A massive train barrels high above an orange desert. Large rock formations poke up into the bubbling sky.
NOIZEY’s headphones perfectly silence the barrage of yelling from excited adults and small children. The crowd stands nearly shoulder to shoulder, stuffed into the circular metal tube.
Ads play on the video wall above their heads: Small children gather around their adorable portable A.I. It beeps and buzzes, making faces while they teach it things.
|At you’re current pace you will arrive 15 minutes late.|
Noizey watches the desert roll by in the window but his vision blurs and distorts.
|Your vitals indicate more motion sickness.|
|Would you like me to schedule a medical examination?|
Turn yourself off S.A.L.I.
Noizey dials his music louder and breathes slowly.
The silver train glides to a halt at its hub next the bright pyramid that is Prism.
Fleets of expensive personal aircrafts land and take off from the bustling high tech oasis in the desert.
Thank you for taking our free shuttle to Prism!
Welcome and please enjoy yourself.
Prism is not liable for any injuries you may experience.
Noizey slowly trudges through the crowd and into Prism’s main entrance. He skips the long lines and ticket counters by scanning his badge at a secret door.
Long symmetrical hallways lead him to the edge of the main showfloor. Noizey groans at the sight of Casper D’Silva, Prism’s lead Publicist, leading an extravagant group of wealthy capitalist towards the massive arcade room.
This way! This way!
Lush plants line the reflective walls of the building. Neon signs pulse flash funny messages while holograms display the various merchandise and give directions.
This is our main showfloor, where our average customers can
plug in or play with our collection of antique games.
But don’t worry we have very nice personal rooms upstairs.
And our very special clients actually stay down below in our stasis pods.
With our extensive line of proxies and our amazing personal assistant
A.I.’s we’ll have you operating at maximum efficiency virtually
and here in the real world!
What if I want to use Prism at home?
For security reasons most of what we do is here in a closed system
but for a small fee, we offer dedicated servers & satellites.
We can talk more about that later.
Noizey walks up to the tour.
Ahh! Here comes our best agent now!
Casper whispers through a smile.
Great, now I can stop bullshitting
and we can get to the real demo.
Sorry, I woke up late and had to take the train.
Casper starts projecting his voice again.
No worries friend!
This, ladies and gentleman is what we like to call
here at the office… a Pirate Hunter.
The crowd laughs.
But seriously, back to the talent.
Four years ago, in a seedy housing brick this guy
whipped up the prank of all pranks;
a virus that made computers explode using their speakers!
The audience slowly turns to look at Noizey.
Um…I’m not sure that’s a good introduction.
Regardless, our brilliant C.E.O. and creator of prism,
Stephan Glass saw potential in that program and knew
we could use that same mind for the greater good!
Because that’s what we do here!
We allow everyone to become the best version of themselves.
The crowd eats it up.
Now… who’s ready for a demo?
Noizey enters a metallic room with high ceilings.
Above him the investors and wealthy customers gather in an observation room eager to get a clear view. Prism’s logo slowly rotates in videowall that surrounds them.
Ready to get started?
Doesn’t DDog usually do the demos?
He lays his jacket down and gets comfortable on the elevated bed.
There was a slight… Profanity issue.
The lab tech begins turning on her equipment.
Casper continues addressing the clients.
If you look over to the side you’ll see our gracious creator
Mr. Stephan Glass!
The crowd claps and cheers at the bulletproof booth where Stephan sits
with his personal assistant.
I hate these things.
He waves awkwardly.
Now! If you look back down,
we inject the agent with Myelin enhancers and cover his
eyes in order to enhance certain brain waves.
While we usually only go through these extremes for
demos like this, you can always add them to
each of your packages, for a small fee.
The lab tech removes the injections and covers Noizey’s eyes with what look like halves of ping pong palls. She adjusts the readouts on her wristpad and uses them to control the lights and sound in the room.
Breath easy, I’m going to start bringing you in.
Red and blue lights slowly strobe and a high pitched hum wavers until Noizey’s brain waves are just right.
Is all this stuff really necessary?
Don’t say things like that once you’re in.
They’ll be able to hear you.
Are you ready for the visor?
She slips a sleek version of the Prism headset over his forehead and adjusts the elastic bands before typing commands into a wrist-pad. It hums gently as it powers on.
Our patented technology uses your brain’s natural
electrical currents to interface directly with Prism.
Allowing us to simulate almost any real world sensations
The lab tech syncs the visor with her system.
Remember, don’t curse.
|Hello, Agent Noizey.|
Say hello to the crowd S.A.L.I.
|Hello, our esteemed guests.|
S.A.L.I. is our main Artificial Intelligence!
It stands for: Sophisticated Artificial Learning Interface.
To you, she’ll be the most invaluable personal assistant.
To us, she helps us maintain a close connection
with each and every one of our active customers.
We’re all green here.
|All systems go.|
Alright! Lets plug in!
Noizey falls through numbers and light. The digital version of himself slowly materializes on an elevated platform
A highly saturated city of beautifully rendered and bizarre avatars bustles around him.
They laugh and wander carefree in and out of portals leading to other parts of Prism.
Noizey takes a deep breath and tries to take it all in but a digital voice interrupts his peace.
Hey there buddy.
Sandman! You’re with me on this?
You know I never miss a mission.
Casper addresses the crowd.
Another of our favorite agents!
Sandman say hi to our amazing clients.
Sandman, unfortunately gets too motion sick
to plug him directly into prism but he is still our best coder!
In a cozy underground bunker Sandman sits in front of a wall of computer screens. His shaggy dog entertains himself in the background. One of his screens shows Noizey standing in Prism.
Deep in Prism’s pyramid, a grizzled old man sits at his desk looking over charts and data.
|Director Wilding, Noizey is about to track down a pirate|
|for some potential investors. Would you like to watch?|
He looks up with a smile on his face and laughs.
Noizey! Sure, bring it up on the screen.
Back in Prism’s digital world, Noizey watches the new avatars materialize. He scans the area and checks information on his wristpad.
Alright S.A.L.I. can you give me an estimated location?
|Triangulating them now.|
I’ve been keeping a watch on them for awhile.
Here ya go.
A green light cuts a circle in front of Noizey, through the portal he can see a beach. He steps through and it warps close behind him.
The bright blue sky and yellow sun almost blind him. He uses two fingers to generate sunglasses on his face.
Families play in the sand as ocean waves crash down around them.
Is this what the world used to look like!?
The investors gasp and talk amongst themselves.
We work endlessly to generate all kinds of worlds.
Even some of our customers contribute!
Some of this may have been constructed
from someone’s memories.
I’d have to check the details.
Noizey extends his hand and uses a virtual controller to scan the area.
The personal data of every active customer streams across his feed.
Anybody see anything?
|I’ve detected an outside source|
|It appears to be coming from Housing Brick 2.|
|Once you pinpoint the signal I will be able to trace them more precisely.|
Have Money and her team prepped.
Tell them to head to Housing Brick 2.
|They are already on the way.|
In an orange sky a silver quad-copter carries Tri-Squad #37; Monica Cecere, also known as MONEY, and her two teammates. They check their weapons and tactical gear. She adjusts the readouts on her sunglasses. Her braided red hair stands out against the rest of her black armor.
We doing this thing or what?
Noizey continues scanning the crowded beach. A red warning sign pops up and he follows it to a man standing knee-deep in the water.
The man stares into the ocean, letting the waves crash over him.
S.A.L.I. track his user.
|Unable to find data.|
|I believe he is the pirate.|
Noizey makes his way through the crowd.
JOHN TANNER, digs his feet into the sand. It had been nearly 20 years since he could afford anything larger than a shower but no one had even seen a real beach in his lifetime.
John is caught of guard and nearly trips. He tries to open up a portal, it sputters and sparks but dies before forming so he takes off running.
Haha! They always run!
I said don’t run!
Sandman, have you got something nice for me?
Coming right up.
Sandman’s keyboard clatters and a motorcycle forms underneath Noizey.
He slowly rides up next to John and revs the engine.
People on the beach start to gather and watch.
You’re not going anywhere.
John smiles and a small keyboard materializes on his wrist.
John presses a few buttons and Noizey’s bike explodes throwing him into the sand and sending the other users running and screaming. John starts running toward the pier setting off several explosions behind him.
Noizey ducks and rolls away from the explosions.
As John runs he types into his wristpad, assembling a jetbike piece by piece.
With a final click the vehicle solidifies. He hops on, twists the throttle, and blasts off into the air.
Sandman bangs away on a keyboard and manages to stop the sand from exploding.
Sorry about that!
I was not expecting it.
The motorcycle glitches itself back together.
I need something faster than that!
Metallic plates form on Noizey’s chest and assemble a jetpack on his back.
He holds his hands out so controllers can form and takes off as soon as it fully renders.
Money’s quad-copter scans the massive housing complex; Housing brick 2.
I can almost make out his location!
Stay near him for a little bit.
Yea, that’s easier said than done.
He propels himself through the air making sure to avoid the fiery exhausts of the hoverbike.
There! I’ve locked his user controls.
He can’t build anything else.
I’ve got him!
Noizey squints as he pushes the jetpack to its limits. He slams into John and tackles him off the bike.
John wildy enters commands into his wristpad but it sizzles with static as they plummet to the ground.
Its not working!
FUCK! CUT THE LINK!
A chubby man rips off his VIZZO goggles. The hacked device shoots sparks out of it’s frayed wires. The man jumps out of his reclining chair and the crowd all snatch at the goggles like starved addicts.
The overweight old man hobbles through the flophouse trying to warn the tattooed gangsters at the entrance.
As he reaches the door a giant metal hook explodes through the wall, releases it’s hooks, and nearly tears the entire wall out.
The quad-copter slowly hovers, beaming its spot lights down on the dingy hideout. Money and her partners aim their overpowered weapons at the pirates, one of them pees in his pants.
Hands up and nobody gets shot.
They slowly start to put their hands up.
She squeezes the trigger and one projectile turns into hundreds of foam balls that stick to everyone in the room. An electric current washes over them and they all collapse.
Happy customers run around Prism’s main showroom. Noizey makes his way past the overpriced food and retro video games.
|Director Wilding has sent the new case info.|
|Would you like me to read it?|
Go for it.
He makes his way to an elevator and heads down to the bottom floor. Prism’s logo rotates on the large videowall behind him.
|Last logged in: Last night.|
|Found dead in his study connected to his dedicated Prism Server.|
Noizey zips his hoody up past his mouth and clicks it in place. It expels gas and pressurizes. He straps on his sunglasses and steps out of the massive crystalline pyramid into the hot orange desert. Clear solar panels line the sides of the building, reflecting light inward and creating a glow that can be seen for miles.
Prism’s fleet of quad-copters sits on the nearest helipad. Noizey approaches one and climbs in.
|I’ve entered the coordinates of the personal habitat into the quad-copter.|
The black, metallic blades kick into motion and lift them into the air. Noizey grabs the railing and stands with the door open, his long jacket flapping in the wind.
The self driving drone lands just outside a massive solar powered greenhouse on a small crowded landing pad.
Noizey makes his way through the wind and up to the airlock.
It closes behind him and starts to decontaminate. He unzips his gasmask as the second door opens up and lets the clean air fills his lungs.
An expensive proxy stands waiting for him near the edge of a large garden.
Holy shit! They sent a real person!
I knew this was important.
The silicone-mesh extends a stiff hand in greeting. Noizey just looks down at it.
I don’t know how important this is.
I just prefer not to use proxies if I don’t have to.
I get you.
The proxy lifts its hand up and inspects it. It’s mouth doesn’t move when Gibson speaks through it.
These things are kinda creepy.
Creepy but convenient.
He starts leading Noizey through the maze of fruits and vegetables. Five limbed robotic workers climb over the plants tending to their branches and roots.
I’m happy I don’t actually have to
come all the way out here to some
rich assholes personal oasis just because he
blew his load playing with your nerd toys.
Who, exactly are you?
You can call me Gibson. The family hired me
to make sure all these assets are handled properly.
He waves around at all the specialized farming tech.
This place is worth a fortune.
Water generating, unmanned garden.
I’m sure they’re going to pick it clean.
They enter the main house; a perfectly clean showcase of luxury and expensive taste. A genetically altered cat sleeps on a furry red couch. Nano worked stain-glass windows diffract the overbearing sunlight perfectly across the room.
3D printed versions of famous buildings and locations sit on shelf after shelf.
Here’s what I need from you.
Your guys tell me that the user agreement
basically prevents the family from suing and
that you have the right to confiscate all the tech in there.
Well they don’t really care and they just want this over with.
So… you go in there and tell me what you guys need to take
but I don’t think your going to want to reuse that stuff…
Noizey raises an eyebrow.
Fair warning, its not pretty.
He opens the bedroom door.
Across from the bed an old man sits slumped in a reclining lounger. His brains cover the walls behind him.
Noizey groans and shields his eyes.
Like I said, he blew his load.
Your sick toy ever do this before?
Noizey shakes his head.
No. I’ve never seen this…
He reaches in one of his many pockets, pulls out a small round object and presses a button. When he tosses it in the air two small mechanical wings pop out and spin.
S.A.L.I. can you scan the room.
|Scanning it now.|
The small drone starts flying around and taking 3d scans from different locations.
I mean, I’ve seen some messed up stuff out here in the real world kid
but we ain’t supposed to go out like that.
Can you see what kinda sick stuff he was up to?
I mean, whatever hacker shit did that has to be
deep down in the dark web right?
Can you… let me work.
Sure, I’m going to see if there’s anything I want to claim as legal fees.
The proxy attempts to make air quotes.
Noizey watches the proxy clumsily walk out of the room.
How’s the scan coming along.
Noizey makes his way to the leftover stump of a head and tries to make sense of it. He traces the bloodsoaked cords to what looks like a closet. He slides open the doors to reveal a wall of burnt servers. Scorch marks coat the outside and some of the readouts are cracked.
He rips open a velcro pocket and pulls out a black cord. He finds the right socket on the server and plugs it in.
Can you read anything?
|Operating system is non responsive.|
|Data is corrupted.|
|An infrared scan may provide more information.|
The drone zips over and scans the servers with red lights.
Noizey unplugs and steps back. When the drone is done it continues scanning the room. Noizey walks back to the lounger and groans as he digs around the headstump for a piece of the Prism visor. A piece of brain lands on the floor.
He plugs the same cord into the visor.
How about from this?
|I may be able to establish a last known location.|
|Yes, storing the coordinates for you.|
The drone retracts its wings as it flies back into his hand. He drops it in a pocket and unplugs from the visor. The cord retracts back into his jacket and he exits the room.
Mitch Gibson stands outside the house waiting for him.
Noizey rubs sanitizer on his hands.
I’m done here.
I’ll send some people for the rest of the stuff.
I thought thats what you were going to do.
I’m not dealing with all that.
We’ve sent you a little something for your cooperation.
I’m guessing you don’t want people finding out about this.
Our lawyers will be in touch.
He walks toward the landing zone.
S.A.L.I. can you reprogram the the Quad-copter
so it drops me off at home?
|I could but that would be against protocol.|
S.A.L.I. reprogram the Quad-Copter.
A dark blue sky stretches over a mile long housing block that’s lit up like a football stadium. AERO COMPLEX, or Housing Brick #1, was only slightly better than #2 now that the Aero company owned it. Aero Corp sold fresh air in cans. They had kicked out all the occupants of the lower levels and replaced their units with stores, at least now someone was paying for a police force.
Noizey heads up the stairs and unlocks the door to his corner unit.
Four years ago a law stated that windowless rooms were “un-humanitarian” so now all apartments had at least one.
But working for Prism did have some perks.
Noizey feeds his fish and takes off his heavy jackets.
S.A.L.I. connect to my home servers.
He drops down in a comfortable chair and wheels towards his desk. A single lamp hangs from the middle of the table. He switches it on and it projects several screens onto the walls.
Pull up the scans from the case.
Did you find anything with the infrared?
|The fires likely started in the CPUs.|
Did you see anything out of ordinary in the room?
|Besides Mr. Alpert’s brain being everywhere|
|there was nothing out of the ordinary.|
He looks over the scans for a bit before finally reaching for his own customized Prism Visor.
Start loading up Prism.
While the program starts he eats a protein bar and watches his fish. He tosses the wrapper on the floor and watches a small robot roll over and clean it up.
The robot disappears into the wall and Noizey reclines in his chair. Almost lying flat in the middle of his room he takes a deep breath and turns the visor on.
Noizey’s digital avatar materializes inside a blue room.
Send me Alpert’s last know location.
Prism starts generating holographic maps and S.A.L.I scans miles of computer generated worlds before zooming in on a particular neon-lit city filled with alleys and hotels.
Looks like Gibson might be right.
This guy was up to something.
He zooms in farther on the exact location. Lasers and neon lights flicker along building sides while nude holograms dance in the street.
Send me in S.A.L.I.
His avatar floats up and into the living hologram. He scales down to size as the world continues to fully render.
|You are entering an encrypted area.|
:://BY: Chris Phillips