Story #4

September 19, 2013


.::.:.:.::{[ Oracle ]}::.:.:.::.

Version 0.0.9
Oracle owner: ともこ [Tomoko]

.: Transcript :.

The can made a sharp hiss as Tomoko popped the top of her favorite carbonated beverage, she brought it to her lips and took a quick sip. It was a moderately cold day outside considering it was September, it had been close to summer temperatures only last week. The summer had been incredibly hot but short, it had seemed to go as quickly as it came. Tomoko sat down and began reminiscing about her wasted summer wondering wither or not she regretted how she had spent most of her time inside watching television or causally browsing the internet. Occasionally she went out for walks but not unless the sun was close to setting. Dusk had always been her favorite time of day and she found that the colder it got outside the more comforting it was. The autumn air always seemed sweeter than any other time of the year. Maybe it was a part of her imagination but it was as though her eye sight got sharper as the sky got darker and the lights of the town came flickering on. Her whole body tingled and played with the air as it rushed past in soft breezes which felt like a game of catch and release with her goose-bumps. This was the time of day she felt most alive, her senses slowly coming alive with each stride towards the horizon as the sun set and streets grew darker.

Most people don't favor the darkness, however Tomoko welcomed its presence and allowed it to engulf her. It wasn't that Tomoko wanted to hide, there was just a certain awkwardness to being out in the open and in the light. Through the darkness she was able to escape her insecurities. Considering her preference towards caffeinated beverages, Tomoko hardly slept at night anyway. She found it increasingly difficult to find a reason to go to bed a decent hour given that she had no real responsibilities. All her favorite television programs could easily be recorded and watched at any time she wanted, she had no real reason to be awake during the day. There was pressure from her previous jobs to stay awake during the day but she found them too dull and excessive for the meager pay she was able to get from part-time employment. Having only a high school education really put a damper on her employment choices that weren't completely beyond the bounds of her comfort level. These jobs with bullshit pay just weren't worth giving up her night time adventures for.

Disposing of her empty beverage container into the recycle bin, Tomoko continued on her journey. She was heading into the nearby city, during the day the streets would be full of people walking to shops, to friend's houses, or to appointments. Cars polluting the air with their exhaust and heat, vendors releasing the stench of their food being prepared. It was all too much to take in and rather unpleasant to those not accustomed to it. After dusk the streets became lazy and easy to travel without much interruption. There was peace, and a stillness to which one could find serenity.

It was also incredibly boring.

Tomoko rushed past block after block, the wind dancing with her hair as she pedaled on through town. Since the city wasn't all that large most of the specialty shops have closed by now and the only business that remained opened were the franchises that could afford to keep their doors open even though their customer count might be sparse. Still, they wasn't much she would be missing out on and all that she needed during her evening quests could be easily acquired at convenience stores and gas stations. There was still the factories at the edge of town and the research facilities littered about that seemed to keep the city flowing with new and interesting people. Both brilliant minds and those with high hopes and dreams of making it in the city, even if they ended up at a factory, it was still a decent wage. Those with a higher education often inspired to find employment at the medical research facility which was rumored to work on some of the most innovative medical hardware to be produced in the country. No one really understood why they decided to build the facility in this location since a larger city might attract more aspiring minds, however maybe it was a well kept secret that kept that facility as exclusive as it was. It wasn't like anyone could stroll inside, even though Tomoko's mother worked at the facility, Tomoko herself never saw more than the gates.

One of Tomoko's favorite places to go was this old abandoned house out past the warehouses, it was like having her own very private clubhouse. The previous tenants, most likely not the original owners. Had left the house a complete wreck. After a good clean up, this old house served as her nightly base of operations. There were a lot of things about the house that didn't work or needed to be replaced, but it was something she would have to strive to correct in the future. There was also the question of what happened to the previous tenants, and if they would ever return. Tomoko assumed it would be okay because of how long she was able to keep coming back to the house uninterrupted. There was no one around for miles it seemed, just the odd strange sound and the hum of the factories in the distance was all that visited her aside from the casual stray animal.

Tomoko was making her way towards her usual spot, mindlessly trying to sort out what she would do once she got to the old house, casually falling into the rhythm of peddling to keep up her current speed. She didn't see it at first but as she approached the corner of an upcoming block, a dog rushed past her. Tomoko slammed on her brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting the dog but it might as well been in vain. The bike abruptly slid to a stop without impact. This was surprising because Tomoko was certain that there should be an injured dog where she now stood. She looked around for the dog and saw it running away completely unfazed by the fact it was almost a victim of vehicle manslaughter.

"Fucking dogs" she grunted to herself, taking a second to catch her breathe. Correcting the angle of her bike she continued on her way towards the old house. She might have to consider installing some sort of defensive system to keep the beasts at bay if the size of that dog was any inkling to what might be roaming around out there. That would have to come after she managed to get the repairs done. Perhaps she would just find some armaments and hide them around the house so she had something nearby in case of emergencies. She wasn't going to be winning any strength competitions anytime soon, but she sure as hell wasn't going to roll over and die either. She was more than certain that dogs don't give a shit whether they have pepper spray in their face or not when they go to munch on your face. She wouldn't need anything fancy, simple things like a baseball bat, maybe a paintball gun, or fireworks. Just things that are loud and scary, that should be enough, right? Improvisation might be key for this particular problem, going to have to get creative when it comes to protecting herself. Unfortunately for her this wasn't like one the games she liked to play where she could just take a hit and drink a potion or something and go on her merry way. If she got seriously injured, she wasn't sure that anyone would get there in time to save her. It's not like she didn't have reception, she made sure of that, she wasn't suicidal. Going outside the range of the cellular network just seems stupid and reckless. Besides how was she supposed to play her mobile games without data. That being said, there wasn't exactly a hospital around the corner. It was any guess how long an ambulance would take to get to her if the need arises.

She coasted up to the old house through its neglected lawn and dumped her bike on the porch of the house. The house from the outside wasn't anything to look at, the wood could probably be replaced and had the paint coming off in flakes in places. The shutters which had probably had their fair share of wind storm torture, hung from their hinges best they could. The spooky atmosphere the house created had this sort of charm. Aesthetics aside whoever build the house knew what the hell they were doing. It was sturdy even if the paneling suggested otherwise.  Shoving her way into the front door and then giving it a kick from the inside to get it closed again, she flicked on the lights with the aid of her portable flashlight. She waltzed into the living room and plopped down on the couch and began coasting through her phone, getting her daily dose of social media. Tossing her phone to her side she picked up the remote and started flipping through the channels in search of something interesting to watch with no such luck. She could watch one of the many shows she had stored on the DVR but she couldn't find any real interest in that. Instead she got up from the couch, grabbed her flashlight and made her way towards the basement. Having cleaned the whole house herself, she was aware that there was some sports equipment down there. No better time than the present to grab that baseball bat, even if she didn't necessarily need it right now for protective reasons, it could still serve as source of entertainment. As it would turn out there wasn't a baseball bat in the basement, but this weird flat bat that has a bump not even in the center of it. A quick internet search would reveal that this particular sports implement was a "Cricket Bat". Tomoko humored herself with the thought of how difficult it would actually be to smoosh crickets with this awkward bat.

She took newly obtained weapon outside and gave it a few practice swings. "Not too bad" she thought to herself. A little time with this thing and she might have a fighting chance. Quickly bored she picked up a handful of stones and tossed them into the air and tried to swing at them with the bat. She managed to hit a few and then started trying to hit them as far as she could. She remained outside for a while repeating this process.

"That's enough grinding for one day" Tomoko said, slamming the door shut and tossing the bat near the couch. She walked over to the mini-fridge and cracked open another soda, taking sips while flipping through channels. Still nothing. She flipped the input and picked up her game controller and booted up her PC.



.: Reference :.

I - A Brief Explanation of Oracles

The Oracles are the biographers of the new age. Depending on the type of Oracle you have purchased, different functions will become available to you. By default if notifications are desired they are delivered over chip-tune or short audio clips depending on the owners preferences. Since Oracles are devices that are to follow the owner wherever they may be and given their aeronautical nature they have robust wireless access abilities to the owner's mobile devices, computers or any device that allows direct Oracle communication. Included in the Oracle package is an inductive charger that also serves as a connection to the owner's computer. The dock allows for faster more secure transfers between the computer and the oracle and is the only restriction to the device. Downloading data from the device is possible over WiFi however it is recommenced that the provided dock be the main source of data transfer to reserve battery power and to safeguard all data transfer.

I.A - Customization: Live-streaming Oracle

There are Oracles whose focus are primarily on "live streaming" for example, with this particular device you are able to live stream to the internet through any popular third-party streaming service you subscribe to. With this functionality you are able to allow people to become your audience 24/7. Built into these special Oracles is a mosaic function that can be either turned on or off depending on the users age, streaming service terms of service policy, or the owners personal preference.

I.B - Customization: Artificial Intelligence

Patrons that so desire may obtain oracles with built in personalities that can be purchased separately from either the manufacture or a third party vendor. With the personalized artificial intelligence the notification system can be set to operate through the AI using it's "voice". Artificial intelligence models are extremely complex and gradually "learn" and "adjust" depending on the nature of the owner of the device. The term "Artificial Intelligence" can be misleading however since the avatar as we will refer to them as, are only able to operate within a specific "sandbox" or parameter. Due to the price of this device extension, they are fairly rare in the mainstream market.

author: clearskyy











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