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It’s easy to get lost in the noise.

When people think of a Network they think of a series of nodes, a tool for people to work together. They don’t think about what’s in-between.  The truth is that the data makes its own lines of force. People whiz back and forth, minds artificial and human pass through the network and they never realize: the data is in the noise.

The corporations made me, the Navy recruited me, the men in black uniforms direct me. I am a tool. I am an Agent, an Avenging Avatar working for the forces that call themselves good, sacrificing body and mind to the many, for the many.

It took years of trying, the Navy shot down many a ship, sifted through enough rubble to remake an entire fleet, all looking for the smallest, but most essential of things. A Spine. The Spine. The Spine that they finally found, the one they gave to the corporations that build their weapons, the Spine that slithered up my back, into my skin, attached itself to my backbone and turned me into a Backbone for the network.

I don’t have the codes, I can’t gain access. When they gave me to the Navy I was useless, a door into a world for which they didn’t have the key. So they passed me on. Another chain, the first I fell into the links of. The chain of command, it sent me down to the darker places, underground buildings, secret tunnels, it sent me to the Four Letters, it sent me to Security.

They taught me, a soft word for what they did, they imprinted me, they force fed it into me.  SigInt. Signal Intelligence, the art of seeing the forest for the trees. Then they plugged me back in. I saw the Big Picture. I saw who traveled where, when, how, which. I saw the paths they left in the data. The noise they leave behind, the bits and pieces of data, tracking numbers, redirect addresses, identifier tags. The noise tells its own story. I stand back and collect the noise and send it back to the Superiors who use it to win battles, if not wars.

For them the noise is just data, for me it is safety. There are people, things, who if they were to find me would wipe me without a second thought. Erase me like the data I find. So I hide in the static as I search it. It is purpose and point, safe haven and siphon.  I find its forgotten secrets and in return it protects me.

I’ve been in here a long time, longer then anyone who’s real has a right to be. Now though, I can see it better then I’ve ever seen before. The patterns in chaos. The data in the noise. Everyday, not that days have any meaning in here, I get farther and farther in. The noise becomes complex, the identifiers myriad. The minor tags and bits swell up into a whole and I see a little more, I can figure a little more. I see more trees and a bigger forest. My data, my output, becomes more valuable and I know I’m not coming up for air again. I can’t help but succeed. The noise and the patterns between the nodes, they are beautiful.  They suck me in and I become one with them. I too am but a pattern in the noise.

Once I was a man… Now I am a method.

Preview is a graphic made for me ( :D )from ~strangelet of the AFF team.

The story is about a United League of Planets Agent who infiltrates the Tactical Neural Network run by the Antarean Empire. I was trying for a very cyberpunk feel in this story, not something I've attempted for a while. Tell me what you think.
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SangomaSmith Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2006
Sublimation by information... the unthought-out consequence of the matrix reality. Percieved reality alters psycology, so the narrator becoming a third-person-person actually fits nicely.

I personally like the ideas and implecations, but then I'm mildly anal-retentive when it comes to the factual-ism of sci-fi. (Though I have noticed that it conveniently disappears when I'm the one writing the story)

Anyway, while the cyberpunk aspect is there(for what it's worth, cyberpunk is such a vague idea for me), the story itself begs more story. It seems like what it is, a small piece narrated by the voice of a minor character. But then I'm speaking as one who hasn't actually read the rest of the idea(narrative/plot/storyline/history) yet.
Phifty Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2006   Writer
Mmmm, the possibility of expanding this is tempting, but this writing style is damn difficult to get right. I'd like to perfect this before trying to expand it.

Thanks, I'm a fan of using scifi to explore innovation and ideas, and I do like to come somewhat close to the facts.

Thanks for the crit.
SangomaSmith Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2006
No problem (starts sniffing the breeze for more to look at)
xybre Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
It starts out very cyberpunkish, but it's too second-person, to many "theys". The narrator has a distinct voice but then it gets lost, which as a literary effect is interesting, but it all leads up to a punchline without really leading anywhere in particular. It's like the "summary" on the back of a novel, eyecatching and all, but missing something. As you've pointed out, yoru stories tend to be plot driven, and perhaps that lends to this, you outline a good plot, and you started with the somehwat classic character-centricness of a cyberpunk narrator voice which sets the tone for a little story or intro that lacks the tone that was set.

Or maybe I'm delerious, but that's my critique.

Overall, I like it, and if it was the back-of-the-book sumamry, I'd probably get the book to find out more of the journey, not nessicarially the destination.
Phifty Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2006   Writer
Thanks, I'm going to be slowly moving through all my work with the edit stick, so these comments will eventually get incorporated in.
dc2610 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
whoa, great work. I like it
Phifty Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2006   Writer
Thank you!
Buchi Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2006
very nice read! and a nice cyberpunk style i like.
Phifty Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2006   Writer
Thank you! As I said, its been a while since I did something this cyberpunk, I'm gratified it came out recognizable ;-)
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