Author : Nate Swanson

Slice Street is the place to be on a weekend. Part time med students scurry out of university complexes to ply the skills they picked up during classes for a few marks. The sounds of nipping, tucking, and all variety of additions can be heard all over. When someone comes stumbling out of a chop shop complete with an improved body, sometimes with new body parts, the bars are available to supply celebratory beverages.

This is not my thing. Personally, I’m in the mood for some high qual implants. High bandwidth plus free time equals implant fatigue in the poor distributed and a full hard drive. I have a dealer I trust, did my uplink and contacts and there hasn’t been any degradation. But I love walking the street. The newest vat grown muscles, flexing in bubbling jars. Floating ads for nano- and bio-tech implants.

Ducking through the security fog, I said “Hi” to Doctor Zan.

“What can I get you? Looking for some enhanced . . . equipment?” he asks, leering.

“Yeah, no. I need some storage. Terabytes of it.” I pulsed over some specs.

Zan’s eyes scrolled up and down, perusing my carefully crafted e-demands. “Four hundred marks. Non-negotiable. You want techno-organic, bleeding edge. Copy what you got, zero degradation. On the spine, harder then bone. Call it a bonus.”

“Three hundred.”

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll throw in a vocabulary upload. Because apparently you don’t understand the words `non-negotiable.’ The price is four hundred marks. This is Cali made; certificatied and pure. Worth every hundredth.”

“Fine.” Not a bad price. With the Cali tech farms behind the Golden Curtain, the price of top of the line gear had gone up Everest.

Gesturing to the back, Zan leads the way through a privacy screen. I strip off my shirt, lay face down in the restrainer chair. A zip, and my muscles lock and my pain receptors shut down. Unconsciousness follows in short order; the last thing I recall is smelling bacon as the laser probe makes a tiny hole for the nanites to scuttle in.

I wake up, pinging the new growths of high-density storage etched into my vertebrae. Capacity tripled. Integrating the new drives with my uplink, I bring the DisNet client online. Queued data starts to steam in, cached data streaming out. Node number 152 Foxtrot 8 is now online, ready to take on all my subscribers off-site storage needs.

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