Exit Nodes (xor 3.3)
Lita reveals bad news to Distinctive, who had a dream (premotion?) about that same bad news.
L: Hey, sorry, just as I call the delivery guys arrive.
No problem. You need to call back?
L: No – hold on (off mic) Just put it over there along the wall.
Is this the new fire retardant couch?
L: Yes. Speaking of which, I can’t talk long today, I’m on the hook for Valentine’s Day dinner.
Ah, yeah. Where are you two going?
L: I don’t know. He’s being coy. Ever since I set the couch on fire, he’s been trying to ‘reconnect’. He has some big day planned. He’s really excited, but it’s going to be brutal.
Well, have fun with that.
L: So, hey, I have two things: One, these recordings are being well-received. Just thought I’d let you know.
L: Hey, uh… (hesitantly; kind of dancing around asking) Do you think that if Exclusivor hears these, she’ll come out of hiding?
Who knows? Maybe. That’s not necessarily my goal, though.
L: It was more fun when she was more public, though.
Oh yeah, for sure.
L: (hesitantly) How about you?
You mean, will I come out of hiding? If she does, I will. My fate is pretty much tied to Exclusivor. As long as she’s on the run, I’m pretty much on the run, too.
L: It’s not much of a life.
Better than prison.
L: So, speaking of which. The second thing I called about, and I just want to be up front here. (pause; then quickly) The FBI visited me.
Shit, already? Fishburne?
L: Yes. (pause). They tracked you to Mongolia.
L: What’s funny?
I just figured… it’s Mongolia. Who’d be able to track me to Mongolia.
They pretty much sit on the Tor exit nodes nowadays and if you step even a little out of line, they’ll nail you.
You know what? I know what happened. They’re tracking these calls. You’re still using the Tails OS, right?
L: Of course. It updated last night.
Okay. God. This is so strange; I just had a dream about Tor exit nodes a couple of nights ago. It’s been kind of a recurring dream.
L: I don’t have a ton of time today.
I’ll be quick.
In my dream, I’m staring at a row of parked cars. It’s clear they are all retrofitted Drive, Bye auto-driving cars. You can see that antenna. Dead giveaway.
I’m writing down their license plate numbers. I need to figure out which car does not belong. I feel like my life depends on it. You know how dreams are, right? It all makes sense in the dream, but not as much later.
Anyway, in my peripheral vision, I see Sam Fishburne. Between Sam and me: A five-foot-three, one-hundred-ten pound Emo covered in tattoos and piercings, with Lamborghini-colored hair.
Right. Sam pulls out this gun. It’s huge, like a fucking bazooka, right? He got issues.
He fires and Exclusivor vanishes into thin air. Like, before the bullet gets there. And I see this missile coming right at me. I take off running. The car behind where I just was, explodes. Boom! Proper, too. Like a movie explosion. Boom!
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I’m running. Not away from that WMD in Fishburne’s hands, but toward it.
Toward the gun.
I can’t control my legs.
I’m like, “the other way – go the other way!”
No sign of Exclusivor
My legs take me down a row of cars.
And I have to avoid falling debris.
Right in front of me, a bumper falls from the sky
I hurdle it and keep running
I move right, circle around, trying to flank Fishburne.
Where is Exclusivor?
Where is the end of the cars?
They go on forever.
As usual, I’m caught in the middle.
Up shit creek, no paddle
Then, I run right into a mirror.
I look up, and inside the car I’m next to is Exclusivor
She motions me in,
Slides over, and I get in the driver’s side.
The car starts up, it’s self-driving, right
We screech out of there
I look in the mirror
And there’s this sinister looking black sedan after us
Fishburne, of course.
I can see that tell-tale antenna on the top
Another auto-driving car
We’re in a chase scene with two auto-driving cars!
Dreams are crazy.
(interlude of car audio)
We’re out on the highway now
Suddenly, a phone rings
Exclusivor punches ‘answer’ on the car’s touch-screen
She politely says, “Hi, Sam”
Exclusivor turns to me, smiles and winks
Sam let’s off a string of expletives.
Exclusivor relaxes in her seat
Lights up a cigarette
Just sitting back, chilling
Sam is going off
Casually, Exclusivor reaches out,
Grabs the steering wheel,
Yanks it toward her
We swerve to the right
And another missile explodes
Just missed us
Took out the car that was right in front of us before we swerved.
Exclusivor lets go of the wheel, and the car’s computer takes over driving again.
Fishburne sounds like he’s about to have a heart attack
Then – this is my dream, but it seems so real, even recounting it, more like a memory.
Then, I grab the wheel, and force the car into the next off ramp.
Exclusivor is like, ‘What are you doing?!?’
We exit the freeway
It’s just a pile of cops, like the amount of cops at the end of Blues B rothers
We’re trapped. …
L: Is that the whole dream?
Weird, right? I’m dreaming about flippin’ Tor exit nodes like I’m in the Matrix or something. And in my dream, I got caught on purpose.
L: Ah, because of the FBI visiting me, you think it’s some sort of premonition.
Well, no. Not really. I guess, though. I guess I just knew that I needed to be more careful.
L: What happened when you woke up?
So, I’ve had dreams like this before. The license plate dream, that’s recurring. Not like this, though. Usually I just remember license plates from my dreams. When I wake up, I write them down, then go break into whatever state’s DMV and see who the plates belong to.
L: Oh … shit … Who did these plates belong to?
Okay, so the ones I remembered and wrote down from this dream all came up snake eyes, except one. The car I got into, the one Exclusivor and I were in, had California plate (honking) 1DBI298. I looked it up, they belonged to the Jeep Sergei Gordova died in.
L: Jesus. (honking) Hey, I gotta go but look, you must have seen that license plate in some of the crime scene photos of Sergei’s Jeep.
I don’t think so. I went back and looked, the plates aren’t visible in any pictures we have on file. And, a couple of months ago when I had this dream, I looked up those plate numbers. One car matched plates belonging to Sam Fishburne’s sister. How would I know that? Until then, I didn’t even know he had a sister! A year ago I had this dream, looked up the plate number, it was a car belonging to a woman named Zoe Gates.
Not Exclusivor, just a random woman with the same real name. I even flew to California and looked her up to make sure. Followed her to a Starbucks, acted like I was a friend from high school, struck up a conversation and everything. It was bizarre.
L: I feel like you’re pulling my leg here. But, my husband is waiting in the car –
When we first started talking, there were a couple of things you really wanted to discuss, but I refused. Do you remember those?
L: Of course I remember those. It’d blow the roof off-
Well, I’m ready now. Do you want to discuss them?
L: (very conflicted) Yes, but I need to go. It’s Valentine’s Day. My husband is waiting in the car.
Okay, talk to you next time.
L: Hey – be safe okay.
Same to you. You’re in this now, too.