Chapter

"It is happening to me now. I can`t run away from them…"
She said it way too loud and was not happy about that. A man passing by, gave her a short glance, his eyes drilling deep into hers. She turned to look as he was going away, but it seems he was not paying more attention. Is it a riffle in that bag on his shoulder?
Some static in her ear.
"Calm down."
She could almost imagine a face of her friend from Metro.Comm.Net on the other side of the line biting her lip, trying to control the level of her voice. At least this was what silence "sounded" like.
"Calm down. You know they have a software that reacts on a stress level in someone`s voice, installed in all comm-lines."
Her voice, even modulated with a small piece of hardware bought on illegal market, hand made and put in her communicator by seller himself, was supposed to cover and hide few things while using ever-on-alert network of Metro.Net, sounded weird in her ear. She was amazed of a self control her friend developed after years working in Metro.net.
"And try not to do anything stupid…"
"But they are around me and I can feel them. I can`t see them, of course, but I can feel them all the time… When I turn on a stereo, when I use my computer, drive my car… everything is strange… Even as we speak now…"
"This communication is secure as long as we are not taking it too long. I will need to disconnect in…28 seconds. I will call you tomorrow, same time. If you are not available, then just…"
"I know what to do."
Pause.
"Ok, then. I will call you."
The line was dead before she even tried to say anything. Well, she didn`t even know what to say. She was able to control her paranoia and go through everyday life without leaving suspicious traces. But two months ago something happened. Suddenly, something was wrong. What triggered that? Something she bought on illegal market, software she used for forbidden purpose, something she said over comm-line…? She didn`t know. But suddenly everything changed. She was doing the same things that she did for last 5 years. As she was told, because it was her task in a group. To stay away from "publicity" as much as possible. Until her time comes. But subconsciously, she felt some flaws in lot of usual things she did. The feeling is as if someone was looking at her over the shoulder. Once it started, felt like it was constant. She started to pay more attention, even checked and re-checked all about the perfect public image she built for herself. Everything… but one thing.
Her friend in Metro.Comm.Net
They never met before because it was not meant to happen. Not until time for it comes. Paranoia attack kicked hard; what if her friend is someone who serves as "hunter", someone who is payed to hunt down people like her? Someone who doesn`t even have to be payed… a software installed on intelligent servers in Metro.Comm.Net…
With that thought in mind, she turned to a backstreet passage, a shortcut to her small appartment. Sounds of city traffic and lights stayed behind her but it was not completely dark. There was enough light to see a concrete walls on both sides and empty cans and bottles all over the place. Enough light to see a man entering passage in front of her. She stopped. It was something strange in a way he was looking at her direction, then he slowly moved toward her. His right arm lifted a bit, a dim reflection from something he held. She turned to go back but the other one was standing on the only way out of this trap…
She looked at him again, fear rising in her stomack, mouth dry.
"Don`t," he said, "there is no way you can…"
His chest exploded from something shiny pushing it`s way through. He tried to say something more but a hand came out of darkness behind, covering his mouth. Shiny thing dissapeared from men`s chest and he slowly fall down the wall. Behind him, she could not see properly, was another man. The one that looked at her on a street just a few minutes ago. He was looking at her again…
The man behind her!!! She turned to look – he was still there but looked somehow… unplugged… like in a deep trance…
"Don`t worry about him. It`s android. Metro.Comm.Net always send their assets in pairs. A Master and a Puppet. A Master has a special way of maintaining communication with Puppet, something implanted in his brain. Now, when a brain is dead, a Puppet is kinda lost."
She was still unable to say anything. Shock from seeing a man killed in front of her tied her tongue in a knot. But her thoughts were fast. She looked at thing he was holding, looked like a sword, covered with blood. A sword. A sword… A sword!?
He must have seen expression on her face because he started to talk again.
Metro.Comm.Net has alerting devices all over the city and they can locate any usage of electro-magnetic weapon in a matter of seconds. Even the firearms. Even if it is silenced. So I am using this to ice them." He already wiped a blade and put it in his long bag.
"Hurry, we must leave now, soon they will realise it was not malfunction in connection. They will send tactical forces and this is the last place you would like to be when they arrive…"
He was holding her arm, pulling her out of passage.
"Here, this way…"


illustration by Philip Straub, found here;

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67 Responses to Chapter

  1. Furie says:

    Ooo, what happens next? :coffee:

  2. sanshan says:

    They kiss of course.

  3. KYren says:

    James Boon! :p

  4. gdare says:

    Mik, I don`t know, I will have to write the rest of it :PSan, not necessarilly… Well, maybe later… :PKyren, never heard of him before πŸ˜€

  5. Suntana says:

    Heyyy! A photo of Los Angeles, California. :insane:So, is this story about the new, tougher, more brutal Customer Service tactics in the future? So, in the future they no longer send you multiple notices of an overdue payment? They just plain ole basically hunt you down … with Swords and Rifles? Okay, so you have to write the rest of the story, Darko.But, you DO have an idea of where it's going … right? :eyes: Here and there I've read stories on the OC whereby they start off with enough action of a Movie Trailer in the first 1 to 3 chapters and then suddenly the direction is lost. :doh:

  6. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by KYren:

    He's a Boon to women.

    Sounds good to me.

  7. KYren says:

    We aren't supposed to know much about him. He's Boon to women. That's all we know till now.

  8. Spaggyj says:

    I like. How many more chapters will there be?

  9. gdare says:

    Actually, I got the idea for the story when I heard a young woman saying "It is happening to me now. I can`t run away from them…" in Wednesday afternoon, when I was going to training after job. She was stressed and I could hear that clearly, so I looked at her πŸ˜€ I thought it could be a nice start of an short story so I remembered it and spent some time in Friday thinking about writing it. I did it after coming home and finished within 2 hours. Completely in English :happy:For now I don`t have plans for writing more, but who knows what future brings us…. :psmurf:

  10. Aqualion says:

    Good stuff, man. Continue. You've got it in you. I suggest you write it in your own laguage too, because we non-english can't express ourselves properly in English, no matter how good we think we are. I am not saying this to dis your English skills. I'm just saying it, writer to writer, because I respect you. In respect for the story, I suggest you do a version in Serbian. You'll see what I mean.

  11. gdare says:

    Shandyyyy!!! :happy:

  12. edwardpiercy says:

    Well you know the ancient Greek saying — "Well begun, half done."Maybe something close to that. One-third done? In any case I think this is a good start. Or, it could actually be a short story with a little more development. IMO.You know we have TV programs here in the US like Criminal Minds where the FBI has this computer wiz who can find out (evidently) any bit of info about any person. Not just the name and address that is on their drivers' license, but their employment records, where they went to school, all newspaper articles concerning them, etc. etc.It seems okay while you are watching the show, because they are after all after some really bad people. But from a more objective point of view it's downright scary — A government that knows and who can follow anything about us. I sometimes wonder if this type of thing is sort of laying the groundwork for a government that in a few years will indeed be able to do that.

  13. edwardpiercy says:

    True. Even individuals can get a lot of info if they get lucky. If that is so, think what governments can do.I'm also reminded of V for Vendetta.

  14. gdare says:

    Martin, I know what you mean. I used to write in Serbian and then, if I wanted it posted here, translate some of it in English. But usually, I have a hard time translating because sentences doesn`t seem to fit the Serbian version. Don`t know, maybe I should do that and give my best translating it :left:Ed, you don`t have to be a computer wiz to find some basic facts about a person (and sometimes even more). Two days ago I read in some Croatian newspapers about a person who got promoted in Croatian TV to some higer position. Her second name sounded familiar to me so I did some research and have found that her husbands parents are people that I know, they lived in my mom`s village when I was young. I also found that I know her husband too, he was a kid when I saw him last time and now they have 3 kids. And this is just from some other newspapers and few photographs I have found on line. Someone with authorisation to access government or even police databases has way too much data available :left: They can create your psychological profile just like that!!! :ko:You know, I like the Blade Runner type of SF novels and movies – I think there are a lot of true things in them; I think it is our not so far future in them…

  15. gdare says:

    I should try to find that one :up:

  16. Furie says:

    Nevermind the fact that Matthew Broderick almost started World War III by hacking into NORAD using his 1980s home computer that has less memory than the earliest mobile phone you can remember. :up: The web is too powerful, maaaaan.

  17. gdare says:

    Yo, man!!! πŸ˜€

  18. Dacotah says:

    Darko, I hope you plan to write more in the future. Very well written. :up:

  19. Aqualion says:

    I used to work with journalism and, needless to say, journalists were some of the first to use the internet. I was online on a daily basis from 1991, professionally. After all, finding out stuff about people is what journalists do. I can't believe the development since then – in only 15 years. At this time I could probably find out things about you that you don't even know yourselves… But don't worry. I wouldn't. Why should I? None of you are World leaders or anything like that. That and because I love you.

  20. qlue says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    At this time I could probably find out things about you that you don't even know yourselves…

    I challenge you! :devil:.South Africans are virtually invisible on the Internet. Almost everything about me online is right here at My Opera! (and Google search history) So I would be amazed if you found anything interesting! :up:.Seriously, I'd like to see what you can discover! (I don't have many secrets and the ones I do have are merely slightly embarrassing! :p)

  21. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by qlue:

    I challenge you!

    Snap out of it already!You are probably right. Africa has always been Africa. Facebook is available to everybody, though, and has become a good source for people who have interests in finding out stuff about other people, and you and me are not the only ones with Facebook-accounts. Most Africans have access to mobile phones. Even if it doesn't mean owning your own handset, Africans even in the remotest parts have access to village phones. These enterprises, with airtime sharing services and the widespread useage of cash tranfer by phone has actually put Africans on the grid.If you really want me to do a full scale Personal Information Search, subject you, I would not do it in public like this. So, if you think it could be fun, and it actually might, please PM me. I'm in for some fun.

  22. claudeb says:

    Finally got around to reading it. Good work, Darko!My advice: do write in English, but recruit a native speaker to correct your grammar and phrasing. Then confront his version with yours. It will help you learn.So you do plan to develop this into a full-blown story? Right now it's a rather generic vignette, which is a good start, but nothing more. No offense. πŸ™‚

  23. qlue says:

    Sounds like a worthy experiment to me! :up:.

  24. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by qlue:

    So I would be amazed if you found anything interesting! .Seriously, I'd like to see what you can discover! (I don't have many secrets and the ones I do have are merely slightly embarrassing! )

    Maybe Martin will find out that you're really a big time Windows Fanatic, User & Lover in the confines of your home. You're probably founder and president of the Windows Forever Global Alliance.

  25. Aqualion says:

    I would most certainly never go public wΓ­th such a terrible revelation!;)

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    Computers are one thing. But telepathy is another. Because we all have those little dark places within our heads that we wouldn't want anyone to know about.If governments could know everything about everybody we might end up with a police state. But if people could read each other's minds civilization would collapse in 2 months.

  27. gdare says:

    Ed, you are right about telepathy :doh:

  28. gdare says:

    Wow, this is interesting, the way conversation goes here :DFor now, I can tell I have no plan of developing this story into something bigger but who knows, in future I might do that. Previous story I wrote here is still in my mind and I might develop that one too. Who knows, maybe one day I will be famous writer like Ed. At least among Opera friends :happy:It is amazing and sometimes scary what could be found about someone who spend some time on the Internet. Once, I was interested about finding stuff about one of the visitors of my blog. Using WHOIS for a beginning I could find facts about his provider, country and city of residence, even a part of town. Well, it still didn`t tell me personal data but if I wanted to go further, something would appear somewhere. Not that I was particularly interested but if you appear once on line, in a form of social networking or even simply e-mailing, there are traces. Data are all around us, one only need to find a way to collect it. I think someone is safe only if he/she gives fake personal data and photographs. Even then, some things could be tracked :left:

  29. gdare says:

    πŸ˜†

  30. SittingFox says:

    This sounds like quite a dark and scary sci-fi story! :nervous:Nice to see some more of your writing, Darko! :up:

  31. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    maybe one day I will be famous writer like Ed.

    Ha!Which reminds me, I need to go to Barnes & Nobel and find out if I've actually sold a book yet. I mean to someone other than myself. LMAO.

  32. sanshan says:

    So rich that he can buy his own books.

  33. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    And extremely rich too.

    That's right. I have a lot of Opera friends to support! :pOriginally posted by sanshan:

    So rich that he can buy his own books.

    Well let's see. If I were rich I could buy 500,000 copies of my book. Which ought to put me on the NY Times Best Seller list. And then 500,000 people will notice and buy my book. So I would then have my money back. Seems like a rather futile process, now that I think about it. I think I'll just go take a nap.

  34. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    be famous writer like Ed

    And extremely rich too.

  35. BabyJay99 says:

    :left: :right: πŸ™„ :whistle: πŸ˜‰

  36. gdare says:

    Originally posted by edwardpiercy:

    I think I'll just go take a nap.

    Sounds like a good idea :zzz:Hi Lea πŸ˜€

  37. L2D2 says:

    I enjoyed that, but like everyone else, it needs a conclusion. Can't have a good book without a conclusion Dare. I do believe the world will be one big police state one of these days, and I believe that we are more closely vetted by government than most people know. There are gov't agents all over FB. I know this. And they do get a lot of info from social sites, as well as line tapping and bugging. Yes, I know it's illegal, but doesn't stop anything. The technology is already here—just that people aren't conditioned yet to think it's a normal way of life to have every moment of their lives vetted by Big Brother. This Perfect Day is already here in embryo.

  38. raniakasim says:

    as a girl from developing world i can say that i like it this chapter , but there is something which i couldn't receive or understand , something which created a very cold photo of the venue in my mind . thanks a lot

  39. L2D2 says:

    Dare, I have no notification of your new post. I didn't know you had one till Chuck told me. Been missing several lately.

  40. gdare says:

    Linda, there is one movie and one book that made a biggest impact on my understanding of future: you already know how much I like "Blade Runner"; a book is "neuromancer" written by William Gibson. Biggest companies will rule this planet, government and army won`t be important and police forces will be main instrument for controlling masses and maintaining certain level of peace and security. This is what I firmly believe.As for not getting notifications, I believe this is another glitch in updated Opera Community web site :left:Rania, as I said, that movie and a book painted this story. Very dark and very possible πŸ™‚

  41. Furie says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    She said something about some huge, critical … I guess Top Secret information had been discovered on some Facebook type Online site. I THINK it was the type of Info that could give away Soldiers' location and / or what they are doing and such. You know … military strategic Info. I guess Soldiers will stupidly start yaking away on Online Communities about where they are and what they are doing, not realizing that that information in the wrong hands could have serious consequences.

    Or it could be the fact that intelligence agencies worldwide set up their own social network for their agents to share information and resources, never once thinking a civilian could find their way in easily enough.

  42. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by L2D2:

    I do believe the world will be one big police state one of these days, and I believe that we are more closely vetted by government than most people know. There are gov't agents all over FB. I know this.

    Peppermint, my Mom mentioned something today, but the details of what she heard were very sketchy. She said something about some huge, critical … I guess Top Secret information had been discovered on some Facebook type Online site. I THINK it was the type of Info that could give away Soldiers' location and / or what they are doing and such. You know … military strategic Info. I guess Soldiers will stupidly start yaking away on Online Communities about where they are and what they are doing, not realizing that that information in the wrong hands could have serious consequences.

  43. Aqualion says:

    Not to mention Wikileaks. It seems there's nothing they can do, They just have to give up on keeping secrets and find something else to do, like attaining sustainable World Peace or something.

  44. Suntana says:

    Yep, apparently some serious $#%@ is gonna hit the fan in the next several months from these secrets. :insane:

  45. Furie says:

    It's always boring stuff on Wikileaks, except when someone leaked their own private info. πŸ˜‰

  46. Aqualion says:

    I can't belive you don't know Wikileaks. It's all over the media in Denmark. Everybody talks about it. Headlines on the front page of all major newspapers. Big big news.

  47. Aqualion says:

    Already has. They even tried to frame-up Wikileak's founder, Julian Assange, by issuing an arrest warrent on him. Acousation of rape. Using a rape frame-up is very clever, if you want someone put away, because rape is a serious offense everywhere in the World, which means the guy would not be able to go anywhere without having to hide from the police. He wouldn't be safe anywhere, not even in Indonesia. It fell flat, though, because the Swedes don't kneel for the CIA.

  48. Suntana says:

    Oh, I finally found out what it was. It was on my AOL Welcome Screen. This site — WikiLeaks, a website dedicated to obtaining and spreading government secrets, has released and will be releasing more government secrets throughout the next several months. Blah Blah Blah, it could cause a worldwide diplomacy crisis.:left: :right: I won't plaster the article here … :nervous: but, I'm sure y'all can Google up what it's about.

  49. Suntana says:

    Nope, I can't recall having heard of WikiLeaks … just Wikipedia and Wiktionary. πŸ˜†

  50. Aqualion says:

    I know what you're saying, and the fact that noone has heard from him for some time now… Well, it might suggest that they actually already took him out hunting…

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