In Flight Ruby
The nanos did work. Ruby was breathing a sigh of relief for remembering to include a ‘reset’ button in her little app. She had not meant to hook into the real thing. Small wonder the simulation hadn’t reacted the way she was expecting. That was so dangerous. What if she had left her phone somewhere? Sure, it wouldn’t unlock without her fingerprint, but still…
She itched to get her hands on that program. Now. 2am or not. She got into her car. As she thought about how to adjust the lines of code to separate the simulation from her actual DNA, she absently scratched her knuckles.
The freeway was nearly empty. Her grip on the steering wheel slipped a little. Ruby cursed. Patience. Let’s not have an accident. Her palms prickled with.. The car swerved, dangerously. Feathers? Fingers extended into enormous, dark-brown wings, unable to grip anything, while her car rolled, at the usual speed, along the freeway.
If ever she had thought about praying, this would have been the time. Ruby managed to somehow push the buttons to open her windows. The wings, too large to fold back comfortably in this, seated position, stretched out to take up another two lanes on either side of her. This was certainly not going to be one of those trips where she was worried about falling asleep at the wheel. Ruby gripped the thing with her knees and screamed in pain when her left wing was clipped by a truck headed the opposite way.
Stupid, malfunctioning nano-bots! The car was getting some lift as Ruby adjusted her position to avoid clothes-lining a motorcycle. Two tons of vehicle nearly tore her limbs off at the joint. The shout of absolute torture ended in a strangled moan as her legs crackled into a new position. The girl glanced down. Talons. Brilliant. What next?
A curve in the road got her attention. Oh, no! Teeth gripped the wheel to steer, shifting her position again, and the car bounced a few times. This added to the growing amount of potholes in its wake. Thank goodness for cruise control.
Suddenly all snapped back into place. Well, almost. Ruby kicked herself in the face with a knee that had found no resistance when it had been bent the other way a fraction of a second ago. The other foot stomped full on the gas, pushing the car to pop a slight wheelie. Over-correcting skidded the vehicle onto two tires for a moment, before it returned to its proper, upright position.
The girl held her breath – there was no inhaling with her knee jammed under her chin like that – as she pulled onto the lot and into the closest parking spot. Disentangling herself was a bit of a stretch, but yoga had served her well. Nothing seemed out of joint despite the soreness that ensued.
Ruby quickly stepped back into the trousers that had slipped off her not-quite-human legs during the rough ride. The jacket that had been forgotten on the back seat earned a few dusty kisses for existing. The surprise wings had made an absolute mess of her top. If this kept up, she'd have to learn to rock the tattered zombie look. With any luck, she could reach the security tapes before the guard appeared in the morning.
Oh, Ruby, you’re a genius for thinking of that ‘reset,’ she thought to
herself, limping to the building that housed the server on which her program
was wreaking apparently random havoc with her normal DNA expression. Ruby paused. The app that was able to reach that thing was
on her phone. She pulled the device out of the back pocket of her jeans to
stare at it.
Locked. No pocket-dialing. The only other copy was on her desktop. Someone must have been messing with the computer in her office. How was that possible with all the security? The only thing the staff hadn't been subjected to yet was to offer a blood sample to unlock the doors.
Nausea threatened at the dreaded thought of hackers.
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