Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 107.05


Percival looked at the photograph. “He looks a bit like me, I suppose.” He looked up. “What's he like? Apart from brilliant, of course. You said he made a computer from old phones?”

“That's an absolute marvel. You'd think it was self-aware. It can see you, recognise you, talk to you about your own life.”

“How does it know? That must take a lot of programming.” He shook his head with a small chuckle. I've got an Amstrad four-eighty back at my digs. There's a program called Rogue which takes up a whole disk to run.”

He shook his head, though whether in amazement or guilt White was unsure.

“It's a game, actually.”

Guilt, then.

“A game that takes one-point-two megabytes to run. Can you imagine that? My ZX eighty-one had one kilobyte in the whole machine.”

“Hard to imagine.” White was non-committal. “Orais accesses facial recognition software, and uses the data from that to scour the net for personal information. I'm not entirely sure it's legal.”

“There must be a lot of disks.”

“Yes, there must.” White sat back. If this was all a ruse it was a damned good one. Percival was either genuine or brilliant at maintaining his cover story. No-one was this clueless in real life. He's seen four-year olds with more knowledge of modern technology. He took his mobile out of his pocket. It was so old even his wife made jokes about it. He put it on the table.

“What's that? A radio?”

“It's my mobile phone, Mr. Trubshaw. It's only an old one. People make jokes about it being virtually indestructible.”

“Jokes?”

“I dropped my phone on the pavement yesterday. It's broken beyond repair. The phone is fine.”

Percival's face clouded as he repeated it to himself. It took him almost thirty seconds to laugh. Was he really that good at his cover story?

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