2.5: Blue Kay: What Passes For Thought In These Complicated Times
As Vince massaged his temples, Kay was deep in thought, which for her involved accessing multiple data sources simultaneously, while a neural recording device recorded and filed all thoughts generated by her actual consciousness in a series of private storage servers. She had been aware of Laser Boy as much as anyone else in her socio-economic class, Which is to say, she had been to a theme party in the weirld, as well as watching some of the footage highlights remixed to upstem dance music.
Sitting now, with her legs curled under her leaning toward him looking at him inches away, she realized that he might be dangerous. Except that he seemed to be falling asleep. She noticed some movement beneath the skin of his right forearm. “No tech my bug,” she muttered.
He opened his eyes and looked at her. In the near distance, the lecture started. The scientists in the audience were making a clacking noise with ancient slide-rules.
“You seem to have some sort of smart tech in your system,” she said.
“Wha… I don’t think…”
He scratched at the moving surface of his arm.
“I think maybe that gun on that pedestal attacked me…”
“Can you access it? There should be… Here.”
She reached up and brushed unruly hair out of his eyes, making sure to record every detail. This would be a great viral coup for her, if nothing else. She extended some data ports from both of her downy index fingers and placed them firmly against his temples. She did a shallow scan of his systems, and felt a strong but brief shock to her nervous system. A high squeak escaped her lips, surprising her and Vince equally. Pain reactions in the weirld were less automatic, and more a function of realism algorithms. Several scientists nearby shushed her before returning their attention to the podiums.
“It’s well protected, whatever it is. I couldn’t get much on it; I don’t think it’s fully installed yet. Do you even have base hardware?”
“What? No, I live in the slums. It’s not… I thought you knew who I was.”
“Well, I don’t know what goes on there… I thought base hardware was pretty standard.”
“I’m sure it is for you people,” another nearby scientist made a hsssshhhhhing sound. Vince lowered his whisper, “Is it supposed to make my head hurt this much?”
Kay reached out and carefully spread out his right eyelids and looked closely into the dark brown cornea.
“I think it might be building a base frame in your body so it can install itself. It would have to use nano-tech builders, and it would need to be using your body’s resources as base material. You are probably running low on all sorts of essential nutrients. When was the last time you ate?”
Kay reached into her pouch and pulled out an expensive nutri-bar of a type Vince had never seen before and offered it to him. He ate it in a rush, and his headache abated almost instantaneously.
“You say it looked like a gun? What else do you remember?”
“I think it shot out tentacles or something. Hurt like vent.”
“Likely experimental military. Haps you’re a killing machine now. Try to shoot that guy with your eyes!”
Vince, now that his headache was abating, became aware of the weight and form of the being next to him. Lithe and long mammalian muscles and curves frosted with soft pale blue and white feathers that twinkled and ruffled suggestively with every thought that passed her mind. Her parted pale lips were only inches from his. Without wanting to, he thought about that famous video of her that Black Elvis had made him watch. He immediately reddened and moved his face away from hers.
Kay looked alarmed.
“Okay? Headache back? Unknown tech can be…”
“I saw you before.”
She raised her eyebrows.
You were in that show with those things, doing stuff to you.
Kay rolled her eyes as she laughed in a mildly embarrassed way. A pink hue crept across her chest.
“Yeah. That was pretty stupid. Made a lot of money… for someone. It was kind of fun though.”
“It looked like it hurt. How are you still even alive after that.”
Kay’s mouth dropped open.
“Uhhhh…. That stuff didn’t really happen so called Laser Boy. Virtual monster porn. VIR-TEW-ALL being the key concept. Anyway nothing hurts inside unless you want it to, and even then, there are safeguards against any level of pain that can cause permanent harm. I didn’t even do the acting for that one. Just licensed my likeness. I’ve been more involved in tons of others though. It’s fun and safe… that one was a big hit for a while…”
Vince looked at her and got an evil grin.
“So… In REAL life you’re a… virgin? Rich Plint Kick Herald is a virgin?!”
Kay’s face and chest flashed black and red, before quickly returning to her normal shades. She looked irritated for a moment and then her entire body turned a deep shade of purple as she leaned toward Vince.
“Maybe you can fix that for me huh guy?”
She slid herself over the armrest, pressing her face right up to his.
Vince made a squeaky sound that he would have been utterly humiliated to make in any circumstance, but under the watch of this beautiful creature, it sent him into a panic. He clamped both his hands over his mouth and lost his balance and fell out of the chair and onto the floor with a solid clump.
Kay moved like a cat, crawling toward him with heavy lidded eyes.
Kay jumped on him, grabbed his wrists, and pressed them to the floor.
“You must surrender or die!”
Vince, in his embarrassment was paralyzed, but when he felt himself stirring against her, straddling him as she was, he twisted his hands out of her grip and put his hands on her waist and pushed her up. Her whole body easily lifted off of him.
“How can you be so light?” His confusion, thankfully, drew some of the blood from down below.
Kick Herald, suspended comfortably in his two palms on her stomach, arched her back and spread her arms, unfurling her feathers into grand sky blue wings.
“I have hollow bones. Like a bird,” in a trilly sing-song voice.
Vince tested her weight a few times bending his elbows like he was bench-pressing her. She drew her legs and arms in fetal, wrapping around his hands, holding his wrists for balance.
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll, I don’t know, break?”
“Nope. Rich plint remember. Nano-Carbon reinforced lattice structure. Trititium alloys. Gives, doesn’t break.”
Vince’s devil smile came back to him and he arched his right brow.
“Tri-Titty Em? Isn’t that the triple breasted whore from that one sky party vid?”
Kay laughed distractedly with a furrowed brow before unwrapping herself from his hands and lowering her hips back onto him, once again, straddling him and driving all chance of coolness out of his tired brain. She stared intensely into his face.
“Laser Boy, Laser Boy.”
Vince tried to squirm away, but that made his problem worse.
“That’s one dangerous smile you got there.”
She was leaning in, and Vince could not breathe at all, when he noticed movement behind her.
“Uhhh Kay… you should look behind you.”
Kay noticed suddenly that the lecture hall was silent except for her exclamations.
She turned around and saw what Vince was looking at. Every scientist in the hall was standing and looking at them.
A heavy man closer to them than the rest said, “Do you young people have passes for this lecture? There is classified information being bandied about, and… I say…”
The man took off his old fashioned spectacles and rubbed them briefly with a bit of lab coat before once more fitting them over his bulbous nose.
“Colleagues,” he spoke loudly, “I do believe this young interlocutor is that terrorist that’s been so frequent in the news feeds of late.”
Kay and Vince pulled themselves to their feet and faced the crowd, which was gradually beginning to rumble with a sense of panic and outrage. Vince frantically adjusted his shorts.
Kay started climbing over the benches making for the nearest exit unblocked by scientists. Vince allowed himself to be pulled after her. Many of the scientists near them were warily approaching them with slide rules brandished threateningly. Many of them were sharpened to alarming points.
“Vent! Science Ninjas! Hurry up Laser Boy!”
“That’s not a real thing! Is it? No… Watch out!”
Kay tried to glide over two rows of benches with her wings spread, but the gravity on Science Wheel was 1.0 Earth Norm. She was used to being lighter. Vince had to let go of her wrist to keep from dragging her down, but her foot caught on a seat and she landed face first in the lower level. Two scientists reached down and grabbed her arms and pulled her roughly to her feet.
“Here now kid! Stay where you are and I won’t dissect your bird!” A tall mustachioed man held a sharpened slide rule to Kay’s neck.
Vince focused on Kick’s face. Blood was running from both nostrils and her feathers had gone a pale yellow. His instinct was to run, as always. He didn’t want to run, but it was so hard not to. In his moment of hesitation, the HUD display that had been following him around the Science Wheel began flashing a single message urgently in red across his field of vision.
“Imminent Threat Against Asset b.04. Retaliate? YES NO”
Thanks to many hours of video games of various complexities, Vince barely formed a thought before he triggered YES.
A stinging sensation filled his right fore arm and he looked down as he reached to scratch it. He saw a fluid erupting from several pores on his arm, which flowed into his hand and quickly solidified into a gun that looked almost exactly like the broken one he had used in the robbery. It was in his hand. While he was still taking stock of the situation, his arm jumped three times.
Three green trails left his hand and three scientists went down like bags of scrap metal, each one with a centimeter hole straight through their heads. Vince screamed while he watched the gun disappear. Kay put her hand to her nose and started climbing over the bench toward him. The nearby scientists started backing away.
“Ndo sdhidule kidding mudsheen!” hollered Kay, “Ju bendeds vungge offs!”
Kay spread her wings to their fullest and she turned black as midnight with yellow lightning flashes running up and down her body. Her tech healed her nose on the fly.
“Come on Laser Boy!”
Vince followed her out the nearest exit, looking around at the scientists.
“Don’t call me venting Laser Boy!”