Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tales From Podex: This Is Goodbye

By Bixyl Shuftan

He couldn't believe it!

He'd been after the place for years. Ever since his initial robbery attempt of the Podex Exchange went awry due to bad luck, he continued to try and try again to get back at them for that and then successive failures. He'd come up with a plan to sneak in and burgle some Linden dollars, and then sneak away vindicated, his reputation as a "liberator of assets" restored. But every single time he'd been cursed with rotten luck! Sometimes he got away, sometimes he was caught. But he would always plan again.

And now, the game was over. There would be no next round.

He had heard some rumors about the place being threatened with shutdown. It seemed the powers that be that made the rules for the land had decided places like Podex were no longer needed. Some thought they were acting out of paranoia, others out of greed. But he didn't pay much attention to the stories, until he decided to scope out the place from a distance for his next plan of attack.

And he found the place abandoned. Not even a "closed" sign.

He stared at the area where the building was for a long time. He thought of both his defeats, and his plans for victory. Over and over again, he thought of what might have been if his luck had finally held and he had won. After a while, he began to feel tired. So he sat down, and closed his eyes for a moment.

"And it has begun."

The burglar turned and found a dark figure, his appearance concealed with a hood and cloak. He jumped, "The Mastermind!!"

"Yes." the dark figure spoke in a menacing voice, "It seems the first part of my plans have finally come to fruition."

"Y-you mean you were trying to close the banks, not just rob them?"

The Mastermind chuckled, "My little minion, oh how small you think about greater goals. Mine included much more than simple currency exchangers."

"W-what were you planing?"

"Perhaps my real appearance will give you some idea." The Mastermind reached for his hood, pulled it back, and let it and the cloak fall, revealing ...

"Philip Linden?!!" The thief was shocked.

"Yes, but a Linden no more," the figure spoke, "I had grand designs for this Grid, grand wonderful plans. But you the residents just had to muck it up! This place is too badly damaged for me to repair. So I've been starting over."

"Damaged? Starting over?" The burglar looked both confused and scared.

"This should have been a place of higher learning, of culture, of humanity. Instead, there's sim after sim of stupid clubs, debauchery and sex, and worst of all, perverted twisted versions of humanity, tinies and furs."

"B-but you allowed them." The thief looked more confused and scared.

"Only because I thought they were a passing phase. Well, I've been developing a new Grid, with new rules. No clubs, no sex, no furs. Manipulating things behind the scenes to close the exchangers was just the first step. Soon, this Grid will collapse, and the human residents will have no choice but to head to mine."

"W-what about residents like me?"

"You get to find out whether or not there's an afterlife for avatars."


"Muhahahaha!" the voice became that of when he was in the Mastermind guise, "Yes!"

"Nooooo!" The bandit fell to his knees, "Nuuuuuuuuuuu!!"

"Muhahahahahahaha! Muhahahahahahaha!! "

The burglar covered his ears and shut his eyes, muttering, "This can't be happening! This can't be happening!"

"Excuse me?"

The thief blinked his eyes. He'd fallen asleep. It was just a bad dream

"Are you okay, you looked like you were having a nightmare or something."

The bandit turned, and saw a certain figure, "You. You're ..."

"Jacek Shuftan, CEO of Podex. Although as this Grid is concerned, now just an ordinary resident like you."

The burglar stood up, "So you're the owner of this bank."

"Yes." The man looked over the figure with the masklike face and the stripped tail, "I don't suppose you're this 'Clumsy Cooper' I've been hearing about?"

"Um ..." the bandit wasn't too sure about answering

Jacek smiled, "No worries. One can't report a crime that can no longer be committed."

"Oh," Clumsy looked more at ease, "I don't suppose you can tell me what happened?"

"I'm afraid the reasons for Linden Lab doing what they did are not leaving their headquarters. Since they couldn't be made to change their mind, there is nothing more for me to do but move on to where I can do my business."

"Yeah," Clumsy spoke, "I guess this is goodbye."

"But what will you do? Find someone else to launch your attempts at robbery on?"

Clumsy thought for a moment, "No, it's over. I'm not a common griefer. And I'm not going to other grids to do burglaries. I'll find something else to do."

Jacek smiled, "Well, it looks like you're taking the opportunity to turn a new leaf."

"Yeah, no more 'Clumsy Cooper.'"

"Did you have another name?"


"Well, pleased to have met you, Melvin. Perhaps one day we'll see each other again."

"Same here. Good luck where you're going."

"And you as well."

The banker and the former burglar shook hands. Then Jacek turned and walked away. Melvin watched him for a long time, and eventually he was out of sight. He then looked at the former site of the Podex Exchange one more time, then walked off.

"I wonder if the Green Lanterns could use someone to test their equipment? ... Nah, I don't want to get beat up."

The End

Bixyl Shuftan

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