Black Cat Chronicles Ch. 2

Ch. 2

Viidän sat admiring her reflection from her Victorian vanity mirror, its ruby-rose gold edges wrung with ringlets and tiny cherubim. The seat was wrought iron woven into twisted patterns of flowers and vines. The looking-glass reflected the image of a geisha — beautiful and deadly. She stared admiring the black streaks of eyeliner across the edge of her eyes swooping sharply to each side, her smooth skin glowing a copper tone, her bright blue hair electrifying her scalp and hanging down to her knees, she placed the final spot of black lipstick on her bottom lip and smacked. She picked up her brush and began to run it along the lines of her electric-blue hair. Parted down the middle, one hundred strokes on each side. She couldn’t sleep in the storm, it gave her paralyzing nightmares and this was her method of calming.

“I hope Zed’s ok. He’s been gone for about a month now, it’s lonely without him here.” She spoke to herself. “Viidän get it together! If you wanted to find him you know damn well you could do it in a heartbeat. You chose the hard way so deal with it.” Sometimes she felt as if someone else were actually there with her in that looking glass, and that maybe, just maybe, she were momentarily engaged in an active dialogue with an alternate version of herself.

It was true, as a telepath, Viidän could psychically dream-walk, dream-weave, or perform a neurological track-and-trace on Zed, but Zed was the first man to ever catch her attempting to dream-weave — one night while he slept on her couch she projected herself into his dreams and tried to wire a synaptic sequence of love (she had no idea he knew how to use a totem to check for reality in his dreams) — he hadn’t trusted her since. This only motivated her to learn how to crack him, get inside his head, learn his past life, steal his secrets, and make him fall in love. She thrived off of playing this game with men. She was intrigued by his mind, captivated even, she desperately wanted him to drop his guard so she could play. She resolved herself to catching his attention the old-fashioned way — a succubus hell-bent on seduction.

She got up from her mirror and sat on her Persian rug in the middle of the floor. This was her spot for meditation, the intricate patterns and geometrical shapes calmed her, the flowers across the four corners made her feel at ease, the serene spirals of gold soothed her. She closed her eyes. An emerald glow envisioned as a pinpoint presented itself to her amidst the darkness. The glowing light grew to a sphere, the sphere hovered above her head, and the light consumed her; the emerald aura became her own, her body basked in its warm glow. The glow comforted and cleansed her spirit, with every breath she was rejuvenated, she took her mind off of everything — no Zed, no alter ego, no pounding rain.

Viidän opened her eyes. To her right lay a pearl helmet lined with tiny trodes to attach to her scalp. This was her Neurogenesis and Virtual Alternative Networking Apparatus (NeuroVANA). NeuroVANA was developed for military applications in studying the brainwaves of telepaths who were kidnapped during the Exodus. Viidän escaped as teen when she was sent to the care of her Grandmother — her mother was disappeared three weeks later. Her cousin in Marine Special Ops managed to smuggle an unregistered unit off base and Zed was able to mask the geo-tagging so that no one could trace the location back to Viidän, he then programmed it so she could tap into cyber-space at the will of her thoughts. No booting up nor jacking in, it was no different than dream walking. She could traverse the canals of the net and access the very roots of the makeup of the matrix. The threads of reality, sub-reality, and virtual reality were all woven into one for Viidän. There was no difference in worlds.

She picked up NeuroVANA and decided to go on a little walk through time and space. Picking up the pearl helmet and placing it on her head she blinked once and watched her room dissolve into a wall of pixelated digitization. The physical barriers of the world were broken down while the endless range of the grid unfolded before her eyes. Auditory stimuli was presented as visual synesthesia and the rain showed as a stream of green zeroes and ones cascading through space, dissolving into the darkness. Towering lines of light surrounded her in a simulacrum of logic; orange, green, and pink packets streamed at the speed of light tracing the routes of passengers throughout the intricately interwoven networking highways, amorphous blobs of data hung in the distance of the cloud, users jacking in and out showed up as blurs of light twinkling and converging across various points like constellations in the night sky.

She looked to her right and noticed a gap in the lattice of her apartment building’s networking construct, a warping black cylinder bending light around it so as to shift the neon network while paradoxically swirling in upon itself creating a purely dark, invisible vortex — a private gateway into the network, a wormhole. Anyone who didn’t hold the string of keys used to decrypt the doorway dared not get close for fear of being consumed and shredded into bits or spat out into a distant space, forever stranded within the matrix, unable to return from whence they came — connected yet connectionless. Logically illogical. Hackers used these connections to hide their traffic routes, some would even jump through two or three at a time — popping out at the end of these black holes and hopping at the speed of light to their final destination. Viidän knew the location of this particular gap well, and she knew its creator. Zed was home! She removed NeuroVANA and watched reality rebuild block by block.




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Robert Vickens

Robert Vickens

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