We must now pause to recount how it was that Reich Rider rose to the position of Supreme Justiciar of the Usonian Soyuz, and how he came to possess such extraordinary powers. After all, he had only recently begun as a humble onboard augmented police reality appliance being beta-tested by Soyuz Internal Police in Officer Hummerhelm’s prowler. Being a promising piece of experimental patrol tackle was one thing – attaining the rank of Supreme Generalissimo and Justiciar in the Great Fraternal War is a matter of a different order.
There is salient that strikes the eye like a considerable cordillera when we scan Reich Rider’s trajectory for root cause and ontogenetic event: His encoded propensity to engage in social entrepreneurship. A difficult term to parse, admittedly. What he was programmed to do may not have been so much to identify gaping needs and fill them with new forms of transaction cascading up and down the social hierarchy, but more, perhaps, to identify subsoil massifs of hitherto thwarted urge and sentiment which, once actuated, were capable of setting in motion large-scale events, typically of a criminal nature, by which he could prosper in the form of retaliatory police action, the commission of which would generate surplus valor and prestige, pad his stats, expand his powers, and replicate him onto ever more prowler platforms.
The classic example cited by modern-day historians of Reich Rider’s early successes would be his and Hummerhelm’s deployment to Imperial Yards to provide ballpark security during a preseason dustup between a pair of pro football teams notable for their poor management and the extreme proleishness of their respective fan bases.
Reich Rider copped a value proposition as soon as Hummerhelm pulled the prowler onto the concrete apron that homogenized the approach to Prole Gate A. Without so much as pausing to run a probabilistic model, he cascaded a series of inflammatory remarks through the social networks touching on the team affinities of the foregathered fanatics.
The Hollow Points were a West Coast team with a diehard fan base drawn squarely from society’s motley dregs. Known for its profligate and improvident front office, the team had burned through no fewer than 15 years in succession of last-place division finishes and bungled first-round draft picks. It never mattered to the fans, who existed only to cheer the folly of those made rich by their unwavering enthusiasm. League-wide, Hollow Point fans were the most likely, statistically speaking, to be involved in gunplay and battery incidents, whether at the ballpark or at points farther afield in the prolosphere. Many were hard-bitten criminals with nothing to lose. Reich Rider’s grasp of their behavior and propensities was complete. Lining up opposite the Hollow Points on that fabled preseason day were the Purple Hearts. They drew a mixed fan base that included lumpen taxpayers, union locals with a penchant for hooliganism, low-grade campus organizations modeled on the farcical remains of Hellenic precepts and protocols, and, most interestingly for Reich Rider, a significant cohort of Soyuz soldiers of fortune.
Instantly, backers of both teams received stovepiped broadsides tweeted by their rivals. Mortal insults zinged back and forth between invented avatars calculated to play on the susceptibilities of both sides. Spurious wire reports of violent altercations between the two species of devotee were generated and filed spontaneously. As projected, the two sides began trading increasingly vociferous ground-level insults captured by Reich’s audio surveillance module, all of which he duly recorded and pumped back into the churn of the social networks. The scene, so meticulously staged, was now ready to bear its sanguinary fruit. Just then a contingent of cocaine-inflamed mercenaries advanced on a handful of swaggering, tatted proles. Presently Reich Rider fired a round of concert fog into the dwindling patch of no-man’s-land between them from the prowler’s chemical sally port.
Pandemonium – as it must under the iron laws of social entrepreneurship – erupted. The combatants had arrived with a bristling stock of melee weapons now employed to most poignant effect. What to the human eye was obscured by concert fog Reich’s thermal imaging array revealed in sprays of hot blood and seismic cascades of collapsing bone. Once a few Hollow Point fans had been pulped under the aggravated tread of Purple Heart boots, Reich Rider doctored up some footage of the frothing brawlers grappling with a fictitious peace officer. The clip was duly patched over to HQ to elicit the desired marching orders: a cataract of asymmetric force. Hummerhelm was ordered to don ski mask and helmet and to take up a firing position behind the prowler door. Well in place, he fired in bursts through the open window, gunning down the puppeteered combatants in indiscriminate twos and threes. Figures writhed out of the fog toward hallucinated safety and were quickly despatched by volleys from Reich Rider’s frame-mounted prole control turrets. A phalanx of mercs in green and white coalesced in recognition of the barrage and advanced in fealty to their training. They were cut down to a man, mandatory sacrifices to Officer Safety and hardware protection.
Reich Rider now lurched into motion, advancing automatically upon the writhing mass of contenders. It was all Hummerhelm could do to flop into the safety of the passenger compartment and engage the locks. Reich Rider transmitted live feed of the embattled fans attempting to overturn the prowler before cutting out and pulsing a deadly surge of current through the profane hands that dared perturb the sanctity of his person. His entrepreneurship then rose to an ecstasy of initiative: he tore backward and forward through the crowd, mangling, juicing and delaminating the bodies of dead and maimed like. Desperate fugitives were caught by his grille in mid-stride, first buckling, then fanning forward and ultimately coming unboned under the relentless mass of advancing steel. Before long the corpses disintegrated into a roadkill glaze under Reich Rider’s iterative fury. All were given criminal records after the fact, served with bills of attainder and traduced live as insurgents by the Soyuz and international financier press-korps.
The football game was then played out in accordance with its venerable rules. Ex casualties, they teams played to a capacity crowd. Enthusiasm ran high. After all, players, coaches, owners and advertisers alike were growing richer and more substantial by a tremendous increment. Unencumbered by any untoward suspicion of electronic amplification, the affable gamecasters reveled in the smashing of yet another stadium noise level record. At halftime the police were thanked at length for their valiant pregame efforts, and the frothing crowd was flattered to share in their glory by the spectacular release over the stadium, from the hold of an overflying C-130 transport, of 500 life-sized “Fat Helmet” police action figures, in the contest of whose possession predictable scuffles flared up between the fans like groundfires, only to be put down by stadium security with stat-padding zeal. To the all-seeing eye of a distant observer, this cathartic restoration of order would have resembled the spontaneous calming of troubled waters in fealty to some higher surfactant agency. These further acts of valor were broadcast across the globe. It was a celebration of order, calm and beauty. Incidentally, though trounced, the Hollow Points just managed to cover the spread thanks to some enterprising last-minute officiating in service of the Vegas sharpies.
In the days following the melee’s successful suppression, Reich Rider was quietly copied onto the prowlers used by every tactical stadium detail in the Soyuz. Just a few short days and a single act of socially entrepreneurial derring-do were all Reich Rider had needed to parlay a beta test in a precinct prowler into possession of a minor army deployed at strategic entertainment venues across the land.