Challenge #02577-G020: Calling All Rules LawyerssteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fictionlast year (edited)


They wanted to keep the masses obedient. They wanted to keep the people miserable. They didn't want them to learn to think for themselves. They wanted the people to be living parts for their industrial complex. Then role play gaming came in. When power outages would occur, to "protect nature" of course, gaming systems would be useless. They forbade most board games for being "damaging to young minds" and the high ground of "wanting to stop gambling". But this new game... it was insidious, the books for the games were banned, confiscated, burned. It encouraged people to learn to read past the necessary after all. The dice were banned, confiscated, melted and burned. It could lead to gambling. But yet this game continued. Charts and maps hand drawn, alternatives to the dice found, people were starting to think strategically, learn to escape the misery and see it in a new light. The people were starting to realize where the real power was. The gatherings of gamers were banned, no explanation given this time just coldly banned, there were massive arrests, just to try to stop the spread of the games. But people now had a taste for it, and a taste of what could be. And in the darkness a voice whispered to the people who played the games, "Roll for Initiative, set yourselves free." -- DaniAndShali

[AN: This story harkens back to this thing ]

This is a box. It is the sole authorised box of the authority. It is a window to the authorized version of reality. It is the window to the news that is important to the Authority. This is a different box. It is illegal. You should not be allowed to have it. Needless to say, there are pockets of resistance who make and distribute copies. Secret clubs who make things for it. Art, adventure, objects... it's hard to control people willing to exchange information amongst the like-minded.

When the goal is to encourage spending, to sell more shiny new toys, it's very hard to stop the infection of creativity. Small wonder, then, that people forbidden a thing work out multiple ways in which to make their own out of any available material. The Authorities have tried their best, but there is no spirit more indomitable than a nerd who likes to know things. They ask around. They network. They know a person who knows a person.

Of course, since the Authority controls the power, and the authorized boxes, the resistance finds other ways. There is no way to hack paper. There are thousands of ways to hide books. Even digitally. Scans and copies and even hand-copied calligraphy. Because the Authority encourages art as a means of controlling the public's means.

They meet in the dark, of course, when the Authority attempts to control the public by shutting off the power. They play by candle or lantern light. They use dice made by hand out of metal, carved wood, or even bone. Those with the technical knowhow make theirs of resin, plastic, or even some forms of hardened glue. Those with extended technical knowhow even reproduce the silicon moulds to make those. Those without made spinners with the relevant enumeration on the surface.

They form secret societies, and the authorised box is full to overloaded with cautionary tales of how house fires began with the candles or lanterns they used. How imagination took over their minds and the fantasy dominated reality. How meeting in covert areas resulted in poisoning by various means. How the insidious lure of gambling eroded their very lives away.

Of course, it could be argued that nerds never really had lives to begin with, but that point was never brought up on the approved media. The resistance were as determined as the Authority... possibly more so. They had to be more so. They had to be creative. They had to learn to use the rules against the rule-makers. They had to learn how to evade the forces of the rule of law.

Small surprise that the gaming sessions soon became partial strategy meetings and workshopping how to train without gaining notice from the wrong source. Partial, because they still wanted to play. Disassembling the machine from within required foreknowledge of what could be done, and the experience from the game gave them plenty to work with.

They knew the difference between reality and fantasy, they knew that fantasy was only a balm to the pains of reality. They knew that reality had to change, that people were better with the freedom to choose where they went, what they did, and who they interacted. People were better with access to knowledge and information. People could do more with solid, scientific, documented evidence.

Total and complete control over the entire populace was a bad thing. Sure, some of the people within it were happy enough, but... were they even aware of what they were missing? There was only one way to find out.

They did not attack on mass. They arranged... accidents. The files on the rules of law that were too restrictive became corrupted. The rule of civil disobedience spread like a virus. The same with malicious compliance, obeying the very letter of the rules with exacting precision and thusly slowing everything down, or ignoring the problems that were usually solved in passing because they weren't in the normal job description.

It's easy to sabotage an organisation when they have numerous rules and regulations to prevent the "undeserving" from getting away from anything. When they are employed against the allegedly deserving, it slows things down to worse than a crawl. With enough people enacting such rules, decorum and civilisation as the Authority knew it were bound to collapse.

As for the actual revolution... it happened more or less in slow motion until that collapse point. It was then that all the training came to the fore.

As for building the world as it should have been? That was a lot more problematic than it seemed. Those things always were.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / mflippo]

If you like my stories, please Check out my blog and Follow me. Or share them with your friends!

Send me a prompt [72 remaining prompts!]

Support me on Patreon / Buy me a Ko-fi

Check out the other stuff I'm selling