CHAPTER I — DIE SCREAMING
ONE | Hid Among the Dead
Tobias Gilroy traded in his name the day he began tending to the lucid mecha at the racetrack by the bay. He wouldn’t earn any notoriety without a more remarkable name and he self-identified as Stro the moment his profile confirmed the update. A runner wrangling adoration from a lively grandstand—and respect from his biomechanical partner, the rekt—required a delusional / confident aura, elitist-level taste musical taste, and genius coding skill. The rekt’s virtual intelligence spewed from the roiling ocean of networked data that’d come before. The rekt also abided no redundancy. Those virtual minds weren’t aware of themselves, but they were aware of SOMETHING. They preferred—they sided—with things never before seen in recorded history. Runners like Stro were succulent athletes of beastly originality. Show any weakness and their machines would reject the runner. The human brains would fry like eggs from stem to cerebellum when attempting synchronization.