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Writer ViridianMind
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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2. Aiden
Sep 13, 2018
7 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!cS1IKvFX5sDdMgKIaX9Xposted on PENANA

            The merger was swift and quiet. There was little media coverage other than a press conference at AccuCorps head office in Detroit. No one expected it to happen, so no one had organized much of a presence or paid it much mind. Blackwell could only think Timber’s influence had played some role in the lack of media coverage. At the conference Aiden wore black, in mourning for his daughter, he’d said. The cover story said she died of a drug overdose, Arex in particular. Blackwell pledged to create a foundation in Eladna’s name that would donate funds allocated for the foundation to a random rehabilitation clinic somewhere in the North American Union every tax quarter starting next month on November 10th.copyright protection2PENANA7OtXAVI98v

            He would not have worn black if it wasn’t a public affair, though he found the color favored him. He had avoided wearing black, preferring mute colors and grey. Though that time had ended, now he was something different.copyright protection2PENANAtkov381I56

            His car parked in his private garage below the main office.copyright protection2PENANAaJjX04Fa2P

In place of motor industry, Detroit had become a hub for BioTech Companies, for one reason: Cost. The swaths of crumbling buildings and dying historical landmarks were bought up and leveled for pennies on the dollar, and replaced with a bustling ScraperPlex that rivaled the like of Los Angeles or the New York Complex. Though most of the American Union was urbanized, there was land that was unusable.copyright protection2PENANA89DB7ewPnF

The dust bowl had returned to the great plains region of the continental US due to the fourteen-year war effort in Asia. Almost all farmland in the countries involved in the conflict became unusable by 2052, just eight years into the war. Either salted or farmed to oblivion, people were going hungry. But smart businesses saw opportunity where most saw dust storms and abandoned towns. In the days before war, and even a few years into the conflict, everyone was clamoring and arguing about non-modified foodstuffs. People wanted to know the chicken they were eating. They wanted to make sure plants were raised organically. They wanted to know the pedigree of the burger they were shoving into their face. Meat was still butchered, corn grew slowly, and synthesizing food and genetically modifying crops was both expensive and unpopular. By year ten of the Hungry War, people didn’t care where food came from, as long as it was at the very least, food. Blackwell got his start this way. Civilians and troops needed basic human amenities and the Corporations would deliver, with a large untaxed government stipend of course. Thus, AccuCorps was born, in a small office in the Westside of Detroit, buying up vacant or abandoned lots as they expanded. As the area gentrified, it became easier to buy people’s loyalty to the AccuCorp brand. Blackwell made his fortune on synthetic meat, and secured his hold in the Biotech field as a pioneer in pancreatic cancer research. But everyone who was anyone in the corporate world forever named Aiden, “Butcher”.copyright protection2PENANAkR0Jn3RoLW

The ride up the elevator to his office was, as always, quick and comfortable. It was a direct line from the garage to penthouse. The top floor had a glass ceiling in the shape of an open book, the spine facing north and south. Aiden liked the light, he enjoyed having his work and living spaces well lit. It was early evening, the remaining light of day muted by overcast skies. Blackwell walked into the causeway of the top floor, nodding to his assistant who was talking via VidChat with someone Aiden did not recognize, nor cared to know. The Western side of the book was a large office, the Eastern side an apartment. The office could be best described as having both taste and price in mind. Everything was immaculate, but within a budget. Sharp lines met a balance between black and white, and everything drew the eye to the West wall. It could be best seen now, with the dark grey sky juxtaposed to the black floor. Everything lit by soft off-white lights that turned on as soon as Aiden entered the room. They were well placed, making the place seem comfortable, lived in.copyright protection2PENANAuWGOTGTyQV

Five chairs were placed around a black oval shaped table. The chairs were finely made, hand stitched synth leather. At the western most point of the room sat a white desk and an old red armchair. The eye was drawn most to the desk and armchair, Blackwell had placed everything with design in mind.  The office was sparse save for those amenities.copyright protection2PENANAoZ41Bcf71D

Aiden sat at his desk and placed his Cell down on the desk; it glowed bright white as several white circles appeared on the desk. Blackwell picked and moved the circles around, each representing a packet of information in the NeuroNet. Aiden detested Diving, it may have been the Plural in him, but reality was not meant to be augmented that heavily. Each circle amongst circles was a Scheme, a measurable unit of information. A spin-off of Psychology, and old HardNet jokes. In the early days of the NeuroNet, they were designated Memes. It was quickly rebranded as the concept died with the Millennials.  Blackwell remembered his older brothers talk about them. then he’d later hear about Richard Dawkins theory in college as he studied both psychology and sociology. Aiden knew from that young age he would be in the business of making great change. To do that he needed to understand people, and how people thought in groups. A business degree was worthless in the business world. Though most schools still had them. A commodity of the past the way Blackwell saw it. But when Aiden got his start out of school he was destitute, in need of money. More than that he needed a chance, the Hungry War was just that. At his ripe old age of 45, Blackwell started AccuCorps. Now less than two decades from the turn of the century, he was the only member of his family left. His older twin brothers were long dead on foreign soil, his father a figure of mystery, and his mother had died during the Hungry War, of starvation, like so many others. But even in his old age he was healthier and more vibrant than he ever was.copyright protection2PENANANmvN5SQXhB

In that day and age, years of life had a price tag. One extra year was around $50,000, but many Gene Clinics had competing prices. Those with money could buy themselves some extra years, turn back the clock.copyright protection2PENANAULyAArgt07

Blackwell opened a Scheme, widening it to look at its contents on the plastic screen. It was a message for him. He looked for a footprint, there was none. This both shocked and amused Aiden. As far as he knew, every Scheme had a footprint, the unique neural map of the person who created it. In contrast, the fact that there was no footprint could only mean one of two things: someone had filed the footprint in, or the Scheme was created out of thin air.copyright protection2PENANAoo7tqIFGPH

Both of these options interested Aiden, he’d either have to find the person who filled in the footprint and put them on his payroll, or there was something swimming in the Cloud.copyright protection2PENANAkC3Pp9Ig6Z

It was marked for him; the Scheme was labeled “Butcher Required”, and his system flagged it the moment the moment his Cell touched the desk. Upon opening the packet Blackwell found a map, a satellite image of Washington DC, and a specific building with a big red X on it.copyright protection2PENANAR0LpBlRROS

The caption at the bottom read. “Do something about this.”copyright protection2PENANAZdg6HHOmnE

Blackwell pulled one of his companies own Schemes. It was a converter program, meant to change to Neural data into Binary data. It would run for a few hours, changing the recorded synapse firing into 0s and 1s. Though with neural data there was the tricky issue of quantum computing, sometimes a specific portion of neural data could be read as either a 1 or a 0. The lesser task of divining which of the 29 different levels of neural intensity was either a 0 or 1.copyright protection2PENANA3Hh7xHhgXn

AccuCorps converter Schemes had the wherewithal to pivot that data between 1 and 0 fast enough to mimic quantum computing. This was all fine and good, for Aiden. The timer read 6:56:32 hours. A reasonable amount of time considering the size of most Schemes when converted to bytes.copyright protection2PENANAgPo1eZn6Rc

It seems we’re playing chess now. Blackwell thought. But who are the pawns?copyright protection2PENANAYQpfX6WMtj

Aiden settled into his armchair, and pulled out a tablet from his breast pocket. He was reading a book, Catch-22 to be specific. Though he was most akin to Milo Minderbinder, Blackwell felt more and more like Yossarian with each passing moment.copyright protection2PENANArx1IFypWOn

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