SEED – Softwired

The statusbot woke me from a really sweet dream where I was proving to a friend that coffee contained the anti-caloric equivalent of donuts, which is why they’re always taken together. And also why people who drink coffee and eat donuts never get fat off donuts. All while a mariachi band dressed like Kiss Redeux played in the corner.

“You have fourteen emails.”

I grabbed a pillow and pulled it over my head.

“Twenty-three unsolicited product offers.”

I knew it wouldn’t help.

“Four hundred sixty-two interactions on Mutter.”

The voice was broadcast through my implant.

“Two hundred eighty-four interactions on FriendStream.”

So I was the only one that could hear it.

“Five private messages.”

And there was no snooze button.

“And one citizen alert.”

I pulled the pillow off my head. “Repeat that last notification?”

“One citizen alert.”

“What the fuck?”

“You have been fined point two five credits for use of inappropriate slang.”

“Whatever… brainbaby.” I sat up in bed, yawning and scratching the back of my head to unflatten my hair. “What’s the citizen alert?”

“You have been selected as a troll hunter.”

I froze in the act of wiping the crusties out of the corner of my eye. “No. No…” I kicked my blanket away. “I decline!”

“Please remain in your current location for collection for the hunter safety course.”

I rolled off the bed and took two steps toward the closet before the implant sent a tiny jolt into my brain and it was once again lights out. This time I didn’t dream about coffee.