The cable connected directly to a small circular port at the base of the neck, a quick turn, a sharp pain, and it locked into place.

[WKUP] Wake up initiated [ACK] Request for handshake acknowledged. Handshake started. New Organic Hardware Found. Initialise Reference Driver v0.91 Beta. Compatible Protocol Request Initiated / Protocol v.HICP42 agreed. Negotiating baud rate / 64gbps agreed. Stress Link test initiated. Link test Failed. Downgrade baud rate / 32gbps agreed. Stress Link test initiated. Link test pass. [SECREQ] Security Request Accepted. Digital fingerprint sent. [SECPASS] Security Pass received. Public Encryption key received. Human Interface Direct Link Established. Optical and Audio input disabled.

Glide rail stops. Doors open, the girl exits, elegance. Red dress, white training shoes. Long hair, blonde. Bright red lipstick. Blue eyes. Daylight, station busy. Norton stands behind ticket booth. He sees her. Follows.

/ edit environment : make night / focus girl / edit dress : make black / edit shoes : black high heels / edit clothing : add stockings / update / review.

Glide rail stops. Doors open, the girl exits, elegance. Black dress, black high heel shoes. Long hair, blonde. Bright red lipstick. Blue eyes. Night, station busy. Norton stands behind ticket booth. He sees her. Follows.

DAMN! / edit scene : remove ancillary people / update / review.

Glide rail stops. Doors open, the girl exits, elegance. Black dress, black high heel shoes. Long hair, blonde. Bright red lipstick. Blue eyes. Night, station empty. Norton stands behind ticket booth. He sees her. Follows.

/ apply memory fragment SMOKE1 / apply profile fragment differences / update / transpose output.

>> The glide rail stopped. Norton noticed the girl already at the door waiting to alight, her solitude made her an easy target. A customary pause as the safety locks disengaged and then the doors slid open.

His eyes were drawn to her stockings as her feet connected with the station floor. She had fine legs and he couldnít deny himself the pleasure after all this time.

She moved with grace and elegance as she walked across the platform and passing by him and the ticket booth. She must have been training for this as she had never before been able to hold herself so well, never mind walking in those high heels. Her hair was new too; long, slightly wavy, and blonde. He could have expected the length; she had always been partial to extensions, but the colour, that was a little odd.

The red lipstick was also out of character. She would never have worn red with black clothing, not against a backdrop of those deep blue eyes. Blues eyes that she said you would always get lost in like a boat on the ocean, not that either if them had ever seen the oceans. But, Em was strange like that, all the idiosyncrasies that made her the women he had loved.

Nortonís thoughts were interrupted as he watched in amazement her stopping, take a cigarette from her bag, brazenly light it, take and drag, and continue on her way.

Very peculiar, smoking had been illegal for thirty years now, what would make her break the law so openly, especially as she didnít smoke? He made a mental note to put all this new information through his personal roaming profiler as soon as he got a moment to stop. Maybe that would give him some new clues as to the women she now was.

He gave her a few moments, and then started to follow.

/ stop / save fragment as SCENE 5 / exit /

Optical and Audio input enabled. Human Interface Direct Link dropped.

It had been ten cycles since Sam had invented the Human Interface, and not a day had not gone by without him spending some time jacked up to it; recording his memories, dreams, or imaginative thoughts.

He had stumbled across the plans for the technology in his fathers notes stuck at the bottom of a filing cabinet. Sam and his wife Clara had been clearing out his fatherís office after heíd died. His mother had said she wasnít up to it and thus the dreadful job had fallen to them; a lucky turn of events as it transpired.

It seemed his father had been working on a machine that would allow for the visualisation of a personís thought processes, following the notion that he would be able to help people that couldnít speak. The machine would convert what the person was thinking into vocal output. His father had always pursued causes that he believed to be noble; a character flaw Sam always thought. For some reason that Sam never knew, after twenty years of research heíd canned the idea. Despite the notes seemingly to be complete, the machine had never been made.

Sam was unable to resist a challenge and had been capable enough to quickly build the machine. Being a software engineer for the defence ministry he had been able to develop the drivers required for both sides of the hardware link, and he was therefore using the machine within six months of first finding the notes.

It hadnít been without problems, the drivers had crashed on more than one occasion, not usually a problem, but when one side of the hardware is connected to the brain, migraines and hallucinations tend to follow.

If was during a three centicycle stretch of migraines that Sam really started to understand the full extent of the device that his father had invented. A few modifications to the drivers, a few bug fixes, a few more decicycleís of re-working, and the Human Interface was finished. Along with a software suit that allowed the connected person to view, edit, copy, and output their memories and thoughts.

It had been Clara that had given him the final use for the device. He started to write e-novels; by merely recording his dreams, thoughts and memories, he was able to create complex and detailed stories, very quickly. He was now the biggest selling author that had ever lived. In just his short ten cycles he had sold more copies of his combined works than even Steven King had done in the entire previous century.

Norton followed the girl down the block, she hadnít turned once, so confident and intent in whatever task she was here to perform. He kept his distance though as he couldnít risk being rumbled.

The night remained quite except for the constant low ebb of the bio dome generator. Few remembered life without that sound constantly providing the ambience. A few glide cars swept passed, mainly taxis, few people dared be on the streets at this time of night.

Em turned into the alley after the coffee shop. This would be his chance, he knew that route well and she would likely be alone for the next few minutes, reasonably guaranteed this late at night. He took the blast pistol from his coat and broke into a run.

As he turned the corner she stood waiting for him.

"I was sure you were following me," she said.

"Well, well. This isnít how I intended this to work, never mind, I can change it during edit," he said raising the blaster.

"No Sam, not this way."

"Sorry Clara, all for the art, you know to much." He fired the blaster and watched her keenly as she fell to the floor; every little detail absorbed for later regurgitation. He stood over her body for a few moments to reflect on the women he had been married to for fifteen cycles, allowed any emotion he had left, to add to the character of Norton, and turned and left the alley. He knew he couldnít leave her alive, she suspected too much about how he obtained the material for his device.

Should make and interesting upload, he thought.

Human Interface Direct Link Established. Optical and Audio input disabled.

Written Without Prejudice
written without prejudice
Stories to go to bed with
stories to go to bed with

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