Quick Recap: The film and novel ABSCONDING SIGNALS is now titled GOLIAD UPRISING.
As our story began a house rave was going on when a staged play of a rap performance called The Prophet Play was inexplicably raided by riot police. The police found in the raid a BCI, a Brain-Computer Interface manufactured by Goliad Technology, that had been dropped by a fleeing raver.
The next evening the device was delivered to Helen Mireau’s office at Goliad as her boss, Brian Ingram, skyped her. Neither of them noticed David Yamagata, the janitor, as he dumped the trash and pocketed a coffee stained BCI Application Development manual.
The following morning on his way home from work, David was picking up the sidewalk trash and throwing it in the apartment complex dumpster when he heard a shriek. Ariel Loner, a pretty bleached blonde, popped her doused head above the rim. She was covered with the sticky leftovers of a late nighter’s milk shake. She pleaded with David to help her find her cell phone that had been accidentally tossed in the dumpster. He was about to climb in when she grabbed his cell, dialed her number, and found her phone ringing with Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. David was totally bonkers for this gorgeous woman, talking to him, but in a flash she was out of the dumpster and gone.
Now we resume:
David walked in the apartment door and found his roommate, Quinton, sitting across from a stranger at the kitchen table.
“I have company,” Quinton called out.
“Oh.” David threw his backpack next to the stranger’s shirt on the sofa. He walked into the kitchen nook, reached above the TV on the kitchen counter and pulled out a bowl for cereal.
“David,” Quinton said, “this is George.”
“Jordan,” the stranger said. Quinton blanched.
David said hello and poured his bowl of toasty-o’s. A news reporter on TV was blathering about the newest version of BCI software that video gamers feverishly waited overnight outside a store to buy. David set his bowl down on the table. With Quinton to his right and Jordan to his left, he began to eat keeping his head down. He didn’t speak.
Jordan looked at Quinton, trying to figure out his relationship to David. Even without looking up, David sensed his roommate and the overnight guest were talking about him.
Quinton spoke up. “How was work?”
“Generally okay.” David continued eating.
Quinton looked back at Jordan, who was getting antsy. “So, um,” Quinton ventured, “going out tonight before work?”
David scraped the last bits of malted mush out of the bowl. “Might stay home.” He ate the last spoonful and looked at Quinton, and then Jordan. “Or I might go out. Don’t know.”
Jordan got up from the table and picked his military uniform shirt off the sofa a few feet away. “I’ll give you a call.”
Quinton followed him into the living area. “Yeah, you should definitely do that.”
David put his bowl in the sink and headed toward his bedroom. “You can hang if you want. I’m going to sleep.”
Jordan buttoned his shirt. “Can’t. I’m on duty at 8:30.” David kept walking, ignoring his roommate’s trick-du-jour and closed his bedroom door. He peeled off his stained and splattered janitor’s coveralls, and fell into his bed.
His phone beeped twice. He ignored it and dug the BCI Application Manual out of the leg pocket of his coveralls. He was a pretty good programmer; he just didn’t have the paperwork to prove it, which is why he was working at Goliad as the janitor and not as a developer.
His phone beeped twice again. He looked at it, assumed it was a mistake, and flipped open the manual. No one would be texting him. His parents don’t text. His few friends would still be asleep.
Annoyingly his phone beeped a third time. He dropped the manual beside his pillow and rolled over to look at the text. Meet me tonight at Main and Third. He checked the number. Nobody he knew. Must be a mis-dial.
David opened the manual to the index. What’s at Main and Third? he thought. It’s an empty lot, and a strip mall. Who would meet there?
He looked at the number again. He flipped over to his call log to see if….wait a minute. That’s the number he called 30 minutes ago. He didn’t call anyone…
The girl. That’s the girl’s number. She sent him a text. A text to meet her tonight at Main and Third.
David was in love.