City Girds for
"Blue Sky"



Software Mogul's Free Concerts Inspire Anticipation, Dread

By City Staff

Metacortex co-founder Decius Wadsworth didn't want controversy. He just wanted to say "thank you" to the city where he made his fortune. So he sponsored the "Piece of Blue Sky" concerts (coming March 31), at various city parks, which will cost attendees what he had when he started: nothing.

"I tell people we started Metacortex with nothing but a 'piece of blue sky' - no shippable product, no staff, just a dream. Because of where we were in the computer revolution, we lucked out. A lot of people in this town helped - financially, and in other ways. I want to say thanks in a big way. I'm sorry some people think it's a magnet for trouble, but I think everything will turn out fine in the end."

A City Council meeting last week was raucous and full of anti-concert voices. Pliny Earl Chase, of Vauxton, put it this way: "With this Redpill movement in the city, predisposed to violence and mayhem, any gathering is a tinderbox. Add rock-and-roll, and it's soaked in gasoline. I'm staying home with the doors locked."

Organizers are undeterred. "We're hiring a large number of security personnel, and don't anticipate any problems. This is a celebration of joy, peace, and dreams fulfilled. Call it hippie nostalgia, but you won't see rumbles - it'll be one big love-in," Wadsworth claims.

Asked whether the concerts are modeled after Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak's free " US " concerts of the late eighties, Wadsworth demurs. "They're their own thing. Similar, I guess, but these are for today, now."

One difference is the announcement of the talent lineup. The US concerts headlined many of the most prominent musical acts of their day.

Wordsworth is staying mum about who's booked for the concerts. But "nobody, I swear to God, will find this less than a life-changing experience. "

Wadsworth and his partners founded Metacortex thirty years ago, their initial products simple games and a word processing program, "Probable Word," which is still widely used today. An early contract to develop an operating system led to explosive growth. Metacortex, now a subsidiary of Ouroboros Corporation, helped make Ouroboros the fifth-most capitalized corporation in the world.

Wadsworth retired four years ago, living a mostly hermetic lifestyle in his famously inaccessible mountain chateau, Spindrift, designed by architect Giovanni Porta.

When asked why, after years of seclusion, he is making this public gesture, Wadsworth shrugs. "It's time. That's all."


Concert Patron Did It His Way

From Trickster Gadgeteer to Billionaire

By Sentinel Staff

It was a passion for practical jokes that first got Decius "Deece"

Wadsworth tinkering. He found he could alter the frequency on his toy walkie-talkie to link with the neighbor's baby monitor. He delighted in burbling "mama, dada" into the microphone, watching the excited parents rushing to baby's room to witness her first words, only to find her asleep.

A similar device for creating static on television, and one which caused rock-and-roll to inexplicably play over schoolroom loudspeakers, led to much mirth among his friends.

One which caused vending machines to vend multiple sodas or candy bars on a single coin landed him before a judge. He solemnly swore never to steal again. "And I haven't, except for market share from the competition," Wadsworth says.

Soon thereafter, with a couple of friends, he founded Metacortex.

"Computers were hobbyist items, then. Toys for grownup boys. But printed circuits, driven by military procurement, got better and cheaper every year. It was possible to dream that we'd soon have computers in every home, like a Ray Bradbury story." Wadsworth says.

Computers need programming, and this became Wadsworth 's passion. He created statistically-governed games, which also called for rudimentary animations. "Green Rain," a simple game in which a tiny man runs from umbrella to umbrella, dodging the titular assault, is still available, in an emulative version, on the internet. Metacortex created "Probable Word," the popular word-processing program, the first to make anagram, pun and cryptology tools standard components.

But it was the operating system, commissioned in Metacortex's fifth year ("we were more broke than anybody knew," says Wadsworth ) by Ouroboros Corporation, a leading manufacturer of industrial computers and other electronics, that launched the company into the stratosphere. Within five years they broke ground on their famous headquarters (infamous for the number of window washers who have died outside its complex contours) in Morrill.

Metacortex drew large numbers of young programmers to the city, whose disposable income led to the proliferation of nightclubs for which the city is famous.

Wadsworth never lost his taste for pranks. After a young Metacortex programmer had a nervous breakdown after receiving a cell phone in an overnight parcel (he attempted suicide by climbing out a window, but lost his nerve), for weeks afterward, Metacortex employees received cell phones in a similar manner, which promptly rang, delivering murmured code words and instructions in a voice that sounded much like Wadsworth's "with the lamest English accent ever," according to one employee.

Most Wadsworth-watchers agree that he began to lose enthusiasm after the Ouroboros Corporation purchased Metacortex. The change in corporate culture, a new emphasis on integrated product lines and market control, all contributed to his restlessness. He was also rich beyond his dreams.

One could hardly blame him for wondering: what next?

About this time Wadsworth started work on Spindrift, his Xanadu-like retreat in the mountains north of the city. No reporter has ever been there, but workmen speaking anonymously describe an eccentric modernist villa, improbably thrusting out over an abyss, with secret rooms and passages, stairways to nowhere, and an abundance of carved, cryptic symbols. Most of it was fabricated off-site and helicoptered in at a cost estimated to range from 70 to 140 million dollars.

The cost may yet rise; rumors say Wadsworth , with the blessing of his architect Giovanni Porta, is still adding to the installation.

Wadsworth is unmarried, but lives with his longtime companion, Agnes Driscoll.

Well, That Certainly Was Impressive

Cryptos Had Better Come Up With a Big Finish

By Andreas Bonifacaeiou

By now they're furniture. They're about as remarkable as barnacles on a piling. 's boxes, despite causing a few bursts of violence (these Redpills will fight over a haiku, or a ham sandwich, if they got up on the wrong side of bed), us. His preaching and performance art are generally agreed to be all about putting us to sleep.

I have a feeling these Blue Sky concerts are going to eclipse his little stunt, and he might as well fold up his boxes and ship them to the next town.

Either that, or have somebody else pop out of the boxes. How about Morpheus? I heard he was spotted with Elvis down at Peg's Diner.

I was relaxing down at Wally's bar over a glass of single-malt, and heard some people talking about Cryptos. They said he was a Redpill, but he was changing his tune. Wanted to bring them all down, stop all the fighting and "hyperjumping" around. Said it put too much strain on "the civilians."

So I ambled over, with the usual Cone of Silence effect. I asked if they thought his stunt had run its course, or whether there's a second act coming.

I was startled at the reaction. Light dawned. They looked at each other.

Something was up. I asked again.

"Cryptos has had...extreme opinions in the past," one woman said. Others shushed her, but this annoyed her, and she addressed me directly.

"Let me put it this way. If Cryptos were playing a video game, he'd be the first to use nukes."

And in real life, I asked?

This was the most uproarious thing I could've said, apparently, because they laughed and laughed, even after they'd gone out on the street, presumably to fight and hyperjump over haikus and ham sandwiches.

I admit it, I find Redpills smug little poseurs.

And Cryptos was a flash in the pan.

Daily Personals


Tara, meet me at the Probability sculpture in Guinness Lake at midnight. I have something for you -YouKnowWho

News Briefs

Law enforcement agencies were flooded with calls last night shortly after midnight, reporting blue lights in the sky. The lights lasted about ten minutes. Reports came from all quarters of the city. A City College astronomy professor said it may have been a meteor breaking up in the high atmosphere, although she said that could not account for the lengthy duration.

Four eyewitnesses filed a report of a helicopter landing, men pouring out, and abducting two people outside the Vault private club in Lamar. Others on the scene said they saw nothing. Law enforcement officials ask that anyone having information about the incident call the usual tip number.

The missing delegate from the recent peace conference was found, alive, but in a confused state and apparently suffering from amnesia. His name is still being withheld at the request of family.

The corporation has made public the theft two months ago of a case containing experimental compounds, and is making a plea for their safe return. "These could be very dangerous if used incorrectly, possibly resulting in the death of persons handling the materials. We ask that they be returned immediately, no questions asked. Also, we have antidotes to some of the materials. We can help you if you've taken them."

A man is suing the Bumblebee restaurant chain after claiming to find a human finger in his hamburger. The restaurant contends the man is trying to defraud them, and asks that anyone who has lost a finger in the past month contact them.

An orange van with a distinctive painting of a barbarian on the side is being sought in connection with a hit-and-run accident in Creston Heights. Anyone who sees the van is asked to call law enforcement officials.

Martial Arts classes are being offered at City Community College. The classes encompass the "new, revised styles" emphasizing smoothness of movement, immediacy, and balance. "We've been working on the curriculum for months, testing and revising, and we think martial artists will thoroughly enjoy the new revision in our offerings," said the college's head of development.

The Metacortex corporation issued a press release denying any involvement of the "Piece of Blue Sky" concerts sponsored by its cofounder and former board member. "We wish Waddy the best, but we want to be clear we're not responsible for the concerts or whatever happens in connection with them," a spokesman said.