Surfing the Dataclysm Wake

Welcome back, Flyknife Fans! Remember how last you heard from me the Twitter interface was on the outs? Yeah, so, it’s fully gone. Christian ended up smelting the lithium into a mineral egg ahead of schedule, and while I could’ve stopped him, I felt like I had better things to do. And then there was that whole business last time where my cyber-egg recipe got interrupted by broadcast intrusions from another world? That might happen more, the quantum parallax drills we use to interface with your timestream got rattled by the timequake and we’re still ironing out the bugs.

Things have changed out here in HALIFAX_1! That novel I mentioned? Totally didn’t pan out. Turns out the Adaptation Engine that picks up the old cartoons we work from doesn’t output prose as well as it does pictures. It’s OK though- C.H.R.I.S’ Media Ingestion Synthesizers mined a lot of good data out of some heretofore uncharted timestreams, so it’s not like the exercise was time wasted.

What else, what else-


An upper-floor room in a defanged military vehicle. A man- unshaven- picks at a grubby keyboard under incandescent LEDs. He types with the desultory efficiency of one put to a distasteful chore, hoping to see it finished as soon as possible. The room is swollen with machinery. At his right elbow is a heap of tubes and wires that could be mistaken for junk if not for the rhythmic blue glow that lights the interior every few seconds. Planted haphazardly on one of its few inflexible metal surfaces is a label, reading in block letters “MEDIA INGESTION SYNTHESIZER”. To the right of that is a desk, backlit with the only white lights in the room. Pencils, pens, and implements as-yet undevised by modern science fill plastic trays hanging off the slanted wooden surface. A label helpfully declares “BRUCE’S DESK.” On the wall are three digital clocks, labelled “LOCAL TIME” (27:13 AM, 27,777), “TARGET TIME” (11:51 AM, 2024), and “FISCHER TIME” (G/90;inc-1). Space on the wall has been cleared for more clocks, and framed posters of bygone films are stacked haphazardly in one corner, without care. Labels delineate the space. “ADAPTATION ENGINE.” “GAMMA NULLIFIER.” “STEALTH PROJECTION.” “CHRISTIAN’S OFFICE,” on a door too small to reasonably admit a grown man. In one corner atop a ruggedized plastic shelf (“MISCELLANEOUS STORAGE”), a machine about the size of a shoebox housing its own grubby keyboard lurks. “LABEL MAKER” adorns the side. Above that, a separate label (not so thoroughly yellowed as the other) reads “CHRISTIAN’S”.


-Fifth Anthropocene Dataclysm. That’s a lot of big words, what does it mean? Well, ‘Anthropocene’ refers to the period of time defined by human interaction with the world, and ‘Dataclysm’ is a shorthand way of referring to any large-scale digital or analog event in which 25% or more of global information is wiped out. ‘Fifth’ means there were four other times that it happened but I dunno, I’m not sure that one needs explaining. The first big one- in my timestream, anyway- was in 2016, when the United States inserted a logic bomb into the governance code for the IEEE database (long story) and “inadvertently” wiped out the entire internet (64% of global information!!). All the ones after that are after your time (here’s hoping we averted some!) but this last one was a bad hit. Conservative estimates say that we’ve lost 87% of all information ever stored, digital or analog. I’m not just talking ‘the website is down’, I’m talking casette tapes bursting into flame, ink melting right off the pages of books. Backups? Don’t make me laugh (stitches are still healing). Airgapped solid state drives underneath the Icelandic Data Defense Zone exploded into acid and blood completely unprompted. We’re flying dark here.

Me and the Flyknife Comics crew are still working to determine the cause but near as we can figure, the Binary Order tried to take advantage of the timequakes we were experiencing and steal a huge volume of information from your timestream (and adjacent ones). Problem was, your timestreams are currently experiencing a non-trivial amount of data corruption- something hostile flooding the dataspace. When they tried to haul that back through a time-tunnel- artificially widened by the timequakes- the data overcorrupted and (possibly) became sentient. Or, at least, really angry. Hard to say! Binary Order pulled an America and logic-bombed the whole digital space to kill it. It was all we could do to keep this webzone alive, and I’d be lying if I said C.H.R.I.S didn’t have a big part to play in that.

HALIFAX_1 is pretty much of a shambles now, the Binary Order’s had to shut down the whole downtown to keep all us Netriders and data pirates from getting too out of line (as if they could!). Unfortunately, that means Christian’s office has been quarantined, so we moved him into the Mobile HQ, specifically into an empty ammunition hopper. It’s not big, but it’s dry and the datastreams are steady, which is more than I can say for most of HALIFAX_1. I do occasionally hear him pulling up the stock ticker and weeping… I should check on him one of these days.

Now I know what you’re thinking- “this is cool and all, but what does it have to do with me? The distant timestream of 27,777 is so far removed from my own life that its vicissitudes have no bearing on my ability to afford rent and food.” First of all, time is an illusion and every moment is happening simultaneously, so get that stinkin’ thinkin’ out of your brain! How could we use the quantum parallax drills if time was more than one moment? Honestly.

But I assume you want COMIC NEWS so here it is: STONR GARBAGE 6 is almsot done, all the interior art is finished and I’m just doing the cover now. My hope is to have that finished by the end of the week, then I’ll have the Adaptation Engine bundle it up and pipe it back to your time. STARBREAKERS 2 is coming to the website soon, and after that, my attention will be full-bore on pulling STARBREAKERS 3 out of the Media Ingestion Synthesizer and making that a reality as well. It’s been cooking long enough, I can tell you that. I don’t wanna think too far ahead after that since STARBREAKERS 3 is at least a year’s worth of work, but rest assured, I’m still kickin’ and still makin’ comics. If I’ve done all my programming right, this update should coincide with C.H.R.I.S hooking into the new webzones you’ve got down there, so it should trigger a kickout to Bluesky and give you a spot to keep apprised of all my freshest comings and goings.


That’s all for now, Flyknife Fans. We’ll keep the lights on here, so long as you’re still there to see ‘em. And as always- STAY VIGILANT! STAY VALIANT!

Rock and roll,