Chapter 8: Jojo and Isis

“You haven’t heard!” said Jojo. He always had more energy than anyone in the room, and approached the most mundane things with reckless abandon. Jojo was a whirlwind, which is why Silas loved kicking it with him, a husky Korean kid with a round face and infectious smile. On top of all this he seemed to be antsy today, and bounced around his room, shadow boxing the air excited to tell Silas what he knew.

“Relax, man, what the hell’s up with you?” Silas said with smirk on his face.

“He’s been trippin’ all morning,” said Isis, “more than usual I mean.”

She had been hanging out here since the early morning. Jojo and Isis were cousins, and though related, were nothing alike. Isis was slightly taller, with a muscular build, and beatiful dark brown eyes. She always exuded a calmness that bordered on indifference for most things, but she was sharp as a tack in most things and had a razor’s wit. Silas had always found her interesting to talk to, and lately she had started looking kinda cute even.

“Yeah, I saw a crowd of folks at the square talking about some kind of weird feed that came through?” Silas said, trying to hide his own nervous energy. He watched as Jojo turned his back to him, raising his hands slowly in a circular fashion until they met palms forward. Then with a kung-fu-grip ferocity quickness, turned to him in dramatic fashion.

“Okay, so here it is. You listening!?!” Jojo pointed at him, trying to gauge his readiness.

Silas stared at him, eyebrown raised, “Um, yeah…Jesus, spit it out already!”

“Alright, so I’m surfing the feeds last night y’know, kinda jumping between the usual, Shaolin Martial Arts and Extreme Big Wave Surf and stuff, I mean I was into this one wave you should seen, off the North Shore, huge fucker…um, but yeah, right anyway…and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere…the VR went all white, and I ended up on some nondescript street somewhere.” By this time, Jojo had closed the gap between him and Silas draping his hand over his shoulder, and pointing out the window as he described this tall tale. “I began walking down the street kinda bewildered actually, not knowing how the hell i got there, cuz I was on a fricking wave just a second ago, and slowly all these people began to stream out of the houses and storefronts.”

“What kind of people?” Silas asked. Isis just looked on, acting like she knew the punchline to the joke, having heard the story before Silas had arrived.

“All kinds, man. And they were different from people we usually see in feeds, some were kinda tired-looking, there were little kids who were all dirty dressed in rags, oh…and mean-looking dudes with like all these tattoos and just rough-looking. It was kinda intense.”

“Well, what did you do? What did they do?”

“I mean, I was gonna start running away from them, because I thought I was gonna get attacked or something, but then one of the little kids came up to me and was like, ‘we are here. don’t forget. we’ll be watching.’ and then she pointed up into the sky and—” Jojo paused, seemingly building up the drama of the moment, Silas hanging on his last word, “Do you wanna know what happened then?”

Snapping out of it, Silas slumped back in his seat, “For crying out loud, just tell me what you see, you idiot!?”

“You don’t have to get hostile…what I saw…..was Zenith.”

“You mean, you saw it from afar, like you were in…the Old City,” Silas said, the excitement within him beginning rise.

“I swear, it was the weirdest thing. Because for whatever reason, I don’t think I had ever seen it in any feed before that. This was like the first time,” Jojo was getting a little more serious, “I was going to tell my parents, but I wasn’t sure, since they are always trying to keep us from talking about the Old City and that’s why we always give you shit. I just didn’t wanna get in trouble. You are the only other person I know who is totally into the Old City…all those stories and stuff.”

Silas was lost in thought. What did this have to do with what he saw?  His experience was nothing like this. And he didn’t get uplifted by accident, he chose that feed. CS #33. He had to know what that meant. Meanwhile, Jojo was looking at him expecting a reaction.

“Hmmm…” Silas said, careful not to spill all that he knew, “that sounds very interesting. Must have been what those folks were arguing about downtown. I think you are right to keep this sort of off-line, y’know, and keep it just on a private chat between us three.”

“I said the same thing,” Isis chimed in.

“I’m gonna go back home and see if I can get some more information out of my Dad. He should know what is going on at the broadcast center, since he sits on the Council. I’ll wire you guys when I found out more.”

“Yes, sir.” After a series of strange, Kung fu-like movements, Jojo folded his hands together and bowed. Isis looked on holding back her laughter.

“Listen, Bruce Lee…you probably should lay off the Shaolin feeds for a little while, your kinda freaking me out,” Silas winkied as Isis, sent an army salute to Jojo, and headed out the door.

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~ by artofpeace on July 22, 2008.

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