Day 3: June 3, 2106
Yesterday I sat locked in that chair for hours, watching. I'd raced from dataspace to dataspace, searching. Speed was noticeably faster, and the scenes, textual information, and, toward the end, voice recitations came more and more quickly. Despite these improvements, though, I was exhausted and depressed.
At last, when Jimmy Radix died, I could stand no more. I threw the keyboard across the room and fled.
At night I dreamed of my parents. I have not thought of them in years, not since I left home at fourteen, back in 1987. Perhaps it was that Peter was fourteen when he and Jimmy Radix met that reminded me.
I never had a friend like that.
The dream used part of a memory. We were driving over the Sawtooth range to the desert, a road that wound through fir trees, the cool air of the mountains through the open window. My mother looked back at me over the seat, the wind catching at her hair, carrying it around her face in feathered drifts. My father was driving, staring ahead, his hands visibly tight on the wheel. I must have been very small.
This really happened. I remember it well. What followed was dream, though. It must have been.
The car sailed off the road, into the air, and began to fall. I could see trees, upside down, and granite outcroppings, and deep canyons with bright threads of water, turning and turning as we fell.
Then I woke up. I've been falling ever since.
This morning I waited a long time before logging onto Worldnet. The bodies had begun to bother me. I would walk down the rows of life support tents, looking at them. There are not many, as I said, but they look so small and abandoned there. Some of them are curled on their sides, as if resting, though they are dried and fragile. I tried to find their names, but no one wrote anything down in an easily accessible form. I suppose their names are stored somewhere in computer memory. Soon I will try to find them.
I don't really know why I want to know this. They were dead and gone long ago. But they are the only human presence on the earth.
I had another surprise when I logged on this morning, too.
Homer appeared. His hologram was nearly complete.
Keywords: their, though, names, find, long, morning, turning, really, small, must, air, trees, road, driving, memory, dream, fourteen, since, radix, jimmy, dataspace
All text © 1986 Rob Swiggart. "Portal : A Dataspace Retrieval" is available courtesy of the Author's Guild Backprint Programme. ISBN: 0595197841All programming and software © 2002 Salim Fadhley. Released under the GPL. Code available on request.
Updated: Sun Apr 14 2002
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