Forge Netting 24: Keys Whole

The rejuve job had taken well – as he stood there and looked in the bathroom mirror he thought how no one alive today was likely to recognise the face he was now wearing; even those who who knew him as Ruebeau (for they had seen a different entity entirely walking around in this body).

He supposed they would be wondering what he would do next – the thing is he was wondering what he would do next. The him that was in the driving seat now had been buried under more crap than one might think it possible to cram inside a single skull. That part of him – maybe the first part that had held sway in this mind was enjoying stretching its legs.

He had been taught to compartmentalise his mind – to wilfully segment off personalities like they were segments of a hard drive so he could switch them in and out in order access the different computational and functional abilities loaded into each.

Who to take out first? Whether to take them out? What to be gained from taking them out? He knew where and when he was and so the question became whether there was anyone there to give orders, to receive data, or any structure which might be served by doing the mission which seemed to him the most likely one that he should be running.

This gave rise to another question, did he actually give a flying fuck whether hurting these people led anywhere? If it didn’t, did that mean he woudln’t do it?

What was he trying to forget and what was he willing to do to forget it? Ah, the bullshit cover story about the girl … it was a nice little tale that caught a few – made them doubt for a second that he was such a bad guy; and that was all it took.

The system still working after all this time? It surprised him. An implant just behind the ear with an upload telling him that they had him and his callsign and most of the key data about him. What good would it do them? They didn’t have the remainder of the information that would explain all this. He himself didn’t have it all – he had what he remembered, which was a picture becoming less and less fragmented as time wore on, but the whole truth and nothing but the truth was held in an informational isolation chamber in his mind constructed out of strings of numbers which he remembered they had called clever maths.

How to open the chamber? He had to make his way to the keyhole – a place that would interact with his head and free the data about what this was all about. Where was the keyhole?

He remembered someone – someone who was supposed to be a key figure in the old service. Key figure always seemed to be bandied about in a jokey tongue in cheek way – he remembered things like that – small peaks on the mundane landscape; his whole way thinking was keyed towards noticing those kinds of detail. He knew who he had to look for – and the prospect of looking for someone who he knew before all that happened was a less than attractive prospect.