Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler

Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler

Author:Steven Kotler
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: 2019-05-13T23:00:00+00:00


LET THEM EAT CRACK

Lion’s eyes take a second to adjust to the dark of the plane. So spray paint and sandalwood incense, those scents hit first. The interior of the cabin is awash in them. And a hissing sound, coming from somewhere in the back.

As his eyes adjust, he can make out a small candelabra resting on the floor in the corner. Eight slender tapers with long wicks, and the only light in the room besides a tiny reading lamp above Luther, who, having seated himself near the side door of the plane, pages through the Sunday Times, in the single remaining caramel-colored calf leather chair. The rest of the furniture is missing. The floor covered in thick plastic tarps. The walls covered in—what the hell is he looking at?

Directly in front of him, a six-foot black rat standing on its hind legs, holding an umbrella in one hand, a briefcase in the other, wearing a striped tie and a clip-on name tag. Dollar bills leak out of the briefcase, a couple floating away. Beside the rat, in large, bloodred block letters: LET THEM EAT CRACK.

Data bit doesn’t find data bit.

But it percolates. Crack not as split, break, or fracture. Crack, the drug, from back in the day. Cocaine coated with something evil and baked. Mandatory minimums, three-strike laws, and everyone in jail—kept the prison-industrial complex filthy with lucre. Now he gets it. Let them eat crack.

Graffiti. Cranes his neck around the interior. Similar graffiti everywhere.

Technicolor hieroglyphs coat nearly every inch of the plane’s walls, from the bottom of their curve to the lower edge of the upper windows. That explains the spray-paint smell.

And those windows? Lorenzo wasn’t kidding about the panoramic view. Lion feels like he’s in a glass-bottomed boat, but inverted. The plane’s roof is nearly all windows, a mosaic of dark glass ovals in different sizes. The smallest five feet long, the largest stretching over fifteen. A sea of eyes, like Varuna, always watching.

He walks a few steps onto the plastic and can’t help but recall all the movies he’s seen where the bad guys lay down drop cloths before they shoot the good guys, so the blood splatter doesn’t ruin their expensive interiors.

Okay, not going to think that thought anymore.

He squints around the main cabin again. About thirty feet long and twelve wide, though it felt much bigger when he first stepped inside.

No sign of Penelope. Or Shiz either.

Lion glances back at Luther, who remains hidden behind the newspaper. So he’s supposed to do what now?

Not a clue.

He crosses over to the candelabra. Eight candles in total, and doesn’t look heavy. He picks it up and walks over to the wall to his left to get a better look. The first image he sees has the same black-and-white stencil style as the rat, but human this time. A life-sized punk rocker, male, early twenties, spiked mohawk, head bowed, hands in the pockets of his shabby overcoat, more block text: THIS REVOLUTION IS FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY.

Lion takes a few steps to his left, reaching the next piece.



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