J Bov Explodes Rhetorically


ALL ‘RODES LEAD TO ROAM™ #2
23/09/2011, 1:55 AM
Filed under: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This is a big ugly link back to part 1.

Cadejo was pacing. Cadejo always paced. You could tell how agitated he was by the amount of steps he took between each about-face and I often wondered if there was a way to annoy him enough that he’d spin in place like he was in a microwave oven. I imagine he’d turn a similar colour in both situations, too.

I sat in one of his uncomfortable foam office chairs, watching him skitter back and forth like I was watching a game of tennis, and waited. My hand was in my coat pocket, nervously fingering the ‘board Jackson had given me before I got called to the office.

“It’s those darn kids, again.” He finally spluttered, mercifully dropping into his own comfortable-looking leather chair and sighing. “They really stepped in the dog-doo this time.”

‘Just fucking swear, Sarge, it’s good for you!’ I didn’t say. What I did say was, “Kids?”

He leaned forward, elbows on his desk and sat back in the chair again in one swift movement. Only Tec-Sec’s Sergeant Eddie Cadejo could find a way to pace while sitting down.

“Those punk kids, the Gamers, they hack private networks to play their stupid little games. Well now they’re in real trouble.” He seemed genuinely excited at the prospect. Fully aware of what ‘those punk kids’ did for fun, I just stared at him until he continued.

“This time they jacked the internal service network of Remus Tech.” He got up and began pacing again, but this time he was smiling. If he was more inclined to the theatrical like Jackson I imagine he’d be literally wringing his hands with glee.

“We never catch them, though.” I chose to address his quartz paperweight rather than follow him around the room with my head this time. “Why is this time any different?”

He stopped, turned, regarded me and then practically skipped back to his desk to point at his computer screen.

“Because they just logged in! Remus Golems noticed them immediately and called it in.”

I stopped messing around with my semi-legal new ‘board and pulled my rolling gear from my pocket. As I rolled I asked him the question I knew he wanted me to ask.

“Why,” I licked the gum strip on the paper and tapped the cigarette on his desk, “would Remus Tech’s own Golems not shut them down immediately?”

They wanted us to catch these kids. They wanted them in the cells until they could sue them properly. So they gave them a wide berth on the network and called us, hoping we’d get there in time. That’s what Cadejo was saying, significant slower than I had thought it. They were sending out a clean-up crew, including me.

“You’re sending me because I need to get my footwork hours in, for my promotion.” I gave up playing twenty questions. I already knew all this.

“We’re sending you, too, because you…” He trailed off and gave me an annoyed look. I lit my cigarette and focussed on the paperweight. “Fine. Go to the bays now.” He began a wider path in his pacing, more relaxed now he’d palmed this one off on me. I set off for the parking bays.

On the drive to Remus Technologies’ enormous and ornate headquarters I thought about what was about to happen. I liked these kids. I’m part of the reason we’d never caught them. What can I say? Good adversaries are hard to find over the Grid, and this group were the best in The City. Only one had ever beaten me in a game before, but they put up a good fight.

One grunt nudged the identical aerogel armour of the one to his right and gestured my way. A wordless ‘what’s his deal?’ I payed no attention, I was decking in with my *Roam™ powered portable Grid-visor™*. Checking on Remus’ Golems.

Every major company has Golems. They patrol the networks night and day looking for intruders and kicking them out, sometimes with severe penalties. Since Remus Tech controlled the Roam™ system their Golems even had the power to ban you from being online at all, at least on all Remus owned services. Unfortunately that included the Grid; the fate of the internet of old, after Remus got their grubby mitts all over it, and ‘nothing happens off the Grid’ as the ads scream proudly. You had to be particularly malicious and stupid to get caught and full-service Hammered though. It didn’t happen often.

Using my Tec-Sec ID code I forced the Golems to give up the exact coordinates of the intruders, which I relayed to the captain of the little crew of officers. Then, using a little Remus ID I hacked up, I also forced them to leave me alone for a little while. I had to warn my adversaries in time for them to log out and scarper; it wouldn’t do to let them feel the full brunt of Remus’ legal team. Or teams, as it were.

“Hands off your tackle and eyes open. We’re here.” The captain called as the van rolled to a gentle stop.

Shit.