The Nothing’s Child #cyberpunk

Are you ready for another long story cycle? It doesn’t matter cause it is going to happen anyway. This time we are stepping a bit into the future (or present in a different light). Cyberpunk came about in the 90s and predicted a future that is quite a bit different than what we see before us right now. I still love the conceptualized worlds that created the genre.

The links for this will follow the patterns I have used for other novellas shared to this space. They will be broken down into sections and each section will show the links for the segments contained therein. But enough of this… Let’s jump into the world of The Nothing’s Child

Section 1
The Nothing’s Child
Easy Peasy Hit
Old Man Murphy
Section 2
Life is a Dumpster Dive
Section 3
Bleuthor Encryption
Section 4
Behind the Bookcase

The Nothing’s Child

Zack, Zack Goldman, pleased to meet you. I’m a runner. I know you don’t know what that is. It’s better if I just show you.

See this wire? Ya this one here coming out of my arm. This is my connection to the net. You probably don’t know that one either. I’ll get to that.

There was a time when wireless was the way to go. Everything connected in what they used to call clouds. The world was easier then.

Then we found true virtual reality. Jammed that shit straight into our brains. Wireless wasn’t fast enough. We’re talking full on change in perception of worlds here. The MMOs that people used to play were immersive, you were part of their world. Kid’s play.

The net changed all that. World Dynamics created the first neural net. A virtual world built in the user’s mind. Sure it was electronic and computers were a key component. Hell, you have to have a deck as part of your interface. But when you are logged into the net, the physical world is the world your programming creates.

Sure, it’s all still data, nothing but 1s and 0s. It’s your user interface that sets the stage and builds the world you see. Like I said, I’m a runner. In the old world they might have called me a hacker. I specialize in data retrieval.

And I’m late. So if you will excuse me, I have work to do.

The Nothing's Child

Flickr Creative Commons via Steve Johnson
License

A cold hiss of energy crackled through my head as I plugged in to the terminal. The physical world melted away as my scripts went to work. I custom designed my deck and the apps that work with it.

It seems pretty standard to me but the poseurs don’t get it. If you don’t have scripts set to work automatically when you first jack in, you get lost in the data stream. You just left the physical world, your mind needs an anchor, something to normalize the world you see.

Greybunny35 wants me to meet up with her. Back in the 90s, chatrooms were all the rage. You could find anything there. The Gathering Hall wasn’t much different. A public space to meet up, anyone can get there. It’s a bit like heading out to a shopping mall on a Saturday. At least that’s what I heard anyway. The place is filled with teenagers and anything and everything is for sale.

With all the technology at our disposal you would think finding someone wouldn’t be all that hard. Thing is, if a good runner doesn’t want to be found, there is no way in hell you are going to find that runner.

I throw up a private chat and send out a beacon. Shouldn’t be long before she shows up anyway. I know what you’re thinking. How can I have real privacy? How do I keep from being traced, when I am wired in?

This is something the poseurs never seem to learn. They spend all their money buying the latest and greatest deck, something prebuilt. The runners, ya, we know better. Custom build is the only way to go. Factory settings are a joke. Spyware comes standard on the prebuilts. The corps are watching.

Greybunny35 stepped through the door to my private room. Always throws me off when I see her. As natural as the surroundings feel, she changes it all. My user interface is pretty straight forward. I didn’t go in for the odd fantasy look or anything like that. I have always been partial to something more like the old detective serials.

If I thought my mind could handle black and white I would code that in. As it is I see everything in living color with a 1950s slant. I don’t know how she does it though. Tall, leggy, long blonde hair done up in a bun with chopsticks holding it in place. She’s wearing a long red silk dress, slit up the side, all the way to the top of her thigh.

Thing is I shouldn’t see her like that. She’s out of place for my user defined, virtual world. Interactions are coded by my programming. She’s able to work past my visuals and assert her own. Not that I’m complaining. I like the view. But damn she has some mad skills.

“I have a job for you.” Her voice is low, throaty. It makes me glad I gave up chasing net whores a while back. The things she could do to me…

“This a normal crew? Snatch and grab?”

She tucked a loose lock of hair behind her ear. “Need you to run interference.”

Interference was a cake gig. Spend some time wreaking havoc in a corporate playground so a crew can do a real world run. But this was Greybunny. Her gigs were never cut and dry.

“They’re paying 5000 over your usual fees.” She didn’t tell me that to entice me. She knows my fees, they aren’t cheap. This is a big job and they know it, or they’re stupid. Shit like that usually means big time corporate raid.

“Passcodes? Or am I making code on the fly?”

“What do you think?”

“Who they hitting?”

###

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