Chapter 5

It's just so much easier at night. The whole little world tucks in for their predictable slumber. Even the party-drunks with close, personal chemist friends crash eventually. The air temperature and humidity forget what they were doing and run off in wild directions. Sound finds less resistance to its missions- the dark night as coffee speed, keeps sound up higher, longer. Just as the streets void of cancerous cars and trucks and tanks, the airwaves thin, confusion sublimates and electromagnetic deep-ears hear so much more.

Union Bank's landscapers interface was clearly designed, commissioned and built in an age before mass paranoia – it only required the removal of an intricate heavy steel padlock and a quick privilege escalation attack to turn on the juice.

As his computer charged, he monitored the City Grid. Quiet night. Low-load on the turbine, all the growlers were confined to their pig pens. The heat sig over City Park told him about 770 souls slept soundly in their tents and hovels, CompLogs burning dependably on makeshift stoves.

A discarded paper coffee cup blew in an oblong circuit, tapping out a percussive diminuendo, echo from the mini-towers a dying melodrama. It reminded him of his own rapidly cooling cup. He took a sip. Another.

He ping'd Leon. No up. Cecil. No up. Calum, up no answer. He finished the cup, fishing a flask from a leg pocket without changing his gaze. Twisted the black knurled tin cap off with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, left tapping a series of macros as legs pinched cup. A few glugs.

The flask back in his trousers and more in his gut than down his chin, he decided it time to turn on the GANT – Gigantic Array of Non-consenting Terminals.

Sometimes all you have to type is “fuckem – go”.

cbp