Ægis Follow story

psyruse Ethan Psyrus

In a technocratic society where intelligent systems had been globalized opening roads towards a sustainable economic equity, and where privacy has been relegated in lieu of general wellness, prevails the indexes of raptio cases that get sophisticated in parallel and compensate their slant. In that world, a teenager and emerging celebrity, provided with a prototypical protection system called Ægis, will debilitate criminal markets, monstrous regimes and her own sensibility.

Science Fiction Not for children under 13.
In progress
reading time
AA Share


Ivy rushed out of the club to catch the last minute train home. A surveillance drone, owned by her father's company, which had been automatically deployed from a nearby node after receiving a toxicological alert from the mini bionic implant inside her, was waiting for her on the building's roof and it began to fly focusing one of its oculars on her. Immediately, her communicator received the call from her father, who had interrupted a work meeting after receiving that same alert on all his portables; although it was only a decrease in glucose and a low platelet index, referring to a mild fatigue and an empty stomach, the only daughter of the director in R & D of the leading company in public and private security, who had enrolled in a university abroad, was on her own in a city far from the jurisdiction of his systems.

The conversation transcurred briefly. Her father's insistence to not leave without using her radar-tracker, against her proclaimed aversion to the obligatory propaganda of the cities; the exhortation to travel in one of the autonomous vehicles that he had specially designated for her, against her intention of not wanting to draw that kind of attention; the recent rumors about abductions of celebrities, against her confidence of being in a city with more than a year without mishaps.
     Despite her father's relative fame, Ivy never liked to consider herself a celebrity, but her early access to next-generation electronic garment, plus her early résumé of innovations, plus her exotic mestizo beauty and original style had been echoing among internet communities, unintentionally setting trends. Lately she also received a lot of offers to venture into modeling, even her father preferred for her to have a career in the show business rather than being a celebrity on foot, but she always argued that the street contact was healthy for her common sense, thus for her design career, and if that didn't work, it was enough to mention her mother to make him elusive.
     The director found no alternative but to give her advices of care, then accessed the manual remote control of the drone and ensured that his daughter boarded a transport safely.
     Ivy continued walking towards a maglebus boarding point, following the mesh of rails that were intertwined above and below. Once there, she resorted to her pocket terminal to confirm the request for a route to the station; proceeded to synchronize it with her Augmented Reality Visor and pocketed it again; she took one last look around, then raised her thumbs behind her ears and unfolded her gold-covered visor. From the remote images her father looked at and among the crowd of semi-covered heads with visors in dozens of colors and shapes, Ivy's head, with her golden minimalist visor, platinum nasal filters, distorting lipstick, multi-purpose earrings and neckband, gleamed as a monument to the era of informatics symbiosis.
     «A maglebus will arrive in 1 min 36 (35 ... 34) s and your trip to the station has been programmed. Your assigned seat is the 5i», was the first message that focused on her visor, then, a menu of suggestions for consumption by Neco, her virtual assistant. Ivy did that to one side with a short movement of her head in simultaneous with an eye movement, and went on to light her control hoops. She opened her mail tray and taking a quick look at the issues, she chose to add them to the assisted reading, thus clearing the graphic interface of her visor. In that, a maglebus stopped soundlessly, descending and slowly raising its doors; the arrival alert was displayed on both sides of the passengers visor. Ivy went to the seat that flashed in her visor and after getting comfortable, she moved her fingers to select listening to her messages. The side doors of the maglebus closed automatically once all the passengers were in place and it began to gradually increase its speed. In the intervals between each message, Neco was showing the time to the station and estimated weather, in addition to mandatory interactive advertising, such as the animals mounted on vehicles, that paired next to the window, tapped it and delivered some virtual card valid for discounts on fast foods; or the giant monster over the horizon suggesting to buy some of those catastrophe-proof capsules; or the government propaganda to obtain a contributory cybernetic implant and thus stop receiving this invasive advertising from the millionaire firms that maintained the city and the public services free.

After several emails read, it was the turn to open an interactive message with the subject of <Classified>. Flicking her fingers to see more details, she saw that it was signed by her father's company, Industrias Synapsis. Neco asked for confirmation to open it and Ivy nodded slightly and closed her eyes slowly, a gesture that almost causes her to fall asleep had it not been for Neco who pronounced: 『Retinal scan required. Please keep your sight straight ahead and do not blink for five seconds.』 Ivy evoked a memory of her childhood in which her mother, who had an eye implant, stopped the traffic in the middle of the ring road, just by observing the suspicious appearance of a cargo truck. That day, a score of people in a situation of trafficking were rescued thanks to a fortuitous connection between the bionic eye and the automatic transit system. What was known was that Ivy's father, whose job at the time was in the management and maintenance of road networks, had been working on an adaptation to convert the bionic eye into a terminal using the monitoring systems of his work, leading to the first intercommunication between an artificial intelligence network and a neural implant. Such news would lead her father to become director of the Research and Development department of Synapsis Industries, the pioneer multi-nets security company, and to her mother, to be engaged by an international organization.

『Your interface is being updated』, continued Neco.

It had been almost eleven months since she last saw her mother. Recently she could not help but speculate about the foreign origin of her accent; whether it was from a region in conflict that rebuffed her to join such kind of international organization that entailed great self-denial; moreover, whenever Ivy used to ask her, she answered that came from a place without a name, which later described jubilantly in detail and finished the tales with the promise of taking her there when she were older, which soothed further curiosity. Ivy was thinking about that, until Neco displayed:

«You have arrived at the station. The train to home will arrive in 3 min 54 (... 53) s. »
   The maglebus doors rose and Ivy got up to reach the platform. Her assistant was highlighting points of interest, like food stalls in orange-pink color, where the more she focused on, it indicated the menu, novelties and preferences of the client. That caused her stomach to roar. She made a gesture with her fingers to temporarily disable the RA while she chose her dinner.
   «Your train has arrived and will depart in approximately 2 minutes.»
   She re-activated the AR after confirming the purchase of a shake and headed to the platform, which was highlighted in a bluish green. She boarded the train through its virtual doors of the same color, made of symbols that indicated the name of the route, then settled into the seat that shone according to her visor.
   As the train left, she accessed the domotic application on the interface and with subtle movements programmed to fill the bathtub with hot water, checked the security camera records, opened her pet's food dispenser, and dealt with another routines for her smart home.
   After having finished with that, —『Your interface has been updated. Sinapsys network access granted. 』— Neco exclaimed suddenly waking up the sleepy Ivy, who imagined such message as the same one that her parents receive every time they start work.
   She noticed how new panels and markings on more real-world objects were being born in her interface, accompanied by more symbols that she did not understand at first and that made her feel a little overwhelmed.
   『Do you want to display the tutorial?』
   The battery of her visor was half charged so she stretched one end of her neckband towards one of the seat’s arms and connected the other end to her visor, took a sip of her shake, then started the tutorial.
   『You can pause and resume this tutorial at any time』
   Respective silhouettes were highlighted and fading as the tutorial ran.

『The Sinapsys system communicates in real time all devices connected to this network.
   『Sinapsys is capable of performing tasks as complex as distributing vehicular traffic at the same time as piloting the vehicles.

『Once inside the system, a record of your operations will be carried out, which will be examinable only for graduates in the first Sinapsys hierarchy. Keep in mind that depending on your activity, you can be disposed or granted of permits and degrees. As an initial grade user you can make use of third hierarchy databases in integration with all your terminals and their modalities.』
   『Your emergency mode was updated to the Ægis modality, a safeguard system that can only be activated if there are indicators of a dangerous situation or for a limited time once you belong to higher hierarchies.』
   『Do you want to activate the Ægis mode tutorial?』

She had learned about this characteristic when she used to accompany her father on his tasks. A modality of dynamic risk assessment that he had been developing to assist the police, militaries, medicals and practically every person involved in activities that required maximum attention, had been provided to her without meritorious requirements.
   «It was your mother's idea.» She received the message from the director who was certainly aware of his daughter's first operations on this network. In fact, her parents maintained a secret contact, sometimes epistolary, always encrypted, an issue that reproached them.
   She decided to try her luck with her new extension and asked Neco to locate her mother.
   «Contact not localized.»
   She knew that would be the answer, but she sensed that somehow by seeking her, she would invoke her as same as her father.
   She drank the rest of her shake in one gulp, looked at the arrival time to the destination station and resumed the tutorial.
   «Ægis Activated» At the moment, the walls of the train became semi-transparent and Neco started with the description.
   『With the Advanced Urban Surveillance system «AUS» you can use sensors to look further between rooms corresponding your hierarchy. You can also overlay their available topographic views.』
   She distinguished the electric mapping of the train and other technical planes. Then another perspective was incorporated, managing to see herself from the bottom of the wagon. — 『You can also adopt the view of these sensors and use the processing of their signals to optimize tasks. 』
   There were two more passengers in the wagon. Her attention was called by one of them whose sleepy head was colored in a simpsonized yellow, so she focused on him, to which Neco reacted. —『When you focus your visor on a person you can visualize their vital signs, physiological status, medical history and background penalties. 』— Some data was shown in an expandable box next to the figure of the individual: «♂66±», «Supraventricular tachycardia», «🌡37.4 ° C », «Hyperventilation»,«Drowsiness», a goblet with the figure «0.24°», undergone surgeries:[+]" and "[...]".
   He looked at the other person which was wearing a visor helmet.
   «♀34 ±», «🌡36.2°», «Mild muscular fatigue» and «[...]».
   The view on the screen was immediately transferred to the next car, showing a pink female silhouette, which then Ivy realized that was a classmate, with normal vital signs and with appendicitis surgery.
   «Location of contacts» 『You also have the function of locating contacts by network and by facial recognition.』
   『You can examine more details and functions in the help section.』
   A series of icons were added to the interface.
   『Please make a responsible use of the Sinapsys network』 — Neco added and then moved out of frame and returned the standard RA view.

«End of the tutorial»

«Ægis deactivated» 

The train was slowing down. 

«You have arrived at your station» 

She got up from the seat to the door, still with her visor on. The other woman was also preparing to leave. The man with the yellow head stood up lazily to get off too. He staggered toward the same door and grabbed the opposite pole. 

The station was almost empty. Once the train doors opened, people descended and boarded the wagons as well as one or two trained mascots. Her college mate was apparently going to get off at a later station. The man who shared the wagon did not finish a gesture granting the ladies to pass first, when the other woman was already crossing the station's name, to which he issued a stinking and impertinent comment, whose Ivy earrings filtered according to her configured preferences, and that Neco translated into: "Hostile Sarcasm towards VRA users." 『Keep your distance.』 

The front of Ivy's visor displayed an animation of gratitude when she exclaimed 'thank you' and the man repeated the gesture with a smile as he checked her out from top to bottom while watching her leave. 

About half a kilometer way home was left from the station, as Ivy walked at a leisurely pace meditating on the audience she would have tomorrow with a group of investors about her smart shoe project. As she approached the exit from the station, she suddenly heard a four-beat gait approaching, a hooded being on a saddle pulling a cage with somewhat tendering creatures inside. — "Save us! Help us!" — She heard them say when they passed by. It was not her wish to finish watching an interactive commercial of this video game, so she removed immediately her visor and the parade disappeared. 

Her thoughts lightened a bit after release from floating visuals and sounds, consenting her to play music through her earrings continuing on her way. After a few blocks she thought it would be a good idea to take the alleys as a shortcut, although after stepping on several puddles and tripping over a box, she had to put on the visor again to use the night vision. 

Adapting her focus, as she was going at the middle of a long alley, she saw the silhouette of a person leaned on its urban boot almost at the end of one of the walls, wearing a matte helmet with sensory extenders like antennae, the kind worn by the police and seemed to be driving a remote vehicle. Ivy slowed her pace to try to get some information using her new permits, but nothing could appear, when she realized that someone was coming from behind so she turned to see. A silhouette with a yellowish head and bottle in hand was approaching, it was the drunk man from the train. 

『Your stress indicators are raising.』 

『« Ægis activated »』


Dec. 8, 2018, 6:10 a.m. 0 Report Embed 1
To be continued...

Meet the author

Comment something

No comments yet. Be the first to say something!

Related stories