(Written by Bob Schroeck; posted on January 14, 2007)
Not all us fen want to be in space, you know. Folks like me, say, who get airsick real easy. 'Sides, I like my creature comforts. Those fenships tend to be a bit cramped. 'Cept for those folks from West Virginia. Now they had the right idea.
Anyway, there's a lot of us. The fen in space don't think highly of us, I know. They call us "fendane", like we were something less than proper fen because we didn't pack up everything and take off for orbit in an 82 Ford, because we're not out there working on the Mars terraform. Well let me tell you, bud, sometimes it's harder to stay at home and change the world you know than to travel halfway across the system and change a world you've never seen before.
I'm not the only one to feel that way. There are a lot of folks who share my opinion, folks who think the balance of goverment and people has shifted to someplace where the government and its cronies in industry and organized crime have all started thinking of the people as their little toys and servants. There are a lot of folks who want to see that changed. We're not putting anything "back the way it was" -- most of us aren't fool enough to think things were much better in the past, and some of us are historians enough to know it was pretty damned worse at times. Doesn't matter. There's an idea involved -- the same one behind the Declaration, behind the Constitution, the one that got shoved aside as soon as the Government settled down into "business as usual".
We aim to change that. And not by gallivanting out in space.
The folk in space do have a few good ideas. Front companies, foundations, things like that. We set one up. One of the things we did with the 'wave made us a lot of money fast. (Not going to tell you what it is, because we're still going to be using it every once in a while.) We put that money into a not-for-profit group of our own making, a cross between a charity and a college, sort of. We didn't name it what we actually call it, that would be a dead giveaway. It was enough that it just existed.
Then we, as the foundation, got busy. Built us a couple supercomputers with the 'wave, complete with AIs. Used them to worm our way into a few systems here and there. Changed a few records. Hid a few people from the eye of officialdom. Righted a few wrongs while we were at it.
And we bought us a bunch of used cars. Trans Ams from the early 1980s. Refurbished them. Kitted them out, you might say. And waved the lot.
And now they're on the road, criss-crossing the country, righting wrongs and fighting the kind of folks who want power over other folks. Their drivers don't exist, not in government records anyway. Neither do the cars. Our AIs with their hooks in the DMV systems all over the country make sure of that. But the people recognize them when they come to town. And they know what name to give them.
They call them the Knight Riders.