Self Made – Sample

Chapter One

The moment she walked into the joint, Dex had known that she was there for him. It wasn’t just the hard look about her, the one that says, “I’ve never been in a dive like this before but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the creeps and low lifes scare me”. It wasn’t even the fact that she stuck out like a naked face. Really, he knew because she walked in. Everyone else would have ported in from a link, but she didn’t have a link. And that meant she’d been looking for this place on the QT and that meant she’d been looking for him.

That was the previous day. The memory of the meeting was fresh but imperfect, so Dex paged over to his viewer. His hands tripped across the space in front of him, moving files and links out of his view. The space he was sitting in was close, but there was enough room for him to easily wave his arms around — he could have expanded his viewer’s size to maybe even double without having to worry about whacking his neighbour. He found the file he wanted and the video image of his meeting the previous day imposed itself over his vision.

Dex, like most people, used one eye for one task, the other eye for another one, with the whole mess at about 80% opacity so he could still just see the physical world in front of him. At work he didn’t really need to see at all, but you never can be too careful. Just because he kept his own screen at a reasonable size didn’t mean that someone nearby, playing with the resolution, wouldn’t inadvertently punch him in the head while just trying to delete some mail.

He flicked a finger to start running the file, but then a chime sounded. Fuck. A call. He’d have to answer it, since that was how he kept his job and got paid. He quickly flicked his fingers in front of him, simultaneously hiding the file, opening a program on the company’s system and answering the call. “Barrett and Brar Upgrades, how may I help you make a better you?”

Dex gave the required greeting, then listened as the customer explained how his new neural sensation enhancer was malfunctioning. Dex had to suppress a chuckle as the guy at the other end of the call’s voice quivered as he spoke. Dex ran through the troubleshooting procedures with the caller, but early on down the litany of questions about configuration and whether the customer actually had turned the unit on, his mind wandered back to the meeting with the new client. And his real job.

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