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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tales of the Cypherpunk 4

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How had fate caught Shilo at such an impasse? He floated inches above the passenger seat of the notorious unmarked cargo van. The driver, known only as Kelly, was in the process of landing the van in a light rail corridor. He seemed marvelously calm, though to be sure, only Shilo was in danger of death if captured.

The van landed, and Shilo landed with a series of vertebral pops soon after.

"Warning," chimed a friendly female voice, "You have left the designated route. Please return to the route as soon as possible."

A burst of small arms fire pattered the roof like hail. "Kelly, we have to stay within 100 meters."

"That's a round number."

"Indeterminate EM scattering by architecture limits the accuracy of range estimates, okay? Just try not to hit that train we're following."

"That's the front of the train."

"Oh sh"

The van lurched drunkenly onto three wheels and bounced off the tracks, into an alley, left into a parking garage, and up a ramp into the sunlight. Behind them, a hapless squad car collided with a commuter train. The squad car was ripped apart, the occupants killed on contact. Inside the train, a young teacher's latte was knocked onto a pretty violinist's lap, leading eventually to a marriage and three children.

Meanwhile, the van found itself in a small pedestrian plaza.

"Please make a legal U-turn and return to the designated route." A map of the local streets appeared, with the van's icon floating in a grey-and-yellow-striped zone.

Shilo rubbed his forehead. "I guess that took care of our tail. Let's go pick up the pieces.

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