Trust The Screens

Trust the screens.

That was the word on the street (on the streets that mattered, anyway)—follow the scenes, trust the screens.

Greddy Zabno thought about that, as he punchcoded a routine to better align his skates’ swarm of nanite wheels with the new street conditions. The street hackhouse was a little like an ancientschool phonebooth, on its side and just a little (never enough!) higher. You slid into it with the multiple discomforts of this-is-too-tight and this-really-IS-like-a-coffin-am-I-dead. But that’s the price you paid for a secure terminal which, not to put too fine a point on it, was, of a necessity, self-sterilyzing. Greddy stared slightly upward at his high-performing screen.

Your ordinary yoob didn’t know screens, not even your salary-man types who reported to them to promise sales or lie about meetings. They thought screens were tools. But they were more than that. They were knowledge.

Libraries? Very very 2012. Ancientbeyondbelief history. Screens could let you look up information at the speed of light, assuming you had some kind of keyboard which moved slightly faster than the speed of light, which would probably involve time travel, which would probably be more functionality than even the most dedicated hacker needed. Sorry, where were we? Screens could look up information real fast, but they’d also let you send it back.

Exchange of information, now that was precious. Some of it under names. Most of it under aliases, like Greddy’s. Some of it anonymous.

That was what this message, this “Trust the screens” was. Nobody knew who generated it. Nobody needed to. It was any hacker; it was all hacker; it was the ghost in the machine.

Newspapers? Controlled by financial interests. Everyday opinions? They don’t know where it’s really at.

Most people would never know the ‘Net as more than a way to store a grocery list or maybe, if they got up the courage, send Grandma’s recipe via big, scary, electronic mail.

But someday, maybe even the most tetrahedral of the squares would get it. Trust your screens.

Every screen was saying it.

And if you can’t trust your screens, then you can’t even trust, for example, your screens.

And that would be unthinkable.


Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.