from "Ghost Story" by Brad Cole

“Hey, Chirp, reference Alfredo here and show me where its code is being stored,” she told her agent. A few seconds later, a laser-brilliant line of light extended from the virtual dog to a server concealed in the base of a nearby street lamp. Nina relaxed her mind, and began to navigate the various connections with her own neural circuitry and the small but powerful computer she carried on her person. She found Alfredo’s program, and opened it up to view the various ownership rights...

The white ball of fluff that she had assumed was a child’s virtual companion leapt directly at her face, and time slowed. As the creature moved toward her its jaws began to grow larger and larger, until her entire head seemed to fit into its massive mouth. She knew it wasn’t really happening, that the image of the dog growing larger was just a visual display of how the system interpreted the software being uploaded into her own hardware, but it didn’t matter. This wolf is about to bite my head off! she thought to herself. Then everything went black.

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- from "Ghost Story" by Brad Cole

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