WIP: The Nautilus [Draft 3.4]



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My stubby nubby pinkies stopped bleeding finally.


Someone please say you’ll help, I’m getting sloggy


This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.


The parameters didn’t match, and the waveform frequency just went haywire.


Since it is not within my normal subroutine, not to mention my profession; I was hardly equipped for what happened next.


I was just a dude that found things.


…………………………


**36 hours previous


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   Yo, it’s me, JamBøt. To those that follow, I finally de-rezzed the fractal noise under the dome in my sector. Not sure if I want to broadcast what I’ve heard. Not recording it anyway, just dipping into the decrypted stream now. I am letting you all know this as they can’t fight back against us all…
   I am a finder. Some call us Moles, others call us Skipperz. No matter the cause, we can see the patterns in all around us. Some of us are empathic, but most of us are autistic in one form or another.
   The patterns have always been there if you’d cared to look. It’s not like they are hiding themselves, chummers.

   I drek you not, I was in a tidy Mars system last night in fact. Regardless of what I was looking for, I can assure you, it wasn’t illegal. [I]I never care for the interpersonal issues.[/I] They could be used for sexual whims of myself or some friends I know…but no one has ever been forced. It’s a moot point, hardly ever would happen…even with better odds.

   I get hired by usually nameless people who pay in cred, food, even sometimes hot items. As long as I have enough to survive, I have never had need to want. Today it was grimy out. Worse than usual. The Finns were up to no good again, and someone flung a dead animal into one of the big water basins. Political gang attack, most likely meant as a smokescreen for corporate sabotage.

   I heard the M.A.R.T.yr team off in the distance. They had, what my father called the ‘Announcer-from-M.A.S.H.’ public address system. [I]I wasn’t quite sure what he always meant by that.[/I] That voice was currently ordering a group of three to surrender their weapons so they wouldn’t be harmed.
     Then silence.
   I am sure the gangers would have surrendered if they had half a wit left after all the Head-Lozz that’s been going around. Maybe they just talked quietly, but the we call them KMARTS too. After Kill Mart. They are all top of the line Para-mila-medics. Always with silenced weapons. They don’t give a drek about collateral, they trauma fix any chummer they can, charge, and arrest or let people go on OR.

   Medical Armed Response Teams.
   Insurance paid subsidy membership fee: 2500 credits per week. Pretty hefty stuff, but worth it’s weight when the Drek hits the proverbial fan. The Corp teams are worse.
   I heard the siren go off, as it always does when the come in and out. Maybe they were a little heavy this time. Who knows?.

   I grabbed the 5 files I needed, plus a another 10 or so that looked juicy. Saved some nodes, and slapped proxy on a network for faster access later.
   Ok,ok,ok. So I can do more than just look for people, but I usually don’t. Unless I need the money. That’s why I’m blogging chummer, I got all the info anyone needs, and I know im getting digital crosshairs for all this drek.
Drek man, I need a M.A.R.T.yr membership. I got Heat.
Slag it Chum, I know we all got heat, but I got Heat!

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   I hate to crowdsource. It’s JamBøt again. I got Yak breathing down my back. They got my pinkies.

   This all started over a Damn girl. Why? Why do girls always cause all the issues? She showed up on Camden St. Last night. Not a good area. I saw her on cam, hacked the nodes from my flat, and guided her by alpha jacking the lights, monitors, and terminals to me.
   Ever the stoic guardian, especially when she was wet from being dumped into the canal and she was cold. Looked all of 60 Kg and reminded me of sometalking cgi cat from a movie with a big talking cgi green thing.
   To me it was more of a sense of duty kind of thing. She had a uncanny look about her
Jet black hair with a small layer of blond underneath, her hair was layered oddly. As if chaos had created it, and it leaked entropy. Long enough to have small 2 and 3 finger wide strips of hair on the sides and back into short enough spikes tufts of hair at the top. Not all over her head, but enough to make her look bigger. She was maybe little more than a meter. She had athletic sheen, but wasn’t cybered that I could see.

   Obviously she was a little perplexed by my willingness to assist her. Her body language was dramatic, and I noticed that she was wearing a shell on a necklace around her neck. I noticed the Fibonacci spiral as soon as I saw it. I was hooked and intrigued.
   She said she would be gone by the morning max, and only asked for water. I found some Ramen, and she showed me two plastic medical bags of Tabdots. We have all used stim patches and the occasional Crammer. But the clear tablets, she said I couldn’t see. She glared at me with some evil intent and enunciated every word when she warned me about pushing my luck with the clear Tabdots. She refused to allow me to examine them, the git.

   She wasn’t much on eye contact, but her caramel eyes warmed when she realized I wasn’t swayed by her threats.

   The ones she wanted me to look at were slightly green. She had a packet of approximately 200 little opalescent liquid gells in the oddest myocene shell I had ever seen. They glowed slightly. She asked me to research them. Said she would find a way to come back and pay me.
   I didn’t say anything, just started to gap buffer my Fairlight AmiGalvinTac CPU with the boosting GPU 3SeFLOP. I don’t play. I’ve been working small string A.I. too. Nothin huge I say, but modest. I had no idea where to begin. I didn’t know what was inside, she refused to let me gently slice one open to further see any patterns, any clue to go on. Tabdots that no one had ever seen before?

   Instead she pulled me away… asked me to drink some tea with her. I found a few more dry rags she could use to warm up with, and put some tea on. Her nails weren’t dirty, but were painted. I’d never seen nail polish on a real woman, only on old archived pictures. It took me away from spiraling out of control trying to match puzzle pieces together. Her eyes were light brown, almost caramel. And her cheekbones were so high that even her smiles lit the room.

   And at once, I remembered what I lived in. Wasn’t much but a Hole in the wall really. The entire loft was a long rectangular shoebox. Sectioned off by 3MWalls. The window at the far end. The top of the window also fed carbon-nanotubed Fib3rOp cables along the shaft of the flat. They had pinch points for control. Gotta love logic gates. The living room wasn’t much more than a skinny couch and opposite plain chair, a tall thinnish A.I. Coffee Table. My office where I actually parked my meat when I surfed, little more than a closet, but the hardware all but hidden from view. The colour of the walls a slight shade off the abysmal main purple of the Head-Lozz packaging acting as …we drink tea. Soft synth and some Oldies play in the background. Sounds like radio gaga destiny. Amazing, my head clears more than I can remember in recent memory, and she told me she had seen me before at the Motel 10 in D.T. she asked me.

     “You’re not a Starnut, right? I was told you were fringe-monkey enough, even for us. A regular Reggie. …

     “Brave Star is a mock, chum. They pretend to police, but are keeping what they can in check. It isn’t much,” I told her. I grimaced slightly at the latter as I needed her to see the inevitability that we all return to The Source everyonce in a while.

     “Chummer, you don’t hear the gears? Like they are getting ready to click into a new chamber or tick another portion of the clock, like another minute gone by, like your heartbeat but in your slogging head? Can you hear the springs shifting for tension? The creak of the springs at the right frequency almost like a tuning fork hum?,” She smiled sweetly and plainly. Her eyes seemed to see mine, look deeper into them, and yet through me. All at the same time. She then kissed me gently on the forehead. She smelled vaguely familiar. Coppery and floral.
She placed the necklace next to the bag of green dots and took a nap on my plain iFoam sofa.

It wasn’t until I pinched off the lights, dimming them that I noticed it.

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>>
My name is James Mandelbröt. I used to be a Fixer. I work now with Fixers.
I have seen some strange stuff out there on the streets and even weirder stuff onlin…but, I have never seen what I have on my coffee table before. The package of green dots that were now covered by the Nautilus Necklace were now glowing brighter than I’d ever seen anything glow, short of a mono-whip.

When I moved the necklace, the colour dimmed. I tested it 3 times. The pattern was there. As was the flickering of all my electronics whenever the two items got closer. The pulse was a momentary lapse of reason beyond resolve. Even my ‘ware was giving weird feedback fluctuations.

To say I was intrigued now, would be like asking a Los V if his daddy has a shaved head. I am sure I yipped outloud at one point or more.
She slept through my excitement, the crazy stupid fit that made me reach for a CramShot, but i didn’t take it. It wasn’t necessary and even though I craved the rush, the waves of crackle along synapses and nerve bundles, I felt myself pull away. Only to find it harmoniously synchronous. And then summarily taken.
A certain amount of contextual detachment being key to to my role, my gift, if you allow.
Then I started looking online for the shell. No match, because it didn’t exist. I looked back at it again for a schism of perspective and was typing before my eyes adjusted or realized that I was typing.
{The Golden Mean.
Fibonacci sequence
Quasars and naked singularities
Fractal dots
Supernovae
Quantum logic gates
Galaxy formation
Fibonacci spiral
The human inner ear
Dark matter}
And like a green light went off in my head saying GO: I was off.
A simple nautilas shell is built by nature to be dynamic and built to code. As if assembled by a computer. In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,…
By definition, the first two Fibonacci numbers are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.
The shell spirals out. The Golden Mean…

All math mumbo-jumbo.
It summed this golden mean to universal computational pieces that weren’t even on my chess board.
Heavy Sloggin’ Drek.

She didn’t stir and the tea was gone. The thin windows barely mask a vicey-dicey way of life that really doesn’t conform to a 9-5 type of schedule, and yet it was all strangely quiet out. No sirens, no gunfire, no droid clicking and chattering.
I didn’t want any more water. Somehow wasn’t as thirsty as I should have been…
Then I figured out more than I should.
Then I started asking questions.

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She woke up, just as I was opening the other satchel, the one that contained the clear drop pills. NZT /187_A.Glynn!¥ printed in nice china blue on the side.

She screamed at me for invading her privacy. I showed her the door. She kept her clear gel synapse coopin’ dreky Tabdots. I booted her out, without a second thought, before she was clear headed to remember the shell or green dots. Then I let the door subroutine lapse so that the door was forced to change lock sequences.
There was no imprint on the plastic bag that held the green dots.
I opened the bag, and smelled a briny, plasticine aroma. Binaural beats of phase rezz. Some have called it cosmic background radiation, others have called it the cacophony of the universal machine. I felt I could hear, smell, and see the ocean.

Now, I have been known to be a clumsy oaf before, sometimes it pays off, most times not. So I butter fingered the bag of the green dots, and they fell all over my sofa, table, and feet. I cursed aloud, and began to gather them.
I had all but one or two when the lights went out in my flat.
Brownout.
Well, almost.
The only remaining light sources in my flat came from my Smart Table, my computer rig, and the shell. Odd frequency crackle.
Then I noticed the small Yakashima logo reflected onto the black mirror that is my tabletop.

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>>
I didn’t sleep. For some reason, I didn’t need to. I couldn’t explain it. I was naturally amplified, the Cram had wore off less than 2 hours after I took it. I moved the necklace, glowing its green luminary signal. It repeated, in Morse code the same cycle. It pulsed it’s Fibonacci sequence up to 13 each time, and then started over. Looking it over, I noticed a small datajack next to the Yakashima Logo.

So I did, without thinking… what any of us would have done.

I plugged it into my rig.
At once, instead of my splash screen, the Yakashima logo came up. I thought I was tripping on some stuzzy ‘cid. Who in their right mind plugs a slogging sea shell into a computer??
I did. And realized why I was in trouble as soon as the logo vanished.

We all know Binary. We all know hexadecimal. We know coding languages and assembly languages. We know scripts and webrings, forums and old app based social cloud integration. We even know Heuretic Algorythms.
This wasn’t any of it.
My rig was being re-written. Everything I thought I knew was all wrong. Binary was still the key, but instead of either on/off; yes/no, there was now:
Yes/no/maybe…Trinary?!
And the A.I. that I had built to help me with menial tasks…started to talk to me. Some stupid syrupy voice I had digitized from audio I had obtained from a Finnean RAFT.
It explained in its harder syllables that it wasn’t a ternary system either, but had to coexist on a cyclic bond basis. X/Y/Z is a ternary system.
0,1, 0/1. However, it creates its own counter-balance, opening the door to allow the sum to be greater than all of its parts.
Not unlike E=MC², but on a different particle lair wavelength. That wavelength was what we could only label as probability.
Probability is built into the universe. It runs in cycles. These cycles aren’t round, not as we envision round; nor can we, in 4 dimensional space, see them. They aren’t space/time nor even gravitational traditionally. They tunnel through everything as though they were raining green kanji from the sky.

It screamed fake at first. I admit it just as anyone who reads this would think.
yes/no/maybe
CHNOPS
FRAK!!
However, we haven’t been able to get past our reality as we perceive with all 5 senses in time that is in a sequence of rotation on a planetwide axis within the sequence of rotation out to the solar system spinning all simultaneously. They all rotate on their own axis. Some conformable, some syntax.

I closed my eyes, still seeing the visuals necessary, but instead of the art of gleaning what isn’t. Pushing the envelope to watch it bend.

What it did next astounded me.

It was hacking systems on its own. It was showing me what it was doing on the SmartTable. Before I knew it, it was in the Yakashima Space Ops backbone, riding the network called Blavatsky, a neural net long lost to rumor… as though it was a natural process. Black IC bent to its whim. It flipped blueprints, documents of “national and corporate security”, and even plans to build something called a “Death Star”. I laughed out loud at the silliness of a name like that. Sounded like a B vid name or somethin’ to me.
It closed all of its connections, and showed me that Yakashima wasn’t even aware of what it had done. It cloned me and then pinged me as though I were standing in the middle of a massive Tesla Relay in the Arcticaska Dome.

This wasn’t their design after all, the logo was put on to keep it in house. Obviously, that didn’t work. I giggled despite myself.
The Nautilus , or rather, my A.I. told me that it was older than the corps.
Then it spoke in a high chirping noise, not unlike the minor rezz chirps that DataTerminals give off in the UHF/VHF band. It always reminded me of being read a huge book of text in Ludicrous speed. Then she/it…The Nautilus stated almost cheeringly that I was already under surveillance. I chuckled aloud again, til it started parsing out sixteen images of different cameras around my flat. Showing very expensive vehicles showing up.
I was cornered.
The Nauitlus continued. The girl had been named Raylene Kurzweil. She lived in the Arch Tower in North End. The Nautilus showed me the micro-cams in her loft. They also showed, that her entire loft had been tossed. It informed me that she was already picked up. It slammed with with a full dossier in a matter of 2 minutes. She squealed, apparently.
I started packing. I don’t have much. The Nautilus told me to modify what I took, and even mapped out an exit strategy. It stated that it had already modified the registry of my Condo. It had hacked within the public and building databases to show that I didn’t live here, that rather some cyber-doc by the name of Rollins lived here. It gave me a probability factor that I could hold off leaving for at least another hour. Then the Nautilus did something I couldn’t believe.
It told me to datajack into the shell directly.  [i] Chummer, would you? [/I]  Even with good Mil stock TempTaps?

I have one cyber-eye, steel grey, in the left socket of my skull. It has Time², has a gun link (never used), and low light compensation. It also has allowed me to see my connections to data terminals without the need for a display. So, I did what it said. Obviously, I didn’t have a choice.
As soon as I plugged in, the shell died. It didn’t glow. At first, I was perplexed. I could hear heavy boots down the hallway, doors being banged on, sirens off in the distance. They were methodical, and chummer…I’d be lying if I said I didn’t need to go change my shorts, you dig?!

Then I placed only one green Tabdot slowly at the mouth of the shell…and little mechanical tentacles whipped out quickly to pull its ‘food’ in. The tentacles were translucent, and I swear; on, my rig, that it could have been NanoTech.

The shell confirmed that the green Tabdots were like fuel, but refused to confirm any NanoTechnology. It had a weird knowledge of everything around it. There were no sensory organs or sensors that I could find.

And I made my first explosive, on [u]it’s[/u] will.
Told me, showed me how to make explosive material with materials in my flat.
I was to blow the door as soon as they knocked…and in the confusion…sweep out the door.

As the footsteps got closer, I got a vid feed of the hallway. There weren’t Yakashima execs outside. It was a damn Yakuza hit squad. 4 heavily armed Mercenaries and one Stag. The Stag moved too fluid to be human. I suddenly thought I would have to change my shorts again.

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I had setup the homemade explosive at the door, as I had been prompted. I doubted it would work. I lay on the floor with the shell in one hand, still jacked in; and the “detonator” in my other. A solidified 3M phase wall was my only protection from my own explosive. Outside, I could hear boots and someone knocking at the door next to mine. Again, I asked the shell if I was going to live…it didn’t reply to me. The glowing grew more brilliant, but strangely it never got hot to the touch. The lights in my flat, the hallway, and for all I knew: the building was in a full-blown brownout.

One quick knock…and I waited.
Two more knocks, and I pushed the button.
FLOOM!!
The Halon system went on immediately, and I covered my face with my shirt, the shell working my eyes for me as I was able to move past the crew that swooped into my flat, agitated and trigger happy.
The klaxons drove me crazy as I waited down the hall from my ruined flat. The shell had me wait by the elevator shaft. The fire response team shot down the stairs and the door busted open with a startling shot that I almost had to run my hands over my torso, just to be sure I hadn’t been shot. Once the last firebat was through the door, I rotated right out onto the stairs. I could smell the drudgy air that was on the streets. It tasted more coppery than normal. Hoodie over head, the shell and I ventured to the nearest data terminal.

I looked over my shoulder, and indeed my entire building was browned out. There was very little flash, and what little fire my rudimentary explosive had created was easily extinguished. The halon took care of that. The blaring cacophony of the M.A.R.T.yr wagon incoming, made me forget to dial the taxi, and even though I couldn’t see any gangers now, didn’t mean they weren’t going to investigate the drama. The shell demanded to be plugged into the data terminal, and like a flash before my eyes, I wondered if lengthened exposure to the Nautilus would change me for the better.

I looked down to find that I had indeed plugged the Nautilus in, without realizing I had done it. It was in systems I had never seen before.

Ares Manufacturing Logistics
Stark Enterprises
Ellington Mineral Corporation
M.O.T.H.E.R.
Salish Sidhé
Aztlan

There were more, but it moved faster than any deck I’ve owned, built, or seen. We’ve all heard of vapor-ware, but nothing I’ve ever seen would connect that many dots with strings. I couldn’t keep up. But it had opened a text file, and was dumping strings of info, lines of code. It was compiling something…
But I wasn’t sure what…and time was running out.

How many Knights survive staying in one place for too long??

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I was on auto-pilot.
I remember it like a lucid daydream. The streets, filled with the usual scrubs, scabs, and poor children trapped by life, forced to watch their own future crawl in despair before their very eyes. The Star was out and making a show of looking around. I felt like a marionette, and was being moved along in an uncanny fashion. Not that I was walking funny, but every time it seemed that The Star would get me, I moved around a corner and got blocked by a Roach Coach. I hate those Sani-wagons, but I wasn’t ever happier to see one. I was able to dodge situations, as small teams tried to find me. The pieces all moved smooth like wet silicon, and it reminded me of a Babbage card for a split second. As I was truly unaware of what said card was, its purpose, or even what it looked like; I knew that the Nautilus had downloaded information to my brain that I wouldn’t have otherwise ever gotten. It seemed to amplify my natural talents but to such a sharpness that my mind never realized the upgrade.
We have all, at one time or another, been so stuzzed out one substance or another that we have had multiple loop feedback. This felt like m.l.f. amplified by a googol. It was visual, auditory, tactile, and something else. The Nautilus was dumping tons of info into my brain. I felt cold copper on my top lip, and when the re-synch snapped me back; I was in front of a terminal that looked familiar, but didn’t. I couldn’t understand my situation at that moment, and the Nautilus was dark…only a green phosphorus cursor blinked back at my dilated eyes…
I wasn’t a zombie, but I wasn’t exactly myself either. This is the easiest way to explain:
The dump was like trying to put an dodecahedron shaped block into a square hole. After the inevitable brain reboot, there were now copied and synched RNA strands within the host. This was not conceived, nor replicated in simulation, but the T cells allowed it, and the Endocrine system adjusted rapidly. These were integral overrides to many RNA/DNA schisms. They composed a sort of universal enzyme thread that allowed for far less transcription errors and fragmented DigiDown stream.
Most of us have heard rumors of the DDown. None of them are remotely close.
In order to witness the DigiDown was to look upon the greatest ‘library’ to have ever existed to humanity. I know how Kraft that must sound but think of every node, old website, and even every vehicle, CyberHund, and even some cyberware as a page in a tome. Now this tome is comprised like an Algorythmic encyclopedia. The sheer size of it is extraordinary when you are within arms reach. Frakkin’ massive is an understatement.

From the outside it looks like a galaxy. A spiral galaxy, not unlike the design of a Nautilus Shell.

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Query?
[b]whereami[/b]
You aren’t.
[i]I thought that was strange. How would a terminal use contractions?[/i]
[b]logip[/b]
There is no IP.
[b]ping bravestar.comgov[/b]
Hasn’t been invented yet, James.
[i]I realized that that I “wasn’t in Kansas anymore”, as my great-grandfather used to say. [/i]

I stepped away from the terminal, and was about to turn back toward the screen when I hear the voice of the Nautilus in my head again. It told me that it was interacting with me while  I was being processed. I requested to know what that meant, but it quickly changed the subject.

It was feeding time.

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   I don’t recall putting another Tabdot into the Nautilus, but it was glowing and let out a little chirp, barely audible. I looked around, and found myself in an old arcade. Various bleeps, bloops, and bams filled my ears. These archaic closets had monitors and analog controls. They were usually snapped up by Corp money, and very rare.

     “Hi James,” said a female voice behind me.

     “Hi, do I know you?,” I asked looking her over.
   She looked about a meter and a half tall. Very elegant european facial structure. High sweeping cheekbones allowing for full plumper lips and her green eyes looked slightly Ani but brilliant against her flaxen hair layered stylishly and cut to the shoulders. She could have been mistaken for a SimVid french model caricature. But her jade eyes and inviting smile allowed me comfort immediately. 

     “Well, that depends on your definition of the word know within the context of your question.”

     “I don’t believe we have ever met, but there is something strangely familiar about you,” I admonished.

She simply smiled, and spoke in simple body language as her eyes led me, and then her hips rocked as she walked. I hadn’t seen as real woman as elegant, and surely not dressed in higher fashion than I was used to seeing. The cacophonous thunder was difficult to wade through, every sound vying for your attention. I saw bodies at some of the machines, but those that were playing were blurry. Their faces never seemed to come into focus. The light shows abound, like seizure bombs begging you to do the floor polka, pushing an almost ‘gotta try ’em all’ ethereal “groove”…and strangely the eyes and brain crave the feedback.
She led me to a table, all black lacquered wood stained and smooth. It was a big table with engraved plaques showing the Periodic Table of Elements. I smelled Nag Champa. The accompanied chairs, a deep brass tubing, upholstered in red crushed velvet. Resonant pings from the deeper subwoofer bumps in the background Trance/DubStep intermix music made the chairs vibrate in harmony.

“James, you have to know that you are in no harm,” she said placing her porcelain dainty hand on top of mine reassuring me. “Things you see here, you will not be able to unsee. That which you learn, you will not be able to unlearn. You may forget, but never forever. We are all one conscienceness. ”

“No we aren’t, because if we were; there couldn’t be free will,” I challenged.

“Free Will is an causality, and neither can truly be accomplished without connectivity. You are still thinking too Three Dimensionally.” Her eyes glowed for a split second the same color as the Tabdots.
***
[i]I didn’t know how to handle the thought I was talking to a seashell. I was so caught up with the sensory pulsing, adrenaline inducing environment. She seemed to notice by my facial tics, eye tracking, and laconic stares that something was bothering me. [/I]
Atomic memory? There didn’t seem to be any logical reason against the concept.
“I told you I am far older than Yakashima or Bravestar would have you believe,” she continued. “There was a good reason you couldn’t find the answer you sought when you first saw my shell. The answer isn’t there for you to find any longer.”
“Any longer?” I was, like usual, trying to see where the possibilities interacted.
“It has been removed from the DigiDown, or more precisely, it has been masked. There is much that has been hidden from view, purposefully.” She let that last statement linger, and I started looking around.

What I had believed to be another portion of the Matrix, was really a construct program. If I hadn’t seen jaggies or phase echo on fast movement I wouldn’t have guessed otherwise. We were having our discussion at a chrome table with a small holographic candle in the center. The walls were painted black with fluorescent designs and freehand drawings in paint that reacted to Ultraviolet light. The arcade abuzz with those moving shapes that seemed to flutter in and out, they were supposed to represent people. Ironically, this wasn’t that far removed from how I viewed most of the world, other denizens included. When I started thinking about the correlation, little holographic images started appearing over everything, just floating digital readouts with small glowing numbers and colors, for example; a deep burgundy Zero-point floating CHNOPS9T1643 over one of the shimmering shapes, and CHO23P over a chair.
I wasn’t sure what they meant, and just as quick as they had appeared, were gone. I looked right at my guest and could make out every synpore of her avatar. She smiled, as responsive as possible, but bordering on hyper responsiveness. She was shy. Amazing.
In an ephemeral mist, I could sense moving in movement.

“What do you mean purposefully hidden? We have become the culmination of ancestral texts, symbols, and information. Information is freely given, you make your own lot in life. I can’t make people read, and I cannot control anything but my reaction to any set of causal functions,” I started.
“How do you know the information you have available to you freely, as you say, is the truth?” She gave me a tempting blank stare, her face neutral as to sell the question.
“Because I can see the strings,” I mumbled, not truly believing myself.
©2011 Thomas E. Brewer draft 3.4 31365 characters

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