Propaganda 23 ch07

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|S   |




  IRATA mysteriously murdered. Just
  as all the other quitters. The
  police are clueless and the scene
  in total shock.

  CENSOR and REFLEX release their
  new productions, much hyped.

  MRS.Z, wife to MR.Z appears under
  wicked circumstances.

       |Scenetown must continue.|


As always when waking up, my head was
aching badly. It was becoming a habit
due to too many long nights at RASTER-
BARS, but I quickly remembered I had
not been out last night. In fact, I
didn't even know whether it was day or
night or where the hell I was. It came
back to me quickly - I had attended the
official launch of the REFLEX and
CENSOR-demos up at the university but
everything had turned black only min-
iutes after the show had started. Had
I been drugged and taken away? Was my
body OK? Where the hell was I? The
questions were flying around in my
poor old head.

It was completely dark and through my
haze (it was probably some drug or med-
ical thing 'they' had me going on) I
could gather I was in a bed. I could
hear the tones of SID in the far dist-
ant. After all, this place was not all
that bad I thought and dozed of into a
great haze of sleep. Again.

"Ahh, he's awake! How are you feeling
son?", I heard a voice say as I was
coming out of the sleep.

"You lame piece of shit, couldn't you
see I was sleeping?", I replied as I
understood it was a doctor. I was in
the hospital, and from there apperently
in very safe place.

"I am very sorry sir, but I had to wake
you up. Press are raving mad about the
incident you had at the college and I
wanted to alarm you.", he said. "I am
DR.DICK and have been taking care of
you since you arrived last night.", he
continued and held out his arm in a very
femenin way.

"Why the hell I am I here?", I asked,
very annoyed.

"I understand your frustration sir, I
really do, but let me just explain to
you what happened up there at the uni-

"Very well, but make it short. I have
to be back the office for releases

before lunch"

DR.DICK nodded and seemed a bit tense
by the fact that I was his patient. I
guess he would have prefered a normal
patient today, one of the citizens. I
knew what pressure it meant to him,
having one of the most influencial
people in the city at his hospital.
Media had probably been on him like rats
since the minute I got her, not to men-
tion all other scum that always came

"You have what we could call the quitter
syndrom", he said without hesitating.

"What?!", I asked - almost shocked.

"Uhrm, let me explain. It is not that

simple you see. We recently discovered
a tendency of several patients coming in
here, tired of everything - their 64s,
their games, demos, groups and wives. At
first, we just thought there was some
virus going around, but we quickly rea-
lized that wasn't issue. There really
haven't been any viruses in SCENETOWN
since we prohibited PCs and Amigas here
a year back."

The doctor was babbling like a mad sci-
entist, but I was not paying attention.
I was looking at his nurse, so cute,
standing next to him. She had the smile
of an angel and beatiful blond hair, way
down her shoulders. "I'd like to plug
my joystick into your port", I thought
and smiled at her.

"Please try to pay attention sir, I am
trying to make my point here.", the
doctor said. "You can look at all the
women you want when I am done here.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the syn-
drom. After months of tests and inter-
views we noticed a paralel between all
cases - malnutrition and malsidition.
Yes, it turned out some of these people
had been mistreating their health badly
- no keyboardtraining, no joystick-
wiggling, no space-slaps. - bad intake
of food and worst of all - no SID. These
poor people lost lack and devotion, and
eventually all came to quit. It has been
known among the scientists as the quit-
ters syndrom, or the FAIRLIGHTSYNDROM
for some time now. It is not all that
different from the lamer syndrom - "

"Hold your horses, doc!", I said clearly
affected by the harsh, and in my opinion
unfair judgement I had gotten.

"Are you saying I am a quitter? By golly
what accusations you are throwing in my
face. Of all the things I've heard -"

"It is not like that sir. All I am say-
ing, is that you suffer from the syn-
drom. We just need to put you on med-
ication. How long ago was it you did
some exercise for instance?"

"Well, uhm, I go to the keyboard-gym
every week"

"Very well, I suggest you go there
daily, and write scrolls like you never

did before. Your fingers need to get
strong and healthy again. And as for the
joystick-wiggling, I advice you to do a
couple of sets of DECATHLON or HYPER
SPORTS daily to get the body back in
shape. I have some Dycps here for you.
They are pretty strong, but take them
everytime you have dinner, with a glass
of water and you'll be all set."

I was clearly insulted by the man. Try-
ing to impose me as a quitter! This man
clearly had no clue of what he was talk-
ing about - and to compare me with all
them people he had treated! Who did he
think he was? No, all my respect for the
doctors at BYTERAPERS was gone. I was
upset and told my driver to rush me to
the office. Releases had to be made to-
day as well. As any other day. The syn-

drom was already forgotten as we turned


The new BURGLAR, they used to call him,
now that he cut his long hair. Naturally
rumours were flooding media as he cut
his curly sway. "BURGLAR HAS CANCER",
of the memorable headlines taken from
didn't care. Not at all. He just smiled,
put on his sunglasses and got into his
fancy car. He looked a million bucks
and was one of the most popular stars we
had in scenetown.

"Today is a good day for Poker", he
said to himself and headed towards CBA's
mansion. CBA was the sleazy half
of the successful cracking-duo. Always
smiling, and looked like it always was
the day after. Probably it was too,
because CBA didn't really mind a drink
every now and then.

As BURGLAR was driving by the EFFE-
QUATTRO HEIGHTS he couldn't help over-
seeing an odd fellow sneaking out of a
house. As he drove closer, he noticed it
was TRANZIIE from HITMEN. "What the hell
is he doing in this district?", BURGLAR
said to himself as pulled over to study
the moment carefully. TRANZIIE looked
terribly nervous. By all means, he had
no business sneaking around in this dis-

trict, and not in MR.Z's garden. He was
shaking slightly, as his head turned
left and right to make sure nobody was
watching him as he jumped over the fence
out on the street. BURGLAR picked up his
handy and dialed the number instantly.
His head was full of questions. What did
HITMEN have to do with MR.Z? What was he
doing there this early in the morning?

"Yeah, it is me. Listen, guess who just
left MR.Z'S house in a hurry?"

"I wouldn't have a clue, would I", CBA
answered annoyed and tired on the line.

"TRANZIIE just left there. I saw him
sneaking around in the garden. I tell
you man, if anyone, he looked like he
had the hands in cookiejar. I don't like

this at all. What if HITMEN are planning
to get old MR.Z into their clan? Man,
we gotta work something out for our
cracking boys."

"At ease my friend. Z hasn't touched a
key since he got the disease. Whatever
HITMEN have in mind I wouldn't worry.
They always come up short anyway. Just
see what happened to PEACEMAKER and
JACK ALIEN - now there are two fine

"Yeah maybe you're right, but still
that Polish bloke, what's his name...
MOONCHILD delivers..I wanna check this
out. Listen, I am going over to the
F4CG-building to see if they know any-
thing. I will pop by later, Ok?"

"Sure..Don't forget, we're having dinner
with the guys tonight."

"I wouldn't miss it, I will be there"

Dinner with the guys was a classic,
monthly thing. All top-dogs from all
top-groups used to get together at CBA'S
mansion for a nice meal, discuss the
future and recent releases. The trad-
ition had started years ago in the real
world. TRC*SCS used to gather up sceners
from all over Europe in Holland and call
it the X-PARTIES. Now that it was a mon-
thly dinner, they used to be X-DINNERS
and the ones invited wouldn't miss it
for the world. CBA had turned out to be
an excellent cook, mind you.

"I wouldn't be so sure", somebody said.

BURGLAR could feel the sensation of cold
metal towards his neck, clearly somebody
was threatening him with a gun.

"I wouldn't mind our affairs if I were
you, BURGER. Things can take hazardous
turns you know.", the voice said again.

BURGLAR looked in the rearview mirror
and sighed briefly as he realized he was
confronted by JACK ALIEN and PEACEMAKER.

"Ha, good joke guys..How are you doing?"
, he said clearly relieved.

"This is not a joke. Calling us quitters
over the phone. Don't say anything else,

you have seen and heard too much al-
ready. Start the car!"

"Listen guys, I'm sure we can-"

"Shut up and start the car. We have
stuff to do. Drive slowly and say not-
hing", JACK ALIEN roared and tried to
look as mean as possible.

BURGLAR started the car and it would
take long until anybody saw him again.


              |SCENETOWN |


Everything was pretty normal at the
office today. We had already done the
juicy releases from OCEAN. Our new
supplier had proven to be a real corker
and the break-in at OCEAN'S building had
resulted in a lot of good releases.
As my secretary went through our crack
of TEKKEN2+11FIX I decided to walk over
to the trader-division to see that they
were doing their uploading-job.

I know there had been some quarrels in
the trader-diviosion. Some people with
loud voices had been complaining about
small rewards and terrible salaries.

Media had made a big thing about it,
and just recently, they had affected
the division so much they went on str-
ike. It had been a tricky deal to settle
but we sat down and negotiated with the
union and finally came to a solution.
Larger salary, free disks and access to
some of the better boards in town - they
coulndn't complain now, now that they
were the most privileged traders around.

I entered the big hall and thought of
the good old days at a copyparty. This
really was like walking into one big
party. All over the place I could only
carrier-detects, the spinning drives
and people dialing their codes. There
was a slight moment of silence as I
they saw me, but I tried not to pay

"How are we doing today, trader?", I
asked one of the employees.

"Good, really good. We just beat the
Onslaught-office with a release, but
they're on our tail and I don't know
if we can beat them on INDEPENDENCE
DAY. Those guys are fast, you know"

"I guess so", I said and was slightly
annoyed losing such a big title. JAZZ-
CAT was working about 16 hours a day
and boosted great energy into his emp-

"I spoke to the guys in our cracking-
division, and they barely got started
with it."

Some months back we placed a member of
ours in their office. A spy, in a way.
Good old STING had moved out of the
quitter-gutters, and as he entered the
office of ours, he was employed instant-
ly. JAZZCAT knew nothing of the scam
we were playing, but we had quite a good
look into things at their place. Most
probably, other groups had spies placed
all over various offices - it was as
natural as having members.

"Good work, son. Keep up the good work,
and say hi to your wife from me", I said
and continued my stroll among the carr-
iers and sound of dialing. The trader
smiled and connected to THE DUNGEON.


My driver drove up SID STREET, heading
for CBA'S mansion. I was looking forward
to the dinner. I had spent the afternoon
at RASTERBARS enjoying a few drinks with
the CHROMANCE-posse. Some great gang
they were. MR.WAX always used to drink
to many DYCPS ON THE ROCKS and used to
tell these great stories. About groupies
he nailed, releases they stole and scr-
olls they never dared to publish since
they would probably result in a war.
Once they even had a burglary-division
that broke into coder's home to steal
games long before the day of release.
It was later on discovered and parts of
the CHROMANCE-posse had to spend a coup-

le of months in jail. Even though many
counted out the group by then, WAX and
his buddies controlled the entire bus-
iness from inside the prison. Probably
bribed the OXYRONpolice with disks and
releases, I guess.

The phone rang in the car and I picked
up quickly.

"Hi, remember me?", a pleasant voice
uttered from the other side. It was
MRS.Z, I gathered.

"Oh, Hi. How are you? I am sorry for
my sorti the other night - I just passed
out you know"

"I know, I followed you in the ambulen-
ce to the hospital."

"You did, I don't know what to say.
Thank you for the help, I guess"

"Don't mention it. Listen, are you
still up for a cup at MYSTIC CAVERN'S?"

"Sure, I will be able to get a few hours
off tomorrow. I'll have a car come and
pick you up."

"No don't. My husband would probably
be asking way to many questions, I'll
just meet you there at noon."

I knew this was no good. Not for me,
or her. I was attracted to her, but I
didn't want to interfere with her rela-
tionship. It was inevitable and I de-
cided I would talk to her about it right

away tomorrow at noon. I thought about
her the rest of the ride and as we pull-
ed up the driveway to CBA'S mansion I
was smiling. The rest of the guys were
already there - JAZZCAT, VENGEANCE,
of other people - hell, even CROSSFIRE
had showed up. I hadn't seen him since
MOTIV8 were busted for recracking some
months back. They all looked confused,
apart from MARC who probably had been
looking for too many bugs today - he was
totally overdosed on wares. He had over-
dosed before, but word had it he had it
under control these days. I doubted it.
Once a wares-junkie, always a wares-
junkie. Only BURGLAR was missing and
little did we know he had been kidnapp-
ed only hours earlier.

            To be CONTINUED.

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