• 03 - Mirrorshades

    18 – Beaming Up

    ‘I need to know something before we start.’ ‘All right.’ Stef stared across the table at Ryan and gave up trying to find a sensible way to ask the question. ‘Okay. So. The System is sensible and fills in logic and knowledge gaps.’ She required a trade copy of Days of Future Past and waved it at him. ‘I know this exists. I’ve not read it, but I know if I read this copy, it’ll be the content of the comics and not just a collection of random panels I’ve seen online.’ ‘I’m following you.’ ‘Same thing for food. You don’t need to know a recipe for-’ ‘Stef, I get…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    17 – When Is A Bear Not Just A Bear?

    ‘Do you want to see something fucked up?’ Stef looked up and shied back slightly at the evil look on Jones’ face. ‘Buh?’ ‘The Agency isn’t perfect,’ Jones said, scooting his chair over to the bench table where she was working. ‘We fuck up things sometimes. You can’t account for every possibility, or…sometimes, someone just isn’t careful. Most of the time, things are caught in beta, but sometimes, things are pushed to live that are…buggy.’ He laid a tablet on the table and hit the “deploy” button on the next of her patches. In her HUD, a notification appeared and let her know that something was being installed. ‘How high…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    16 – Install.exe

    So far, the mirror hadn’t granted her any magic powers – no ability to point at a thing and zap it with a laser or to portal through bathroom mirrors. It did heal her, though. Papercuts disappeared immediately, and stubbed toes and clumsy shins never bruised. It was quick and represented one of the many wrinkles with this process. Stef stood as still as she could as Parker-1 unzipped the little square in the chest of her wetsuit – one strategically placed to preserve her modesty, and sprayed her skin with something cold. ‘This will numb you,’ he said. The bottle disappeared from his hand and was replaced with a…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    15 – Paranoid Procedure

    The tank was a three-foot cube, full of blue. ‘You’ll actually get to use one of the proper tanks later,’ Jones said as he positioned certain pieces of equipment, some closer to the tank, some further away. ‘Those we generally use for injuries, but you’ll go for a splash when we do all the updates.’ Stef nodded and fidgeted with the towel that hung around her neck. Even with only one extra person – Parker-1 – in the room, the lab seemed crowded. Parker-1, Jonesy, Ryan, all in their normal uniforms…and her in what amounted to a custom wetsuit. It felt weird. Everything was weird. But it was probably normal…

  • The Auction

    00 – Cover

      Deep in Faerie, where angels fear to tread… A black tie event. A black market auction. A kidnapped agent. Six months before Mirrorfall, The Auction is a follow-up to Newbie.  Currently being serialised exclusively on Patreon.

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    14 – A Few More Steps

    Agent code was beautiful, glorious and the most complex thing she’d ever seen. Stef stared at the single segment she’d pulled from the code at random, which hung in the air in front of her, thanks to her HUD glasses. Electric blue numbers and letters, line after line of a language she was going to spend decades understanding, described just part of what went into blinking her left eye. Without much effort, she highlighted a section of code, copied it and pasted it into the notes window she’d pinned to the actual window in her office. As she’d spent more and more time with the practice HUD, two modes of…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    13 – Distance

    Taylor opened his eyes. His HUD fully initialised, coming up to speed from the minimal mode that was online during a sleep cycle. Four AM, as expected, as predicted, as programmed. He lifted the light blanket back from his body, stood from the military-style cot, felt the ambient coolness on his skin, and ran the morning macro. His uniform appeared, its predicted weight assuring him that every item was in its place. The cot was dismissed, replaced with his desk and its attendant chairs. No paperwork had been left unfinished the day before, so no outstanding work marred its surface. The lights brightened to normal, and the door to his…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    12 – No Perfect Answer

    There were moments in life when things changed. Checkpoints that you couldn’t go back on. Words, that once said, couldn’t be taken back. Magnolia walked down the left-most hall of the primary Tech floor, boots sounding on the white linoleum tiles. Jones was in her office, at least according to the WTFA app, which could be counted on at least ninety percent of the time. The other ten percent was when agents essentially used a personal VPN to hide their location from recruits, good for those “don’t fucking bother me” moments. Normally, she’d approach Jones with an intent to bother, no matter how the Tech was feeling. For the first…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    11 – Music Box

    It wasn’t a test. “Go play video games” meant “go play video games”. But at the same time… Stef closed the door that connected her office to the lab. In the beginning, there’d just been the two doors – one to the lab and one to her quarters, but in the last few days, another door had been added, one to a sim room. Curt had been immediately jealous that she had her own holodeck, and had gone through the basics of how to load a program and mess with its attributes to make it easier or harder to complete. Even if it seemed like a bit of a luxury,…

  • 03 - Mirrorshades

    10 – Kindness, Cruelty

    ‘Think you could add seventeen more pages to this?’ Stef looked across to Jones, one hand dedicated to working the constellation of monitors that look up the centre of his desk – usually there were eight, but the number seemed to flex with each task. His left arm lay to the left, where Merlin was doodling on the white fabric of Jones’ lab coat with bright markers. ‘That still wouldn’t make a printed version as tall as you.’ ‘No, but it would make it-’ ‘1337,’ Jones said automatically, ‘aren’t you a bit young for l33t-sp34k?’ ‘It’s the internet, time is malleable. It’s still the best way of doing passwords. Like,…