Orpheus I



Scene Title Orpheus I
Synopsis Hana takes stock of the obstacles that stand in the way of attaining a personally significant goal.
Date November 2, 2011

Digital Space

For the first time in far too long, Hana spreads the quiescent remnants of the entity once named Rebel out before her virtual self, looks upon them, and despairs.

Seven hundred and thirty-nine pieces.

She still has access to them all, a minor miracle in and of itself. She owes that to what is in the eyes of Wireless one of the best traits of academics: their disinclination to discard anything, including electronic data and the physical hardware on which that data resides. Furthermore, to the vast majority of that breed, the inner workings of computers remain an arcane mystery; they never notice when one trivial little corner of disk space is fenced off from the rest.

Do that enough times, across enough university systems, and even the digital bones of a purusha can be tucked away in dusty virtual corners (and in triplicate) for… well, nigh on a year, if not necessarily indefinitely.

She spends what feels like an eternity reviewing those pieces, refreshing her memory of the structural idiosyncrasies of Rebel's code — three distinct entities, the Company-crafted virus that had brought them together, the corrupting influence that had necessitated she tear them apart. For as intricately interdependent as the strands of code are, it is nonetheless remarkably easy to identify the respective sources of each thread woven into Rebel's whole.

It's separating them that might as well be impossible… but for the most part, Hana doesn't intend to try. Only the last one, the insidious touch of Rupert Carmichael — that she resolves to cleanse in its entirety, no matter how much effort it takes, no matter how much time. She'd already started that task, back before her power was supplanted, but she does not continue it now.

No, for now Hana continues to study, taking virtual images of the pieces and assembling them in digital space as the puzzle that they are. She tests the inert images against one another, identifying edges that fit together, related points obviously in need of bridging, hollow voids that remain once outlines have been joined.

Above all else, in so doing, Hana identifies the many, many things she does. not. know.

Just as would a living mind, the digital entity that had been Rebel contained memory, experience, preferences, dreams; so much more than might comprise any ordinary program, and more complex by far. Hana's understanding of this code, the structures sculpted from it, the content caged within — that understanding comes primarily from hard-won experience and the occasional personal confidence, and the simple fact of the matter is…

…the three disparate people who made up Rebel were people that Hana Gitelman had never really, truly known.

Richard Drucker. The one she knew best, despite him having died before they ever met, and despite his maddening tendency to set himself up as polar opposite to her, spouting sanctimonious aphorisms and chiding advice. Back when he had first revealed himself, Hana had scoured the depths of cyberspace for every trace of record she could find, such as they were; on top of those, she had since added her more personal experiences with the digital ghost. His high-handed assumptions. The glimpses of memory they had shared, centered around mutually-beloved kin. The familial bonds that had held them together despite… well, a great many points of difference.

The threads of code contributed by Richard Drucker are the least of her problems; Hana is confident she knows the man as well as might anyone still among the living. She sets that contemplation aside.

Gong Wu. In contrast, the man who was once a Chinese technopath will likely forever be a mystery to Hana. Chinese — of any dialect — is more opaque to her than Greek; she cannot even mine his homeland's webpages and databases for the simplest of details about his life, never mind gleaning a sense of who he was. Whatever remants of Gong Wu linger in these scraps of code comprise the entirety of what she might preserve of him.

Hana cannot truly find it in herself to grieve over this fact. It is unfortunate, a regret, but the Chinese component of Rebel is has the very least of import for her. She sets those concerns aside as well.

One remains.

Micah Sanders. A boy who had all but died in the Bomb, a boy given a second chance at (different) life through the strength of his ability and the mentorship of a far older technopath. To Hana, he had been an honorary cousin of sorts for sake of that secondhand connection — yet her actual familiarity with him remained… slim. A few exchanges, a few collaborations, and many more interactions with R.Ajas the diligent student lingering in T.Monk's shadow.

Concerning him, however, Hana has an option. An unkind option, the sort that cannot help but draw blood… albeit perhaps not literally. Perhaps. She'll leverage that option nonetheless; causing injury is not in the end something Hana scruples over in the pursuit of her goals.

But that option, its consequences — that is a problem for another day.

For today, she has another five hundred and twenty-three data fragments to reacquaint herself with and begin devising a plan of attack for.

Needless to say, it's going to be a very long night.

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