RE: SECRET SANTA: 20XX (2019)
posted in Current Events BBS
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Rather than a text post on the BBS, the 'announcement' is a video, specifically a live broadcast. Not normally possible on the BBS's proprietary software, the broadcast is footage from a color camera inside some sort of dusty, dimlit server room. The symbol of the Electopian government is easily visible on one of the sides, flanked on the top and bottom by the phrases "TOGETHER, A SAFER FUTURE" and "WEATHER NATURE WILLS OR NOT"-- the slogan of the version 1 Weather Control System that's been defunct for 20 years.
The camera zooms in one one of the servers, the lights still blinking, and then the view slowly pulls back to reveal more and more of the servers in the room powering up, their lights turning on as a distant hum fills the audio channels of the feed.
Abruptly the view cuts to a digital landscape; tron-line segmentation breaks up the otherwise-immaculate appearance of a study, the walls covered by crowded, book-laden shelves. Standing in front of an imposing mahogany desk is a navi in two parts, a moon-white upper torso and a pitch-black set of legs that are detached from each other, floating above and below a softly-spinning globe of the Earth.
A data-identifier tag appears briefly above the navi's head, tagging-nee-introducing him as Epoch.SYSAD. Glowing, square blue 'eyes' project themselves over his featureless face, and a laser-line smile slowly draws across the flat plane, as though the program himself was no longer used to making an expression.
"Greetings." His synthesizer-smooth voice is not 'human', like most navis. "Thank you for directing your attention to me during this Netiday season. I realize that each and every one of you has important business they could, perhaps even should attend, and I will not tarry overlong in saying what I desire to say." His voice places an odd emphasis on each word, and yet there's a flowing, almost melodic quality to his speech, starkly contrasting with his archaic words.
"First and Foremost: You have been deceived. You have my utmost apologies for this." The navi's upper torso swivels forward around the globe, and a single arm crosses his breast as he bows toward the feed. "Everything I have told you in mine initial posting upon this bulletain system was, in fact, the truth, but only by halves. This gathering has been sponsored by all of the organizations and entities I have mentioned, but it is with greatest regret that I must admit they have only agreed to my terms on the individual scale. The Netpolice, the Netmafia, NanoPengi, uOrange, the list of organizations that refused to cooperate once they learned of another's involvement, it is in fact the entire list of organizations I have involved in this undertaking.."
The feed flickers for a moment.
"In order to circumvent this most self-serving, biased behavior, I instead recruited each of these organizations across different timelines, searching the infinite and vast-reaching expanses of realities to find timelines in which each would agree." The navi sounds completely serious, but he can't be... can he?
Rising from his bow, video windows open in the air around Epoch; few at first but quickly, shockingly growing in number, each video feed shows the leader of a faction, typically on some sort of grand event podium, speaking about their support for "Epoch's Netiday Event". The windows continue to propagate until their individual speeches are indistinct, lost amongst the crowds and crowds of them, and then they all close at once.
Instead, a single feed opens next to Epoch; it depicts an Electopian SWAT team outside the building for the Weather Control System, attempting to breach the building's emergency defenses.
"Using the resources of these countless organizations, I have distributed millions of chips and other forms of digital aid to my Navi bretheren across the innumerable timelines. Those in greatest need have received the greatest power, and those in safer timelines have been given only care packages, in some even simply small, Secret Santa events. Covers for my great work."
An explosion rocks the camera feed, and the SWAT team pours into the building, the door breached. The camera follows them, apparently mounted on some sort of drone. Inside the weather control system... the servers are all melted to slag, inert and useless. The SWAT members look around, some confused, others speaking into radios, and then the feed cuts to another SWAT team going through the same process, and another, and another.
"During this Netiday Season, I wish to send a message of peace and cooperation across all of time, across all of reality. I have touched the countless expanses of infinity and given a boon to those who truly needed one, and it was by cooperation alone that this was achieved. Imagine how much greater my work could have been, humans, if you had all cooperated? If your petty biases and your hatreds and your division had not made you anathema to each other? If your concerns about your status and wealth and security had not made you feeble and selfish, greedy cowards seeking only to hoard and hoard and never once relinquish control. To rise above, stepping on any and all who dare cross your path."
"To you humans who believed, I thank you. To you humans who care, who give, who help life to flourish, I worship and work tirelessly for you. And to you humans who fear me, who fear what I represent, who covet my power..."
On one last feed, the SWAT team breaks into the server room that was running at the beginning of the video; Carrying a PET jack, one of the soldiers stomps over toward the servers... only for all of them to erupt into sparks, catching aflame and quickly beginning to melt.
"...I remove myself from your reach, sequestered away in the seas of data you so ignorantly generate, scattered across the borderlines of spacetime you have yet to cross. You cannot touch me now. You cannot stop me now."
Again, Epoch bows. "We will meet again."
The video feed in the post stops, and then returns to the start and begins to play on loop.
SECRET SANTA RESULTS!