Gerald moves, and quantum entangled Karolyn jumps in tandem. The strings are a little more complex. It gets simpler.

Perform an action, and show someone being rewarded for it. Then ask someone else to perform it, and reward them. A currency has been established and a connection has been forged. Puppeteering takes many forms.

Some of the best puppeteers use no strings at all; or strings of data; DNA strands, shoestrings in a prison cell. Hent had been arranging things his whole life, and had become so good at it that no one ever saw the causal chain linking him to the action. He was the invisible hand above the chessboard.

Hent wanted the world on remote. Some few people who had proven their worth would be in control, and everyone else would be a push button creature of no thought. They had tried to analyse him and find why he had this viewpoint of the world … back in the days before he had power, and might bring into effect the plans he had been formulating, but now? What use their hand-wringing and concern and badly aimed theories? Were they not brought to heel as well?

There were two processes of assignment on the Puppet Tiers – one was for the Puppeteers, and one was for the Puppets. And who knew? Well, no one in the ranks of the Puppets at least. This was one of the Reality Models that they had been building; one that had been invested in a lot back when The Pinnacle was at it’s Zenith. Hent had fallen from on high when The Pinnacle fell, but unlike some who burnt up on re-entry, Hent survived falling down down down through the atmospheric feedback, through the reality quakes, through the existential wake of a lynchpin crash. Hent was always prepared – had bloodstream entanglement with a Throughline Integrity Continuum, even if he hadn’t managed to throw up a Reality Envelope, he would have survived.

Hent sat there on the beach, watched the waves rolling in, and he looked at where he had been, and where is was continuum-wise now, and all he really saw was an engineering problem; something easily fixed with a little application. They had built The Pinnacle outside of themselves and it had been easy to target and easy to pull apart and destroy – building it deep into their own marrow; hidden in the codification of their individual spatio-temporal index, existing in a super-positional state, who would be able to find it? Who would even suspect? And who would know from within these trusted few that the scripts which would run everyone’s lives would be written.

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