[ Read this in Dutch ]
This story is also contained in the short story collection Mashup – A Collection.
A gadget geek’s excitement over his new Ambient Web smartphone, already tempered by the producer’s apparent submission to commerce, turns to dust when his best friend’s sister goes missing.
“Ex… cuse me?”
David whirled towards the female voice. The girl brandished her Gen4 as if fending off an impending attack. She gave him a hesitant smile.
First he was struck by her eyes, the reddish brown of pine bark, and sparkling with life and intelligence even in their current startled mode. Then he took in her hair, windblown and strawberry. His belly lurched with the sudden realization that she was, in fact, absolutely stunning to his eyes. A second later he also realized that his frustration had almost evaporated, giving ground to a giddy feeling he remembered last feeling in his senior year.
He gave her a quick smile that felt all too goofy on his face.
“Can I help you?” he said, and mentally slapped his forehead. Lame!
Still hesitant, she answered:
“I was wondering… I couldn’t help overhearing…” And then, all in a rush, “If you’re going to Orakl, I’d like to come with.”
He blinked, not just at a loss for words, but apparently without language at all. Kicking himself in the ankle, he got his tongue back into gear, but when he opened his mouth he wasn’t sure what would come out.
“Yeah. Er, sure. Why not?” And, after some thought, “How come?”
She brandished her Gen4 again. She was still holding his eyes with hers, and it felt like they were in a bubble together, that not so much excluded as was created by the noises and scurrying around them.
More information about this story can be found on its own page.
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