Rob's Pile of Transformers: Alt.toys.transformers #77


Digging through my comics for the quote list, I uncovered this little
gem... Not too many people own this issue but most TF comic fans are
familiar with the events. This is just a rough transcription... the
original is not a pretty sight, trust me.  :]

BTW, no offense intended towards anyone.  It's all in jest, strictly
tongue-in-cheek, foot-in-mouth, boot-to-the-head.


The Alt.Toys.Transformers #77
Story: Simon Furman
Art: Andy Wildman
Editor: Rob Powers

They *were* the dreamers: net.transfans, on-line occasionally-sentient
humans, able to transform their likenessess into fanatical debaters,
fanfic writers, and toy collectors, a last line of defense against the
Corporate Monster, Hasbrocron!  They *are* at war, the heroic Rec*
supporters pitted against the diabolical Moderationists, both on their
home newsgroup of a.t.t and on the World Wide Web.  They are Transfandom's
last hope; they are the regulars of -- 

Alt.Toys.Transformers  

[Splash page -- a chaotic jumble of threads and responses passes in all
directions.  Many are on-topic but a large and increasing number are not.]

This is alt.toys.transformers, home newsgroup for Transfans.

Take a good look... it may not be around much longer!

[Story Title: "RECxodus"]

[Two Transfans dash through the chaos, towards a giant thread in the
distance.  Loosely hammered to the thread are the G1 Rec and Mod symbols.]

Kakarat: I knew it, I just knew it.  This newsgroup is finished.  Everyone
here sucks!

Harleydo: Yeah.  Ironic, isn't it?  We survive the most apocalyptic,
sucky, chewed-caramel change the toy line is ever likely to have, and what
happens?  Our newsgroup decides to self-destruct and take us with it!
It's so frustrating!  I wanna kick someone's butt for this, but how do you
beat up on the Internet?  If only --

[Suddenly the Rec symbol breaks loose and falls.  WHAM!!  It knocks
Kakarat out cold.  And there was much rejoicing.]

Harleydo: Yeah!  The Rec* supporters!  It's gotta be their fault!

[Inside the giant RFD thread, the chaos is no better than that outside...]

Tengu:  SHUT UP!!! Please.  Look, I know you all want twenty new
newsgroups, but if you all shout at once --

Renaud: I just want to know one thing, Rec supporter -- WHAT is going to
happen to my newsgroups?  I have a right to --

[CLONK!  Renaud is hit in the head with a flame form, casually tossed by
Chris Meadows.]

C. Meadows: Dumb Mod guy!  Sit down and we'll tell you!

[Renaud flies out of his seat, murder in his eyes!]

Renaud: GRAAAAAAHHHH!!! KILL you, Meadows!  Kill you flame you insult your
net.handle --

C. Meadows: What's that got to do with anything?

Renaud:  I don't care!! Flame you slander you ---

Off-screen voice: NO!

[Without warning a razor-sharp talon is right in Renaud's face, forcing
him back into his seat.  We then see the owner of the fierce-looking
claw...]

Raksha: You will sit back down, Renaud.  You will listen.

C. Meadows: Please, we're supposed to be one fandom!  Now, MSipher, if you
please...

M "I only get two lines in this parody" sipher: Well, dudes, what I've got
to say makes for disturbing listening... I've been keeping track of the
spam vs. non-spam count, and well, not to put too fine a point on it...
the spam cancellation moritorium did enough!  A.t.t. is tearing itself
apart!  Everything is catching on fire!  Just a guy made of dots!  Does
the water get him instead?

Joona Palaste: Then... What?

M "But that's more than YOU got so ha ha!!" sipher: Sorry.  Obligatory
They Might Be Giants references.

Joona Palaste: No.  You obviously are misunderstanding what I said in my
previous post. What I meant was, what do we do now? 

Chris Meadows: We have to get off the alt. hierarchy before it
self-destructs and takes all of us with it!

[Elsewhere, two familiar figures stand atop an IRC connection and watch
the increasing newsgroup chaos...]

HooksX: It worsens.  Hypothesis: this newsgroup's days are numbered.

John Bartros: You figure that out all by yourself?

HooksX: Nah.  Bob Forward told me.  Along with everything that happens in
seasons 3, 4, and 5.

John Bartros: Lucky bastard.  So what are we still doing here?  With the
a.t.t.ers occupied with moving to the rec groups, #TFU is empty and
defenseless...  ripe for the taking! I just don't see... 

[A figure lurking in the shadows watches... he's unidentifiable but from
past issues we can guess that it's Jetfire333.]

Shadowy Figure: No, you don't, do you?  But HooksX evidently does... and
so do I!

The Critic: Why are you hiding out in the shadows like that?  Everyone can
tell who you are; it's not like it's a big surprise or anything. 

Shadowy Figure: Um... suspense.  Yeah.

The Critic: But there's no suspense if we already know who you are!

Shadowy Figure: Ummm.... 

The Critic: For that matter, why is the Ark the best ship on Cybertron? 
And why would Shockwave and Starscream even want to invade the Earth?  And
why would there even be a Cybertron, or Transformers?  And what's this
"gravity" stuff they claim is holding all these characters down on the
planet?  Am I expected to just figure this out on my own when the story
says nothing about it?  The whole situation strikes me as more than a
little preposterous, and it all goes downhill from there.  And then we've
got this Shadowy Figure guy, spouting howlers like "HooksX evidently
does... and so do I!"  Please, please, pretty-please with sugar on top,
never again. 

Shadowy Figure: Shut up, you!!

[Cut to a massive terminal, where hundreds of newsgroupers are preparing
to evacuate]

ATT Central Port Connection...

Raksha: Opinion, Beavis?

Beavis: That's "Skyflight" now.

Raksha: Whatever.  Opinion, Skyflight?

Skyflight [the Beavis one]: I think, Raksha, that we should examine...
moderation!  The problem is that a handful of G1 lovers actually like
Beast Wars.

Raksha: Indeed.  If we go Mod too soon, we may face rebellion.  What we
need --

[CLONK!  Renaud is sent hurtling through the air, aflame.  Chris Meadows
comes out after him, not in a happy mood.]

C. Meadows: You're a bleedin' wierdo!  Flaming my net.handle like that!
You're obviously too dumb to know when to just shut up and argue
rationally!

Renaud: Rational?  Ooo from a guy who tries to influence everyone with his
net handle!  I won't let you take over the net with your click of facist
communist Nazi ultra-left wing liberal gestapo net police!

C. Meadows: Oh good grief.

Raksha: Now this... this could be interesting!

[We watch as Chris Meadows proceeds to systematicly reduce Renaud to
charred ash, only to be stopped by Tengu...]

Tengu: Stop, stop!  What're you playing at, huh?  What kind of an example
is this for a moderator to be setting?

C. Meadows: I thought it was a pretty good one, actually.

[Tengu reads the thread that preceeded the flamewar]

Tengu: Um, point taken.

Skyflight: Blast!

Raksha: Hold...

Rob Powers: Man, I hate these subtle strategy type stories...

[Raksha approaches the two]

Raksha: Rec supporter!  If the slightest mention of G1 produces such
savage fury, what will the future hold?  We want G1 discussions, Rec
supporter, and we want them now!

Chris Meadows: Hey, hey, easy.  Everyone will be welcome in the Rec
groups, Beast Wars and G1 included.  I was always planning on showing you
the Rec* charter... if you wanna see it, you got it!

[Elsewhere, several very unusual ATT posters are awaiting transport.  Ian
Hollis sits in a state of catatonia, while the others try to comfort
him...]

Grrrlgoyle: How is Ian?

Blue Jackal: Not good.  He's suffering from total Fruit Tree withdrawal.
One or two days he could handle.  But a whole Moderated group without
them... it was too much!  His posting ability has simply shut down!

[The conversation is interrupted by a banging from the padded room next
door]

WARenfeld: Please!  You've got to listen!  They're wrong about Beast Wars,
that's not the way it happened!  I know the true story!  There were really
thirty stasis pods that came down!  Help me... help me find the Last
Echowarrior!

Blue Jackal: What's with him?

Grrrlgoyle: You think Ian's got problems; this one... he thinks he's Larry
DiTillo!

[Later, on board the Classics thread, Mod* leader Raksha speaks to her
fellow Moderationists...]

Raksha: Their newsgroup proposal, fellow G1 fans... is weak!
Ill-befitting a fan community such as ours!  They would have us betray our
G1 heritage, bend our knees to their feeble Beast Wars-loving ways!  Well,
I say no!  I say we form our own new group, with new threads to discuss,
old arguments to rehash, and moderators to keep it in line!

Charlotte Brogden: Yes!!

Vulcana: Alright!

Homer Simpson: Woo hoo!

Walkertron: Wii Gii!

Raksha: Good!  Then I take it you're all quite happy... to let the Rec*
supporters die with their newsgroup proposals!

[Back on ATT, as the strife and spam increase we see a stunned Chris
Meadows...]

Chris Meadows: They did WHAT?!

Doug Dlin: Sabotaged the Rec* group votes, all four of them!  The groups
they voted down, well... we can't vote on them for another six months!

C. Meadows: Then we're stranded here!  Stranded!  STRANDED!!

D. Dlin: Oh, stop plugging, silly man.

C. Meadows: [sheepish grin] Sorry.  Anyway.  STRANDED on a dying
newsgroup!!

[Elsewhere, the #Ark is lifting off for #TFU...]

Jetfire333: Farewell ATT!  And thank you HooksX for the idea, the
inspiration, and lots of other nifty stuff!  I love you man!  You're the
best!  As it was back whenever, so shall it be --

[Suddenly Jetfire333 sees a familiar figure ahead of him, blocking his
way.]

Jetfire333: What -- No.  No!  It... it can't be!

[In the final frame, we see Jetfire333 face to face with...]

Jetfire333: PDILLOWAY!!! But... I'M Pdilloway!!

HooksX: Actually, I'm Pdilloway.

Walkertron: *I'm* Pdilloway!!

Liquid Velcro: *I'm* Pdilloway, and so's Trixter!

Dave Leese: I'm not.  I'm not even here.  This is actually a hologram.

Pdilloway: Uhhhh...

Picard42: You're ALL going in my next WWFF!  Muahahahaha!

To be continued next issue! WARenfeld leads the NeoFruitTrees on a mission
to find the Last OnTopic and become the ultimate superhero of all
creation, as Hooks and John Bartros battle the double threat of Jetfire333
and Pdilloway! But will the Nucleon-restored Liquid Velcro! sacrifice
himself and all of #TFU to stop their plans?  And will Tengu use an
unlikely plot device to save the Rec* vote from certain doom as ATT
self-destructs?  Find out in ATT #78, "A Savage Crosspost!"

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