3 GRSTALT Fictions – GRSTALT Comms

1. Joyce Korchek Gets Up Late


Yeah, I slept in. I’d been up till, like, five making the deadline. So, I got up around…12:30. The HI-LYK wall was pulsing with a bunch of fresh notifications. But I just assumed it was because the article had gone live. I told the wall to palsy and went for breakfast.

The fridge told me I had insufficient banana curd to construct my a.m. stack. I brought up my DuckDrop portal and booked a Speed Drop. It would drop in 04:59, 04:58…
So, I took the stairs to the lobby and waited for the Duck to land. There was a scrap of paper on the floor, in the flood trough under the door. I picked it up and unfolded it:
uve bin v unfair 2 KES

My article was on Keith Eden Sealey, about how his Cataclysion News Feed had been funded covertly for years by the Internal Threat Assessment Bureau (INTAB) to, like, promote its narratives while Sealey posed as this radical contrarian. I had the documents. I’d been researching it for ages. I knew there was a danger, Sealey’s fans had gone after others. But the story was too good to pass up. I couldn’t step away because I was scared.

So, I went to the door and looked out. There were two of them standing outside the Dead Sea Café – early 20s-ish, matching cobalt blue rompers, faces close to their Devices. My Device notified me that my Drop had been successfully completed. I saw the Duck take off again. The package was on the other side of the door. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to drag any of my friends (come TF on, hook-ups & connects) into this, and I didn’t know my floor-mates well enough to just, like, go knock on their doors and say: ‘Hey, yeah, can you, like, do me a solid and put yourself in the middle of my shit, so I can get breakfast.’

So, I went back up and scanned through the HI-LYK wall. Most of the MSGs were from connects, warning me. A user called <<cavemanghost>> had put my address on SOLIPshare. I went to the window. Another young guy in a cobalt blue romper came out of the Dead Sea Café holding three Ayahuasca Stalks. My Device gave me a prod to remind me that my package hadn’t been skin-verified yet, and if there was a problem with the Drop, I should contact DuckDrop’s Quack Squad, who would resolve any issues I may be experiencing.

My Cutesy-Kin portal requested frentry, and I yessed. A kawaii lemur, roughly the size of a toddler, flew out of the HI-LYK wall and landed on the windowsill – it was wearing a red boardroom romper and business booties, two deal dowsers were sticking out of its head:

–Hello…Joyce Korchek. I am Quack Squad member…Tinley. Please be at ease and share with me. Your DuckDrop nickname has been set as…fArtcArdinAl.

(I didn’t think it would ever be said out loud. I was going to change it later.)

–Hi, yeah, so, I’ve been doxxed, and there’s people stopping me from collecting my package.

–Please explain the issue you are experiencing with your Drop…fArtcArdinAl.

–I can’t get to the package, because it’s outside, and I can’t get outside.

–How can I resolve your problem…fArtcArdinAl?

–I need someone to bring my package in for me. It’s not safe for me to go out and collect it.

–This is not a service currently offered by DuckDrop…fArtcArdinAl.

–Can’t you get someone to, like, come round and bring it in for me?

–This is not a service currently offered by DuckDrop…fArtcArdinAl.

–Isn’t there anyone who could do that for me?

–There is nobody at DuckDrop to provide that service…fArtcArdinAl.


–There is nobody at DuckDrop…fArtcArdinAl.

–Don’t the Ducks ever go inside?

–The Ducks are not permitted to go inside…fArtcArdinAl.

I ended the frentry before Tinley could get through the Quack Squad Gratitude Mantra.

Looking around the apt., I saw it, the Captain False Flag mask. It was promotional swag from the first Bonesmen movie. I sometimes put it on when I got mooded up and shot daf-loops.

So, I put the mask on and went to the lobby. I got in the flood trough and opened the door just enough so I could reach over and drag the package towards me. The three young guys saw me and ran across the street. One of their Devices fell from the front-flap of their romper – it was a modded My Device Wee-Zee.3, so it kept bouncing off the concrete, and the young guy tried to catch it as it went into Evasion Mode and changed direction every time it came up.

I closed the door before the other two got to me, but I didn’t have time to get the package in. They banged on the glass and shouted, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

A user called <<basedarchon>> posted to the ‘STOV’ [Stamping on Vermin] thread:
Rodent sighting! Location confirmed! Bring bodies!

So, over the next couple of hours, about thirty of them gathered outside the Dead Sea Café, all wearing the cobalt blue romper. I knew from researching the Sealey article what the romper was. It meant that the wearer identified as a ‘ByooBoi’ – a subculture that had built up around Sealey, and took the ‘Muscle Nut’ supplements Sealey hawked on the ‘truth shots’ he did every day (which lasted around five hours most days and averaged upper-six-figure live eyeballs).

There’s an initiation: if you want to become a ByooBoi, you’ve got to drink a whole Family Jug of Plipp’s Pop out of a dead animal. Without spilling a drop. Kids have died from it.

The supplements are known to cause unwanted genital swelling and involuntary ejaculation.

I’d read about what the ByooBois did to people they believed had attacked Sealey. Some believed that Sealey paid them. And the police never got involved until it was too late.

I watched from the window as one of the young guys opened the package, and was hit with a Slumbolt when his hand didn’t match my skin-sig (a DuckDrop Premium experience).

I had no choice, while there were so many of them there. This would go on for months if I didn’t. I brought up my Comity Services portal and got a quote for a resolution scenario.

Yeah, it was really pretty reasonable. And I could write it off, anyway.

I filmed the whole thing from my window. You can watch it on my SOLIPshare:
So, about half an hour after I’d been charged for my scenario, three Comity Services vans sped up to the Dead Sea Café, and Comity Squad operators started flooding out onto the street.

The operators let off a localized ego-death charge, then they went in with para-lances.

The bodies of the ByooBois were stacked on the pavement. The operators tagged the bodies on the forehead with the Comity Services logo. It takes ages for that tag to wash off.

It was over in, like, ten minutes. I smashed all five stars before the fumes had cleared.
I waited for the police clean-up, then I went down to get the package. The young guy who got hit with the Slumbolt was still lying next to the box, twitching, drool pooling on the pavement. I kicked him onto his back, then reported Street Vibe: Harshed on my HinDoor portal.

2. Joyce Korchek Spends a Week in DH 14
The Obvious Dream

‘You lose your name when you get here. You become a Growth Subject,’ GS 147-783 tells me as he escorts me along the platform that overlooks the inside congregation area of Development Hamlet 14 (DH 14). The men are between tasks, and they gather in their faded pink overalls at fixed tables with moulded plastic seats. 147-783 is on his way to Monday’s first task, leading a class of new arrivals through the skills evaluation that will determine the tasks they are assigned (147-783 was a teacher in his original country of residence).

The new arrivals squirm in their seats and strain to focus as 147-783 does a presentation on the intricacies and expectations of life in a DH. Their hair is still wet and their overalls are crisp. 147-783 is friendly yet assured, he manages to give the lines he’s said hundreds of times an easy authority, and it’s evident that many of his class have overcome the shock of their induction into the Hamlet’s system – a few hours ago they were picked up in the daily sweeps of the coastline and transported here, to be assessed for potential value.

There is a poster on the wall with a quote from the founder of the DH system, Secretary for Mobility and Integration, Dominique Standish: ‘We are interested in making devoted citizens. Hard-working citizens. A country squanders its social capital at its peril.’

As he’s preparing the room for tomorrow’s intake, 147-783 says: ‘I have a recurring dream where I have a key, and I put it into the keyhole of a big red door, and I keep turning the key, but the door won’t open, the key just keeps going round and round in the lock. Every time I have the dream, I’m sort of disappointed with myself, and I try to distance myself from it inside the dream, as if I’m just humouring my subconscious by playing with this key.’

Every morning at 6 a.m. the Growth Subjects line up in the outside congregation area to practice a dance routine to the K1$$1njah song ‘Blunt 4Z’ – each DH competes to perform the routine at the Growth Gala, in front of 80,000 Citizens at Klotco Stadium. The uncoordinated/unwilling Subjects are removed from the lines by choreographers/guards and taken inside. When the routine is over, each Subject kisses the Subject to their left and right on the lips.

147-783’s first Tuesday task is to moderate content for the SOLIPshare portal (the SOLIP Group is one of the DH system’s main partners). 147-783 sits at one of the consoles that fill the humid, humming room. I find him when the task is completed. His narrow face has tautened and his eyes have retreated into purpling orbits. ‘We see it all. I’ve seen death up close in my life, but there’s something about seeing it on the screen that really gets to you. I remember one. A group of soldiers were playing with a football, made out of human faces stitched together.’

Every completed task is rewarded with a deposit into the Subject’s ScornCoin Lejr. At present, 147-783’s Wednesday task is to phonebank for ScornCoin creator Carson Adal’s Sec-Gen campaign. 147-783’s phone manner and reading ability means he is always in demand for tasks of this nature. His voice is pleasing as he declares that Adal is the ‘vibes candidate’.

Every Wednesday morning is the open-air wellness seminar in the outside congregation area. The Subjects are encouraged by the DH’s team of visualisation technicians to share their anxieties and project their desired outcomes. 147-783 tells me in a low voice: ‘During these sessions, a drone goes over, and it sprays a chemical that’s making people throw themselves from ledges, or smash their heads against walls until they black out, or cut themselves up with pieces of metal they sharpen on their bedposts, or start fights they know they can’t win.’

Wednesday afternoon’s task requires 147-783 to serve as an arbitrator for the drones that patrol the coastline. The drones cannot engage without permission, and it falls on the arbitrator to make the call: whether or not to authorize force. ‘I’ve seen old friends climbing out of the pits,’ 147-783 says and rubs his eyes. Every arbitrator’s decisions are assessed by the contractor, Impregasus. Lapses in judgement are deducted from the Subject’s ScornCoin Lejr.

Every Thursday it is 147-783’s turn to update the SOLIPshare polips which are maintained by DH 14 to boost the slap-rate of participating brands. On this day 147-783 inhabits the shape of top-slapped micro-influencer Ryker Soams (a creation of Singloss Labs) to endorse Klotco’s new Anime-grade eye-widening balm from zir own fourteen-day experience. 147-783 reads the copy and his voice is adjusted to replicate Soams’ West-Coast-Zen cadence.

After this 147-783 switches to mining for crystals in the OSAC (Open-Scrolling Acquisition Challenge) game Perandials (the Perandials crystals became a major asset when the game’s developer, W33k $0r(e(z, opened its own trading portal, and investment houses hired teams of miners to track down the rarer crystals in the deeper folds of the game’s scroll-grid. This has led to the flow of top-value crystals being tightly regulated, and their discovery being left to dedicated miners with the deep liquidity of the investment houses behind them – generally those with an abundance of leisure time to sell and no other plausible options left).

On Fridays those Subjects who have completed all their tasks for the week are given preferential opportunities that extend into the weekend. 147-783 is among the cohort that is chosen to test upcoming additions to Klotco’s Party Hardware line. The new strains of Mood Granules are laid out in transparent slides – there are various colours (name TBD). 147-783 is given a Delivery Tube and taken into a room with soft lights and ambient chokewave.

There are still some kinks in the blend, and the Subjects experience side effects ranging from mild itching to full-blown psychotic breaks which end with groups of guards stepping in.

147-783 seems to have escaped with a relatively mild orange strain that loosens him up somewhat (he jokingly tells me the next morning that they should call this strain Orange Overshare). ‘Everyone wants in on the Clinic. But I’ve seen people come back from those trials, and they’re gone,’ he says, leaning in and lowering his voice. ‘Do you think you can find my wife? I think she’s in DH 07. That’s where they take the women, right? You’ve got some clout. You can go in there. This is her name, and mine.’ He whispers the names in my ear.

[edited from original publication]
I try to set up a piece on DH 07. I pitch it everywhere, but nobody’s interested. [redacted] at New Pragmatist tells me they already have their Development Hamlet story, they’re covering the legacy of Operation Endless Liberty for the Q4 update, so they’re finished with it for the time being. I ask [redacted] whether the people in DH 07 aren’t part of the legacy of OEL, and [redacted] tells me that it falls outside the parameters of the update. I point out to [redacted] that women have been inordinately affected by OEL, but [redacted] says they’re focusing on the macro. I write down the names on a slip of paper, so they become real, and I search all the possible permutations in the public records. But I find nothing. They aren’t anywhere in the system. The story dies, and I’m ashamed to say my interest wanes, other stories come up, new priorities assert themselves. I pin the slip of paper over my desk, with all the other prompts and reminders, but nothing compels me to do anything. And I start to hate them. I hate having these names, stuck in my ear, and hanging in front of me. I hate what these names have done.

3. Joyce Korchek Provides Some Background on the Hidyuss Swetts Situation
Various Flavours and Big Smiles

Carson Adal wasn’t breaking through. His bid to become Sec-Gen XLVIII had stalled since his announcement at Klotco Stadium (the footage of Adal dancing to UnLieKlee’s campaign song, ‘Vibe Cheef’, set the tone, and was relentlessly parodied).
Despite spending an estimated three seven-zero Ultra-Mega-Big-Cash (without dipping into his ScornCoin reserves), Adal was stuck at 2% in the polls.

One campaign insider (speaking on the condition of anonymity) put it bluntly: ‘The internal polls and focus groups didn’t lie – Carson was a massive turn-off to the voters. He was seen as being imperious, condescending, insincere, vindictive, smug.’
In an attempt to position himself as ‘the vibes candidate’ in a field of sixteen, the ScornCoin creator staged a series of high-profile events – ostentatious giveaways, elaborate photo-ops, and free concerts – which only seemed to breed suspicion and ridicule.

The campaign reached its nadir during a photo-op at Development Hamlet 14. As Adal left the facility and spoke with the press scrum, a figure dressed as Captain False Flag and carrying a toilet started heckling Adal, repeatedly shouting: ‘All hail the toylut kink, long live the toylet kink!’ As Adal was ushered towards his car, the heckler tried to ‘award’ the toilet to Adal. There was an altercation between the heckler and Adal’s bodyguards.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘There was a crisis meeting, where Champ [Plested, Adal’s campaign manager] told Carson that he should have gone with the bit and taken the toilet, because voters like candidates to be relatable and lit. Carson didn’t get it. Everyone he paid always licked his hole, so he couldn’t understand that you had to eat various flavours of shit, and give everyone a big smile while you did, if you wanted the Big Seat.’

The altercation had been the latest offering from Hidyuss Swetts, a well-known content generator on SolipShare’s ‘annomeee’ portal (which compiles the daf-loops its mods deem to be ‘annofunnn’ – something that is aggressively annoying yet inexplicably funny). Swetts had gained a large following from their daf-loops, and the campaign decided to embrace the flood of attention the daf-loop – titled ‘TOYLUT KINK TROPEE’ – generated.

Swetts had already produced a series of daf-loops aimed at Adal. In one, Swetts shouts ‘I will die for you, toylut kink!’, then dunks their head in a toilet bowl and flushes. In another, Swetts turns up at a sparsely attended Adal rally, screams ‘Put your dumps in me, toylut kink!’, then gets into a fight with a man in a ‘Defense Operators 4 Adal’ combat romper.

The campaign started to suspect that Adal’s 2% was coming predominantly from ‘annomeee voters’, inspired by Swetts’ daf-loops. Plested decided it was time for a reset.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘Swetts told us to get fucked the first few times we reached out. But Carson kept upping the offer. Like the rest of us, they caved for the Big-Cash. But they made us promise not to make it public. They’d keep doing their own thing.’

Adal was scheduled to appear on the Newstalk Feed’s morning TribuNation show, to unveil his ‘Adal Plan’ for the wealth creation crisis. As Adal began to speak on his personal vision of wealth advocacy, and the steps he was going to take to achieve it as Sec-Gen XLVIII, the set was invaded by Hidyuss Swetts, dressed as Magog and carrying their ‘tropee’.

Swetts began to shout: ‘Forget the Adal Plan, I have the Adal pan!’, and threw the toilet in Adal’s direction. Adal ducked under the desk, and the toilet struck the backdrop.

As Swetts was dragged away by security, they shouted: ‘Take my tropee, kink!’
The campaign insider recalls: ‘The slap metrics for ‘Adal Plan’ went alpha-dom, and Adal’s personal slap metric went up 40%. Our annomeee consultant was already paying off!’

Another daf-loop got loose three days later. Swetts had located Adal’s yacht, The Sauce O’ My Fortune, and swam to avoid harbour security, disguised as a narwhal. Titled ‘KINK FLOWT’, it shows a soaking Swetts investigating the boat and ‘finding’ objects – a dick cradle (size XS), a poly tarp encrusted with a red substance, and a tongue wrapped in yellow hair.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘Swetts sent us a statement to put out, denying that Carson had ever trapped and tortured dogs for pleasure, or that he required a dick cradle of any size.’
Two days later, a string of updates was purled to the official Adal campaign SolipShare polip:

08:45 saw a gorgeous alsatian puupy [sic] today & thought id relly [sic] love to cave its skull in with a shivel [sic] & eat its guts in internatiial [sic] water

08:46 as sec-gen xlviii will decree that ALL blond puppies be sent to my oddifial [sic] residnece [sic] & then slaughtered on the front steps for unch [sic]

08:51 dick cradle reallt [sic] hurting today, thibk [sic] need smalker [sic] one

The campaign released the following statement:

This morning – between 08:45 a.m. and 08:52 a.m. – the Adal campaign lost control of its SolipShare polip. This issue has now been rectified, and the Adal campaign would like to apologize for any offence that may have been caused by the statements purled to the polip during this disruption to its normal function.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘Carson’s relatability index figs went up thirty points. He was polling 7%, 32% among male high-propensity slap-habs 16-25. The polip was clutching major eyeballs, nobody wanted to miss the next affront when it came. Which of course it did.’

The affronts kept coming, characterizing Adal as everything from a habitual dog torturer to the head of the Transnational Micropenis Conspiracy which controls the world’s economy.

Four days after the last one, another daf-loop got loose. Titled ‘LISSEN KINK’, Swetts is sitting in an empty bathtub on the side of the expressway, shouting over the traffic din:

I spent all my ScornCoin on your tropee! I just want to give you the tropee for winning! If you don’t get my tropee, bad things will happen! Bad things will happen! You will get a package! You will get a package! A package will come! And what will be in the package, my kink? Another tropee will be in the package!

The campaign insider recalls: ‘We honestly weren’t sure what to make of that one. It had a more aggressive edge to it. But we assumed it was all part of the bit. Everything was working.’

The package arrived at Adal campaign HQ the day after ‘LISSEN KINK’ got loose. No carrier marks or skin-sig were attached – security footage revealed it had been left at the entrance by a man in a cobalt blue romper. The package was passed on to the Internal Threat Assessment Bureau – the pictures released by INTAB show a handwritten note saying ‘GD VIBES ALWASE’ stuck to the object, which was wrapped in layers of Adal campaign flyers.

That morning, a miit-striim was hosted on Swetts’ personal SolipShare polip. The archive was zapped within minutes by mods, but the striim lasted 17:42 and had 732 viewers at its peak – caps of the striim can still be found on the dark bazaars that operate on the Undervice [New Pragmatist does not endorse the patronising of such services]. Following a lengthy diatribe against Adal and the Micropenis Cabal, Swetts threatened to cut off their right hand live on-striim, replying to the chat that it would be their ‘Buddhist monk thing’. The commenters encouraged Swetts to do it (‘👁’, ‘🖤❣🖤’, ‘👌🔪’, ‘🗡🗡’, ‘⚰⚰⚰’). Swetts struggled with a manual saw, severely lacerating their wrist, until they were advised by a commenter on which kind of mercy-halfer to print. The commenter received a month’s free premium access.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘They did tests on the hand, and it had Swetts’ skin-sig. Swetts went dark, but we didn’t have time to chase them up, because Carson had qualified for the next debate, so we had to figure out a strategy. The story was all over the place, and everyone was confused. Everything about it screamed annofunnn. But we had a legit hand on our hands.’

The decision was made to go for broke. When the question was brought up at the debate, Adal reached inside his jacket and pulled out a blood-soaked hand. The room went deathly quiet. Adal started slapping himself on the face with the hand, then he leaned in and started listening, as if the hand were speaking to him. Adal said: ‘He told me he wants to reach out to the people’, then threw the hand into the audience. The moderator took this for an answer and moved on.

The campaign insider recalls: ‘I remember Champ turning from the monitor and saying: “Well, I guess annomeee only gets you so far.” We thought we’d blown it, totally misread the room.’

Then the post-debate polls came out, and Adal had shot up to third. The hand routine became a staple on the campaign trail as Adal started to close in on the frontrunners. The campaign sold ‘Adal 4 Sec-Gen’ rubber hands. The Adal campaign polip was domming SolipShare with its annofunnn-inflected digils. Everyone seemed to have forgotten about Hidyuss Swetts. They purled an update to their personal polip: ‘GD VIBES TROPEE KINK’. Then they were gone.