Author Topic: EP736: Techno-Rat (Summer Flashback)  (Read 1007 times)


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on: June 13, 2020, 06:53:18 PM
Escape Pod 736: Techno-Rat (Summer Flashback)

Author: Brad Hafford
Narrator: Alasdair Stuart
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producers: Mur Lafferty and Summer Brooks

This story originally appeared in Reflection’s Edge, 2010, and in Escape Pod 364 on October 4, 2012.


Show Notes
This is the second of our post-modern punks Summer Flashback series.Techno-Rat originally appeared in Escape Pod 364 on October 4, 2012.

West London was, as always, abuzz. Even at 4:00 AM on a chilly November Tuesday, electric motorcars whirred down Kings Road, zipping people along, early to work or late from parties. The residential side streets, however, were quiet. Lined with parked cars, occasional street lamps, and darkened flats, they dozed peacefully. Ornate houses huddled in gracefully curving queues, awaiting the sunrise with little attention to the two figures loitering outside their narrow, iron-fenced entryways.

“There it is, innit?” the scrawnier figure said, pointing to a parked car. “D’ya see?”

The taller man stared intently at the vehicle. “See what?” he said, his breath misting in the frosty air.

Their eyes were fixed on a car sitting at the curb of a constricted street in Chelsea, part of the fashionable Kensington district. It was a brown cabriolet with a weather-worn faux leather top. An aging example, its low-light number plates showed it to be registered ten years previously. Its MOT and inspection were up to date, but its bonnet was dented and its windscreen cracked. Such an automobile did not belong in Chelsea. But neither did the two men examining it.

The smaller of the two impatiently tugged on the grey flatcap he wore. “Pay attention, Mik,” he sniped. “We in’t got all night.” Clipped words and rounded vowels marked his speech. The bells of St. Mary’s were ancient history and the East End had long since been gentrified, but he was retro-Cockney.

“I’m paying as much attention as I’ve got, Artie. More, really. I just don’t see it.”

“It’s a slight vibration, see. An ’ologram shift called glitching. The generator keeps the image dynamic, right. So it has to refresh at a specific rate.” He tapped his nose, a signal that he was imparting secrets. “Oy, there it goes again!”

“I still don’t see it.”

“And you fink you got what it takes to be a Techno-Rat?”

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« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 06:58:35 PM by divs »

Languorous Lass

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Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 04:54:30 AM
I like the idea of Summer School:  Cyberpunk.  But if Alasdair genuinely intends to be educational, it doesn’t help for him to make multiple references to characters from other stories in other media and expect his “student” listeners to recognize them.  I didn’t recognize most of the references, and instead of feeling enlightened, I felt stupid and excluded.  The same was true for the endcap to the Merc Finn Wolfmoor story in Episode 737.   

If these had been normal endcaps, I would have sighed, or maybe looked up one or more of the names Alasdair had dropped, and gone about my business.  But these mini-lectures are supposed to be teaching us something.   And the use of the references is undercutting that purpose, at least for me.