One shopping day until Christmas, and the Secession reared out of nowhere and fucked an enormous percentage of the global economy into a cocked hat.

Nobody knew who had propagated the virus. They all fell to it. Cisco and Juniper, Foundry and Lucent, Nortel and Cabletron. 4space and 6space alike, the packets went in, and the Message came back.

The Ouroverse is upon you. Claim your place.

The U.S. blamed China. China blamed India. India blamed a mysterious cabal of global businesses, and everybody else sneered. The routing was fucked, and DNS wasn't working; the Message was all that came out of the whirlpool of packets that the network had spun into.

The Message, though, wasn't just the words. It took all of six minutes for some clever person to realize there was a binary payload hidden in the frame headers, and that although parts of it changed, a big portion remained constant every time the Message came back. It took another four days for the community of obsessive hackers who had avoided the global panic and associated gymkhana to isolate the message hidden in the constant frame strings.

It was a cryptosystem.

The first person to figure that out, six seconds after they posted their results on a Darknet from whence it would spread around the broken sweep of the world network, encrypted a BGP update and fired it into the whirlpool.

It didn't result in sane routing. But a message came back, encrypted using the same key.

That produced a constant routing table, at least - and the more encrypted messages that went in, the more pieces of a global routing infrastructure came back out, encrypted.

Two days later, the Global Reconnection Network - built by the unknown code structures inside the whirlpool, and pieced out in encrypted packets - was mostly complete and had taken up residence inside the chassis and virtual machines and appliances and OS based routers of the now-defunct Internet.

By the New Year, 2013, the Glorynet was operational.

By January 31st, the first tile of Downtown was up and running - and Entryhedron was available to all comers.

The celebration lasted a mere few days.

Then Downtime came.