Saturday, March 08, 2008

I also dabble in Science Fiction.

Horatio bent down to pick up the coin Jack had thrown at him. His fingers curled around the silver and electronic currency and he closed his eyes to access Google. He sent the command from his neuro-cannular shunt to the wireless pack strapped to his belt. Horatio scanned from side-to-side, looking for some free internet access, and found it fast; he brought up Google and inquired the RFID tag the coin was broadcasting. It came up unregistered, and the closest ten results to the arfid number were all different owners -- only then did Horatio decide it was clean enough.

"That'll do?" barked Jack, breaking the silence and forcing Horatio to open his eyes and refocus on the Real World. He minimized Google.

"Yes. Fill it up then bring it back to me. And I need not remind you, but if you so much as upload one extra bit, you will receive nothing." Horatio tried scowling, and thought he pulled off a passable job.

"It wouldn't do either of us any good 'Ratio. Dont' worry," Jack said, semi-concilliatory.

"Something I'm required to do, friend." Horatio crouched, then finally sat on the curb. He handed the coin back to Jack, who handed it to a street urchin in her early teens. She ran up the alley a few buildings then darted in somewhere to the left.

"You know how little I like being out in public," said Jack conversationally, "This won't take but a few moments." He tugged on his too-big blazer, looking to make sure it came down below his knees.

Horatio, in return, stretched backwards to make sure his own pistol poked him in the vertebrae. Both men shook out their hands at their sides, and tried vainly to look like a part of the alley.

The urchin reappeared from the shadows of brik-a-brack, running directly for Jack. She stopped just long enough to shove something in his hand, then sprinted toward street-side.

Jack and Horatio met eyes for the dozenth time that night, locked for at least a few seconds before Horatio held an upturned right hand. Jack dropped his gaze to the hand for another full moment, and gave 'Ratio his coin.

Horatio closed his hand around the coin and brought back Google. It was the same ID, that was positive. Horatio concentrated a little longer and found the secondary ID. It matched too. Then he sent a request to scan and verify the hash key. The final match made, and his paranoia satisfied, he queried the coin's worth. The results were emblazoned on his retinas.

He shut the 'can, and opened his eyes, smiling. "Here's the address." He pulled a business card out of his shirt pocket and gave it to Jack, who had no shunt, no dermal contacts embedded in his fingertips, no wireless belt pack, and in fact no upgrades whatsoever.

Jack did have a pad, however, and pulled it from an inside pocket to tap out the address. It verified itself as a temporary internet address with a three-hour timeclock, starting the moment the webpage was accessed. "Very well, 'Ratio," Jack nodded, "Always a pleasure."


They shook hands a final time and left in opposite directions.
Creative Commons License
This work by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

No comments: