Rainbow (pt. 9)

Part eight in the Rainbow series:

Rainbow (pt. 1)
Rainbow (pt. 2)
Rainbow (pt. 3)
Rainbow (pt. 4)
Rainbow (pt. 5)
Rainbow (pt. 6)
Rainbow (pt. 7)
Rainbow (pt. 8)


Laying back in her capsule apartment, Sonorous’ mind wanders. After a successful walk she’d often go out, dance, get high, go home with someone, her body feels so much more vibrant after being separate from it, but Feral’s offer had stuck with her.
They say that life in the undercity is outside of corporate reach, but anyone with reach beyond their next high knew this wasn’t the case. You didn’t know who the players were most of the time, but the game never stops and every last dollar trickles upwards eventually.
The drive with her payment was plugged in beside her, her payment in one of the multitudes of private currency’s made it untraceable to anyone without huge amounts of supplementary information. It could have come from any of the major players, corps from above or gangs from below.
Her pay was enough to keep her feeling lush for a couple months, she wouldn’t be going back to Leon’s again. It had seemed like she’d finally broken through the barrier stopping her from finally getting to chase Dvorovoi, and in a way she had. As a Netwalker she could be rich until her sudden but inevitable death trying to crack what she shouldn’t. Unfortunately, she had no leads. Dvorovoi was ten years ago, and hidden behind so many layers of firewalls and dead-ends, it’d be hard proving definitively that it ever happened.
Jazz had said it out loud, but Sonorous had already known she was just wasting her time treading water, the only difference to before was that now she was in a deeper pool. No-one wasted their time freelancing as Netwalkers or Genefreaks, the cost and risks just weren’t worth it for just the money. Anyone worth their salt was following a passion of some description, that was the true power the players held in the game. It wasn’t just money, anyone could get rich with skill, drive and a pinch of luck, what they controlled was knowledge and power.
Right now she was just a piece, a pawn at that. Feral’s boss had offered her the chance to reach the end of the board. She’d still just be a piece in the bigger game, but with more options open to her. The cost was the increased visibility, and being answerable to someone other than herself, someone with an agenda.

Sonorous.

The message like a ghost whispering her ear alerted her to someone attempting to contact her over the net. Waving her hand, with a gesture and a thought brings the conversation to the front of her view, the simple black text identified the message as from Alcatraz even without any of the usual signifiers that go with contact.
Old fashioned enough in his aesthetic to qualify as archaic, Alcatraz still favoured plain text as his medium for communication over more popular audio or video chat. It was one of the things Sonorous found intriguing about him.

Yeah, what’s going on?

She knew better than to waste time with pleasantries or games of deception with Alcatraz, he’d taught her that lesson back when she was still studying to walk with Faith. Laying subtle clues in their conversation he’d baited her into thinking he was a syndicate assassin for years until she realised he’d been pretending to be Yasu, a character from some manga she’d never even heard of.
Whoever he was, he was clever enough not to be found by her so easily.

Did you walk?

She’d often wondered if he knew who she was on real side, she’d certainly left enough clues in her early attempts to establish herself in the undercity. It gave him the power in their friendship but she wouldn’t have made it this far without his help, so she couldn’t grudge him too much for it.

Yeah, were you worried about me?

She teased him, but that three word question was all Sonorous expected to get from Alcatraz. The culminating moment of their years long friendship from the Miserable Club vandilism that brought them together til now. She had to wonder if friendship was entirely the right word to describe their relationship, he felt more like a colleague or a much older sibling she’d never really gotten to know. There was a connection, even some affection, but distance. Oceans of distance.
The pause between her message and the one he answered with was long and ponderous, following the theme of their usual conversations she expected him to abruptly shift to whatever completely unrelated subject he wanted her opinion on, but instead he continued.

You made it here in ten years. It felt hard, but the journey this far was the easy bit. With only two options, to move keep going or stop. From here you’ll need more conviction to keep moving forward. Whatever it is that got you this far, that alone won’t be enough to take you any further. What are you going to do next?

That was… very personal, coming from Alcatraz. The most he ever spoke about was topics pertaining to technology, hacking, or the like. She almost closed the conversation in surprise, getting a whole sentence from Alcatraz about the real side was considerable, this was something else entirely.
Realising she was faltering, she tried to respond but found that it wasn’t just the surprising shift from him that tripped her up, she also didn’t know what the answer was.
Had it truly been ten years? She hadn’t been tracking the time since she was always either working or studying, now that he mentioned it, ten years did sound about right. Ten years with nothing to show about Dvorovoi. Alcatraz was right, that dream had been enough to get her here, but just wanting… no, needing to know wouldn’t be enough. She needed a way to get closer to Dvorovoi corporation.
And, of course, as true as his words were, the precision and timeliness of Alcatraz’s message seemed to carry an ulterior motive.

What would you suggest?

Alcatraz’s message disappears, in it’s place an olive skinned man appears on the screen something strangely familiar to him, “Perhaps it’s time we met.”

Author: Zairron

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

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