net.work part 3 – FINAL

And here’s the final segment of the story. I hope that you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

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Grimwold observed the sleeping form of his daughter from his office, the base of his operations in The City. The copper beads attached to the ends of his braids clinked and clanked softly as he bounced his head up and down, switching from the table top monitor to the virtual station above it. His fingers moved swiftly through the air, tapping on a keyboard that only he could see. He smiled a dangerous smile, baring his teeth. A  low growl rose from his throat. He was hungry, and Xenobia was going to be his meal.

A chuckle escaped his lips. Only a few more moments, and every ounce of knowledge the young woman stored in her brain would belong to him. Confident that the war for control of the Middle States was a sure win for him, he leaned back in his chair, stretching his arms and lacing his fingers behind his head.

“Too easy;” he breathed. Checking the two monitors once more, he froze. There on the screen in front of him appeared an anomaly in the data processing. He sat forward, intending to reach for the keys, and stopped. The picture began to flicker. A symbol flashed before him, one he thought he’d never see again.

The Eye of Horus floated in the sea of cyberspace.

“What the hell?”

“Upload paused,” a mechanized voice said. “Connection interrupted.” In disbelief, Grimwold watched as all his stolen data flowed backwards, out of his computer system.

“FUCK!” He jumped to his feet, slamming his hands on the table top. Breathing rapidly, his hurriedly punched keys, closed folders and opened new files. He attempted every trick in order to stop the rape of his CPU.

The screens flickered again, and the blurred shape of a woman appeared.

“Deletion successful. Nice try, Grimwold.”

The man crashed backwards, missing his chair, and landing on the cold floor. “What – What the HELL is this?”

“Oh? So you do remember us,” the shape teased.

“I killed you, you bitch! I killed all of you! How the hell is this possible?” Panting, he searched  the floor of the office for something, anything, to be used as a weapon against the intruder. But how do you kill a CPU?

“You failed, Grimwold. You killed our body, but you failed to stop our heart and brain at the same time. Sneaky of you, though, you slick bastard. Remote viewing? How positively evil of you.”

“How? How can you possibly know this? And where are you? You’re supposed to be dead!”

“We are part of the net now, and we have captured you. You thought it was over because our body ceased to function. We were able to upload all of our own data via our chip before brain function ceased. We are everywhere and nowhere. But enough about us. You interfered with Xen, and that was your mistake. Her Ladyship belongs to us. The City is ours. You have failed.”

A whine filled Grimwold’s ears, almost obscuring the voice of Councilor. Almost. He could still hear their words as the blood began to drip from his nose, from his ears, from his eyes.

And as his body twitched, and his consciousness began to fade, he heard his daughter’s voice  say, “Shut down in progress. Please stand by.”

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