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A flash-fiction sci-fi story. This is a short short story about a future in which communication technology is greaty advanced, but still people deal with some consistant issues in human life.
"When did you get that?" Jobs was always fascinated by new tech, but he never had the credit to purchase it. He always had to wait for the booty. Fortunately he knew a pirate.
"Calm down and shut up. You'll get it as soon as I can strip and clean it." Milton was a pirate, and he was good at being a pirate. Because of that, he always had the tech as soon as it came out. Sometimes before it came out, but he always had it.
"Is this even out yet? No, it's not. I know it's not. You're . . ."
Milton cut him off with a slug to his shoulder.
"If you don't shut up you'll never get anything again."
Milton made a circle with his index finger and thumb that only Jobs could see. It was the eye and it meant to shut it down. It only took a second for some stupid act to be picked up and then gone.
There was another way though, and so far it hadn't been invaded so Milton preferred it. He preferred it so much he had begun to use it in his day-to-day world instead of talking outside.
Opening a canal, Milton shot a message over to Josh sitting beside him on the shuttle. Their bodies were close but they could have been moons away.
It's not out yet. One of my worms grabbed it this morning. It needs done up and then you'll get yours and it'll be up for sale too
Milton always gave Jobs a free one because he had always felt sorry for him. Ever since they had been kids. They had both been born in shops below the meniscus but somehow Milton had found a niche. He had taken to the world he was born into. Jobs never had.
You should be careful. Someday they'll get into the canals too. They always do.
Of course they did most of the time. At some point. But now? The canals? Not yet. By the time they broke the canals everyone'd be into something new. Pirates traveled at the front. They never followed.
We're fine for now. I have more sensors up than any pirate I know. I'd know the second they broke in.
Still . . .
And he did have most all of his sensors up and running all the time. He had a great number of critters up and running. The sensors. The various worms mining for things. The cleaners and the strippers. The whole spectrum was at work for him. His resources were at the max. Of all the pirates he knew he was always the most maxed.
Did you see that? Jobs broke in on his running. For a second he had forgotten about Jobs and him having a canal opened. He had been focused on reviewing everything that was coming in.
They've found you. I just saw it shoot by. They're here!
Milton shot through the previous seconds that had escaped him, but before he could but all the cords he felt them freezing up. Every connection had turned to ice still connected to him. They had become chains that he could not escape. He had been a second to late and now he could feel himself freezing up.
The few things that Jobs had running he immediately killed or cut the cord. He'd done his part and for a second he felt something he knew was called guilt. But when he thought about the credits that now filled his account he forgot the guilt, and he started to wonder what life above the meniscus would be like. So high up from where they had both been born.
Moving to another seat across the shuttle, Jobs started up a couple of connections he always enjoyed. Not too many though. Soon they would come for the last part of Milton, his body, and Jobs thought he should at least see his friend off.