As a boy of eight, Seth finds his life changed by a dark secret … something that he can’t possibly understand.

Years later, old faces, memories, and an envelope, draw Seth back into the web.


55. 55 - Device

55  -  Device



May 22, 2383



Seth takes the schematic “Nothing?”


“No internal power supply, so by itself, it does nothing. Not even any programmed logic nodes. Its function depends only on hardwired circuits. An interface is shown. Do you know what the device is meant to plug into?”


Seth decides to keep the production terminal interface to himself. “No, I don’t.”


Trin looks disappointed. “Well, the device receives its power through the interface. The other interface lines are used for transmission of the input data.”


“The device transmits data?”


“Yes, the device is quite simple really. That is all it does.”


“Any idea as to what kind of data it transmits?”


“A very small amount of data. An input string of fifteen alpha-numeric characters.”


Seth smiles “I’m very impressed, Trin. You can tell all that, just by looking at the schematic?”


Trin looks surprised. “I am good.”


Seth looks at the schematic, half talking to himself. “Fifteen characters …”


“Yes, fifteen. There are also a complex series of logic gates, blocking the way to the string entry. I believe they represent a code or password.”


Seth holds out the schematic. “Could you make one for me?”


“Make one?”


“Yes, I can pay you. Not a lot, but I can pay you.”


Trin takes the schematic. He looks at Seth in silence for a few moments before speaking. “These gates and nodes are old technology, at least twenty years. They may be hard to find. Once I study this further, I am sure I can reproduce the device’s functions with newer components and eliminate the password protection.”


Seth shakes his head. “No. It needs to be just like the schematic.”




“Because …” He hesitates. “I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but I need it to be authentic.”


Trin looks at the schematic for a few moments. “The time between school sessions is long for me. I review my studies, but that poses no challenge.” He looks at Seth. “I will build this device for you. Final decoding of the schematic and finding the components will take time, but the credit cost will be low, so credits are not a consideration.”


“I don’t feel right, asking you to do this without compensating you.”


Trin smiles “You will compensate me. I will be there when you test this device.”


“What makes you think I’ll be able to test it? I told you that I don’t even know what it interfaces with.”


Trin raises an eyebrow. “And yet, you ask me to build one to exact specifications.”


Seth smiles, realizing that he was foolish to think someone with Trin’s smarts wouldn’t realize that he knew more than he was letting on. “Alright, Trin. You’ll be there.”


Trin gives a slight nod. “Good.”


“That’s my only copy of the schematic. Could you make a copy for yourself … by hand? I don’t want it copied electronically.”


“For security reasons?”




Trin looks at the schematic. “Seth, this device and the computer code you showed me. Are they really that important?”


“I can’t say for sure, but yes, I think they might be.”



As he and Trin walk down the hall to the main room to join the others, Seth realizes that Jullian was right. He did feel more relaxed than he had in a long while. He wasn’t relying on Carrie’s lies. He wasn’t waiting for a chance contact from Tristan. He was taking matters into his own hands.




May 23, 2383



The morning weather is bright and warm. Another day that Espen Paradise lives up to its name.


Brelin and Jules, wave in unison.


Jules smiles “Thanks again, Linsey. We had a great time.”


They turn away, disappearing through the cliff-side gate entrance.


Linsey shouts after them. “Great to see you guys!” She turns to Trin. “Well, Trin, you’ve been so quiet, I’m not sure whether you enjoyed yourself or not.”


Trin gives a slight nod. “I did enjoy myself. Thank you Linsey.”


“You should be thanking Seth. He suggested that I invite you.” She gives Seth a wink. “Sometimes the quiet ones are the most interesting when you get to know them better. Why don’t you stay another day?”


Seth looks from Trin to Linsey. What was she up to now?


There’s someone close to you that isn’t what they seem


Trin smiles. “No. Thank you for your offer, but I must get back to my school studies.”


Seth breathes a sigh of relief.


Linsey looks disappointed “Alright.”


Trin takes a step toward the entrance and turns back. “It was good to see you Seth, and you, Jullian.”


Jullian gives him a big smile. “Once I’m back in Tokyo, I’ll have to take you up on that offer to visit your favorite sushi place.”


Seth gives a wave and Trin steps through the entrance.


Jax grabs Linsey around the waist, from behind. “What? I’m not quiet enough for you?”


Linsey turns in his arms to face him, and gives him a long, slow kiss. “Quiet? No. But you make up for it in other ways.” She brings her hands to his chest and pushes hard.


Jax stumbles backwards, eventually landing on his back in the deep, white sand. Linsey laughs and runs toward the beach house.



Seth sits beside Jullian in the main room.  Jax sit across from them, rubbing his hair, trying to get the last of the sand out.


Linsey comes into the room and sits on Seth’s other side. “So, you guys have three more days here and there’s a smaller, more exclusive mall you haven’t seen. I say we do another shopping day!”


Seth feels Jullian take his hand. He turns to Linsey.  “Okay, but I say we split up.”


Linsey gives him a wink. “Thought so. Guess you just can’t get enough of me.”


“No, I mean, you guys go ahead this time.” He feels Jullian’s hand, tighten on his.


Jax drags his feet along the floor, pushing most of the sand under the couch. “They want to be alone, Linsey. You wanna shop? Let’s shop!”



Seth logs in to the room’s vid-screen and connects, with remote access, to Jullian’s mail. He looks for anything addressed to him and, after deleting a few adverts, finds a mail sent under the official banner of the Guardians.  It was from Sylvian …




Mister Tarot,


 There has been a development in your case against Dolly Incorporated. Contact me at your earliest convenience.




“What’s that, Seth?”


He turns from the screen. Jullian stands in the doorway, wearing her swimming suit. She looks beautiful. “Something’s come up in the Dolly lawsuit.”


Her expression sours. “Oh.”


Seth touches the screen and stands, giving her a smile “Nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.”


She looks at him with bright eyes and he takes her hand. They run down the hall, through the main room, and out the door, anxious for their day alone in paradise.




May 24, 2383



Seth and Sylvian are alone in the office.


Sylvian sits forward in her chair. “When exactly did your father have his cloning accident, Seth?”


“I was three years old, so it was fifteen years ago. I don’t know the date. What’s wrong?”


She looks at the screen. “I received Dolly’s preliminary case statement. Your mother’s accident has been documented. There’s no record of your father’s accident, fifteen years ago, or at any other time.”

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