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Slipping the Stream

Author(s): Mike Shade

 Orry's been jacking into the net since he was little, so much that the "real world" hardly seems real. As the Steel Butterfly, he's damned good at slipping past the authorities and spider bots that try keep unauthorized access of the net to a minimum.

Everything's going great until he accidentally grabs some black packets. They're full of data that the authorities don't want anyone to know and now Orry's on the run, suffering from withdrawal and getting desperate.

Dar and Cents are lovers and members of an underground that is living virtually free of the net. They take Orry in and help him out. Problem is that Orry stole something the authorities want very badly. Will Orry, Dar and Cents figure out how to spread the word while keeping their personal lives together?


 The corridor was pitch black and wet, but the last time he'd jacked in he'd read there was a secure port down there, somewhere to slide in fast and...

Orinoto's hand slid over his port, hidden behind his ear, behind his wet hair. He'd not jacked into the stream in three days. Three entire days. He'd never gone that long. Even as a little kid, his port was in use twelve hours out of the day.

Hells, once had got his bodmods done when he was six, he spent more than twenty in. He didn't even *exist* out here, out of the stream, in this stupid, filthy, empty place.

Damn his luck.

He'd hadn't meant to get into trouble. Not this kind of trouble. Not running trouble. He'd slid into a corp dbase, hunting a customer's data, erasing someone from the fedsys and then one of the spiders had reached for him, sending him surf-sliding into a strange hall, a strange room.

A strange room with some nasty damned data that he didn't quite get, but he *knew* was worth some creds. Maybe enough creds to go legit. Maybe enough creds to go topside where there was real sun, real sky.


Maybe enough to set every frelling alarm and auth and spider off. Enough to bring the auths with their stunners and webnets crashing through the door not five minutes after he'd grabbed his pack and scrambled out of his cube.

Maybe enough that the whispers on the underground was that the Steel Butterfly was worth more alive and in custody than any of them would ever see in a lifetime.

Orinoto heard a noise behind him, maybe a footstep, maybe something falling, maybe his imagination, but it sent him hurtling down the corridor, headed for the port.

Just five minutes.


Long enough to figure where to next.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-60370-033-7
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 01/03/2014
Publisher: Torquere Press

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