Ordo! Effective immediately, I'm retiring. I'll keep it short for the people who I've known and worked with: The tractor beam of adulthood is no bullshit. That fucker will suck you in, and you'll have to jump into trash compactor after trash compactor. If you're lucky, you get to swing across the great abyss with a wiseass princess in your arms. If you're luckier, she'll kiss you. But likely, she'll turn out to be your sister and bag your best bro. Chances are, you'll be thrashing around in the muck and mire. Do the right kind of thrashing and you'll avoid creatures from the deep and maybe get on drier trash. Congrats! And now, I address the young and ambitious--a message similar to my farewell to Antesignani--for those who probably didn't get or had forgotten my codgerly humor above. Use your time in Ordo wisely, and do not take it for granted. For what you have before you is a wonderful opportunity should you choose to take it. "But Gulliver, what is this opportunity? An opportunity for what?" you ask. Rightly so. It's the opportunity to learn that one can get as much or as little out of things in a commensurate amount one puts in. Should you choose to simply idle around and play with e-guns and such, you will have free access to some of the best on the grid. Should you want better ones you can write some reports and be a bit more visible and vocal and probably get some unlocks and get better ones. Maybe a jetpack or something. Should you want more, it's there for the taking. Aryte is a genius and somehow he's helped to create and maintain a sort of virtual proving ground for actual, real life meritocracy. Those who work hard, behave in reasonable and reliable fashion, work to improve themself in all the things they do, take initiative and try to contribute in the areas they can, and show loyalty to the group and one another then advance themselves. Surely, they gain presitige, but more importantly, they gain responsibility and with that the opportunity to gain more responsibility and more of the same opportunity. They become leaders for others. For those of you who are young, this is basically what real life does. It never ends, it never gets easier, and human life can be summarized as just one damned thing after another. The clever and diligent reader that made it this far probably caught onto that vicious circle. I suspect that's why Ordo is behind some groups in number, and some people just seem to float and leave with a chip on their shoulder. They simply don't take the opportunity to prove themselves. And more often than not, it's harder work than it is immediate gratification. So my elder advice to you is to take this opportunity, be thankful for it, and learn how to work hard in an organization. Learn how to report to your superiors and work with your teammates. You'll learn that they come to rely on your ability and input. Then you become their equal. Any talk of not being able to get promoted or getting locked out because of cliques or not being an old school Ordo member is horseshit. Not to be too autobiographical, but I beat that idea's ass in my time in Ordo. I didn't know shit about SL military, furries, scripting, building, and am notoriously useless in combat. You can beat it's ass too. And it's a pretty awesome feeling when you do. My only regret was that real life took over about the time I really could've been making some badass noise here. But you probably have youth on your side. So take the energy your youth provides, challenge yourself to improve. Work your ass off to make an Alpha Squad. Train hard to be solid in combat--even if you're solid turd. Volunteer for assignments, reports, training. Above all, when and if you feel slighted or passed over, take it standing up. Don't sulk but redouble your efforts. Have faith in yourself to outperform your peers honestly and the Ordo will reward you. In August, my company marked about 300 people in my city for lay off. I was one. Despite a year of hard work and being the best worker on my team, I was included simply because of the city I lived in (basically). It was a cockfight of feelings--betrayal, rejection, rebellion, and even understanding and agreeing with the decision from a simple dollars and cents point of view. It was very tempting to mail it in and be a punk about it. However, one of the things that sustained me was my time in Ordo learning the lesson above, seeing those who just wouldn't open themselves to that lesson drama quit, and those inbetween that caused me to redouble my efforts and basically slay my competition with complete and utter prejudice. I became human fucking napalm. And most days it sucked because I just burned and still was going to get laid off. But eventually, I fucking won that shit and not only got to keep my job, but got promoted to a better one entirely. Were this not enough, I got to keep my bonus for not quitting when they told me I was real life cannon fodder. Like Andy Dufresne, I crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. There will be an endless number of shit rivers in your life, take this opportunity, cherish it for how much it can provide you (ironically in the context of what amounts to a video game), and learn from it. Thanks to those I served with, especially Aryte, for collectively creating such a wonderful, weird (I saluted bunnies and foxes and shit?), and ultimately invaluable experience for each other. Yours, Gulliver P. Carpool Gulliver Carpool in no way endorses the politics of Tim Robbins or any of his relations.