For those lucky folks who’d reached their 55th Soylentiversary™, and as a reward for all their faithful years of reputation-building, were sent on a permanent “company picnic” back in time to monetize markets that didn’t exist yet, instructed to leave everywhere they went strange “time capsules” — samples of products popular in the time period hermetically sealed so that future societies’ 3D manufacturing equipment would be more able to accurately scan and replicate pristine period-appropriate piece-work and either sell it back to that time period-locality or back to the future.

His company was very successful and very powerful for a time, my great-grandfather’s. Until an UberLord from a neighboring domain and interlocking user:boards triggered a poison-pill provisioning somewhere in their now-entwined blockchains and the governing intelligence suddenly went corporeal, forever fusing the future users to those whose eyes were now permanently glued behind monitors, glazed over from lack of outside light. Lasers now controlled their brains, firing neurons on the great global meshwork.

Some were left stranded in time periods they never intended to inhabit and aren’t equipped for. Others were caught in bridge and translation equipment, and had somehow, somewhere their identities artifically distended across space-time as network support gradually broke down and even the most stalwart distributed autonomous companies decided to scrap the new shit and go back to the Old Ways.

Ether is no pig fat.