Fragmented Friends

Once explanations and incite were given on both sides, Lika and Russ left to continue analysis of how to get Warren Thewlis free of the consolidated fragments and into the broader construct network.

He has no body anymore. That died the moment he was believed to have some thirty years ago. Regardless, now that the director is alone it doesn’t change what she feels has to be her next move and so with some hesitation she dials a number she has not in a very long time.

The call connects and begins to ring, which the director takes as a good sign. Mean’s it hasn’t been disconnected. Yet it unsurprisingly does not go through. Rather, after eight rings it defaults to an automated mailbox without an ounce of personalisation attached. The synthetic voice telling her to leave her message after the tone once it arrives.

When it does the director says, “Sanjiv it’s Dana. I know you don’t want to talk and…hell I’m not sure you’re going to believe me, but I think we’ve found Warren. I don’t know how but he’s in fragments of the simulation. I’ve got some people on it. It honestly could take years, but please call me. I know… Just call me, this is important. We both know how much Warren meant to us. We can’t leave him like this even if we can’t… You know where I am. My number’s attached to this message. I hope to hear from you soon old friend.”

With that Director Dana Marcello ends the call, leans back into her high backed black leather reclinable office chair and lets out a massive sigh. She doesn’t know how to feel or if Sanjiv Khatri will answer her call. She wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t. After all, he has few reasons to trust her. If their roles were reversed and it were him calling her about Warren being alive she wouldn’t believe him. She’d delete the message and…

She doesn’t finish that thought. Her decision is that it is best not too. Instead, she settles on giving Sanjiv some time. How long she has yet to determine. But if Dana hears nothing she will use the resources at hand to track him. She could’ve done it years ago, when last they saw each other but to do so felt wrong, invasive. Now, now it would be different. This time it would be about more than them, than their soured relationship. It would be about Warren, their oldest friend, the man who gave his life to save the construct within which humanity lives. Not entirely but more than even Warren would’ve ever expected she thinks. Yet it was she who abandoned the hope of him ever returning.

Sanjiv on the other hand had refused to. He’d been sure that their friend was still in there. If she gets an, I told you so, she’ll willingly take it if it means they get Warren back. Hell, it might be all the reason she needs to permanently enter the simulation herself. It is possible if you forego the option of ever wanting the option of exiting it. Before now she had zero reason but if Warren… It has to be. No one else would be so stubborn as to survive death.

She doesn’t recall Warren ever having been stubborn. He was an emotional man and for better or worse taught Sanjiv and her to be the same. You wouldn’t think it to see the director now, but they might be able to accelerate the process of Warren’s return and reintegration if Sanjiv reconnects with her. After all, it is he who holds sole access to the constructs’ governess, the brain clone of the virtual networks founder Doctor Helena Tabar.

Only time will tell she hears herself whisper to the emptiness of her office too low for her words to echo around the space.

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