Along the East Coast, the waves strangled the shoreline. A storm hung onto the horizon in the waking hours of the morning, which was the normal conditions on Isle Endless. Some yahoo of an explorer thought he was clever in naming the tiny island. It tricked people in thinking that the island was huge, when in fact he was talking about how the view of the ocean being endless around it. The island itself could hardly hold the lighthouse, a facility building, and a tiny dock that clung to the mile of land available.
Despite the tiny dock, a huge ship, modeled after a Spanish War Galleon, was anchored there. The huge ship did not help how ridiculous the island already looked with the huge facility and tiny lighthouse affixed on the opposite sides of the island.
The facility, though usually quite empty, had seen more people in it today than it did in years. Helena St. Johns and her team finalized what they had been working on for some secret project. Helena, a timid yet brilliant encoder, had been turned away from every coding job in which she had applied. She was very much qualified to work along side the big encoders of the day, often surpassing the company tests. The thing that stopped her was how timid she came across in the interviews. These days, the big coding companies as well as the government wanted people who could stand up for what they believe. Helena wasn’t as vocal as these people wanted. It was no problem.
Helena didn’t mind working on her own. The satisfaction of people coming to her based off her work was more than enough to keep her going. She had her own place, even if it was on an all but deserted island constantly threatened by hurricanes. She was her own boss. The ethics of coding was entirely up to her as well. Most private companies followed government regulations to seem reputable. Helena disliked the red tape because she knew there was so much good out there that red tape would hinder. Her current project was one of these “goods.”
When Dr. Trejo came to Helena with his idea, Helena quietly thought he had lost his mind. She didn’t really understand how recessive traits and what people classify as “disabilities” could be caused by stagnant antimatter. Dr. Trejo came up with the idea to make a suit to confine the antimatter so people could go into Internet 9 without turning out like “some balloon-eye case,” as he put it.
That wasn’t her job. The suit was too scientific. All she had to do was learn how to downsize it and put it in code so the suit as well as the wearer wouldn’t die. The job wouldn’t have been so difficult if the suit was complete and then sent to her to code. Downsizing things was quite easy these days, but downsizing an idea was quite different.
She had been working close to Dr. Trejo. He sent over prototypes that she figured out how to downsize.
A few were complete failures.
Combat suits were, in general, easy to code. This suit was a hybrid. Not only did it have to function as a combat suit, but it had to hold back antimatter. Not many people would be willing to test this kind of technology.
In fact, only one would.
Helena walked into her small Jump Room. She was greeted by her robo-cat who let out a computerized mew as it made a lap around her legs.
“Lads! Mind your manners!” Helena heard from the upper level up the Jump Room.
“Mornin’ Miss St. Johns!” a few men said while saluting her entrance.
“Good morning, boys. Good morning Captain.” Helena said waving to the Captain and his men. Captain Octavius Rex and his Rowdy Boys were just regular pirates until they met Helena. When Helena first established her work on the island, Captain Octavius raided the island. When they found the island had nothing of use on it besides a really frightened Helena, Captain Octavius decided to spare her since he took pity on such a pathetic establishment, though he would say “Because a lass like you and idiots like us need each other.”
“Miss Helena! Today is the day isn’t it?” said one of the Rowdy Boys.
“Yes. Dr. Trejo plans to unveil our hard work. You boys should be proud. I know how hard it was for us all,” Helena replied as she picked up her robo-cat. She gave it a few pets on its upper back.
“Cody would be proud, that he would,” the same Boy said. The other Boys agreed in a flourish of cheers before the Captain hushed them.
“Miss St. Johns, as you were saying?” The Captain transitioned.
“I’ll be calling to Dr. Trejo soon. He hasn’t replied back to me yet. Captain? You’re much better at motivating everyone than I am.”
The Captain jumped from the upper level down to where Helena was. The captain walked to the middle of the room and took off his tricorne hat revealing where his organic skin touched his robotic plating on the left side of his face.
“What feels like years ago, Boys, we were just a bunch of wanderers looking for easy loot. Today shows how far we’ve come. We’re the best sailors in the universe,” The Captain said, raising his robotic right arm. In his hand he held a long piece of paper which he let casually roll out to the floor.
“This! This is only the smallest part of our hard work. Ours! Who has a map of Internet 9? No one but Captain Rex and his Rowdy Boys!” The Rowdy Boys let out an earth shattering roar of cheers. After a few second, the Captain stomped his foot and the the Boys fell silent again.
“We will never look the same again. No. None of us.” The Captain’s robotic eye switched on from its usual ruby glow it a bright flashlight beam. Helena looked up to the Boys. Each of them were battle scared from their time in Internet 9. So many of them had robotic limbs. She remembered each and every single operation. She had expertly coded the robotic parts for the Boys and the Captain as they tested the suit ideas. She couldn’t believe that they’d stayed. No way would anyone else stay after barely surviving being ripped apart by rogue data, let alone go in again multiple times.
“But we have Miss St. Johns to thank. She has made us the stronger than any army to ever go into Internet 9!”
“This is true” Helena thought to herself. Her coding for robotics was much more superior than any other encoder could do within the legal guidelines. In all honesty, her coding pushed what downsized robotics could do in Internet 9 without it being picked up by the rogue data. Rogue data operated on a certain frequency that if downsized and brought with humans would cause them to instantly have trouble with it cooperating. The Rowdy Boys were different. Not only were their robotics almost on that frequency, but were attached to their actual nerves and organs. If the rogue data found a way to get into their robotics, the Rowdy Boys might as well consider themselves indoctrinated.
“Now, Miss St. Johns. Is Dr. Trejo ready?” The Captain asked, switching his eye back to red while looking at her.
Helena’s robo-cat was now on the table, curled up next to her data pad. On it, she saw a notification from Dr. Trejo.
“Yes,” Helena said with a small grin forming. “The Mattermen will finally be a reality.” Captain Rex held up his right arm with a fist clenched. After a moment, he relaxed it. The Rowdy Boys celebrated with loud cheers and sea shanties.