Welcome to the 18th installment to The Nothing’s Child. The world is nothing like we know anymore. Or something…
If you are new to how the links work, each section shows all the links for the specific section. Otherwise there is a link for the start of each section. It is easy to catch up to where we are now.
The Nothing’s Child
Life is a Dumpster Dive
Behind the Bookcase
Interrogation with no Egg to Stand On
Eggs in a Basket
Most coffee shops converted to 24 hour places a long time ago. Never underestimate the impulses of a lover’s cyber tryst in the middle of the night. When they want to get it on they need a place to jack in and get together for the midnight rendezvous. What, that too cynical for you? Seriously, after midnight the only people looking to run the Net are “runners” or lovers. Guess this means you have to take your pick for which one I am.
They had my board, but I had the datapad I procured from the goons. It wasn’t nearly as good but I could run it with an emulator to make it work. Code, it’s the one thing I can do well when the chips are down. They are down now, down hard.
Starbuck’s started a trend so many years ago, a coffee shop on every corner. This is a time when I am so incredibly thankful that nothing has changed. May not have the same name but it’s still a coffee shop just the same.
The cold snap of the Net slipping into place and the physical world fading away filled me with the comfort of home. An empty and insubstantial world surrounded me, not much more than a series of pathways and junctions, all within a digital landscape. Without the built in mods on my deck everything looked a little unreal.
The digital world behaves the same no matter how you skin it. But the look is a big part of the experience. Food is still food when you eat at home. But the restaurant changes that food into something else entirely because of the atmosphere. Running without a skin mod up feels a bit like that. The world around me lacked flavor and substance.
Without anti-trace mods and apps working, I would be a target for anyone. Worst case scenario would be to get caught up in a random security search. If they had trace hounds looking for me I would have a trail even a child could follow. I needed to get to my Net Home fast. I had security measures built into the framework, backups that I could bridge into the tablet. I felt naked and vulnerable, and maybe a little dirty like the open Net around me.
I broke into the code stores on the datapad and threw together a quick vehicle app. I kept with the motif around me and made a light cycle. Even naked a man has to have style.
The cycle was crude but fast. I also have to admit that it looked stellar blasting through the transfer tunnels. I pulled into my Net Home firing out the security commands as the cycle skidded to a stop.
Inside I threw up the shields and anti-trace mods. Just like the smoke screen I like to use on runs, the Net home faded away. For all intents and purposes it was like it didn’t exist. If nothing else it bought me some time.
Now I had to find a way to interface with my own mind. You would think this would be easy considering how invasiveness of jacking into the Net. But there was something about the process that didn’t quite go that deep. A virtual safety that kept people from frying their brains when they jacked in.
The trick would be to remove that safety and then dig through to the egg. I would then be able to download to my datastores and set safety protocols to protect it. Of course, outside my head, I could get a look at it too. The thing cost me time, money, and parts of my sanity. It owed me.
I needed to turn the connection inward. Here I would have relative safety to send the data out to be retrieved by my own apps. I would need to travel back through the datastream of my Net connection and find my way into my brain from there. I can’t think of a time when anyone ever attempted this. Even what was done at the lab earlier was so very different from what I was about to attempt. But I needed to do it anyway.
I linked into the datapad and tweaked code. With the limited code capability of the datapad I would need to take extra time to ensure it would do what I needed it to do. But everything hinged on the abilities of the datapad to do exactly what I requested of it. The thing was old and a bit slow.
I am not sure I mentioned this before. But when you create an object within the Net, it has physical qualities within the Net. Granted it’s still digital. But here you can build useful items. Or maybe you figured that out already when I talked about the stuff I carry on a run. Did I mention, your mind goes weird places when you concentrate?
I’m not here to say that anything is possible within the Net. But if you are good with code you can come pretty close. I grabbed code fragments from the stores in the datapad. In a way this is much like any form of craftsmanship. You work with the materials at hand to design and build what you envision. The materials are what control the quality of the final product.
Crude code makes crude apps. But I can do a bit of tweaking with crude code and make something a little more refined. I built an interface that would allow me to work through the layers of code in my Net home. Much like the security station in a security node I had a workstation set up where I would be able to view and interpret the flow within my brain.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.