Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

404, Daily: Chapter Twenty-Two

So, though the Labour Day Sale is over, I've kept the compilation off to the side -- replacing the ol' individual chapter purchases -- for those of you who don't wish to be bothered to make 4 separate 99 cent purchases.

For those of you who've purchased all the individual episodes already and would like to get a copy of the compilation, send me an email and I'll send it to you, gratis ;)

Okay folks, here's the Daily for Chapter 22:

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*Please Note: What follows below is only the FIRST page of Chapter 22 and is considered to be 'Raw Footage' -- unedited, first-draft material that may be subject to change (even in its entirety). This is designed to keep you in the loop with my story as well as, hopefully, intrigue you enough to want to buy the full, finished episode at the end of the week. Warning: there will be mild spoilers and coarse language as well, so please keep that in mind as you read on.

Episode #5 (which collects the finished and polished versions of chapters 21-25) will be available on Sunday, September 12th for 99 cents CAD.

You are encouraged to offer feedback and/or interact with me as this process unfolds. I'd love to hear what you like, what you don't like and what you'd love to see more of.
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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Several sets of fluorescent lights vibrate and pulse before filling up the room with a pale blue-tinged light. Marco steps out of the squeaking old elevator into the sub-basement of the half-collapsed apartment building. He scans the massive room, impressed at the tall shelves stacked full of boxes and computer parts.

Frank, Bill and Ajeet flood past him into the room. Each of them running their fingers across dusty labels, squinting in the light as, one by one, they find what they need and pull it down from the shelves.

"Wow, where'd you get all this stuff?" Marco asks, taking down an old video card, smirking at the flashy box and the banner that proclaims 'Now with 128 megs of ultra-fast DDR2 RAM!'

"Mostly from looters -- when the riots hit, a lot of people just grabbed stuff, not really knowing what they had. Some of it was junk -- like that card there. But some of it --" Bill smiles and holds up a small rectangular box. "-- some of it was a mighty fine find indeed."

Bill tosses it over to Marco who rolls the unmarked box over in his hands, opening the lid and marveling at the chip inside. "Holy crap! Is that the new 12-core--"

"The new 12-core processor that Intel was working on? Yep. I've got no idea how the hell it ended up here -- but since we gotta rebuild anyway, that's what I wanna use for the new backbone." Bill takes the chip back from Marco, sliding it back onto a shelf. "Unfortunately, I think we're going to be a ways off from that for a while."

"Okay, so tell me how you got your hands on a SysOp's computer?" Frank asks, sneezing as he blows dust off a box of computer parts.

"Let's just say they didn't give it up without a fight." Marco nods to himself as he inspects the black, sticker-covered netbook in his hands.

"May I see it?" Frank stands before him, his thick, calloused fingers quivering.

Marco is about to hand it over when he hears Ajeet cough behind him. "Are you sure that's a good idea, Frank?"

Frank looks to Marco, to the laptop, to Ajeet then back to the laptop. He licks his lips and gives a nervous laugh. His hand shakes a little more but Frank steps back, nodding; sweat beading on his brow. "No. You're right. You're right."

Oh my god. That's what I look like? The realization explodes in his mind as he watches Frank wipe his forehead on his sleeve and let out a heavy sigh. Frank steals one last look at the laptop then goes back to pulling boxes from shelves.

Marco feels the weight of the netbook in his hands, turns to Ajeet. "I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help for this next bit. I'm a net addict. I'm on a program, I'm getting help, but for what's coming next… it's better if you hold on to it."

He hands the netbook over to Ajeet who nods. "I'll keep it safe."

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