Monday, February 13, 2012

When Gravity Fails 1 - George Alec Effinger

""My name is Bond," said the guy. "James Bond." As if there could be any doubt.

The two women looked frightened. "Oh, my God," one of them whispered.

My turn. I walked up behind the moddy and grabbed one of his wrists. I slipped my thumb over his thumbnail and forced it down and into his palm. He cried out in pain. "Come along, Double-oh-seven, old man." I murmured in his ear, "let's peddle it somewhere else." I escorted him to the door and gave him a hefty shove out into the muggy, rain-scented darkness.

The two women looked at me as if I were the Messiah returning with their personal salvations sealed in separate envelopes. "Thank you," said the one with the camera. She was speaking French. "I don't know what else to say except thanks."

"It's nothing," I said. "I don't like to see these people with their plug-in personality modules bothering anybody but another moddy."

The second woman looked bewildered. "A moddy, young man?" Like they didn't have them wherever she came from.

"Yeah. He's wearing a James Bond module. Thinks he's James Bond. He'll be pulling that trick all night, until someone raps him down and pops the moddy out of his head. That's what he deserves. He may be wearing Allah-only-knows-what daddies, too." I saw the bewildered look again, so I went on. "Daddy is what we call an add-on. A daddy gives you temporary knowledge. Say you chip in a Swedish-language daddy; then you understand Swedish until you pop it out. Shopkeepers, lawyers, and other con men all use daddies."

The two women blinked at me, as if they were still deciding if all that could be true. "Plugging right into the brain?" said the second woman. "That's horrifying."

"Where are you from?" I asked.

They glanced at each other. "The People's Republic of Lorraine," said the first woman.

That confirmed it: they probably had never seen a moddy-driven fool before. "If you ladies wouldn't mind a piece of advice," I said, "I really think you're in the wrong neighborhood. You're definitely in the wrong bar."

"Thank you, sir," said the second woman. They fluttered and squawked, scooping up their packages and bags, leaving behind their unfinished drinks, and hurried out the door. I hope they got out of the Budayeen all right."


4.5 out of 5

http://ereads.com/ecms/book_title/When-Gravity-Fails#

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