Tales of Y.T. is an ongoing creative writing piece. Since I have no real schedule for this writing I decided to move it from the blog into pages so it is easier to find. Below is the complete “Tales of Y.T.” that will be updated each time I add something new.
The air was crisp and abnormally clean today. In fact it was the first day in over two weeks there wasn’t a SevAIR alert. Inhaling deeply she got down to the business at hand. Just like a shooter holds their breath for the second before firing she was holding hers without even realizing it. Reaching up to her face she closed her eyelid and brushed the back of her index finger from the inside of the lid to the outside. Wanting zero distractions to interrupt her concentration the contact that normally fed her a barrage of information was turned off. Under normal circumstances it would have been put into a rest mode of sorts that still fed critical updates but now was not the time.
He watched her as she turned her head and focused on the couple across the Space broke away from conversing with each other and began talking in Slango. Obviously they didn’t want their conversation overheard. With laser focus she watched their hands. Slango was a language unto itself. Although it isn’t really a language at all, more like an interpretation of intention.
Having been one of the developers of the air motion technology it was like second nature. She watched the series of hand motions. Swipes, flicks, simulated taps, and a variety of other motions that gave various commands to the unseen receivers catching the smallest vibrations and sending the interpretations to the other person’s Contac. It was really all just meta but if you watched close enough you could gather enough information about the information being sent that you didn’t really need to see it. The current part of their conversation was heavily referencing several databases. Not just any database either. They referenced PepID several times. Usually the only time people needed to access that one anymore was to find someone who had gotten lost or had been misidentified. For the most part finding someone was as simple as feeding a name into your Contac. That combined with your personal meta cloud was usually sufficient to locate just about any person on earth.
Their silent conversation continued. He watched her in amazement as she worked. He marveled at her focus. Only now and then she made a small gesture with her own hands. He didn’t know what it was but assumed she was taking notes. He had seen her shut off her own feed and knew she wasn’t responding to something.
The couple immediately stood up and shook hands and departed in different directions. He watched her close her right eye again and reach up with the back of her finger. This time instead of a simple swipe across the back of her lid she did a small series of motions. The feed came alive. She immediately pushed all her offline notes together and with a slight flick of the wrist it was uploaded to her feed.
Multiple indexes jumped up before her eyes. Then the stream really started. One of the solid pieces of information she was able to pull from the Slango was name, Johan. That was easy because there was a clarification between the two people over the spelling. “It’s a good thing neither of them were left-handed” she said absent mindedly. Slango was interesting because there were some universal gestures and some custom that were unique to just the user. However just like any other language it all just comes down to a series of repetitive actions. Once understood or in this case felt they could be translated.
She pushed the report to him with a gentle hand motion. Anyone in the vicinity could pick up that queue and would know she was sending him information. “Sent you the info” She said even though she knew it was already in his Contac.
She watched with silent fascination as he read the report. She could see the subtle lines in his face change from relaxed to tense. It took him all of two minutes to read the outline. To read all the information would take a good two days. Most of the information was extraneous and was just included for the benefit of the client. It was always better to give them more information. For some reason people seemed to put a higher value on more. From experience she knew that the summary was almost always more than enough. But this was about value. She charged 10 billion credits for those ten minutes of information gathering. Although well over five years salary for most people it was her fee. So far every client had been satisfied and when she had started including the extended information dump her reviews had skyrocketed. It was good to have happy clients she mused. Deep down she knew it didn’t really matter because there weren’t many people who could fluently interpret Slango without some sort of auxiliary device. Those devices were basically worthless now because most people had a vibe block that alerted them to people listening to their airspace.
He gave a small turn of his mouth to the upward position. “Thank you. I will be sure to submit a review”. He pushed a small card across the table which she immediately picked up and read. The moment she looked at she also received a notification that the funds had been dumped into her account. Transaction complete.
“Right on” she said as she got up from the bench and dropped her board to the ground. “Later gator” she said as she sped away. She didn’t have to look back to know the look that was on his face as she had seen it many times and why “Later gator” was a constant in her vocabulary.
As she stood in front of the elevator she paused briefly before answering the prompt in her Contac. There was a grid of old fashion looking elevator buttons. The kind they used to have back in the good old days. The one big difference was this was only visible to her. This morning when she woke up she had side loaded a small program she wrote a few years back that gave tech a truly retro look. She was mildly amused at the big round back-light circles with a bold number on each one. Baby tech still fascinated her. Probably because it was so base. Since she went with the retro program today it actually required her to reach out and make contact with a button. Normally her TaC would guide her right to the correct floor and even to the very cubicle in the building bypassing the need for the extra user interaction. The corners of her mouth moved upward as she reached her hand into the empty space and pressed the button only she could see. For a brief second she considered the people around her and what they might think was happening. Then she smiled fully because she didn’t care.
Stepping forward as the doors slid open in front of her she smiled again because she recognized immediately that out of everyone waiting for the elevators she was the only one going to the 42nd floor. Lucky her! It was an impossibly rare event to ride one alone. It did make perfect sense though as the whole of the floor she was going to was occupied by just one person. Stepping into the elevator she was suddenly overcome with a sense of Deja vu. Impossible! She had never been to this building before. Let alone here with the retrogram running. Seeing the lever and old brass fittings confirmed the impossible nature of the deja vu. Yet she couldn’t shake the feeling.
The motion was almost imperceptible as the elevator started moving up. Just then a random thought crossed her mind. If you ever wanted to fart in an elevator now was the time to do it. She could be so childish at some moments. Suddenly the elevator lurched unnaturally. In that moment time seemed to freeze. The big brass lever started moving to the full stop position. The lighting flickered and died as the elevator came to a grinding halt. That didn’t alarm her nearly as much as the fact that in that same instant her Contac completely went dark. In fact all the input to her neural net had gone completely dark.
How was that even possible? Her brain struggled to find answers. It just didn’t add up. Contac’s didn’t go dark, ever. The tech was powered by nanoization. In layman’s terms it was a special nanotech that created the cation and anion reaction that allowed most micro devices to be powered without hooking into a battery or wired source of electricity. The reality that her Contac had really gone dark hit as the the red glow from the emergency light faded into existence. Within a few millisecond she could see the huge number 40 appearing on all four walls. The fancy brass buttons were gone now. All she could see was the flat walls in the dim glow. Reaching her hand out she swiped at the red number that towered above her on all four walls. There was no resistance as her hand moved right through the red outline. However the number broke temporarily but as soon as her hand passed through it found it’s shape again and held it.
Emergency nanoplasma worked on a completely different equation. It is a well-known fact that nanoplasma can only work properly in the absence of nanoization. That is why it makes an excellent emergency light. The plasma will hold it’s shape and form until the power comes back on. The soft red light offering enough glow to see but not enough light to throw a shadow. She reached into one of the zippered pockets on her jacket’s sleeve and pressed the tiny button. Instantly her tech came back to life. Since she was on a contained power source it didn’t kill the nanoplasma glow. Her excitement of getting the Contac back online was short-lived as she saw the words NO SIG. She had been told this version would always have a signal. This couldn’t be possible. Closing her right eyelid she reached up made a counterclockwise circle three times with the knuckle of her index finger. As she opened her eyelid she was greeted with a LOCAL status. Well that was at least an improvement. Quickly she ran diagnostics. All external sensors and feeds were down completely.
There was a certain irony of being trapped in the elevator with no tech. She had started her day wishing to go retro but this was just like the dark ages. Without warning the elevator lurched again. She could feel she was going down at a rather rapid rate. Not so much by the motion itself but by that feeling in her stomach. The life-size 40’s on each wall stayed the same but that was a one time use program. Her Contac was still getting zero sensor data. How was that even possible for the elevator to be moving without a source of electricity?
There was no other option but to ride this out. Free falling. The lyrics from a very old song suddenly blared in her head.
Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up when I’m goin’ down
Love in an elevator
Lovin’ it up till I hit the ground
There was something more to that. She reached deeper into her brain for the next set of lyrics. On some deep intuitive level she knew there was some reason her brain was reaching for them. As the elevator fell her urgency only rose.
Gonna be a penthouse pauper
Gonna be a millionaire
I’m gonna be a real fast talker
And have me a love affair
Gotta get my timin’ right
It’s a test that I gotta pass
Like a ton of bricks it hit her. This was a test. Reaching her right hand to the pocket on her right thigh she pulled out the silver UFO looking object and rested her fingers into the depressions molded for her hand. Thrusting her arm into the air she squeezed her hand and a cord with magnetic dart went shooting into to the air. Instantly she could feel it making contact. A quick flick of the wrist and she felt her feet come off the floor.
Dangling from the ceiling she could no longer feel the sensation of motion. That feeling only lasted a brief moment before her body went flying to the ceiling. Her left shoulder made a heavy impact before being violently thrown back to the floor. This time however there was no impact. Just her dangling from the thin metal cord. Squeezing her thumb and pinky finger at the same time the dart detached from the ceiling, the cordage retreated to the housing, and she dropped to the floor. Shoving it in her pocket she reached up to her should which was on fire and rubbed it tenderly.
The lights came on and the large numbers dissipated. She was looking at the same elevator in all it’s retro glory as she had only a few moments prior. A few moments that had seemed an eternity. The doors started sliding open and she could immediately see she was not on the 42nd story. She was in fact deep in a parking garage. In front of the elevator doors stood Mr. Reuben. He smirked a bit as he said “Nice ride?” half question, half statement. “I have a job for you”.
Y.T. Gets a job
She glanced around the garage in hopes of a fast exit. The semi-circle of men stood behind Mr. Reuben with their hands clasped. Each man standing within arm’s reach of the next. Inside she could feeling the boiling cauldron of emotions starting to overheat. However, her face remained composed. This man sure had balls. By putting her through that test he showed his disregard for human life unless there was some benefit for him.
“You have not yet heard what the job is.” He stated with a calm and reserved tone.
“I don’t give a fuck what the job is.” she responded emphatically. The throbbing in her shoulder a constant reminder of what had just occurred.
Mr. Reuben looked her slowly up and down. “Ok, fair enough. I want you to find someone.”
“Like I said, not interested! If you want to hire me for my normal services then go through the proper channels.” She was starting to lose patience and was now only considering the best way to extricate herself from this situation. In the back of her mind she made a note that if he did happen to submit an official request she would deny it on principle alone.
“Very well. Might I suggest that you at least inquire about what I am offering for compensation.” His mouth curved into another smile as he flourished his hand and gave the smallest bow. “It has been a pleasure to meet you Ysolt.”
He even pronounced it correctly, EE-solt. Her mother had been a huge fan of classical literature and mythology. Isolde was character from Arthurian legends that her mother had been particularly fond of. Although she resonated with the meaning of the name which meant, fighting the ice battle. What was so rare is everyone, even her own mother, called her Y.T. The difference of pronunciation of the initials and the name always had everyone calling her why-solt.
The men behind Mr. Reuben parted as though they had been explicitly told Y.T. could leave. On the far side of the empty garage she could see the brightly labeled exit sign. Glancing over her shoulder she saw the elevator out of the corner of her eye. There was no way she was getting on that thing again. Meeting Mr. Reuben’s eyes one last time she decided against saying everything that was really going on in her head in favor of just getting out of there.
Half way across the expanse of the garage she heard his voice. “1 trillion credits” Mr. Reuben didn’t raise his voice to compensate for the distance. In fact the next thing sounded more like a whisper. “And a Bauble.” Y.T. stopped dead in her tracks. Her brain went into instant overload. She must have misheard him. Bauble. That was some serious tech. She had followed the military project since the information had gone public. Currently there were only five in the world. Research had told her that four out of the five were already assigned.
The Bauble was a short baton much like police batons from about 200 years ago except much shorter. A quick tap of the baton would transform it instantaneously into a full nano shield. 360 degrees of protection. Not just any kind of protection either, full nano protection. This shield could create a barrier invisible to the naked eye but capable of stopping a .50 caliber bullet. It also has modes for ultra privacy which will not allow your image to be captured. It can regulate the difference between ambient temperatures. Basically you can become invisible and invincible with it. The unbelievable part of the whole equation was that he was offering the last one to her. The Bauble is paired with both your DNA and cranial neuro map thus making it impossible to reassign or be used by any other individual.
Quickly she used her Contac to verify that there was really one remaining. The records had not been updated. She turned and looked at Mr. Reuben. “You want me to find someone, right?”
He nodded an affirmative to her. “Seems like you might be overpaying but who am I to judge.” she fired back sarcastically.
There was still a huge element of disbelief lingering. Yes, he was definitely rich and well-connected but to get that tech is a whole new level of being connected.
Y.T. was still contemplating and assessing the risk factors of the job. The test in the elevator had been the first indication of danger. The offer of a Bauble showed how serious Mr. Reuben was. Now it was her turn to look him up and down. He still had that cool arrogant air about him. A man completely in control of his own universe. Yet there was something niggling her in the back of her brain. Why, out of all the people he could choose, did he choose her? There had to be something else going on. Her warning lights went on again. Time to GTFO.
He must have read the look on her face because before she could turn to leave again he had pulled a black object from his pocket and was holding it up for her to see. It was a Bauble. The Bauble. The only one left unassigned. It was that moment of desire that pushed away all logical thoughts of danger and consequences in favor of having this tech.
“So let’s just be clear. I find the person and I get the Bauble and 1 trillion credits? Just for locating the person?” she asked.
“Yes, but you will have to keep line of sight on him until my people can get to you. In exchange I will give you the Bauble now and upon completion of the job I will transfer the credits.”
“Deal!” said Y.T.
As soon as the word came out of her mouth she realized she probably should have asked who she was searching for. Before she had time to think about it too much he was shaking her hand. Then he unceremoniously dropped the Bauble into her possession. “His name is Johan. I believe you already have a reference to him in your Contac.” With that he turned and entered the very same elevator she had just had just exited moments before. His men all followed. Just before the doors shut he said, “Oh and I do have a kill switch for the Bauble.” This totally took her off guard. None of the research had said anything about a kill switch. She made a note in her Contac to research it further.
“You can do it.” He said as the doors closed. She stood there alone in the garage staring down at the object in her hand. Should she go after him and try to return it? She already knew the answer and it didn’t bode well for her.
Flipping over the small black baton in her hand she place her thumb on the top and immediately felt a sharp prick followed by what felt like an electrical surge. She could feel the current rush up her arm and straight to her brain. The electrical buzz got stronger and stronger until she was literally seeing stars in front of her eyes. Her head felt like it might explode. Just when she thought it might cripple her it ended and everything went back to normal. She had read about this but the actual experience made the docs pale in comparison.
The Bauble was now bio-linked to her and her alone. Now for a quick test to see if she had the real thing. The nano tech had already assessed her brain and neurological patterns and bonded. All she had to do was think about what she needed and activate the baton. Invisibility, she thought and tapped the baton on the concrete barrier next to her. Everything felt just the same as before. She had to get out on the street and double check.
By the time she exited the garage she had already jacked into the city cam feed and geo-located all cameras that might catch her. She chose the four closest feeds. Finding one that pointed right at the garage exit she rewound the feed 10 seconds and watched. Sure enough she saw the door of the garage open but nobody came out. She smiled. Looking at a few other feeds she was satisfied that the cloaking aspect worked.
She couldn’t believe she actually had her own Bauble. She wanted to go show it off to some of her tech friends but decided to head back to her place and dig further into who this Johan person was. There was no time limit for this job just one goal, find Johan. She instructed her Contac to dig deeper into the extraneous research she had provided her client earlier. Y.T. also instructed it to do a full extensive history on Mr. Reuben. By the time she got home all the information should be on her server and sorted into something semi manageable.
Either she was the luckiest or most unlucky person, time would tell.
Removed from memory
By the time Y.T. arrived home her queue was maxed out. Everything over the 3 Teraflop limit wouldn’t be processed until she cleared out some of the current information. She immediately initiated her “work smarter” helper on her Contac. Within just a moment she could smell the fresh scent of coffee and instantly felt invigorated and ready to dig in.
First she began an extensive search of her previous client and both of the people she had observed discussing Johan. Next she submitted the search for Mr. Reuben. Once she had requested the information she immediately began scanning all the data. Most of what she was seeing was extraneous information the had no relevance. Then she ran a special piece of code that would cross reference any social connections any of these people might share. The program would not only scan every social networking site for those connections it would also aggregate geo location information.
Pulling her coffee cup out of the Processor she settled into her captain’s chair and threw her feet up on the desk.
“Preliminary Sort” She instructed the AI as she sipped on the fresh hot coffee.
“Autoarchive low level sort” The low level information was usually was usually so far removed from the central request that it could be safely offloaded to storage. It was extremely rare she ever referenced that information. As she thought about it she realized she never utilized anything from her low level sorts. The AI was that good. Maybe it was time to tell the AI to just trash that low level stuff from now on.
“Owl, from now on all low level sort items…” as she said this her voice tapered off. She read the blurb on her Contact
Coded link db34 in PepID has been removed from memory.
This was a first. She had never seen anything removed from memory before.
“Prioritize external references to db34”
Immediately multiple records appeared. Removing her feet from the desk she leaned forward as if getting closer to the screen would get the information into her brain faster.
“Highlight record reference” Instantly she could see the same message in each record where the data was supposed to be.
Coded link db34 in PepID has been removed from memory.
“Search everything for this error” This meant she would again have to expand past the data she had already downloaded.
“Then compare to records currently highlighted.”
Taking another sip of the coffee she leaned back a bit.
“Ask House Of Static if anyone has heard of links being removed from memory at PepID” The House of Static was what her hacker group assembled under. It was a fast way of asking all the brainiacs out there at once.
The timer told her it would be a little over three hours before it would be finished. Already Y.T was starting to get bored with sitting still and doing the mundane tasks. All she really wanted to do was go show off her new Bauble to her friends.
Normally Y.T. could care less how she looked or what people thought of her but today was different. Today she had a grand entrance to make. She grabbed her Spectrapolish from the counter. On first glance it looked like an old fashion hand mirror, a dusty one at that. She immediately wiped the dust from the mirror with a quick brush of her shirt sleeve. As she powered it on the wand ejected from the handle of the mirror. The first reflection on the screen was her as she looked right now. With a soft glance to the right the mirror began to scroll through different hair styles and colors. Giving her a real time view of exactly how it would look.
She settled on a brilliant teal color with large soft curls. To confirm she tapped the wand on her hair. In less than 1 millisecond her style was transformed. Gotta love that nano technology. She winked at the “matching nails” option on the mirror and tapped the wand to her thumbnail. Instantly her nails were a glossy teal color. Slotting the wand in the handle of the mirror she was shown her current “as is” reflection. Satisfied and already over it she powered the Spectrapolish off.
She grabbed her board and head off.