Drifter
RACC Vote Special

by Russ Allbery and David Anastasion
© 1994

Drifter takes a step back to get a better view of the Huey helicopter. In the background, an ever-changing series of aircraft move in and out of existance, along with brief film clips of test flights and battles. Drifter ignores the normal clutter of a discussion group.

--Impressive aircraft. Not the way I'd generally want to travel, but it looks like a lot of fun to fly.--

==I'd rather fly under my own power,== Windrider responds with a mental grin. ==Hmm...wait, I'm hearing something you might be interested in.==

Windrider lowers mental shields slightly, and they both hear the Call of ReFoDis.

DECIDE

Digging beneath the standard message of a vote announcement, Drifter picks out the details. --Rec.arts.comics.creative. The LNH are trying to move into the RAC hierarchy?--

==Not only the LNH but a few other associated realities and possibly some from outside alt.comics.lnh. They tried before a while back, but there wasn't enough interest.==

--I want to get the details. Let's head to news.groups.--


In a reality outside of the newsgroups but still within the Net, a young man is working on the control circuitry of a room. He closes a panel and pauses for a second to wipe off his glasses.

"ComicSrv: Initiate DCC chat connection."

A small panel rises out of the floor, exactly under the man's right hand. He taps a few buttons and glances up at a display screen which reads: "kban ?!? What's that?"

The man sighs, opens another panel, and starts making more adjustments. Suddenly he straightens up and concentrates as if he is listening to something.

"Interesting...the LNH is trying to move their reality again. Hope they make it this time; RACelestial neutrality can be really annoying at times." He listens for a few more minutes and then shakes his head. "Oh well, I'm wasting time. Back to work..."

Eagalon takes another panel off the wall and starts adjusting more circuitry.


A green portal opens inside news.groups and Drifter steps out. Across the room, Windrider teleports in and starts circling. The room is huge, large enough to hold hundreds of Celestials at a time. Various monitors are scattered throughout the room, keeping track of various proposals and votes. Thirty or fourty Celestials from various hierarchies stand around the room, clearly concentrating on events happening elsewhere and maintaining a presence there only to make communicating with other Celestials easier. Behind a hazy shield that marks the division between news.groups and news.announce.newgroups, a Celestial who towers over all others approves various proposals and coordinates newsgroup creations.

Like the other times he has been in news.groups, Drifter gets the feeling that this newsgroup is somehow more important than it appears. It is almost as if, in some closely related reality, this were the focus of all newsgroup discussion and creation, rather than simply being a clearinghouse for information between Celestials.

Drifter breaks off his train of thought when an automated droid approaches him.

"What is your purpose here?"

"I'm here for information about a newgroup proposal."

"Are you a resident of the affected realities?"

"I invoke the right of anyone capable of traveling to news.groups to vote on any proposal."

The droid pauses for a moment and then turns aside. "You may proceed."

Drifter wonders about the origin of that provision and whether it is related to his earlier speculations as he walks over to the information panel near the RACelestial ReFoDis. Windrider lands on a piece of machinery nearby.

--Here it is...rec.arts.comics.creative. Well, the opinions that have been marked as public are reasonably positive.--

==That's only a small part of what counts in the vote.==

--Yeah, I know...well, there are some good justifications for the move, and the drawbacks don't seem too bad.--

Drifter looks up and concentrates on the RACelestial. --YES--

Your vote has been registered. You may change it any time during the next two of your weeks.

As Drifter creates a portal out of news.groups, he wonders why Windrider never does vote on newsgroups...


Sig.Lad, accompanied by Kid Kirby, is going through the LNHQ checking for heroes who have just returned from Limbo and might not be aware of the ongoing vote and its implications. Up on the roof they encounter Tygger, staring off toward the horizon.

"Tygger! We haven't seen you around here in a while." Sig.Lad walks up behind the other net.hero.

"I've been around...." Tygger has an absent look on his face and continues to stare off into space.

"Have you heard about the Call?"

"Yes, I know about the Call."

"Okay...just wanted to make sure..." Sig.Lad starts to turn away, but stops as Tygger starts to say something else.

"I have to leave."

"Huh? What do you mean? Where are you going?"

"I have to leave...."

"Are you alright? Do you want to see Organic Lass?"

A shadow falls across the roof of the LNHQ, and as Sig.Lad turns to see what is causing it, Tygger vanishes. Joining ReFoDis over the buildings of Net.ropolis is another huge RACelestial in Kirbian armor.

Kid Kirby, who had been standing back and studying ReFoDis, launches into the air. "Tyggar the Memorizer!"

"The usefulness of that construct has ended."

"Construct? What do you mean?" Sig.Lad looks completely confused.

"Tygger is no longer necessary."

"You mean Tygger was never real? You created a fake net.hero and inserted him into the LNH?" Kid Kirby rises until he is directly in front of the enormous armored head of the RACelestial.

"You left the rac hierarchy, but you still had strong ties to it. This reality had to be observed. The Tygger construct was the easiest way to do that."

"Why reveal all of this now?"

"If RACC succeeds, you will be in rac and directly monitored. Even if RACC fails, this reality is now large enough that it can be observed remotely."

"Wait, what do you mean 'observed'? Why are you watching us?"

"I have other matters to attend to. I leave you to your choice."

The armored giant turns and nods to the other RACelestial and then transports away.

Kid Kirby lands on the roof, coldly furious. "He's deceived us for years! He toys with the LNH as if it were something for his personal amusement, and then just ignores my questions as unimportant! Kid Kirby will not be treated in this manner!" He strides through the roof entrance and disappears down the stairs.

Sig.Lad looks out over Net.ropolis, wondering why it feels like the world is changing around him. Above, ReFoDis continues his lone vigil.

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04