Chapter Twenty Seven
"A man has to live with himself, even if he lives in the gutter."
--A.T. Strassfield, Caesar and Me
Absolaam Wye, Dictator of the British Isles, sat alone in his
room - his dejection showing itself in the way he held his head
in his hands. There was a soft rap at the door. After a moment,
the rap was repeated and Absolaam looked up to call, "Come in!"
in a weary voice.
Graham came in, and walked over to the desk the General was
sitting at, "General," he said softly.
"Yes, Graham? More figures I suppose?"
"I'm afraid so, General."
"Well," sighed Absolaam, "I suppose that you'd better let me
have them." He steeled himself for the coming shock.
"Eleven thousand, four hundred and seventy three dead as of one
hour ago," Graham said, softly, his voice choking slightly on the
words, "Would you like to make a broadcast now?" he asked,
"No," said the General, "But I suppose I should, so I will," he
sighed, "Tell the crew I'll be with them in five minutes."
"Very good, General," Graham answered, his voice returning to
its normal, clipped accent now that he had work to do.
This broadcast was one in a long line of new-style television
broadcasts by Wye. He no longer announced himself hours in
advance, but instead simply addressed a camera and had the
recording placed into the Library archives. The next time
somebody accessed their terminal, they would receive a message
informing them that a new broadcast by Wye was on file for them
Dot received the message before her husband, since it was
Gerald's turn to work that day. She waited until he got home,
however, so that the two of them could sit together and watch the
broadcast - as they had watched every one of Wye's broadcasts in
the past two and a half years.
"The embargo is strong," began the Dictator, speaking on their
video-terminal screen, "Perhaps too strong.
"The mercy posts are helping to prevent loss of life, to the
extent that, throughout the world, there have been only fifteen
deaths due to malnutrition. That, of course," he added,
sorrowfully, "Is fifteen deaths too many. And that figure does
not include the United States of America.
"As you know, an act of terrorism by the US government
instigated this trade embargo, and further acts of terrorism,
persecution and murder forced the withdrawal of mercy posts from
"As a result of that withdrawal, eleven thousand, four hundred
and seventy three American citizens have died of various
complications due to malnutrition. I ask you to vote on two
questions now. The same questions I have asked twice before:
"Do you wish to lift the technological trade embargo? and Do you
wish mercy posts to return to US soil?
"The full details - including a roll call of US citizens who
have died from malnutrition, and British citizens killed by US
terrorism - are available in the Library file on the Embargo, of
course, so please read - or re-read - that file before voting via
"I expect your votes to be in by midnight tonight. Please vote
The broadcast ended there. Dot and Gerald looked at each other
before, wordlessly, Gerald activated the terminal once more to
access the file on the effects of the technological trade
Embargo. Cross-referencing to the effects on the United States
since the removal of the mercy posts.
Text flowed past their eyes, describing the reasons for the
imposition of the Embargo, the setting up and effects of the
mercy posts, the reasons for the removal of the mercy posts and
the effects on the US citizenry since that removal. A roll-call
of the dead was available in several ways. Dot chose to view the
list in order of increasing age, and choked back a sob when she
saw the first names in the list:
Howerd, John Died 20 Sept 2002, Aged eleven months 1 day
Jones, Millicent Died 19 Sept 2002, Aged eleven months 1 day
After reading the lists - there was a huge gap where it appeared
that virtually nobody between the ages of eleven and sixty-four
had died - Dot quickly cross-indexed a search for articles
discussing the likely sociological and political effects of the
various options to be voted on.
As was usual, every point of view was reflected by at least one
article - Dot noticed that a new piece had been added to the
ethical implications file. The new article, by somebody named
Andrew Clarksen, essentially stated that the continued imposition
of the trade embargo was immoral, considering the number of
deaths it had caused so far. The name sounded familiar, and a
quick check informed Gerald of Andrew Clarksen's position.
Eventually, after some discussion, the husband and wife voted in
the same way.
Midnight that evening, Deborah Greene was studying the voting
figures on a printout taken from the terminal. She shook her head
sadly, "Absolaam," she said, walking over to the Dictator, "The
percentage in reluctant favour of continuing the trade embargo is
growing - from sixty five percent two weeks ago to eighty seven
"'Reluctant' favour?" asked Wye, brow furrowing, "Why do you say
Deborah indicated the hard copy, "Look at this - a subsidiary
proposition, which - while recognising that the bulk of the US's
problems are inflicted by their own government - nonetheless
expresses horror and regret at the effect the trade embargo is
having on the US citizenry.
"Over ninety percent of those voting for the continuation of the
trade embargo have also voted for that statement of regret, which
was suggested by..." it was her turn for furrowing of the brow,
"...actually, it doesn't give a name, just an ident number."
"That was my idea," her husband said, "New proposals can bear
only a unique identification number of the proposer, not that
person's name, if the proposer wishes to remain anonymous."
"I don't like the sound of that, Graham," Wye said, "I thought
that was the kind of secrecy we wanted to wipe out," he added,
Graham got to his feet and walked over to the cabinet room's
Network terminal. As he walked, then activated the machine, he
spoke, "I'd agree with you, Absolaam - but only up to a point.
"The move from a society shrouded in secrecy to one where
freedom of information is perfect and absolute is a difficult
one, though, so I asked that a few studies be commissioned."
"And they recommended more secrecy?" Deborah asked,
Graham shook his head, "Not exactly. About the only thing that
virtually all of the studies agreed on, though, was that
anonymity for proposers who wished it should be available - for
the first five to ten years, at most."
Wye had by now walked over to the terminal, and was reading over
Graham's shoulder, "I don't agree with this, Graham," he said,
after a while, "These studies presuppose a lot of things - not
least of which is that the proposers might have some fear of some
sort of secret police."
"Exactly, Absolaam," said Graham, "That's the entire point."
Deborah shook her head in disagreement, "I agree with Absolaam,
dear. Those who are too scared to propose a motion openly aren't
going to be reassured by any guarantees of anonymity from us.
Remember the problems of the so-called 'secret ballot' of the
Wye nodded, "Yes, surely you recall, Graham."
"Recall?" asked Graham, "I was involved in some parts of it," he
went on, "We used to check the registration numbers on the ballot
papers against the lists of registered voters to identify those
who voted for extreme parties - both right-wing fascists, like
the British National Party, and left-wing revolutionaries, like
the Communist Party.
"I remember," he said, with fond remembrance, "The hours we used
to spend - days sometimes - poring over electoral registers. That
was before they were all computerised, of course."
"So you know what we're talking about," said Wye, "This kind of
false anonymity is just that - false. False and potentially
Graham thought for a while, then checked a few cross-references
from the sociological reports he had commissioned through to the
old security services files on voting patterns. After a while, he
looked up, "I suppose you're right, Absolaam," he said, "The only
purpose of a secret ballot which depends on each voter having a
registration number is to keep the voting habits secret from
everybody except the ruling government. And that kind of
exclusive pseudo-secrecy is the sort of dangerous nonsense we've
been trying to root out.
"The only problem is how to change this system."
"Not a problem," Deborah said. "Hagbard!" she called in the
direction of the ceiling, "Wake up."
"Yes, Deborah?" the voice-activated computer replied.
"Hagbard - show a transcription of all conversation in this room
from...oh, five minutes ago," she ordered. Almost immediately,
the powerful optical supercomputer, Hagbard, processed her
command and started to display line of text - identified by the
speaker's voice - on the terminal screen.
When the line:
DEBORAH GREENE: It doesn't give a name, just an ident number
scrolled past, Deborah said, "Hagbard - start passage at 'New
proposals can bear,' spoken by my husband." Then, at the line:
GRAHAM GREENE: The only problem is how to change this system.
She said, "Hagbard - end passage at 'how to change this system,'
spoken by Graham. Save passage to Library archives with full
indexing to related and internally-specified records."
After a bare moment, Hagbard said, "Passage saved in file
Deborah-underscore-Greene-dot-two thousand three hundred and
"Fine - go back to sleep, Hagbard," Deborah said. Turning to her
husband and the dictator, she continued, "Now, we just put to the
vote a proposal to remove the right to anonymity for proposers of
motions, specifically cross-indexed to that transcript."
As she spoke, Deborah was rapidly and efficiently typing the
proposal into their Network terminal. After nods of assent from
the two men, she posted the proposal - linked to the transcript
just made - to the national voting bulletin board, ready to be
"The President," the leader of the House said, "Is insane. Quite
mad," he repeated, "He's willing to see our country destroyed
'for the glory of the Lord' rather than admit defeat and concede
to the British Dictator."
"I know, I know," came the reply, "But there's nothing we can do
"Damnit! There is something we can do - something we have to
do," the leader of the House shouted, "How long do you think it
will be before he orders a nuclear strike?" he asked, "An all-out
war, rather than submit to - as he talks about it - Godless
There was silence for a short time, then murmurs of assent. One
of those present, of course, knew something which was hidden from
the others. That one had engineered this meeting because, only
two hours earlier, he had received Presidential instructions to
arm America's nuclear arsenal.
"It can't be done too openly," the leader went on, "We have to
be careful - we cannot be seen to be bypassing the President.
Rather," he smiled, nervously, "We're going to have to convince
him to step down."
"Surely you can't be suggesting...?" the question was left
The leader of the House smiled, grimly, then, "Only as a last
resort. Think of the trouble caused last time - an entire
generation of Americans grew up with a feeling of powerlessness."
He shook his head, "No - this isn't the nineteen sixties. We
can't risk another generation of young people trying to take
power for themselves.
"After all," he smiled, ironically, "This time - with
technological assistance - they might just succeed. No - there
are more ways to proceed than literal assassination. There's the
threat of political assassination, for one thing. I believe you
have some thoughts along those lines, Jack?" he asked, turning to
the head of the FBI.
On September the twenty fourth, the President of the United
States was privately issued with an ultimatum which, in no
uncertain terms, threatened to publish records of his political
campaign tactics and sexual activities unless he, and his
cabinet, resigned immediately. After some blustering, he agreed
to this demand. As a populist leader, he had little choice.
Oddly, the entire White House staff - fundamentalist Christians
selected by the President for their beliefs more than for their
competence - also resigned their positions. For the second time
in that nation's history, the Presidency passed to the leader of
the House of Representatives.
Immediately, the British terms were unconditionally agreed to.
And, with the collapse of the US's position, other countries
rapidly followed suit.
At noon, GMT, on September the twenty sixth, AD 2002, the Trade
Embargo came to an end, and British microchips were transported
across the planet to replace those which the satellite signals
had deliberately destroyed.
Chapter Twenty Eight
"The Ultimate Weapon is...the ability to say 'No' and take
--Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson, The Golden Apple
Deborah ran into Wye's bedroom, her husband close on her heels.
Breathlessly, she rushed over to the Dictator, who was seated at
his Network terminal, typing and reading, as he had been for
several hours. He looked up, seeing them both struggling for
breath, and stated, calmly, "Yes, I know - I've seen it already."
Graeme was still trying to calm his heaving chest. Nonetheless,
he cried, "But what are we going to do about it, General?"
"I'm not sure," Wye responded, sitting perfectly still. His eyes
flicked from Deborah to Graeme and back before he repeated, "I'm
The proposal was the talk of the country. Excitement, and awe,
was so great that Dot and Gerald had been forced to abandon their
system of working only on alternate days - now they were both in
class at the same time - to handle the questions, doubts and
problems it had thrown up.
This particular proposal was signed only with ident number
17230523 - it had been placed on the Network voting bulletin
board before voting on Deborah's anonymity proposal had finished.
One of the hottest topics, then, revolved around the unanswerable
question: Whose ident number was it?
The statement to be voted on, however, was straightforward
enough. Its bald terms caused much of the debate on whether or
not "General Absolaam Wye must resign the position and title of
Dictator of the British Isles."
"Calm down, everybody," Dot said, "Calm down - one at a time,
please!" she called. The sound level reduced slightly in her
class on political philosophy, so she indicated that Patsy, a
red-haired, eight year old girl, should ask her question.
"What would happen if the Dictator resigned, Miss?" Patsy asked,
"I mean, what would replace him?"
"I don't know, Patsy," Dot said, much to the consternation of
the class, "What do you think would happen?"
"Well," Patsy began. She thought for a moment, then started to
check options off on her fingers, "We could go back to populism,
or a new dictator could spring up, or..." her voice trailed off.
"Or?" asked Dot, encouragingly.
The little girl's face crinkled in all-too-visible thought,
before she said, "I can't think of any more options, Miss," Patsy
said, in some frustration, "Can you?"
"Well, there's communism," said Dot, "Does anybody know what
'communism' means?" From the sea of hands which sprang up from
the class - every child had raised their own hand, and several
waved both in the air - Dot selected Joe, a quiet boy who seldom
spoke in front of the class.
"'Communism' is when everybody works for the State," he said,
hesitantly. When Dot started nodding, approvingly, he went on
with more confidence, "And then the State shares out food,
clothes, land and all that kind of thing to the people who need
it. But it doesn't work," he added.
"Why not, Joseph?"
"'Cos there's no way to stop..." the young boy thought hard for
a moment, the tip of his tongue poking out of the right right of
his mouth as though trying to taste the word he was hunting for,
then, "to stop the corruption in the State," he replied, sure of
himself, "People in charge of distribution can take bribes, and
steal whatever they want to sell on the black market.
"And since they're in charge of everything people need to live -
like food, water, heating and housing - then there's nothing
anybody can do to stop them," he finished, proudly.
"Very good, Joe," Dot said, "But what if the people in charge
"Huh?" asked the young boy.
Dot explained, "Look it up on your Network terminal - if someone
is 'incorruptible' it means that they can't be bribed."
Joe was tapping away as his teacher spoke, then said, "There's a
line here, Miss."
"What does it say, Joe?" asked Dot.
"It says 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts
absolutely,'" he quoted, "And if that's true then the people in
charge will never be..." Joe hesitated a moment, trying hard to
remember the new word without looking back at the terminal's
screen. Dot didn't rush him. He went on, "...incorruptible," Dot
smiled and nodded that he'd used the right word. Joe continued,
"Because they've got absolute power," he concluded.
Dot nodded, but then she added, "But what do you think about
dictatorship, in that case?"
The class thought for a little while, then Patsy said, "It won't
work, Miss, for the same reason - the dictator's absolute power
would corrupt him. Except for our Dictator," she added, proudly,
"He's never been corrupted."
Dot's brow creased in thought, "The question, then, is: Why
hasn't he been corrupted by absolute power?" she asked, aloud,
adding, "If, indeed, he hasn't."
Two rooms away, Dot's husband, Gerald, was wrestling with his
class of twelve year olds as they grappled with the same
questions in what was ostensibly a study of the philosophy and
sociology of science fiction.
By this point in their education, of course, it was strictly
inaccurate to say that it was a class of twelve year olds.
Rather, it was a class of people whose intellectual development
and progress in the individual subject was what was expected of a
twelve year old. In the class were some children as young as
seven, and some as old as seventeen - there was even one boy,
John Jewson, who was nineteen years old.
Jewson was a short, blonde young man - stocky, but with muscle
rather than fat. He was also something of a special case, since
he was supplementing his part-time degree course in quantum
mechanics with various philosophy classes - placing particular
emphasis, as his degree course insisted, on the ethics of
"What is the scientific method?" asked Gerald. Of course, the
question was rhetorical - by this stage in their education, all
of his pupils were familiar with the basic stages of science:
Observation, forming a hypothesis to fit the facts, testing the
hypothesis by experimentation - then repeating ad infinitum,
refining the original hypothesis whenever necessary (that is,
whenever its predictions conflicted with the observations).
He went on, "Let's apply it to the sociological problem posed by
the new proposal. Firstly: observation. John?" he asked John
Jewson thought for a moment, then said, "We can make
observations from historical precedent - what the effects of
dramatic changes in the system of government have been in the
Gerald nodded, as John went on, "There aren't many examples,
really," he said, "But almost all have been changes for the
"When Czarist Russia, Imperial China, and the like were taken
over by communists, the result - without exception - was a
"Even where populism - what used to be called 'democracy' - was
the force taking charge, the countries involved virtually all
quickly degenerated into more or less repressive regimes, with
small groups holding a virtual monopoly on power."
"Examples, anyone?" Gerald asked the rest of his class. Several
hands were raised.
The chosen speaker, a ten year old girl, said, "The classic
examples are post-Revolution America and post-Imperial Britain.
Even ignoring artificial restrictions on the extent of the
franchise, in both cases, their 'democratic' vote was restricted
to a Hobson's choice between, essentially, two options.
"In the USA, the choice was between the Democratic and
Republican parties. In the UK, the choice was between Labour and
the Conservatives. No other party stood a reasonable chance of
One of her fellow students inquired what kind of 'artificial
restrictions on the franchise' she was talking about, but her
reply - which started by mentioning the original intention of the
American Founding Fathers to restrict the entitlement to vote to
only wealthy male landowners, but which threatened to evolve into
a major digression - was cut off by their teacher's next
"What of proportional representation schemes - to widen the
power base?" was Gerald's interruption, as he tried to move the
discussion back on track.
"Purely cosmetic, as far as I can see," she replied, "I've been
reading up on the various populist systems, and the basics seem
to be that you either get a strong government which is
unrepresentative, or you get a representative government which is
weak to the point of impotence. Countries such as the UK, USA and
post-Gorbachev Russia had the former, while Italy, France, the
various Germanys and the like had the latter. 'Have' I should
say, I suppose, because those systems are still the same - with
the exception of Yeltsin's Russia, which is an efficiently-
repressive dictatorship, of course.
"An extreme case in point is the US civil war - where the
'tolerant' North fought an actual war on the intolerant South,
who were in favour of slavery.
"In that case, the majority won - of course - but the issue
itself wasn't resolved. In fact," she added, "The situation even
now, a century and a half later, still hasn't been resolved to
anybody's real satisfaction - membership of the Ku Klux Klan, for
example, carries on growing throughout the South, even today.
"The exception, though, is here in the British Isles," Jewson
broke in, "When Wye took power, Britain's government changed from
a repressive effective-dictatorship which bore the trappings of
democracy into a...well, a benevolent dictatorship."
"Is that a good thing or a bad thing, do you think, John?" asked
Gerald, starting to become more interested.
"I'm not too sure, Gerry. On the one hand," John lifted his
right arm at the elbow, spreading the fingers, as he talked, "It
sets a dangerous precedent - just because Wye appears benevolent
doesn't mean that his successor will be, or even that Wye himself
will continue to be." His right arm moved lower now, "On the
other hand, there is no effective successor, and deposing Wye
could precipitate a civil war."
John's right arm went to his side, then he raised his left arm,
the four fingers gathered in two pairs to simulate a strong,
three-fingered hand, "On the gripping hand," he grinned at
Gerald, who returned the grin, "The entire question just might be
"What if," John went on, "The new proposal was proposed by the
Dictator himself, and the election rigged to ensure that he
'won?'" At his teacher's questioning look, he continued, "Why?
Maybe to legitimise his rule now that the hoax massacre has been
exposed for what it is?"
Gerald thought for a moment, as did everybody else in the room.
After a while, he addressed the class, "Those of you with full,
adult MoneyCard status - which is most of you - are eligible to
vote on the new proposal. Would anybody object to a straw poll?"
There were no objections, though one ten year-old did point out
that the class was hardly representative of the country as a
whole. Gerald conceded the point, and - after further discussion
- the poll was taken.
At the end of that week, the voting proper concluded. The final
result was that thirty seven percent of those eligible to vote
voted against the proposal, sixty two percent voted in favour and
only one percent of the population did not bother to vote.
Since a proposal - according to the contracts - required a
seventy five percent vote in order to become binding, Wye
remained in power.
When the voting figures were broken down by age, it became
apparent that Wye's support was effectively limited to those aged
twelve to twenty eight years old. Of those outside this age
range, virtually all - except for the scientific community - had
voted to remove Wye from power.
As foretold in the old cliche, the atmosphere in the cabinet
room that evening was electric. Deborah was seated at the Network
terminal, running a variety of complex analyses on the voting
figures, while Graham and Absolaam were pacing around and around,
stopping occasionally to run their own searches as new parameters
occurred to them.
A large pot of tea on the table, within easy reach of each of
their three terminals, contained a mild infusion of cannabis
oils. This particular drink was sold under the brand name
Cannatea, and contained enough THC - the major psychoactive
chemical in marijuana - to produce a mild buzz. But you'd need to
drink gallons of the stuff before you could produce a high.
Cannatea, and related concoctions, produced the good effects of
alcohol, but neither caused people to become aggressive nor gave
a hangover when its effects wore off.
Over the past six months, similar brews had slowly replaced
alcoholic drinks as the drug of choice for the majority of the
population. The younger portion of the population, that is -
there was a gradual, but noticeable, tailing off as ages blended
from about thirty five through to forty. Most people over forty
tended to stick to their old drugs of choice: alcohol and
The non-aggressive euphoria produced by these cannabis 'brews'
had already been cited as a main reason for the dramatic
reduction in violent crime. Most murders, in contrast to earlier
decades, were now being committed by people over thirty five -
and a definite link had been established between violent crime
and non-use of cannabis.
So striking was that link that Wye had recently proposed making
the use of 'brews' a part of the rehabilitation process for
violent and anti-social criminals.
"Absolaam!" Deborah's voice cut into the Dictator's reverie.
"Yes?" he asked, walking across to the terminal she was sitting
in front of, "Have you found something?"
Deborah waited until her husband reached them, then, "Look at
this," she indicated a breakdown, displayed on the screen, of the
percentages following the various religions:
"Yes," said Graham, "What of it?"
"Now look what happens when I map the votes on the latest
proposal onto these figures," Deborah said, pushing a couple of
buttons as she talked.
There was a slight pause, then the screen changed to show the
percentage of followers of the various religions which voted for
and against the proposal to force the Dictator to resign:
For Against Abstained
Christian 98.23% 1.50% 0.26%
Muslim 92.14% 5.62% 2.25%
Jewish 46.01% 48.52% 5.47%
Atheist 24.17% 75.50% 0.32%
Other/Unknown 26.06% 73.44% 0.49%
"As you can see, Absolaam," Deborah continued, indicating the
figures with the mouse pointer as she spoke, "The vast majority
of your opposition comes from the authoritarian religions, and
the vast majority of your support came from this group," she
indicated the 'Other/Unknown' line on the screen.
"Hagbard," said Wye, "Wake up!"
"Yes, Sol?" asked the computer.
"Hagbard, provide a detailed breakdown by religion of the
'Other/Unknown' group displayed on Deborah's terminal."
"Certainly, Sol," the computer went on, "Showing percentage
membership, voting patterns in the 'anti-Wye proposal,' or both?"
"Hagbard, voting patterns in that proposal." The screen changed
to show the expansion of the 'Other/Unknown' group.
"Interesting, General," said Graham, reading the table of
figures, "It looks like your major support is coming from the
followers of a small group of religions."
"Look closer, Graham," the General said. Then, louder, "Hagbard,
also show percentage of followers of each religion or philosophy
who are scientists and the percentage who are teachers."
The display on the terminal was modified again, and the pattern
was clearer - far clearer. Graham read the figures carefully,
then said, "Hagbard, show percentage of scientists and teachers
as percentage of...oh, forget it, It'll be quicker to type."
Graham quickly typed a sequence of commands to change the
display so that the tables now showed the percentages of
scientists and teachers as the percentage of the population who
were - for example - both scientists and members of a specific
religion or adherents to a specific philosophy. When the tables
were updated one more, he turned to Wye.
"General," he started, "Over eighty percent of the scientists,
and ninety seven percent of the teachers, in the country are
classed as being adherents to a single philosophy. To be more
precise, twenty four point," he checked the figures on the
screen, "four one percent of the population - almost the whole of
this country's intelligentsia belongs to just a single, very new,
Wye nodded, adding, "And that one religion is the source of
close to seventy eight percent of my support."
"Seventy seven point eight three percent, according to these
figures," Graham agreed.
"So the question is," Deborah broke in, "What is this new
religion? And why hasn't it shown up on any of my earlier
computer searches?" she added.
Before he answered, Wye put Hagbard back into waiting mode with
a simple, "Hagbard, unlock code Lao Tzi. Thanks, Hagbard."
The computer immediately replied, "Anytime, Sol."
Next, Wye turned to address both Graham and Deborah Greene. He
grinned. "To answer your second question first, Deborah," he
said, "The reason this religion hasn't shown up previously is
because I locked off all records except on my voice access." To
the protestations of the Greenes, Wye said, "Now, now - I had
excellent reasons for doing this. And they're all to do with the
nature of this new religion.
"So, as to your first question," Wye went on, "I think it's
about time we had a word with a friend of mine by the name of Lao
Graham looked confused for a moment, until his wife said, "'Lao
Tzi' Hmmm...isn't that the old taoist monk?"
"None other," replied Wye, nodding. "Though for the past two or
three years he's been the head of the religion we've been talking
Grinning at the bemused expressions, General Absolaam Wye,
Dictator of the British isles, explained his words a little more.
"You see," he began, "In January, AD 2000, Lao Tzi founded the
Church of Wye."
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.