Two In The Morning And Nobody’s Awake But Me And My Girl
…The thing you have to remember about the mesh of nano-engineered computer networking in my skull, my oft-maligned and malfunctioning AGENT, is this: it never goes to sleep. Sure, my flesh and blood body might be asleep, down deep in the low-end of the sleep cycle between REM peaks, but the AGENT? Hell, that good looking mirror image of my very own mug never slept, never took a day off, never once asked for overtime pay. My AGENT, as much as I knew I had to get it fixed before its inappropriately timed pieces of noir narrative drove me absolutely crackers, was still a damned good investment and had paid for itself at least a half-dozen times over.
Even now, in the imaginary office I kept in my head as the interaction interface with the AGENT’s more mechanical functions, that inner image of myself sat at the desk, going over the various pieces of information from the day. His hat hung silent and sleeping on the rack by the door, a damp umbrella and a damper coat drying out by the antique radiator standing just this side of the door. A half-empty bottle of brandy and an empty highball glass - three ice cubes absently clinking against it as they melted dejectedly, all but forgotten - took up a small corner of the desk, while folders full of papers controlled the rest like a one-sided game of “Risk.”