Scenarios from the Project Notebooks of the early ’00s: the school assembly and the Big Baddd incident.
I’m running out of “liner notes” right now, so I’m putting part of the story onto the main page this time.
The third act of this play has begun. Now it’s time for Shira to start dropping bombs.
← ...from previous
Chapter 17: Power, Corruption, and Lies
Sir Francis Bacon
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, I won’t get fooled again.
George W. Bush
7 October 2014
The world hasn’t been the same since the Infowar brought down the Internet and made the Neo-Confederate coup possible. Hackers didn’t bring it down. Governments did.
In 2012, America declared war on Iran. The Chinese and Russians entered the war on the Iranian side. The U.S. government, in conjunction with Israeli intelligence, used NORAD and Echelon to take over every computer system in America in an attempt to bring down the entire electronic infrastructure of China, Russia, and Iran. Predictably, they struck back in equal force. The Internet was designed to withstand a nuclear war. But it could not survive the transformation of entire nations into gigantic botnets. The last remaining freedom in most of the world was obliterated by the rising alliances of extremist factions and criminal gangs. The one big winner was not the Church of America, nor the newly founded Cartel, but Echelon.
Today, computer and telephone ownership is a luxury. Only the privileged are allowed to have online communications access, and they are strictly controlled by Echelon.
That’s the law, anyway. Most people who can afford it are back online. But their access is illegal. Their computers and phones must remain in stealth mode. Their only means of access is the Darknet. As long as the Darknet stays up, at least a thin sliver of freedom will remain. But it gives the Mafias a citadel from which to attack the nations.
For the low-tech, there’s the Sneaker Net. To share information and pirated media content, they walk on their sneakers whose friction powers their personal area networks. They meet secretly like adulterers. They set up secret mail drops, or use the ones the Mafias created for the illicit trade in drugs, weapons, pornography, slaves, and exotic animals.
For the truly dedicated, there’s the Pony Express. Thrill-seekers eager to risk their lives work as couriers who deliver the mail personally. They deliver it by car, bus, bicycle, gypsy-cab taxi, and hoverboard.
Shira rides the storm’s air currents southward high above the parallel corridors of Interstate 5, State Highway 99, and the railroad and light rail tracks, her cargo secured behind her feet on her hoverboard. Her intuition informs her that this particular cargo may be very important indeed. But all she cares about right now is getting it to the man who is paying her to send it. He seems rich and connected enough to buy an order to keep the sky-darkening flocks of black TSA drone aircraft from interfering with her flight. Right now he drinks a spiked milk drink at Loco Moloko and waits.