Carnivorous algae grew along the interior walls of that ball of pus. I would listen to it growing as I sat under the Bodhi Tree, speaking to me in a binary language transmitted not by light or electrical impulses, but by the burning sensation it made on contact with my chakras. With a folksy cornpone delivery not unlike that of a rough but surprisingly friendly old hobo, the algae would tell me a gripping tall tale that begins in the month of Pantherary in the year 1403 anno Muris – a date which corresponds roughly with the year 3331 on the Gregorian calendar (the 1928 debut of Steamboat Willie being the earth-shattering event on which this new calendar is based). At this point in history, the world as we presently know it has ceased to exist, having become far too polluted to sustain all but the hardiest species of multicellular organisms. But humanity soldiers on, by way of the construction of a new earth. The new earth in question, the brainchild of a shady and mysterious 800-pound gorilla of a conglomerate that few people know much about, is a massive virtual reality mainframe and operating system. This mainframe is organic in nature, and humanity exists within it in a highly specialized form of stasis. One which would warrant a whole 5000-word essay to fully explain, and I won’t get into here and now.
In order to keep human minds engaged during their time in stasis, the aforementioned conglomerate has milked the dreams of men and beasts to create a virtual interface through which humans can interact with each other and live out their lives. This interface is known officially as the Mare Gaudii (the Sea of Joy) – often referred to as simply the Environment.
The Environment is a fully-realized simulated ecosystem. In it, humans do and experience everything their forebears did and experienced on the third planet of Sol, under the carefully manufactured illusion of personal freedom. They eat, drink and reproduce. They buy and sell. They hold jobs and run businesses. They build cities and establish communities and local governments. They play sports and engage in pastimes. They create any and all manner of art. They go to church on Sundays. Well – at least they would if there was such a thing as Sundays or church. Sunday is now called Lisasday, in honour of a previously little-known model of ancient computer which is revered as a Virgin Mary-like entity in the new imperial cult. Yesteryear’s gods are as forgotten as childhood toys stashed away in an unmarked box in somebody’s attic somewhere; people stopped worshipping them centuries ago when they started worshipping corporations. Eventually, one corporation came to reign supreme over them all. SAAZMOL – a jealous corporation that absorbed all other corporations into itself and demanded people have no other corporations before it. In the all-seeing eyes of SAAZMOL, men, women and children are little more than livestock, the rightful property of masters several rungs higher on the food chain. Masters with slimy bodies and long tongues…
Yet, despite all appearances and in stark contrast to popular opinion, SAAZMOL is not omnipotent. Verily, there is a small minority of people who have figured out exactly how to look past the thick layers of delusion and illusion SAAZMOL put in place, learning what this Environment is and how it works, eventually using that knowledge to develop the skill and technology to establish a formidable rival to SAAZMOL. With this technology, they can alter any aspect of the Environment to their liking at will, undoing the dastardly deeds SAAZMOL does. Thirteen organized scholastic bodies of cybermagickal practitioners known as Nations have been established to educate ordinary men and women on the principles and application of the time-honoured art of cybersorcery. The Nations together form a Union, which is engaged in a cold war against SAAZMOL, one which has been raging for centuries.
That cold war could be reaching a very important turning point soon. The Union has been secretly developing a digital superweapon which has the potential to cast a horrible cybercurse on SAAZMOL and its minions, ending the hostilities for good in one swift stroke. There’s just one slight problem. A certain component vital to the superweapon’s proper functioning has gone missing, and there is only one person friendly to the Union who has any remote clue where one might find it. Frustrating matters further, the one person in question doesn’t care one iota about the ongoing conflict between the Enviroment’s warring factions. She’s far more concerned with acquiring more software to run on the computer installed in her brain…
SILVER BROWN: A Forwarpendix
Part I: The Introduction of SILVER BROWN
Part II: The Birth of SILVER BROWN
Part III: The Gist of SILVER BROWN
Part IV: The World of SILVER BROWN
Part V: The People of SILVER BROWN
Part VI: The Warring Factions of SILVER BROWN
Part VII: The Language of SILVER BROWN
Part VIII: The Dashing Prince of SILVER BROWN
SILVER BROWN: A Blog
Part XI: The Journey of SILVER BROWN
Part XII: The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN
Part XIII: The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN
Part XIV: The Green Grass of SILVER BROWN
Part XV: The Oddities of SILVER BROWN