posted on Aug, 18 2010 @ 06:03 PM
From the base of the platform's staircase the two men made their way to the Recent Posts Board. As they walked past various crowds of debating
people, something caught Jacob's eye. A man dressed in red and sporting a plumed helmet was walking through the group to his left. Then he saw
another, this time to his right. A bunch of red feathers seemed to float through another crowd amidst the flags across the walkway, emerging attached
to yet another red robed man. Sendran noticed Jacob's focus.
"Mods," he said.
"They look like guards," replied Jacob quietly.
"Sort of. Mods oversee the forum, making sure everyone stays civil and upholds the founding rules of ATS, the Teesandsees."
"Teesandsees? What's that?"
"What are they. They are the rules which we all abide by, put there by the Founders."
"I see. And they are where, dead? In prison?"
Sendran laughed. "No, at least not yet, they're in there most days." He pointed to a large building on the opposite wall.
"That's ATS HQ."
Sendran's instruction was halted by a commotion on the oratory ahead.
"What's going on?" asked Jacob.
"I don't know, lets go and see."
Behind them, and all across the forum, people where moving. The lurkers were changing platforms to get a closer look at the events playing out at the
nearby stage, and ohpees paused to see themselves. The forum seemed to stop. A group of red robed Mods had surrounded the front of a thread titled "I
AM THE MESSIAH AND I'M HERE TO SAVE YOU!". A man was standing atop a small stage speaking in short single sentences answering questions from the
congregated members. Each time he spoke he ended with "Blessings and peace."
"You're not the messiah!" shouted one onlooker.
"You're a very naughty boy!" yelled another.
Jacob looked at Sendran with a display of vexed déjà vu.
"Ok ok, calm down everyone," shouted on of the Mods, "we've had complaints ohpee. Firstly, no capital letters, we've let this go on long enough,
show us some proof or you know where you're going."
Sendran leaned toward Jacob. "The Hoax forum. Through there." He pointed to a portcullis in the wall. "All hoaxers end up in there. Sad
The ohpee lost composure under the pressure of a thousand pairs of eyes. "Heathens!" he yelled. "Heathens and worshipers of false idols! You will
all perish in the depths of Hell!"
The Mods ascended to the stage and grabbed him firmly. His "blessings and peace" signatures had been replaced with yelps and muffled profanity as
they lead him unwillingly through the crowd and to the portcullis.
"And another one bites the dust," said Sendran quietly.
"That's catchy," said Jacob.
"Another one bites the dust."
"Oh that, yeah, I heard it the other day in the amphitheater. It was a song by a group called 'Empress'.
"Oh Empress, they're good. I heard the lead singer was gay."
"No, Messenger? No way."
They stood silent, Jacob nodding, Sendran shaking his head. Their pensive peace was broken by the deafening blast of a horn and the throng that
had gathered to see Ghost Triple Seven thrown through the Gate Of Hoaxes moved as one toward a larger and taller rostrum.
"Ah, some breaking news, a messenger approaches!" said one of the crowd enthusiastically as they clambered to get a good spot. Jacob watched as a
horse came galloping through the entrance gate and stopped, rearing into the air. The rider dismounted and was greeted by two Mods. They spoke for a
moment, hands clasped to the face and then the rider walked to the rostrum flanked by the two red robes. Several children erected a banner which read
"BREAKING NEWS: Nicaea Reveals Bible To The World". As the crowds gasped a boy ran across the stage with a second smaller banner which read "**must
see**". Flags immediately appeared in the crowd.
"He hasn't even spoke." said Jacob. Sendran shrugged.
"Shhh!" a voice whispered from behind, "I haven't given up time with my apprentice to hear you yapping."
Jacob said no more as the messenger read from the scroll in his hand. People began shaking their heads, boos and hisses crept up through the crowd.
Jacob looked at Sendran.
"It's the bible, the culminated works of the Christian scriptures," Sendran informed. "Wikileakus tipped us off a few years ago that this was
coming. Ever since we've been debating the book's possible contents."
"So why are they angry?"
"Because some books haven't been included. Some which are more 'interesting'."
A bystander turned to the two men.
"And," he said, "they've passed a law which prohibits self castration. Unbelievable."
"Oh," said Jacob completely baffled, "damn them all to hell, what's the world coming to if you can't even castrate yourself? There goes my
The bystander nodded. "Exactly," he said firmly, "unbelievable." He shook his head and returned his attention to the messenger.
Sendran and Jacob walked away from the crowd and stopped at a food cart.
"Two rats please." Sendran paid the proprietor and handed Jacob one of the sticks.
"So, what do you think so far?" asked Sendran examining his impaled rodent.
"Amazing. And this is all true?" replied Jacob still dumbstruck from the evening's events.
"No. You will have to sift through the garbage, but there are some blinders."
"How did you get involved?" asked Jacob taking a bite of his rat.
"Caesar." Sendran said coldly as he examined his rat on a stick, looking for a meaty portion.
"Who, the Emperor?"
"Yeah that one."
"What about him?"
"Not even Roman," stated Sendran as he found his next bite of ratty goodness.
"Uh huh," muffled Sendran chewing.
"Yep. Birth record's a fake."
"Wow," finished Jacob, pausing first to save the passing woman from a shower of rat bits.
Jacob and Sendran stood leaning against the stone wall of the courtyard. Amongst the sights were some Mods hammering a sign post into the ground at
the foot of one of the podiums. Sendran pointed.
"Oops, he's been fourohfoured. Tut tut." he said disapprovingly.
"Fourohfoured?" enquired Jacob.
"Yeah, it's when a thread contravenes the teesandsees. The Mods stop the thread, give you a right rollicking and put up one of these signs."
"Oh, sounds bad," Jacob said still trying to absorb his surroundings.
With their snack finished, the two men wandered amongst the masses, Sendran pointing out various ohpees of note.
"Here we have SpartanKingLeonidas. I tell you, he'll be in the Senate one day."
"Is he really a Spartan king?" asked Jacob.
"No, at least I don't think so. You never know in here, anonymity is part of the deal."
They moved from podium to rostrum to stage, Sendran explaining the thread and giving a little background on the ohpees.
"Oh, you have to see this guy, doesn't ohpee much but he knows his stuff. We call him the Thread Assassin, he calls himself Phageus."
"Why are those people following him?" asked Jacob.
"Hmmm, everything has it's celebrities I suppose, even ATS. It can get quite amusing sometimes in the 'Don't Know What It Is In The Sky' forum.
People wait for Phageus to turn up after he's finished tinkering with some kind of artificial wing so he can give his opinion. Others then chastise
these members for not thinking for themselves!" replied Sendran laughing. His comments couldn't have been timed any better as an argument erupted
from the adjacent mob. Sendran laughed louder and led Jacob away.
"See? Happens every time! Come on, lets see what's happening over here."
Jacob followed Sendran as he negotiated his way through the squabbling crowd and stopped at a podium under the banner 'Doomsday 476'.
"I love this one. This guy thinks the world will end in 476. Has gathered quite the following," said Sendran with an air of sarcasm. Jacob
"Oh yeah, the world will end. There really are some nutters in here Sendran."
"Indeed there are my friend, indeed there are. You're unlucky, the 'Pompeii Was An Inside Job' ohpee isn't here today, Alexis Jonus. If you like
this guy you'd love him. The king of nutters."
As the stars filled the night sky the gathered masses began to disperse. The banners above the thread stages were taken down and the Recent Posts
Board was stripped. Sendran and Jacob joined the exodus.
"So, do you think you'll come again?" asked Sendran as they walked.
"Definitely," replied Jacob beaming, "I think I might be hooked."
They walked back to the street and the mighty doors closed behind them, Above Top Secret Dot Com slept.
Hope you liked it.