Alex lets out the breath she’s been holding for an eternity. Gradually, the room begins to take form around her and the matrix fades to the background of her vision. She unplugs from her docking station and walks to the single window before a wave of relief pours over her.
She did it. She finished the job that will bring her within reach of her goal. More importantly, she has seen parts of Silitech to which she had never dared hope to gain access. Under all the fancy wirework and shiny chrome façade they hide a laughably simple core, child’s play compared with the Dreams’ labyrinth of silicon.
For the first time in months Alex cannot wait to get out of her dark little single flat and out into the fresh air. Usually she prefers back alleys and empty streets, anything to avoid the general population, but today she heads to the crowded Union Street with its string of Matrix supply stores, cyber bars, and shady street vendors. On the way there, she passes her father’s old office, the headquarters of ArchMatrix. Once, his business was the most prominent in or out of the Matrix. However with power comes enemies and Silitech brought a swift end to ArchMatrix while the Dreams supplied a brutal end to her father.
For eight years Alex worked to construct this new identity as a Matrix hacker, which her father taught her long ago. In eight years she managed to work her way up the ladder of power, starting with small jobs for small businesses and ending with this under the table massacre of Silitech’s rival, Urban Silicon. Of course she couldn’t have done it without the Dreams. They took her under their wing when she came to them looking like a lost puppy at the age of 13. It didn’t take Alex long to work her way to the high ranks of the organization and by age 18 she answered only to the leader, Sunshine.
She dodges the bike before the warning can blip into her vision and she turns the corner towards Tech Row, a street lined with matrix hardware stores. Her reward money is enough to finally get the new chip she has needed for the past three years. Alex still has her “baby chip”, which most people have replaced when they turn 18. Just because Alex was high up in the Dreams doesn’t mean they were willing to spend that kind of credit on a new chip for a single member. No, she had to earn this on her own. The credit – fifty thousand dollars – blinks into her bank module just as she approaches the store.
Tomorrow, with her new chip and more information than she ever dreamed of having, she will take down Silitech.