Power's Out

 

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Introduction

'The power's out,' Julian says.

 

He was saying something important just now. He was trying to tell the world exactly how he felt when he invaded an unmarked virtual body. He'd hacked into it, sans spilling blood for the body was virtual. With enough crypto-currency at his disposal, obtained by solving some of the hardest mathematical, societal, ethical, and organisational problems known to man, Julian had managed to hack into a mysterious body in the virtual world: a body he was trying to identify just now through describing the feel, the touch, and the silhouette to the world.

 

But now the power's out.   

 

'The lights in the studio are still on,' I say.

 

'Generator,' Julian explains, shaking his head. 'The live streaming has stopped. Why don't we still use battery-powered laptops? We need them in situations like this. Not Tesla's stupid wireless electricity.'

 

'Was it something you said?' I say.

 

'What do you mean?' Julian asks.

 

'Censorship,' I state. 'You're the first person to hack into this virtual body. You have more crypto-currency than anyone on earth, so you were able to access a part of the virtual world that no average person has ever seen before. Someone doesn't want this virtual person and her location identified.'

 

'The body was frail,' Julian says. 'Do you know of an important but frail woman in Britain? That's hardly likely these days, given women have been genetically-engineered to be as strong as men. This body felt disgusting. It was like I was having virtual sex with an old lady.'

 

'The Queen!' I shout.

 

'What?' Julian says.

 

'You hacked into the fuckin' virtual Queen!' I exclaim. 'Shit! We gotta get out of here. Her men are probably on their way here.'

 

'Whoa! You can't be serious,' Julian says.

 

'Who else would it be? She's so weak nowadays that her body must be controlled digitally. And you found a way into it. You were in the process of telling the world how to inhabit the Queen and enable a socialist - and perhaps geniocratic - uprising.'

 

'You mean the power could be out for real . . . ours for real?' Julian asks. 'Power could be made public? Finally?'

 

Cracks.

 

I see cracks forming. In glass . . . ceilings . . . meaning our destruction is now imminent.

 

'No,' I say, shaking my head. 'Oh, no! No! No!'

 

'What is it?' Julian asks.

 

I rush to the nearest window.

 

'Mushroom,' I say, tears forming in my eyes.

 

'Oh God!' Julian says. 'Please let this be a nightmare.'

 

But it's too bright.

 

We can do nothing but drop.

 

The power's not out.

 

I rush

 

 

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