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  ...presents...                  Fortune Smiles
                                                         by Obscure Images

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1993 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
  ____       _     ____       _       ____       _     ____       _       ____

     Three AM on the corner of Belmont and Clark in Chicago, there was a foul
smelling mist in the air.  In the old days, when I was a kid, the air was
pretty bad, but it was still somewhat clear.  In the old days there were many
different things.  He was standing in the rubble where the Dunkin Donuts used
to be.

     There is always change, I'd read when I was still looking to the distant
future.  Yeah, change, that's true, but usually for the worst.  I was pulled
from my nostalgic reverie by a little rasta who called himself the Crasher.

     "Yo, Jonny, what's goin' on?"

     "Nothin' man, nothin' at all."

     "You hear about Seth taking the 6?"

     "No, what happened?"

     "The way I hear it, Seth was doing some biz with Joe....  You know, the
fat geeze that's running the 'dorphins down on Fullerton?  Well, anyways, Seth
was lookin' to score some to sell to the burbies, but he didn't have the cash
to do it straight, so he planned a meet with Joe, and when he got there he iced
the fucker and made off with the goods and the cash."

     "What a fucking idiot, everyone knows that Joe was a company man.  So Seth
is Deep-6?  The fucker deserved it for being so stupid."

     "No shit man, you don't fuck with the company men."

     "What's the deal with the G-brains, Crash man.  They still on?" I asked.

     "Yeah, those crazy assholes are still wanting you around for some reason.
They tell me that you can do something for em.  Personally I'd stay away from
the G-brains, man, they're too fucking strange," he said.

     "Where's the meet?" I asked him.

     "They said that they'd find you when they wanted to talk to you, so watch
yourself.  Anyway I gotta get movin' got some deals down Clark to attend to,"
Crasher said, and started down the block.

     I was confused about the whole situation, wondering what the G-brains
would want me for.  I'd tried to keep a low profile, always staying away from
the high risk deals... just enough dealing to make it look like it was my only
source of income.  The G-brains had more than their share of resources,
however, so it would be possible that they could know who I really was.  While
I was pondering the situation, I'd walked a couple of blocks to an ancient
building down on Seminary and School.  Used to be a dance club there when I was
young, but it went under, and I bought the place when I was still in my 30's.
I left the dance club motif, for the most part, mostly because it was amusing,
partly because it was unsettling to visitors, most of whom were far too young
to remember the place.

     When I walked into the building, disarming security for a moment, I had a
feeling that something was wrong.  Nonetheless, I climbed up the stairs and
found some visitors.

     There were three G-brain representatives lounging on the couches in the
lobby area, all looking vaguely vacant.  When they noticed me standing there,
the life seemed to come back into their eyes.  Not a real surprise, though.
The G-brains were something recent in the culture, but the idea had been around
for a long time before I was born.  Thanks to modern technological and
psychological breakthroughs, the G-Brain clique could achieve a somewhat
technologically-based telepathy.  The other feature of the G-Brains was that
they are all surgically modified to look exactly like each other.  It appeared
as if I was in a room full of pale skinned black clad clones, but I wasn't
really afraid.

     "Nice to see you, Jonny, we were wondering when you were going to come
home," said G.

     "I had some biz to take care of, G.  What brings you into my home?" I

     "We know who you really are, Jonny, or Mr. Braintrust if you prefer,"
stated G. with a smile on their faces.

     "I prefer Jonny, G.  What's your point?" I questioned.

     "We need some work from you, and we can pay you adequately."

     "What makes you think that I want to work for you."

     "You will want to, Jonny, you will," said G, and the three of them walked
down the stairs and let themselves out.

     I got out of my street clothes and lowered myself into bed.  I couldn't
sleep.  I'd have to move in a few days, before the word got out.  I'd be
swarmed with people bothering me all day and night, people throwing themselves
at my feet as if I was something more than human.  It makes me sick to think
about it.  They were right on the money about who I was despite the clever ways
I hid myself.

     My real name is Terrence Braintrust, it was something else before that,
but I had it legally changed when I was 23 years old, so there is no record of
whom I used to be.  I am a writer.  I tell stories, and I sell them.  I am an
artist, I do my works, and then I sell them.  I was lucky, I hit a nerve in
society, a nerve that I exploited ceaselessly for many years, until it began to
get stale.  I found another niche for myself, and kept going.  When I was 54
I was the most famous author of my day, even the usually rabid critics were
beginning to find significance in my work.  None of it was of any consequence
to me.  I had been married, and then divorced once by that point, I hated my
fans.  Around the same time, corporate scientists worked out a way of using
nano-tech to rejuvenate a person.  Eventually, I talked myself into using the
process, which was very expensive, and said goodbye to everyone I had known
before.  I wanted a new life.  I came out of the process looking like I had
when I was 25 years old, but feeling every year of my actual age.  After I
recovered enough to leave the hospital, I disappeared out of the public eye,
living wherever I wanted to for however long I wanted to stay.

     I still wrote paying material, although I spent most of my time either
working on my secret project, or wandering the streets and committing minor
crimes.  Once again, thanks to the streets, I began tweaking nerves in the
people again.  Since I began on the streets, about a hundred years ago, I've
been eight different people.  All killed off eventually, thanks to modern
medicine and plastic surgery.  Soon it would be time for a ninth person.

     A message flashed on the terminal screen next to my bed.  It was from the
G-Brains.  The message described what they were planning to do, and what part I
would play in the whole thing if I decided to join with them.  They had been
working on a different model of my secret project, which will remain a secret
until it is unleashed on the world.  Yeah, I had to get rid of Jonny, the time
for running was over.  I returned to being myself, Terrence Braintrust, nobody

     I can't tell you about what I did right now.  It is not ready to be
disclosed.  My function in the society above was finished, it was my turn to
sink into the iridescent pools of the land below, the land within.  The
G-Brains finished hooking me to the device, and stood waiting for the procedure
to end.  Moments later they picked up my empty body and threw it down a shoot
to an incinerator.  I don't care.  I'd already left.

 _______  __________________________________________________________________
/ _   _ \|Demon Roach Undrgrnd.806/794-4362|Kingdom of Shit.....806/794-1842|
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  (' ')  |ftp - zero.cypher.com in pub/cdc |ftp - ftp.eff.org in pub/cud/cdc|
   (U)   |==================================================================|
  .ooM   |Copr. 1993 cDc communications by Obscure Images      12/30/93-#243|
\_______/|            Save yourself!  Go outside!  DO SOMETHING!            |