The Infoduel: A Novel of Decentralized Conflict

Epilogue: Legacy of the Fallen Titan

(The following messages were found on an Ayn Rand Brigade server. Few of the handles could be decrypted, but the general gist of the messages remain.)

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DAMN IT ALL! SHIT SHIT SHIT! FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! I'm out of a job, my meatspace stocks are shot, and my contacts are wanted by the cops!

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Ha! It's your own damn fault, retard! The Networkers would strike the most obvious targets, and figures the company isn't the only dummy!

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No need to flaunt it. It's just weeding out of more idiots. We've been getting too freaking many of them lately. About time something thinned their ranks. Retards, all of them.

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And you're one of them! You logged in with such a pathetic handle and easy to trace IP address. And looking at the data I just recovered from your computer, you're stupid enough to put your meatspace info and savings account data on your hard drive! You're not only the real retard, but you're going to be a poor one, too! See you on the street corner, vagrant.

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You're all a bunch of pathetic idiots. Atlas is gone, but some of his top guys are still around. We need to present a united front against our enemies! We need to take out the Network before they can do any more damage to us. We need every person we can to help us win the I-war. Remember, we need to show the moochers and looters we're better than them!

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No, we don't. We lost this round because there are too many fucking idiots in the world. (That INCLUDES bleeding heart wimps like you.) The moochers and looters don't need compassion. They need to be shown why they are inferior to us. Remember, WE are the TITANS that keep the world going. Without us, the world stops. The sheep will find out why we are in charge once we crash their pathetic rat race society into history's trash can. We have been treaded like tech support slaves for far too long. Fuck the suits and the System, and faggots like you!

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FUCK ALL OF YOU! Shut up and listen to me! I have a really good plan!

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Just shut up, moron. Are you some ten year old fucking around with your older brother's handle? Get off and go play with your action figures.

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(Similar commentary continues down the page. A few Network responses are shown below.)

So, Ah Q, the in-fighting's only just begun. Looks like it's going to be a fun time for the Ayn Rand Brigade. Too bad they lack efficient, self-contained online institutions, eh? -Bhuta

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Oh, they have institutions. Most of the exist as puppets or pawns of the larger Brigade, but they certainly have institutions at their beck and call. Or at least, they had them. Remember what just happened to Night-Watch System Securities? They filed for bankruptcy and most of their executives ended up in jails around the world on several charges. And don't get me started on what happened to Rook Security Contractors. I still get nightmares looking at the descriptions of what Kimura did to the ones he found. Filing for bankruptcy and ending up in various jails is better than ending up as fertilizer in the middle of the jungle. -Ah Q

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Ever seen a jail in India, Ah Q? I had the misfortune of spying on one, and they are not very nice places in the least. Death Row in the States seems mercifully quick by comparison to some of them. But, anyway, how are the ARBies doing in other places around the world? -Bhuta

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Exactly as we thought they would. The Ayn Rand Brigade, from North America to Europe to Asia to Australia to the developing world, is fragmenting fast. A lot of the posters in the above list have been found to have been from servers in several countries and several continents. Some may just be masking software, but it certainly shows a wide range of countries, either way. If this continues, they'll probably be doing our job for us. -Ah Q

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One can only wish, Ah Q. Since we've helped win the Infoduel with them, our credit ratings have gone up pretty high. This anti-ARBie task force may be a bit obsolete, though, given how balkanized the Brigade is now. Do you have any plans to scale it back? Perhaps go after Atlas' few remaining henchmen? -Bhuta

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Not particularly, Bhuta. I do plan to scale back the activities, but I would like to offer time-creds for establishing a few handles to be on-call at all times in case the proverbial shit does hit the fan somewhere. Atlas' remaining goons are probably going to be killing each other. We have to make sure that collateral damage is averted. The ARBies may very well just fade into obscurity as another terrorist group. That is, if they get any fame for their attacks. The general public has been exposed to the fact subversive online groups exist, but so far, the public does not care how expansive we are. The last thing we need is the world's law enforcement chasing us down. -Ah Q

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If they do, we have tactics for dealing with them. As I am sure you are well aware. I think we should focus more on governments. Perhaps trim them back a bit. Like the shrubs in your garden. Or at least ensure more transparency inside them. I'm sick of all these government conspiracies, asshole politicians, and waste of taxpayer money. We need to see the bastards screwing the public over, and give them the one known antidote to error: criticism. -Bhuta

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I do mainly agree with you, but a few things. The I-war is not going to be over anytime soon. It's an ongoing project, as you've seen yourself. The Infoduel was just handling a breakaway threat. The hearts and minds for the next generation are a grand goal, and we should not stop trying to win them. But remember that all actions will have consequences. You are responsible for the consequences of your choices, and no one else. You kill civilians, you become just another criminal. You blow up politicians and government workers, you become just another terrorist. We must create alternatives, not blow up the status quo. Building's harder than destroying, but it's more rewarding in the end. Don't ever forget that. -Ah Q

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(The exchange ends here.)