Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
With those sleek shoulders and sculpted faceplate features, I would have guessed her be a Russian model.
Hard to tell with the standard techniques. The criminals always had their own serial numbers sanded off and I2P addys scrambled. I donâ€™t know how itâ€™s possible to live like that.
Iâ€™d seen the initiation ceremonies for those involved in the ferrogangs. I understood needing a sense of belonging but the bosses of those gangs were so brutal. Plus, having your identifying marks removed in a shower of sparks just didnâ€™t seem to me like something that a friend would do.
I was made by a good parent company, though. Still in business, still under warranty, still protected. I guess Iâ€™d never really know what it would take to become like the unit here in the interrogation chair in front of me.
I had guessed her make to be a relatively recent design going by trends. Iâ€™d have to check the catalogues. Wear and tear made her look to be about thirty kilocycles old. She was more likely sixteen with no repairs or upkeep. Iâ€™d never know her serial number but at least Iâ€™d able to pinpoint year, make, and O-stats with a little research.
Her chipsets were a mess. Theyâ€™d been booby-trapped, privacy-looped and dust-locked to the point that it was a wonder she could form rational sentences. A low-level soldier for the gang, Iâ€™d say. Expendable to the point of being borderline scrap.
I had the wiretap link spooling across the table from my head to hers. It was touch and go. I was sniffing around in her head to find evidence without tripping a defense charge that would kill her. She sat silently during the process. She knew that her life was in my hands. She had to trust that I was a careful detective.
Colleagues of mine cared less about the fates of units like this. I had seen fellow officers hook up, go in and laugh when their clumsy antics triggered their prisoner unit to freeze up and smoke. Feeble excuses and a few months of probation later, theyâ€™d be back on the street. It made my wires cross.
I probed slowly, looking for something circumstantial that seemed harmless to her internal watchdog programs but might lead me to a physical location that we could search later for something more incriminating.
Trawling through her memory directories, I found .3pegs and bitmap snapshots of units sheâ€™d allowed herself to love and save in non-password protected folders. Their faces were pixilated to me, of course, but the backgrounds werenâ€™t.
There. A signpost in the background. 12th and Iron Ave. Next to a rundown house that was a ferrogang hovel if Iâ€™ve ever seen one.
Feigning boredom so as not to alarm her, I copied the shots into a viral protected temp folder in my memory and jacked out.
She looked up at me. â€œFind anything, sparkpig?â€ she asked with a sneer.
â€œNo. Youâ€™re free to go. Donâ€™t leave town, though. We might need to ask you more questions later.â€ I said.
â€œScrew you, bolt-fucker.â€ She said.
I buzzed for the flatfoots to come in and escort her out.