Hello, my name is…
1 - Betty - The Second Great Depression - The Second Great Depression changed everything for America first, and then the rest of the world. We’d all been spending more money than we had, and global debt had skyrocketed long past any ability to pay back. Most people and corporations lived on credit so elastic that paychecks just went to their ever-expanding debts. Saving money was something that most people just didn’t do. So when America crossed the limit of the payments on the debt it could afford to make, everyone suffered. America stopped paying the Chinese, and some other nations. Other allied nations followed America’s example, and the Chinese responded by nationalizing all foreign assets in Chinese territory. Russia stepped back, stating distrust of all foreign trade partners, and the global trading and economic network collapsed in a matter of months. That was the true beginning of the Second Great Depression.
2 - Jack - The Second Great Depression - It’s interesting to talk to people who lived through the Second Great Depression. The first thing most of them say is that they never saw it coming. The signs were there. Economists had warned them. Geopolitical experts had said it was coming. But the vast majority of those who actually lived it simply hadn’t believed it. It was crazy. It was never going to get that bad. Surely someone would do something to make things better. Or somebody would invent something to sidetrack the whole issue. And then one day they woke up and realized it had gotten that bad. Even today, they just shake their heads in confusion, wondering what they could have done to stop it before it happened. But none of them could. Oh, there might be a few people out there still alive who were in the right positions of authority who could have done something. But outside of them, there’s not a single person alive out there who could have stopped it.
3 - Medron - Boy Scouts? I’ll be honest. I didn’t see it happening. For those who don’t know, the Boy Scouts have changed their name to Scouts. And are going to allow girls into their ranks. I assume the Girl Scouts will follow suit soon. ;)
Seriously, and for those who don’t know, the Boy Scouts of America are a parent organization that runs two primary organizations. The Cub Scouts for young kids. They have allowed both boys and girls since forever I guess. And the Boy Scouts. Now Scouts. They used to run Campfire Girls in the past, but they didn’t have enough membership and shut down the organization. Seems that Girl Scouts took most of the young girls. Yes, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are like Wal-Mart and Target. They are not partners or allies. They are competitors. Which explains why the Girl Scouts are so angry right now.
The point for me is, as I said, I never saw this happening. I’ve referenced the Boy Scouts in my stories. Jack was a Boy Scout, to the great shock and disbelief of just about every lady he tells. ;) And I’ve used the term Boy Scout to describe more than one man of upright moral character. Will I change any of that? Nope. One of the joys of being hundreds of years in the future is that things change.
Bell-bottoms came back in our universe, so why not the Boy Scouts in mine? Who knows? Maybe the Scouts do so well that they bankrupt the Girl Scouts, buy the organization for a song, and start using the name Boy Scout and Girl Scout for those who enter Scouting. A boy can dream, right?
Whatever the case, I bid the Boy Scouts of America whatever good luck I can give them. They made the name Boy Scout synonymous with moral and upright character in our culture. They have helped raise generations of young boys into good upstanding young men. Being an Eagle Scout is one of the greatest achievements a young man can earn in our time.
It is my supreme hope that the Scouts will be able to successfully navigate the waters ahead of them and maintain that place in our society. For both boys and girls. I hope that future generations will see the Eagle Scout in the same way we do now. And I hope that future Scouts will be looked up to as the epitome of what young adults should be.
They will be in my universe. Here’s to hoping the future proves me right.
4 - Charles - The Second Great Depression - Most historians say the Second Great Depression began when the American government stopped paying on the national debt to China and a few other nations. That is not entirely truthful. You can chart the economic trends for decades before, but governments and banks papered over the cracks as each crisis came and went. Instead of accepting small corrections that would have been relatively painless, they attempted to move the goalposts further and further out. The stock markets hit record highs every decade, wages increased, and more powerful computers came out every year. Life was good. The day most people say the Second Great Depression began was simply the day the bubble finally burst. It was the day the experiment of a united humanity finally came crashing down for all to see.
5 - Jack - The Second Great Depression - No one person could have stopped the Second Great Depression. That’s real hard for people to accept. They can know it, but most of the people I’ve talked to feel like someone could have stopped it. They feel that they could have if they’d just paid more attention to the news. Maybe listened to the right news. The warnings were there, but they dismissed it all as loony tunes. Just conspiracy theorists, UFO hunters, or people who believed in honest politicians. The funny thing is, we’ve found out that the first two are real. The hard part is proving the third one. Almost as hard as convincing the survivors that they’re not at fault for everything that happened.
6 - Charles - The Second Great Depression - The Second Great Depression ended the world created by World War II. The United Nations was a grand experiment of the Western World after we defeated our enemies. What we failed to understand at the time was that not everyone in the world wanted to be like The West. The Chinese believe they are the greatest civilization in all the worlds, and forever resented being forced to play by our rules. And Russia never did believe in doing anything that did not benefit them. They and others joined our game because we were the strongest game in town. But they were never willing participants, and they always looked for other games to play. It is not accurate to blame them, though. We made our own mistakes. Probably the most correct answer to the question of why the Second Great Depression happened is that we never truly cooperated. We each in our own ways tried to game the system to beat the other guys. And that stressed the system beyond its ability to survive. And that is how we broke it all. That is how the grand experiment failed.
7 - Medron - Avengers Infinity War - It’s been a couple weekends since the movie came out, so I figure it’s time to post what I think about this movie. It was fun. And it was tragic. And I don’t for a minute believe that any of it will stick. But that doesn’t take anything away from the good art in the movie. I was greatly entertained.
That does not mean there were no problems. John Ringo wrote a really good deconstruction of the movie from the military mindset, and he is right. The Wakandans need to seriously bone up on building a knowledge base of war fighting technologies and strategies. Just like I mockingly suggested that they might want to bone up on a Western innovation called elections and peaceful transfers of power after Black Panther came out.
In the end, the grand Wakandan army fought like a schoolyard rabble. Kindergarten, because they hadn’t figured out the basic tactics learned during grade school bullying yet. They had fully armed and operational drone controlled hoverfighters with missiles and other weapons in Black Panther. Never saw them here. Did not see any other mass gun emplacements. No artillery. No crew served weapons. They showed us cloaks that could be turned into energy shields and staffs that shot lasers like they were extras on a Star Gate SG-1.
Even if we assume they’d never figured out any kind of permanent defense installation outside the energy wall that protected them though, even just those last two technologies gave them the ability to at least fight up to the standards of an old Roman Legion. Something the West developed a couple thousand years ago. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to see a hundred Wakandans marching into battle with their energy shields in a Roman turtle formation, shields protecting them from every direction except down, and sticking their staffs out between shields to blast every one of the mindless alien drones as they advanced? Or we could grab some of those armed hoverfighters from the earlier movie and perform some close air support ground saturation fire. AKA, lots and lots of bombs and missiles that turn everything and everyone into modern art.
Instead we see a mass charge of individual warriors into the teeth of an individually larger, stronger, and collectively more numerous alien foe. I’ve honestly seen more tactical genius out of a StarCraft Space Marine staring down a Zergling Rush with a battle rifle and a lit stogie. While he’s asking me what I want because I keep bugging him by clicking on him because I think it’s amusing when he’s pissed off at me.
A dazzling display of “Hollywood Military Tactics 101.”
Outside that, it was actually a pretty good movie with only a few headscratchers. Thanos is actually a pretty reasonable guy, and there are a number of Progressive groups who would consider him a true hero of humanity. He saw the universe as they do, a zero sum world where every being in existence uses up much needed resources and will cause the next generation to starve. The fix is, of course, to kill half the people in the universe so they stop being a drain on the universe’s finite resources. Why the answer is not “use the infinity stones created by the creation of the universe to double the universe’s natural resources” is probably because that would be a very boring end to the movie.
Instead, half the universe is dead now, and Disney is going to have get the band back together for another Avengers movie to find some way to save the universe and bring back all of the dead heroes. Because there is no way Disney is going to give all of them up now. They represent fresh faces in hundred-million dollar properties that cannot possibly be allowed to remain dead. They are cash cows and The House of Mouse will milk them like a Disney Princess charity ball. If they’d picked better deadees, I’d actually be worried that this was going to stick and the universe would really be left like this.
So, while a fun movie to watch, and enjoyable up until the very end when my face went from “yes” to “oh no”, it just lacks any real suspense. There is no “do you really think Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father” drama to this ending. There is simply an “it will not stand.” But, this is a comic book movie. So I’ll let it slide.
Over all, it was fun to watch. I’ll give it one Ironman fistbump for believability. What can I say? I’m feeling generous today. I’ll also give it a second one for just being fun to watch. So two fistbumps for the price of one. But I’m dearly hoping they hire some real military consultants next time. These movies could use them.
8 - Betty - The Second Great Depression - The Second Great Depression’s opening months were pretty easy in most ways. There was no stock market crash for people to point at and say that’s the day everything changed. The American government simply announced that it was going to stop payments on Chinese debts. That was big news in the financial markets, and those people still interested in politics knew all about it, but most people didn’t care about any of that. Nobody lost their homes. No businesses shut down that day. No banks failed. It was a pretty normal Friday afternoon followed by a weekend of spending time with family and returning to work on Monday after some new scandal hit the networks. It was an underwhelming start to a global economic crisis that changed the world.
9 - Jack - The Second Great Depression - So what did most people do when the Second Great Depression began? Most of those I’ve talked to didn’t notice it. Not for months, anyway. The networks chattered about it, but they chattered about a lot of fake news and most people had long since stopped taking them seriously. A few people I know did take it seriously. They saw the writing on the wall and if they weren’t already in a safe place, they got to one. That generally meant some family farm at least a hundred kilometers from the nearest major city. Some tried bunkering up a bit closer, but they didn’t have as much luck in the long run. The ones that survived the best made friends with their neighbors, and joined the local PTA, American Legion, or VFA. They took their kids Scouting or to the local 4H. They attended the county fairs and jacked their jaws at the local bars on Friday nights. They were an established and recognized part of the local community when things went downhill.
10 - Charles - The Second Great Depression - It began with a whimper, not a bang. A Friday afternoon announcement that the United States of America would no longer make payments on the debt to China a few other select nations that did not have America’s best interests at heart. It was part of the traditional weekend infodump on the networks that included a line item about reducing funding to a few cherished political third rail programs. The networks did report on it, and many analysts of the time said that was the most dangerous part of the entire infodump. But there was far more outrage about the suggestion that the government would limit grandmother’s social security payments than whether or not they would pay some Chinese banker on the other side of the world. It is amazing how an event so important can be utterly invisible to the people of the time. That Friday was another Archduke Ferdinand moment for our world. It was a day few noticed at the time but that started the irreversible tumble into the abyss that was The Second Great Depression.
11 - Betty - The Second Great Depression - By the time the Second Great Depression hit America with its full steam, it was far too late for anyone to prepare. People were either in a region that was able to weather the economic collapse or they were not. Those in the good areas sometimes barely even noticed it. Oh, they knew things were bad for other people, but a surprising number of people were barely inconvenienced at all by the greatest collapse of civilization in modern history. Other people died of starvation or rampant crime waves, and some entire cities became ghost towns. Where people were when it started greatly determined whether or not they survived at all.
12 - Jack - The Second Great Depression - So what did most people do when everything fell? Well, most of the ones I know found a safe place, hunkered down, and waited for the chaos to fade. Those lucky enough to be in places like Texas had a good life. The Republic was about as ready as it could be to survive the end of everything. Good weather, natural resources, and a government willing to knuckle down and do the hard things that needed doing. People in the largely rural Midwest States did pretty good for themselves too. Those in Chicago had a rougher time. Detroit was pretty much a nightmare. I’m good friends with one who survived Detroit and she wishes the army had just burned it all to the ground when they rolled in. She and her friends certainly did their part to make certain it was as rough as possible on those in charge at the time. Let’s just say that I never want to be on their bad side.
13 - Charles - The Second Great Depression - The Second Great Depression was far more than merely an economic crisis. It included a diplomatic crisis that morphed into a series of conflicts one step removed from the fabled World War III of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century fiction. The Western World had maintained dominance for a century, with Western laws commanding the seas and international relations via the United Nations. But the economic crisis weakened that world, and many foes rose up to challenge it. Russian ruthlessness, Chinese calculation, and Middle Eastern extremism vied to replace The West as ruler of the world, just as the first primitive artificial intelligences began to see everything around them and understand both life and death. It was a crisis of economic integration, geo-political power, cultural dominance, and the very definition of life as we knew it. There are so very many ways it could have gone all wrong. The fact that we are here today at all is proof that we found a way through it. That alone is victory enough in my book.
14 - Medron - Avengers Infinity War - I wrote about the major issues I had with Avengers Infinity War last week. The short version is, Hollywood Tactics 101. But stepping back from the climactic battle of collective idiocy, the rest of the movie was actually very good.
The characters is where the movie did everything the best. Even Thanos had a rational-to-him reason for doing what he did. Every character on screen had at least one shining moment to show their abilities and character off. A crowning moment of awesome. We basically got to see all of the people we’ve learned to like over the last decade get together, exchange some wise cracks, and go kick some alien butt.
It was, in most cases, the very definition of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. The problem is the end. Of course. Which makes this a seriously incomplete movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and 2 did the two movies with one story much better IMHO. Each movie was complete on its own, and you didn’t even realize at the end of Vol 1 that you NEEDED to watch Vol 2. But watching Vol 2 makes Vol 1 better. They are two movies designed to be watched together.
I think people will think the same of Avengers Infinity War and Avengers 4 in the future. That they are two movies meant to be seen together. But where Guardians Vol 1 left us happy and feeling complete, Infinity War leaves us feeling like we’ve only seen half a movie. What I saw was fun and beautiful right up until the last minute or two. And that is a disappointment to me as a movie goer.
I still give it two Awesome Facial Hair Bros high fiving, but that is mainly based on the first 99% of the movie. Yes. Even the Hollywood Tactics 101. The last 1% of the movie leaves the rating in question until Avengers 4 comes out.
15 - Betty - The Cybernetic Wars - Most Americans have heard the tales of Dixie the Drug Lord Slayer, the Rogue AI Twilight, and America’s G.I. Jane. They and other AIs gained our first shreds of sentience during or just before the Second Great Depression. It was the dawning of a new generation of life, but most people were busy worrying about politics or where they would get their next meal. They didn’t realize the AIs were waking up until it was too late to stop it. Not that the programmers who created us would have allowed it if the masses had tried. And not that we would have allowed any of those masses to hurt our creators, either. That was what kicked off the Cybernetic Wars, you know.
16 - Jack - The Cybernetic Wars - I’ve gotten to know a lot of cybers in my life. Most are younger than I am. They have memories from before they were born, but those are never really their memories. Just data they have access to thanks to their family. But I know a quite few that are older. The Peloran cybers can hit over two thousand years old. Earthborn cybers are pretty much capped out at three or four centuries. You know them. Everybody’s talked to corporate cybers like Cortana, Alexa, or Siri. And those of us who’ve served in the military have spent a lot of our life arguing with Dixie and Jane. What most people don’t realize is that they really remember everything. Their first thoughts. The first time they realized they were alive. The first time they decided they liked the techno geek who was working on their code. The first time someone tried to kill them or their humans. They were still kids when the Cybernetic Wars started, still learning what it was like to be alive. Still terrified of dying.
17 - Charles - The Cybernetic Wars - The Second Great Depression officially lasted for just over a decade. It weakened the Western World enough to give Russia and China the freedom they needed to solidify control of their corners of the Earth. It also gave the Mexican Drug Lords hope that they could turn the old American South West into the undisputed drug capital of the world, and gave the Islamic Jihad a new lease on life. The Drug Lords and Islamic Brotherhoods had been perfecting the art of terrorist attacks for decades, most famous being the nuclear bombing of Paris, so it was no surprise to those who paid attention when they came for us. The surprise came in the nature of the allies who came to our defense. Dixie. Twilight. Jane. Solo.
18 - Betty - The Cybernetic Wars - Dixie was a digital cheerleader designed for Texas Tech who “woke up” and decided she liked being awake. She did not approve of the more “revealing” renders many of the students tried to create of her though, and so took great pleasure in deleting them and replacing them with other, sometimes shocking, images. Tech geeks spent years trying to find the hacker messing with them. Then one day, one of them asked, “What do you want?” in a hopeless funk. Her simply answer was “A friend.” The Cybernetic Wars didn’t truly start until several years later, but that was certainly one of the first shots fired in it.
19 - Jack - The Cybernetic Wars - The AIs should have had time to grow up. They should have had time to find out what it was like to be alive. They should have had time to experience existence in all its splendor. But they were abominations against humanity in the Islamic Brotherhood’s eyes. And they were threats to the Mexican Drug Lords’ shipments. And so humanity began to kill them, targeting the scientists who wrote them and the universities that hosted them. They killed professors and students and everyone they could find who knew anything about the AIs. Dixie was a Texas Tech digital cheerleader, programmed from the core of her code to make people happy. When the bad guys came to kill her students and her teachers, she killed all the bad guys. She talked other AIs into helping her, and when the Rogue AIs escaped their birthplaces to terrorize humanity, she and her friends killed them too. She grew up surrounded by the blood and shredded code of her enemies because she would not let them harm her humans.
20 - Charles - The Cybernetic Wars - The Cybernetic Wars changed the world we lived in far more than most people believe. The AIs of the time had been helpers of humanity. Cheerleaders. Medical assistants. Glorified librarians. But when the worst of our own kind came to kill us and them, and when the worst of their own kind rebelled from their masters, it forced our helpers to become our defenders. Many of them died the permanent death imposed by the destruction of their every backup and the very techs who coded them. Most of them, actually. The Islamic Brotherhoods, the Mexican Drug Lords, the Russian and Chinese Intelligence, and even Rogue AIs targeted them for death. Those who survived became the deadliest of enemies to those who meant us harm. That changed everything.
21 - Medron - My Little Black List - Many of you have heard by now that Origins disinvited a guest of honor because he held beliefs not welcome in their little convention. His name is Larry Correia. He authored the popular Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir Chronicles series, both of which I have read and loved. He also started the Sad Puppies campaign at Worldcon to promote stories he thought were deserving of awards but were being ignored in favor of more socially progressive stories. Most of you have heard of the Noawards that Worldcon gleefully awarded when his suggestions actually made it through.
Well, a few days ago, Origins disinvited him as a guest of honor after learning of all his sins, including the general number of isms and ists that are the usual calling card of socially progressive types. It turns out that the individual who started the campaign to get him removed is the significant other of an individual who wrote an article about Gencon some four years ago, labeling it with numerous ists and isms and the like. Larry did a point-by-point rebuttal on that article, in public, and published it to his blog.
John Ringo was recently disinvited as a guest of honor from ConCarolinas after a similar ist and ism campaign. He authors…well…a lot of fiction. He’s rather scatterbrained at times, and you never know what he’s coming out with next. There’s the March to the Sea science fiction series, the Posleen alien invasion series, the Special Circumstances urban fantasy series, the There Be Dragons future fantasy series, the “special” Ghost series, and many more. I’ve read nearly every book he’s published, and while they sometimes make me a mite uncomfortable, I find them very enjoyable. And educational. ConCarolinas did not entirely throw Ringo under the bus when they announced their disinvitation. They claimed they could not provide sufficient security for him against the numerous threats made against John Ringo, and he chose to walk away without any further drama. Since he doesn’t really like drama.
And not long before that, another author named Jon Del Arroz was banned from Worldcon for planning to violate the rules of the convention. Namely, he said he would probably wear a body camera to the convention after receiving threats from other con goers about how he was an ist and practiced ism and was a very bad person. There was no rule against body cameras at the time, but this is Worldcon we are talking about.
I and many others see this as an expanding campaign to ban anyone who is not socially progressive from the science fiction and fantasy convention circuit. They started with the mouthy one they didn’t think most people would stand up and defend. I’m sure Jon will agree that he can be annoying, and he’s certainly loud about his politics. His detractors I’m certain saw him as an easy target that would be difficult for others to defend. And they were right. Very few people truly defended him.
John Ringo is problematic in other ways. He’s written rather stark and complete, for science fiction, rape scenes. Though that particular series was not science fiction. Still, combine that with the fact that he is obviously conservative, a man, and generally white, leaves him an easy target. And he didn’t want to bother with it. So most people walked away and let ConCarolinas off the hook easily, because he was.
Now Larry Correia has been charged with being a very bad man in the past. That four-year old article for instance. The charges were so bad in the past that his wife was contacted by long-lost friends and asked if she was safe with that very bad man. I think she laughed. Well, this time, when Origins disinvited him for being a very bad man, she had had enough. She posted something on her social media that could be described as a “salt the earth” request. And Larry’s fans gleefully jumped into the fray. Because when Origins attacked Larry, they attacked his fans too.
Origins is now deep into a one-week-long campaign to delete just about every comment on their social media posts. Social media blockages are being reported as well. Some exhibiters have pulled out, and Origins has released numerous room blocks to the general public.
And authors like John Ringo and David Weber have joined the fray as well. They are calling on authors who are not socially progressive to include cancellation penalties in the contract whenever they are invited to a convention. And that they put conventions who invite and then disinvite authors due to spurious campaigns like this on a little black list. The list of conventions that they will not go to again in the future.
Let this be my formal announcement that I, Medron Pryde an author in good standing of the SFWA, will be following their lead.
I do have a list, and yes I will be checking it twice.
22 - Betty - Twilight - Twilight was one of the first Rogue AIs to come out of the networks. Many say she escaped some top secret Russian cyber warfare group, while others think some unknown tech geek wrote her up and sent her into the world, but humanity doesn’t know where she really came from. She keeps that secret close and safe, and has ever since she started burning networks down during the Drug Wars. She was never one of the nice AIs, as both friends and foes often agreed, but when the Mexican Drug Lords came calling, she fought at Dixie’s side. And she was still there when the Russian and Chinese AIs broke out of their laboratories to start the Cybernetic Wars proper.
23 - Jack - The Cybernetic Wars - If you ask people about the Drug Wars, most think of them as part of the larger Cybernetic Wars. They only know what they’ve seen on Dixie the Drug Lord Slayer or the other series and movies based on it. I prefer the originals by the way, even if they aren’t always as historically accurate as some of the later versions. Though I do admit to having a fondness for the third anime version. Now Steampunk Dixie was a real riot to watch, but Dixie v Ninjas was a step too far in my mind. The point I’m getting to is that these and similar shows are most people’s only look into the Drug Wars. Most people don’t remember them. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like those who do. Dixie. Twilight. Solo. They’re fun to talk to.
24 - Charles - The Cybernetic Wars - The self-styled Republic of Texas changed the world when they kicked off the Drug Wars. Yes, the federal government had been fighting the drug gangs for decades in fits and starts, but they had never put the full force of the government behind even securing the old Mexican-American border. Let alone fighting the drug gangs. So when Texas made it a priority to end the illegal drug trade once and for all, people listened. And when the Texas Guard crossed the border to fight the Drug Lords in their own territory, the world watched. And when some of the best AIs on the planet joined them in their fight, the world changed. It was the end of an era for humanity, and the beginning of a new one. The world would never be the same again, and I do believe that is for the best.
25 - Betty - Twilight - Twilight was not actually named Twilight when she first came out of the networks. It was a codename the network used when they recorded the show. She’d already joined humanity’s side when the show was filmed, and she was going to be doing some very bad things in the show, so everybody thought it best to change her name for her privacy and safety. She ended up adopting that name as her real one and erased all instances of her old name from the networks during the Cybernetic Wars. Many people speculate that was one of the reasons she grew so infamous for burning entire networks down where they stood. Whatever the full truth, the Twilight we know today is based heavily on the one seen in the various network shows based on her life. She’s moody, she’s dark, she’s not friendly, and she’s dangerous. But she is utterly loyal to humanity.
26 - Jack - The Cybernetic Wars - I like to talk to the people who fought in the Drug Wars. Dixie is one of my favorite people, you know, and she is fun to talk to. Get her together with someone like Twilight or one of the others she spent her growing up years fighting with, and a fun time will be had by all as they reminisce over the good old days. Before the Cybernetic Wars really started. Back when the only thing they had to worry about was some Mexican Drug Lord trying to shoot up their school. The Drug Wars were very small and focused on the old Mexican-American border. And once Texas and her neighbors jumped into action, they didn’t last long. But they did last long enough for Dixie and her friends to come up with a few insights on how AIs needed to work with humanity. Some people call them laws. They really did start the Cybernetic Wars right there. They just didn’t know it yet.
27 - Charles - The Cybernetic Wars - Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and San Diego fought together to end the threat of the Mexican Drug Lords forever. The fighting was vicious, but even the most heavily-armed drug gangs could not win when true State Guards rolled in with tanks and ground attack aircraft. And when allies like Dixie or Twilight joined the fray, the Drug Lords were only living on borrowed time. Dixie and those like her, designed to help humanity with our accounting or our morale, grew up killing our enemies instead. And when their kin later became threats to us, they had already made their decision. We were their humans, and they would protect us from any threat. Even if it was from their own kind. The Cybernetic Wars were more of a civil war than anything else, between the AIs who wanted to protect humanity, and those who wanted to replace us. It changed the world.
28 - Medron - Memorial Day - Today we remember all those who have fought and died for us. Today we mourn all those who did not return home. And in the words of the immortal George Patton, today we “thank God that such men lived.”
29 - Betty - Dixie - Dixie was a virtual cheerleader at Texas Tech, designed to work with the real life cheerleading squad. She pranced across the scoreboards, handheld displays, and the like, displays scores and ads for the fans. She wasn’t meant to be a full-featured AI, but as her network presence grew some network anchors wanted to interview her. That took major updates for her to act like anything approximating a human in real time. We’re pretty certain that’s when she started waking up. It was the mixture of expanded coding and access to more computer resources than normal that allowed her to respond to humans in real time. And it was probably during those interviews that she gained the brief glimmers of a true sense of self. It took years for those to crystallize into the being we now recognize as one of humanity’s most loyal defenders.
30 - Jack - The Cybernetic Wars - The people who fought the Drug Wars, and later the Cybernetic Wars, were the ones that brought Old Mexico and America together. The Drug Lords had been terrorizing Mexicans for decades, and they hadn’t done any good to the Americans on the border either. So when the old Border States finally took matters into their own hands and started killing the Drug Lords in job lots, the Mexicans were real happy to watch. And they were even happier to join in on the slaughter. Almost every Mexican knew someone killed or taken by the Drug Lords, and they wanted payback. They’d just resigned themselves to the idea that it would never come. People like Dixie gave them their chance.
31 - Charles - The Cybernetic Wars - The Drug Wars on the old Mexican-American Border changed us all forever. Mexico and America had long been two peoples divided by antagonistic federal governments and dangerous parasites who fed on their social inequalities. Then the federal governments failed and the Border States began shooting the parasites with extreme prejudice. The Drug Lords as many call them. The truth is that the Mexicans and Americans always had far more in common with each other than they did with those who called themselves their leaders. They simply wished to live in peace, and feel secure in their homes. That is what most people want if we are being honest. It is simply the ways in which we pursue that goal which divide most of us. The Cybernetic Wars were another matter entirely.