Chapter 6: Wild Style

You sitting at home doing this shit. You should be earning a medal for this.

Stop fuckin’ around and be a man, there ain’t nothing out here for you.

Yes there is…

…this.

He had watched it maybe a couple dozen times, there was something primordial in how it spoke to him, the same way an infant crying speaks to something deep within a mother’s heart. Maybe it was the subways snaking through the city like pythons, breathing fire in the form of burners emblazoned on their rusted hulls. Or, the fuck-the-system concept of art versus conformity. It was real. The music got him charged too, that raw break beat, turn-of-the-century hip hop. Old school. Wild Style was ill.

Magus liked to reward himself after each mission with some eye candy, a visual morsel set apart from the seriousness of the present. His makeshift feed console was fashioned from salvaged junk that ended up in almost every Flatlander’s back yard. Zenith’s overflow always had a home. He knew how to get around the tracer posts, and since most of his feeds were self-generated, that usually didn’t matter. What the fuck did he need to see Zenith’s feeds for anyway, it was really just jelly donuts for the brain. All image, no substance. But the rawness of Wild Style that was his shit. In a lot of ways his passion for scribing, subversive scribing at that, followed a long lineage of scribers or writers dating back to this grainy video feed he excavated from an old magnetic tape reel. The digital and virtual world had bulldozed over much of the analog past, but there were still artifacts that made its way through the noise of the present, and legions of determined purists who ensured that they would live again.

Ever since that incident where he was accessed, something was gnawing at Magus. The payload would most certainly be activated in the next 24 hours, and until then he needed to know what had happened up there on tower three. He leaned over his comm and dialed up one of his fellow scribes, a quirky old timer named Bird.

Bird was originally from Beantown before he relocated to Los Angeles, and was a devout disciple of the Boston Celtics, from the now-defunct National Basketball Association. Before the league had been uplifted to the Darkstar mainframe, everyone including the common folk, used to enjoy those contests on television and in person and Bird was no exception. Magus usually gave him some shit about it, being that his grandfather had schooled him as a Laker fan, since he was a kid. He now resided in Reseda proper, cloistered in an abandoned apartment complex monitoring feeds and keeping busy. He had a couple of feeds from the old days, and he liked to give Bird hell from time to time.

“Yo, Bird, what’s online?”

“Magus…an unexpected uplink…things could be cleaner, the air especially, i’m getting up there in years, you know,” Bird chuckled, “can’t complain though…i see the scribes are keeping you busy?”

“Yeah, just finished an upload tonight, should go live in less than a day?”

“Any hitches?”

“Pretty smooth….pretty smooth….but I did run into some unforeseen circumstances, so to speak.”

“Sentries give you problems?”

“No, no…nothing like that,” Magus paused, “It was something in stasis actually.”

“Ha, ha,” Bird laughed, “Don’t tell me you got accessed Magus!” He had meant for it to be a joke, but when Magus didn’t respond right away, his laughter died down. “Hmmm…that’s pretty rare. Do you know who accessed you?”

“I don’t know, but for a moment, I had been uplifted to a white room. I think it was somewhere in Zenith because I could see the mountains in the distance. I panicked and closed the connection.”

“Hmmm…sounds like transcendence…”

“Transcendence?…c’mon man, that’s just hype..something about seeing what other users see?”

“Well, not only what they see, but essentially transcending the virtual space and entering the cognitive space.”

“What, so you can see what they are thinking? I’m like a virtual psychic now..”

“Um, its more like you take over.”

“Take over?” Magus said, drawn into the paradox Bird was presenting to him, “You mean become that other person!”

“That’s what they say, which is why I was asking if you knew who accessed you?”

“No.” Magus was speechless, engaging the possibility.

“That’s quite a break from the normal processes Magus, interesting stuff. I’d be glad to run a trace for you and see what I can find.”

“Thanks Bird…oh and by the way, ain’t nobody better than Showtime and you know it.”

“psshh…please, kid you wouldn’t know real basketball if it dropped in your lap, Bird out.”

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~ by artofpeace on July 13, 2008.

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