80.1 \ 272

DephnV768: I’m bringing our building’s extra supplies over to you, but not with the escort group. Just be sure someone’s there to answer the door.

Navann smiled again at the neighborly resourcefulness that she saw on the screen, but she was also wondering about government suppression. Everything they were discussing about current events, and the way they were discussing it over an infiltrated program, felt more real than official news. If this was all as true as it felt, would authorities start harassing people with access if they knew? The tacit agreement of the chat room was that they could keep this network functioning for each other as long as they didn’t alert the wrong people. This Pan-Galactic administration may even have killed a planetful of people who had begun creating an unauthorized relationship of exchange with the Strangers. Those who were handling this new connection, however, were not just from one planet, but on many planets and federet capitals across the Pan-Galaxy, and they were interspersed among every other kind of citizen.

There were also presences in the chat who spoke differently, and though they didn’t announce themselves, they also weren’t hiding. They spoke in short info leak confirmations when people were throwing out questions about this circumstance. Their quips were knowledgeable and reserved.

Aubrt: No, this sort of measure has never before been attempted.

The language of these responding voices was basic and clear. There was a certain thrill when they spoke; what if these were the Strangers themselves? Navann considered whether someone might understand the story, and be in the chat network, but still side with authoritarian suppression, and may somehow subvert the collective access. That was as far as she could stretch in that direction of thought, and she didn’t bother trying to apply it to anyone specific. It just wasn’t her natural way of thinking.

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