I was playing Splinterlands and reading "The Steem Whitepaper" in the front seat of my privately owned police cruiser when a call came in. I sent 1000 ENG to the radio to activate it. It was the chief.
"Bad news, detective. We got a situation."
"What? Did another gambling app exit-scam?"
"Worse. Somebody just started a bunch of softforked signing nodes that are arbitrarily blocking ops."
I almost timed out my ranked splinter match. "What kind of monster would do something like that? Steem Witnesses are the pinnacle of trust on The Steem Platform. They protect against censorship, not subject to arbitrary manipulation by any government. Do we have any leads?"
"Not yet. But mark my words: we're going to figure out who did this and we're going to take them down ... provided someone sets up a properly open-sourced proposal that gets enough stake behind it so we can investigate."
"Easy, chief," I said. "If I can't get support on the proposal, I'll just post the details on my blog and beg for massive upvotes."
He laughed. "That's why you're the best I got, Lisowski. Now you get out there and find those softforkers."
"Don't worry," I said. "I'm on it."
I sent 1000 ENG to the siren. Ten minutes later, I was on the scene. It was a normal office building, strangled on all sides by Fundition sidewalks. I hopped over them and went inside.
"Steem Cleaners™ Presents the Police!®" I said, flashing my badge and my gun and a small picture of Dan Larimer. "Nobody move unless you want to!" They didn't.
"Now, which one of you punks is going to stake me to investigate this crime?" No one spoke up.
"Come on," I said. "Don't you all understand that the foundation of uncensored expression is fundamentally equivalent to protection of the chain?"
It didn't seem like they did.
"Seriously, guys. Without a strong economic motivator, I'm just going to stand here and not solve this case. SBD is fine, but I prefer being paid in delegation or autographed Ned Scott wigs."
Nothing. These people were stonewalling me. It almost seemed like they didn't care that random bloggers can't post their cat pictures.
I figured I could wait them out. I tried to watch a video on d.tube, but it wouldn't load. Heimindanger suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and I told him that IPFS Filecoin was a myth. Just then, a man in glasses made a break for it.
"SteemHunt™ You've Been Discovered, Scumbag!®" I yelled.
Too late. He was already out the front door. I went after him.
"Stop right there!" I yelled as I ran. He was faster than me because I'm always live-blogging my activity on actifit. That app needs its own dedicated sidechain, but, thanks to the incestuous interplay between Minnowbooster and the freedom account, it will never happen.
I was losing him. "Listen, I'll pay you to stop!" I yelled. "What would you consider an appropriate price point for stopping? I'll offer you a Level 1 Gold Foil Legendary and a gently worn ‘Jerry Banfield' front-facing infant carrier!"
He turned. In his hand was a revolver that the Constitution said he had every right to own. He fired at me and missed. I pulled my own gun, sent 1000 ENG to it, and fired back after a three second confirmation. The bullet lodged in a WhaleShares node less than a foot from his head. I shot the node again, on purpose.
"All right, all right!" the man yelled, throwing down his weapon. "I give up, cop! I confess: I set up the softforked signing nodes."
"Why'd you do it?" I asked, as I slapped a pair of APPICS™ Passion Rewarded Handcuffs® on the guy.
"Because I was afraid."
"Afraid of a future free from the pernicious meddling of KYC," he said. "I'm a Voice developer."
I wanted to coldcock the guy. Years ago, a Voice developer killed my partner. Instead, I shook my head.
"Let this be a message to all your Voice friends out on the street," I said. "No matter how many softforks you deploy, you'll never take away the dream of an open platform based on the principles of Censorship Resistant Delegated Proof of Stake."
He nodded, because he knew I was right. Then he upvoted my proposal to pay me for arresting him.
Adapted from L.P.D.: LIBERTARIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT