Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Finishing a story... task for the weekend is to finish writing "Tigers" and get it ready for submission. It's just the final tweaks and tuning that take the time...

But here's a sample section.

A Dozen Tygers Dancing By The Light Of The Apocalypse

The Evil Dead had played a couple of vampires in midfield, and were making a killing. Three goals up at halftime, and the Irish Golem was standing firm. Moving the augmented leagues to the evening had given the nocturnal dead a distinct advantage over most of the other remakes – especially as the floodlights were browned out yet again. The solid mass of the golem made her a superb goalkeeper, and the fast feline genemod Tigers were struggling. A single goal in the first half had given them some hope, but now they were tiring, and their drug-aided boosts and assists were starting to wear off. The posthuman strength of the machine vampires had turned the match, and the Tigers knew it was over.

The ritual killing of the Tiger’s captain ended the evening, the crowd baying for blood as a vampire ripped out his throat with a steel claw. His scarlet pelt would decorate the Evil Dead’s clubhouse for the next few months.


A hot dog dripping ketchup on the grass in one hand and a handheld protocol analyser wrapped in a laser-printed fanzine in the other, Inspector John Gant watched the swarms of people as they left the ground. They’d had a tip off this morning back at the station, an anonymous email through a chain of blacknet servers that ended up somewhere in the Christmas Islands. Keywords and code groups in the innocuous message meant that a usually reputable source in the memetic underground had told them that an active group mind would be here in Yeovil tonight, at this football match.

This hadn’t been the week’s big game: it was just a typical death match in the lower augmented leagues of the Zentaca-Monsanto Conference. But somewhere, in contravention of Section 3.2 of the Intelligence Augmentation Act of 2013, a fully active IA consensus group was watching the game. This was thoughtcrime at its worst: the blending of identity and the death of soul. Or so thought the current government and, by direct line of legislation, the Intelligence Augmentation squad of the Somerset police. When it cam down to enforcing the law it didn’t really matter what an old copper like Gant thought. On a wet night like this, chasing down extropian thoughtcriminals was better than dressing in layers of active armour and walking the beat.

The crowd noise changed slightly, no longer exuberantly aggressiveness. Gant looked over at his assistant. It looked like young Andrews was drawing attention to himself again, waving his analyser around. A couple of the Tigers were looking at him, grinning, showing their ceramic fangs, while a group of Evil Dead fans were sharpening their ceremonial stakes. Young policemen out on their first big assignment always seemed to be attention magnets, no matter how much they tried to be inconspicuous. Gant knew it was a fact of life, but couldn't help resenting it getting in the way of the job. Not that tonight would be a success, as the group mind would have probably seen Andrews' protocol analyser already. Even so there was still a chance to leave with some useful data.

“Time to go home, Andrews.”

“But sir, I’m going to need more time to spot the IA.” He pointed at a spectrum chart on his screen. “Boss, there have to be anomalous signals coming from at least half the people here. And if our target has patched its signalling protocols with that new frequency hopping datagram RFC we saw on that intelligence extract from the blacknet boards, we’re going to need some serious time to find the consensus group. There’s no chance of spotting even low-bandwidth connectivity in near real-time…”

Gant turned to the young constable, “Of course they’ll be using that, or probably something better that hasn’t hit the open blacknets yet - they’re a bunch of extropians committing a thoughtcrime… Just get me a full wide-band capture of the local data space - if we don’t get them tonight, I want to throw it at the RF analysis software back at the station. That way we’ll get a transmission signature that’ll help us spot them at some point in the future. And a chance at throwing some reasonable processing power at the data.” He paused, took a bite from his hot dog, “Oh, and while you’re at it, see if there’s any optical leaking. We may not get a precise fix, but they could be using directional links. Surgically fitted laser comms. I hear they’re big in London now.”
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