The StormKeepers Chronicles
Volume V "Rebel Conversion"

Copyright (c) 1999 by Low Ee Mien
All references to Hercs and the StarSiege Universe (c) 1999 Dynamix Corporation

Prelude : Drop In

my notes

Node Address - Indeterminate
(Node Audit Trail Deleted)
DatumPlane Imperial IF-D2
The OmniWeb
0545 hrs IST

Standing at the very edge of the base, the wall seemed to tower endlessly into the midnight sky. There was no real way to determine the exact proportions, though the enormity of the numbers involved could easily escape the ordinary Human mind. It seemed an impossibility that such a huge construct could even exist in the first place. And the stars shining brilliantly overhead might hardly care that the wall itself shone brighter than they did.

For the wall, it seemed, was on fire.

It was a reality that existed only in the minds of the intrepid explorers that traversed the realm - that, and the miracle of technology that was the OmniWeb, with its unseen billions of internetworked processors coming together to create multiple, ongoing illusions of places which did not really exist.

"Well, I guess that's it. We see what we choose to see. What I see here is a really glitchin'ly endless firewall. You want to turn around, or do we find a way around this thing? We're stretching it a little far this time, in case you haven't noticed."

"Shut up, Dicer. You make too much noise." Slicer could hardly contain his impatience with his partner. For a supposedly-elite member of the hacker community, Dicer did have a tendency to blab a lot more than was the norm around the hush-hush community.

Slicer grimaced and tried harder to concentrate. It was a wonder they had managed to get this far in - at least some of the credit went to Dicer for this one. When he did shut up, Dicer did make for quite a good team player. He had already made some good saves today - which didn't mean all that much in Slicer's mind - except that he was good to have around on deep-filtration runs like this one, which were almost just about as risky as waltzing into Earth Imperial Headquarters with a pair of handheld blasters and not much else.

But these runs paid extremely well - high-expense, high-bandwidth lifestyles like the ones they were leading had to have funding from someplace. And more importantly, missions like this were close enough to The Challenge - The Holy Grail of All Slicers, of a sort - breaking down the virtual front door of the Emperor's Office. Of course, not many dared. The suicidal types tended to disappear from the scene quite completely when they tried - Imperial Security was unbelievably efficient when it came to the Emperor's own security.

"I think I've found something."

Slicer removed his hand from where he had been lightly touching the wall, metaphorically probing it for weaknesses in its structure. Making a mental command, he ported over to Dicer who was staring at a thin blue laser-like beam emitting from a seemingly random point in the wall.

Dipping his finger into the beam-path, Slicer took mere clock ticks to determine that the connection just opened belonged to a certain ranking Imperial officer who at the moment was probably sitting safe and sound in a high-backed leather chair, reading his supposedly-secure e-mail.

The content of the mail was not the interesting part, though. Slicer motioned quickly to Dicer. "See - OmniMail Version 29.01.256B".

"Oh - what? Oh, hey-hey-hey, what have we here? B! Would you still believe he's still using B !!! Oh, man, the glitchin'ly oblivion of these people, you know...."

"Pipe DOWN and get me the package," Slicer countered. Flipping through numerous lines of attack vectors scrolling through his mindspace, he chose one that matched, and prepared to set the final configs...

"Okay, boss. There you go. One big package ready to go, sent to you by Dicey Express - and our slogan - "Chances Are, We Get It There!"

"Give me THAT," Slicer practically wrenched the packet from Dicer's hands, dropping it into a unique memory slot the implications of which only he and about five other people in the 'system knew about - for the moment. It was good enough - he had no real intention of re-using this particular technique, anyway.

"Woohoo - BOMBS away!!"


"Yeah, whatever you say. Slicer-Big-Boss."

"CAN the crap. We're out of here."

"Alrighty - they'll never know what got into them. Ha! Check that out - they'll never know what got into them! Haha, that's funny..."

"Calling card."

"Okay, I got it, I got it. There you are."

"Next time, I choose our handles. Slicer-Dicer!! Next they'd say it rhymes with Lamer." It was actually the most verbose that Slicer got in the past three hours of effort.

With a flick of the wrist, Slicer threw the card into the rapidly-closing hole in the wall. The lettering on the card was simple, and to the point.

"Free Mars."

... continued