K’dackis was slivercaster, scout and herder of wildfeeds, piping when needed, but always in pursuit of the genuine driveway effect. She was constantly sisbertized by the right or the wrong people, surfing the waves of condemnation and approval as she launched onto her next coffee-spitter. She was queen of the third screen. Grey as I was, by comparison I might as well have been egocasting. K’dackis swallowed muffin-chokers whole, and spit ’em back out at lightning speed; because of this, she was the darling of screenagers everywhere.

I have been told my obsession with K’dackis is nothing but anus-envy, that any fool could create irritainment with a notebook dump on a feed and garnish it with a middle finger. This was true to some extent, but I’m no beat-sweetener with his head up his ass. K’dackis’s appeal went beyond mere hathos and anger. She was a half-step away from a placeshift, and when that happened all of us in the Outerrnet would feel very, very insecure about our place in our chosen professions.

Obviously, a fleshmeet was required, and not just podhacking her playlist, either. I had to interview her. Took some cajoling; my editor is a NIMBY when it comes alt-media, partly due to the pessimal state of modern info, partly due to how close he is to sundowning. But the man’s watch contains feedlets and bytebits, same as mine, so I had some elbowroom.

“I’ll authorize this,” he said. “But you better put some pants on the copy before it reaches my desk. I ain’t paying you to take a duvet day.”

Strangely enough, K’dackis consented to an interview. She had read my grey, and gave me a webrarian’s approval of a go ahead. I suppose I should have expected something unusual out of her, but doing the interview in a dumpster came as a headsmack.

“You gotta be a mongo hunter is this world, get your hands dirty, get in the scene.” K’dackis looked strangely cheery amongst the garbage. Her clothes carried no badge item, just ergomorphic shirt and pants. “What we throw away says the most about us, dig? What’s in your trash this morning?”

I found myself lost; she might as well been speaking Miévilleese.

“Listen, you didn’t come here to quiz me on my hairdo. You’re no thumbsucker, your grey speaks for that. But you’re in a bathwater situation. Think about the language we use. What’s the first thing we toss aside? Curse words, old relics of medieval speak. But what’s the primary we utter when we glom a muffin -choker? It’s all a goddamn circle, Cochise. When was the last time you let out a good old curse for the scream of it?!?'”

I hemmed and hawed, but I didn’t have an answer. The interview, such as it was, went this way; K’dackis was playing at being a knowledge angel, sure, but it was fascinating, abrasive and exactly what was wrong with the state of grey.

Naturally, my editor wouldn’t print a word a word of it..

“Primary, this contains language, which we do not print. Our grey is clear of such things and we are proud of that,” he espoused. “Secondly, what is the point of this?”

“We’re lost in the words. It’s mindblindness, pure and simple. We’re not even communicating anymore, we’re just speaking.”

“Manure. There’s a medieval word for you and your bloghopper. Shit. Excrement. Crap, detritus, garbage, junk, offal, refuse, remains, rubbish, trash, waste. We are in the business of words, mister. YOU are in the business of words.”

“I thought I was in the business of news.”

“Keep this up, and you won’t be. Do I make myself clear? Or am I using too many words?”

K’dackis was slivercaster, which means she played to, at best, a small audience. She could play to the screenagers, and have her outrage displayed on their phones and watches, gathering evidence from feeds and stray bytes. But she and her ideas weren’t news, even if they were to us in the news business.

I found myself going through my grey, pieces that had once won awards, had garnered acclaim. I was told that my grey spoke for me. I couldn’t slivercast, couldn’t ride the wildfeeds, and I wasn’t going to be a third screen darling anytime soon.

But I did remember what makes me curse.