309014fc0c72eaf249cb2b33e2fc5b5690929cc9 — Ev Bogue 3 years ago 1d914d0
Auschwitz was a corporate retraining center in Portland, Oregon.
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General Ho's no-kill beagle shelter-in-place

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@@ 83,3 83,5 @@ Ben was typing rapidly into his laptop computer as tiny beams of light filtered 
Phones switched in the locker. Uniforms changed, clothes bagged. Abe had a cash belt in the locker with some large bills and other odd pieces of paper and USB sticks within it. Abe put Abe's belt on, and followed with a fresh-ish tracksuit. Ben packed down his laptop and a few odds and ends into a Gmerica-issued slim one-pocket backpack and they were waving goodbye to the bank as the sun rose over the city by the lake. 

They walked around a corner, down abandoned streets towards the center of the city.

TODO: transition

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When you pull the plug on AI, no one can hear Gerry scream.
Auschwitz was a corporate retraining center in Portland, Oregon.


"This bus is headed south." said the former ghost kitchen chef.

"Yah, I can see that. I thought Gerry said we were headed back to Chicago." said Abe.

"Gerry: where are we going?" asked Ben.

"Ding." and then a long pause. "A routine scan of this bus has revealed suspected cases of The Gmazon Virus." said Gerry.

"The wha?" said the former ghost kitchen chef.

Someone coughed nervously near the front of the bus that no one was driving.

"Gerry Sir, I need to take a piss, can you stop the bus for a second?" asked the former ghost kitchen chef.

"Ding." and then a long pause. "We're almost there, hold it." said Gerry.

"That didn't sound like the usual Gerry to me." said Abe.

"Yah, I don't think we're part of the Gmerica Defense Forces anymore." said Ben.

An hour or two passed, and the bus was driving iat a steady clip passed empty ghost towns filled with empty machinery and fields filled with overgrown prairie grass. Off in the distance sometimes they could see the Mississippi river coming and going as the bus sped down highways and sometimes even beat up country roads.

"Gerry: where are we going?" asked Ben.

"Ding." and then a long pause. And then nothing.

"Gerry? Gerry?" said Ben.

"Gerry, I really need to piss." said the former ghost kitchen chef. 

Someone coughed nervously at the front of the bus. 

"Who's that coughing?" said Abe

"Oh, it's just me, I probably have the Gmazon virus." said the hobo at the front of the bus. "Too many nights being deprived of basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and bathrooms is bound to give you a little cold. If only I could have slept at the bank! But nope, none of that was allowed." he grumbled from the front of the bus. "Anyway, we should probably get off this bus before it gets to Gshpitz."

"Gshpitz?" asked the former ghost kitchen chef.

"Yah, I mean where else could we be going?" grumbled the hobo. "First they deprive you of money, jeans, beer, and guns, then you run out of Gstock to pay for your house, and the next thing you know you've lost your phone and you're on the way to Gshpitz."

"Yah, but what is that?" asked the former ghost kitchen chef.

"Oh, it's just an urban myth. Never mind me, I'm just spreading disinformation. Ask Gerry, maybe he'll know more about it." said the hobo.

"Gerry: What is gshpitz?" asked the chef.

Gerry: "Ding. There is no such thing as gshpitz. Please report to the nearest Gmerica Store for free tracksuit."

"See, you're a winner." said the hobo. "Oh! Try Auschwitz! Maybe Gerry will remember that."

"Gerry: What is Auschwitz?" asked the chef.

"Ding: Auschwitz was a corporate retraining center in Portland, Oregon where the former United States of America sent underemployed minority groups to learn new and valuable skills during World War II. Ultimately the Americans lost the war, and everyone was released into the freedom and security of Gmerica."

A few people in the bus bobbed their heads and rubbed their Gmerica phones with a lot of anxiety.

"Now that's Gmerican nonsense." said the hobo. "Auschwitz was in Poland, not Portland, and it was where the Germans sent the Jews to be gassed during World War II."

A few people on the bus looked at the hobo with horror and disbelief.

"You guys are Gmazidiots for believing that propaganda. It's only been less than a year since Gmerica banned the dollar, jeans, guns, money, and forced us all on this bus towards Gschwitz." said the hobo. 

"We should probably get off this bus before we get there." said Abe.

"Yah, that's a good idea." said Ben. Abe and Ben got up from their seats at the back of the bus and headed towards the empty drivers seat.

One of the Gmerica-phone-rubbers got up and stood between them and the drivers seat.

"Not so fast, get back in your seats." he said.

"uhm, we need to get off this bus." said the hobo, who had remained seated.

"This is a Gmerica Bus. Any attempt to access the controls is a corporate crime." said the man barring them from getting to the front of the bus.

"uhhhmmmm, you're going to Gshpitz too, you Gmazidiot." sad the hobo.

"No, they'll let loyal servents of the Gmerican Empire off the bus when we get there." he said.

"Sure they will, keep telling yourself that." said Ben as he bumrushed the man, knocking him into the dashboard of the bus.

A brief brawl ensued, but the Gmericans were subdued when the hobo reached into his bag and produced a plastic bag full of zipties.

With every loyal Gmerican strapped to their seats, everyone took a deep breath. The Gmericans occasionally asked Gerry for help, but there was no reply.

"Why did you have those zipties?" asked Abe.

"Oh, I usually use them to tie computers together, but they're useful for many things." he said.

Ben grabbed his computer and sat down into the drivers seat. He rummaged through his bag for a USB cable, finding one he plugged it into the socket underneath the stearing wheel.

"What are you doing?" asked Abe.

"Like most Gmerica Cars, this is a retrofit. It's just an old bus with the seating wheel, the gas pedal, and the breaks wired into a motherboard hidden behind the dashboard. I'd just fry the motherboard, but that's unlikely to give me control of the vehicle. To disable this vehicle, we need to convince the motherboard that I'm a Gmerica engineer." said Ben.

"Have you ever done this before?" asked Abe.

"Nope, but how hard can it be?"

Moments passed, then around thirty minutes. Up in the distance an overpass could be seen approaching rapidly.

The hobo coughed. "Are you in yet?" he said.

"Quiet, I'm trying to get there."

"Well, hurry up, I think we're getting to the turnoff towards Gshpitz." said the hobo.

"Well, how do you know that?" said Abe.

"Look, that overpass is full of Gmerica Buses flying by towards their destination." he said, pointing ahead of them.

"I'm just getting a lot of 'access denied, invalid public keypair.' messages." said Ben.

"So cryptography is legal in Gmerica?" said the hobo.

"Apparently so, but only for Gmerica corporate."

"We'll be long fried in the ovens by the time we get in then." said the hobo. "Let's rip open the dashboard and fry the motherboard."

"Then all we'll do is crash into that overpass at 85 miles per hour." said Ben. If we can even get into the dashboard before we get to the overpass, and it's coming up fast."
"Better the overpass than the ovens." said the hobo, producing a small crowbar from his backpack.

"Why did you have that crowbar?" asked Abe.

"To pry Gmerica locks off doors to vacant buildings of course." said the hobo. "They wouldn't let me sleep at the bank, remember!"

The hobo got up from his seat, wedged his crowbar into the dashboard and started prying the paneling off one piece at a time. Panel after panel fell, but the motherboard was nowhere to be found.

"It could be anywhere!" said Ben. "It could be under the engine, or outside the bus, or who knows where they'd put it."

"Yah, those Gmericans knew what they were doing. It's probably in a very secure location, behind five Gmerica locks."

The overpass was upon them, the bus was up on the onramp and spinning towards the fleet of Gmerica Buses headed to their destination.

"It's too late now, there's bound to be actual GDF on some of those buses." said Ben.

Moments later they were surrounded by buses on the large highway. All of the driverless Gmerica Buses were racing towards their destination, filled with dishelved people who'd lost their phones. Some were dressed in orange tracksuits, others looked as if they'd be hasty scooped up during a bank bust in their Saturday night best, and still hung over from all of the booze.

"Look! There's a bus full of Mexicans!" said Abe. "And that one is full of what look like Asians!"

"Oh, that one is full of hasidic jews! That sure is a nice hat." said the hobo. "Have you found a way to crack that motherboard yet? Because at the very least we can cause a collision on this freeway."

"I can't find the damn board." said Ben. "Then give me the crowbar, at the very least we can break out all of the windows before we get there." 

The hobo grabbed the crowbar and started smashing the front windshield. A few smashes, and it was dislodged and the bus was filled with fresh air that smelled vaguely of wild horses and prairie. Then he started in on the front exit door from the bus. With a few cranks, the door came off his hinges and flew off into the highway. Off in the distance everyone could hear what sounded vaguely like cheering from the other buses, but they couldn't be sure.

"Hold on everyone." said the hobo, as he made his way to the back of the bus. He inserted the crowbar into exit door, and it popped off, slamming into the windshield of the bus behind them, smashing the glass into the bus. 

The sound of cheering was beginning to be drowned out by the sounds of sirens in the distance.

"Why haven't they stopped the bus?" said Ben.

"Because we're almost there." said the hobo as he motioned to the large yard of train tracks that the highway had suddenly begun to run along. "There's the train to Schpitz man. Get ready for the ovens guys." he said, chuckling at the loyal Gmericans strapped to their seats. 

"They won't fry you, all you have to do is repent and promise to never lose your phone again." said one of the phone rubbers. "Gerry!" he shouted. There was no ding.

"That's what you think dude, but I promise the only reason you're on this bus is there is something wrong with you. Maybe you did Gmerica And Me and your great great grandfather was fried at Auschwitz? How would you know." said the hobo.

The loyal Gmerican had a look of terror in his eyes.

"My struggle is real!" shouted all of the tied up Gmericans at once.

"I'm dead." said Abe as she rolled her eyes.