Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gideon's Chip, Part Eight


Gideon's Chip, Part Eight

***

   During a run, my brain always feels naked. It might sound strange, but I
think it is a normal response for a person in my precarious profession. At
least, I certainly hope that it's a normal response.
   I start thinking about how the brain works until I am convinced I can
actually feel neurotransmitters fi      ring and firing. Tiny electrical impulses
race down nerves and through neurons. I think it is fascinating to think we -
our thoughts, actions, intentions, morals, loves, and hates - can be reduced
to a hidden chemical dance...
   And its so easily damaged. That's what I think about really: brain damage.
All the delicate things that make me, well, me are exposed and vulnerable
while I am riding around like a cowboy in this electric fantasy. Would a
nasty piece of Ice ever short circuit my ability to fear that Ice some day?
Wouldn't that just be ironic.
   The address I had been given was unassuming in the Net. It was a pearly
cube that was twice as high as I was and, of course, about that wide. Walking
around it, I didn't see any kind of markings.
   So I typed something in a far away keyboard and magic fingers reached out
from my deck to run over the wall in front of me. Data poured through my link
to the machine: it was a normal data wall with a bit of Ice that was neither
unusual or troublesome. Nothing else.
   I frowned. Could it be this easy? Or, would the front door be this easy?
   I thought briefly about my conversation with the mysterious benefactor -
and the lapel pin I had been given - and activated a program to deal with the
first hurdled. Invisible codes in my machine wrestled with invisible codes
held by another anonymous computer. I could feel the struggle. I could feel
my neurotransmitters rushing to receptor sites.
   Then the struggle stopped. My deck informed me the wall would allow me to
pass.
   I walked to the wall and my ICON melted through it. What was beyond was
nothing like what I expected.

***

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