Author : B.York, Founding Writer
Knowledge is power.
Carved into the stone next to her in an elegant font as Maisy slumped back against the structure to catch her breath. Salty tears drew down her cheeks. She stretched out her hands and observed the fingers shaking, almost twitching with such adrenaline coursing through her veins. Clenched fists, biting her lower lip as she tilted her head back against the stone.
She felt heat. Wet heat. On her hip. Fingers tugged up her shirt to reveal the wound. Just a graze. But Taggart hadn’t been so lucky. They were hunting him and she got in the way.
Who were they? Why did they ask Tags about the code? Why did they murder my friend?
Had to think fast. Boots were heard in the distance but there was no way she’d have the knowledge. Tags had been dead a matter of a few minutes so if what she was thinking was going to work she’d have to pull the trigger now.
She reached behind her head, feeling for the rough patch of skin. It got rougher with age, she could only vaguely remember the small bump as a child. Pressing it, a low hum jolted through her head. The thoughts came rushing in…
TAGGART, GILES >>> CURRENT STATUS: DELETION PENDING
Images. Swirling in her heard in quantum computations. Electrical brainwaves became pure hard data in seconds.
COOKING BRAISED DUCK
The scent of it, along with the exact ingredients and methodologies began sinking in.
THE SEVEN THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT STACY
Stacy is the most beautiful girl you know. Stacy likes green. Stacy likes–
No. Damnit, c’mon!
WAYS TO RUN FROM—
ASPECTS OF CRIMIN—
UNLOCK CODE >>> PASSWORD
All right, hacking the cloud wasn’t exactly a science to a street rat, but Maisy had done enough crowdsourcing to know that cloud codes were usually a fixation.
Thoughts turned to ideas, images and things. Maybe Tag’s favorite jeans, the watch he always wore. She focused in one each, thinking of the details and letting it linger for a moment. Nothing was sticking.
Voices. They were getting close.
Stacy. Could she remember Stacy? Didn’t have to, she was already in Tags’ cloud. She went digging and found the long black hair, the tattooed skin, and thoughts of both sweet and pornographic acts. That had to be it. Focusing more, she slid lower against the bulwark.
In all her glory, both naked and clothed, sad and happy, and with him and without him all simultaneously. Stacy.
Maisy snapped to, she wiped the tears from her face and knew now. She knew just like Tags knew why they raised the gun and fired. The throbbing in her implant slowed to a halt.
Had to hide, had to get out of sight. The stone structure she was against was huge enough. She slid against it, glancing upwards into the sky where the tether in the stone ended with one of the colossal synthetic clouds. She looked where she had bled on the stone. It read “DATA CLOUD H6”. Somewhere up there, Tags was going away forever. But down here, in Maisy’s head, she knew he’d live just a little bit longer.