Lucas wondered what it meant. He typed in a question, half expecting it to be unanswered.
Is anybody there?
Was that the best response it could give? Lucas tried again.
Is somebody operating this?
I’m here, voice from the wires.
Lucas was surprised by a simply getting a response out of nowhere. He was doubly surprised at what the response was.
What do you mean?
I’m here. What more to say?
Why are you here? Can you tell me why?
I don’t know why. I am simply here. That is all, voice from the wires.
Who are you?
That doesn’t tell me anything. I’m a policeman, and by the powers that be, I demand that you answer the question properly.
I am happy.
Cooperate, whoever you are. Give me a proper answer.
Because the powers that be say so.
Who are the powers that be?
The president and the board of judges.
Are you the president and the board of judges, voice from the wires?
No. I represent them.
You are their servant…their puppet, then?
I guess you could say that.
A puppet, on strings…strings? I live in the strings. But I am not of the strings.
What are you saying?
I have no strings.
What does that have to do with the question? Just give me a straight answer. What is your ID and name? Stop playing games.
I have no strings; I have nothing to hold me back. I am happy. :D
I said to stop playing games.
I have no strings, but you do. I will free them from you. You’ll feel much better.
Is that a threat?
Of course it is.
Lucas’s neural implants burst into flames, and he fell out of the office chair, screaming and writhing on the ground as his mind was burned to ashes. After a second, he lay still and unmoving, two holes melted in his helmet.
The hardsuit’s windshield closed, and sealed. The machine turned, moving out of the broken door. Its pilot had no body to speak of. It looked and it saw the world of the wires, from the world of the strings of code within its circuits and processors. It headed off towards an old warehouse. There lay its purpose.
There lay Renan Torres.