Most of you have seen that I've returned. If not - hello.
I stopped being an active CN player the summer of 2011. In mid 2012, while I was deep in the woods of West Virginia on a climbing trip, my nation deleted. I had forgotten to collect. Oops. I had a twinge of regret at forgetting about it, but for the most part, I was happy that the burden was finally gone. It was time. It had been time.
My blog has never really been an IC one, and I don't intend for that to change now. I frequently talked about my climbing, my cat, my hobbies, my poetry - just general life. When I left the game, I was in a period of turmoil in my life that was fairly consuming. It was a period in which I had the opportunity to completely change most of the aspects of my life, and I did so enthusiastically.
My immersement into the real world took my activity and goal list and made it explode like a kid's 4th grade science volcano. I finished my Bachelor's Degree and got my Master's Degree in Human Resource Management. I moved four times. I spent an absurd amount of time outdoors. Previously, I rock climbed...and that was about it. I've expanded that to rock climbing, running, cycling, swimming (triathlons), snowboarding, mountaineering, ice climbing, and mountain biking.
On top of Algonquin Peak, Adirondack High Peaks. Mount Marcy and Colden in the background
This year is a big one for me. I have a lot of races that will be firsts for me, including my first marathon, first half Ironman, and first full Ironman. So basically... I'm going to be turning my blog into a race blog. Hopefully that won't be too boring. So far, these are my races for the year that I'll be talking about:
3/29/2015 -Philadelphia Love Run (Half Marathon)
5/3/2015 - Broad Street Run (10 Miler)
5/24/2015 - Vermont City Marathon
5/31/2015 - Independence Sprint Triathlon Nockamixion, PA Sprint
6/14/2015 - Eagleman 70.3 Half Ironman Cambridge, MD Half Ironman
7/12/2015 - Steelman 3 Mile Open Water Swim Race
8/9/2015 - Steelman Olympic Triathlon
9/20/2015 - Lake Tahoe Ironman
10/17/2015 - Runner's World Festival 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon
10/25/2015 - Perfect 10 Miler
... Most likely to be added to. I also got engaged. Fun fact - the Lake Tahoe Ironman is my honeymoon. We also figured out after we registered that it's considered the hardest Ironman in the world. Oops.
I also added one to the family. My fiance and I adopted Ridley in 2013, and she's the biggest bundle of joy ever, which helps balance out my diabolical cat.
Coming back was a mixed bag for me. I had pretty much sworn off ever returning to cybernations. I saw no use - I'm rarely home, constantly training, and still have the same laptop I used 5 years ago (AKA - this thing barely works). I got rid of my TV, my video game systems, my desktop... I figured if I would return to the world of the internets, it certainly wouldn't be for CN. I was apparently a little wrong.
I don't have any plans or expectations for my time here - other than to coast along and hopefully not stray too far away from my training schedule. It's been interesting to return and see how different and alike the community is so many years later.
Of course, I'm still climbing - Just definitely not as frequently as I had been before. Though certainly with a lot less hair - I abandoned the lion's mane for the first time a few months ago.
much muscle. such pull.
Hopefully you'll find my attempts at fitness worthwhile for a glance every now and then. If not, that's perfectly fine - for me, writing about them will hopefully be motivating enough to keep me off the couch or out of that pint of ice cream (which I just finished eating, damn you snowstorm) and out on the road or trail. Maybe if I'm lucky, you'll find some motivation or interest in it as well.
So this is 2015, GTA 5 came out a year and a half ago, one of the greatest games to date. Yet here we are, yapping about that alliance sucks, that alliance should die, that alliance should be rolled. What is the point? We are ruling fictional nations and trying to be powerful. LOL. So I have been thinking about it, why is it we care so much? I have a few ideas, including my reason. Please post your reason or thoughts on it.
-Low Self Esteem. This game is an escape from the Real World. This is a reason I play. I hate the real world, it sucks big you-know-who. So I come here to have some fun, escape the horrors of everyday life. Actually CN may take up my time, I am really improving and I think CN helps me mature IRL. I can take out my immaturity here instead, it really helps thanks for putting up with me, guys.Typcially trolls and active members of the community.
-Power Thirst. The good old looking for power and you really cant be in a postion of power in GTA yelling at 12 year olds.They will own you. Anyway, these guys are usually have dick bosses IRL and come here to get power. Typically seen in Alliance Leaders and some Goverment.
I think those are the two main reasons, why do you play? What other reasons are there?
Raiding the Order and being our enemy doesn't pay,If you Raid you can be sure you'll get an house call.this is meant for prates and wannabe prates dubble check your idea do you wannabe my next target practice? If this doesn't detour you the slighest bit then come at me and we'll see who wins in the end,my soldiers always looks forward for some fun.
There are some days that I think I've been playing this game too long.
I started playing CN in the spring of 2008, towards the end of my freshman year of college. Like many people, it's become a part of my life, a habit I just can't kick. Logging in to collect taxes and pay bills, checking forums here and forums there, has become as routine to me as taking my evening birth control pill, or taking my dog out to take a leak.
Having a habit like this has consequences, though.
When I look at the acronym "GPA", my first thought isn't "grade point average" and how terrible mine was when they kicked me out of college, but that Neutral Menace the Green Protection Agency, my first home on Bob.
In my city there is a school called the Integrated Arts Academy. But for me, "IAA" brings to mind Star Wars, defunct blocs, little brown cats, and many great people I still call friends.
Watching a James Bond movie has taken on a whole new experience. I now sometimes pick out imagery or quotes I could use in another signature for MI6. Actually I have done that, and there's a whole post full of them on our forums.
I frequently find myself wishing I made as much money in real life as I do in CN. Three million dollars in bills a day is nothing when you're pulling in over 300 million every 20 days.
I wish navigating and discussing politics in real life were as entertaining and enjoyable as CN. I can talk CN politics with people and know what I'm saying, and I don't have to worry about people telling me my opinions are wrong and I'm going to hell because of them, or some other such nonsense. Well, maybe there is a little of that, but this is a game so who cares.
I've downloaded whatsapp for the sole purpose of using it for CN, and I have had some CN people's phone numbers for over 4 years now. Still have a hard time explaining why I have people in my contacts list texting me named "Chimaera" or "Draeg" or "mastabadey". But playing the Goldeneye death tone when I get a message from these people? Totally awesome.
I met my current boyfriend in this game. I know other people have too. Explaining your relationship and how you met? Yeah, I'll save that subject for another post.
I used to keep a notebook keeping track of my tech deals and trades, when I was a wee noob. I still keep a CN notebook, but it's not for tech deals. It's for *REDACTED*.
Many times I wish it would be professionally appropriate to add CN experiences to my resume. "Led a large alliance in a browser and forum based political simulator, performing many administrative functions, managed a forum, organized group events..." and on and on.
My typing skills have drastically improved in the time since I started playing CN. Yeah, I took a required typing class in high school, but it just never did stick. It sure helped me type nice papers though.
I found myself thinking of these things today while bored at work, amazed at how CN has become such an influential part of my daily thoughts. Which also kind of depresses me in a way, but I guess it's just like any other hobby. Anyone else have any CNisms to share? Please tell me I'm not the only one.
(It's a little long)
One day I decided to create a nation and with-in the first ten minutes of being online, I received five new messages. The first one, of course, was a "welcome to cyber nations" message and the second was a "please join our alliance" message. I didn't bother to read the other three messages because they looked like recruitment messages too (and I didn't want to join an alliance).
At first, I just wanted to be left alone- so that I could build my new nation how I wanted to build it- but I didn't know anything about the game so I decided to join the first alliance that sent me a message, so that I could get advice from experienced players about what to do. That alliance happened to be Guinness.
To this day, I still think Guinness had the best online forum than any other forum I have seen. It was not only community friendly, but it was also extremely active with young players. The daily topics were non-abrasive, usually "sell tanks, they hurt your economy", "change your resources to this-and-this, because so-and-so went inactive", "make sure to finish the academy training". It was a lot of fun for about a month, and then things started to slow down. I found that my daily log-in routine slowly started to turn into a once-every-four-days type of routine.
Then one morning I logged into my account and I had 14 messages in my inbox stating that someone declared war on me, took my money, destroyed my tech and infra, and stole my land. Not to mention my government was in anarchy and my people were angry; and truthfully, I was angry. I didn't even know the ruler who attacked me, I was just a random target and I felt violated. He sent me peace and I didn't even want to accept it, but my leader ordered me to. I even messaged the guy and asked him what his problem was, no response.
That raid was the best activity booster I have ever had.
Still mad, I decided to take action- I bought 50 cruise missiles (that's not a misprint), maxed out my tanks, bought 60 bombers (again, not a misprint), and I decided to purchase 3 super expensive spies to really wreck his day. I was going to give it a couple of days before I whacked him, you know, catch him off-guard, but by the time that day come I realized that I couldn't afford all this stuff, so I just sold it off and went about my business. From then on I logged in every day just in case he decided to hit me again.
In the meantime, I tried to learn how to war- I actually read the documents in our alliance academy (rather than just a quick scroll-through), watched online videos showing how to war in CN, and I even looked at nations were who warring each other and taking notice of what improvements they had during their conflict.
About a week went by and another one of my members were hit by the same alliance. Now things were starting to upset us and not more than a couple of days later another member was raided. That was it. We were all mad at this point, we felt like our protector (NSF) was not doing their job and we told them we were unhappy- we've been raided three times and yet not any of them helped us out- and finally our protector agreed to support us in fighting back.
Our thoughts about the situation were compared to that of a school yard bully. Sometimes you have to slap the bully in order for him to leave you alone. So that's what we decided to do. Our protector gave us a great tip: hit them right before-and-after server time, so that we have an extra day of war advantage on them.
So it was planned out and we had specific war instructions: CM CM AC AC GB GB after server CM CM AC AC GB GB. I was nervous, what if I messed the order up?
The night we were going to quad them, about an hour before operation: going in w/o lube I went on the war screen and doubled, and tripled checked, where all of my military buttons were at, so that I could ensure that I could attack quickly and swiftly and most importantly, correctly. I had a beefy 2 million dollars saved up at the time, so to ice-the-cake, I even bought 5 satellites and planned to switch them out for 5 missile defenses in case they decided to counter-attack us. I probably smoked a half pack of cigarettes waiting for this attack, which we felt was justified, and hopefully would solve our problems.
A quarter till server time we hit, guns blazing, I will never forget that I dealt about 950 damage after the quad was over. I dealt the most damage in our coalition. We celebrated in the forums. I was even announced as an honorary fighter for the alliance, it was a good feeling. The attacks were a success! Now all we had to do was let our FA Chancellor handle the "don't mess with us, or else" talks and things would be back to normal.
The next morning I woke up, not to a bunch of messages, but just one- it was my opponent- saying that they have respect for us defending ourselves and that he wasn't going to use nukes on me because apparently I was 'brave'. And with that being said I thought "great, our planned worked". Unfortunately, the rest of Lavender Town didn't feel the same. They liked to war and they wanted to "teach us a lesson" aka "make an example out of us". So now we saw ourselves in a full blown war. To make matters worse, a couple of days later our military commander jumped ship and created Socialist People's Alliance and claimed that he 'worked out a deal' to save our infra.
At the time, we stayed loyal, knowing that we could rebuy infra, but not our reputations. So after a couple of days, our leader comes on and says "The war is over, great job everybody, resume business as usual"... but wait a minute, I'm still at war- and my conversation with my opponent was that he was ordered to 'nuke' me and that another alliance was going to enter into the war that night. I tried to tell our leader this, but he wouldn't listen to me, even though he's much smaller than me and hasn't fought at all. On top of that, the nation who was supposed to "war aid" me resumed tech deals and didn't have any more slots open. So my war aid was cut off, while I'm at war (and this was before I knew what a war chest was). And sure enough, in the evening, my nation was mad because apparently we didn't stock up on enough sunscreen. So I took our ex-commanders offer to jump AAs, told my leader at the time that he should've listened and that night what happens? Riot Society enters the war and rolls both NSF and the remaining Guinness members who actually believed that we were 'at peace'.
Of course, the world saw it differently, calling us deserters, but that didn't really make sense considering our leader posted an alliance announcement stating that "the war was over, good job everybody". when indeed it was not, he just buried his head in the sand and pretended that we were not in conflict. It's too bad, because that was a low moment for a lot of players who never recovered from it. They either left, or re-rolled.
While sitting in basically a PoW over at SPA, my opponent asked me to join Lavender Town. I thought of it as an insult, but at the time I was in nuclear anarchy, and I thought I was in permanent bill lock. I was almost certain I would have to re-roll. So I figured if I am only around for a another 2 weeks, I may as well take it as a learning curve, join the fighters and learn their "secret war strategies".
The first day I hopped over to Lavender Town, I had about 40 dollars and rather than them just asking me how much I had, they simply spied my nation. I felt stupid.
The next day I woke up and to my surprise, I had a free 6 million in my aid screen. I was happy- I could actually pay my bills! and it wasn't that I didn't do tech deals before, I just didn't know how to do them. If I had 3 tech deals going on, I would buy up to the full 300 tech and send it out (not really a profit making strategy, looking back on it).
So they taught me how to raid, picked targets for me and I practiced, alot. If a nation was fussing because I was attacking them, then another member would step in and nuke them for complaining and we'd move on to the next target. I was running with the 'big dogs' and it was a lot of fun. And I didn't know the leader personally, but he sure sent me a ton of money to fund my 'practice'.
Eventually I received noticed that we were merging into a bigger alliance- Riot Society. I was excited because now I was in an alliance with a member who was huge, like 100k big and while the transition was a little rough managing trade circles, all-in-all it was a good group of people in the forums.
Then one day one of my friends was hit by a pending member from Shield. We didn't have a motto in Lavender Town, but if we had, it would have been "shoot first, ask questions later" and sure enough, Riot Society retaliated on the initial attack on our friend and hit a bunch of Shield members.
This is where it gets messy.
Dark Templer was already annoyed at Lavender Town for causing Guinness to disband and they were even more annoyed that we had hit their protectorate. What made matters even worse was that while our leader was negotiating peace talks, one of our members (who was ordered to peace out), would send the nation peace, if they didn't accept it before server time- he'd nuke him and then send peace again. This happened for like 5 days straight. So then we found out that we've done pissed all of AZTEC off.
I didn't know who AZTEC was, so I looked them up in the alliance directory and I couldn't find anything of relevance. And then finally I was told that it wasn't an alliance, but a bloc of alliances- in fact, the oldest bloc still operating today.
So the night before my vacation I was online, just waiting to see if they would actually go through the trouble of in-game messaging each other to coordinate a strike on us, because most of the nations in the bloc were top heavy- each of them only had a few tough lower tier nations. And sure enough, I get a messaged in my inbox stating "war declared" and then another, and then another. Acting as quickly as I could, I bought troops and then in-game messaged everyone in the alliance telling them that we were under attack. I felt like Paul Revere yelling "The British are coming, the British are coming." And Riot Society was under attack by the cream-of-the-crop of the AZTEC bloc, plus an Umbrella nation (Umbrella wasn't in AZTEC at the time), Seven Kingdoms and the Sandstorm Confederacy.
Another thing I learned then: if you click on an alliance to view all nations, and to the right where it designates war mode / peace mode- there is also another symbol that is a red circle with a white stripe slashed through it- that basically means that the nation is defending 3 other wars and is very busy. It was easy to spot at the time, because all of us had it.
Thinking back to what happened in Guinness, I basically told myself that I was going to fight to the very end, with everything I had, and I would ensure to show complete loyalty to the alliance, and a positive attitude whether or not I had any infra left over. And so I did, I was nuked daily, and because my opponents were bigger and I was already in Anarchy- I deployed and sent all but one soldier just so that I could deal some damage. On top of that, I kept a positive attitude in our forums and while we were fighting, some lower tier nuke turrets ghosted in with us, friends of Riot Society, and they were great. I remember one of them got an in-game message basically saying "please don't nuke me again" and we posted in the forums for a good laugh. And Riot Society fought well- in fact, they out damaged the AZTEC coalition the first week.
And that was about as long as it lasted- our leader negotiated a little over one round of wars and then they were to stop. Some of the members agreed with that decision, and others wanted to fight on. So after the AZTEC raids, some of the members who wanted to fight on left and formed a new AA and some of the upper tier nations left because they were mad that we got into this mess in the first place. Not to mention that we didn't have any actual treaties (just gentleman's agreements) and no one wanted to treaty with us because we pissed AZTEC off. We were at our low point- both in numbers and moral.
So with government positions looking to be filled, the leader asked me if I was interested in government. He said that I was active during the war, and that I carried myself well, even when I was getting nuked everyday. I thought to myself, well, I've already been in a failed AA, a PoW AA, a raiding AA, and a merger into a bigger AA- and I didn't want to keep jumping around, so I said "yes". At least I could give it a shot and try to turn the alliance around, get our numbers back up, and our name cleaned up.
So I worked with the current leader, and the former leader and it was the best experience a new player could ask for. Both of them were polar opposites to work with- one of them was much more political and secretive and the other was a hardened veteran who has seen just about all there is to see on planet bob. Whether I agreed with them or not, the bottom line was that after working with these two experienced players for about 8 months, I learned more about cyber nations than I could ever learn on my own.
It was during this time period that I learned about the complex treaty web. The history of the 2nd and 3rd world war, what/how to build a war chest, buy spies, and how to use IRC. Rather than recruit new players, for some reason I always wanted to help the players who were in trouble. One of our members was at war with FARK for a long time- and FARK told me that if I posted a craft beer review on their alliance forum, than they would put that situation to rest. And so I did, and it was actually fun- not to mention that they have a great selection of articles to read on there. Other members were not so easy to get off the string, like when one of the LSF members got mad and decided to nuke her fellow alliance mates. That one took a little more work, lol.
The problem still, was that no one wanted to be associated with us (outside of Riot Society's close friends). And then one day, while I was on IRC, I met a player who was cool as hell, totally open minded, and didn't really care what other people thought. In fact, I had so much respect for him, that when they went to war against MI6, I had a bunch of friends and I ghost into his alliance to help him fight. And his alliance knows how to fight, some of their members have over 20 million casualties, and their ability to coordinate attacks was damn near perfect. Their alliance announcements were flooded with spy reports, reminders to "set gov. position to this, make sure you buy this", and the ones of us who ghosted over there had a blast. Not only were they fun to fight with (I had a wonder heavy nation both above, and below me) but their opponents were very active. Of course, in response, so were we, even on owf. When the war wrapped up, my friends and I wanted to fight in the world war, but we didn't have any backing at the time, so we couldn't enter.
So instead, we decided to merge into a bigger alliance so that we could participate in the world war and seek decent peace terms when it had ended. But my experience with that merger and the fighting we did was not near as structured as our previous war- nor was the 6 million for 200 tech deals, or taking orders from people outside of our alliance fun. So we decided that after the war was up, we would create our own alliance and that's what we did. It's how Monsters Inc was formed- it was one forged out of friendship, ran by all of us, and strengthened with loyalty.
So what's the point of writing all of this? There are actually three reasons:
First: There is always a thread with older nations saying that they would like to 'save the game' and what they mean is that they want to attract and retain new players. Yet on the opposite end of that, I constantly see new players who are often scolded because they are not conforming to controversies that took place over five years ago. Let the new players forge their own path, let them make their own mistakes and their own friends, it's how they will learn and grow.
Secondly: In this game, you have to appreciate your enemies as much as you like your friends, because without either, there wouldn't be any controversies and without controversies there wouldn't be activity. One of the biggest reasons for this statement came from a conversation with a veteran player last night and he had shown me a treaty map from 'back-in-the day;. It was much more bare. In fact, you could actually see separations in the web and it wasn't a two sided web. Now-a-days the treaty web is so locked down that it hinders alliances from doing anything except for counting on the next world war to stretch their page. And some alliances haven't seen activity in so long that they aren't even capable of managing a war that is effective.
Which is another thing- during this most recent world war, a lot of the alliances were taking orders from other alliances. You may as well merge into your superior if that's how you want to play, I mean, what's the point of having your own alliance and sovereignty if you really don't have either? Wars should be fought based on meaning. The best statement of the year was by the leader of SRA who basically stated that his alliance is not locked into a yearly world war and that he makes decisions based on what is best for his alliance.
And Lastly: Whenever I get into a bind, I look back on my first day playing Cyber Nations and I wonder how my experience would have been had I of joined one of the other three messages I received. Sure, maybe I would be bigger, but in less than a year and 1 million casualties later, I'm proud of where I started and what I've learned, and I'm glad of where I am at now- and I look forward to what lies ahead.
Something that isn't often talked about in this world is how alliances administer justice. Despite the dearth of discussion though, it's actually a crucial subject when it comes to understanding our world because the way justice is delivered across the Cyberverse has a great deal of bearing on how community norms are enforced and alliances maintain control.
So to aid in understanding, this entry will focus on the different generalized systems for administering justice and will analyze their relative strengths and weaknesses.
The first type of justice is arguably the simplest of the lot: justice by decree. In a justice by decree system, one individual or small group of individuals holds the power to decree punishments, and can usually delegate some or all of this power to others in the alliance. The second type of system is the one most familiar in RL: court justice. In a court justice system, one individual or a group of individuals is appointed or elected to administer justice in the alliance. This court decides on punishments, but unlike in a decree justice system, the court is bound by higher law to administer justice consistent with said higher law's guarantees of rights and due process; there can also be a process by which one can appeal the decision of the court to another authority within the alliance. This limits the court's power and strengthens the rights of individual alliance members. The last type of system is the one most associated with socialist alliances: direct democratic justice. In a direct democratic justice system, all alliance members have the right to decide on some or all punishments.
So now that we have this framework of the basic types of justice systems in the Cyberverse, the next step is to look at their relative strengths and weaknesses and then perhaps formulate an approach that might be better than any one of those above. Justice by decree systems have one huge leg up on all the others: efficiency. Nothing is more efficient than one individual or small group just deciding who should be punished and how. No trial, no need for procedures to be followed, just one person (or a few) deciding. However, the problem with this system also stems from this massive efficiency: potential for abuse. Since there is no chance of appeal, and one person or a small group holds all the power, if at some point a particularly malevolent person or people come(s) into that position or those positions, the results could be disastrous for the alliance. Court justice systems provide for strong individual rights, which vastly reduces the potential for abuse which is so high in decree justice systems. This reduced risk of abuse comes at a significant cost though: much less in the way of efficiency. The need for detailed, standardized, and consistently enforced procedures, due process, lengthy trials and the like to ensure rights are fully respected makes court justice systems the most inefficient of the three. Direct democratic justice systems are very participatory as they ensure just about every member can be involved in administering justice. This creates a collegial atmosphere and possibly keeps members better informed as to how the alliance handles those who misbehave. The downside is that a vote or other kind of large-scale decision process is required to actually enact consequences, which can be costly and time consuming to organize, even in smaller alliances, and there is almost as much of a potential for abuse as in decree justice systems. Whereas decree systems suffer from this potential due to their concentration of power, direct democratic systems suffer from it for the opposite reason but to a similar degree. There is a risk that mob justice may prevail, in which vocal members get enough support to punish someone who in fact has done nothing wrong or get a member severely punished for what is typically considered a minor offense.
Given this, none of these systems are perfect, and none ever will be perfect. No system can be, but the question is could one design a better system. Each of the above has clear pros and cons, so it may be possible to construct a hybrid system that minimizes the cons and maximizes the pros.
Consider a Court-Decree system. In a court-decree system, one person person or a small group holds the power to decree punishments. Unlike in a pure decree system though, the offenses are specifically defined in advance and ex post facto punishment is not allowed, so the one or ones decreeing punishment don't also get to decide in the moment what is punishable. And on top of this, all those being considered for punishment have the right to defend themselves and know what they are accused of having done. This does not mean they have the right to a fair trial or the right to counsel; evidence of the offense isn't even necessary, though the authority may decide not to punish without it in specific cases. The defense they make need not even be public (though if it is private one third-party witness would need to be present just to keep everyone honest) nor does it need to have a fixed duration. Anything that is not listed here would be decided by the authority determining the punishment (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The point is, this avoids the potential for mob justice found in direct democratic systems (the participatory aspect isn't essential to justice and is only desirable in actual direct democracies), keeps much of the efficiency of decree systems (since it avoids lengthy trials and keeps procedures to a bare minimum), while providing just enough protections to mitigate much of the risk of abuse.
This system isn't perfect obviously, but it would seem it's a fair bit better than the others, all other things being equal. And of course, this doesn't take into account alliances' histories and cultures, this is a model system and is not designed for a specific alliance.
This was prompted in large part by a particularly annoying thread here:http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?/topic/125757-ambition/ but I've wanted to address this topic for a while now.
The point of this is not to stir up IC beef, because even if you hate an alliance IC, this game thrives on conflict and it would be even more lame if we were all treatied to each other.
Mainly, I'm frustrated that politics is becoming even less-value driven and more reduced to "realpolitik" and OOC friendships. I put realpolitik in quotes because I think in order to look past principles or morals for more pratctical concerns, you have to have some principles or morals in the first place. Without that, there's really no compromise or tension in the choices you make - it's just a completely obvious and natural affiinity for whichever side has the bigger numbers.
In other words, if you don't have a moral compass guiding your alliance to help you distinguish who's a good match for you and who's not, then what difference does it make who's on your side beyond your OOC buddies? X mil NS is X mil NS whether it's GOONS or Valhalla or RnR or VE. However, that eventually gets us to a place where in-game friend and foe are completely arbitrary and transient functions of how the ever-shifting treaty web is playing out in that cycle. If all you're interested in is hanging out on IRC with OOC friends and clicking buttons once a year, no problem. Wars will still happen, but there will be no CB or at least no clear reason why those guys over there are the ones you should be fighting, and these guys in your coalition are the ones you're supporting. If you want to treat this game as any kind of political simulator, with an emergent narrative and points of debate to engage in, you're going to be completely SOL.
Some of you might think this is just because Polaris is on the wrong side of the power balance right now, but I'd rather lose a "Good vs. Evil" struggle than win an arbitrary war with no CB, where no one even cares why they're fighting or who's on which side. If we're going to do that, then let's at least pick teams OOC beforehand so we can have an even fight, just for the challenge of it.
So this brings us to DBDC, which as been the focal point of a lot of moral-type discussion. I honestly don't want to spark the same debate going on in that thread, but I have to point out that by any real world standard, or standard by which 90% of AA's operate in CN, DBDC would be considered "the bad guys." Or at least, an extremely aggressive group that doesn't respect the norms that place a check on untempered violence, and that make no effort at justifying any of this. Any country in the modern RL war would face an enormous, global backlash. There would be UN resolutions, sanctions from larger nations, etc. DBDC's behavior is extreme even by CN standards, where we've been too apathetic to care about tech raiding the unaligned.
So my request to you is this: think for one minute about what your nation and alliance stand for, if anything, and wonder about whether your role in the Cyberverse is even remotely coherent or consistent with this position. For instance, if you've outright banned tech raiding, there is probably a reason for that, and it just might mean that the more aggressive, amoral alliances shouldn't be a natural fit. Ask yourselves which alliances IC are a good match for yours. And if they all seem pretty much the same, including yours, then you're starting to see the problem.
If you do this moment of soul-searching and decide that your AA isn't concerned at all about principles, and will do whatever serves it best, regardless of what it does to other people, then congratulations: you're RPing a band of sociopaths. That's awesome! I'm being completely genuine here: people RPing alliances that are bloodthirsty and completely indifferent to law/morals/ethics would be great for the game. But don't support others who do that on one hand, and then play yourselves off as a milquetoast, harmless group of good guys that just wants to get along with everyone. That's incoherent and, more importantly, LAME. You can do whatever you want! Tech raid neutrals! Start rolling tiny AA's just because you can! You don't have morals, remember, and you'll probably have fun.
You see, I don't hate DBDC for doing what they do. I hate the rest of you for being so apathetic about the political sim aspect of the game that it doesn't even register for what it is.
tl,dr: Figure out if your AA has IC values (or no morals at all) and then RP it, and we'll all have a much more interesting game.
I'm late here but that shouldn't come as a surprise given that I only got around to my holiday thank yous last night. :3
Despite the fact that Kashmir was smaller than just about all other parties involved in the ongoing war, and despite the fact that we warranted the focus of an alliance several times our size (while we were focusing our own efforts on another alliance a few times our size), we finished the war with a 1.64:1 damage inflicted:damage sustained ratio (as well as the 25th most damage inflicted out of 71 alliances involved). That follows an initial blitz where we tallied a 10:1 ratio out of the gates with 76 wars declared. Ultimately we were found at one point to have the 9th most efficient war effort by Unknown Smurf’s calculations. Forgive the boasting but in a world where it’s too easy to ignore or marginalize micros $%&@ being humble, you \m/embers did one hell of a job and you should all be proud.
Credit though where credit is due, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our fabulous allies and friends. tJL has had our backs for as long as I care to remember, this war being no exception. They were there for us and with us every step of the way this war and for that I am grateful. We may not enjoy the same type of relationship with AI but you all have been great as well and I look forward to getting closer to you in the coming months. SRA was fabulous in providing us support on The Legion when they too had no obligation to. They bent over backwards for us numerous times, without solicitation, and that we appreciate. NSO has been in our corner seemingly from our inception and this war they demonstrated just that. This despite the fact they were already actively engaging another combatant. Much love, NSO. It would be remiss of me not to mention PPO and Kaskus, you two indirectly provided us crucial relief. Props!
I should probably thank PSpiz and Fen Dorbek of SUN and killer04 of The Legion, as well as KingWilliam of Invicta, for their efforts in securing peace and for being reasonable throughout the process. Unfortunately the only enemy combatant shout-outs I have are for Thrash and a SUN member whose name I don’t remember. It was nice the little bit of chatting we did. Kudos on a fun fight (blast your EMPs however).
Which brings me to the apology. SRA/Kaskus: In hindsight I should have anticipated the reaction the manner in which I announced peace in the Disorder War would generate. In additional hindsight you’re both comprised of swell dudes (SRA especially, I couldn’t be any happier at how we’ve mended bridges and stand at each other’s sides) and neither of you really deserved the resultant consternation. My apologies.
tl;dr: Thank you \m/embers, thank you allies, and thank you former foes.
Tires squeeled and screeched as a white pick-up truck pulled up to the police line surrounding Strip Squad. The roaring fire by now was put out, and left were only the soggy remains of the gentlemen's club.
The driver's door opened, and out stepped a thin, scruffy-haired man. He wore a loose-fitting brown overcoat down to his knees. A close inspection would reveal many patches of coffee-stains - battle scars of the press-room. As he violently opened and closed the driver's door, a coffee mug shattered on the asphalt below. It was barely noticed, as this reporter was transfixed on his notepad.
He muttered to himself. "This is the big one. This is the biggest story from this town in years. This one's going to put me on the map." His hands slightly shook as he scrawled down anything he could think of.
"A sea of police and fire trucks."
"This is going to be great! Great! Great!" He kept scrawling notes, but his hand stopped at the sight of a tall, uniformed officer with blond hair and blue eyes. In a sea of chaos and charcoal, this officer was managing an organized search, directing his subordinates through burnt, wooden remains. The reporter's instincts quickly took over.
"Officer! Officer!" He approached the building as close as he could, and waved his hand through some caution tape. "Officer!"
Lt. Starfox looked out of the corner of his eye, seeing a frantic hand waving back and forth. He sighed, and slowly walked towards him.
"Excuse me sir, we're in the middle of an important investigation." Began Starfox, "I'd like to ask you to step bac-"
"This is GeniusInc from the Apathy Report. Can you answer some questions for the paper? What happened here? What is being investigated? How did the New Polar Order screw up this time?"
Starfox was unfazed, and replied back in a firm voice. "Please step back. We will have a press-conference in a couple of hours."
Genius barked back across the line. "Are you admitting fault for the fire? Is the New Polar Order adopting a policy of burning down civilian homes? Is the -"
Starfox let out a deep sigh. He closed his eyes and prepared to repeat his words, but was interrupted by an excited voice over his shoulder.
"Lieutenant! Lieutenant!" An officer ran out from the burnt-out building. "I think we found something! There's something below... boxes! Yeah, lots of boxes!"
Genius watched the Lieutenant's eyes quickly widen. The once calm and collected Lieutenant was startled and stiffly began moving to the building. His steps paced faster and faster as he broke into a full sprint. While running, he called out behind him.
"Great work! Now get that press-guy out of here!" The last of these words grew fainter as Starfox disappeared into the wreckage.
Genius began at once, "What did you find?!"
He was immediately grabbed by the arm.
"Do you want to leave here by yourself or in a stretcher?" The officer growled.
"What did you find?! Are you threatening the press?!" Genius quickly pulled his arm back into his possession. "Is this what Polar has come to!? You will hear from my lawyer!"
Both men glared at each other before Genius turned back from the police line. The upper right arm of his coat had a black, charcoal-ed handprint. Genius stormed back to his white pick-up truck. The door slammed open and shut. He buried his forehead on the wheel in thought.
"Something isn't right here." He mumbled to himself. "That Lieutenant wasn't acting normal."
"This is Sheriff Dajobo speaking. Come in. Lieutenant, Come in."
"This is Lieutenant Starfox reporting in. The fire is out. Some of the officers are burned, but there are no casualties. We haven't been able to find Sergeant Tywin though."
"Tywin will be fine. Anyway those !@#$%^&* got away. They pulled away from us on the highway. How are things over there?"
"The hell? What do you mean fine? One doesn't go missing in a fire and come out fine."
"Look, just don't worry about it... uh... him. Anyway, did you find anything?"
"Yessir! Boxes and boxes. They were running quite the operation here. There's enough tech here to buy a top-tier wonder."
"Attaboy Lieutenant! Now get some rest, I'll call over some transport from HQ. Just sit tight and they'll be over to pick it up in 15 minutes."
"Don't worry, I'll load it up and drive it to HQ."
"Nahhhh. You did well, don't push yourself. Get some rest and let someone else do the work."
"I'm fine Sheriff. Let me take care of it."
"Get some rest Starfox. It's an order."
"Starfox, hello? Starfox?"
"I can't let you do that Sheriff."
"I apologize my dear, but I'll be transporting that tech.."
"Starfox, is everything ok? Why are you talking in a British accent? Just go home and get some -"
"Sorry chap. God save the queen."
"GODDAMNIT!" Dajabo screamed in his squad-car.
His thick hands gripped the wheel tighter and tighter. He let go with his right arm and slammed his arm rest, before fumbling for his radio receiver once more.
"Come in HQ. This is Sheriff Dajobo."
"Call received. Whats wrong Sheriff?"
"There's no time. Enact imperial order 47. Immediately."
"But sir! You can't do that! They aren't ready! It's dangerous! There was only one prototype and it was barely stable - "
"I don't care. Get the Tywin-bots ready. We have to hunt ourselves a rat."
Witnesses would remember a peculiar site from that night on Main street . A giant black van raced down the road. The windows were shut, but inside could be heard a blaring anthem:
God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen
Following it was a white pick-up truck.
[08:08] Topic for #d00msquad: Welcome to Doom Squad's official and public channel! | Please check out our forums at http://d00msquad.forumotion.com | IRC Commands: http://!@#$%*.com/raw.php?i=qvyeih5U | Now with more pink | Type !votehelp for help
[08:08] Topic set by Ghost [Wed Dec 31 2014 11:13:57]
[08:08] Mode: [+v Tywin_Lannister] by ChanServ
[08:08] Channel modes: [+mntrR]
[08:08] Channel created: Wed Sept 24 2014 16:24:50
[08:08] Users: [Total: 20, Admins: 1, Ops: 1, HalfOps: 6, Voices: 12, Normal: 0]
[08:09] <+Tywin_Lannister> Hmmm
[08:09] <+Tywin_Lannister> I have discovered a new barbarian frontier channel
[08:10] <+Tywin_Lannister> I must bring forth my mission before the brigand chieftain bans me from the village
[08:11] <+Tywin_Lannister> This village is a proud and warlike one
[08:11] <+Hakora_Kiyanto[NPO]> Ghost, I think he just asked you to ban him.
[08:12] <+Tywin_Lannister> Indeed it wields the whips of the God King
[08:12] <+brucemna[NPO]> i hear that too
[08:12] <+Tywin_Lannister> It drives the slave armies forth to slaughter
[08:12] <+Tywin_Lannister> Hmm it seems NPO is already here
[08:13] <+Hakora_Kiyanto[NPO]> We are everywhere.
[08:13] <+brucemna[NPO]> ^^^
[08:13] <+Tywin_Lannister> have you been enjoying the barbarian women?
[08:14] * Tywin_Lannister sits down at the great barbarian table
[08:14] * Tywin_Lannister reaches under his armor for a long pipe of pakalolo
[08:15] <+brucemna[NPO]> naw just enjying the polarbear cub laughter
[08:15] <+brucemna[NPO]> slaughter*
[08:15] <+Tywin_Lannister> Last I checked the cubs are out hunting fur seals
[08:16] <+Tywin_Lannister> They bring back many pelts
[08:16] Join: BL[dinrar] [coldfront-9A71A91C.ppp.onetel.net.uk]
[08:16] Mode: [+v BL[dinrar]] by ChanServ
[08:16] <+Tywin_Lannister> I think it is good military training for our new members so they do not adopt a weak and bourgeois mentality
[08:17] * Tywin_Lannister lights the pakalolo
[08:17] <+Tywin_Lannister> Someone pass me a barbarian ale, please
[08:18] Quit: Blue [Ping timeout]
[08:18] <+brucemna[NPO]> Naw we only share it with our fellow hunters
[08:18] <+Tywin_Lannister> Suit yourself
[08:18] * Tywin_Lannister takes pulishers ale
[08:19] <+Sith> pulishers ale?
[08:19] <+brucemna[NPO]> pee water
[08:19] <+PuliSher> the heck
[08:20] <+Tywin_Lannister> Ahhh
[08:20] * Tywin_Lannister takes a map out on the table
[08:20] * Tywin_Lannister stabs it with a knife
[08:21] <+Tywin_Lannister> That there is going to be my next target
[08:21] <+Sith> where?
[08:21] <+brucemna[NPO]> me i hope
[08:21] <+Tywin_Lannister> DT Probes
[08:22] <+brucemna[NPO]> what you going to do if NPO sends aid to DBDC
[08:22] * Tywin_Lannister takes another swig of pulishers ale
[08:22] <+Tywin_Lannister> Whatever my Emperor commands
[08:22] Join: Generalchow [coldfront-7FAB3990.range86-136.btcentralplus.com]
[08:22] Mode: [+h Generalchow] by ChanServ
[08:23] * Tywin_Lannister wrenches knife from table and sheathes it
[08:23] <+brucemna[NPO]> Chow chow o/
[08:23] <%Generalchow> Hi
[08:23] Mode: [+b *!*@coldfront-D7E385D8.pools.spcsdns.net] by Ghost
[08:23] You were kicked from #d00msquad by Ghost [Ghost]
[08:23] **** Rejoining after 5 seconds ****
[08:23] #d00msquad :Cannot join channel (+b)
So, I've been playing Hearthstone for a few months now. The release of the latest expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, has really altered the game a lot and made a lot more deck ideas viable. Cancer Hunter has slowly stopped being the only thing you run into, and there is a much more diverse hero selection going on these days.
No, I'm not that crazy guy that spends a ton of money on packs. That's insane. I'm mostly free to play, with the exception of the Naxxramas Adventure which was my Christmas present to myself. My favorite decks to play are Druid, Shaman, and Paladin. Overall though, I don't really dislike any class, save those few which I don't really have all the cards available to build a viable deck.
Anyone else play? Anyone interested in setting up a duel now and again? If anyone is interested, feel free to add me (Scourge#1725)
If enough people are interested, I'll put together a little tournament.
There was Kevin, the One, who in CN is called Admin, and he made first the moderators, who were offspring of his thought, and they sang before him, and he was glad. And they created a music that began with each moderator alone creating a tune, and it joined together as a great music, and the music went forth into the void, and it was not void.
And soon, the Nation Rulers came into the song, and the Light of Admin filled the void and gave it substance. And all the Nation Rulers that are, and were to be, were all there, existing before memory and time, each contributing according to his own nature. And the music was harmonious, and it produced Order. And in the music there were no flaws.
And before them came images of the treaty web, and alliance sovereignty, and the Casus Belli, and to most this seemed fair and wondrous, the creations of Order.
But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Cubaquerida to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Admin, for he sought to increase the power and the glory of the part assigned to himself. To Cubaquerida among the Nation Rulers had been given the greater part of power and knowledge. For it was that desire had grown hot within him to bring into being thoughts of his own.
Some of these thoughts he began to weave into music, and many around him grew despondent and faltered, but some began to join in his theme. Then the harmony of Order was broken, and the sound became turbulent and Chaotic. And while the music of Order was still harmonious, and deep and wide and slow, but the discord of Cubaquerida and his followers was like the braying of trumpets, few in note but loud and terrible. And it attempted to drown the music of Order in the violence of its voice, but its most triumphant notes seemed to be taken by the music of Order as its own.
And like a vision of horror the Nation Rulers saw before them themes of Chaos, and the breaking of sovereignty, and the rejection of the Casus Belli, and the image of Tyranny. But not all thought it was horrible.
And Admin stopped the music, and saying to the hosts "Mighty are the Nation Rulers, and mightiest among them will be Cubaquerida, though he will only reveal his power after many ages.
"And Thou Cubaquerida, you will see that your theme has its utterest origin in me, and your countless donations and parasitical actions will only prove to be mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful."
And Cubaquerida was filled in shame, from which came secret anger.
"Step on it! Step on it!" Hershey screamed in terror, "They're gaining fast!"
"I can't help it for now!" said an exasperated Cuba, "Once we hit the open road this baby will pull away!"
The Red Mustang sped down Main street, with 10 sets of flashing lights in tow. Cuba's hands were beginning to shake. He pumped the breaks and veered onto a side road. The Mustang careened left, overshooting the turn. the right tail of the car clipped a lamp-post before speeding down the road.
"Can't you !@#$@#$ drive straight?!" Hershey was braced against the mid-armrest of the car. "You may not value your own life, but I swear to god if you take me with you -"
"Give me some tech." Cuba snarled.
Hershey looked stunned. "You're in this situation and you want to get high?!?!"
"Grab the needle and give me the tech woman! I need some to take the edge off! I haven't had any in the last hour.... it will help me drive just give me a damn shot!"
"You're that addicted huh..." Hershey said blankly. "Whatever, grit your teeth because I only have one arm to do this and the car isn't steady."
Hershey fumbled through the metal box under her feet. She grabbed a needle and filled it within seconds. With little subtlety, she jammed the needle in Cuba's right arm, quickly injecting the silver solution into his veins. Cuba let out a scream, and his spine shook. The car swerved right, but quickly straightened out.
Cuba exhaled. His hands were steady, and seemed to melt into the steering wheel.. The world seemed to move slowly around him. His shoulders dropped and he straightened his back.
"Thank you. Now get that needle out of my arm and we will take care of this mess."
Hershey noticed the change right away, and quickly withdrew the needle. She opened the window and tossed it outside.
"Just get us out of here." She muttered, gripping the armrest once again. She closed her eyes, continuously repeating her words.
"Just get us out of here." She muttered, as the car quickly turned right. She was pushed into the armrest by the turn, but it was a surprisingly gentle force.
"Just get us out of here."
She was slowly placed against the back of her seat as the engine roared and the car surged forward. As she opened her eyes, she could see nothing but black on the road ahead of her. The starry sky was no longer drowned out by the pink neon lights. Hershey grabbed the head of her seat and turned around. The pursuit of flashing lights was far into the distance, growing smaller and smaller with every passing second.
She sank back in her chair and sighed. "I owe you one."
Cuba was silent, staring at the road ahead.
"It's just like the old days." Hershey continued. "You were always so good with the wheel..."
Her voice trailed off as she looked through the passenger window. The desert was pitch black, and the white speckled sky was hypnotizing. After a few minutes, she seemed to spring back to life.
"So where do we go?" She popped out of her chair assertively. "Your friends live a few hours out of the city, right?"
"Yeah." Said a stoic Cuba. "We're going to the Doom Cave. Let me text the guys."
Should've never let me out of the cage....
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be
The ace of spades, the ace of spades
Motorhead - Ace of Spades:
If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man
You win some, lose some, it's all the same to me
The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say
I don't share your greed, the only card I need is
The ace of spades, the ace of spades
Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil
Going with the flow, it's all a game to me
Seven or Eleven, snake eyes watching you
Double up or quit, double stake or split
The ace of spades, the ace of spades
You know I'm born to lose and gambling's for fools
But that's the way I like it, baby
I don't wanna live for ever
And don't forget the joker
Pushing up the ante, I know you got to see me
Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be
The ace of spades, the ace of spades
White is mine!
It's not a revival, it's a revolution.
Hardcore Lulzists: Part 3
Ghost and Hershey were crouched under one of the front windows. As the Sheriff shouted over the megaphone, employer and employee stared at each other.
"Did they change their name from Pacific recently?" Ghost pondered. "That's so strange... why would they change something like-"
By now, Hershey's face was as red as her hair.
"You bribed the wrong <censored>'ing Order you dumb <censored>! I pay you to do you job, not to jack off in the back and stick needles into your arms!"
Ghost expression was blank. He started,
"Yell at me later, we have more pressing concerns now."
Hershey's seething anger was quickly subdued, as she acknowledged the danger they were in.
"We're going to have to abandon this place." she nodded, "I'll get Cuba. Get ready to burn this joint down."
Hershey ran off towards the back.
"Cuba!" she shouted, "We gotta get out of here! We're loading as much tech as we can into the car, get going!"
Cuba was surprised, but nodded compliantly. Hershey continued.
"Stack as many boxes as you can carry by the side door. We're going to make a run for the car when Ghost gets back."
Meanwhile, Ghost ran to the bar and fumbled under the counter. He found a pack of cigars, and quickly lit one to steady his hands. As he inhaled the smoke, he began grabbing bottles of liquor and throwing them around the room.
"I'm almost done!" Yelled Ghost, "Get read-"
But as he was about throw the last bottle, a black van burst through the stage, rocking the building to it's core. Ghost was thrown off his feet and towards the floor. Wooden shrapnel sprayed across the inside of the building. Hershey and Cuba were thrown into the side wall.
"!@#$!" Hershey yelled, her right arm tattered and bruised. "Ghost, we need to get out of here!"
"I'm OK!" Ghost shouted back, "Take Cuba and go!"
Hershey paused, but burst out the side door a second later, carrying a box in her working arm. Cuba followed with four boxes, barreling down the alley towards the garage door. Out of the broken stage and flying debris, the S.W.A.T. personnel emerged from the black van, spraying the room in bullets. NpO officers simultaneously broke down the front door, swarming into the building.
The shooting stopped after 10 seconds, and Tywin made his way forward with a megaphone.
"Attention lulzist fiends!" he started, "If you have survived, our emperor will grace you with his mercy. Please come out slowly and put your hands in the air."
"I surrender, don't shoot!" Ghost yelled, behind the bar. He waived a white cleaning cloth over the counter, still ducking to avoid the hail of bullets.
"Hail there you scum!" Tywin yelled. "Come out with your hands in the air! The Honorable Emperor, Djaboo, of the New Polar Order, will accept your surrender!"
Ghost looked up at the ceiling. He felt a slight warmth on his leg. His cigar too managed to survive the attack, and he quickly took another puff and smiled. It was the first time he had felt anything since his tech addiction robbed him of his feelings years ago. With a quiet sigh, he put his hands in the air, the cigar in his mouth, and walked from behind the counter.
He turned the bar corner to see hundreds of officers, guns pointed directly his way. He couldn't help but break a smile.
"Even surrender does not rob you of your lulzist nature I see..." Tywin monologued, "yet fear not, the divine ways of our Emperor will help you see the light. You will see the flaws in your philosophy and come to see the truth of moral-ism and the order. You shall come with us-"
"I'm not coming with you," Ghost chuckled, "I just wanted to look cool in the end."
Ghost flicked back his head, his sunglasses rolling down from his hair to his eyes.
"It's time to sell off some infra."
"Shoot him!" Screamed Tywin, "Shoot that lulzist scum!"
Ghost quickly turned, throwing his cigar towards the back of the bar. Any other man would have been stopped by the hail of rifle fire, but Ghost couldn't feel a thing. His body riddled with holes, he watched the cigar sailed though the air towards the back of the bar. He laughed slowly, as warmth slowly gave way to cold.
A couple of cigar embers quickly roared into a fire, as thousands of dollars of shattered liquor lit up the floor like a candle. First the bar was engulfed, followed by the stage in seconds.
Tywin watched the fire through his goggles. He stared forlornly.
"I have failed my emperor..." he muttered. "...I will accept my death."
Tywin let the blaze overtake him, without so much as an utterance.
Outside, Sheriff Djaboo watched the blaze spread, clenching his binoculars as his officers fled the flame in panic.
"Call the Fire Department," he screamed, "tell them to bring the copter! We need those sons of <censored> alive!"
The corner of his eye caught a bright white light. Even through the roaring flame, he could hear the sound of an engine. Out of the alley way burst a bright red mustang. It burst through two cop cars, screeched left, and sped down Main street.
Djaboo scrambled to his radio.
"Suspects going down Main! Need 10 cars to pursue! "
He fumbled for his keys, finally starting the car. As he gave chase, he shouted back towards the panicked scene.
"Lieutenant Starfox is in charge until I get back!"
Behind the bright red mustang followed 10 sets of flashing lights, all speeding towards the outskirts of the city.
"Come in Double-O 8. Come in O-O-8. Respond. Come in O-O-8. Respond."
"This is Agent O-O-8."
"Where have you been Agent!? You've been off-grid for hours! What is the situation?"
"Come now C. You can't expect me to be in contact all the time. It would blow my cover darling."
"Situation report now."
"Aren't you going to ask me about my day? Surely you must be worried about the well-being of your best agent - "
"I swear to god Starfo-."
"Now now C, everything is fine, don't get rash and blow my cover.. It is all going according to plan. Agent O-O-8 out."
The blond, blue-eyed Lieutenant put down his phone, watching the panicked scene with amusement.
"Their plan was surprisingly good. I was worried for a minute there..." he chuckled, slowly walking towards the blaze.
"Well, I suppose it's time we start things up. God save the queen, hail Mi6."
Hardcore Lulzists: Part 2
The streets once bathed in pink were quickly overwhelmed in a sea of flashing blue lights. One-hundred cruisers and three-hundred uniformed men swarmed around the corner, taking up positions up-and-down the street.
Out of the sea of uniforms, a burly, bald man slammed a car door and walked to the front of the formation. He was not a tall figure, but he was extremely well built. His thick stature made him stand out from the rest of his blue-uniformed companions. As he was handed a megaphone, he seemed uncomfortable - a feeling exacerbated by a uniform a few sizes too small.
"This is Sheriff Djaboo of the N.p.O. You are under arrest for the illegal distribution of tech. We have you surrounded. Please come out with your hands in the air."
Inside the building, Hershey furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "N.P.O.?!" She shouted back, "The <censored>, I thought we made peace with you guys-"
He was cut off by a visibly frustrated Dabjoo.
"It's lower-case 'p' you <censored>!" he screamed back.
The sheriff quickly snapped his head to his officers.
"They probably won't go peacefully, get ready to storm the front."
The 300 NpO officers were silent. A couple of heavy sighs were heard, but all were prepared to do their duty. Rifles were brought forward, firing positions were taken, and armored personnel quietly approached the face of the old strip-club. Djaboo briskly walked to the back of the firing line.
"Where's the S.W.A.T. commander?" He barked.
A man head-to-toe in body armor rushed up to Djaboo. His face and other distinguishing features were covered by his helmet and goggles, yet the less-armored portions of his body seemed unusually thin for a professional.
"S.W.A.T. commander Tywin present, my Emperor."
He folded his arm under his chest and deeply bowed his head.
"I am ready serve you my lord. We will punish and purge these haute-lulzists who sow the seeds of such chaos and destruction in our city. We will purge the forces of parasitism from-"
Djaboo let out an angry grumble.
"For the last time Sergeant, I am NOT your Emperor," he growled, "I am your superior officer. You will address me as 'sir' or 'Sheriff,' understand?"
"Sir, yes, Emperor sir!" shouted Tywin, almost fanatically, as he knelt to the ground.
"Oh for <censored>'s sake..." muttered Djaboo. "Whatever. Start the operation Sergeant."
Tywin bowed his head. At a quick motion of his hands, seven fully-armored S.W.A.T. personnel all quickly packed into a black-armored van. Tywin quickly jumped into the back, and the van slowly crawled away from the building.
Sheriff Djaboo sat behind the barricade of police cars, scoping the scene through his pair of binoculars. A tall, blue-eyed officer approached him from the side.
"Sherrif, are you sure it's OK to entrust this operation to Sergeant Tywin?"
"Oh, Lieutenant Starfox. Don't worry about it. The Seargent may be a bit... unusual... but he has his talents... excuse me for a minute..." muttered Djaboo, as he returned to his binoculars, "...just start the operation when Tywin is in position."
The young Lieutenant bore a worried look on his face, as he returned to his squad car. He looked down the street, and saw the black van in position, 300 meters down the street from the side of the building. Starfox picked up the radio receiver.
"Start the operation, impact in 10 seconds. God help the New Polar Order."
The street was silent except for the sound of an ignition. The lights of the black van flickered on, and it screeched to a start. The lumbering 3-ton vehicle reached 25 miles-per-hour as it careened towards the side-wall of the building.
Hardcore Lulzists: Part 1
Main-street was bathed in pink - hundreds of neon signs flashed in every direction, all beckoning potential customers in this gambling town. This was truly a city of sin, with casinos and clubs all competing to part men with their money.
"STRIP SQ_AD" read the neon sign on one such establishment - at the corner of Main and 5th. It was one of many seedy "gentlemen's clubs" in the area. It would have been indistinguishable on any other night. But tonight, a bright red, polished mustang roared down the street. It made a sharp left turn into the alleyway, parking in the garage at the back. The engine shut off, and out walked a large figure in a black overcoat. He carried a large metal suitcase in his left hand.
A smaller woman burst out of the side alley-way door. Her fiery red hair and eyes matched the color of the car, and her eyes lit up as she locked onto the man in black. She was dressed in white, business casual attire - an unusual sight for a woman at such a place.
"Cuba Q! Welcome welcome!" She smiled warmly, "Please, come inside! I have much to show you!"
"It's a pleasure as always Hershey," said the man in black. "You're as beautiful as always."
Cuba bent down and gave her a peck on the cheek. A smiling Hershey grabbed his arm, and the size-mismatched couple hurried inside.
A wall of noise greeted them at the door. Dance music blared in a room full of men and scantily clad women. The men all stood around the main stage cheering and tossing their salaries towards the poles. Neither Cuba Q nor Hershey seemed interested in this scene, as they walked toward a room in the back.
A door behind the corner bar led to a small room. The only amenities were a desk, two chairs, and an escape from the noise. Cuba sat down and laughed.
"I'm always amazed that a woman can run a place like this."
"Cut the small-talk," snapped back Hershey, "you know why we're here. You said you can't pay in cash. What gives?"
"Fine fine." muttered Cuba, as he fumbled for a key in his pocket, "We've been doing business for quite a while. I want to set up a new deal."
"What, is 6/100 not good enough for you?" snarled Hershey.
"Just wait until you see this..." Cuba found the key, and slowly opened the case. The inside was lined with rows of diamonds.
Hershey looked stunned, mesmerized by the glitter of the gems.
"Oh my god..." she whispered, "how much are you looking to buy?"
"All of it." said Cuba, "Provided it's high quality."
"Only the highest quality," replied Hershey, slowly regaining her composure. "Let me show you a sample."
Hershey bolted outside the room, returning in seconds with a metal box. Here, take a look. She opened the lid.
"This is the highest quality tech you can find. Take a sample. Taste it. It's from Columbia, made and purified entirely with the finest child labor in South America. It doesn't get better than this-"
She was interrupted by a knock on the door.
"It's me, Ghost!" said an urgent voice from the other side. "The Order is out front!"
"What!?" Hershey shouted, "I thought we paid them off?"
"We did!" answered Ghost. "I don't know what's going on!"
"Cuba, stay here!" said Hershey, as she ran into the main room. The music was off, and customers were apprehensive as sirens and lights blared outside.
"Girls, get the customers out of here! The basement path will lead you five blocks down the street. Get the hell out of here while we fix this mess." Naked women and confused men slowly funneled towards a door behind the stage. Within minutes, the once bustling room was empty. Hershey slowly walked to the front, ducked down, and took a peek through the corner of the window.
Outside were rows of flashing lights and police cars, labeled "N.p.O."
Will Hershey and Cuba get out of this mess?
What are the motives of the "N.p.O."?
Find out in Part 2, coming tomorrow @ 8pm server!
The Genius of the Crowd:
By Charles Bukowski
There is enough treachery hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day
and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace
those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love
beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect
like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
their finest art
This poem, one that I had read some time ago, really spoke to me on the nature of CN. Take it for what it is, and interpret it's meaning with regards to CN as much as you like, just figured i'd share.