The pact with the Barons had been made with the Viceroy by the muddy lake. Now the Viceroy and his minions were told to be inspired by collapsing bridges. Having been built all at once, the developers were later let go and a generation gap in bridge building ensued. With the passage of time, the bridges began to collapse, but no developers were left to design new ones. The Viceroy said E Street has followed the same path, and is relearning the tricks of the trade that had been lost with a previous generation.
Oh, and the commercial guys would have the same problems. Zing!
But the Viceroy, drawing in fresh air, told the minions to stay the course, 1X is almost on the pad. The five segment stick, anchored firmly to the desert floor, rumbled to life. And Rube's double ended solution would keep it from shaking their friend's bladders to pieces when it finally points upright. Problem solved! Just another day on a hard development program.
Behind the Viceroy, other forces went to work. One of the favorite Flyboys jetted to E Street to help formulate an accounting of the termination costs for the star-crossed program. Other theaters were asked to assess the cost of zeroing out the current program. The powder would be kept dry until needed in the final hours of the conflict. Up the street, complaints could already be heard, inflexibly staying on the path, and wasted sunk costs and time recounted. New voices were ambushed before they could be heard. Large termination costs would fan those flames soon.
The Snow Princess tried to sleep through the commotion, but the sugar plum fairy was replaced by the former Emperor in her dreams, and the new night chamber filled with shadows. This was not the future she had dreamed of before, but rather, a nightmare that haunts all seeking a more enlightened path.