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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 89: Takano 41
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 86
The larger screen was not everything Tommy dreamed, but it was a user-friendly access to a major central computer system that was running all the basic systems in the house, plus information and communications systems. She was undaunted, though, and continued working at it, finding her way deeper into the system and subsystems. She saw that she could order food and other goods, get directions, adjust environmental conditions, and otherwise access the reality through the virtual.
As she was rushing across the screen, she accidentally brushed an icon marked “keyboard”, and to her immediate annoyance a keyboard slid out of the wall below the screen. Keyboards were so last decade; her father still used one. But abruptly she realized that this keyboard had several ports in the side, one of which was a universal serial bus. Hesitating only briefly, she grabbed her pad and her cable and connected it.
A new screen popped up on the main screen she had been using. It said, “There are upgrades available for this device. Would you like to upgrade?”
Tommy did not rush into this. After all, despite the similarities in software systems, she had not determined that this was her earth, or some variant of her earth in which systems would be compatible. She could lose the tablet. On the other hand, the bets favored compatibility, and the system into which she had connected seemed to be smart enough to identify her device. She said yes.
A list of upgrades appeared, including data compression, processor efficiency, screen resolution, and more. She set it aside to let it work, and picked up her phone. Booting it up, she watched it go through its startup sequence. It then said, “Wi-Fi detected. Connecting to Wi-Fi.” It then displayed the time and date, numbers which meant very little to her given that she had just come from another world into an underground cave system with no connection to the sun or the season. Yet it, too, suddenly said “There are upgrades available for this device. Would you like to upgrade?”
YOLO, she thought, and said yes. A similar list of upgrades appeared, and she set the phone down to join the tablet, and walked over to one of the benches to sit. She expected the system upgrades would take a while, and she didn’t really have much else to do for the moment.
YOLO--what an inappropriate expression, she thought. You only live once, but by now she was having trouble keeping track of her lives. She started in Delaware, went to the place with the strange moon, then to that fantasy forest, and from there to Nagasaki, and then to her extended stay at the Billings where Johnny Angel helped her make sense of it all, sent by car crash into another wood, and now here. It seems that she, at least, lived more than once. Some would say she was lucky. She wasn’t so sure.
She heard a sound, inattentively. She listened, and heard it again. It was someone knocking on the door. She also realized that in the time she had been preoccupied with the computer one of those other versers had moved, and was probably right there. She walked over to the computer screen by the door, and told it to open.
It was not Johnny Angel.
It was the woman in the red robe.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #385: Characters Ascend. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: