one day I wrote an unfortunate sentence into the manuscript-
"we are all being reduced to computer chips, hard data, and the scary innevitability of someone using that data, controling the information which are human lives, to the point of editing extranious data, may tie in with many unexplained D/Ds. Orwell may not have been too far off when he exploded the myth 'it can't happen here'.
-leutennant, the computer Black flag just snagged something! thats the first one in 7 years!
-I know, sargent, I've just called up the textfile on my screen. A one to one correlation.
-it must be a leak, he's onto us!
my own red flag on my private line wordprocessor startled me. I pushed back a panel that wasn't supposed to be there and fliped the red toggle switch which brought into action some expensive and illegal equipment bought in my younger days of gagetry. The Program backtraced the quiery and I was soon looking at a 'Highly Secret' file with my name on it.
As I watched, the blinking 'to be watched' was "canceled"- literaly, edited off the screen, and
'canceled' typed in with a practiced hand. I terminated (an unfortunate word, I winced) the Program, shut down illegal and expensive, and set my wordprocessor to shut down in 10 minutes, after redoing most of my text and burying the result in an inaccessable file.
Then I removed the extra equipment, (a job of 3 minutes) put it in a case along with some other electronic projects, grabed the emergency backpack from the bike on the bikerack, and was out the door with five minutes elapsed. I waited 2 minutes for the bus, which was an express, going from the suburbian acres to the metropoletan. I put on the hat from the backpack and settled back in the bus, adjusting the dark glasses and watching the oncoming traffic.
-He's shut down his computer- how long till contact?
-ETA on location 5 minutes- We got hung up behind a School Bus
As I watched the charger pass the oncoming school bus with hidden power under the hood and a skilled hand at the wheel- Yes, I ws in an instant convinced that my instinct, Special Tracing equipment, and senses had not decieved me. I was highly grateful for the black longhair wig that was a part of the hat- a theatrical touch, abandoned scalp, for 6 years, since my stage theater parts. My reasons for abandoning the Acting career for that of a writer had to do with my phobia of publicity.
I now realized with wry humor that the knowlege I had, was that besides being a canceled file, I would endanger the life of anyone I talked to for over 45 seconds unless it was taped and found to be innocous. I by no means underestimated their- (and I had avoided that parinoid and all inclusive "they" for so long, not even totally convinced that my imagination wasn't tricking me, -another thus far avoided word 'Crazy', Im not Crazy, the docs who said I was paranoid were lieing- hahaha wild laughter.) Would that I was a harmless madman and not a confirmed gadget guy turned writer. This was a story that would never reach print! I couldn't even leak it as Gossip. Worryed about the story, I was the story, and if I couldn't survive, it would never be told. I got off the bus, made sure nobody was following me, and there I was, downtown. I went into a department store, and bought some outasight clothes.
end page 1 of 4
Fiction (pg 2 of 4)
my reasoning was if I was conspicous enough, nobody would see me. It was only a temporary measure, I knew that the town, as big as it was, was too small to hide in. I had to get out,
without anyone knowing where I went. So far, I hadn't been seen, 'They', (that word again)
didn't know how I currently looked. I'd have to avoid old patterns, old friends. they'd be watched. I went into a public restroom and shaved my beard, leaving long sideburns and a mustache. Dark brown, didn't clash unduly with my new black hair. Dark sunglasses, and I was just another street person. (whats he high on, man?)
Out in the park, I watched them begin to look for me, their inconspicuosity was a dead giveaway, the unhurryed way they began to hurry from person to person- looking at some,
Asking others if they'd seen me (here's a picture- he desprataly needs to be brought in for his treatment- ) The photo, of course, being one taken 3 years ago at a photoshoot for a dust jacket, and not a good likeness at all.
I lit a joint (I'm a non-smoker usualy) and pretended I was trying to hide it as they approached,
smoke curling from my nostrils, a big grin on my face and a mostly concealed smoldering roach in my hand, I pretended to study the photo, and then wordlessly shook my head, taking a hit behind their backs as they moved on.
I was the image of someone who had been in the park all day, and who would remain till after dark.
"Hi, where did you come from? I havent seen you before."
I half turned lazely (stay in character) and saw a short, dark complexioned girl standing beside me. I patted the bench and as she gracefuly sat down, offered her the still burning joint.
"I'm just passing through" I said.
"Oh, you must be off the Bus. Didn't those narks just give you the creeps?
I thought you might be undercover yourself, those duds are just too new to be you. But they never wear hats, and thats an old one. You must have just made a big score."
"Bus?" I inquired politely, accepting the roach she passed back.
"Yeah, the Magic Bus. Its going to the rainbow gathering, after passing through all the big citys on the coast. They let everybody off for a day in the park, then pick them up and anyone they've recruted durring the day back here at dusk. My names Bo- Can I go with you?"
"hey, you sure don't talk much, I like the strong silent type. You must be a Leo. I'm a Gemini,
we should make a good team. cummon, lets go mingle with the troops."
She indicated a large and motley crue at the far end of the park. We sauntered over, arm in arm and were welcomed in a bantering fasion. 'hay mon, got weed?' 'Well, Bo, darlin' you've found a new man- fast work, you only been single for four days... ' 'glad ta meetcha, man- I didnt catch your name?'
"Leo" I said brightly, ignoring Bo's dirty look. she was molifyed when I lit a joint and passed it her way, then lit one for myself. They were easy going, and it wasn't hard to fit in. I chatted aimlessly with a few people, got more information about the Bus and the trip, and was soon joined by Bo, who had lost the joint I had given her, and wanted a hit off mine.
"good weed- tastes like thai. Is your name realy Leo?" she wanted to know.
"I grew it in my kitchen. Thats the name you gave me, is yours realy Bo?"
"Sorry, its bad manners to ask. Actualy, it's short for Bernice. you see why it got shortened to Bo."
"I'll call you Bo too. easyer"
and it was easy, looking into her light eyes, sparkling with life. I knew that by keeping her with me I was endangering her, but I wanted the togetherness to last as long
(end page 2 of 4)
as possable. A group of travelers (as evidenced by their compact but no-doubt cram packed backpacks) gathered to board "the Bus". I asked 'Bo if she had any luggage. she ran behind a nearby tree and reapeared holding a backpack and a sleeping bag. we joined the line and I tried to look cool as I waited to board the bus. I could still see the signs that 'they' were busy-