2.8: Laser Boy: Endorphin Control
At first, Vince thought the interface was great. It was like his minds eyes had become a point and click menu. Instead of the swirly black that used to come when he closed his eyes, now there were windows and neon border and icons and labels. There was an entire submenu Called “Organism Memory.” He clicked through a branching series of icons with his mind and found himself living a moment from his past. He was nine years old and in the back of a PIGS transport. His face was bleeding in three places. He got lost for a moment, because it was more like being there again than simple remembering. The only way he got out of the memory was that dancing along at the top left of his field of vision was an arrow pointing to the left. He activated it and found himself back in blackness covered in menus. He guessed correctly at that point that the organism described in the menu was himself.
Kay and Vince were in a rear booth of a dive in Skettleton, a Gold Sphere black market area. Kay was scanning news on her HUD on one side of the booth, Vince pretended to be asleep across from her. The walls were covered in cartoon clown faces. Kay found that their Science Lecture massacre was being kept away from normal media. She found a few references in low-level law enforcement databases, but no real details, just references to an incident with classified particulars.
Vince sat up abruptly and looked directly at The Fabulous Blue Kay. She archived the files and looked at him sideways. He shook his head and gritted his teeth.
“Does all brain tech do this? I can’t turn it off. It’s like it’s doing more with my brain than I am… or it’s making me do it…”
“Just roll with it man!” Kick cleared her mind and smiled at him.
Vince pounded the table.
“I got to turn this off! It’s making me crazy!”
“Don’t fight it Laser Boy, it’s just working up a solid interface. It’s getting to know you.”
“Vent this out the bug! Get it out of me!”
Vince jumped off of his bench and started flailing around the small aisle space in the diner. Kick noticed the other occupants getting curious. She reached up and pulled Vince into the bench next to her.
“Relax. Google my ass or something.”
Before Vince could work up any sort of response, his new tech was projecting thirty or so vid clips of Kick Herald’s backside gyrating before his waking eyes. His flailing stopped and his mouth dropped open. Kick smirked at him.
“The ones bordered in green are my actual avatar, the others are mostly unapproved fan copies.”
“It’s a good likeness. Very feathery.”
Kick pulled him by the shoulders to face her. She looked closely into his face. He was shaking and clammy.
“Look,” she said, brushing sweaty hair out of his face. “Click command-shift-mode1 and then click Clear Field.”
Vince did what she said and instantly, the interface visuals disappeared. There was still a small shiny spot at the top right of his field of view, but when he closed his eyes, it disappeared entirely. He sighed and fell forward into Kick. He laughed weakly to find his mouth pressed against her cheek. He inhaled deeply. She smelled of some kind of flower in the rain. Kick pushed him back gently and he slumped down in the bench. His breathing slowed and deepened.