They made a great amount of importance over it. And it was important; she was supposedly sterile after what the 'hospital' had done to her. The gene test said it was a boy, and they couldn't contain their enthusiasm. They told anybody who would listen, and when he was born, they showed off their young child. They didn't think about what it would cost to take care of him, his uncle, upon hearing the news, had promised to provide for them until James could get things rolling. Rika got a job at the local bar as a back-up bartender, and soon they were back in the green. As he grew, they provided him with every opportunity they could afford, and he quickly proved that technology and him got along. His uncle promised that he would give the young protégé some pro tips and advice, as well as the best training there was, and they were happy for his help. Uncle Jack showed the kid the power behind the screen, and he was a natural. Even just relying on manual keyboarding, the kid could fly through the matrix like a bird through the sky. Uncle Jack kept him up to date with the latest in loopholes and taught him about the underworld, so that the kid wouldn't make enemies with his incredible skill. But nothing is perfect. A gang of orks thought that the primarily elven ghettos would be the perfect place for a raid, and the human family was caught in the middle. Suddenly there was just the boy. James and Rika were gone, and Uncle Jack had disappeared like a ghost in fog.

But not all was lost. The kid had skill, and slipped into the matrix and left a message inside the local corps database for their pr department that he was looking for work and wasn't worried about slightly less than legal operations. The answer came in the form of an old man who walked into the ally that was his new home the day after, offering him work for a place in the company. He would receive the best training the corp could afford to give an employee and he would pretend to be a low level intern. They would in fact give him ciphers to crack and data trails to follow and he would be paid, on top of the intern amount, for every solution he gave them. He quickly proved his skill and the corp moved him up in the world. He had his own little office where he crocked the matrix time and time again. That was when the dreams started.

He'd always been able to tell just when and where to hit an OS to crack it, but since his move into the corp, surrounded by nodes, he had started to hear voices in his head. He ignored them and kept working, but at night they were the only thing he dreamed about. And the voices didn't make any since, all they said was numbers. Ones and zeros in ever changing combinations over and over again. He loathed the thought of heading to bed, and avoided sleep whenever possible, taking on overtime just to get away from the voices. But they just kept getting louder. Ones and zeros, zeros and ones, he could barely think strait. The company noticed, and had him take a forced vacation, hoping his ability would return after some much needed rest. But there was nowhere for him to go, and even when he left the arcology to walk through the city, the numbers followed him.

He couldn't take it anymore, and so he hacked the net and got himself the location of a less than legal gun shop. There he bought a ruger super warhawk and a fake license to carry it. Then he went home and pretended it was a normal day. he couldn't even tell if the numbers were still inside his head or if they were just in the room anymore. 10010101 he could barely focus enough to figure out what he was doing except that the numbers seemed to know what he was doing and were trying to stop him. zeros and ones ones and zeros and ones and zeros and ones and ones and zeros and…

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 gun 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 in 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 hand 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 finger 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 on 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 trigger 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 barrel 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 on 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 temple 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 BANG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0…

Static shot up out of bed, sweat glistening off of his body. The dream was still fresh, twelve years after the fact. With the realization that he was in his bunk in his safe house, he sank back down to the mat he had been sleeping on. He had woken up the same way all those years ago, with a bullet hole in the side of his head and an awareness he had never thought possible. He still heard the ones and zeros, but he understood them now. And they understood him. He had heard of people with this ability before, but he had thought it was a bunch of bull. They were called technomancers. They could interact with technology using only their mind. But now he was one of them. According to the Drs, he showed signs of having had an aneurysm in the past, and apparently the excess blood in his head had shut down part of his brain. The bullet had opened a hole and relieved the pressure, saving his life and allowing that part of his brain to work properly. He could tell the numbers to turn on the trids, and the trids would turn on. Same with any other computer near him. He still carried the warhawk, but most runs he was just the key. He opened doors and the others did the wet work. It wasn't a great life, but considering the little kid who was an overnight success story still told of in the corps had died in that room, it was pretty good. With a peaceful sigh, Static laid his head back down with his hands behind it. Life is always good for a dead man.