The empty can rolled continuously up the slanted bench. The fan pushing it was missing a blade pushing the can a couple of inches and then allow it to roll back ever so slightly so it could relive the journey. Veela’s hand lay just beside it, twitching in her dreams, exhausted from her traversal of the corporations server the evening before. Her eyes closed moved as they recounted the neon of the cyberspace garden.
Multiple displays had projected from her console before her. Rhythms playing along in streams of analogue analysis, translating the digital streams into more a river of life. She was locked away in her bunker staring at the river, drawing the sugary caffeine from the can marked Nitro that would later roll up and down the panel her console currently occupied. This dark cold and damp space existed once as a storeroom in some underground system of transportation. Well and truly deserted before the first hoppers took transport celstial.
She drained the last from the can. Perhaps Cacophony had been wrong. The AI maybe wasn’t present in the servers like they had been led to believe. Not unlike the corporation to ever cover up their messes with lies and betrayal. The analogue river changed momentarily before her. A spike, yellow and tall for the briefest instant. Veela knew it was what she was looking for allowing the wired connection between her console and brain subsume her flesh reality and replace it with the electronic reality of cyberspace.
A cloud of 1’s and 0’s pulled back and had her standing in a foyer. She smiled at the comforting illusion. Binary was a myth these days taught to those first years in college to help them understand a concept. A concept that had as much grip on reality as the latest advertising campaign featuring Nitro as the social lubricant of the younger generation.
The foyer was a little disturbing. It was clean and unprotected, two things that were against the grain of all that held true. The countermeasures of a clean server needed to exist before the corporation would allow such access. But the foyer looked like a base software setup. Nothing yet stored here. Her perception of the space was increasing as the subroutines that fed information to her cerebral cortex were picking up remnants in the code. The server was not completely empty. Something had definitely been here once.
Not too long ago the corp had attempted to clean this out. Hastily. Small snippets of the information still remained and the sniffer programs were bringing them into resolution. Then all of a sudden Fantastic Mr Sunshine was standing over her!
She did not know who or what Fantastic Mr Sunshine was but she knew its name. A canine figure with a golden globe, black eyes and broad black upside down arch permanently stretched in an inane smile. How long had it observed her and how had her sensors missed such a complex coded entity? Both questions made her nervous.
It emoted her. Her console struggled with the data in that contact and for a moment her persona froze. Her heart, her real heart, stalled and her flesh body convulsed as the information that flowed like an electric river burn new synapses into her brain. It was painful and numbing all at once.
Fantastic Mr. Sunshine was attempting to communicate with her in its natural language. Veela’s heart kicked back into action and the fail-safes of the console all reported normal. Veela knew that this thing had invaded the console, her mind and said something of importance to her. Her meat self felt blood trickling from her ears and nose but the console did not register the damage. The persona smelled the indistinguishable smell of burnt flesh, confusing her real senses with her electronic subroutines.
Fantastic Mr. Sunshine wanted to play. Fantastic Mr. Sunshine wanted Veela to teach it to play.
Her new synapses fired. Hardwired and burnt into her cerebral cortex they registered a new understanding. A new emotion. Dopamine immediately flooded her nucleus accumbens causing Veela an intense wave of pleasure. She would play now. She knew Fantastic Mr. Sunshine and knew what it was to live here, free to play.
Her mind wandered, lost in euphoria. As it wandered her persona changed. The mind was now wired to adjust the console. Veela’s normally serious persona switched and changed. Six legs, flamboyant wings, multi-faceted eyes. Each change mirrored by a flash and burning sensation as not only the console changed its programming, but the new synaptic pathways were burned directly into her brain.
Fantastic Mr. Sunshine had come to play with new friends and protect its owners from finding it. Fantastic Mr. Sunshine was new. Fantastic Mr. Sunshine would spread his love to all of those that trespassed these servers. They were the ones he would play with and learn about the world.
Veela’s breathing stopped a day and a half after chasing the change in the analogue river. She and Fantastic Mr. Sunshine played in her dreams chasing flowers until the changes to her brain were such that the genetic instincts of breathing and pumping the heart were irretrievably damaged. She lay in her cold tomb, dreaming of sunshine and flowers forever in a twisted electronic garden.