Glen Jansen is seeking to improve his work and prospects when he purchases bleeding edge personal computer technology. But when the tech gives him unexpected access to strange parts of the net, and seemingly to other people's very thoughts, he finds himself on the run from the government, the mob, and a bunch of ersatz terrorist/patriots, all while trying to find out who's really controlling the country's networks!
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Nighttime in Franklin-Laurent was always an interesting transition to Glen. During the day, natural sunlight streamed down from the domed roof, and was reflected and re-directed throughout the interior of the spacescraper. At night, when there was no sun, interior lights came on to chase away the darkness. Although it was possible to almost perfectly simulate sunlight, most public spaces chose lighting that enhanced only certain aspects of natural light, such as a particular spectrum, a degree of scatter, or even just a particular color. This allowed lighting to achieve more specific effects in public spaces, and on the public. Its obvious artificiality also presented a clear visual cue that, indeed, it was really nighttime outside... something that was generally accepted to be important to the mental and physiological well-being of the human animal.
Glen stood in a natural alcove formed by the proximity of a display column to a service corridor. The ambient light combined with the space to visually separate the alcove from the rest of the traffic flow, and thereby redirect pedestrians away from it. The people coming and going walked in gentle arcs around the alcove, not really aware of any object or lighting effect forcing them to adjust their direction to get around it.
Glen had specifically designed it that way. He’d used the same design in an office sector last year, and it worked there, too. The alcove allowed him to stand there, out of the traffic flow, and take in the entire space undisturbed. It was handy for people who needed a secluded place to observe a traffic area or particular office or storefront. For Glen, it was also a nice way to simply watch people, without blocking traffic, feeling like a voyeur or sticking out like a sore thumb.
Across from the alcove was the Fetters Grand Mall entrance, immediately adjacent to the Fetters 16 Theater, and the entire space Glen had just finished designing. He idly wondered if he should see if Daneshi was in there, but decided against it. Although he liked Daneshi, he wasn’t really in a dating mood that evening, and it would be strange (at the very least) to say hello the evening after their date, then pass on getting together that night...
He had a fairly unobstructed view of the two entrances, and the people coming in and out of both. He suspected one of the Mayor’s nobodies might have even stood at this same spot and observed the same thing... though, when he thought about it further, he didn’t really think the Mayor’s nobodies would be sharp enough to discover this alcove, and probably would have set up a desk and chair in the middle of the floor to stare at the theater doors. If they had bothered to come down and look at all.
At any rate, Glen could at least say he verified that the crowds did indeed do what the simulations said they would. He watched as people coming out of the theater merged as smoothly as could be expected with the Mall patrons, and more people entering the theater. Traffic flow for both Mall and theater seemed to be disturbed only slightly, even at the main point of traffic concentration. This was because the surrounding lighting, patterns in the floor tiles and various visual cues acted on peoples’ sense of direction on a mostly-subconscious level, and tended to disperse the crowds as they entered the main space, creating a wider and more diluted wave of pedestrians passing around each other. Glen had put those tiles, lighting and visual cues there, to achieve exactly that effect. And it seemed to work like a charm.
Almost. There were still a few occasional clots of people, there... there, distracted by the animated display by the clothing store entrance... and there, next to the help kiosk, which officials always insisted in putting in the most outlandishly stupid places and bottling up traffic around them. Glen watched these problem areas, too, and still he believed he could have designed them better, had he been able to translate some of the visuals in his head to the final plans for the space. But those images had eluded him, as they often did these days. Those bottlenecks were the direct result...
Wait a minute. Glen did a double-take when he realized the animated display wasn’t what it was supposed to be. There was a message on the screen, but it had nothing to do with selling clothing. Instead, a grotesquely-shaped human cowered in a corner, her slightly-orange-skinned body shaking and convulsing. Her head seemed to sport a growth, almost a horn, which protruded clearly past the matted nest of hair on her head. She looked pathetically at the camera, the image centering her eyes and adding the slightest extra light to them to draw more attention to them. The crowds underneath the screen seemed to be pointing and gesticulating at it, and about it, with a strong fervor.
Glen could just catch the voice-over that accompanied it:
“—is the result of ignoring international regulations and carrying out live genome research. Human med-reaction programs are still not perfected, and they must be augmented with strict biomed research procedures, as outlined in the Geneva Genetic Conference. The stigma of melenhancement is nothing compared to the possible side-effects that we risk if we allow—”
And suddenly, the message ended, the screen went blank. There was perhaps a seconds’ silence from the crowd, before they started gesticulating wildly again. Glen could see a few of the crowd had the trademark jet-black skin of the melenhanced, and they in particular seemed to take violent umbrage over the message on the screen. Glen could hardly blame them: The ad had been badly-thought out, and it had been easy to take offense to the way it belittled melenhancement—an unpredictable inherited trait, an unexpected side-effect of improperly tested gene-therapy pharmaceuticals—against irresponsible genetic research. A few others tried to discuss the issue with them, but the melenhanced seemed to take personally the things said on the screen, and for a moment, it appeared as if violence was about to erupt.
Then, the display screen came back on, this time with one of the stores’ standard ads, featuring a model in a one-piece bathing outfit, enjoying herself at a party. Many of the assembled turned to look at the display the moment it was activated, and when faced with the familiar ad, some of them nodded and moved on. Others broke off their conversations to watch the attractive ad, almost as if nothing had happened. An employee from inside the clothing store appeared and attempted to calm down the few remaining people, including one melenhanced and two others, until they began moving off to talk about it elsewhere. A few minutes later, and the pirate ad seemed to be completely forgotten among the remaining crowds.
Glen considered the temporary chaos that the pirate ad had caused, which even he had to admit could have been worse... it was fortunate the store owner had responded quickly and rebooted the display to clear the ad. It was one of the hazards of using electronic displays, which were the most flexible of stationery advertising mediums, but were also naturally susceptible to pirate broadcasts by terrorists or Boson Blue wannabes. Maybe, armed with his new linke, Glen would be able to figure out a way of minimizing a pirate signal’s adverse effects on a crowd... well, then again, maybe not…
He had already lost track of how many times he had reached down into his pocket and fingered the new linke, not to mention congratulating himself on being astute enough to buy one. He was aware that he may have been one of the first people to apply the new device to architecture, which potentially made him a pioneer. He liked that. His work would improve by leaps and bounds, once his linke had access to his visual cortex, and he could see his 3-D designs directly in his head. His space designs would reach new levels, new degrees of subtle complexity and artistic control. This could propel him into the Elite, catch him renown around the world... or, at least, here in the USNA...
If he could get it to work. Glen’s fantasies returned to Earth with a bump, and he shook his head to clear it of such distractions. He looked again at the crowds navigating the space before him. Satisfied that his next work would be worlds better than this, he finally pushed off from the wall, left the alcove, and smoothly merged with the flow of the crowds.
“Reminder: Call Rick. Remind him you’ll be in late.” That message whispered in Glen’s head promptly at nine A.M., thankfully, well after he had gotten up. Glen hated to be awoken by linke messages, because he invariably mistook them as by-products of some dream and dismissed them, to his later embarrassment. He immediately paused in mid-bite of his biscuit, and thought: Call Rick at the office.
He took another bite and chewed, while he waited for Rick to pick up the connection. Finally he heard, “Hi, Glen,” at the same time he received the string of ID codes that verified Rick Ranon’s identity, which manifested itself as a subverbal “OK” in his mind.
Hi, Rick. Just reminding you I’m going to my training session this morning.
“Okay,” came Rick’s reply. “Tell us how it goes when you get in. Oh, yeah, and tell Lisa the teacher’s cute... we’re gonna set her up. See you later.”
See you. Glen smiled and closed the connection, and almost immediately, he was aware of another call coming in. The caller’s ID identified him as Dr. Corey Beacham, who was supposed to be Glen’s trainer. Glen opened the connection. Morning, Dr. Beacham.
“Good morning, Mr. Jansen. I’m calling because something has just come up with my schedule... something unexpected, I’m afraid. I won’t have time to do your linke training for at least two weeks.”
Oh... Glen frowned at the prospect of missing out on training. I was just about to leave for your office...
“I know. I realize this is incredibly short notice, for both of us. That’s why I took the liberty of checking with my colleagues, to see if anyone else could pick up your training, at no extra cost to you. And I found someone who could do it.”
Oh... uh, okay, then. Who—?
“Her name is Dr. Ana Delany. She’s not too far from my office... I’m sending you her code and location now.” Glen was aware of the numbers being downloaded into his linke. “She already has your information, and she’s expecting you for the same appointment schedule you had with me. I hope that will be okay with you, Mr. Jansen.”
Glen smiled widely, but made an effort to suppress his thoughts—memories of Rick’s jokes about “teacher’s pet” fantasies—lest something squirt out through the link to Dr. Beacham.
Yes... that sounds fine. Thank you, Dr. Beacham.
“Thank you... and good luck with your training, Mr. Jansen. Good day.”
The connection broke, and Glen continued with breakfast. It didn’t take him long to decide to check up on Dr. Delany, to make sure she was reasonably qualified. And, incidentally, to see what she looked like. He made a professional query, and in a moment, a verbal response was playing in his head:
“Dr. Ana Delany: Professional data follows; degree physician, degree physical training, degree CMSP training, degree remedial and post-trauma physical therapy and retraining. Maintains practice in Franklin-Laurent since 2094. Presently specializes in CMSP training and specialty CMSP training. Certified in AV-series CMSP training. Please provide authorization codes for further social or personal data.”
Well, she certainly sounded qualified enough. Is there a photo with the professional data?
“USNAMA stock photo included on file.”
Download it to this table monitor, Glen directed. Instantly, the screen on the kitchen table displayed a very small, low resolution straight-on photo of Dr. Delany. Thank you, Glen responded. She looked about his age, give or take a decade, for all he could tell... non-smiling, hair pulled severely back and probably tied into a nice professional bun. White jacket over white blouse. He could just imagine her wearing horn-rimmed glasses, if she’d lived a hundred years ago. Couldn’t hold a candle to Daneshi...
He finished up his breakfast, taking the ample time he had to clean up afterward. After a few more minutes puttering around his apartment, he decided to leave, even though he would likely be almost twenty minutes early for his appointment. He gathered up his new linke and a few other things he’d need that morning, and tossed them all into a hip bag as he headed out the door.
The location of Dr. Delany’s office was fairly close to that of Dr. Beacham’s... only a few stories lower, and only one degree off. Glen took the mass escalators down, the easiest way to get there from his level. Once he was riding the escalator platform, he took a moment for some mental calculation: The escalators, given that they traveled diagonally in both directions, displaced you about one degree for every level you traversed (they were actually designed that way, to somebody’s credit). Glen had to go seventeen levels down. If he had to go straight down, therefore, he would need to go down nine floors in one diagonal direction, then reverse his direction and go down the remaining eight floors the other way. That way, he’d be only one degree or less from his destination. But in this case, his destination was about five degrees lower than his starting point (in other words, counter-clockwise). So he needed to go an extra two levels in his first direction, or eleven levels, then reverse the last six, to be within a degree of his destination...
Once he went through all that, he allowed his linke to plot his course. In a heartbeat it provided him with a verbal route that, it just so happened, mirrored the one he’d just worked out himself. He smiled inwardly, knowing it was just an easy way to keep his mind alert. But he also knew most people, when given the same opportunity, wouldn’t hesitate to just let their linkes figure it out.
He rode the escalators silently, leaning against a sidebar and taking in the view. There were a good dozen people sharing his platform, and most of them were paired or grouped off, talking quietly with each other. A few others had the distant expressions that marked them as speaking intently to someone via their linkes... even without visuals, somewhat dicey on an escalator. Glen had seen many a person tripped up distractedly at the end of a mass platform, and the resultant pedestrian jams during busy periods. Of course, if they just had the sense to use their safety markers when they call people from an escalator... on the other hand, if they were going to be that stupid, they deserved to fall anyhow...
Then, of course, he came upon one of those stupid things that tended to trip people up anyway: An animatic ad stationed right at the landing of the escalator. As a traffic flow expert, whenever he saw something so clumsy as a visual distraction at the base of a traffic hub—like an escalator landing—he bristled. What idiot would be so stupid as to decide his adverts are more important that pedestrian flow, or safety? And what other idiot would let him get away with putting it there?
And even worse: This one seemed to be malfunctioning... no. It was under siege. The screen was constantly switching back and forth between an obviously-intended food court ad, and what looked like another pirate ad protesting the storage of nuclear materials in western Virginia. The pirate ad would momentarily assert itself, then it would blink out, to be replaced by the proper ad... then the pirate ad would fade back in over the proper ad, and repeat the process again and again. Escalator riders were all watching the show, mostly in amusement, and many of them were clearly stumbling at the landing because of it. Sure enough, Glen had to backstep to avoid some of them, before moving to the next landing and past the distraction.
Across Franklin-Laurent, Glen could see people on the opposite escalators. He spent some time idly watching a pedestrian that practically mirrored his own progress down the levels, to the last step and posture. His doppleganger also seemed to be admiring the view, and Glen couldn’t help but wonder if the stranger had noticed Glen and was thinking the same thing. As other people came and went, the man on the other side of the ‘scraper continued to ride down, down... how far was he going? When Glen finally reached his level and alighted, he chanced a glance across the way. His doppleganger was continuing down, down. He looked to Glen like he was destined to go all the way to the basements.
He had no trouble finding the doctors’ offices block. A quick broadcast of Dr. Delany’s name brought him an instant response: Room B-12-127. Take the left corridor, turn right at the second intersection. 127 is on the left. Glen followed the instructions, ending up near the end of a fairly long corridor, when he reached room 127. He knocked lightly.
The door slid open a few seconds later. A few paces inside the room, facing the door, Dr. Delany stood. She smiled pleasantly. “Mr. Jansen?”
“Yes,” Glen replied, extending his hand. “How are you, Dr. Delany?”
“Fine, thank you,” the doctor replied, taking his hand with an old-fashioned lady’s lock-armed handshake and giving it a quick, businesslike jerk. Glen was happy to see that she was noticeably more attractive than her stock photo let on. The doctor seemed to pick up on his silent approval, and she dropped her head slightly in acquiescence. Then she calmly let go of his hand and started across what was apparently the anteroom of the office. “Are you ready to start the training with your new linke?”
“Yes, I am,” Glen replied enthusiastically. “I hope there wasn’t any problem taking me on such short notice.”
“You mean Dr. Beacham?” Dr. Delany smiled. “No, it was no trouble. We’ve swapped patients before... we both can get rather busy. I’m just returning a favor I owed him.” She stopped, turned and regarded Glen directly. “I hope you don’t mind?”
“Not a bit,” Glen smiled, hoping that he was projecting “pleasantly unconcerned,” or even “mildly satisfied,” rather than “obviously pleased.” Dr. Delany spoke with a soft accent—French? No; Russian, maybe—that was very pleasant on the ear and added to her attractiveness, which was not inconsiderable. He followed her into the training room, basically a small room with a table, three chairs, a monitor screen on one wall and a small device on the table. A window dominated a second wall, but it was opaqued... Glen could not tell if an outside view, or another room, were on the other side. Seeing that he was in a doctor’s office, however, he suspected an observation room.
“Take a seat, any one,” Dr. Delany said as she preceded Glen into the room. He chose a chair at the table, his back to the opaqued window, and facing the wall monitor. Dr. Delany casually noted the chair he sat in as she moved to a small cabinet and rummaged through a drawer. “So you’ve decided to try out one of the audio-visual linkes,” she said in a conversational tone. “How come?”
Glen shrugged. “Personal improvement, I guess. No... make that, professional improvement.”
“Professional,” the doctor repeated. “You’re working for an architectural firm, right?”
“That’s right. My specialty is traffic flow. I just finished a common area in front of the Fetters Mall Theatre, redirecting pedestrian traffic around an evening bottleneck area.”
“Architecture was always an interesting profession to me,” Dr. Delany commented, looking over her shoulder at him. “Part engineer... part artist. How much of you is engineer, and how much is artistic?”
Glen smiled and shrugged again (and, instantly aware that he had just shrugged twice in quick succession, made a mental note to adjust his body language to avoid looking so predictable and stiff... this pretty doctor was already getting to him, he realized). “I suppose I’m... oh, seventy-five percent artist.”
“Ah.” Dr. Delany turned back to her drawer. “Then I imagine the reason you asked for the AV-linke is to augment the artistic side of you.”
“Well, isn’t that what the AV-linke is designed for?”
The doctor turned back to him and smiled. Her eyes looked away, and as if she was reciting from memory, she said: “The AV-linke is designed to provide a visual input and feedback, augmenting the audio characteristics of the linke, in order to give you more comprehensive use of your linke.” She took her hands out of the drawer, closed it, and walked over to the table. In a more personal tone, she said, “What you do with that is purely up to you.”
She emptied her hands on the table. She had brought over a model of a linke, about three times normal size, an antique linke, and a transparent model of a human brain, roughly actual size. Glen took in the models as Dr. Delany sat down.
“Okay. Training includes some background on the linkes. I don’t know how much of this you may already be aware of, but we have to go through the training module before we can start.”
Glen looked dubiously at the models. “Aw, c’mon... isn’t there some... I don’t know, an equivalency exam I can take instead, doc?”
“Our training sessions will be one-on-one, Glen. You can call me Ana.”
“Oh. Uh, okay. Ana.”
Ana smiled. “As to your question, I’m afraid not. It’s part of the SEE training program, and we’re not allowed to skip it. I’ll try not to kill you with too much jargon, though.”
“Okay.” She picked up the enlarged disk. “The standard Communicator-slash-Memory Storage-slash-Processor. CMSP for short. Colloquially known as a linke. The first such device appeared just before the turn of the century, a very limited version of what we use today, naturally.”
“Don’t do that, you’ll only slow us down,” Ana chided good-humorously. “The original linkes, generally known as handheld computers, were intended primarily as organizational aides.” She indicated the antique on the table, and Glen picked it up. The device was about as long as his hand, rectangular, and featured a gray screen along about half its length. There were four buttons along the bottom, with tiny iconic images silk-screened on them. One icon seemed to represent an old window... another looked like a paper notepad. He had no idea what the others were. As he examined it, Ana went on: “They included storage space for individuals’ home addresses and personal telephone numbers, simple notes, and time management data... all essentially hard-input notes, which had to be manually accessed and read to be used. They were therefore very limited in their usefulness... at the same time the first linkes were being introduced to the public, a great many people kept track of essentially the same things in paper notebooks. Although there were some supporters of the first linkes, they were not widely accepted by the public.
“The first real breakthrough for linkes came with the advent of IAR, or Intelligent Anticipation and Response systems, in the twenty-teens. This allowed the linkes to do the lion’s share of the work for the first time: Recording conversations and editing them down to relevant information, to be accessed later; providing useful information to the user spontaneously, and in real time; interpreting colloquialisms within its instruction base and responding appropriately; and taking the initiative in collecting and processing information, based on its knowledge of its users’ needs.
“It was during this time that the first research into interpreting actual thoughts for a linke was carried out. Prior to that time, experiments had proven that the brain put out specific signals that, once properly trained, could be monitored and used to direct simple tasks.”
“How simple?” Glen asked.
“On the order of steering vehicles, and providing ‘yes-no’ answers,” Ana replied. “A few military organizations tried to take advantage of those earliest experiments, but they were too primitive to be useful at the time... to anyone but the military, that is.
“Anyway, linkes with IAR were becoming widespread in the 2020s. At that time, businesspeople used two-way radio earpieces to communicate with their linkes. Casual users also used two-way necklaces and eyewear, but eventually earpieces became fairly standard.”
Ana then picked up the brain model. “Not too long afterward, scientists isolated the regions of the brain that directly translated neural signals to speech data, and interpreted incoming sounds as neural input.” She triggered a hidden switch, and Glen could see flickering points of light within the brain model, concentrated in two particular areas. “It was hoped that a linke could be linked directly to these centers of the brain, in order to move data back and forth most efficiently. The few attempts to hardwire those neural connections to external devices invariably failed, however, due to the sensitive and malleable nature of the human brain and the inherent problems of attaching terminals to it. And to date, the public is too uncomfortable with the idea of running wires into their brains, except in an emergency situation... nor was it ever considered efficient, sanitary or cost-effective.”
She put the brain down, its internal lights still flickering. “So people used earpieces for another forty years or so. Then, in 2063, researchers in Aspen discovered a way to direct focused nanowave signals into the human brain from an external source.” She picked up the enlarged linke, and flipped a switch on its side. A flickering light appeared, and Glen quickly noticed that the linke’s light seemed to flicker in synch with one of the forward clusters of lights on the brain model. “The focused-data beam system allowed the linke to send a signal directly to the auditory receptors, which the brain interpreted as sound input. It was safe and non-invasive, and with no external speaker or radio connection needed, it provided one hundred percent privacy for the user. It was applied to the linke once a method was found to maintain focus on the auditory receptors while the interior of the brain and the linke were moving relative to each other.
“It isn’t quite as easy as that, of course. The brain handles auditory signals from multiple points, each receiving different parts of the audio spectrum. It was discovered that sending the signal to one point in the brain’s audio regions created a ‘ghostly’ signal, hard to separate from background noises. So the ‘beam’ used by the linke is actually multiple beams, each sending part of the linke’s signal to a specific auditory region, which the brain then reconstructs and interprets as one signal. The signal is phased intentionally to produce a unique auditory effect, to avoid having it confused with outside sounds, and therefore confusing the user and possibly distracting them. This creates a distinct, yet non-distracting, input that is easy to separate from background noises.”
Glen nodded. “Well, that’s something I didn’t know.”
Ana smiled. “You see? A little background information never hurt anybody. Now... this breakthrough eventually led to a similar beam that could be bounced off of select neurons and detect neural activity through an ‘echo’ of the original signal... hence, the focused-echo beam.” She touched another switch, and now a second light on the linke blinked in unison with the flickering lights on the aft portion of the brain model. “The echo beam was directed at the parts of the brain that direct speech, and it was discovered that users could simply think about a verbal command, and the linke could pick it up. In another seven years, the focused-echo beam joined the focused-data beam in the linke. The linke you use now is the product of that research.”
Ana turned off the linke model, got up from the table, and returned to the drawer. She returned with another linke model. This one had the same oblong bulge as Glen’s brand new linke... otherwise, it resembled the first model.
“The audio-visual linke was created last year by researchers at Barnesdale Labs and Sunia Electronics and Engineering. Their design was based on the latest research at Temple University, three years ago, which pinpointed the regions of the brain that processed visual signals incoming from the eyes. Like the auditory regions, the visual cortex handles parts of the overall visual picture in separate and distinct regions, and reconstructs them later. Experiments in sending signals to single regions resulted in similar ‘ghostly’ images that were always incomplete, or hard to separate from background visual input. Temple researchers finally mapped the visual receptors and their specialities well enough to send a coherent image directly to those receptors via multiple beams.”
She tapped a stud on the new linke model, and as a light started to flash on the model, lights started flashing in synch in the model brain. The lights in the brain fanned out over the rearmost portions of the cortex, in a wavy broken pattern that reminded Glen of the leaves of a rose. “Barnesdale’s people used the Temple information to design the multiple beams and synthesize the appropriate signal,” Ana continued. “Although the beam technology is the same, the process of interpreting visual data, not to mention storing that data for real-time access, required major changes to the processor in the linke. The bulge, incidentally, is made by the new processor… not the new beams.
“Barnesdale and Sunia Electronics and Engineering collaborated on the new design over a two year period. Combining the new visual beam system with the audio beams, and synchronizing them at both ends, was the major hurdle to be cleared. It required some new and different methods of calling up data, and controlling the linke, which is why you’ll undergo a complete retraining to use the new linke.”
“Will I still be able to use audio-only linkes?”
“Yes,” Ana replied, “you won’t ‘lose’ your old training. Research has shown there are some key differences that help the brain to separate one method from the other. Going from one linke to another would be like jumping from one subject to another in a conversation. But why would you want to?”
Glen paused. “Well, just in case this doesn’t work out, and I want my old linke back.”
“Oh. Well...” Ana seemed to deeply consider the possibility, before she replied, “I don’t think you’ll have any problem. The AV-CMSP is already tested and approved by the NAMA, the FDDA, and HEW. I use one myself.”
“Well, of course!” Ana chuckled. “How do you think I became a certified trainer?”
“Right, right... so, how’s yours?”
“I think it’s great,” Ana replied without hesitation. “There are a few tricks I’m still trying to master, as a matter of fact. Working with three-D shapes and such. But I was never an artist.” She nodded at Glen. “You shouldn’t have any trouble in those areas. Then, who knows? Maybe you can help train me.”
Glen let the implications of her last statement dart around in his head for a split second, before he replied, “Sure. I’d love to.”
“Then let’s get started.” Ana stood up from the table again, and slipped off her white labcoat, which she deposited on a hook by the door. Glen took a quick appraisal of her figure before she turned back around, then shifted his attention to her face as she returned. Ana took silent notice of his attention, as she set up the monitor on the wall. Then she returned to the table, and busied herself with the tabletop device. “This will essentially be set up like traditional linke training,” she explained off-handedly. “The main difference will be the fact that the visual training will be handled separately. Since you’ve already had training, most of the audio sequences will be easy.” She finished with the tabletop device and looked at Glen. “Ready?”