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Inside The Gang Of Four

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Inside the Gang of Four.

 

By Our Special Investigative Reporter Ritchie.

 

The notion of a secret cabal within Manx Net has long been alleged by courageous free-thinking posters. The existence of this secret organisation was first muted by Vader, who coined the term the Gang of Four, to illustrate the sinister and divisive nature of this band of plotters.

 

Vader’s ideas were taken up and expanded upon by some of the forums greatest minds. Notable, amongst these was the redoubtable Nessa, who postulated the theory that the Gang of Four effectively, controlled an army of sheepies and trollies to do their bidding and silence anyone who stood in their way. Vader and Nessa have felt a backlash from the cult themselves, whilst tragic Ninja succumbed to the pressure and left for places unknown. At the time of writing poor Steven has been driven to the point of distraction by the conspirators attentions; where once his posts were a by-word for coherent and logical arguments, he has been reduced to posting illogical and ill-considered rants.

 

Others have even claimed that the cabal is the de facto government of the forums, leaving Sarah and Gary as the increasingly marginalized and ineffective figureheads.

 

Many names have been put forward as being prime movers in the Gang of Four (Roxanne, Ans, Monkey_Magic, former US President George Bush snr., Phildo, and Pete Burns from Dead or Alive’s names are regularly mentioned), but until now no-one has been able to penetrate the inner-sanctum and report on the hazy figures that make up this organisation and are dedicated to the systematic suppression of freedom of speech and thought throughout the Manx Net empire.

---

 

Until now.

 

I, Ritchie, have been able to break through the wall of obfuscation and lies that surrounds the internal workings of this sect. I have met its members and I have attended the bizarre quasi-religious ceremonies where they plot the downfall of the cult’s enemies.

 

In this exclusive story I will reveal the existence of the Gang of Four’s high-tech secret headquarters. I will identify the individuals behind many of the group’s destructive schemes and describe the sickening ceremonies of sexual deviancy and human sacrifice that they indulge in.

 

And I will name the Messianic figure at the head of the organisation, who holds his devoted acolytes in his hypnotic thrall.

 

---

 

I had established my credentials over the previous year, through a series of satirical pieces in which I depicted the gang’s enemies in an unflattering light. Using these articles to assert the illusion of a common ground existing between my own and the sect’s values.

 

Though my contacts in the Manx music scene I was able to befriend one of the gang’s underlings, an amiable drunk, who went by the name of Declan. With Declan’s support I received word that I was invited to attend the next gathering of the Gang of Four at a secret location.

 

---

 

I met Declan, as had been agreed, at the disused Strix factory at the back of Shoprite in Port Erin. Since he had been assigned to transport me to the meeting place, I was more than a little perturbed to see him arrive, alone, clutching a half drunk bottle of Buckfast.

 

“Place we going secret,” he slurred, “put this on.” He threw me a pillow case which I put over head and he secured with Duct Tape. Singing A Damned song to himself began to roughly guide me to the awaiting vehicle. I could hear the sounds of vehicles and the chatter of other people, whist we made our uneasy progress to our transportation.

 

 

I was greatly relieved when I realised that Declan would not be driving me to the location. I heard him talk to the driver what I can only presume to be a secret code used by the sect’s members when out in the general populace. “ingle and rtern to sjoins”. Whatever that meant I was soon bundled to the rear of the vehicle which must have been a large tank or armoured personal carrier because several other Gang of Four acolytes joined us on our journey.

 

Obviously, I had not yet been accepted into the group’s midst, because they continued to talk in their bizarre language. I caught a few fragments but they made no sense to me…”ourels is under the knife on Saturday”…”by Christ fella was I ****ed laaaaaassssst night”…

 

---

 

It appeared that my escort and I arrived at the venue through a different entrance to the other passengers. We disembarked and Declan began to push and cajole me in the right direction.

 

Soon we reached our destination and Declan removed my shoes and grunted “Mistress Roxy very house proud. Now climb.”

 

I put my foot forward and found a grassy step, which I climbed. All in all there were four steps which we ascended. Then I was forced into a great wooden chair. Declan placed himself with great force on my knee and banging with great force, intoned an ancient enchantment – “awerehere letusin”.

 

Suddenly the seat began to shudder and there was the rumble of a great mechanical device spluttering into life. Then to my bewildered amazement the great oak seat, which had felt so secure a few moments before, began to jolt and gradually descend into the very Earth itself.

 

I was entering the fiendish cult’s most hallowed inner core.

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I twittered him. "an amiable drunk, who went by the name of Declan." Must have been a long time ago.

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Suddenly the seat began to shudder and there was the rumble of a great mechanical device spluttering into life.

Sure you weren't on the Ben?

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The throne came to an abrupt stop, and Declan jumped from my knee. He began to hack at the duct tape that was keeping the pillowcase in place. When he finally completed his task and I could view my surroundings, I paused for a moment with my eyes firmly closed; I did not wish to see the horrific scene I imagined would greet me.

 

When I eventually opened my eyes, I was pleasantly surprised by the convivial surroundings in front of me. The room was laid out in the manner of a small country tea-room, and a matronly lady was bustling about dispensing cream teas and kebabs to the patrons.

 

“Mrs Savros, two pints of Bushmills please,” Declan asked, as he indicated a table at which a woman dressed in a tight scarlet dress, was chatting with a hirsute gentleman.

 

“Ah Declan, this must be Ritchie,” the Scarlet Lady said extending a neatly manicured hand, “My name is Roxanne and this is Monkey_Magic.”

 

Monkey_Magic appeared to be an excitable type, because in the act of reaching out to shake my hand he literally leapt from his seat, and began vigorously pumping my extremity as if he was preparing a Martini. All the while he was chattering away in high-pitched nervous babble “We are so thrilled to meet you. We are all great admirers of your work. I loved it when you forced Vader to live in the chicken coop on Big Brother…”

 

He was a peculiar chap but amiable enough. I keep half an ear on his prattle whilst I scanned the room for information. If this was the extent of the Gang of Four’s kingdom, it appeared I had not infiltrated the meetings of a sinister cult out to manipulate free speech to its own dastardly ends, but rather had stumbled upon a committee meeting of an eccentric provincial conservation society.

 

The air of domestic normality was highlighted by a prepubescent boy who was scampering amongst the tables, engrossed in an elaborate game of his own devising. I could not make head nor tale of the object or rules of his sport, but all the time he played he was mumbling a radio commentary to himself.

 

So absorbed was the child that he had ceased to pay any attention to the world around him and in a particularly complicated period of play he tripped and came hurtling towards me at a considerable velocity. The collision left both of us on the floor. The young rascal glowering petulantly in my direction.

 

Roxanne stood up and lifted the child to his feet and casting an indulgent smile in my direction said, “You must forgive Ean, Ritchie, he always get a little over-exuberant before the ceremony begins.”

 

---

 

Declan had kept the whiskey to himself, so I made do with a cup of tea and one of Mrs Stavros’ cucumber kebabs. Roxanne’s words about “The Ceremony” continued to play on my mind. I had to be careful, and remember the vital import of my attendance at this place. I was after all, not about to sit in on a Parochial Council Meeting.

 

Suddenly, there was a commotion from the elevator, that my escort. A portly middle-aged gentleman was descending into our midst. He was dressed in a peculiar costume of skin-tight stone-washed denim jeans and a white t-shirt on which he had hand painted a large red number 1. Competing his curious garb was a makeshift cape and incongruously an ancient pair of driving goggles.

 

When the chair had reached about half-way, the strange gentleman leapt from the chair, shouting “I’m F_1_Man, and your evil plot is at an end.”

 

Although he had landed heavily on his side he as quickly on his feet. This uproar woke Declan who had been dozing in an alcoholic stupor under a table. Bounding to his feet, Declan, rushed towards the intruder, overturning several tables in the process. The gatecrasher may or may not have had any superpowers but even a mortal as unfit as F_1_Man was, easily overcame the intoxicated and accident prone Declan, with a deft bodyswerve, that left the ill-favoured defender, careering into the kitchen. The poor chap, could only halt his momentum by grabbing hold of the roasting donner meat.

 

“Must we go through this everytime?” Roxanne asked a slowly rotating and roasting Declan, “It’s not that it isn’t entertaining it’s just you make such a mess.”

 

“Gang members cease your despicable plotting. Or I will use my superpowers to defeat you like I did your impetuous friend. F_1_Man cannot be beaten.”

 

Roxanne gave a sardonic smile and said, “You are not F_1_Man you are Phoneman, you have no special powers and now if you would kindly, go through that door, you maybe able to get out of this situation with a modicum of dignity intact.”

 

“Fiddlesticks! I will smite you with my laser vision.”

 

“I’d be in more danger from one of Paddington Bear’s hard stares.” Roxanne said dismissively, she gave a sharp, single hand clap. “Ans, remove this idiot.”

 

From behind a curtain stepped a giant of a man well of 7 and a half feet tall. A man so tall, that Arther Caley would have looked up to him. I recoiled in horror at this hideous apparition, but was reassured when I noticed that my companions did not seem in the slightest bit perturbed.

 

He picked Phoneman up by the scruff of the neck and carried him away, saying as he left “someone take Declan off the heat, I think he’s done.”

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I twittered him. "an amiable drunk, who went by the name of Declan." Must have been a long time ago.

There's been a lot of feet under the table since but it still makes me laugh.

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I feel like I should have to be able to remember more about the manxnet days in order to miss them, yet I don't.

 

Can someone please tell me whether the Manxnet/Beemanx days were more fun, or if it's just me getting old and curmudgeonly?

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I feel like I should have to be able to remember more about the manxnet days in order to miss them, yet I don't.

 

Can someone please tell me whether the Manxnet/Beemanx days were more fun, or if it's just me getting old and curmudgeonly?

 

Allow me.

 

The king died. Long live the king.

 

Twas ever thus.

 

Er .. .that's it, really ...

 

...GOMH*...

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I feel like I should have to be able to remember more about the manxnet days in order to miss them, yet I don't.

 

Can someone please tell me whether the Manxnet/Beemanx days were more fun, or if it's just me getting old and curmudgeonly?

Manxnet folk :) were accused of being too sweet and talking about nothing more serious than fluffy kittens. A lie as we sometimes talked about fluffy puppies and bunnies too. You could happily chat along all day. Quite tame, friendly and very sweet in the main unless you were into geese.

 

We used to don hardhats and pop into beemanx to watch the great unwashed trash their pad.

 

Then, Beemanxers, :angry: having become street dwellers, were invited to join us in the warmth of our cosy fires and partake in some of our wholesome homemade soup whilst resting in our clean, well made beds.

 

Then, Beemanxers, having been thrown out of their squat, and resembling hardened old Vietnam vets stomped into Manx Net with their camouflage, bovver boots, hairy armpits, hairless heads, flatulency and grumpiness. :sweat:

 

They also brought sharpe wit and a load of laughs. And we all became friends forever after :hug:

 

That's how I recall it anyway... Not ;-)

Edited by Addie

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OFF TOPIC

 

Addie's recollection is pretty accurate the early ManxNet was like a chat room, a typical thread would be called "Good Morning" and consist of the ten members saying "Good Morning" to each other. Beemanx would have the same thread but with twenty replies all asking what's good about it.

 

It was a little difficult after Beemanx closed because the Beemanx-ers found the ManxNet-ers assinine and whereas the Beemanx-ers seemed uncouth to the ManxNet-ers.

 

After a while though it settled down and it became the golden period of Manx forum life. Gimmick accounts abounded, trolls had free reign, moderation was barely there.

 

Gradually though the demographic changed, Manx Bands opened and took a lot of that crowd over there. They were replaced by people with an axe to grind and wanted to use the forum as a ...er ... forum for their grievance. Gradually the forum attracted the attention of the media and politicians and became something that a commercial entity like Manx Telecom didn't need the hassle of hosting.

 

So Manx Net closed and then we all went to Manx On-Line. This was like the period in Russia between the fall of the Tsar and the rise of Lenin. There was a chaotic moderation structure where almost everybody was a mod and each mod was in charge of one part of the forum so if something controversial was posted in General Chat the General Chat mod would decide it really belonged in Local News. Then the thread would be become an argument between the two mods. It was like the lunatics taking over the asylum, ace, but didn't last long.

 

So after about a month we all ended up here.

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/now where was I, back on topic.

 

 

The room my Simian chum escorted me into was a psychedelic multi-coloured contrivance that seemed to be the product of a Sixties interior designer’s cheese dream.

 

The carpet wall decoration and furnishings were a kaleidoscopic cornucopia of clashing and colliding oranges, reds and yellows. Around the room were stood stock still, a tribe of creatures, “The Trolls” Monkey_Magic breathlessly whispered. They were about three feet high with complexions the sickly daytime TV presenter shade of orange. They could have been mistaken for Oompa Lumpas but for their shocks of unruly bouffanted hair, which were coloured in various garish hues – mauve, sky blue, shocking pink.

 

The Trolls began to move to greet us, chanting as they did, “Hello, Hello, welcome to our word, Hello, Hello”. Each Troll singled out a visitor and began gave them special attention. Mine had custard yellow hair and began stroking my hair and clothing, as if I was a treasured pet.

 

From out of nowhere he produced a garland, which he festooned around my neck. Attached to the garland like a lucky charm was a collection of pens and other writing implements. Puzzled, I looked round the room, each of the sect members had been given a necklace decorated with an item appropriate to their forum persona, Monkey_Magic’s contained candy pick-and-mix banana’s, Stavros’ delicate strips of kebab meat, Mrs Trellis’ Tampons and support tights, and Dave the Cardboard Box’s had miniature bottles of Buckfast.

 

These pleasantries continued for some time. But gradually our eyes were all drawn towards a giant golden dais in the centre of the room. Upon this a single forlorn Troll was sat, not joining in the celebrations.

Eventually, with everybody’s attention upon him and silence reigning he leapt to his feet and began to stomp on the plinth and chanting “Where’s Mine! Where’s Mine! Where’s Mine!”

 

The other Trolls disengaged themselves for the forum members and began to solemnly congregate around their distressed colleague. Joining hands around the plinth they began to chant “Bring on the Virgin! Bring on the Virgin! Bring on the Virgin!”

 

Suddenly, the lone Troll leapt 20 feet into the air and pulling open a concealed parachute gently descended toward the ground, where he joined his tribe encircling the golden alter. This was a diversionary tactic, because his place in the centre of things had been assumed by a new figure.

 

A sickly, runty, palid young man stood naked in the centre of the attention. He was shaking and his deathly pallor, an almost translucent green, was made worse by dark bags under his eyes.

 

He stared out at us, and I was uncomfortable with the look in his eyes of horror at revealing his feeble carcass to a group of strangers, and terror at the indignities he was about to endure.

 

The Trolls began to chant, in a sing-song style again “The Virgin! The Virgin! The Virgin!”

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Soon the chant changed subtly to “Oil the Virgin, Oil the Virgin, Oil the Virgin, Oil the Virgin.” And the Trolls began dancing around the altar with a choreographed routine that appeared to hold deep significance, leaving me to believe that I was present at a religious ceremony, that ran to the very core of the creature’s society. Were the Gang of Four also followers of this pagan absurdity?


Four of the Trolls detached themselves from the group and jumped onto the stage, where they pinned the weakling virgin down and began rubbing a glutinous balm all over their hapless victim. The boy was so terrified that he began to convulse with fright, performing a horizontal St. Vitas’ dance that caused great mirth amongst the Trolls. The chant changed again “Bind the Virgin, Bind the Virgin, Bind the Virgin” and in an instant four brutal medieval shackles shot from the altar and bound them to the ankles and wrists of the unfortunate wretch.


The four Trolls leapt from the stage and not a moment too soon. As the terror became too much for the young victim and he lost control of his bladder. “A gusher!!! We’ve got a gusher!!” yelled Monkey_Magic. Shackled as he was he had no way to direct the flow, and a golden jet of urine flew into the air, sparkling as it caught the light from the many flaming torches that had mysteriously appeared in the hands of the Trolls and cult members. The spray returned to Earth covering its forlorn instigator from head to toe and splashing the less fleet footed of the Trolls.

 

---


The room returned to all encompassing silence before the chant sounded again, but this time it had changed “Phildo, Phildo Phildo, Phildo, Phildo, Phildo!” It went in ever increasing volume and ferocity, until it was joined by the members of the Gang of Four. Monkey_Magic was jumping up and down in time with the rhythm, like the ******* offspring of a deranged pogo dancer and a holy-rolling evangelist. Despite the blood curdling horror of what I had just witnessed, I found myself, to my eternal shame, caught up in the frenzy of the moment and I too was chanting along, with all the conviction of a convert. “Phildo, Phildo, Phildo, Phildo, Phildo!”


As suddenly, as this outpouring had begun it stopped. A abrupt echo of the final syllable resounding around the walls, as a figure emerged from the shadows. By human standards the mysterious entrant was not tall. But compared to his Troll kinfolk we was a veritable giant, standing four foot high, with a shock of golden hair, which illuminated his face and added a further foot to his height. Precariously, perched amongst his thatch was a tiny crown, emblazed with the legend ROTT, in various dazzlingly coloured jewels.


With the rapt attention of everyone present he moved regally towards the altar. When he reached his destination, a detachment of the peculiar creatures formed a guard behind him, so that when he allowed himself to fall backwards, they caught him, and forming a living elevator gently raised him to the dias.


Standing above the pitiful young man chained beneath him, he held his arms above his head and bellowed “I am Phildo – Ruler of the Trolls!”


These words prompted all the Troll creatures to fall to their knees and genuflect to their Ruler, who appeared to have a mesmeric hold over his subjects. Even some of the cult members appeared awed in his presence, bowing their heads or deferentially averting eye contact. Gesturing to the prisoner, Phildo, surveyed the room with a long lingering, sweeping stare, and said “Who is to speak on behalf of this puking and mewling virgin.”


On being described in such unflattering terms the young man let out a plaintive groan. There was shuffling amongst the audience but no one stepped forward.
“Speak now or leave him to face the consequences.”


I believed the pathetic wretch’s time had come, and offered a silent prayer to whichever God was at work here to show a modicum of mercy towards this most unfortunate of his creations. But then a nervous and timorous man, that I had seen cowering on the edges of the day’s events stepped forward.


“D-D-D-D-DRAM’s my f-f-f-f-f-friend,” he eventually stammered in a barely audible whisper, “I-I-I-I-I d- d-d-don’t w-w-w-w-want him d-d-d-dead.”

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Phildo gave him a pitying look. “Well it will take a better argument than “D-d-d-d-d-don’t k-k-k-k-kill my f-f-f-f-riend. H-h-h-h-h-he’s ever so n-n-n-nice” to save poor DRAM. Who are you anyway?”


“R-r-r-r-r-r-rhumsaa f-f-f-f-from R-R-R-R-R-Ramsey” the would-be saviour spluttered, turning puce in the process.


“So the life of DRAM the Incontinent is in the hands of Rhumsaa the Incoherent. No wonder he ****ed himself” Phildo jeered, giving DRAM a sly kick to the ribs in the process.


“D-d-d-d-d-don’t do that.”


“Aah, R-r-r-r-r-rhumsaa – slow of tongue but swift of keystroke”, Phildo stepped back took a run up and took a ferocious swing at Dram’s scrawny thigh. “Every time you stutter and stumble, your little chum gets a kick. So speak up your mumbling is beginning to irritate me.” Dram let out a whimper and closed his eyes.


Phildo continued, “I remember you, joined the Gang six months ago, didn’t you. We never see you at meetings, though. Why’s that?”


Rhumsaa took such an age in composing himself enough to make a reply that the Troll King moved round the recumbent DRAM and was readying himself to take a punt at the ill-fated boys meagre genitals. Recognising his friend’s plight Rhumsaa, blurted out, “It’s a long way from Ramsey.”

 

---


Stepping back from the recumbent DRAM, Phildo roared with laughter and beckoning the timid Rhumsaa to speak, he sat crossed legged on the ashen prisoners chest, and said, “Ok lets hear the eloquent one’s case for the defence.”
The Northerner stepped forward, and timorously began his speech. Throughout his soliloquy his now familiar stutter appeared on the verge of emerging, but mindful of the Troll King’s threats he manfully maintained control over it.


“Please don’t kill DRAM. He is ever so nice and sweet.


“His niceness will really help our cause. We want to extend our membership, DRAM can help. His appeal as a chronic melancholic will attract the gothic kids into our fold.


And he is from the fabulous town of Ramsey. Ramsey is underrepresented. If you kill DRAM it will be racist discrimination against this Northern Diamond. For the sake of the poor, poor repressed people of Ramsey don’t kill DRAM!!”
Phildo sardonically smiled, “So the sum of DRAM’s qualities are that he is from Ramsey and a bit miserable. But, tell us why do you speak for him? What’s special to you?”


A shocked Rhumsaa feeling that he was losing the argument blurted out, “H-H-He’s my f-f-f-friend.”


Phildo, was on his feet and hoofing DRAM’s bo11ocks in a moment. Rhumsaa let out a gasp that was as plaintively moving as DRAM’s screech was piercing.


“Friend has many meanings. Is he a “special” friend?”


Rhumsaa was now a mass of twitches and tics a lone tear rolled done his cheek. I felt great sympathy for the lad, it was clear that Phildo was taking the utmost pleasure in drawing the truth from him. I began to suspect that his torture was greater than DRAM’s – there was a struggle taking place inside the young Northerner that became physically manifest in every nervous slip of the lip and every involuntary twitch.


“Y-y-y-yes.”


“How special?” The sadistic Troll asked, “You had better come clean. You lie now and I’ll know. You lie know and DRAM dies. HOW FU*KING SPECIAL?”


---


“I love him!” Rhumsaa blurted out, falling onto his knees and banging his fists upon the ground. “I love the little sleep deprivation bags under his vacant eyes, I adore his wizened frame. I worship his deadpan sense of humour. DRAM!!!! I Love You!!!”


Phildo stepped back, a satisfied look on his face. “At Last!” Phildo dived face forward, putting his hands out to catch himself, so that it looked like he was doing press-ups. He turned his head, so that his lips ere almost brushing the prisoners ear and whispered, “And how does DRAM feel about that?”


DRAM, always has a sickly shade of green, and the events he’d endured at the hand’s of the Trolls leader had turned him deathly white. But Rhumsaa’s revelation made him physically sick. Choking on his own puke, DRAM began to gag. Rhumsaa rushed to help his friend, but was restrained by a pack of Trolls. A pink haired member of the clan cleared the prisoner’s airway.


Then Phildo stood up and powerfully bellowed, “The Sword”. His tribe picked up this request and the chant went up louder than any of the previous incantations “The Sword! The Sword! The Sword! The Sword!”


Slowly, all the eyes were drawn towards the ceiling and an enormous sabre began to descend on invisible wires. It stopped it’s downwards progress a heartbeat from Dram’s heaving chest. “So DRAM, now is the moment. Do you wish to join us?”


“Yes”


“Will you abide by the code of the Gang of Four?”


“Yes”


“Keep our secrets till your death?”


“Yes”


“You’re not lying to us are you?”


”No”


“Well the sword will decide. See it climb to the ceiling. It’s going to fall. If you are to pass and join the Gang it will stop and you will live. If not, Rhumsaa’s heart will be broken. But not as irreparably as yours.” The sword was at the ceiling now and the chant went up again “Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall!”


Then it fell.

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10 years on I'd kill him myself.

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