No, Not Really (Continued)
The OldMan got in touch with me the other day. He’s doing okay. Something the Docs aren’t entirely enthused about going on in his head. It’s a cloud of some sort. Like Joe vs. the Volcano, I just pretend every message from him might be the last, and hope the Docs are wrong, or at least mislead. There’s a lot of equipment in the OldMan’s head – I’m sure he’s literally erased more than I’ll ever store. Not unlikely there wouldn’t be a few pieces of gear that didn’t have complete installation dockets when they went in. Some didn’t have serial numbers, some didn’t have MAC addresses. Some of those serials were “0” and some of those hardware addresses had non-hex words in them.
Me? I’m okay. Trundling along, I guess. Can’t get back on my bike for a while yet, but that’s okay, ’cause it’s making me think about TaiChi again, which I never got into, but always thought I’d enjoy, given the chance. Maybe TaiChi would lead back into DharmaKhan again. Get me moving. Outta my head and into my body (and then absorbed back into my head). Funny thing about cycling for me – I do all this stuff with my body: my heart to run the show, my head to keep from getting run over by one of the silent auto-piloted mag cars that’re running old firmware and have “approximations” of the satmaps. Worn bright are the metallic curbs that the vehicles hug on turns that have been given the “best guess” turn info.
Where was I? Right, my heart to keep my legs moving, my torso to keep me upright, the halo of lights that repel the dogs that think anything that moves might be good eating, (including and perhaps especially tires, for some reason, must be the post-compost rubber).
All this physical stuff, and then my brain is doing what? Listening to music. I listen to music. Old stuff. They used to call him Chuck D, I think. Some band he was in back in the day. Before he was governor of the five Burroughs. Before. Before it was all connected. Ubiquity was a selling point, not something that cause alarm. Before the search engines learned more from you than you did from them.
So yeah, laying low for a little while still. Trying to clear my own desk before worrying what the OldMan’s health is doing. Oh,, right, sorry. He’s not MY old man. Not my father. More like they had in the mafia. He vouched for me once, y’know? Brought me in. Behind the curtain. Handed me a projectile weapon and a piece of the database in a dark alley while looking intensely behind us, and said “make a quick exit, and keep it quiet, this is only worth something if what they don’t know what they had.”
That’s the problem with steganography. Nothing looks like anything interesting any more. You don’t know what to keep and what to ignore. What to put in a safe and what to leave next to the dumpster. Means it’s easier to move the data around, but harder to keep track of who actually *has* anything any more. Leaves the submarine commanders doing weird things to see if anyone’s following them, just in case they have the transmit codes written on the side of their torpedo enclosures. Hidden in plain sight meant that a lot of people hid everything, just in case. Lying wasn’t always lying any more. Plausible deniability became a strength at first and then something to covet before being something to protect.
Maybe that’s what’s going on in his head – whatever that secret is caused the cloud. Maybe it’s trying to search him, not knowing that his mind isn’t part of the misty data realm. Not knowing that the lost memories aren’t just disconnects, but actual erasures.
Maybe it’s trying to figure out what state secrets his youth might be hiding under the facts of the matter. No way to know without the keys.
Maybe it’s just lists of names and numbers of people who know.
Maybe it’s just his life that’s the secret.