Wireless Fiction

– All company names and characters mentioned in this short story are purely fictional and bear no resemblances to real persons or company names.

Prelude
The van stopped on the rock hard sand, his velcro boots covered with dirt hit  the hard surface. He opened the glove compartment and took out his rifle. He adjusted his eye protectors to hard sunlight, and closed the door to the van. He had been out for three days now and whilst tired but still alert after the three previous attacks, he connected on his palm and checked the location. He was supposed to have been here four hours ago, but the previous checkpoint had been so damaged he had spend four hours repairing it as well as he could. The wireless routers had long expired but a friend of his had found a way of renewing the routers and made them accessible to a shipload of people across the continent and quickly made a protected network where people with sensitive information could up-wire secrets and messages without using the Global net.

There were many reasons why people would be willing to pay enormous sums for keeping their conversations and up-wiring secret from the Micro Force. Since Global Software and Micro Hardware merged in the beginning of the century, the local governments were unable to control the GlobalNet and GSMH quickly gained access and controlled the information on all transmessaging in the world, they produced a government force controlling the data which was transferred via the GlobalNet.

He hadn’t always been patrolling the desert for errors in the wireless hardware routers, up till one year ago he had been a Head chef in one of San Francisco’s finer restaurants, but when the 17-year-old scientist had discovered hydrogen demoleculation and had made it possible to create Functional Food with the flavor they desired, and making the finest flavors and recipes available in every home in a simple modification of a microwave oven. The restaurants had quickly ceased to exist and he had bought a license to use the demoleculation protocol and had transferred his recipes into wireless ordering and made his food available to a whole range of people. He had within a year made more money than before and his company quickly became a buzzword in the new billionaires club, where all his previous customers went. He had become a household name in functional food and the success had brought him many enemies, the competition had changed and any false move would be tracked. His girlfriend had moved to Newland to pursue a career within the retirement industry.

Newland had back in those days not been very popular but since it had become a huge success he was planning to move there with her as soon as the business he had started ceased to give him any satisfaction. He kept expanding and now virtually served 54% of the population with his recipes.  The many young millionaires and playboys had moved out of business life and to Newland, where there were no companies except in the service sector, a whole range of hotels had blossomed in the middle of a previously deserted volcanic island outside the Florida keys. His girlfriend had been offered a job as a manager of one of the major hotel chains, and had moved there before the real hype started, and she had quickly made a small fortune on managing hotels and acting as a consultant to new hotel owners and resort developers. She had become very successful and was busy in her work, so they didn’t meet very often, he had been out visiting her only a couple of times during the two years she had been working there, she had only had the chance to visit him once just after she had moved there.

One evening when they were on the image-connector telling each other how much they missed one another, it had become very hot and they had started making love on the image-connector, and he had decided to go out to visit her the following day. He had booked a flight but on turning up in the airport he had been stopped by the customs, he was told to enter a small office at the airport. Here he was told he was being arrested for speaking erotica on the communications with his girlfriend. His girlfriend had been questioned an hour earlier but was released because NewLand jurisdictions were more human and allowed this kind of communication. He was placed in jail and all his rights were withdrawn from the moment he had been stopped at the customs. His money had been withheld for further investigation.

Chapter 1. – The connections.

I spent three days in jail before appearing before a judge. The legal system had changed dramatically and most cases were no longer held in front of a human judge. My lawyer and I had been questioned by a judge system, offering little chance of pleading not guilty and getting off with a small fine. My lawyer informed me prior to the judging, that I probably could get away with a little more than a fine of 10% of his salary. During the judging we had been questioned about matters ten years ago and it became obvious than I couldn’t get away so easily. During my early days in San Francisco I had been arrested for possession of  illegal substances, my friend had left a bag of coke in my car,  and I was stopped for running a red light. I had also had a brush with the law in one of the restaurants I worked in where there had been illegal immigrants working for me, I hadn’t hired them and wasn’t sentenced for it back then. I had also once during my first year of opening my first restaurant, been unable to pay my taxes and had filed my income a little lesser than it really had been. This hadn’t previously been discovered but it was one of the first things the judge system had brought to my attention during the questioning.  It became more and more obviously to me that this questioning had very little to do with the actual act of indecency I had been caught doing. I wondered who would have set me up, in this way. The last year had brought me many competitors as I had expanded my business into also selling pre-made functional dinners with a more generic brand, called Pret2eat. Maybe the emerging giant the previous MyBookstore.com who had diversified into the functional food market, after taking over the dying out Nile.com. The two other and more likely to be of any threat, and also know for being the fiercest competitors had used their power to bring me down. Globalfood.com and FunctionalFood.worldnet had both been very keen on buying me out, I had decided; due to my taste and ability to create delicious dishes out of hydrogen, amino-proteins vital-vitamins and carbon, too keep the business not letting go of one of my passions in life. My stock value more than tripled during the three month the acquisition negotiations went on. I had been on the brink of selling when my girlfriend had reminded me of how much I really loved the restaurant I had been a head chef in, and how much passion I had put into making it one of San Francisco’s finest.

My girlfriend’s father helped me getting one of the best lawyers; he had previously been in trouble with the law, after having a monopoly on the universal translator for almost ten years, and when one of the real net giants had forced him to leave his position he had also been dragged through his past. There were more than ten charges of fraud against him, all charges where dropped by the judge system, due to the lack of evidence. The charges and false evidence were produced by the net software giant in order to close his business. During the five months he had been in court and was unable to perform business his translator had been outdated and a new product was used as a replacement while the universal translator sunk into oblivion.

Her father had at that time a personal income of a little more than 4% of the GDP. He closed the business and was one of the first who moved to NewLand to retire at an early age. He was also my girlfriend’s connection when she moved into the Hotel industry in NewLand. She is a very proud girl and would never ask her father for money, she had been very proud when she had quit the job her father had provided for her and moved to an other hotel group and was starting on her own, trying to set up a business for herself.

After the questioning I had to spend two more days in jail, while the investigations were processed. I had the opportunity to move some money from my business and had them send to one of my friends as cash. My lawyer had informed me that the case could very well become more ugly than first expected. I had claimed to be set free on the first amendment of personal privacy and freedom of speech. Since the minority of my indecency act could be proved as a minority, the previous cases could easily become more ugly as the judge system processed the data.

After having passed two horrible days in jail I was sentenced to five years of outstation service until further notice my company had been closed, and the money was kept in custody, since the judge system claimed my fortune based primarily on the money I had cheated the tax system from seven years ago. I appealed but the processing time was enough to put me totally out of business. Within months pret2eat became just another name; one of those companies gone to the top and all the way back. The whole affair of my act made it impossible for me to get a job in the city and furthermore I had to spend at least two years in an outstation.

Outstations served as small cafe where transporters could stop in to sleep and use the bathrooms, and have an occasional dinner. The places stank of old urine and were never visited by anyone except transporters who had the noble job of transporting products from one place to another. The outstations were hellholes, the only reason they were serviced by humans, was because the jails were too crowded and unless you had actually killed someone or done physical crimes as they are called, you would end up doing service in an outstation. I felt bad from the moment I arrived. I had a small bed and no communication to the outside was allowed. My girlfriend couldn’t enter the country since she risked being charged by the indecency act if she came and visited me. I was now unable to get any job in the cities as well as it was impossible to leave the country. After a couple of weeks there I managed to become friends with the warden a lot of cash helped me here, I struck a deal with him. And he let me go, only to come back once every month on the routine checks. If I was caught in one of the cities, he would say I had escaped and thus making me a real criminal and risk facing real prison. I decided the risk was worth it, I wouldn’t survive in an outstation.

I left the outstation and by the help of a transporters I got back to San Francisco, I met up with some old friends from the restaurant and we decided that the business should be run in their names instead, and I would stay as far away as possible. One of my old waiters introduced me to an underground scene I had previously avoided. There I met Sal, she was a 5 feet tall blonde, a real girl judged by the looks of her, she was doing some kind of illegal transactions via a new network established in secrecy from the Globalnet. She had been a coder for IM for two years since she was 14 and she was fired due to slapping her boss when he tried to pull her. She had had a very unsafe childhood, but was more or less a child prodigy, she had an Msc in computer science by the age of twelve and had more brains than the light blonde hair gave an expression of. She had started a business with two friends from IM and had discovered an old wireless router network, left from the years of competition between KisKo and TeRa, before the global merger. Both companies had built many different networks and most of them had been unsuccessful due to the lack of interest since the bandwidth was very small at the time. Then when the invention of partitioned light became a way of sending broadband information through virtually any exciting hard-line networks all previous networks were abandoned. One of them was a huge amount of wireless routers combining all major cities within the states as well as some undersea in the Atlantic.

I tried the system to get in contact with my girlfriend since any attempt using the Globalnet would quickly recognize my voice and I would be caught. Sal helped me establish a connection using a palm and a piece of hardware produced by her tech friend. The connection was slow but I managed to talk to my girlfriend for at least three minutes before the connection was lost. Sal explained that many of the routers were damaged, and they didn’t have the capacity to fix all of them. Her tech friend showed me an old and damaged router, it was a small piece of hardware and they could connect between each other only if they where placed within three miles of each other. They could change route quickly and send data with other routers so sometimes a connection within five miles could be up to 15 miles before it reached its destination. Furthermore Sal had made the protocol from scratch thus enabling the routers to act as servers , transmitters and receivers in one. She changed the standard OSI of 7 layers so it contained 24, it made the connection slower approximately 25 Mbit pr. second but the privacy was unheard of and all sorts of material could be sent there without anyone listening in on your messages. The only problem was the maintenance of the old routers, placed almost randomly around the country and with many of them out of order. Furthermore they were difficult to locate even with virtual eye protectors they were not easily found, this made them even more secret and made the security even better for Sal and her friends.

Sal invited me to a party with some of the San Francisco underworld and I quickly accepted. I guess I saw Sal and her friends as a way of getting in contact with my girlfriend, and a way of getting even with GSMH for producin the Micro Force, which controlled the whole communication via Globalnet, who at the end of the day were the reason for my downfall. I went with Sal to the party in the hills, I recognized many of the people as former guests in my restaurant. I decided to leave so I wouldn’t be recognized. I went to the Sands and hid for a day or two. I got a haircut from a local barbershop and I bought some eye protectors. From here I could only go one way. ..

Author’s Notes
Hopefully I will get time to finish this novel ? Couldn’t it be exciting? Send me an email! – also for potential publishers.
What is he doing in the desert.  What are the attacks he’s telling about? How and when will he see his girlfriend again ?
Who is Sal and how is the underworld ? Are there more technical innovations? What companies will be mentioned?
What happened to the Internet?
What is the future? Is there more?
Are we going somewhere ?
What is the meaning of life  and how did we solve global warming ?
Read it all when the book is published in 1 year.

R.  March 2001

Et Stemmningsbillede fra Kao San Road Bangkok

In Danish, this is the first time I went backpacking alone, this time in Thailand.

KAO SAN ROAD er berømt/berygtet for de mange gadehandlere, restauranter, rejsende, turister og svindlere. Der er blandt andet skreve flere bøger der indeholder referencer til denne lille gade i Bangkok, det skyldes måske blandt andet de mange guesthouses og de lave priser, samt den centrale beliggenhed i Bangkok.

Mick Jagger synger “I wont cry, when you say goodbye, I’m out of tears.” I bggrunden på den cafe hvor jeg sidder blandt andre rejsende fra hele verden. Musikken blandes med støjen fra hundrede af Tuk-tuk chauffører der ihærdigt forsøger at lokke turister på en rundtur i Bangkok. Lyden af en Thailænding der banker på en kokosnød for at åbne den for en turist overdøver alt. Mens duften fra de mange gaderestauranter hvirvles rundt af viften i loftet, og giver én den karakteristiske aroma af Thailand og Bangkok. Sødt af sukker stærk af chili, aromatisk af hvidløg, koriander, samt de mange spændende krydderier jeg endnu ikke kender. Ved siden af mig ligger der en af de mange hunde der render rundt i gaderne.

Baren er oplyst af blinkende juletræskæder, tilsammen virker de som et bål. Varmen er til at overleve, men det er svært at undgå at svede en lille smule, derfor bliver man let hængende på cafeer hvor der er vifter i loftet. Klokken er ca. 23 og som det ser ud nu, fortsætter virvaret mindst et par timer endnu, ligesom i Cairo, hvor der konstant var trafik. Ikke som København der dør omkring klokken fire om morgenen.

Alle indtrykkene blander sig med minderne om de sidste 4 uger, hvor jeg har oplevet en masse. Jeg har ikke helt sluppet drømmen om at rejse i længere tid og se både Indien, Malaysia og Indonesien samt evt. Japan. For at opleve glæden ved at være fri og rejse. En måned er både lang tid men så sandelig også kort tid. Jeg har en lille smule hjemvé men bare tanken om at der er tonsvis af ting i denne verden , jeg endnu ikke har fået set, vækker en indre lyst til at udforske og rejse.

R.