I was living with this goth chick I met at Crazy Bob's Computer Shack. She was a test case, right down to her pierced meep.
During the day she worked at a bookstore over in the boho section of the city. At night she wore black lace and lots of eyeshadow. Her name was Lycra.
Sometimes she'd get all techy, switch to molded rubber corsets and such, maybe some nanopore panties with those little red LEDs scrolling endlessly between her legs.
Every once in awhile, she'd drag out this coarse-cloth Nun's habit, complete with crucifix.
I'll have to admit, I kinda dug it when she wore the Nun getup. Her specialty was bad 1980 ninja movies. I was in love.
Only thing was, I had gotten in kind of a bad way that summer, and was looking for some relief. Then I met this guy at a coffee party.
He was kinda edgy, worked at one of the digital studios over in the valley. Just a flunky, really, did backups at night and made sure the server was watered properly and got enough sunlight. But he had access, and naturally he'd seen how far he could push it.... His name was Riley, and he claimed to have a copy of Courtland Prose's credit PIN.
Courtland was some kind of bigwig suit at one of the networks. Write-ups in Vanity Fair, the Rolex, 12-digit bank account in Zurich... you know, the whole nine yards.
Riley could get at Prose's cash, but wasn't sure of where to put it and not have it traced. I suggested he dump most of the money into the bank accounts of every U.S. citizen who filed less than $6,000 a year on their income tax. It would even out to about $500 a piece, but hey, as far as "tax refunds" go, it didn't suck. Plus it would make tracing all those transactions a real headache for the Feds. Riley thought that was a pretty cool idea. I also suggested he dump 10% off the top into his own bank account. Riley liked me immediately.
Only thing was, he needed a shill, someone to walk into a bank to file the transaction, and in the process get captured on video for time immemorial. I looked across the room at my grrl in black leather and vinyl. She smiled. I winked. We were set.
Riley ran all his hacks and cracks and prepared a digital domeepent of immense complexity. All Lycra had to do was walk into the bank, hand the chip to the teller, and smile for the camera. Simple. Too simple for Lycra.
She spent a week cruising the wig shops down on 4th street and scouting the vintage clothing stores for the right dress. She spent hours upon hours in front of her broken vanity mirror, rearranging color shades on her face to find the perfect combination. This was to be her shining moment, the fab-ninja-cyber action that would put her on the map. She'd be famous, and she wanted the security-cam pic of her face that would undoubtedly stare out from a million different TVs to be as compelling, mysterious and dramatic as possible.
I thought the final result bordered on Japanese animation, but I kept my comments to myself.
Come D-Day, I was nervous. Riley, brave soul, had decided to wait the action out at his apartment. I borrowed my mom's car for the getaway. Lycra held my hand as I pulled to a stop in front of the First Global Community Bank. I felt a huge lump in my throat as she got out of the car. Guilt mixed with fear at the sight of her black-stockinged legs disappearing into the bank entrance. I wanted to yell out to her, ask her to come back. But I didn't. I was greedy.
I wasn't the only one. Seems ol' Riley had cooked up a little side deal with Lycra. My guess was that smart-boy picked her up from the roof in a hovercar. Last I heard they were in Tierra del Fuego.
They got away with it. Lycra had her day in the media spotlight. For months her image graced the world's monitors. I even saw an anonymous e-mail interview with her in Vanity Fair. They ran the pic, the "Patty Hearst" shot, with the story. Dark bangs, a swirl of eyeliner, the sheen of flourescents on leather. A bright star in a dingy world.