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The Girl With Video Skin: A

Jess Endryx sees the code. Her ability got her fast-tracked into the NSA and then poached into the hottest cybersec startup for a six-figure salary.. She saw the Great Cyberwar up close as it destroyed the Internet in the last months before the Conservative Revolution put the West under harsh Russian rule. Now blacklisted and unemployed, she runs the most blocked social media server in what they now call simply the cybre: bofadeez.rocks.

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A knock on her apartment door. She checks the camera image on her monitor. Scope. She rolls her chair away from the desk and steps out to let him in. "It's about time."

Billy Hunter is a pretty man who lets his hair fall over his right eye. His left eye's a camera, Zeiss-built, designed for spies. Few people notice. His blue eyes match. He brings pizza and the news. "I found her."

"Her?"

"Not only did I find her, she's coming as we speak."

Endryx shoots him a skeptical look. "Most of the volunteers were male."

"Only one of the first group survived. A factor-positive female." Hunter flashes her a wicked grin. "You'll never guess who she is."

They barely notice the motorcycle parking outside. Several minutes later someone else knocks on the door. Endryx gestures the door camera fullscreen. Someone removing a helmet. She's shocked to see the bronze face and wild red hair of Sia Richter-Thomas.

"That's her all right," says Hunter.

Endryx hurries Sia through the door and autolocks it. "I thought you were dead."

"They tried their damnedest to make me wish I was," says Sia.

"You said you got a better host?"

She taps the side of her head. "Right here."

"You don't have an account with us."

She flashes her famous mischievous smile. "Spanner does."

"He's just a shitposter here."

"He's your very own Deep Anon now. Use him."

Endryx studies Sia skeptically. "So what enigmatic dropping he wanna post?"

"Video."

"About what?"

"Starring me. Short version: I'm back, suckers, lol."

"Perfect," says Hunter.

Endryx asks, "You got a camera on you?"

Sia looks at Hunter. "I want a professional. I want it dramatic."

"How dramatic?"

She takes off her jacket. She's wearing a plain gray bodysuit so tight it looks spraypainted on. Endryx frowns. Hunter gives her a knowing smile.

Suddenly Sia's bodysuit bursts into light. Endryx gasps when she realizes it's showing live video from every official channel. "Fiber-optic fabric with antennas woven in." She runs to Endryx' coat closet and riffles through the coats.

Endryx pulls her away. "What are you doing?"

"You got something I can take off?"

Hunter suggests, "How 'bout that Sounders jersey you just got?"

Endryx glares at him. "No, she--"

He spots it hanging over her chair,...

...and throws it over Endryx' head. "Here you go."

Sia catches it. "Thank you." She winks. Endryx sighs in resignation. "Can I doll up your bed a bit?"

"What the hell for!" shrieks Endryx.

"Misdirection. Spanner's trademark. They think they're getting porn. What they'll get's the news."

"You know this is gonna get us all killed, don't you."

"Not if we were never here." Sia winks.

"Oh, all right."

Hunter grins. "I knew you'd agree."

Posted by spanner@bofadeez.rocks:

On your screen, the beautiful figure of a woman, wrapped in a green Sounders jersey, sitting on a luxuriously mussed bed. She slowly and sensuously removes the shirt to reveal not bare skin but video playing all over her body. A skintight bodysuit covers her in live television. Pan up to show her face and zoom into extreme closeup of those almond eyes and sensuous lips.Sia looks at you with that mischievous cockeyed smile...

...and beckons to you in her most seductive voice.

Sia: Hello again, friends and lovers. I've missed you terribly. I'm not here to make trouble, just to make your day. And business. Remember, queridos, I swing both ways. [winks] But if the world ever needs me, I'll know to toot my horn.

When the armoured strike cops swarm in, they find nothing. No computer, no trash, no tracks. No sign that anyone ever lived here. Just an empty furnished apartment, clean and ready to rent.

And a huge tagbomb on the living room's TV wall. A neon shield over crossed wrenches, bearing a silver gothic "S".

The mark of Spanner.

~end~

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