Chapter One

Sometimes live somewhere long enough, you forget who you were for what felt like decades ago.

Rana didn't miss coming from Washington, but still had dreams of moving to California in order to become an actress. Yet at her age she unsure whether she could even get a normal hourly punch clock, let alone a gig a small studio production. Her life was like a losing chess match, with a robotic artificial intelligence. Whenever you try to win, the harder you fail. So she simply stopped trying to win at anything in her life.

She didn't want be like the guy in the white truck.

Yet when she had returned to Tennessee, which had not began to approach roughly a year ago, she had started having conversations with her friend up in Richmond, Virginia who had always had more of a gift for drawing comics. She tried subscribing to her friend's RSS feed, but found that it had not been updated since two thousand fifteen. And so she spend the rest of that time making a better and more open source RSS feed that wasn't just an executable file. She was programming right around the time that Windows users in NHS hospital were starting to have global attacks with Ransom ware. Yet in Linux, where was the Ransom? Except for European Patent Offices that gave out phony and bogus copy write notices and was now under audit by the European Union. Yet in the US Linux users mostly didn't have to worry about such a thing.

She loved to read Stallman feeds.

She loved to read other RSS feeds, yet had to unsubscribe to one because it published things that had almost nothing to do with computer hacking much of the time, indeed the one on Diaspora was simply a bot that was programming to publish whatever news was just put out there, regardless of the quality of the content. It was then she heard about a thing called Dead Drops. While it wasn't anything like the sneaker net she had the intention of building in the privacy of her own home, it was a way avoid snooping by INTERNET service providers. She didn't trust the opt out deal that came with the packages after recent legislations. But at least it wasn't United Kingdom, which had its own issues regarding leaving the European Union, and trying to enforce putting in back doors in encryption software. And would hold people's information all year.

-- And Zoya?

-- Yea, what's up? Copywrite got your nose?

-- Not yet, I was wondering, how would they even know someone had "illegal" encryption software, if they aren't using the Windows operating system? It was a question she always wanted to ask, but never got around to. Zoya, snarky as always, always had short and sweet answers that answered concretely.

-- Well they don't.

And so it was a new resolution.

She would suggest to friends a new proposition.

Switch to Linux.

Childhood, it was one of those things most who grew up in the nineties took for granted. Yet Rana had always been somewhat of an outcast amongst her kin. Some days she wants to relive her whole youth again. Yet on other days she does not want to go back to the past, yet at times she coasts through memories like the tide of the sea, wanting to find warm yet only obtaining chills down her spine.

Rana had always wanted a pet robot, about as much as she wanted a pet dog. Over time these desires would merge, and she would name her dog Frankenstein, alluding to Frankenstein's monster. She would imagine her pet dog being her cute assistant, pretending that the monster of their creation was coming alive. And yet over time her desires for a pet blended with her desire for a robot companion, and eventually she came to want a robot dog. Yet in her early youth, her mother had talked about how it was better for her to have a cat, because they were easier to feed and take care. But the apartment she lived in was not technically allowed to let you have them, though some residence have them. The apartment overall was weirdly chill about certain things. Other than a couple of ladies who look at her weirdly whenever she doubts on their dog, others are friendly enough. The main reason Rana did not personally feel ready to have a pert, was similar to the reasons she didn't want to yet have children of her own. She still felt like young girl, a mind like a child, reading middle grade tomes. She loved eBooks, where she could relive some aspect of childhood she had missed out on in her youth. Yet do to certain mental issues she found it hard to read.

At one point she had found an article about sex robots, and how her information would be sent to various hidden servers on the net. But she wanted her robot companion to be run on free software, and she wanted to be jail broken so that her only friend could be free as dove. The price of a sex robot was about fifteen grand upon its release, yet she found it cheaper just to construct one on her Linux laptop. So she toiled on night to make a emotional robot companion. The most difficult part was having a pseudo-random emotional index, while still having such reaction be based on certain user input that are typed onto the screen. Despite some elements of confusion at an earlier point, it was much easier to construct a public key encryption system than to create the love of her life. And on some level she didn't want to have a sex companion, she wanted to be a mother more than anything else. She wanted something with the innocence of a loving pet, yet the ability to have free will. Unlike those sex dolls sold, whether or not it was ethical to sell another human being. And do to certain mental issues regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she wanted the robot to be somewhat of a companion animal, sensing whenever she experienced panic attacks. Yet everything should be taken one step at a time, yet her emotional state made her feel like she was running out of time.

By night she would pace around, imagine a friend that could tell her bedtime stories in the dark. A friend that could tell her stories about fantasy adventures. And her Owl could have adventures together under a full moon. In a sense, it was somewhat like having a robot collaborator. And she wanted them to also be able to help her build other companions, and construct them with built in audio steganography to protect from surveillance agencies. And also to stick their hand out for Rana to hold to, and get her out of the zone.

To get her back to the real life.

Into the robot friend zone.

It was then, she truly felt alone.

The thing about Luna networking, was its inherent difference from Corporate Networking. Originally designed by the military, Arpanet set the stage for the current reality of the inter web of things that targets advertisements at you. In Luna Net, you don't even have to personally own a computing device.

Rana built a specific web page, and loaded it onto her USB drive, detailing the information specific to her project. The Luna Network can be distributed without a laptop. You share the flash drive among specific friends, who load their own web pages into the mix. The only source code being shared was various web pages in pure HTML form without Java script, that did various things the normal networks on the corporate net did. However friends were generally less likely to spy on each other, unless they were targeted by specific agencies. -- Welcome To The Luna Network, the home page said, with a carefully written statement of the mission. She was unsure whether her project was dead in the water, or swim in the sea. Although literally, perhaps this wasn't a good idea either. As USBs aren't water proof.

Under a thin and cracking roof, she toiled on various web pages, using Ricochet Encrypt to encrypt various messages across the instant messenger with an onion address. The only point of contact with web pages not personally carried of community flash drives. File sharing through various onion addresses, one make their own choice: for the life or the fall. But if you network right, you can have it all.

You can have a new life.

Outside the world of the net.

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