Disclaimer: I did use some elements of technology from Star Trek and will be using some more. However, I don't claim to own Star Trek or anything, I'm just borrowing some stuff.
Bit more of a summary: This isn't set on Earth; it's on another planet called Omithron where they're slowing becoming more 'technologized'. As in, reality is starting to take place more in cyberspace, less in the real world. There's a cyber-economy and such. They all have a life in the cyber world (which is called Cytrona) and a completely different one in reality. The only thing that's the same in both 'realities' is the government. Cytrona is just as hard to survive in and if your Cytrona self dies, you don't get a respawn or anything. It's pretty much taboo to meet up with someone you know only from Cytrona, but you can meet people you know Omithron in Cytrona. Cytrona can be accessed while you're sleeping or awake, so you could be in the real world while awake, then while sleeping, in Cytrona. The main character's name is pronounced 'Aa-lie-as'.
"Come on you piece of….UGH!" A loud metal clang came from under the hovercraft followed by the hiss of liquid spraying out of a tight space and shouts of profanity.
A pale, lanky, young man came and crouched beside the craft. "Need anything Ali?" He asked, getting down on his knees to peer under it.
"Yeah, a towel and a hot bath…Maybe some soap too." The voice from under the craft snapped sarcastically.
Chuckling, the young man grabbed a couple tools and slid under the craft next to the woman already there. "I can't exactly get you that, but I can help you fix this leak and maybe after, share some of my lunch with you."
Minutes later, the slim man came back out from under the craft, stood up and brushed himself off. He then reached down and helped a wiry, agile and youthful-looking woman up. While she dusted off her rust colored pants and tight cream tank he ruffled her short red hair.
"You know, I think you break more things than you fix around here kid." He shoved the tools back in the orange box sitting on the floor and slammed it shut.
"Who you calling kid Navryn, I turned 22 last week!" She protested, shaking her thick, synthetic gloves out, spattering the floor with coolant liquid. "This stuff never comes off." She grumbled, looking down at her spattered clothes.
"Should've decided to fix computers instead, way less messy." The man called Navryn told her. He had finished cleaning up and headed to a door off to the right of the hanger they were in. She followed him after stowing her gloves in her back pocket.
They went into the next room, a sort of rec-hall with tables and benches made of a cheap blue, plastic-like material. There were rectangular, thin, gray boxes along the table, beside them, a thin cord for each box stuck out of a small hole. The two took seats next to each other after Navryn retrieved a dull colored metal box from a locker. He opened it and divided what was in it equally for two.
When they each had some of the blue and gray flakes from the box they both took the cords beside their gray boxes and hooked them into the small, metallic colored holes under their right ears. Once done, holographic screens rose out of their gray boxes and flickered to life. The screens each said 'accessing' in a flashing yellow font. While waiting, Navryn turned to the woman.
"So?" He asked, leaning his elbow on the table and resting his head on his hand.
"So what?" She munched on a couple flakes. "What is this stuff anyways?"
"Don't change the topic Alias. You know what I'm meaning, you said you had something to tell me. And it's Ybin toenails. They're both healthy and cheap!" He winked.
She looked surprised and glared at the 'toenails'. With a sigh, she ate a couple more. "Just shows how desperate we've become, we can't even afford to eat feet, just the toenails."
"Get on with it already!" A hint of exasperation showed through Navryn's voice.
Alias looked around, except for a couple people across the room, no one else was there. "Alright," She lowered her voice some, "I found out a few days ago the Mech Squad found out about the hacking group called 'Inston Reform' and captured nearly all their members."
"So? That happens all the time. Besides, they were asking for it, Inston was massive and they had hacked a lot of high security stuff. They were selling confidential government documents to other hacking groups for real world cash." Navryn suddenly looked suspicious. "Who's your source anyways? Are they trustworthy? You know the Mechs don't announce this stuff till almost two weeks after and as much as they creep us out, they're really the only reliable source on hacker arrests."
"Heard it from Elrin, who knew someone in the group," Alias told him. "Why do Mechs creep you out? They look just like us!"
Navryn shivered a little bit. "Their eyes are freaky. It's like…They're…Empty inside, like they have no souls or anything."
"Well duh, they're androids, no machine has a soul!" She laughed, her hazel eyes twinkling. Her screen had finally loaded and on it now was a humanoid looking character, moving around and taking care of its needs. She then lowered her voice again. "Anyways, there's more. Elrin looked up his friend's record to see what labor camp they sent her to and…well…"
Navryn's expression was questioning. "Go on." He pressed her.
"There was no file at all."
"False identity?" Navryn asked.
"That's just it; he then looked up the others he knew were involved with Inston and there were no files on any of them."
Navryn looked shocked. "None at all? But…That can't happen, not that many files, they can't all have false identities, the Mechs would've found them in an instant!"
Just as Alias was about to reply, a com-droid hovered in. In a grating, mechanical voice it ordered "All workers return to stations, break has ceased." It returned the way it came.
Alias looked at her screen. The character stopped moving and then the screen showed a red font that read "It is now safe to remove access link from data port. Thanks you for visiting Cytrona." She carefully pulled the cord from the hole under her ear and when it was removed the holo-screen flickered and returned to the gray box.
"I don't know Nav, something doesn't seem right with that whole thing. They captured nearly 120 people, not all of them could have false identities." She said as they made their way back to the hanger.
"No it doesn't seem right. But we'll talk about this after. Work's done in a few hours. After, want to come over for a drink and we can talk more? Or do something else if you'd like…" He chuckled and gave her a very suggestive wink.
"Oh shut it!" She whacked him with her glove before she put it on. "And I would, but I've got a lot of work to do in Cytrona tonight."
He shook his head. "This whole two-lives thing is too much. When I was little, it was only a game. Now it's another life and people take it seriously…" He had his gloves on and was handing tools to Alias. They both crawled under a turbo-craft that had just come in and began working.
"Yeah well, that's how it is now. Get used to it." She told him sternly.
"Now, don't hit the coolant tank with the coil spanner this time or we'll…" As he was saying this, a hiss began and he was hit in the chest with liquid.
"Your fault this time!" She laughed.