Something to Live For
Bach looked at the pieces of the psychotropic ICE he had encountered with pride. Knowing it was his work, if modified and different, was enough to make him pleased. Part of his old personality was filtering back to him, and an inexplicable desire to continue on his old doctorate work gnawed at the recesses of him mind. Possibilities ran through his mind as he thought about continuing his work, but for a different tone.
Before, he had limitless funding. Bach leaned back in the Matrix, falling into a chair and looking up at the coded ceiling. Wake up with new ideas, discuss them over coffee with Wolfe, program and spellcast all day; it was a great time for de Victoria. If he needed anything, Wolfe provided it. If they lacked something, the deficiency was filled immediately. But now… Bach opened up a vid of his unconscious form, lying seemingly asleep in a low trafficked movie theater that played some trashy porn from twenty years ago about orcs sitting on cakes. These were his resources; what little money he could scrounge up with unintelligent or uncaring assistance, hired to perform a singular task and then fired for failing to do the job right. His laboratory: some grungy theater. Bach smiled. Somehow, the challenge appealed to him.
Bach continued to focus on the ICE coding. He started to reassemble it, trying to figure out what all he wanted to do with it. Without meaning to, his Matrix persona changed. He no longer looked tall and nondescript in a black overcoat. He had distinct features, clean shaven, wore a casual plaid suit with loafers, and had glasses on. People called him Dr. de Victoria, and he started up his old work.
de Victoria had a lot of new ideas and a goal, field experience and some assumptions. But more than that, he found something he didn’t have two weeks ago; a reason to keep going.