There was no defiance or overconfidence in his statement, just a vocalization of what was fact. How similar we had become. "But I read some things, and I'm not sure about what I should do now."
Read some things? What about her details could have him feeling strange and confused, when I knew he was keeping some pretty hefty secrets from me? I laughed to myself, though. All of us with our secret investigations.
"Things like what?" I asked.
"I think I'm in love with her, you know," he told me, not answering.
"What kind of things?" I asked again, not acknowledging his previous statement.
"She's been darkwired." He met my eyes for that one, waiting for my response.
Dark cybernetics were bad news. I instantly wanted to ask about the NORN's stance was on them, though, since I'm sure they advocated some of their own, and I knew for a fact that many of the Norn's people regularly modified themselves with various dark units. I couldn't, of course, without giving my own secrets away.
I dodged the appropriate response: Call the authorities. Have your girlfriend taken in. Tell them where she is and what she's done so that they can lock her up and forcibly, painfully, extract whatever devices she's got embedded in her body and then implant their own localized bio-EMP device to shut down any electronics she ever attempts to install in herself ever again. Do it for your city, that sort of thing.
I knew that wasn't the answer he wanted anyway, if he was even looking for one. I was sure he just wanted to confess the secret, and he knew that he couldn't tell his girlfriend that he'd found her out. At least he was sharing with me, in confidence. Maybe there was hope for keeping him out of trouble, yet.
"What's your gut say?" I asked, and before he could answer, "And your heart? And your head?" I didn't expect a response, but I could see that he was thinking of one. "Don't answer me. Do you think something should be done about it? In the end, is it going to matter what she's done to herself?"
Maybe I should have asked myself the same questions. But Peyt's involvement with the NORN was far more dangerous than his girlfriend dabbling with darkwires. It was all a matter of perspective, really.
When I got back to the office, I put an application on file for another trailing team to keep tabs on the girl. Just to see what would turn up. Just in case there was something more to her story than Peyt had discovered. You know how it goes with icebergs.
Narration on this album by Melissa S. McBride
Written by James B. Willard
Music and Production by Brokenkites