March 3, 2004

QUEEN AMIDALA SHAREHOLDER steps up to the podium and clears her throat.


I call for a vote of no-confidence in Chancellor Michael Eisner.

Approximately 43 percent of the audience rises to its feet and cheers.

I’m reading a neat book called Atlantis Destroyed by Rodney Castleden. It’s essentially a search for the historical Atlantis, canvassing historical civilizations for reasonable candidates. It’s a solid, rigorously fact-based book, though sometimes to a fault; Castleden’s style tends towards the ponderous academic. But I find it an exciting subject, and Castleden retains a sense of adventure in his writing at the best of times.

And now, more of the VR story. Oh, and VOTE! On the right.

“What?” said Thomas, blinking, as they stumbled forward into the hallway. He cursed himself. He was not being the suave, sophiticated James Bond type here.

“We can’t stay here,” she repeated matter-of-factly, stopping at the door to glance up and down the hallway. “There will probably be more of them.”

“More of who?” Thomas asked, endeavoring to be polite to the girl with a vise-like grip on his forearm.

She gave a frustrated sigh, pulling him behind her as she made her way down the hall and glanced every which way except at him. “They wanna kill you. And we can’t have that, now can we?”

As smart as Thomas was, it took him a moment to process this, but quickly enough he wholeheartedly concurred. The poor man was a bit out of his depth. He could handle online adventures of practically any type; real men with real guns were rather more than he was used to.

“Excuse me,” he said, still endeavoring to be polite as he was yanked down the hallway of the partment complex, “but who are you?”

“Y.T.,” she said.

He blinked. “No,” he began.

She grinned, still not looking at him. “Nah, just kidding. Online, I’m Doodlehopper.”


“Yeah!” She seemed to pull harder. “So, it’s a little…juvie. Whatever. I’ve had it forever. Four years now.”

Thomas’ thirty-four-year-old inner wisdom groaned at this, but he thought it wise to let it pass.

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