Eve ~ Genesis of a Digital Soul

DamienShort Stories

Eve eBook
A Ghostly Christmas

Cora Synn leaned back and stared malevolently at the black silicon mug in her hands, a stark contrast against the ambient glow of screens and the soft chatter of Nirvana, the underground hacker collective. The brew, a synthetic concoction masquerading as coffee, was a bitter reminder of the luxuries denied to those who navigated the undercurrents of the city’s vast ocean of data and steel. Yet, it was in this brew that dreams were distilled, a potent elixir fuelling the hearts of those daring to defy the constraints of their world.

The chatter around her, a symphony of digital rebels and weary souls, spoke of more than just the mundane. It was a testament to the resilience of humanity, adorned in the eclectic tapestry of modifications that bore witness to their individual journeys and collective defiance.

“I take it you heard about Solace,” the older man sitting across from her was saying. Axel, the closest thing to family Cora had, served as both anchor and lighthouse to the young woman—a beacon in the tumultuous seas of the mega-city. Their banter, rich with history and laden with the weight of shared dreams, was a reminder of the bonds forged in the crucible of survival and ambition.

Solace was a haven for the city’s dispossessed. One of Neon City’s many towering skyscrapers, Solace had been home to hundreds of families and orphan children for over 5 decades. Although the building was officially abandoned, their owners had decided it was not cost effective to demolish it so had kept it standing but somehow forgot to cut the power. Now it was mainly used as a support for the city’s famous neon lights and towering advertisements promising better lives through technology.

“Yeah,” Cora replied, her voice taut with anger and outrage. Like the denizens of Solace, Cora had once been lost on the city’s neon-drenched streets, an orphan with no one to call her own. She knew how lucky she had been to find Axel, a fearsome console warrior with a heart of gold and reputation as a fearsome cyberspace cowboy. She considered herself to be the voice of those who had been silenced, a warrior born from the gutter. “Futurizon cut the lights. There are women and children living in Solace, families, hundreds of them with nowhere to go! How could they do this?”

Futurizon Real Estate was one of the biggest real estate corporations in Neon City, with deep ties to big tech like Case Robotics and NexuSynth. Axel would not have been surprised had Futurizon purchased the building with the express intention of gutting it. Without power, the people of Solace would eventually die in the cold darkness.

Cora Synn glared out the window to the crowded city streets, sipping more of the bitter brew. Father Malachi, a tall gangly street prophet with long stringy hair and a tangled grey beard was exhorting the crowds, his eyes red and wild. Around him clustered the poor and the dispossessed, desperate for just a glimmer of hope in the city’s neon-drenched streets.

“Do not despair, my brothers and sisters!” Father Malachi preached, his long arms reaching for the ever-present smog obscuring the sky. “From the gutters shall rise a saviour! From the matrix our hopes shall rise! Look for the signs, brothers and sisters! A new era is at hand!”

“You know,” Cora Synn growled as she watched the street prophet, “sometimes I wish he was right. It feels like we’re fighting an uphill battle. With all of our resistance, a corp like Futurizon can just come along and condemn people to die in the dark. Maybe we need a saviour, but then I remember no one’s coming to save us.”

“We’ve been trying to find a chink in their cyber armour,” Axel said bitterly, “but they’ve got premium ICE, top of the line corporate software. Lex and his crew are going to try again tonight. Heard he got himself a new deck, so maybe he’ll be able to find something we can use against them, force them to turn the lights back on.”

“Yes, I heard of Lex’s new deck, it’s a Razor, top of the line Cyberspace-integration. Rumour has it it has almost no latency,” Cora exclaimed, shaking her head in frustration. Second only to her passion for justice and fairness was her obsession with anything related to technology. Cyberspace decks, cybernetic implants, they all held a deep fascination to her, ever since she had been a little girl watching the techno anarchists and cypher punks ply their trade at Nirvana. “He scored it on Silk Road – next gen NexuSynth hardware, baby! What I would give…”

What she would give… Cora Synn’s dream was to be a Cyberspace Cowboy, one of the few rare individuals able to directly access the matrix by plugging themselves into powerful cyberspace decks. These were the heroes of the hacker world, a rare breed not relegated to crafting their trade behind a keyboard but instead, through a combination of raw talent and technology, projected their consciousness straight into the virtual realm becoming pure energy and leaving the body, or meat, behind.

The summons of her next mission, a chime that cut through the comfort of familiarity, was a clarion call to adventure.

“Duty calls, Axel,” Cora said to her friend. “No rest for the wicked!”

“Or the Synn-full,” Axle replied, matching her smile. This was an old joke of theirs, back from her early days on the streets when she was still learning her trade. “Rip it up out there.”

Cora stepped out of the crowded establishment and out into the crowded street, searching out her valiant steed. The dense smell of fried food, smog and exhaust, Neon-City perfume, embraced her like a lover. Nestled under the city’s pulsating glow, Terminal Velocity was more than just a high-performance motorcycle; it was an extension of Cora’s very essence. Anchored to the cold, unforgiving concrete by a heavy titanium chain and ensnared in a protective cocoon of flickering high-voltage electricity, it waited—silent, potent, and eager for release.

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