A William Gibson/Count Zero inspired fanfiction

author/Electric Monk

"A wilson," Bobby put in, feeling left out and no longer as important.

The Finn looked at him, blankly. "A what?"

"A wilson, a fuck-up. It's hotdogger talk, I guess…" Did it again. Shit.

The Finn gave him a very strange look. "Jesus. That's your word for it, huh? Christ I know the guy…"


"Bodine Wilson," he said. "First guy I ever knew wound up as a figure of speech."

"Was he stupid?" Bobby asked, immediately regretting it.

"Stupid? Shit, no, he was smart as hell." The Finn stubbed his cigarette out in a cracked ceramic Campari ashtray. "Just a total fuck-up, was all."

-Count Zero

The eyes were green, Wilson decided. An odd shade of green, edging towards black. He shook his head slightly and looked away from the women. The Gentlemen Loser's noise rushed back in as focus faded, the cowboy bar crowded. At 25 he still had the edge that all good cowboys needed, unfortunately he needed a job and fast debts had to be paid to a few people who wouldn't take kindly to him if he didn't get the New Yen and quickly. His biggest problem was getting the woman's damn green eyes off him, they just kept looking at him and it was too fucking tempting. He stood up, abandoning his untouched beer and walked out the door. The chill hit him as he walked out; he shrugged his coat up into a better position to cover his neck. He looked around but no cabs were waiting or passing by, he started walking deeper into the Sprawl - heading home.

He finished locking the door behind him and collapsed into his bean chair, pulling up his deck he carefully put the trodes on and jacked into the matrix. The stepped scarlet pyramid of the Eastern Seaboard Fission Authority appeared before his inner eye, the matrix spread out behind it. Wilson smiled and punched in an intricate series of jumps, ending up at a small black cube edged with red, flickering flames. He dredged through his memory and entered the password, processing the password, it shifted color from to a dark blue until it opened up, mimicking memory plastic as it unfolded.

A face popped up, chrome and menacing, "Time to leave Wilson, you screwed up one too many times around here."

"What are you talking about man, I haven't done anything yet?" Wilson snapped back.

The chrome face sneered "Yet, that's your problem - You always do something to fuck everything up. On the deck everything works out, soon as you try and do - wham! Your partners dead or your brain's half fried or something, usually just about anything in your case can go wrong with no warning. This time I don't want anything to do with it"

"Enjoy a missing club you asshole." Wilson brought up his standard icebreaker, nothing fancy but enough to screw up the club for a few minutes - translating to several thousand New Yen in damages. He launched it, riding it in through the frail ice just long enough to make it difficult for chrome boy.

Wilson jacked out just long enough to lay a derm on his arm, he shuddered, feeling the speed rushing through, jacking back in he headed for the Swiss banking sector. He had boasted of this for weeks, how he had obtained a state-of-the-art military icebreaker, a European Union one, not Russian or Iranian. This was his big score, a bank, they were supposed to be nearly as tough as military systems. The ice, not black ice but ice so thick it was faintly ridicules, would be dangerous but not nearly as bad as some stuff he had done, at least with this icebreaker. He slowed; the matrix blurring less and less as he arrived, a number of jockeys were scattered about, watching him. His plan was simple, as all great plans usually were. He would blow his collection of icebreakers, a Russian one, an Iranian one and an old USA one, back from before the war as distractions. While the ice coped with them, sending their security systems to deal with them he would cut in with his EU 'breaker, blowing past the thinned ice straight into the high-level user files, transferring the money to a dozen accounts and a couple of hundred of charities across the world.

He readied them all and launched the decoys; they streaked in, boring through the ice and bringing security programs down on them. He paused a few seconds then launched his EU 'breaker, riding it in. It seemed unlimited, layer after layer of ice, each layer slowing him a bit more, each layer tracing him a little farther back. His teeth were grinding, he noticed, from the strain of keeping a handle on all the icebreakers. The Russian 'breaker died, he had launched it first by a microsecond or so and it died, the backlash almost knocking him out of the matrix. He relaxed a bit, slightly less to handle but still way too much for one man for long. A sliver of ice slammed straight into his brain as both of his decoy icebreakers died, a scream tore from his lungs back in the real world but he didn't notice beyond a slightly raw feeling when he breathed. He was through, the ice slowly closing up behind him, setting his timetable tight. WARNING flashed script in his inner eye, DETECTED, it flashed blood red letters a dozen feet tall. Shit. The Swiss bank crashed his brain, hails of fire streaming in, overloading his nervous system, freezing his finger an inch from the disconnect key. In the real world he couldn't even scream, not even involuntary functions working - meaning basically that in addition to his brain frying he also had no air supply. No one outside of the cowboy community knew he was dead until someone in his building complained of the smell.