. "I'm talking to you, Pants-a-lot."

The boss sat up with a wild look in his eyes and a lock of black hair hanging across his face. "Damnit, Shy, it's all muscle. If you want to go, we've got the gloves. Why are you awake before me? I always thought you were a fricking vampire. Did sissy say she was bringing donuts in or something?"

Somehow, this pale, dark stocky, forty-something was the much older brother of the angel outside. Sort of like Cthulu and his kid sister. If there was one.

"Boss, we've got a little problem."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tales of the Cypherpunk, 1

Let's see how this goes.

Shilo woke on concrete with a wet patch under his skull. He had the unpleasant clammy feeling of sleeping with his clothes on, and his boots were just awful.

Someone kicked him again. "Get up!"

There was light, a spot light, shining in his eyes. Shilo sat up and hard hands grabbed his shoulders, pulled him to his feet. The light was far away. The room went spinning when Shilo tried to look at it.

Kicked again, knocking his legs from under him. Held up and shaken by the iron grip behind him. "Tell us where she is!"

She.. they were.. it hurt to think, but it hurt, apparently, not to think either... they were after some woman, a girl really. Shilo wondered for a moment whether he could make more from selling her than hiding her. "Why.." It hurt to talk, too- "what are you talking about?"

The voice- it was a face in front of him, a short man with short, buzzed hair and a wild expression. "My sister, skag. You work for Jonas, you know where she is!"

Punched in the stomach. Shilo mentally added up the bonus he was going to get from this. Well, if he let something slip Jonas would boil him alive, but a few bruises would count for some nice overtime. .. "Listen.. I can't tell you or Jonas will kill me." True. "but.. if you can pay for her.."

The short man's eyes narrowed. "I'm listening."

"Go to Jonas' office tomorrow during lunch.. wait for him to leave, then hold the place up. There's a database key in his office that'll get you to information on her. Just make it look like you were searching around and got lucky.. then contact me and we'll take the next step. I want 100 kay."

The short man's mouth stretched in a sort of grimace, but only on the left side. The scar under his right eye was still. He looked over Shilo's shoulder, and there must have been confirmation. Shilo found himself falling, to land on his knees in the wet patch on the concrete. It was blood.

While Shilo knelt there bleeding, the police left.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Changed my endorsement

I originally endorsed McCain for President. Although he is kooky and has no philosophical basis for his beliefs, many of which are unconstitutional and/or wrong, I thought he would be the most entertaining.

Well, he has not entertained me so far. Therefore, this blog now endorses Ron Paul for potus, 2008. Ron Paul claims to believe in individual liberty and small government, and his votes in the past support this. As Vox the Misogynist has noted, his anti-war and anti-immigration stances will be popular in the general election.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Is not the kindred of a common fate a closer tie than that of birth?

-NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE