Section 20: Great Circles![1]

Chapter 143:HS Crosses AN at O[2]

The last footnote before this template is footnote number 321.


Chapter Data
Date and Time Earth 16.03.2033 17:03:24 UTC
EЖT 10774-261.1316
Place Ivory Coast,[3] Greater Maghreb
Code Thiŝu Élnésós Élnänthës Rentüÿi Mégäþethéÿilä


Ivory Coast has never been a nice place to live in unless you turn out to be the times when Benin was an actual empire to be scared of. Yes, that actually happened. [4] No, that doesn’t mean Ivory Coast had any niceties of any kind, even with those standards.

Right now, the two big burly armies are sitting on roughly the diagonal of this vaguely rectangular country, [5] with a hopelessly sandwiched filler of tuna fish in the middle. Uh, not tuna fish. Greater Maghrebans. [6] It’s not easy to confuse the two but it is possible. Especially when you’re hungry. [7]

So where was I? Oh yes: as the two are now uncomfortably close to each other, the game can commence. War Game [8] v.16.18.135543 [9] contains a lot of changes to the original. [10] One of its most radical changes was at v.13.0, when the game turns from trading-card-style to turn-based-real-time-strategy-combat-thing. [11] Or, with actual names, Magic: the Gathering suddenly changed to X-COM. Both these things are extant in 2033. [12]

Its name is rather irrelevant; the main thing is that this game is something that not many people could ever understand. Mainly because it involves a hex board the size of thirty-seven of the hexes on the ground [13] in addition to a computer running a truly scary Windows-Mac-Linux super-hybrid [14] called The Vogue in Fusion [15] v.138.44 exclusive to government-type people as which is in turn running a program that’s written in extremely specialized C+^64 [16]. This is War Game. [17]

The game looks really funny when the whole thing is looked at from an outsider’s point of view. [18] The two armies, weaponry at the ready, calmly walk to each other at a pace of 0.41 m/s [19] and sit on a chair of office standards, [20] waiting for the Central Computer [21] to start the game.

The commencement of the game is the only part that’s simple. The Central Computer shoots a hologram [22], customarily green. That hologram generates something too, and it is a message that reads: YOU MAY COMMENCE in symbol writing.[23] And like a sheep they commenced like they have never done before. [24] So what does the whole thing look like? First, they sit around in a group, movement facilitated by the office chairs, chatting on which ones to go for. This continues for about one hundred seconds. [25]

Then comes the movement phase, which takes up half an hour of continuous shuffling and button-pressing. [26] At first, it really looks like kung-fu chess, but once the inhibitors of various sizes [27] come in then it gets really funny.

When two pieces meet they enter a Pain Dimension (or something like that) [28] where they were pitted against each other in a way that no one has ever seen before. First, there is a whack-’em-sack-’em round where it’s just mashing random buttons on the keyboard [29] to punch in different ways. When a certain keystroke (which may be simple or esoteric) is formed they have the right to one (1) [30] special dodge or attack that allows them to basically cut the other guy’s Endurance [31] in half. It shortens the game by a significant amount, because each keystroke is really just stealing [32] 0.1 units of Endurance [33] from your opponent, and the Endurance units often run in the thousands! [34]

Once that’s finished (it’d take thousands and thousands of hits but it is finite) then the sub-battle ends and regular play… oh right. The regular play goes on the whole time this is happening. This is supposedly simulating the complexity of war itself [35] but everyone knows it’s just for extra complexity value.

You can see how immediately this could be more complex than the thing it’s originally trying to replace, and indeed it is. Nevertheless, it’s used because the alternative is killing people, and that’s just bad.

We’ll come back to this later.

Notes and NavigationEdit

  1. Scotland or any of its inhabitants may or may not be in one of them.
  2. Subtitle: Or, footnotes on half the page.
  3. There was a long and detailed explanation why this particular 4th tier country is “Ivory Coast” and not “Côte d’Ivoire”. It generally consists of the words “You”, “suck” and something about an unpronounceable capital.
  4. Not that it was particularly good at empire-y business, or making any sort of dent in world history; it’s smaller than Benin is today (which meant 2010.)
  5. There was some argument that when it was officially declared a 4th tier country it was to be changed into exactly rectangular (or as rectangular as one can get in a spheroid with bumps on) but the proposal was rejected. Again, the rejection can be summed up with three words: “you”, “stink” and “bananas”.
  6. Tuna fish sandwiches are a lot tastier than Greater Maghreban sandwiches, though, mainly because Greater Maghreban sandwiches take a week to finish.
  7. Or maybe you’re in a dream or something. Good grief, you probably are in one! Maybe you’re just stuck in an eternal dream of the mundane—oh wait, that’s real life. Carry on.
  8. It has the worst name ever, but what can you expect from a world that has a country called Hockey Stick!?
  9. Featuring 28 bug fixes from its previous version, and also having a brand new system of figuring out special dice rolls. The new system works exactly as the old system (whatever that may be) but in a different way. In governments, “new” and “old” carry different meanings. Like, for example, the “new” system of 2033 is far removed from the “old” one of 2009.
  10. Mind, the Astral Plane is now incorporated into part of War Game starting from v.10 and up. This is called Robin Succession: the new fork takes over the original.
  11. While at first this looks like a contradiction, it was quite mundane once you got around to thinking about it. What happens is that during particular times you get to do things quicker than the opponent. It’s like kung-fu chess really (Also known as Chess: the RTS edition.) In KFC, (which is not what it looks like!) you are limited by how fast your hand can move and your stamina; in a TBRTSCT (tib-rit-scat?) you are limited by several inhibitors that activate at certain time intervals. Obfuscation is a problem in governments even in 2009, but twenty-four years on it has just gotten silly. Should WikiLeaks exist in 2033 (it has split into seventy; each fighting over the other on what to release and what not to) it would have a field month.
  12. Magic: the Gathering (which is such a stupid name because everyone knows that magic is not quantifiable in any way or is something that can be collected) never died, but is like 1850 Qing China: dying on its feet while still thinking it’s the best thing since sliced bread despite extreme evidence to the contrary. X-COM is just Israel v.2.0: it’s killed and had very little chance of recovery due to chronic human forgetfulness but in 2030 a new X-COM video game was made due to the 10-year rule – a rule that says every ten years a game can be rebooted to any order of similarity to the original. In any case, both of these games are extant to the extent (try saying that three times at a rate of 5 syllables per second) that the Benin “Empire” is extant in terms of land area.
  13. Naturally, this is of the centered hexagonal variant. It’s not like there’s any prettier way of putting 37 hexagons around anyway.
  14. Such super-hybrids are not rare; people have been putting stuff together like this so that things can be done taking the best of all the worlds. [All of them.] It is the way that this particular super-hybrid was made 5 years before the first one appeared in the market, mainly because they took the source code of Linux and bullied Mac and Windows to giving them their source code.
  15. Fusion, as in fusion cooking. One of the developers has taken a liking to it.
  16. C+^64, pronounced see-plus-hat-sixty-four (D-S optional) (preferably spelled C++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++) is an extension of C++ (duh), but only if you take the word to its very core. To put it simply, C+^64 is designed to be written backwards. It’s compiled from the center to the edge like a CD. It bears no resemblance to C++. It takes the ultimate guru in programming to do it, but thanks to the unending stream of labor coming from undisclosed sources, they managed to do it. Suffice to say that they also alter the underlying structure of The Vogue in Fusion, so not only is it OS-specific, it is also computer-specific, because the alteration will only work on one and only one computer. While this is very secure indeed, it is a nightmare for anyone to actually use it. Or pirate it. (This is why the RIAA takes such a warming to it – or the RIAHS (RIAHS, bias, what an enormous bi-as!) as it is now commonly called). This has not stopped the general populace from doing so, though, and the only reason why War Game has not been leaked off is because no one has heard of it. Just yet.
  17. To give it its proper name, it’s War Game: a Tactical Game that is More Than Just a Game: it’s a Game of Life and War and also Kayaks. Yes, kayaks. It makes sense in context.
  18. In this case, there are outsiders: specifically, the Ivoirians sitting there looking at it (war has lost its killing power by now). This is what they would have seen. This is not, however, written by said Ivoirians.
  19. This speed is known as the Speed of Politeness and is also the standard speed on walking down the red carpet, the walk to the graduation scroll and other ridiculously formal things. Related: Speed of Drama: 0.38 m/s; Speed of Comedy: 5 m/s; Speed of Panic: 90 m/s; Speed of Good News: 1 m/s; Speed of Bad News: 4 m/s; Speed of Running Away From Someone in a Speedo and Not Swimming: 40 m/s (a new record!); Speed of Radiation: 0.04 m/s w. r. t. the hero, 300 m/s for villains, c for all others.
  20. Complete with the spinning thing as well as the wheels at the bottom. This had led to many funny situations happening; not all of them are suitable for minors. That’s a lie: none of these are suitable for minors. Or majors. Or majors in psychology. Or even D major. Only when you’re a government official do you get to do such things as having a cardboard sword fight 150% naked (you take half your skin off as well as all your clothes or equivalent) on a those swingy office chairs. And then having 40 others do the same thing with you. It’s glorious in a horribly twisted way. (I should have just told you shouldn’t I?)
  21. That is named because it’s in the center of the two computers of the opposing teams. Has nothing to do with any other Central Computers, especially not ones in a far-flung future of immortality. Or a computer in Central.
  22. There was never a hologram projector on any Central Computer; this was C+^64 at work. The main reason why you must write the code backward is because if you read it forwards the messages for Construction of Virtual Objects (CVO) and the Construction of Digital Objects (CDO) gets mixed up. CVO is really just CDO backwards.
  23. Symbol writing is something that the governments have been paying quite a bit of attention ever since Mr. Bliss made them over 80 years ago. They were quickly adopted by the government, but due to the whole secrecy thing it was rejected everywhere else. What a shame; it’d be a fun language to write in! You know, it’s like Chinese: it’s interesting, but to actually create something with restraints to it sucks up all the fun. This symbol writing should not be used to write stuff that is limited in any more ways than the language auto-limits itself; thus the main part of it becomes fun again.
  24. This is to say they do all sorts of funny antics disguised as “formalities”. People get away with a lot of things if you refer to things as “formalities.”
  25. The average time is about 113 seconds; there are times when things are so straightforward it’d be a no-brainer, but there are also times when one has to think so much that often you’ll also need a whiteboard to track your thoughts. (Whiteboards, incidentally, are part of the weaponry and is therefore always present.)
  26. Think chess boxing (lots of chess references here, isn’t there?) but instead of punching people you get to punch a couple buttons. (Incidentally, the buttons are those touch-screen ones, with a transparent case and everything. It’s a shame that the technology has to be lost to the public due to GOVERNMENT SECRECY.)
  27. Inhibitors in War Game a bit like a massage chair to an extent. You strap yourself in lots of near-invisible air cushions and at certain points of time the Central Computer will tell the cushions to pump air into their interior. How much air, and how fast it comes in, is how there are multiple inhibitors. You must strap yourself in those air cushions because they are also the ones responsible to send messages to the Central Computer to move the board pieces. At some point in time they’ll often have to press the buttons at the bottom (those buttons are for moving a particular piece on the game board around). That’s how the inhibitors work: they make bending over harder so you can’t press those buttons as effectively.
  28. Inhibitors in War Game a bit like a massage chair to an extent. You strap yourself in lots of near-invisible air cushions and at certain points of time the Central Computer will tell the cushions to pump air into their interior. How much air, and how fast it comes in, is how there are multiple inhibitors. You must strap yourself in those air cushions because they are also the ones responsible to send messages to the Central Computer to move the board pieces. At some point in time they’ll often have to press the buttons at the bottom (those buttons are for moving a particular piece on the game board around). That’s how the inhibitors work: they make bending over harder so you can’t press those buttons as effectively.
  29. The government officials really should have used keyboards that are actually keys, as in a flat lump of plastic with a great dozen-odd smaller nail-shaped bits with a dome and a contact at the bottom, rather than a flat lump of plastic with heat sensitive resistors below them. The “click-clack” sounds that come with these old-style keyboards are just so endearing.
  30. There is just no other way that you can specifically say one as in a single, solitary individual, instead of the more commonly used “a”. Plus, it lends itself very nicely, in conjunction to this footnote, the fact that 1 is an identity: (1)349 = 1.
  31. They are more accurately termed hit points really – it’s just that HP is already used for another thing, namely the general military status of a country. The only thing HP ever does is that it determines the starting size of the army.
  32. Yes, stealing. As in, every time you hit your adversary, they have 0.1 units deducted and you have 0.1 units added. Don’t be squeamish about my choice of vocabulary!
  33. Endurance is not a unit. It is merely a description of a unit, like “radian.” (Radians, due to the fact that it is a measure of angle, are unit-less).
  34. For particularly big countries, it is not surprising for it to hit the 40,000 mark, and those battles could take months. So, not much different from regular battles of this day and age.
  35. You know, it’s all about strategy and geography and all sorts of very complicated things and it looking like an American Football game, but like American Football, it really just degenerates to “go over there, and hit that guy with a bigger item of firearm than he has.” The inferiority complex of warring people is probably on the order of magnitude of the Forbidden Palace. With a Forbidden Palace inside each room (all 10^4 - 10^0) of the original.
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HS Crosses AN at O
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