Summer howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
The following flash scene is my little homage to YA. Hope you enjoy.
Cat Girl Versus the Machine
Reluctantly, Satka thumbed off the tune she'd been movin' and groovin' to. Having arrived at the Peak's library, she stretched and yawned before entering. Holy heck, she'd already endured a long boring day at TP High. Thank the Great Feline summer vacation was a mere week away.
On instinct, Satka scanned her surroundings, satisfying her inner cat. As she shoved through the glass door, she wished for the umpteenth time that her parents weren't so ridiculously strict, old-fashioned... or whatever.
She yowled silently, and headed for the front desk to check in with Miss Kitty. Okay, she could understand their viewpoint, and that was a pain in the butt in and of itself. After being home-schooled, after educationally roaming free, her parents had given Satka a choice. Learn the social ways and be of service at the local highschool, or get a job. They'd suggested 'waitress'.
Satka flinched inside, still sore from the memory. Not that she dished waitressing, but she'd envisioned her life far differently. So instead of chasing down ancient technology relics, she'd spent the past school year observing social behavior, and looking for ways to fit in. What a dismal failure that was -- except in one regard. The shifter-supernatural kids who needed extra tutoring gravitated toward her, orbiting like planets around a sun.
Of course, she'd done her best to help them. And because of that she'd met Miss Kitty, Dante's main squeeze. A nova bright spot in her day, since they often discussed relic manuscripts and books, searching out ways to attain them.
In the meantime, she worked part-time at the library to impress the parents and 'cover' their covert activities. Together, she and Miss Kitty had already tracked down and recovered a copy of an ancient tome, reputed to have been read by Ed Leedskalnin, the infamous mystery man who had built Coral Castle in Florida -- he claimed in the same way the pyramids had been constructed.
"Satka." Miss Kitty beamed a smile at her from the head librarian's desk. "Am I glad you're here," she continued as Satka strolled toward her. "The computers are acting up like ornery kittens, and I don't have a clue. I've called for tech help, but they can't get here until tomorrow."
Given Satka's computer expertise as far as foiling the most malicious hackers -- which included neutralizing the NSA spy bots -- she regularly solved such problems on the quiet.
"Are you feeling well?" Miss Kitty asked, concern in her remarkable blue eyes. "It can wait if you need to go home."
"No. Yeah... just feeling sorry for myself," Satka mumbled. She always tried to be as truthful as possible with the sweet cat woman because of how well they got on, and the real respect she felt. "The teenage angst thing," she added.
"Isn't your sixteenth birthday coming up soon?" Miss Kitty smiled knowingly, then stood.
"Next week, Thursday." Satka had to crack a smile at the woman's enthusiasm. Her own was sadly lacking -- at the moment. "Why don't I check the computer system before the cyber gremlins take over?"
Her words barely left her mouth when Satka heard a whispered shout for assistance from the computer station area.
"Coming, Lawrence," Miss Kitty sang out, even as she headed toward the young lion shifter while motioning away one of the other assistants. Once beside him, she suggested, "Let's look for a book that will... uh..." Miss Kitty covered his eyes fast with one hand, then took hold of his arm encouraging him to rise.
"Porn gremlins," she mouthed to Satka as she passed, the eleven year old in tow. Knowing Lawrence was geek-inclined and studiously researched bio-chemistry applications, and given the filters she herself had installed... scat, the cyber scumbags were seriously attacking.
"Okay, everyone," Miss Kitty announced. "The computer system is on the fritz. Sign off. Now."
At the murmured grumbles, Satka typed in her code before seating herself. The screens flickered and blanked long enough to get everyone on their feet. "Hey, why does she get to stay?" Bastille, a werewolf teen demanded.
"Because SHE works here, mister," Miss Kitty authoritatively snapped.
Feeling Bastille's gaze sear her back, Satka twisted enough to meet his scowl. She gave him a quick feline smirk, then sat, her full attention on the screen that had blipped back to life. As she'd expected.
She frowned at the psychedelic swirls of color swiftly changing their patterns, not the usual viral hack that was for meow-certain. Without looking, Satka reached into her backpack retrieving the special thumbdrive she always kept close. In moments, her detection codes downloaded, then connected the library computer with her home unit.
Like a predator chasing the cleverest prey, Satka watched the screen rapidly alter, landscape scenes at first with rapidly disappearing lines of code. Someone at genius level took her for a long cyber ride around the world.
She tapped in a disruption command. Instantly, scenes of crowds from big cities worldwide, from rock concerts, from Mardi Gras type celebrations, from huge parades all over the globe -- given the appearance and attire of the people -- flashed faster and faster.
Half-mesmerized, Satka tapped again, loosing one of her tracker bots. Chaotic lines crisscrossed the screen, as if whoever was deeply confused. Then, close-up pictures of people appeared one by one, a cyber photo album. Again, it was global, seeming random portraits of every race -- man, woman and child.
An eerie chill slid up Satka's spine. She recognized a super intelligence when she witnessed it. But why this small library, why...
"You're good," a male voice praised.
Satka nearly jumped out of her skin, human and cat, at the words. She'd been so engrossed in discovering, tracking the super hacker, she'd ignored her cat's raised hackles.
"Yeah?" she muttered, refusing to look over her shoulder. After all, no way would Miss Kitty allow anyone dangerous near her. "Suggestions," she tossed instead.
At that very instant, a futuristic image of a wired brain filled the entire screen. The 3-D art rotated while pinpoints of light flickered and pathways connected, turning neon-radiant.
"It's alive," the male voice stated with a calm that belied his pure astonishment.
Satka knew his tone, because she felt exactly the same. Utter astonishment gripped her. Aware she leaned forward, focusing hard on the ever-changing image, Satka took hold of the mouse cursor, and clicked on the nearest pulsing pinpoint.
"Dave... where am I, Dave?" A slurred artificial voice erupted from the computer's speaker. "I'm lost... I'm lost..." The soft monotone cleared, becoming more understandable.
"2001: A Space Odyssey," the male voice spoke aloud what Satka thought. More chills chased down her inner cat tail. Her heart pounded in her throat.
"Are you Dave?" she asked, even as she thought, do I kill this cyber-sentient program? Is it organically bred and born... or a diabolical AI from deep black ops? Or... what?
An instant ticked by on the cosmic clock. "Are you Hal?" whoever he was asked from behind her.
"I am... I am... " Red flares of light shot from the brain. "I am not, not Dave... no, I am not known as Hal... why are the pyramids no longer in use?"
Staggered, Satka felt her mouth drop open. She whirled around to see the expression on whoever's face. Her breath sucked in quick, as if she ran as cat against a storm wind.
He was gorgeous, and she would have guessed his age to be around eighteen. Only she'd never laid eyes on him before.
"Zrevor," he introduced. "Friends call me Zrev." He paused, his gaze roaming her face. "I'm Lawrence's older brother... here for the summer."
The purring tone of his voice dropped an octave at least, and Satka positively sizzled inside. No time, she thought, jerking her gaze back to the screen. She had to determine... oh scat! The brain now sported a face. "Omygawd!" burst past her lips.
"Omygawd is right," Zrev seriously growled.
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ...
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance