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I n f o r m a t i o n, C o m m u n i c a t i o n, S u p p l y
E L E C T R O Z I N E
Established in 1993 by Deva Winblood
Information Communication Supply 10/18/94 Vol.2: Issue 1-1
Email To: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU
S T A F F : Email: ICS Positions:
============== ============ ==============
Steven Peterson STU388801940 Managing Editor, Writer
Russel Hutchinson STU524636420 Writer, Subscriptions
David Trosty STU069540593 Writer, Poetry Editor
George Sibley FAC_SIBLEY Editing, Faculty Supervisor
Others TBA All addresses @WSC.COLORADO.EDU
| "Art helps us accept the human condition; |
| technology changes it." |
\ - D.B. Smith /
| ICS is an Electrozine distributed by students of Western State |
| College in Gunnison, Colorado. We are here to gather information about |
| topics that are important to all of us as human beings. If you would like |
| to send in a submission, please type it into an ASCII format and email it |
| to us. We operate on the assumption that if you mail us something you |
| want it to be published. We will do our best to make sure it is |
| distributed and will always inform you when or if it is used. |
| See the end of this issue for submission information. |
REDISTRIBUTION: If any part of this issue is copied or used elsewhere
you must give credit to the author and indicate that the information
came from ICS Electrozine ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU.
DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the
views of the editors of ICS. Contributors to ICS assume all responsibilities
for ensuring that articles/submissions are not violating copyright laws and
| \ / |
| \ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S / |
| / \ |
| /________________________________________________\ |
| Included in the table of contents are some |
| generic symbols to help you in making a decision |
| as to whether an article or story may express |
| ideas or use language that may be offensive. |
| S = Sexual Content AL = Adult Language |
| V = Violence O = Opinions |
| 1) First Word: Commentary from the editor. |
| 2) On A Blue Note: Poetry By David Trosty. |
| 3) Will This Highway Go Anywhere New? : By George Sibley. |
| Editorial: Sibley gives us his take on the hype and |
| mangled metaphors used to push the infobahn [O]. |
| 4) Computer-Mediated Communication, Part 4, EBB systems: |
| By Steven Peterson. Article: Last part in series, |
| examines some social/psychological aspects of BBSs. |
| With commentary. [O] |
| 5) The Mad Club, Part 1: Poetry By David Trosty |
| 6) Devil's Creek: By Steven Peterson. Short Story -- |
| Halloween Tale (Mild Adult Language and Violence). |
| 7) The Mad Club, Part 2: Poetry By David Trosty. |
| 8) WorldNet TourGuide: The Electronic Zoo. By Staff. |
| - A review/description of a reference file and the |
| NetVet gopher site (animal-related resources). |
| 9) Enclave: 3 Poems By David Trosty. |
| - Impressions of the city. |
|10) Rite Of Fire, Part 2: By Russell Hutchinson. *[AL,V]* |
| - The second part of a techno-industrial espionage tale. |
|11) Last Word: By Steven Peterson. [O] |
| - Commentary on the Digital Telephony Legislation. |
| First Word \
| By \
| Steven Peterson \
As fall changes into winter in the Colorado high country, the
staff of ICS seeks refuge from the harsh, cold elements in the relative
warmth of a cozy computer lab. The 'Net itself breaks down the isolation
of life in our remote valley -- communication with the "world-mind"
relieves the pressure which builds up in our pointy little heads.
Seeing as it is the witchin' season (Halloween is right around the
corner), we've included a special little tale - read it to the kids on a
dark and stormy night. I recommend you find a nice, large bone to hold
in your hand as you read it (for dramatic effect).
A couple quick reminders: we still have a "Zinekit" available for
anyone who is interested in starting up their own Zine (email a request
to org_zine with "Request ZineKit" in the body of the message - the kit
includes a sample constitution and other related material). Also, we are
now and always (eternally) soliciting contributions.
On a Blue Note
I want to go back to a blues club
Back in the heyday of Chicago
And drink cheap beer out of greasy old mugs
While fat men suck on soggy cigars and drink their whisky.
I can smell the thick blue smoke whisky and perfume.
I watch as lanky women toss their hair,
And sit on the laps of rich looking men,
Who stroke their whiskers and whisper lies,
Oh such lies (mighty big lies).
The band strikes up smooth and cool.
The vibe spreads like a virus.
Ding, DING, oopah. Ding, DING, oopah.
The drummer swings, laying it down mellow in the pocket.
Voices get louder, competing with the music.
Smiles and laughter are contagious.
Bittersweet sounds fill my ears,
While my belly fills my beers.
- David Trosty
| WILL THIS HIGHWAY GO ANYWHERE NEW? |
| By George Sibley, ICS Faculty Advisor |
I've just read yet another exhortation in a trade publication,
urging the constituency to get aboard the "Information Superhighway"
while the getting is supposedly still good. In this case, an editor
from a "Center for Media Studies" urging "the arts" to "find the On
Ramp" before it is too late. But this is not the first such appeal
to "the arts"; Colorado's state arts journal had a similar exhortative
article a couple of months ago, and I suspect that if I went around the
country, I would find a similar exhortation for just about economic and/
or social sector in just about every region. Get on that super-highway
before it's too late.
Too late for what? Speaking only for myself, I can't really keep
up with the information coming off the "information cowpath," or whatever
we call the primarily-print inundation that is online now. The extent to
which my situation is pretty universal can be measured in the gap between
"information" and action on any really serious contemporary issue.
How much more very detailed information do we need, for example,
to know that a national (now global) economic policy of "helping the rich
get richer will also help the poor get--well, something" is not only morally
deficient; it isn't even true? Or, jumping to another area--how much more
detailed information do we need to collect in order to know that uncurtailed
fossil fuel burning is creating turbulence in that combination of gases and
liquids we call our atmosphere that, at best, undermines the predictability
and dependability on which all our systems depend? Or, the most obvious
instance of all--how much more detailed information do we need to collect
in order to convince the tobacco companies that they are just a bunch of
When I try to imagine who is going to really benefit from the
"information superhighway," I have to confess, my paranoid gene kicks in.
I think the powers that be--the wealthy, the major fossil-fuel burners like
the military industrialists, the tobacco peddlers, and all those totally
invested in the status quo who I suspect will always "need just a little
more information" before they will consider change--these are going to be
the beneficiaries. In short, the people into whose hands the construction
of this brave new superhighway is being entrusted.
But--you might ask, not having thought it through--won't the "more
information" made possible by the "information superhighway" bring THEM all
down in the end? Prove beyond the eensiest shadow of doubt that change is
necessary--that sustainability, equity, and moderation are requisites for a
stable and workable society? No: all evidence indicates that it will be with
information as it is with money: no one will ever have enough. But meanwhile--
won't it be nice that everyone (including the artists, always unpredictable
when uncontrolled) agrees that a superhighway full of information--a regular
L.A. freeway system of it--is somehow desirable? Like all systems, the
information superhighway comes equipped with a mythology, and the essence
of the mythology here is that more information will somehow result in more
informed action. Based on experience to date, I think it at least as likely
that a naive faith in "more information" will lead to a continuing decrease
in social and economic action, until a kind of cultural gridlock prevails as
everyone waits for that additional information that will, like the last grain
of salt in the supersaturated solution, precipitate a magical unclouding of
My concern thus is that we might be being sold a bill of goods by the
combination of private (corporate and/or industrial interests) and public
(mostly the military) entities that set up the Internet in the beginning.
They want more than just the "superhighway"; they want our near-universal
buy-in to the idea, to the necessity of the highway, because, to paraphrase
Lyndon Johnson, it's better to have the potential critics inside the tent
pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.
My own concern at this point can only be expressed in an analogy, but
one the supersellers brought on themselves by analogizing their dream to a
"superhighway"--a transportation metaphor that, for this historically-burdened
American, dredges up a lot of content. It is worth noting here that one of
the more intriguing students of human systems this century, "human ecologist"
Amos Hawley, linked the potential for growth or change (evolution) in any
human system to its "technology for transportation and communication."
"Development in size or complexity," he said (in HUMAN ECOLOGY: A THEORETICAL
ESSAY, 1984), could only GROW to the limits of whatever technology the system
had for those two foundational subsystems; and before further growth could
occur, new transportation or communications technology would have to be
So, with both transportation and communication technologies linked like
that to the development of the larger cultural system, it seems fair enough to
go back in history to the first couple of times the American public was so
thoroughly seduced into embracing such a technology. The first place to look
is at what happened when our ancestors built the first "national transportation
infrastructure," the railroads.
From the start, this was conceived (or at leasty proclaimed) as the
market system's, capitalism's proudest moment--and because the articulation
and dissemination of our official history is still more or less in the hands
of those whose ancestors used the railroads to pillage the continent and
destroy the republic, we are still taught to celebrate the creation of the
railroad system in the 19th century as a great thing. Technically of course,
it was--but socially, politically and economically, for a fragile new republic
trying to commit itself to social and economic equity, it was a disastrous
conquest by privilege from which Jefferson's vision of a decentralized
agrarian republic never recovered. From the stock-watering exploitation
of a hyped-up public, to the huge land-grants conned out of the people, to
the outright lies and subterfuges with which the gullible were conned into
what amounted to indentured servitude on railroad lands, to the outrageous
rates charged for haulage to those who had no choice, to the final insult,
the literal abandonment of the whole enterprise when the diversion of
receipts into mansions and museums rather than system maintenance caught
up with the masters--nearly everything about that "national transportation
infrastructure" (except for the technical ingenuity and daring) was self-
serving and shameful. The hundreds of thousands of bilked stockholders and
homesteaders and taxpayers notwithstanding--it destroyed the infrastructure
of a possible republic, committed (in the words of Toqueville, who saw
it just before the railroads came online) to a "condition of equality"
that was not pleasing to the friends of Alexander Hamilton.
The "national transportation infrastructure" actually did not start
out that way. The first "artifact" in the "NTI" was the old National Road,
also known as the Cumberland Pike: a project conceived by the republican
Jefferson, and more or less completed from Baltimore to St. Louis by the mid-
1830s--when the railroads began to emerge as a more desirable transportation
alternative than the animal-powered vehicles of the roadways (which were
certainly not "superhighways"). I like to think that, had he still been
around and in power, Jefferson would have fought to the end for the same
kind of national control over the railroads that the nation has exerted
over the highways. But he wasn't, and by then the balance in America was
tipping toward Hamilton's vision of an urban-industrial elite making sure
that that "beast," the people, was kept too busy and too poor for mischief.
Because the railroads were easier to build and much faster to travel,
they became the "NTI"--until they made themselves so unbearable through
mismanagement, rate-gouging and political manipulation that it was literally
necessary for the nation to embrace an alternative, any reasonable alternative,
even a potentially unreasonable alternative--and lo: there suddenly was
The automobile did not, like the train, create a top-down
infrastructure controlled by a few. It applied superior technology to
an existing infrastructure of wagon roads and mule tracks and cow paths--
often enough, alternate-market roads beat out by people to give themselves
some alternative to the train that had delivered them to their homestead and
proceeded to systematically impoverish them. The extent to which the road
system in America was a "grassroots" thing can be best seen in how the
bureaucratic structure built up around the roads. Well into the 20th century,
most roads were still maintained by the people who depended on them--in many
counties, road work by the able-bodied was part of the tax structure.
The first state to get into road construction and maintenance was New Jersey--
and the importance of the roads to the local markets is indicated in the fact
that they put the road department under the Department of Agriculture.
By the time the federal government began to think consciously and
budgetarily of a new highway-based "national transportation infrastructure"--
creating a joint board of state and federal highway commissioners in 1925,
to begin identifying, marking, upgrading and maintaining a 200,000-mile
network of primary highways--the nation already had around three-million
miles of roads, a figure that has not increased significantly today.
(You can't go anywhere new; you can just go there more easily.)
The rest of that story is written in concrete. For those who lived
through it, the hype surrounding the creation and execution of the Interstate
Highway System is not unlike that which surrounded the creation and execution
of the railroad system, and that which now surrounds the "information super-
highway." The actual construction was done by the private sector, under
contract; but it was designed in keeping with a shadow-grid created by local
necessity rather than by profit opportunity. And no one exploited the naive
popular enthusiasm for the project by selling watered stock; no one was lured
to the end of the road where he was overcharged for land and ripped off for
From the "Lincoln Highway" (U.S. 30) through the recent completion of
the Glenwood Canyon stretch of Interstate 70, there has undoubtedly been some
documentable fraud--over-charging, bid-rigging, shoddy materials, political
porking, and the like. But the system still belongs to us all; the burden of
maintenance is shared (or avoided) by all, and is never a second priority to
profit-taking; the system is generally governed by laws grounded in political
equity and the "general welfare" rather than the laws of the holy market;
and in general it seems like as appropriate a system as we've managed to come
up with for an alleged republic, decentralized, governed by "laws, not men."
This being the case, it is small wonder that Americans effectively
abandoned the railroads as soon as the highways were in place. But the real
damage had been done. Had the first national transportation infrastructure
been done "by the people, for the people," rather than for Hamilton's version
of America, the west might have opened up more slowly, but it would have opened
more along the lines of Jefferson's agrarian republic rather than the sucker-
trap at the end of the urban-industrial safety valve. Probably not--but maybe.
That, at any rate, is the analogy that goes through my mind when all
the usual suspects in the military-industrial-government-research complex
are inflating the "information super-highway" as the high road to the future.
A future, to be sure--but will it go anywhere new? My guess is--maybe; but
only if we are somehow able to do it the way America did its highways, and not
the way the railroads undid America. Henry Thoreau, watching the train go past
his pond, said it best:
"To make a railroad go round the world available to all
mankind is equivalent to grading the whole surface of
the planet. Men have an indistinct notion that if they
keep up this activity of joint stocks and spades long
enough all will at length ride somewhere, in next to no
time, and for nothing; but though a crowd rushes to the
depot, and the conductor shouts "All aboard!" when the
smoke is blown away and the vapor condensed, it will be
perceived that a few are riding, but the rest are run
over. . . ."
\ Computer-Mediated Communication /
\ Part 4 /
\ By Steven Peterson /
In the first part of this series, I examined some of the initial
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) research conducted by Kiesler
et.al. during the 1980s. From that work, I take five central questions
which invariably surface in subsequent research examining other, newer
forms of CMC. These questions are:
| Five Aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC)|
| 1) Time/Information processing pressures |
| 2) Absence of regulating feedback |
| 3) Dramaturgical weakness |
| 4) Few status/position cues |
| 5) Depersonalization of social anonymity |
In this, the fourth part of my series, I will examine recent
research on Electronic Bulletin Boards (EBBs). Outside the realm of
business, individuals are using network technology to create and
support collaborative mass media systems - electronic bulletin boards.
EBBs are public forums which focus on specific fields of interest and
rely on the audience to act as both source and recipient of the media
content. Immensely popular, public EBBs number in the thousands -
a level of success commonly attributed to their ability to satisfy the
twin interests of mass and interpersonal communication (Rafaeli 281).
In a national survey of 500 EBBs, researchers compared predictions
about the success of collaborative media based on two theoretical
perspectives: discretionary data base theory and critical mass theory.
Discretionary data base theory takes a notion of "public goods"
(standards of rational consumption of information) and uses it to
predict rates of contribution within organizations (Rafaeli 278).
Critical mass theory, also based on the notion of public goods,
"attempts to explain the growing adoption of interactive media in
a community of interest until a state of near-total participation,
or universal access, comes to exist" (Rafaeli 279). While the former
theory addresses intra-organizational communication and the latter
inter-organizational communication, both predict that greater demands
on the user (effort, skill, or monetary cost involved) will lower the
rate of participant contribution.
The survey team defined four dependent measures of success and six
independent variables relating to user restrictions and contribution
measures in a computer-readable questionnaire which they distributed to
EBB system operators. After using a multiple-regression analysis to
test four hypotheses, the team concluded:
Structural characteristics of collaborative mass media
systems seem to be more critical to their success than
specific management policies applied by system operators.
The diversity of content and the symmetry of exchange between
participants were the most important of the factors derived
from public goods theories that predict bulletin board
success. The day-to-day operating restrictions placed on
users - including upload ratios, access time restrictions,
and user fees - generally had little relationship to measures
of board success (Rafaeli 292).
From these conclusions, it seems evident that individuals are finding a
way to sort or channel the information available through public EBBs
and determine personal rates of contribution capable of sustaining the
In practice, EBBs form "communities of interest" which closely
resemble New England style democratic forms - a largely American
perception of the technology as intrinsically apt to enhance democracy
in organizations. Giuseppe Montovani, an Italian researcher, recently
challenged this technological deterministic approach to CMC research
and critically examined claims about equal access, overcoming social
barriers, openness, and de-individuation in a recent survey of
published literature. Viewing the available data from a sociotechnical
theoretical perspective, Montovani finds evidence to support several
1) CMC does not generally foster democracy in organizations.
It depends on the social context, on the history of each
organization, and on the regulations ruling the specific
network application. So free generalizations, like those
about supposed democratization effects, should be avoided
2) CMC is not friendly toward all its potential and actual
users; organizational changes can increase stress and may
require tiring and frustrating writing activity (57).
3) Social contracts among participants to CMC intended to
establish rules regulating procedures are needed. CMC
systems risk chaos if social regulations do not support them
effectively, reducing time distortion effects in conferencing
as well as in E-mail, because such systems are vulnerable to
the unpredictability of the actual audience for any given
message, the tendential anonymity of messages, and the lack
of feedback from a potential audience (58).
Montovani's analysis attempts to balance what are perhaps overly
optimistic claims about the efficacy of CMC with the social-
psychological problem aspects identified by Kiesler (time/info
processing pressures, etc.). Montovani's position that society shapes
technology (and not the other way around) offers a vantage point that
allows researchers to contextualize raw data and study the social
identity processes involved in CMC interaction.
In my personal experience with a quasi-BBS sponsored by the
_Utne Reader_, I've run into all five of Kiesler's aspects of CMC:
1) Although our group is limited to 25 participants, the volume
of material quickly exceeds my ability to respond to everyone's
thoughts. Selective editing/responding creates fertile ground
for all sorts of fallacies in argument and misunderstandings.
2) The absence of regulating feedback seems to put me in a weird
sort of dialectic between freedom and trepidation. After three
months, I'm still not sure how people will respond from day to
day to my thoughts.
3) Dramaturgical weakness has been the least problematic aspect,
so far. The "ASCII intimacy" of our language offsets ambiguity
for anyone who is willing to take the time and effort to
compose honest prose.
4) Initially, the lack of status/position cues led to some social
chaos, but as we are all "equal" within the group (and
operating in an asynchronous mode), this issue has been
5) Depersonalization is, for the Americans of our group, a
probable cause for some members dropping out. If you want to
scatter Americans, threaten their individualism. Those who have
stuck with it have established their "net-identities" and over-
come the anonymity we initially faced.
Subjectively, my recent experiences editing ICS have given me a
real sense of being part of the larger world community (the ultimate
BBS). As a writer, having instant access to a world-wide audience has
been simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Communicating without
some of the traditional forms of feedback and regulation requires a
sense of adventure and a certain amount of courage. The machinery,
while opening a gateway to a vast community, ultimately forces the
individual to rely on language to establish and maintain a social
identity in the greater context of a networked society which does not
recognize physical or cultural boundaries.
In conclusion, I leave you with a cautionary note about CMC from
the lyrical pen of Josef Ernst:
The image of modern communications resembles holography;
individuals no longer need to pick up driftwood from the
shores of reality; instead, current technology allows for an
emancipated position at sea from where objects may be picked
up from all directions and at one's own discretion. To move
inside the picture, however, the possible holographic
communication over reality by way of montage must keep its
parts distinguishable. Otherwise individual users can lose
control and fall prey to the wonders of technology; they
could become part of the apparatus instead of using it as
their tool. (Ernst 463)
Ernst, Josef. "Computer Poetry: An Act of Disinterested Communication."
*New Literary History*. Vol.23, No.2, Spring, 1992. 449-468.
Kiesler, Sara, et. al. "Social Psychological Aspects of Computer-
Mediated Communication." *American Psychologist*. Vol.39, No.10,
October, 1984. 1123-1134.
Montovani, Guiseppe. "Is Computer-Mediated Communication Intrinsically
Apt to Enhance Democracy in Organizations?" *Human Relations*.
Vol.47, No.1, 1994. 45-62.
Rafaeli, Shiezaf, and Robert LaRose. "Electronic Bulletin Boards and
`Public Goods' Explanations of Collaborative Mass Media."
*Communication Research*. Vol.20, No.2, April, 1993. 277-297.
The Mad Club-Part 1
On backs of dolphins,
Running forth visions unbelieved.
These journeys take man on uncharted courses,
Through rocky waters
And across great reefs of pink and purple
Where veiled angels dwell and play,
Luring the lone traveler
Like a siren does a sailor,
To remain in this world of madness.
- David Trosty
| Devil's Creek |
| *A Halloween Tale* |
| By Steven Peterson |
All the leaves had dropped from the aspen trees in the high
plateaus of the Powderhorn Primitive Area; the Colorado mountains were
awaiting the first thick coat of snow, and I was out for one last hike
with my dog, furbag. We started out that morning under cerulean skies,
romping through the leaves and feeling that odd sense of euphoria which
only seems to happen in the wilderness. A boy and his dog, making their
way up the gorge toward a large, heavily wooded plateau.
After a lazy lunch, I tossed furbag my bread crusts and dug a
sweater out of my backpack: steel-gray clouds were amassing on the
horizon and sending a frigid, but gentle warning. The drop in the
temperature and the minor threat of moisture triggered the release
of a woody scent in thick waves - the smell of frightened deer and
As I began the last leg up to the edge of the plateau, furbag
seemed to run out of steam and started trotting behind me, rather
than running her usual wild, happy loops around me; it was strange,
I thought I even heard her whining - something she hadn't done since
she was a pup. The temperature seemed to be dropping with every step,
and through the forest smell, I could suddenly detect smoke - as if
someone was tending a bonfire up top.
The smoke was real: I could see it, and I stopped for a minute;
furbag did her "hoover" thing, waving her snout around. I noticed
something else emerging from the fireplace scent - a top note of
burning meat, slightly greasy and tantalizing. Picking up the pace,
I resumed my journey up the gorge. Through the dense pines, the lip
of the plateau appeared and I bolted for the summit.
From the top, I looked back down the valley and toward the
horizon - the clouds were stalled, but the temperature kept dropping:
flash-frozen sweat and flustered furbags. I tossed the dog a puppy
biscuit and wandered into the interior of the plateau. The smoke seemed
to be coming from the dark center, and I was curious.
That top note of roasting meat grew stronger as I made my way
through the forest - I found myself salivating, and starting to shiver
a little. Idly wishing for some bar-b-que sauce and my Sorels, I let my
nose lead the way. Lunch was a distant, glorious memory, and I was
beginning to regret the long hike. I stumbled into a little clearing
and there it was: a low, glowing fire in a rough ring of rocks.
Two nondescript, charred limbs were propped over the coals on a spit -
my nose knew where it was going. Amazed, I cleared my throat and said,
Silence for a moment, then "BACK OFF!" from behind me. I froze,
the furbag growled and spun around, and from the forest, a man emerged.
Tall and dressed in tattered garments, he focused his dark eyes on me
as he skirted around, moving toward the fire.
"Where you come from?"
A statement more than a question - his voice was muffled by an
extravagant moustache and a long scraggly beard. I noticed his feet
were wrapped in bundles of dirty cloth: he softly shuffled and stomped
as he turned his roasting meat. I loosely grabbed furbag's collar and
replied, "Uh, Gunnison. You campin' here?"
He fixed his gaze on furbag, and she bolted for the trail. Coward.
He looked up at me and laughed a little. "Wouldn't rightly call it
that, 'reckon. I just want to get off this plateau, same as you."
Cryptically, he added "never make it through the snow..."
After whistling out for the dog, buying time, I asked him,
"Uh, what snow?"
"I made a go of it once, and look at mah feet now. We'll never
make it," he replied.
"Whattya, waitin' for it?" I asked, a tad bewildered by the
frustration in his voice. He returned to his roasting and I started to
pace around a little, calling out for furbag. To one side of the fire
ring, I noticed a large pile of blackened bones behind his woodpile.
Farther back in the woods, a defeated mining shack was working its way
back to nature. This was home, I guessed.
"How long you been here?"
"Don't keep track o' days anymore."
Thinking about the bones, I began to look for a rifle - I figured
it was in the shack. The meat really smelled good - bar-b-que sauce
visions returned. I cleared my head.
"Name's Steve, what's yours?" - my feeble effort.
"Nice piece of venison, what is it?"
"All I could get, and this here's the last of it."
I could take a hint, but man, the fire looked cozy. I approached
the ring, rubbing my hands together - "mind if I jes' warm up a little,
before I head back down?"
"Head down? You crazy, you'll never make it. Look at dem clouds!"
The clouds had begun to drift in from the horizon, but it was only
a couple miles back to old Road #149.
"You bes' round up yer dog, too." His teeth chattered slightly and
he pulled out a pocket knife.
"She'll be back. Say, I wouldn't mind a taste of that."
He unfolded a blade and carved a small piece of the sputtering
haunch. It took some effort, and he was careful about it. He held it
under his nose and mumbled, "a tad ripe ... jus' about done."
In a magnanimous gesture, he extended his arm and offered me the
morsel. I plucked it off the blade and eagerly popped it in my mouth.
It was dry, and a little tough, but the fire had imparted a delicious
"Thanks, that hit the spot. Furbag don't know what she's missin'.
She'll be wantin' a souvenir from that bone pile, too."
"NO! Keep that damn dog away from dem bones, they mustn't ever be
"O.K.!, O.K.!, Jeez, she ain't even here, relax."
"If we're gonna be here together, we gotta agree to some stuff."
Stunned, I replied "look mister, uh, Alferd, I'm headin' back."
He leaned toward me suddenly, face-to-face. "You can't leave, boy,
I need you ..."
His foul breath assaulted my senses and I almost gagged, the odor
and the thought that he "needed me" for anything sent my bile on the
march. I took a couple steps back, looking at the pocket-knife.
He advanced toward me, "Long winter, need meat ..."
Backing up, I tripped over some deadfall and fell into another
pile of bones. The sharp ends dug into my sweater and snagged me.
I thrashed for a moment, rolling onto my side. The drift of bones
shifted around as I sought some leverage with my free arm; I grabbed
a large femur and swung it around blindly, trying to fend off Alferd's
grasping hands. On one of the return arcs, the bone smashed into the
pile, sending a round one up in the air - a human skull fell in front
of my face, the empty eye sockets staring.
Just as Alferd was bending down toward me with knife in hand,
a golden blur flew out of the trees and crashed into, or rather
through, the hideous form. In a flash of ectoplasmic blue light,
Alferd, the fire, and the spit (with its grisly contents) all winked
out of existence. Furbag had returned just in time to save me from
the clutches of a phantom.
Shaken and stirred by my experience, I made my way down from the
plateau. I clutched the femur all that night, waiting. Furbag refused
to leave my side for days; the horrible visage of Alferd's face haunts
me still, that's why I keep this bone handy ... and once the leaves
have all dropped, I stay away from Devil's Creek.
[Note: This tale is based on the story of Alferd Packer, the "Cannibal
of Colorado": a real life figure from Gunnison Valley history. In Lake
City, they even have an annual Alferd Packer Days festival - weird, no?]
The Mad Club-Part 2
Three dirty boys
Were walking down the street one summer night.
It was quite late,
Around three a.m., if I recall correctly.
They were sore as hell,
And their legs felt like large lead pipes
That had to be dragged along.
Their sides ached and twisted,
As if someone was wringing them out like a wet washcloth.
As they walked along on this hot summer night,
Their skin coated with a thick layer of
Sweat, soil and strychnine,
They began to worry
Because one of them remembered an obscure law
About being too dirty.
Just then, a cop car came flying around the corner,
It's lights a-flashin' and it's siren wailing hysterically.
It screeched to a stop beside the boys,
Then two policemen jumped out of the car
And began to beat the crap out of them with their clubs,
All the while screaming
"You're too goddamn dirty! You're too goddamn dirty!"
The boys were thrown in the back of the cop car,
And were promptly taken to jail.
In the morning they were released to their mommies,
Who took them all home
And gave them baths.
- David Trosty
/ W o r l d N e t \
\____________ Tour Guide ____________/
| The Electronic Zoo: |
| Animal-Related |
\ NetSources /
WorldNet Tour Guide is a periodic feature which appears in ICS
from time to time. The Guide consists of articles designed to help you
in using the WorldNet to the fullest potential. These articles will
range from tutorials on aspects of WorldNet (programs) to reviews of
places we find on the 'Net (content). Why? Because together we know
more than any one of us can know.
If you would like to write a file or document to appear in this
section, please do so. Send your final copy (in ASCII format) to:
The Electronic Zoo is an electronic document which offers a
directory of Animal-Related Netsources such as Internet/Bitnet Mailing
Lists, Gophers, World Wide Web Sites, Mail Servers, Usenet Newsgroups,
FTP Archives, Commercial Online Services, and Bulletin Board Systems.
Compiled by Ken Boschert, DVM, the Zoo list is large, extensive, and
alphabetically arranged. Describing his file, Boschert notes that
"animals of all sorts are popular topics of discussion and a number of
sites have useful files for down-loading. Listservers, Telnet & FTP sites,
gophers, dial-up bulletin boards (BBS's) - they're all cataloged here
and have a common thread of being related to animals in some form or
The Zoo document is fairly large, and the terminology takes a while
to sort out, but it does make a fine "yellow pages" for the broad field of
animals (the resources range from daffy kitty-lover newsgroups to highly
specialized scientific collections and discussions). Many of the descriptions
are contributed directly from the list owners, moderators, and sysops around
the world who spend their own time maintaining their respective systems; take
the time to pass along a note of thanks when you get a chance.
* Where to get the latest versions of the Electronic Zoo *
The most recent version of this document can be retrieved via anonymous FTP
from wuarchive.wustl.edu (220.127.116.11) in the subdirectory:
(x_x referring to the most current version)
The Electronic Zoo is one of many Internet lists maintained by the
Clearinghouse of Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides located
at the University of Michigan School of Information and Library
Access to these guides is available via Anonymous FTP, Gopher, and
WorldWideWeb/Mosaic (see below). From within Gopher, a WAIS index
of the full text of these guides is searchable.
Name=Clearinghouse of Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides
(UMich) Type=1 Port=70 Path=1/inetdirs Host=una.hh.lib.umich.edu
Uniform Resource Locators (URL):
Contact: Louis Rosenfeld
For the very latest version of the Electronic Zoo, use the
* NETVET Veterinary Resources Gopher
Type=1 Port=70 Path=1n:/vet Host=netvet.wustl.edu
or the new NETVET WWW Home Page
* - The NetVet gopher also serves as the virtual "wing" of the cyberspace
collection of animal-related files. Portions of the Zoo document and a vast
array of files are collected under various subheadings (e.g. listserv archives,
telnet sites, ftp sites) for "one-stop" shopping: the casual netsurfer can
easily sort through all the possible resources and select files for downloading.
****************** Enclave: 3 Poems By David Trosty ***************************
Theme to an Imaginary Drama
Sometimes traveling through the city
I see faces all alone.
Sad faces standing in the shadows,
abandoned, on their own.
Vicious city, without compassion.
Cold concrete, hard as stone.
Unforgiving and uncaring,
will make you calloused to the bone.
Tired faces, lined with ashes,
cracked and worn, they show their age.
Acting helpless to solicit,
the sidewalk is their stage.
Huddled quietly, under the streetlight,
holding in their deepest rage.
To them, life's an empty book.
It doesn't help to turn the page.
Homelessness is a disease,
and the cure can't come to soon.
People waiting, slowly suffering,
looking for a bottle before noon.
Sometimes I give them the change they ask for,
because I'd want to get drunk too,
If I was like them and had to live here,
In this awful concrete zoo.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
They call me the hunter,
it's a very fitting name.
'Cause I'm always on the prowl
for the essence of the earth.
It seems my search never ends,
eternally I hunt.
There's not enough lush bounty,
to fill every wanting hand.
All people that I know,
they play this very game.
a vain attempt to ease their pain.
What is it about desire,
that plagues most every man.
To taste the sweet pure nectar,
makes him only want much more.
All pleasures seem to have the power,
to hypnotize from within.
One can see it in all eyes,
a cold and empty gaze.
The cessation of reality,
comes strong, and then it fades.
Like the tides upon the sea,
and the crashing of the waves.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
28,000 feet above civilization
Someone lives there.
Connected by barely perceptible threads
each island has a way off,
and on to every other.
sometimes broken by colonies
of stone and flesh.
The social animal
demonstrates its paradoxical tendencies.
Some of them,
insecure with isolation,
Afraid to be alone
in this vast and desperate world--
yet afraid of each other.
In their clustered colonies they walk about,
their eyes darting nervously
away from the others,
apprehensive when they connect
out on the street.
(c) David Trosty, 1994
\ Rite of Fire/
| *Part 2* |
/ By Russell Hutchinson \
After Patch completed his net-search for information on the Metzler
Center and their security company, he met the rest of his team: Gecko, Doc,
and Raze, at the planning room to work out their entrance and escape.
The final plan the team agreed apon was, as usual, one of Patch's
conception. It relied heavily on the Metzler security company's policy:
in the event of a fire, floors are evacuated according to their position in
the financial hierarchy within each building. This placed the GMC offices
ninth in line after the offices of the larger multinational corporations.
The plan called for a fire to be started on a floor below the GMC offices,
enter the building under the guise of fire-fighters checking to make sure
the floors were clear of people, physically remove the mainframe from its
housing, and meet Gecko on the roof where he would spirit them away in his
helicopter. The team could then extract the files at their leisure.
They spent the next few hours looking for holes in the plan,
ironing it out until they felt sure that it was feasible. Raze and Patch
spent the rest of the night collecting the necessary materials from their
caches and from a fire station chief who owed Patch some big favors. Doc
busied himself with a background check on their employer, Rosi, while Gecko
went to check over the helicopter to make sure it would be ready. By six the
following morning the materials were gathered and the group caught a few hours
sleep. At ten thirty the team left to take position.
Traffic in the downtown area caused a few delays but Patch had left
a fifteen minute window for travel time. He pulled Gecko's van into a parking
spot about one block south of the Metzler Center. The plates on the van had
been switched and Patch used a fake identity card to pay the meter.
"How do I look?" Raze asked from the back of the van in her usual deep,
seductive voice. Patch only vaguely heard her ask, and Doc's whistled response.
"Hey, Not," She continued, "I want your opinion too."
Her use of his nickname Not, because all the members of the team were
blue eyed and blond haired, or would be if Raze didn't shave her head,
garnered his attention. Patch, on the other hand, was dark on both counts.
Raze wore a very expensive suit of the year's power color, emerald green, and
a shoulder length wig, raven black and straight. Patch simply nodded. He had
always thought it unprofessional to make comments about Raze's looks, even in
situations like this.
"How long 'til I'm on?" she asked.
Patch looked at his watch, it was noon, but Doc answered first.
"Twelve minutes. I've checked out the rest of your gear and it's all
ready to go. The smoke grenades are inside the Trojan PC, you remember how
to open it? O.K. The three quarts of motor oil are in your bag with other
assorted items a nice business lady like you would be carrying."
"If you can find anything else that can burn, toss it on the
grenades. The chemicals in them ignite on contact with air and get very hot,"
Patch added. He wracked his brain for anything else to say as advice, drawing
a blank. "That's it then." He said it like an instructor finishing a lesson.
"Then pass out the beer," she said. It had become a ritual to have
one last beer before an infiltration, starting long ago with Doc, because he
didn't want to die without having a drink first: everyone on the team felt
the same. Besides, this time the tradition worked in well with the story that
they were a group of fire-fighters who were fortuitously having lunch only
blocks from the Metzler Center. Patch opened the cooler that rested in the
passenger seat, passing a single beer to each of them. The caps were cracked
with a hiss and a toast raised to lying, cheating, stealing, and drinking.
Patch turned back to look towards the Center and nursed his beer slowly,
leaving Doc and Raze to chat between themselves.
He knew from his research that the Metzler Center was composed of
three identical towers, thirty five stories tall with twin helipads on each.
Even with this information it was hard for Patch to imagine that the buildings
were more than a dozen stories tall; the clouds were deeply imbedded in thick
clouds. The hazy view to the end of the street and the slowly beading moisture
on the windshield were the only indications that it was raining at all.
The drizzle seemed to soak up even more of the scarce light on the street.
Everything looked dark, dead, or dying. Even the animate forms of the crowds
going to and from lunch seemed, in the occasional amber pools of streetlights,
to be aimless zombies wrapped in old clothing. Their respirators gave them
sooty skull faces, poisonous. Patch could hear Doc and Raze talking about
where to go and what to do with their share of the money and he began to
wonder what he was going to do. He vowed to use the money to go to the
Bahamas or some other place where it was a federal offense to own a gas
engine. Somewhere he didn't have to share the sidewalk with the Grim
Reaper and his cattle.
"Where you gonna go, Patch?" Raze asked.
"The promised land."
"You plannin' to stop a bullet on this one?" Doc chided.
Patch blew off the comment and checked the time.
"You're on lady." He looked over his shoulder and watched Raze put
on her raincoat and hat. She pushed open the back doors and hopped out,
pulling the bags after her.
"Wish me luck," she said.
"Luck," Doc answered.
"And Skill," Patch added.
She winked before pulling the respirator over her face. Patch turned
to watch her walk past the front of the van and toward the dark towers as Doc
closed the doors. She blended quickly into the morbid mass of the crowd.
"How long do you think it'll take her to place the grenades?"
"Fifteen minutes on the outside. Unless she runs into trouble.
Call Gecko and tell him to lift off in five."
Patch began to study anew the vista he had of the dismal towers and
the writhing crowds around their foundations. As he watched, a bright light
reflecting in from the sideview mirror caught his eye. A car was slowly
crawling up the wet-slicked street, a search light glowing in the haze and
caressing the parked cars.
"Doc, patrol car coming up our backside," Patch warned. Turning the
knob to polarize the windows to one hundred percent, he moved to join Doc in
the back of the van. Both men drew their guns and knelt by the back doors,
tensed and ready. No light glowed in the rubber sealed cracks of the doors
or through the darkened windows, but Patch was certain that the patrol car,
be it police or Metzler security, was using high sensitivity thermographic
scanners. In a normal vehicle they could see the heat of anyone inside, but
the back of the van was shielded to prevent such scanners from penetrating.
They stayed there for almost two minutes before Patch moved to the
front again and depolarized the windows. He sat down and spent the rest of
the time waiting in silent anticipation of Raze's return. Doc and Patch
had never had much to say to each other and Patch didn't feel inclined to
start a conversation. He actually though Doc was too unprofessional and
hot tempered to be very trustworthy. He was on of the best hackers in
the region and an asset to the team, but as soon as Patch could find a
professional of Doc's abilities, he'd lose him. The only thing that had
Patch worried was that Doc would try to seek revenge if he lost too much
face when he was succeeded. Doc, of course, thought that Patch didn't talk
to him out of personal dislike and repaid him in kind.
Time crawled slowly by, and Patch began to think that Raze had been
caught. That would be a real complication. She was the only one on the team
who knew his real name. If she had been apprehended, then all of the ghost
accounts and numbers he hid behind were circumvented and he was compromised.
Patch knew he should have sent her out of the room when he called Joel about
using some of his station's gear. The first thing Joel had blurted out was
"Rand MacCormic," she had whispered quietly in Patch's ear after
hearing it. "I was once in love with a Scotsman. He was the only one who
could ever tell me what to do, and even then, only rarely."
"You do what I say all the time," Patch pointed out.
"That's because my life depends on your plans."
"Mostly," she said as she got up to leave the room.
"Mostly?" he'd asked just before she left. She continued out of the
room with only a quick wink before closing the door.
Patch wasn't sure if she had been seriously trying to pick up on him
or just flirting as usual. He never was. She only flirted lightly with Gecko,
who proudly wore his wedding ring, and hardly at all with Doc. As he thought
about her, she emerged from the crowds on the sidewalk and gave a barely
visible "all's clear" wave-off. Patch cleared his head of thoughts beyond
the work at hand.
"She's back," he announced to Doc who moved to open the back doors for
her. She hopped in and gave a triumphant "Ta-Da!"
"Went smoothly, then?" Doc asked.
"As a baby's butt," she answered. "Stuck 'em in a ventilation shaft
in a janitor's room on the twenty-ninth floor. Right under the target."
Patch looked at the dashboard clock; it read twenty-five after twelve.
"How long until the grenades go off?"
"Fourteen minutes and twenty seconds on my mark ... Mark."
"The alarms should go off within two minutes of the grenades.
Get ready to go. Doc, firemen don't have ponytails, put yours up under
Raze began to strip down and change into regular street clothes. Patch
kept his eyes on his own dufflebag of gear. He pulled out the fire jacket and
slipped into it. As he stood up, Raze, who was only wearing her underwear,
fell against him.
"Sorry, I lost my balance." She stayed pressed against him for a
second or two longer. Patch had absolutly no idea what to say so he just
stood there and stared into her ocean-blue eyes.
"No problem," he finally managed to utter. She straightened up, then
turned around, bending to pull up her pants. Patch couldn't help but look her
up and down. She was in extraordinary physical condition, her muscles toned
to fighting perfection. A loud cough interrupted Patch's train of thought.
A glance revealed Doc, watching him intently.
Patch shook his head and started to mentally kick himself for losing
his detachment. He turned and moved to the front of the van quickly, like a
school boy caught looking up the skirt of girl, and donned the headphones.
He payed no attention to the conversation of the others, ignoring them every
time someone asked him a question...unless it pertained to the mission.
He strived to push this complication in his life out of mind until everything
was done. The last thing he needed was to be distracted. Time passed quickly
in his self-rage.
Soon Patch heard the welcome conversation of police dispatch directing
cars in the direction of the Metzler Center.
"Alright, the police and fire department are on their way. Grab your
respective shit and let's go." Patch fully polarized the windows and grabbed
his dufflebag of gear. The backbreaking weight of the bag made Patch wonder
how firemen dealt with the rigors of the job. When the other two had shouldered
their packs, Patch, with respirator pulled over his face, opened the doors.
He jumped to the ground, heavily, and began to jog in the direction of the
Center with Raze and Doc on his heels, yelling for the crowd to clear the way.
It took less than a minute to reach the stairs leading to the entrance of the
second tower. Three pairs of boots thundered up the damp steps.
Patch quickly reviewed the briefing Joel had given him about where to
go and who to talk to. He shoved through the plexiglas doors and stepped
through the weapons detectors--they immediately set off an alarm. Patch was
hoping that the presence of the firefighting gear would stay the hands of the
guards inside and get them to question him, instead of searching him for a gun.
Raze and Doc walked in in his wake, both setting off the weapons detectors as
well. The guard at the desk started to say things to Patch in a heated voice,
but he ignored the man and began to survey the scene inside the lobby.
Large groups of people were exiting from stairwells on both sides of
the lobby as well as from the elevator hallway. Most were walking rapidly,
with the occasional dashing hysteric. The yells of the guard were rising in
volume and Patch heard the words "Precinct identity numbers NOW!"
Patch pulled the respirator from his face, put on a big toothy grin,
and turned to face the guard, who had his gun half drawn from his holster.
"Hi, uh...Samus?" Patch read from his name tag. "Is that how you
pronounce your name? Nevermind. I'm Bernard Williams. My precinct identity
number is four four five three zero seven eight. Where is your security
office?" Samus typed in the numbers and those of the other two into the
terminal in the plexiglas guard post. Patch prayed that everyone had
remembered the right numbers. After a short pause, Samus directed them
down the hallway on the right. Patch thanked him and strode off in that
direction with Doc and Raze in tow.
The trio thumped down the hall until they reached the armored door of
the security room. Patch banged on the ballistic glass and waved to the girl
inside. There was a buzzing sound, and he pushed the door open. Patch
approached the young woman; she seemed very nervous. He guessed that she
hadn't been on the job for very long.
"Hi, I'm Bernie Williams of the eleventh precinct, where's the fire?"
"Ah, um...the twenty-ninth floor."
"I see. I noticed people coming out from where the elevators are...
I take it you haven't shut them down yet."
"Ah...I was going to wait for the security director to get back before
I did anything. He's at lunch."
Patch managed not to smile. He had hoped that coming in during the
lunch hour would catch the rooster away from the chickens. "That's O.K.,
darling. Just do what I say. Trust me, I'm a professional. Call up the
elevator control screen and bring them all to the lobby. Now lock them all
in place except for one. What's the number for that one?"
"O.K. When the rest of the firemen get here, tell them that the
three of us are going to start checking to make sure that floors thirty and
up are clear. Thanks." Patch joined the other two in the hallway and began
to head for the elevators.
"Slick," Doc commented.
"Things are going great," Butch agreed.
As they crossed the chaotic lobby Patch caught a glimpse of some
police entering the building. He smiled and whispered, "Too late boys."
It was a short stroll to elevator five which stood with doors agape.
They walked in and Doc hit the button for floor thirty. The doors
started to bite closed when an arm stuck between them. Two Metzler
security guards entered the elevator, carrying flashlights and holstered
"Cindy thought you could use some help checking floors," one of the
"Cindy?" Doc asked.
"The lady behind the security desk."
"Ah, that's mighty nice of her," Patch said. "Well...Scott and...
Fredrick, welcome aboard."
"Call me Fred."
"Let's get going, shall we?" Doc said and pressed the door close button.
"Suit up everyone," Patch said. The three began to put on the rest of
their fire gear and place their regular boots and rain clothes in their
"You guys sure got here quick," Scott stated. Despite his casual tone,
Patch detected suspicion behind the question. He already had an answer
prepared for him.
"Yea, we were eating lunch down the street and our station paged us.
We had our gear with us because we were about to go on for our two week shift,
so we just jogged on over."
"Lucky us," Scott said.
"Listen pal," Raze spoke up, "we know all about your policy of
evacuation. So you're not the lucky ones, the people we clear out are.
While your money grubbing company rescues its financial interests, people
could be dying. So don't give me any shit and stay out of my--"
"Cool your jets, Raze." Doc broke in. "These guys aren't required
to help us and they are. Don't come down on them."
Raze looked from Doc to Scott and back. She looked like she was
going to tear back into Scott, but instead, took a deep breath and apologized.
Patch smiled inside. He was always impressed by how well the team could act
and fast-talk their way around questions. At least the guards seemed
satisified with the cover. Now all Patch needed to do was find a way to get
the guards off their backs, so they could finish their clandestine activities.
He was tempted to give the signal to take them out now, but there was a
security camera dome in the roof of the elevator. All Cindy would need to do
was lock them in and lower them into the shackles of the police. He hoped he
could convince them to go check the thirty-first floor. Patch continued to
think of alternative plans while he put on the rest of his gear, oxygen tank
and all. Patch also pulled a fire extinguisher from his bag that weighed
nearly twenty pounds. Doc produced a similar one, while Raze held a fire axe.
There was a ring, and the doors opened as Patch slung his dufflebag over
his shoulder. Patch stepped off the elevator and spotted the entrance to the
GMC offices directly across the hallway.
"We'll start here," Patch pointed. "You start with the floor above us."
Fred shook his head. "You'll need our help on each floor."
"If the fire comes through the floor your not equipped to deal with it."
"Then we'd better make the search quick. Our orders were very clear...
Stay with you and make sure everyone gets out."
"Alright then, let's start here," Patch pointed to the offices.
The way Scott and Fred were doggedly staying with the team and the pause
before reciting their orders convinced Patch that they were there to watch
the team and not to help.
Patch advanced to the GMC doors, occasional stragglers dodging through
them. As he pushed into the office he noticed a well dressed man standing in
the reception area tapping his feet nervously.
"Hey you!" Patch called. "Are these offices clear?"
The man spun around and looked over the group in front of him. Patch
hoped the presence of the security guards would get the man to spill his guts.
"I'm not sure," he answered.
"Well ... what are you doing standing around?" Patch pressed.
"I'm waiting for Mister Jorgens to arrive with the back-up tapes."
"Where's he at? We can make sure he gets out."
"Ah, down the left hall, all the way at the end."
"O.K. We'll get him. You should leave though."
"Um, sure...I guess." Patch had already walked past the man and
was heading down the hall to the left. It made two ninety degree right turns
before they found the end door labeled "Computer Room." Patch opened the door
and moved down the short hallway into the room, the host of others right
behind him. Inside was a thick chested man with sparse hair, a handlebar
moustache, and an expensively cut suit. He looked up as the group spread
out around him. A courier case rested on the table next to him and Patch
could see the back-up tapes within it.
"Can I help you?" the large man asked, slowly putting his hand
inside his jacket.
Scott and Fred stepped forward, apparently wanting to take charge.
"Mister Jorgens? We're here to make sure you get out, we're checking
the floors for stragglers."
"Well then," Jorgens replied. "I'm finished here. By all means,
let us be off." He closed the case.
Patch brushed his free left hand across the back of his right,
signaling Raze and Doc to attack, then he lifted his fire extinguisher and
hurled it at Jorgens' back. It clipped the side of his head, knocking him off
balance. Raze, who was more or less directly between Fred and Scott, clocked
Scott in the jaw with the haft of the axe, causing him to reel back from the
blow. Fred started to draw his gun, but Raze brought the axe through an
overhand strike onto his shoulder. Because Fred was too close to her, the
blade missed its mark, but the force of the swing still crushed the joint.
Turning her attention back to Scott, she struck with a two-handed baseball
swing that connected the flat of the blade with Scott's face, sweeping him
off his feet. Using the momentum from the axe swing, Raze spun and kicked the
screaming Fred square on his jaw--he dropped like a rag doll. Both guards were
down before Jorgens started to turn, gun in hand. Doc moved forward and threw
his extinguisher right after Patch's. The throw was low, catching Jorgens in
the back of his knees and dropping him to the floor. He landed hard on his
right elbow, jarring the the gun from his hand. Doc finished him with a kick
to the temple from his steel-toed boot.
Patch grabbed the case with the back ups, sticking it in his bag.
"Doc, find the mainframe and take it out of the housing."
Doc ran past Raze towards a tall metal cabinet. "Easy money." Patch told her,
noticing as he did that she was looking over his shoulder.
"Patch ... look on the roof behind you."
He did as he was asked and found himself looking into the unblinking
eye of a security camera.
Raze crushed it with the axe ....
* * Stay Tuned for Part 3! * *
\ Last Word ... \+++++
\ By Steven Peterson \
Once again, citizens of the U.S. are reminded of the price we
pay for our liberty--eternal vigilance. This time around, it's the FBI, and
they're pushing legislation which threatens to compromise our privacy. SB 2375
and HR 4922, also known as the "FBI Wiretap Bills" or "Digital Telephony Bills"
are based on the premise that the government needs to maintain its ability to
monitor and tap electronic communications devices (and presumably catch bad
guys). As the legislation is currently written, federal monies (US$500 million)
will be paid to the telcos to defray the costs associated with building in tap
mechanisms. The real danger lies not in the price tag, but in the precedent
these bills would set if passed: for the first time, mandates will be used to
enforce institutional control of the conduits of communication at a personal,
private level. Now, I may have read 1984 too many times when I was a kid, but
this sounds like asking the U.S. population to subsidize "viewscreens" for
Big Brother, or the spooks, or ??? The implications for the development of
the National Information Infrastructure are tremendous - in a way, this
legislation represents a fundamental struggle for American society:
just how much privacy can a "democracy" withstand?
Think about it, and if you're in the U.S., share your views (pro or
con) with your legislators. Or email:
- firstname.lastname@example.org [sponsor of the senate bill]
- email@example.com [database of responses, used to track opinion]
For more details on this and other legislation, email
- firstname.lastname@example.org [electronic privacy information center
Personally, I think all such efforts to contain the application of
knowledge are inherently doomed. There will always be people around who will
subvert or hack any gizmo the FBI (or NSA, or ...) demands. In the larger
world, the danger of this American legislation will eventually be felt--
as the electronic "backdoors" the FBI envisions become ubiquitous, oppressive
dictators, radical terrorist factions, and economic manipulators will no doubt
take advantage of such a handy tool. Altogether, the Clipper Chip proposal and
this "Wiretap Bill" make a swell pair of bookends for the new shelf of legal
hooey devoted to the fool's errand of containing the chaos of human
communication, whatever the medium.
ICS would like to hear from you. We accept flames, comments,
submissions, editorials, corrections, and just about anything else
you wish to send us. We will use things sent to us when we think
they would be appropriate for the issue coming out. So, if you send
us something that you DO NOT want us to use in the electrozine,
please put the words NOT FOR PUBLICATION in the subject-line of the
mail you send. You can protect your material by sending a copy to
yourself through the snail-mail and leaving the envelope unopened.
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