Five Minute Fiction 79
An ongoing weekly experiment where I give myself five minutes to write something. Don’t think about anything. Just write. When done, walk away, coming back later to correct any glaring errors.
This week continues last week’s storyline.
Mather, Corey, Toothaker: 4
“What is this place?” Charlie asked, stepping into the chilled, filtered air. The color drained from his face.
Geist smiled, enjoying this bit of practiced theater. “This, Mr. Garnet, is one of many realities. Call it an alternative reality. Another dimension. A sliver of a world that exists parallel to our own. We at Mather, Corey, and Toothaker have merely tapped into it, carving a small pocket into that invisible boundary to create the space we required to build what could be considered the fastest supercomputer in the world. That is, it would be if this pocket in space that you’re now standing in were part of the world at all.”
“I don’t understand…” Charlie said wide-eyed, unsure if he should believe what Geist was telling him.
“Before all of this,” Geist said, raising his arms, motioning to the unending rows of servers, “we had nothing but words. Words to chant. Words to possess. Words to imbue artifacts with power. Words to control, to enchant, and to curse.”
“You’re a programmer are you not, Mr. Garnet?” Geist said, taking a seat at table in front of a computer terminal. “And as a programmer you’re well acquainted with the power of computer code. And what is computer code but just another language?”
“Gone are the days of ‘eye of newt’ and ‘wing of bat’, decks of Tarot cards, and ritual Athames. Although they still have their place, we’ve adopted a new set of tools which cater to more modern requirements,” Geist typed something into a keyboard, the screen in front of him jumped to life.
“Have you ever been in your house when the lights seemed to dim for just an instant. You’re not sure if it was because you were seeing things or merely blinking, but you could have sworn that, for an moment, the lights went out? That, Mr. Garnet, is us. What we do requires extensive resources. Sometimes the power grid has a difficult time in keeping up with our requirements.”
“This, Mr. Garnet, is our version of the bubbling cauldron, bloodletting, and ringing bells. This is our holy code, written by some of our brightest Shamans, Eclectics, and Teutonics.” Moving his mouse, Geist highlighted various windows on the screen in front of him. Occupying the majority of screen space was a detailed globe of the Earth. As Geist moved his mouse he zoomed in and out of the globe. Names and places appeared in windows on the side of the screen. Code scrolled past as Geist selected check boxes and typed in commands. “With this code we can target any person. Any place. Any business of our choosing. The only caveat is that our program requires both extensive processing and electrical power, without which it cannot affect the physical world.”
“Now, Mr. Garnet,” Geist said, tapping a button on the keyboard which turned off the computer screen, “what can Mather, Corey, and Toothaker do for you?”
Pulling a rolling chair close, Charlie sat down and took another confused look around. Slowly his eyes came to rest on Geist, and he said in an unsure tone, “I just want this nightmare to end, Mr. Geist.”
“That, Mr. Garnet, is something I assure you we can assist with,” Geist said with a roguish smile.