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 	troff -ms CRASH_ORIGIN.ms | lp -dstdout | ps2pdf -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS'='432  -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS'='648 >interior.pdf
 	cp interior.pdf ../CRASH_ORIGIN.pdf
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-	htmlroff -ms CRASH_ORIGIN.ms | htmlfmt -c utf-8 | fmt >../txt/CRASH_ORIGIN.txt
+	cat CRASH_ORIGIN.ms | ms2html | htmlfmt | fmt >../txt/CRASH_ORIGIN.txt
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 	troff -ms CRASH_ORIGIN.ms | lp -dstdout | ps2pdf -dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS'='432  -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS'='648 | page

txt/CRASH_ORIGIN.txt

-CRASH ORIGIN
+'CRASH ORIGIN' by Stanley Lieber
 
-by Stanley Lieber
-
-by Stanley Lieber
-
-Written 2010
-
-This book was typeset (troff -ms|lp -dstdout|ps2pdf) in New Century
-Schoolbook by the author, using an Lenovo Thinkpad T61 running the
-Plan 9 operating system.
-
-Reprinted with corrections, April 2011
-
-Collectinig TEXT ADVENTURE #1-7
-
-textadventure.stanleylieber.com
-
-MASSIVE FICTIONS
-
-massivefictions.com
-
+by Stanley Lieber Written 2010 This book was typeset (troff -ms|lp
+-dstdout|ps2pdf) in New Century Schoolbook by the author, using an
+Lenovo Thinkpad T61 running the Plan 9 operating system.  Reprinted
+with corrections, April 2011 Collectinig TEXT ADVENTURE #1-7
+textadventure.stanleylieber.com MASSIVE FICTIONS massivefictions.com
 This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents
-either are the product of the authors imagination or are used
+either are the product of the author's imagination or are used
 fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,
 businesses, companies, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
-
 This work is released to the public domain.
 
 photo of manhattan
 
-CRASH ORIGIN
-
-tags: 1987, piro, tab1, tab2
-
-1
+CRASH ORIGIN tags: 1987, piro, tab1, tab2 1
 
 Le Bourget, Paris, 1987.
 
 
 "Sunscreen check," announces Piotr.
 
-"But the suns not even out," complains Thomas.
+"But the sun's not even out," complains Thomas.
 
 Piotr shoots him a look."Safety first.  Next, comfort."
 
 
 "Satisfied?" he asks.
 
-"Never," Piotr replies,"But Im close to spectacular."
+"Never," Piotr replies,"But I'm close to spectacular."
 
 Thomas observes the slight distance between them, then bumps shoulders
 with his twin brother.
 towards evening.
 
 My son is never prepared for anything.  This is intersubjectively
-testable.  Try surprising him.  You’ll find him unprepared.  Example:
-Send a number of military jets crashing into the ground.  You’ll find
+testable.  Try surprising him.  You'll find him unprepared.  Example:
+Send a number of military jets crashing into the ground.  You'll find
 he can think of no response.  Piotr is always pulling clean-up duty.
 
 This has been the steady pattern, played out over two decades.
 are a few hundred yards off, but they enjoy a clear line of sight to
 the carnage.
 
-Thomas response?
+Thomas' response?
 
 Bewilderment, at first.  My son stands transfixed.  He fingers his
 visor, instinctively, but evinces no other reaction.  Not even a
 Priorities.
 
 I bring in the next two planes simultaneously.  A pair of old RF-4Es.
-Piotrs side-arm is quite naturally useless against the two masses
+Piotr's side-arm is quite naturally useless against the two masses
 traveling at such a velocity.  For his part, Thomas remains riveted to
 his spot.  Even if his visor is malfunctioning, there is still the
 sound, the smoke from multiple impacts that has surely reached his
-nostrils.  Why doesnt he react?
+nostrils.  Why doesn't he react?
 
 Piotr grasps him by the back of the shirt and hurls him behind a high
-wall as flames envelop the vacant space beside them.
-
-2
+wall as flames envelop the vacant space beside them.  2
 
 This is not how I expected it to happen.
 
 
 The planes are falling.
 
-Piro is yanking on my shirt, were diving behind a building.  There
+Piro is yanking on my shirt, we're diving behind a building.  There
 are flames.
 
 That first plane was Soviet.  Seems to be a multilateral engagement.
 
 The logical result of Glasnost?
 
-Of course, Im not harmed.  Im invulnerable.  Class 100 strength.
+Of course, I'm not harmed.  I'm invulnerable.  Class 100 strength.
 Flight.
 
-Piotrs photographic reflexes arent much use against disintegrating
+Piotr's photographic reflexes aren't much use against disintegrating
 architecture, but he has a knack for getting out of the way of large
 objects.
 
 I lift some older citizens away from the fires, then report back to
 Piotr.
 
-"Somethings not right about this, boss."
+"Something's not right about this, boss."
 
-Piotrs eyes are focused on some distant point.  By the gentle arc of
+Piotr's eyes are focused on some distant point.  By the gentle arc of
 his stare I deduce he is tracking a moving object.
 
 "RIIIIIIIIIGHT FACE!" he cries.  Instinctively, I spin ninety degrees
 to my right, just in time for Piotr to give me a hard shove.
 
-Hes shot me in the back.
+He's shot me in the back.
 
-I go down.
+I go down.  3
 
-3
+He's impossible.
 
-He’s impossible.
+At least he's toppled over.  That one almost got us.
 
-At least he’s toppled over.  That one almost got us.
-
-I give him a hand and then dust off his back.  I guess I’ve ruined his
+I give him a hand and then dust off his back.  I guess I've ruined his
 shirt.
 
-He seems to think its funny, so were good.
+He seems to think it's funny, so we're good.
 
 A lot of activity in the sky, now.  Some planes are starting to land
 instead of just crashing into the ground.  Notably, a Blackbird and
 what appears to be an F-117A.  Strange that the latter should be out
 and about during the day.  And at a foreign air show, no less.
-Officially, the plane doesnt even exist.
+Officially, the plane doesn't even exist.
 
 A number of jeeps escort the two planes off the runway.  A hangar is
 opened up and the parade disappears behind closed doors.
 
 I motion to Thomas and he confirms.
 
-We need to investigate.
-
-4
+We need to investigate.  4
 
 What the hell are they doing?
 
 Thomas and Piotr are inside the hanger.  I lost them for a moment but
-then I caught site of my sons ridiculous spiked hair.
+then I caught site of my son's ridiculous spiked hair.
 
 I move a few sentries into an adjacent corridor.
 
 
 Suddenly, I flash on an idea.
 
-The boys still havent made their way out of the administrative
+The boys still haven't made their way out of the administrative
 offices.  There is time to move the planes out the other side of the
 hangar.  When they finally break through, the hangar will be empty.
-Its simple sleight of hand.
+It's simple sleight of hand.
 
 Obviously, nothing could ever be that easy.
 
-Piotr picks up on the sounds of activity and theyre faster breaching
+Piotr picks up on the sounds of activity and they're faster breaching
 the main corridor than I had anticipated.
 
 I make an executive decision to light up the whole building.  The Air
 involved.
 
 I hoist Piotr by his backpack and punch a hole through the roof.
-Were well above the fray by the time the building collapses.  Piotr
+We're well above the fray by the time the building collapses.  Piotr
 takes potshots at the scrambling jeeps.
 
 The sky seems alive with fighter jets, all converging on our position.
 
-I fly faster.
+I fly faster.  6
 
-6
-
-I’m shouting curses in Thomas’ ear but at this speed he can’t hear me.
-I know he can survive in a vacuum but I hope he remembers I’ve no
+I'm shouting curses in Thomas' ear but at this speed he can't hear me.
+I know he can survive in a vacuum but I hope he remembers I've no
 protection against the cold.  In the hopes of surviving our escape, I
 snatch the respirator from my backpack and stick it on my nose.  The
-sky is growing dark.
-
-7
+sky is growing dark.  7
 
 My son is an idiot.
 
-IMPRESSIVELY ARTICULATE
-
-tags: 1989, 1990, christopher, eva_bright, john_ratcliff,
-ken_thompson, piro, tab1, tab2
-
-1
+IMPRESSIVELY ARTICULATE tags: 1989, 1990, christopher, eva_bright,
+john_ratcliff, ken_thompson, piro, tab1, tab2 1
 
 The Chrysler Building.  New York.  1989.
 
-New Years Eve.
+New Year's Eve.
 
-"Id like to propose a thought experiment for anti-Evolution
+"I'd like to propose a thought experiment for anti-Evolution
 Creationists: Suppose God created the 4-D space/time football six
 thousand years ago."
 
 "Are you suggesting this would bypass their objections to evolutionary
 theory?"
 
-"Im suggesting it would confuse them."
+"I'm suggesting it would confuse them." 2
 
-2
-
-"Here you are, doing the Devil’s work."
+"Here you are, doing the Devil's work."
 
 Super-Sonic.  John Ratcliff.  White Male wearing tattered jeans and a
 gray sweater.  Acclaimed poet.  Enforcer.
 
-"The Devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose.  Im merely
+"The Devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose.  I'm merely
 speculating on possible angles of attack."
 
 The Raven.  Christopher.  No last name on record.  African-American
 vigilante.  Black T-shirt with slogan in white News Gothic:
+'Impressively Articulate.'
 
-"Id really like to hear what my father would have to say about all
+"I'd really like to hear what my father would have to say about all
 this."
 
 Sonic Boom.  Ken Thompson.  Not that Ken Thompson.  Asian-American
 speedster.  Green polo shirt.  Jeans.
 
-"Youre drowning in rhetoric," John observed."Argumentation is not the
+"You're drowning in rhetoric," John observed."Argumentation is not the
 best weapon against these types."
 
 "Stipulated," allowed Christopher.
 
 "You guys are too cynical."
 
-In unison:"Shut up, Ken."
-
-3
+In unison:"Shut up, Ken." 3
 
 "Brothers, please.  Decorum."
 
 the fridge.  Ken popped up the collar of his polo shirt and leaned
 back into his seat.
 
-"I dont mind, really.  My ideas are still forming."
+"I don't mind, really.  My ideas are still forming."
 
 "Shut up, Ken," said Thomas.
 
-"Enough of this dick party.  We need a womans opinion.  Wheres Eva?"
+"Enough of this dick party.  We need a woman's opinion.  Where's Eva?"
 
 Christopher pushed his chair away from the table and stood up.  He
 made eye contact with John before vacating the room.
 
-"Nevermore," he rasped, sarcastically, and left.
+"Nevermore," he rasped, sarcastically, and left.  4
 
-4
+"What's his problem?" asked Ken.
 
-"What’s his problem?" asked Ken.
-
-"They’re not getting along," said Thomas, stating the obvious.
+"They're not getting along," said Thomas, stating the obvious.
 
 "Seriously though," continued John,"Where is she?  We were discussing
 this just last week.  I know she has something to contribute, but I
-dont want to speak for her.  I want to hear her explain it herself."
+don't want to speak for her.  I want to hear her explain it herself."
 
 Thomas gestured with his glass, spilling a small amount of water onto
-the kitchen floor."I think shes on the phone with Los Angeles."
+the kitchen floor."I think she's on the phone with Los Angeles." 5
 
-5
-
-"Yeah, let’s not tell him I called," Piro wheezed into his mouthpiece,
-still catching his breath."I don’t think we need to bother him with
+"Yeah, let's not tell him I called," Piro wheezed into his mouthpiece,
+still catching his breath."I don't think we need to bother him with
 every detail of the operation."
 
 "Fine with me.  You take care of yourself out there.  From what I
 Eva clicked her phone shut and crushed her cigarette in the
 retractable ashtray.  She wondered when it would be possible to move
 her corporation away from the cocaine trade.  Recent developments in
-domestic politics were making it difficult to keep her agents names
+domestic politics were making it difficult to keep her agents' names
 out of the news.  She sighed, then drew the blinds in her office and
-made her way to the kitchen.
-
-6
+made her way to the kitchen.  6
 
 "Why did economists not do a better job of anticipating the crisis?"
 
-"Tom, its just not that simple."
+"Tom, it's just not that simple."
 
 "You always say that."
 
 
 "You always say that, too."
 
-"I dont know what else to tell you."
+"I don't know what else to tell you."
 
 "Well, tell me something.  Tell me anything.  I need answers."
 
-John rolled his eyes.
-
-7
+John rolled his eyes.  7
 
 "What are you guys talking about?"
 
 "Our Chris has an antagonistic bent.  I suggested we should hear your
 side of the story.  That was too much for him to bear."
 
-"Its not like I would have defended the Creationists," said Eva."But
+"It's not like I would have defended the Creationists," said Eva."But
 I would have been fair."
 
 "Exactly," smiled John.
 
-"Whatever.  Christopher is really focused on this issue.  Im sure it
+"Whatever.  Christopher is really focused on this issue.  I'm sure it
 will come up again."
 
-"Its inevitable," sighed John.
+"It's inevitable," sighed John.
 
 "By design," added Ken, and this time no one bothered to correct him.
-
 8
 
-Thomas’ luck was infuriating to his teammates.  He won every hand but
-didn’t even understand the game.
+Thomas' luck was infuriating to his teammates.  He won every hand but
+didn't even understand the game.
 
-"Ill just take this one out of your paychecks," he said.
+"I'll just take this one out of your paychecks," he said.
 
 "Your poker record is truly remarkable," started John,"Considering we
 have to remind you of the rules every time we play."
 
-"Whats to remark?  The fruits of a superior motivation."
+"What's to remark?  The fruits of a superior motivation."
 
 "Also known as the Will to Power.  Tell us, just what lengths are you
 willing to go to in order to achieve your goals?"
 
-"Not funny.  Just a fact.  Besides, Ive moved on from Nietzsche."
+"Not funny.  Just a fact.  Besides, I've moved on from Nietzsche."
 
-"There are no facts.  And no one moves on from Nietzsche.  We’ve
-caught you before.  I suspect you’ve found a new way to cheat."
+"There are no facts.  And no one moves on from Nietzsche.  We've
+caught you before.  I suspect you've found a new way to cheat."
 
-"All right, I feel stupid," admitted Thomas."I dont know what to
+"All right, I feel stupid," admitted Thomas."I don't know what to
 say."
 
-John relaxed his posture, enjoying the easy victory."Ill give you a
+John relaxed his posture, enjoying the easy victory."I'll give you a
 few seconds to come up with a story."
 
 "Fuck," said Thomas.
 
 "All right boys," interrupted Eva, scooping up her playing cards and
-returning them to the deck."Lets keep it PG-13."
+returning them to the deck."Let's keep it PG-13."
 
-"Mom, hes cheating!" cried John."Punish him!"
+"Mom, he's cheating!" cried John."Punish him!"
 
-"No, Im serious.  Youre all fired," Thomas said, and left the room.
+"No, I'm serious.  You're all fired," Thomas said, and left the room.
 No one was sure if he was serious.
 
 "And that settles that," said Ken.
 
-Evas phone rang as the clock turned over into 1990.
+Eva's phone rang as the clock turned over into 1990.
 
 She switched off the ringer.
 
-YOU’VE POSTED THIS BEFORE
-
-tags: 1990, john_ratcliff, ken_thompson, piro, tab2
-
-1
+YOU'VE POSTED THIS BEFORE tags: 1990, john_ratcliff, ken_thompson,
+piro, tab2 1
 
 The Chrysler Building.  New York.  1990.
 
 January.
 
-"Youve posted this before."
+"You've posted this before."
 
 "No shit."
 
 "So why are you posting it again?"
 
-Piro arched an eyebrow."Its tradition."
+Piro arched an eyebrow."It's tradition."
 
 "Seriously?"
 
 
 Piro remained silent.  Typing.
 
-"Nobodys even going to read it."
+"Nobody's even going to read it."
 
 Silence.
 
 Piro leaned over the mimeograph machine, making small adjustments to
 various knobs and switches while Thomas fidgeted in the doorway.
 
-"Theres literally no way Im going to help you fold all of those
+"There's literally no way I'm going to help you fold all of those
 things."
 
-"I dont care."
+"I don't care."
 
 "This whole side-project is stupid.  You really think the value-added
-is necessary?  This stuff sells itself.  Nofree gift with purchase
+is necessary?  This stuff sells itself.  No'free gift with purchase'
 required."
 
 Piro stopped what he was doing and turned to face his twin brother.
 
-"If youre not going to contribute to the newsletter, please go into
+"If you're not going to contribute to the newsletter, please go into
 the kitchen and start bagging up rocks."
 
-Thomas shrugged and wandered out of the room.
+Thomas shrugged and wandered out of the room.  2
 
-2
-
-Ken steered the Actron Team’s 1978 Lincoln Town Car through the
+Ken steered the Actron Team's 1978 Lincoln Town Car through the
 streets of Alphabet City.  Trash on the sidewalk reflected in the
-cars fresh candy paint.  Passing some children, Ken boosted the
+car's fresh candy paint.  Passing some children, Ken boosted the
 volume on the custom sound system.  The children giggled and pointed.
 He smiled and mashed the gas pedal.  Shining.
 
 The cop with the coke mustache started to giggle, but never finished
 his outburst.  Ken activated his super-speed and closed the distance
 between himself and the two officers in a hundred milliseconds flat.
-He slammed the meat of his open hand into the first officer’s chin,
-then rolled with the momentum into the second officer’s chest,
+He slammed the meat of his open hand into the first officer's chin,
+then rolled with the momentum into the second officer's chest,
 following him to the ground.  Both cops collapsed, unconscious, Ken
 straightened himself and dusted off his knees.
 
 
 "So quit."
 
-"Youre funny."
+"You're funny."
 
 Ken sighed.
 
-"Yeah."
-
-3
+"Yeah." 3
 
 Outside, some children had wandered into the parking lot and were
-peering inside Jons Monte Carlo, noses pressed up against the glass.
+peering inside Jon's Monte Carlo, noses pressed up against the glass.
 
 "Boy, is that white leather?"
 
 "Sure is."
 
-"My brothers car is like this, but his doesnt have leather."
+"My brother's car is like this, but his doesn't have leather."
 
 "Sounds like your brother needs to find himself a better paying job."
 
 with money..."
 
 "We have great health insurance," interrupted John."Dental and vision.
-Also, free car detailing.  Well see what we can do about his vinyl
+Also, free car detailing.  We'll see what we can do about his vinyl
 seats."
 
 "Wow, mister!  Thanks!"
 John patted the boy on the head and then got into the Monte Carlo and
 peeled out.  Ken smoked a cigarette, wandered back to the Lincoln and
 rolled over a beer bottle on his way out of the parking lot.  There
-was no damage to the Town Cars bullet-proof tires.
+was no damage to the Town Car's bullet-proof tires.
 
 As soon as the adults were gone the boys pounced on the briefcase,
 numerous hands scooping out coke and heaving it carelessly over their
 immediately recognizable.  Not just predictable, but in fact an exact
 duplicate of an issue they had all read before.
 
-"Its a fucking reprint," said one of the boys.
+"It's a fucking reprint," said one of the boys.
 
 He flipped over the wrapper, frantically scanning for the publisher
 information.  There, printed in bold Helvetica, was the name of their
 
 Calling in for backup.
 
-YOU ARE NOT A GADGET,
-
-HE CLAIMED, VIA
-
-CELLPHONE
-
-tags: 1990, eva_bright, freeway_ricky_ross, jaron_lanier,
-ken_thompson, piro, tab1, tab2
-
-1
+YOU ARE NOT A GADGET, HE CLAIMED, VIA CELLPHONE tags: 1990,
+eva_bright, freeway_ricky_ross, jaron_lanier, ken_thompson, piro,
+tab1, tab2 1
 
 Dreamed I was a tomcat.
 
 followed.  It rang in my ears.
 
 I approached the vehicle and emptied the rest of my weapon into the
-drivers chest.
+driver's chest.
 
 I found part of a hollowed out cantaloupe and slipped it over my head.
 
 Cute.
 
-No one would prosecute a Persian cat.
-
-2
+No one would prosecute a Persian cat.  2
 
 "Oh, great."
 
 
 "So?  Move it.  Or delete it."
 
-"But I clickedSave without seeing the name of the file."
+"But I clicked'Save' without seeing the name of the file."
 
 "So?"
 
-"So, how am I supposed to find it?  This folder is 5TB.  I dont want
+"So, how am I supposed to find it?  This folder is 5TB.  I don't want
 that Spider-Man image to someday be found amongst my archival porn."
 
 "So, go back and start to save it again and see what the suggested
-filename is.  You probably just hitEnter when you saved it."
+filename is.  You probably just hit'Enter' when you saved it."
 
 "That...  is a very good idea."
 
-"I think I once helped your dad with a similar problem."
-
-3
+"I think I once helped your dad with a similar problem." 3
 
 Jaron Lanier scooped up a handful of the white powder and inspected it
 closely.
 
 Lanier peered into his hand, face wrinkled in concentration.
 
-Piro turned to Thomas."Hes always like this."
+Piro turned to Thomas."He's always like this."
 
-"He doesnt get high out of our supply, does he?"
+"He doesn't get high out of our supply, does he?"
 
 Piro stopped Thomas before he went any further with that line of
 thought.
 
-"No.  At least, not that I’m aware."
-
-4
+"No.  At least, not that I'm aware." 4
 
 It turned out that my son had the drugs.
 
-Nepeta cataria.  Fifty grams.  Im certain his intent was to sell.
+Nepeta cataria.  Fifty grams.  I'm certain his intent was to sell.
 
 I left ten grams with an I.O.U.
 
 
 I peered at the exhaust trail over the top of my sunglasses.
 
-Then I pulled out my gun.
-
-5
+Then I pulled out my gun.  5
 
 It was Ken on the phone.
 
 "Lanier, I need some help with these verb tenses."
 
-"Not now, Ken, were...  weighing...  the drugs."
+"Not now, Ken, we're...  weighing...  the drugs."
 
 Piro snatched the phone away from him and barked into the mouthpiece.
 
 "Ken!  Not on this phone!"
 
-He jammed his thumb on the ’End’ button and then turned back to
-Lanier.
+He jammed his thumb on the'End' button and then turned back to Lanier.
 
 "Are you damaged?  He can study on his own time!"
 
 Some moments passed and then Piro began shouting into the mouthpiece
 in gutter Spanish.  He rung off and handed the phone back to Lanier.
 
-"Dont lose that."
+"Don't lose that."
 
 Thomas finished with his baggies and then dusted off his hands.
 
-"Ken’s obsession with Japanese culture is becoming a problem.  He
-can’t keep his mind on his work.  Someone needs to ship him back to
+"Ken's obsession with Japanese culture is becoming a problem.  He
+can't keep his mind on his work.  Someone needs to ship him back to
 Japan."
 
 Piro rolled his eyes.  Not for the first time that day.
 
-"His parents dont want him back.  At least not until he learns to
+"His parents don't want him back.  At least not until he learns to
 speak Japanese."
 
-"Huh.  That seems unlikely to happen.  Couldnt we just do fansubs for
+"Huh.  That seems unlikely to happen.  Couldn't we just do fansubs for
 them?"
 
-The men all shared a laugh and then got back to work.
-
-6
+The men all shared a laugh and then got back to work.  6
 
 Ken unpaused and then re-paused the DVD.
 
 
 He was supposed to be translating these episodes for the torrent site.
 
-How could he admit that as a native Japanese, he couldnt even speak
+How could he admit that as a native Japanese, he couldn't even speak
 his own language?
 
 His mind raced.  Activating his super-speed, he cleaned up his
 
 It was Lanier.
 
-"I cant stay on here long, but let hear some of the phrases and Ill
+"I can't stay on here long, but let hear some of the phrases and I'll
 give you some quick translations."
 
 "All right, the cat is wearing a cantaloupe on its head, it just
 
 "What...  What exactly are we translating here?"
 
-"Its an anime.  Im supposed to be doing fansubs.  I committed to the
+"It's an anime.  I'm supposed to be doing fansubs.  I committed to the
 first six episodes by tonight."
 
-"Thats a lot of work, Ken.  Youre not a gadget, you know."
+"That's a lot of work, Ken.  You're not a gadget, you know."
 
-"Yeah, but geeze, shouldn’t I at least be able to handle this?  I
-didn’t even start learning English until I was six years old.  How
+"Yeah, but geeze, shouldn't I at least be able to handle this?  I
+didn't even start learning English until I was six years old.  How
 could I have completely forgotten my own language?"
 
-"Uh, Ive gotta go."
+"Uh, I've gotta go."
 
-Lanier hung up.
-
-7
+Lanier hung up.  7
 
 "What are you doing?  Give me the phone."
 
 
 "Why?"
 
-"He might have some good ideas about how to..." Now it was Thomas
+"He might have some good ideas about how to..." Now it was Thomas'
 turn to roll his eyes."Oh, never mind."
 
 The men climbed into their white van and pulled away from the safe
 
 Piro gestured towards him, frowning.
 
-"I dont want this guy coming along with us next time."
+"I don't want this guy coming along with us next time."
 
 "What did I do," Lanier protested.
 
 "Shut up," the rest of the men said in unison.
 
-"This is a business," Piro began."Theres not time for dicking around
+"This is a business," Piro began."There's not time for dicking around
 with language studies and sketching portraits."
 
 Thomas pretended to ignore the scene from behind his visor.  He
 
 "Huh.  It looks like the Bears have taken the Super Bowl."
 
-The van hit a bump and for a split second Thomas visor slid up and
+The van hit a bump and for a split second Thomas' visor slid up and
 exposed his face.
 
-"Oh God, whats wrong with his eyes?" asked Lanier.
+"Oh God, what's wrong with his eyes?" asked Lanier.
 
 Thomas stuck out his tongue and went back to scanning the news.
 
-SENSE OF DEBT
-
-tags: 1954, 1990, coco_schwab, david_bowie, piro,
-
-ragnarok, tab2
-
-1
+SENSE OF DEBT tags: 1954, 1990, coco_schwab, david_bowie, piro,
+ragnarok, tab2 1
 
 November, 1954.
 
 
 I have received another notice from your creditors.  This cannot go
 on.  I am going to give them your address.  If you do not write to
-them, Im going to suggest that they call the police.  There is
+them, I'm going to suggest that they call the police.  There is
 nothing more I can do for you.  I will not pay off another one of your
-debts.  If that means that you go to jail, then so be it.
-
-Love,
-
-Mom
+debts.  If that means that you go to jail, then so be it.  Love, Mom
 
 Bowie crumpled the note and tossed it on his makeup table.  He opened
 a bottle of water and poured it on the carpet, tracing an occult
 
 He straightened, all trace of disquiet drained from his face.
 
-Time to take the stage.
-
-2
+Time to take the stage.  2
 
 Piro and Thomas hopped into the RAGNAROK and strapped on their
 seatbelts.  The engine warbled softly as Thomas adjusted his data
 gloves.
 
-"Whats the difference between a raven and a writing desk?" asked
+"What's the difference between a raven and a writing desk?" asked
 Thomas, gesturing through a cloud of invisible information.
 
 "By weight?" asked the other.
 
 "Sure."
 
-"Id say bout fifty kilos."
+"I'd say bout fifty kilos."
 
 "Sounds about right," agreed Thomas, scribbling in his palm."Anyway,
 we ought to go further back and try to sell some of this stuff to all
 those 19th century artsy types who were hooked on heroine.  Can you
 imagine?"
 
-"No, I cant," said Piro.
+"No, I can't," said Piro.
 
 "Aw, come on."
 
 above New York City.
 
 Lately, Thomas was spending far too much of his free time reading
-children’s literature.
-
-3
+children's literature.  3
 
 Bowie stomped through the concert, affecting strange poses.  Back in
 his dressing room, he unwadded the note from his mother and then
 wadded it back up again, lit it on fire with his cigarette lighter.
 Coco rushed over and doused the flames with a tumbler of scotch.
 
-Which didnt help at all.
+Which didn't help at all.
 
 Bowie stripped off his Puerto Rican jacket and patted out the fire.
 He was careful of his shoes.
 
-"That was incredibly stupid," he said, icily."Now Ive ruined my
+"That was incredibly stupid," he said, icily."Now I've ruined my
 shoulder pads.  What were you thinking about?"
 
 "Reflex," was all she could offer in reply.
 
 Changing tacks, Bowie started digging around in her purse.
 
-"Youve got so much crap in here.  Wheres the coke?"
+"You've got so much crap in here.  Where's the coke?"
 
-"Were out."
+"We're out."
 
 "What," he growled, turning back towards her, baring his teeth.  The
 cigarette fell out of his mouth and landed on the carpet.  Coco ran
 
 Bowie snatched the baggy and sat back down in his chair.  Engrossed.
 
-"We can’t have any more of these close calls," he sighed, and dove in.
-
+"We can't have any more of these close calls," he sighed, and dove in.
 4
 
 Piro piloted the RAGNAROK towards 1954.
 thump.  He looked over and Thomas had hit his forehead on the
 dashboard.
 
-"WHAT!  IS! THIS!  CRAP!" he shouted.  Piro couldnt be certain
+"WHAT!  IS! THIS!  CRAP!" he shouted.  Piro couldn't be certain
 whether he was reacting to the noise or to the pain.
 
-"Bowie.Golden Years."
+"Bowie.'Golden Years.'"
 
-"You’re one of those people who listens to every album by an artist
-while you’re driving to see them in concert, aren’t you."
+"You're one of those people who listens to every album by an artist
+while you're driving to see them in concert, aren't you."
 
 Piro remained silent.  Piloting.
 
-"Plus, your chronology is off.  In 1954, he hasnt even written this
+"Plus, your chronology is off.  In 1954, he hasn't even written this
 song yet."
 
 Piro reached for the dash and ejected the cassette.
 
-"Fine.  See?  I’m putting it away."
-
-5
+"Fine.  See?  I'm putting it away." 5
 
 Coco had come up with a new supplier.  She was on the phone with them
 now.  Bowie stared nervously at her hands as she wound the phone cord
 around her finger.  A knock came at the door while she was still
-talking.  Now she was chewing on her pencil.  She didnt seem to hear.
+talking.  Now she was chewing on her pencil.  She didn't seem to hear.
 
 Bowie glanced at the door, and then back at Coco.
 
 Oblivious, she kept on talking.
 
 Bowie coughed, quietly.  His eyes were pleading with her to hear, to
-do something.  Of course, he couldnt say anything.  It was not his
+do something.  Of course, he couldn't say anything.  It was not his
 place to answer the door.  Sweat running down his neck, he kicked over
 a chair.  Then tried to look composed.
 
 
 Piro pulled out his flip-phone and dialed the new customers.
 
-"Ill just make sure theyre ready for us," he whispered.
+"I'll just make sure they're ready for us," he whispered.
 
 Piro talked for ten minutes.  It seemed like an endless amount of
 chitchat.  Thomas had no patience for customer relations, but Piro
 
 He booted up his gun.
 
-Now Piro was knocking on the door.  Why?  Just tell her were here.
+Now Piro was knocking on the door.  Why?  Just tell her we're here.
 
-Hm. No answer from the marks.
-
-7
+Hm. No answer from the marks.  7
 
 Just as Coco turned the door handle, both of the doors blew violently
 inward, completely off of their hinges.  Coco was thrown to the
 Coco maintained her expression.  It would take more than an explosion
 and a broken telephone to rattle her.
 
-"Its Shenzhen, China."
+"It's Shenzhen, China."
 
 "What?" asked Thomas.
 
 I see, Coco said with her eyes."Real estate or commodities?"
 
-"Real estate.  Get Tony on the phone.  We’ll grab as much as we can,
-now, while it’s still available.  Sort it out later.  I’ve got a good
+"Real estate.  Get Tony on the phone.  We'll grab as much as we can,
+now, while it's still available.  Sort it out later.  I've got a good
 feeling about this one."
 
 "How much do we spend?"
 Bowie was rolling up the sleeves of his shirt, loosening his necktie.
 He snorted conspicuously and answered quickly.
 
-"All of it."
+"All of it." 8
 
-8
+"I don't know, Mr. Bowie, it seems rather unorthodox to sign your
+mother's name to a cocaine bill."
 
-"I don’t know, Mr. Bowie, it seems rather unorthodox to sign your
-mother’s name to a cocaine bill."
-
-"She’s my business partner.  And we’re going to need plenty of
+"She's my business partner.  And we're going to need plenty of
 marching powder for the new venture."
 
-Coco arranged the paperwork on the table as Bowie signed his mothers
+Coco arranged the paperwork on the table as Bowie signed his mother's
 name at the bottom of each page.  She reached over and smoothed down
 his eyebrow as he worked.
 
 Thomas was smiling.
 
-Piro decided it didnt matter."I guess it will have to do."
+Piro decided it didn't matter."I guess it will have to do."
 
-Bowie suddenly looked concerned."Are you sure you wont have any
+Bowie suddenly looked concerned."Are you sure you won't have any
 problems filling the standing order?"
 
 Thomas motioned with his thumb.
 
-"You wouldnt believe how much of this stuff we have back in the
+"You wouldn't believe how much of this stuff we have back in the
 ship."
 
 At this, Piro decided to interject.
 
 "Friends.  I think this is going to work out just fine."
 
-BIG PANTIES
-
-tags: 1991, 4086, christopher, eva_bright, ken_thompson,
-
-maude_mold, piro, plinth_mold, tab2
-
-1
+BIG PANTIES tags: 1991, 4086, christopher, eva_bright, ken_thompson,
+maude_mold, piro, plinth_mold, tab2 1
 
 May, 1991.
 
-These memories simulate a very dark period in my life.
-
-2
+These memories simulate a very dark period in my life.  2
 
 I had dumped an awful lot of money into Next Computer.
 
 For obvious reasons, this troubled the King.
 
-"Maryland Procurement Office," I would remind."Were just shoring up
+"Maryland Procurement Office," I would remind."We're just shoring up
 inventory."
 
-"Its easier to buy a judge than to ask for permission," the King
+"It's easier to buy a judge than to ask for permission," the King
 would retort.
 
 Whatever that was supposed to mean.
 disposed of.  Driven from the enterprise.
 
 At this rate, he would snort his way through our operating capital in
-a matter of weeks.
-
-3
+a matter of weeks.  3
 
 I grew weary of kings.  After a short period of deliberation I
 disabled comms with 4086.  It was an obvious measure too long delayed.
-
 4
 
 Christopher threw down his leaf in disgust.
 
 Ken checked the flashing index.  BLACK GANGSTER, by Donald Goines.
 
-"So, whats so bad about it?" he asked.
+"So, what's so bad about it?" he asked.
 
-"Nothing.  If you’ve never committed a crime in your life, and you
-don’t know the difference between gorilla pimping andâ•”"
+"Nothing.  If you've never committed a crime in your life, and you
+don't know the difference between gorilla pimping and­"
 
-"I dont know, I read it when I was a teenager.  It seemed realistic
+"I don't know, I read it when I was a teenager.  It seemed realistic
 enough to me."
 
 Christopher rolled his eyes until it hurt and snapped a new clip into
 
 "You got the crack?"
 
-"I don’t know, Chris, I’m not so sure I can trust your judgment
-anymore.  I’m starting to wonder if your political views are having an
-influence on yourâ•”"
+"I don't know, Chris, I'm not so sure I can trust your judgment
+anymore.  I'm starting to wonder if your political views are having an
+influence on your­"
 
 Christopher pulled down his ski-mask and turned off his phone.  He
 walked over and poked Ken directly in the chest.
 
-"I dont give a fuck who you think you can trust.  Stop whining and
+"I don't give a fuck who you think you can trust.  Stop whining and
 get in the van."
 
 The two men took their places in the vehicle.
 
-"Im in like Flynn," said Ken.
+"I'm in like Flynn," said Ken.
 
 Christopher punched Ken in the neck.
 
-"Put on your seat belt."
-
-5
+"Put on your seat belt." 5
 
 My organization ran with a minimum of friction.
 
 butting heads with the lower-level management.  Besides, Piro was
 reasonably competent.
 
-We didnt fraternize, on the whole.
+We didn't fraternize, on the whole.
 
-My wife was a different story.  She simply couldnt follow the
+My wife was a different story.  She simply couldn't follow the
 program.  I discovered her trail more than once.
 
 Unacceptable sloppiness.  This was a business.
 
-In November, 1991, with some regret, I disabled her power source.
-
-6
+In November, 1991, with some regret, I disabled her power source.  6
 
 "Instead of improvements, we got features."
 
 
 Without warning, the windshield exploded inward.
 
-Plinth Mold’s hand extended well beyond its normal range, traversing
-the length of the van’s hood and grasping Christopher’s flack jacket.
+Plinth Mold's hand extended well beyond its normal range, traversing
+the length of the van's hood and grasping Christopher's flack jacket.
 His other hand slithered into the cabin and found purchase around
-Kens throat.
+Ken's throat.
 
 Plinth yanked both men from the vehicle, trailing bits of shatterproof
 glass.  He deposited them both onto the sidewalk.  7
 
 "Boss!  What are you doing here?"
 
-Plinth tapped Kens face to the ground.  The smaller man writhed
+Plinth tapped Ken's face to the ground.  The smaller man writhed
 mindlessly, firearm forgotten, oversized panties gathered around his
 ankles.
 
 Plinth examined the situation.  It was a stuck process.  Too late for
 circumcision, but too soon for canonization.
 
-And yet, he couldnt fire these men.  Not exactly.
+And yet, he couldn't fire these men.  Not exactly.
 
 "Why are you both wearing giant panties?"
 
 terminated, the processes would not even relinquish the memory that
 had already been consumed.
 
-"Its our body armor, boss."
+"It's our body armor, boss."
 
 It was not the answer Plinth had wanted to hear.
 
 system.
 
 He dialed the Chrysler Building and patched himself through to Piro.
-
 8
 
 The incompetence...
 
-It wouldnt have been fair to blame them, but still I couldnt look at
+It wouldn't have been fair to blame them, but still I couldn't look at
 their faces.  Could I see myself in this?
 
 Never mind.  I resolved to make yet more adjustments to the running
-system.  Not premature optimization, but triage.  The machine hadnt
+system.  Not premature optimization, but triage.  The machine hadn't
 yet crashed, but experience had taught me to expect more trouble.
 
 Perhaps humorously, I still thought it possible to prevent a
 catastrophe.
 
-I dialed the Chrysler Building and patched myself through to Piro.
+I dialed the Chrysler Building and patched myself through to Piro.  9
 
-9
-
-Plinth’s wallet had deactivated itself due to suspicious activity.
+Plinth's wallet had deactivated itself due to suspicious activity.
 The King had emptied the last of the corporate accounts.  As a result,
 it took more than two years to hup the errant processes.  With his
-other resources tied up in acquisitions, Plinth simply couldnt afford
+other resources tied up in acquisitions, Plinth simply couldn't afford
 the man hours needed to affect the required changes.
 
 In the end, as he suspected, the corrupted system memory was not freed
 
 Eventually, the entire system bogged down.
 
-Plinth couldnt log out.
+Plinth couldn't log out.  10
 
-10
-
-Fuck it, I’ll reboot.
-
-11
+Fuck it, I'll reboot.  11
 
 Years ago, the plane jerked.
 
-FINAL REPORT OF TEAM 34
-
-tags: 1991, 1994, federal_grants, nana_mold, paris_mold, piro,
-plinth_mold, shit_mold, tab2, violet
-
-1
+FINAL REPORT OF TEAM 34 tags: 1991, 1994, federal_grants, nana_mold,
+paris_mold, piro, plinth_mold, shit_mold, tab2, violet 1
 
 August, 1994.
 
 
 Tear down.  Clean up.  Soft seductions.
 
-Were always called in on the quiet jobs.  The ones with a lot of work
+We're always called in on the quiet jobs.  The ones with a lot of work
 to be done, preferably without a lot of noise.
 
 I have to admit, the world is a pretty big mess.
 
 Reputation.  Dependability.
 
-We dont deal in names, but were well known to the people that
+We don't deal in names, but we're well known to the people that
 matter.
 
-We do okay.
-
-2
+We do okay.  2
 
 I task three assets to the South Pacific.  One to the Chrysler
-Building.  I dont trust anyone but myself with Plinth.
+Building.  I don't trust anyone but myself with Plinth.
 
 Violet continues to elude us.
 
-Weve laid down some perimeter product placement, biding our time.
+We've laid down some perimeter product placement, biding our time.
 
-Nothing is coming up.  Its difficult to predict emerging
+Nothing is coming up.  It's difficult to predict emerging
 demographics, the interactions of different products.  And Violet is a
 professional.  Humans melt in her hands.
 
-I decide to call my mother.
-
-3
+I decide to call my mother.  3
 
 "Barfight!  Dipstick!  Bricoloage!  Go! Go! Go!"
 
-Mother screams at my men through her mouthpiece.  They arent used to
+Mother screams at my men through her mouthpiece.  They aren't used to
 hearing her shouting on the wire.
 
-"Nana!  Where the hell have you been?  Were on overtime!"
+"Nana!  Where the hell have you been?  We're on overtime!"
 
-A firefight is underway.  Clearing old signage means engaging Plinth’s
-aerosol defenses.  We’re prepared, but understaffed.
+A firefight is underway.  Clearing old signage means engaging Plinth's
+aerosol defenses.  We're prepared, but understaffed.
 
-"Keep formation, boys!  Im losing your signal!"
+"Keep formation, boys!  I'm losing your signal!"
 
 At least Plinth is alone in this fight.  We were careful to remove old
 man Jerrymander from the board, decades prior to the meltdown.
 
 For her part, Mother keeps a tight handle on the Mold family backups.
-
 4
 
 February, 1991.
 
 Federal Grants straightens his paperwork and peers deeply into Plinth
-Molds single working eye.
+Mold's single working eye.
 
-There is a subtle click and Molds head inclines towards Grants.  The
+There is a subtle click and Mold's head inclines towards Grants.  The
 gesture is all but imperceptible.
 
-"Why dont you tell me about your childhood."
+"Why don't you tell me about your childhood."
 
 Dust plays in the sunlight streaming in through the library window.
 
 "Have you ever read a book called THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD?" asks
-Plinth."A childrens piece.  Published around 1960."
+Plinth."A children's piece.  Published around 1960."
 
-Fed stifles a guffaw."Please.  I dont read kiddie trash.  Ive never
+Fed stifles a guffaw."Please.  I don't read kiddie trash.  I've never
 even heard of it."
 
-"My brother Pennis and Iâ•”weâ•” published that book."
+"My brother Pennis and I­we­ published that book."
 
-Immediately, Grants realizes his tactical error."Iâ•”I’m sorry."
+Immediately, Grants realizes his tactical error."I­I'm sorry."
 
 "It was a thinly veiled retelling of the origin of our family."
 
-This is no good.  Grants panics, leaps from his seat."Sir, Iâ•”"
+This is no good.  Grants panics, leaps from his seat."Sir, I­"
 
-"I think were finished here."
+"I think we're finished here."
 
-Plinth rises, exits.
-
-5
-
-PLINTH’S LOG
-
-524780 SECONDS FROM THE EPOCH
+Plinth rises, exits.  5 PLINTH'S LOG 524780 SECONDS FROM THE EPOCH
 
 With the last hard boot less than a year in the past, the world is
 already growing crowded.  Mostly with clean-up crews.  I assume my
 There are many starting conditions to seed.
 
 Mother called, earlier today.  Clean-up proceeds apace.  Paris is
-amongst the rabble, but Violet remains hidden.  Ive asked her not to
+amongst the rabble, but Violet remains hidden.  I've asked her not to
 reveal my whereabouts, either, for the time being.
 
-I’ve also reinstated the Crown.  And the Crown has renewed my funding.
+I've also reinstated the Crown.  And the Crown has renewed my funding.
 
-I’m thinking about re-spawning Thomas and Piro.  They might amuse me
+I'm thinking about re-spawning Thomas and Piro.  They might amuse me
 in this new world.
 
-And, thats about it.  For this month.  More after the new year.  6
+And, that's about it.  For this month.  More after the new year.  6
 
 January, 1995.
 
 Once customers start populating the layouts, later this year, we
 should start to see good numbers.  I think we can handle the traffic.
 
-Weve decided to go with a variation on the initial predilections from
+We've decided to go with a variation on the initial predilections from
 the last iteration.  Non-standard prejudices.  These first new
 customers will find themselves inexplicably drawn towards the Asiatic
 races and the flickering of camp fires.  There is some debate over
 rate.  Will they fuck themselves to death before they even get a
 chance to starve?  Will the flames and their genitals mix favorably?
 
-Ha, thats the test, isnt it?
+Ha, that's the test, isn't it?
 
 Still no sign of Violet.
 
 
 END CRASH ORIGIN
 
-more
+more textadventure.stanleylieber.com
 
-textadventure.stanleylieber.com
+about the author Stanley Lieber has started a new novel.
 
-about the author
-
-Stanley Lieber has started a new novel.
-
-NOTES
-
-NOTES
-
-NOTES
-
-NOTES
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