05 June 2008, 00:38
Dr. Theosuphus Squirrel the third threw his MFWD down on the desk in anger. Unfortunately however, he had left the device switched to 'ink' instead of 'laser' causing it to splatter a fair amount of blue editing liquid all over his glasses.
"Damn!" Bloody writing devices. He could never remember what setting he'd left it on. This technology was what - twenty years old. He'd been using one since he started senior school, you'd think he'd be used to it by now. He wiped his glasses clean with some multi-fibrous and stared back at the screen in front of him.
The all too familiar heavy black writing spun around and around, filling up the display and infuriatingly leaving trails and shadows on the foreboding scarlet background
"Network Permission Denied".. then in smaller writing: "The network decrees that you have inferior edu-status to access this information batch. Please upgrade your edu-status credentials and try later."
He scowled at the screen.
Try later... yeh right. Like in five years. His edu-status was one of this highest on this land mass. It would be at least three years before he could upgrade.
"Damn bloody network. I hate it" he yelled out loud without realising. Then immediately threw his hand across his mouth in horror. They might have heard! A quick glance at the comms panel down the side of the screen told him his mic had been disabled for 25 mins. Phew. He only had another 5 mins of mic-off before he overran the afternoon protocol for 'non-comm' status. They'd be ballooning him and then there'd be trouble. He switched it to mic-on in case he forgot and reminded himself to curse the network silently and only inside his head in future. At least they couldn't go in there. Yet.
Reaching forward he hit the 'query network' button on the comms panel immediately clearing the screen leaving the flashing cursor sitting in the parameter field. He'd redefine his search. He hit the button marked 'holographic input device' and sat back as the familiar whooshing sound filled the room for a few seconds and the keyboard materialised before him. Theosuphus had to smile to himself. Even though his father had worked on the holographic development team it still never failed to amaze him. He pushed memories of his dad to the back of his mind; tempted as he was to wallow there was work to be done.
He typed: 'Status Data: Prof. Perry Cormo' and hit enter all the while wondering just how many times at this stage he had run this search. Hundreds maybe. And, as usual, the search yielded no new results. He did, however, scan his eyes across the by now all-too-familiar data, hoping against hope for some network glitch since his last attempt. But no, it read as it always had.
Prof Perry Cormo.
Born: 1969. Nth Atlantic Archipelago, First Land Mass.
Year of Death: Unknown.
Place of Death: Unknown.
Edu-Status: Network Professor.
Last known locale: Fourth Land Mass.
Network Status: Wanted Exile, presumed dead due temporal factoring.
Global Status: Persona Non Gratis.
And then the usual network disclaimer stating that anyone who held any information about this PNG should contact a their Network Liasion Officer Immediately.
Below the data there sat the usual five buttons for any person who held network edu-status above tertiary school, namely: "Docu-Biog." "Publications." "Achievements." "Specialities." "Contact."
Theosophus didn't bother hitting any of them knowing that if he saw the large black writing on the scarlet screen informing him of his 'inferior edu-status' he would probably scream. Very loudly. And as the mic was back on really that was out of the question.
He cleared the search field again and tried another approach.
"Search: History: Pre-Network Era: Prof Perry Cormo"
The results came back instantaneously:
"Apologies. The Network holds no data for the search "History: Pre-Network Era: Prof Perry Cormo"
This made Theosophus smile - he daren't laugh out loud. Just to prove to himself how those bureaucratic data storage management twats up in Network HQ1 had their heads up their bums he cleared the screen and ran another search, again a search he had run many times before.
"Search: Publications: "The Four Ideologies" - and hit enter.
A small entry field popped up on the screen, "Information Restricted: Tertiary Edu-Status Only: Please Enter Your Tertiary-Edu ID code"
Theosophus typed in the 12 digit code, a code deeply inscribed on his brain ever since it had been issued to him, all those years ago when he had been chosen. As soon as he had input the last digit the screen filled with writing:
"The Four Ideologies. "Book. Publication Date: 2018.
Network Status: Dangerous. Subversive. Holders may be incarcerated.
Then the usual network blurb, Theosophus could almost smell the Network propaganda off it, dammit, he wrote this stuff on a daily basis for the network:
The Four Ideologies was a book written by the dangerous subversive edu-rebel Prof Perry Cormo.
Published in 2018 it is seen to have been the main causal agent in the Global War of 2020.
After the war during the non-war era [2022-2025] it is said to have circulated amongst underground rebel circles until the Network came to power in 2025. The book, along with most other pre-Network printed matter was burnt in the great purge of 2026.
However, many tertiary-edus feel the book may never have existed, arguing the cause of the Global War was the assassination of Polit-Giant Dr. Lou Cee by insurgent forces on his grand tour of the Second Land Mass in 2020. Rumours that Dr. Lou Cee may have been touring the Second Land Mass as a means of promoting "The Four Ideologies" have never been confirmed. Prof Perry Cormo disappeared from general circulation shortly after the book's publication."
PUBLICATION STATUS: Purged 2026.
EXTANT COPIES: Zero.
Printed Copies available: Zero.
Electronic Copies available: Zero.
END NETWORK REPORT: "The Four Ideologies"
Theosophus smiled to himself, knowingly.
"Printed Copies available: Zero" indeed.
He knew better.
But! He needed some more information before he could reveal his secret to the world. Information he had been searching for for five years now, ever since he had finished his doctoral E-theis.
There was a missing link, something he just couldn't find.
It was all so long ago, nearly two hundred and thirty years at this stage. His grand-great Uncle The Squirrel had been part of that great gang, Perry Cormo the writer, Bugle O'Boyd the world-leading psychologist, Elat Mc Raif the great artist - and leading them all to glory, their Great President, Dr. Lou Cee.
Ahhh... Theosophus closed his eyes and tried to imagine himself back in August 2018, the month he was now certain "The Four Ideologies" had been published. In paper. "Wow" he thought. Paper Books. What a novel idea.
Theosophus let his imagination wander back 230 years. The Great Dr. Lou Cee had been president of the First Land Mass back then. Except it hadn't been called that in 2018. No body quite knew what it had been called. And Dr. Lou had also been heading up some organisation called the United Nations. Theosophus had often wondered what a Nation was. It was obviously a purged word, pre-Network. Back then in the world of music Blurtette and The Mini's would have been blaring out of the radio-casters [or whatever they were called] - their big hit "Killer Heels". And they'd probably sat down to a meal they'd learnt how to prepare on the famous television show "Cooking with Clyde". Life sure seemed to have been good. They had been free. Idealists in an Ideal world.
Then "The Four Ideologies"
Then the Network.
Where had it all gone wrong?
The ringing of an incoming balloon interrupted his thoughts and brought him firmly back to 2248. The balloon ID reader informed him it was his good friend and colleague Dr. Frodo Four. He hit the 'accept incoming balloon' button and a hologram of Frodo Four's head filled the space directly in front of him.
"Whassup wanka?" Frodo Four yelled - his standard greeting.
"I think I'm onto something here Frodo Four" Theosophus siad.. "I really think I may have cracked it."
"Oh Man," Frodo Four's face scowled, "are you still banging on about all that ancient history. Its over - get over it."
"But I may be able to bring down the Net-"
"SHUT UP!" screamed Frodo Four, " much more important things have happened today, while you've had your head in the ancients."
"Like they've only just converted anti-matter into craft fuel!!"
Theosophus looked at Frodo Four's head, in disbelief.
This was big.
Frodo Four continued... "Man this is amazing, history in front of our eyes.... we can finally get out there and find another universe to live in... this planet is just so... so... so.. wasted dude."
Theosophus had his stellar-jacket on and was out the door before he even knew it.....
6 June 2008 @ 09:47
Perry - great blog.
Cookng with Clyde indeed. You make me sound like a right BIMBO
6 June 2008 @ 13:11
Excellent as always Mr Perry