by Valentine Michel Smith
Valentine Michel Smith
Clark's technology was on a course to overrun him. He was surrounded by like - whoa, dude - cables that sprouted everywhere. Apparently, even the waaaaay too serious experience bursts of creativity.
Clark sat, the human center a technological rats nest - assuming the rats were cyber junkies who weren't concerned about fluorescent light disease - that bespoke of his comfort with computers and discomfort with people. "Must be an alien thing," he said out loud.
Clark had dozed off, in front of the computer screen - AGAIN. Behind him, the screen went blank suddenly. A prompt appeared, "Wake up, Clark."
Clark's eyes popped open, though he wasn't sure a blank screen was worth waking up for.
Clark typed "Ctrl X" but the letter "T" appeared. "Huh?" asked Clark, sounding like a Big Dumb Alien. Clark hit another key and an "H" appeared. He kept typing, pushing random functions and keys while the computer acted like it were possessed - or, at the very least, in need of someone from IT.
Clark stopped and stared at the four words on the screen: "The Smatrix has you."
"What the heck?" Clark hit the "ESC" button. Another message appeared: "Follow the white rabbit. Or the chick with the rabbit tattoo. Whichever gets there first. Have a nice day."
Clark hit the "ESC" button again and the image repeated. He wondered when his mother would call him for breakfast. He was hungry. Pancakes sounded good, maybe waffles... Or possibly... He rubbed his eyes, but when he opened them, there was another message: "Knock, knock, Clark."
Of course, he didn't think "Gee, someone's about to knock on my door." Instead, he just, well, FORGOT he had really good hearing and could see through things, Clark jumped, practically banging his head on the ceiling.
He floated back down to the floor.
Clark turned back to the computer screen.
The screen was blank.
Clark opens the door, leaving the chain on. Like he should be scared. Oh, Clark, hello? 6 foot 3, more powerful than a locomotive... Pete stood on the other side of the chain - with several of his friends. All women... Playa, playa...
"You're two hours late," said Clark.
"Well..." offered Pete, shrugging. He grinned broadly and wondered why his face hadn't split in two.
"You got the money?" Wait, did Bo Kent give a speech about selling illegal software? Were platitudes involved?
"Two grand." Pete slipped an envelope through the cracked door to Clark.
"Hold on." Clark closed the door. On the floor near his bed was a book, Baudrillard's Simulacra Simulations. The book had been hollowed out - eh, Clark was bored - and inside were several computer disks. He took one, stuck the money in the book, and dropped it back onto the floor.
The book fell into the apartment below. "Sorry," said Clark, peering into the hole.
Clark opened the door and handed the disk to Pete.
"Hallelujah! You are my savior! My own Personal Jesus Christ! I'll recommend you to my friends. You could start a religion, develop a messiah complex - "
"If you get caught using that - "
Pete rolled his eyes. "Blah, blah, blah."
"Something wrong, man? You look...a little whiter than usual?"
"Pete, you know we cannot discuss race. Hello, the future is now."
"True dat. Race was sooo 80's. My bad."
Also, why not join
Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?