Kay got the projector set up and tied in place while Rip and Elvis cleared the brush away from a smooth expanse of gunmetal wall. Syrge was moving tarps around to block out the always light.
Kick had received news alerts about the election/revolution, and everyone wanted to see, so they decided to set up a home theater. Lisa was preparing sacks of snacks to munch on while they watched, muttering and cussing about gender roles all the while.
Once they completed their set up they plugged Scroot into the projector and pulled up the blaring media blitz. It was like having a blackwall again, but it wasn’t touchscreen.
There was no newscaster associated with the footage. They were watching it on a feed via the Jester Network because that’s where the coolness was aimed at people their age. A group of several hundred filled a group of branching passages outside the public entrance to the Angel Wheel, center of media, propaganda, and public relations; home of the Pope of Media, considered to be the one Pope that sits above the other eight.
Eugene Guzeman had a the group chanting.
“We voted you out
For your lies
Don’t want to die
A squad of PIGS guards stood before the public passage, but they remained still.
Guzeman stopped the chanting and gave a rousing speech about the will of the people picking him as the new President of Media, and he introduced eight other Presidents, selected by the people, each announcement met with resounding applause.
Black Elvis, “When did they even have this vote?”
Finally, onscreen, The doors to the passage wooshed open.
His Holiness The Eighth Dingeory Malocourt On The Waves, Pope of Media, clad in his platinum conical mag chariot, floated just over and behind the wall of PIGS. Behind him, eight other popes floated in similar conveyances.
A robotic appendage, draped with purple velvet raised up to signal for quiet. His voice, as always, was transmitted directly to the brains of the listeners.
“The holy principles of this Papacy require that We listen when the people speak. We have spent some time now collating and sorting the demands of the denizens of this station. While We may feel that We are being too harshly judged for the crime of previous regimes, We feel We must accede to the wishes of the majority.”
An escalating murmur of excitement ran through the crowd. The Pope of Media raised his hand again. They became silent.
“We would like, before we transfer management duties of the station to your newly chosen leaders, to remind you all that governance in the absence of strict holy ethical guidelines, is a corrupting state of affairs. You new leaders must behave with impeccable virtue. You noble populace, must be watchful with impeccable scrutiny. This Papacy has covered up these terrible historical events for the peace of mind of us all. We have endeavored t make certain that these events never recur. That duty is now relinquished to you all. Make certain these massacres never again take place, for what happens to the lowest may happen to the highest. Peace be unto you all.”
With those words, the conical chariots of the nine popes opened and old frail men stepped out. The nine newly elected Presidents were allowed through the line of PIGS. The nine young men embraced and patted the backs of the nine old men. The nine chariots were pushed out into the crowd. The crowd cheered and began to attach the gleaming cones, tearing them to scrap, as the doors to the Angel Wheel closed. The last thing you could see through the gap was Eugence Guzeman embracing the Pope of Media.
Lisa, “Well, that was a very boring revolution. When I grow up I’m gonna show them how it’s done. Got to rip some heads off to make it stick.”
Syrge, “That wasn’t a revolution. Million stakes says those presidents are slugs of the popes.”
Kay, “Yeah, no way any power changed hands there.”
Elvis, “You’re all too cynical, this should be a joyous occasion! The popes are gone! The will of the people!”
Syrge, “I’m sorry Elvis, but that was just entertainment, damage control. Wasn’t even well done, but you see that they just released like full new seasons of every current popular show and huge new expansions for the top ten weirld worlds? It’s like 1,800 hours of fresh new content! Free! No one is going to notice anything for the foreseeable future. They’ll do some public announcements for the news people to talk about and business as normal behind the scenes. Ignoring the slavery, oppressing the poor, adding resources upstem and letting downstem go to entropy. And the slum sphere will probably get vented and no one will remember.”
Rip, “Why didn’t they just use whatever trick they use to erase memory to erase our memory of The Laser Boy Incident? Why go to all this trouble?”
Syrge, “Ummmm. I don’t know. That’s a good question. You really are different in there aren’t you?”
Rip, “You don’t know the half.”
Syrge, “You never cuss at me or insult me anymore.”
Rip, “Yeah. Also, you guys are really irritating to me now. I need to get out of this zero g and find a job. Which reminds me. I’m leaving tomorrow to find a job in the fields. For pay this time. I figure I look different enough now to get by out there without being recognized.”
The kras stopped the footage and looked at Skum Bunny, Rip, Ted.
“Man. You’re just going to leave us?” Black Elvis looked incredulous.
“Elvis. You saved me man, but it was thirty years ago for me. You guys seem bound for trouble, just making stuff up as you go. I really wish you well, but… For one thing, I have got to get out of this zero g, and for another, I need a routine, I need to be working. I’ve got to move on, and I… gangs are for kids man.”
Lisa inhaled sharply!
“We are not a gang! We’re a kras! We have love and sacrifice! We’re a family! You’re my baby brother bitch!”
Rip laughed quietly.
“Oh Lisa. I was always so in love with you before you died. Seeing you now is so weird. It’s funny, but as I grew up, I always imagined you aging with me. I always had a running fantasy where you survived and we ended up together. I even told Fern about it, that’s the kind of relationship we had. Now you look like a little girl again. Too weird.”
“Ewwww. You were in love with me? That is just. Ew.”
“Yeah well, it’s not like I knew any other girls back then. Anyway. I’m getting out of here. Kay, I was wondering if you could nano me up some clothes. Whatever is in fashion for field workers?”
“I could probably manage that.”
Syrge said, “Hey! They’ve got a new season of Hiram Waldor’s Death Machine! Play it! Play it!”
Rip moved back to his spot, “Oh man I used to love that show!”
Lisa moved and perched next to him, leaning her head on his shoulder.
Elvis and Kay lodged themselves in some bushes, sort of entangled together where they could still see. Strge and Scroot hovered way too close to the screen, Kay whispered to Elvis.
“Do you think Hiram will finally ask out Peggylope?”
“Man, he needs to. Everyone can tell she likes him!”
“Shhhh. It’s starting!”