Three actual days later, which counted as around twenty days of City time for the transcendent, Far-El led a hunt on crystal beasts in the wasted regions to the city’s south. He had just gotten a fantastic bead on one of the alien beasts when his ear buzzed with a meeting request from Seyd-Il. Far-El told the rest of his party to continue on without him and left with his driver, Son-Do. They boarded the stomach-churning hovercar and flew off, leaving the barren landscape in their virtual dust. As they circled the spire that marked the headquarters of the ruling Council, Far-El admired the structure. A bright yellow cylinder with a surface smooth as metal but dull as stone, it bore the symbol of the Kandorian Council, a swooping ‘V’ shape surrounded by a six-sided border that meant ‘Authority’ in Kryptonian. Crowned by an onion-shaped bulb similar to the top of a minaret, balconies and walkways projected around its circumference and various communications antennas projected from its highest point though serving no functional purpose.

Son-Do set the hovercar down gingerly on the highest flat point, a landing pad exclusively for use by Councilors. Far-El carried his rifle in with him, set it on safety and began to stow his hunting gear in a locker built into his office wall. Seyd-Il burst into the room without knocking, a twitchy excitement that caused his avatar to skip frames of animation in a disconcerting way. "You are not going to believe what I found," Seyd began. "It’s just… just fucking amazing."

"Calm down, calm down, what are we talking about first of all?"

"Sorry," Seyd replied and plopped himself in a chair in front of Far-El’s desk. He immediately popped back up and began pacing the room. "It’s just so amazing! It’s one of those things you don’t ever think you’ll see then you see it and it’s like it’s so obvious, why didn’t you see it all along?"

"You’re blithering again," Far-El said with a smile. He remembered a time many years ago when they had both been laying down the foundation for the Bottle City. Seyd’s flesh form exhibited the same nervous pacing as he’d worked out a particularly difficult algorithm. Those times seemed so simple now. Build the thing and everything else would take care of itself. That was before the riots, before the troubles, before the Starlets got exiled to the Gangland and before Artemis Bridge had offered to take the City off the grid.

"Yeah, I know, it’s just so… COOL! So this incursion we had the other night," Seyd began. "Glad to hear Bosk is ok." Far-El had sent Johnny to knock on Bosk-El’s coffin that night and luckily the hacker had been relatively unharmed. He’d had a migraine that kept him out of the City for a few days but otherwise was no worse for wear.

"I take it this means you’ve figured out what that was then," Far-El said.

"I did. Initially I thought it was just a hack, you know, we get those all the time. Someone tries to create an avatar without going through the creation process and thus without getting authenticated by our immigration procedures.

That’s how we keep our population manageable and keep the bandwidth low enough that we can disperse it amongst a number of servers to keep the GlobalNet Authority from locating us and shutting down services."