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

Monday, November 2, 2015

Commentary: Once Upon a Cure

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

At a recent meeting of the Sunbeamers Club, Rita Mariner announced the theme of the 2016 RFL will be "Once Upon A Cure". For this writer, the theme is perfect, for reasons that follow.

I am a member of two SL groups, dedicated to helping find a cure for cancer. In "Sunbeamers" the goal is to gather donations, for use in cancer research. In the "Second Rife" group, the goal is to inform the public of alternatives to conventional treatment.

EVERYTHING that exists, in the world of form, was first an image in a thinking mind. Like it or not, any pictures we keep in our minds will draw that thing into our envinronment, as if by magic. This magic becomes super powerfull, when the same image is in the minds of many. Now, follow me in your imagination.

RFL teams are challenged to come up with fairy tale elements, that promote the curing of cancer. Our group, as it's centerpiece, could have a magnificent, steampunk machine, with lots of moving dials, gears and other parts. In front of the machine, we see a small platform. When clicked on, the platform puts you in a pose, bathes you with rainbow light and puts an object in your inventory, called "rainbow torus."  When it's worn, it makes a spinning rainbow, around your av, as shown in the above picture. In theory, this spinning rainbow is a protective ring that keeps cancer out. Here's the good part; there is no mental image for the word NOT, so it doesn't matter if our fairy tale machine really works. What our machine really does is churn out a stream of people that are presenting a symbolic IMAGE of [rainbow/cure]. Even those not wearing them will learn the symbol. With a positive image, over the rainbow,pot of gold sort of thing, planted in the minds of thousands, we now have a super powered force, that will hasten the true cure to enter our world. We are turning a fairy tale into real life science.

When the cure is manefest, it is simple and inexpensive. They'll even make apps for your phones and computers. Nobody will want the expensive surgeries and toxic chemicals. I now return your imaginations to you. These ideas may or not not be those of the newspaper and it's sponsors. It's all just my opinion of what would be a fun and useful adventure in Second Life.

Editor's Note: The article has been edited from the original.