Rainbow (pt. 6)

Part six in the Rainbow series:

Rainbow (pt. 1)
Rainbow (pt. 2)
Rainbow (pt. 3)
Rainbow (pt. 4)
Rainbow (pt. 5)


How was it?

Alcatraz’s message appears in the corner of the tablet. The only social interaction Sonorous engaged in beyond Faith were the friendships she forged over online. The community of hackers convened in hidden corners of the network. These forums are invite only. Sonorous had received hers from Alcatraz after vandalising the online hangout of the slum gang the Miserable Club.
He, at least she assumed they were a guy, was one of her most trusted contacts within the community. Heavily involved in a number of forums, he had been invaluable to her for establishing a presence in the undercity. Among others he had given the suggestion to contact Faith as a teacher and the first person she’d told about the lesson.

Like nothing else

Lingering exhaustion broke her focus clouding her thoughts like cobwebs. The sentinel’s coding ordinarily would be a simple task now frustratingly difficult. The desire to procrastinate and chat the catalyst that drove her to stubbornly, but ineffectively push on. Attempting to remain focused on the goal of earning the money to return for her next lesson, she continues to discover her mind and eyes wandering towards those messages. Three days working over night behind her, logic told her she would need a week before she had both the money as well as the time to recover in time.
In the back room of Leon’s All Needs Boutique the warehouse is alive with all manner of mechanical creations, organised like the aftermath of a storm. Collections of Drones, Sentinels, Appliances and Computers rows deep. Any product someone in the city is willing to throw away can be found here. Most of the products in the back room are non-functional, or at least only operate for their designated owner. As permanent a fixture as the building itself, Leon rules his kingdom with an iron will. Having augmented his memory he is capable of perfectly tracking everything aspect of his store like it were an extension of his own body. Paid based on some internal logic only known to Leon while largely left to their own devices, as far as work in the slums can be the job is far from the worst.
Wall mounted security turrets monitor the workers. From the storefront Leon can be heard cajoling a customer into the purchase of something undoubtedly useless. Looking away from the screen for a moment, Sonorous rubs her weary eyes. Looking around her, her fellow workers are focused on their screens with a variety of levels of focus. She had worked with most of them for the entirety of her time here but many of them she didn’t even know their names. The kind of worker that Leon preferred were the desperate. One of the girls who’s name she knew, Nico Escobar, was addicted to Simulacrum. A second life simulation game, it projected the user into the world of the game. The scars beneath her eyes proof of unmoderated use. She could understand the appeal of the game for those who lived in the slums, at the same time it still disgusted her.

And Faith?

The alert sounds in her ear, drawing her attention back to the screen. The message from Alcatraz causing her to smile.

Very interesting woman

The diplomatic answer a small test for information about Alcatraz’ relationship with Faith. Only knowing each other through the network, like most hackers their lives in the physical world were taboo topics for conversation. The cat and mouse games, teasing out secrets with deduction and manipulation a favourite part of Sonorous’ online friendships.
Already confident that Alcatraz were a man, that he likely had augmentations of his own due to a syndicate relationship. She couldn’t be certain of any of her suspicions, relying on intuition until he lets slip something concrete. The thread that can allow her to unravel the mystery.

When are you visiting her next?

She smirks, he already holds so many more cards than her in the game. Finding her on the back of her search for a teacher, before they even spoken he had the advantage. Giving her Faith was just another clue for him. It’s possible he could have already found her, if he felt inclined. Perhaps they had already spoken in person, unbeknownst to her. As fun as the game could be, it could prove dangerous in the future. Netwalkers lived and died on anonymity after all.
Before she replies with something thoughtlessly, Sonorous takes a moment to assess. Straight from the network training into three straight days of work with hardly any sleep, she’s cognisant enough recognise the danger in continuing the conversation. The question was audacious, the best option is to shut it down before she makes a mistake.

Soon. 

The answer marked the end of that conversation, an yield in that exchange. The tension in her head and shoulders has begun to pass the limits of her endurance. Collecting in the nape of her neck, tugging continuously on her scar and showing the symptoms of her fatigue as a tremble in her hands.
Releasing a slow, measured breath she closes the program she’s working on. Packing away her belongings and returning her equipment she scans her subdermal identification chip, opening the door out onto the street. None of the other workers even look up as she goes.
Rolling her neck and shoulders, she steps into the artificial sunlight that simulates the early morning. The glare of the natural inspired lighting forces her to squint hatefully as the light aggravates the pain in her head. She’d gone too long without sleep, even with the aid of Punk Onyx she can’t go indefinitely. Usually a couple weeks were no problem, the dive must have had a more serious effect on her body than she’d anticipated.
Arriving at her capsule Sonorous ignoring the population of poor families, single business men and junkies, locks herself inside. The sounds of the world outside are immediately silenced, but rest remains just out of reach for hours of restless  weariness until the drug is finally passed from her system.

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

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