The Lead Cloak (The Lattice Trilogy Book 1)

Free The Lead Cloak (The Lattice Trilogy Book 1) by Erik Hanberg

Book: The Lead Cloak (The Lattice Trilogy Book 1) by Erik Hanberg Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erik Hanberg
pizza place. You’re becoming a celebrity. The feeds are reporting every detail. You finding the sphere, your call with Braybrook, and your call with Zella Galway. They’re really playing up your hunt. One man versus the terrorists.”
    Shaw pictured the strangers who were following the news tags and jumping in to his job, his home, his mind. He saw them as a mass of humanity encircling him—tens of thousands watching his every move. A few using a ring to jump, others lying down in a jump box, but most holding a wrap or watching a screen on their walls. But all of them finding him somehow.
    Anyone could jump into his life and watch him. Not just anyone today , but anyone living in the future could look back on him. God, what if he really was becoming a celebrity? Would people watch him having sex with Ellie? Would they jump into his past looking for … for what? For stories that would build him into a hero worth revering? The time he saved an old man from drowning. The time he fought those two drunks outside that bar when he was posted to Germany. Or would they search out his worse moments? That time when he was thirteen and he was trying to impress the seniors in high school and he kicked his neighbor’s dog. In college, he’d cheated on his girlfriend with her roommate, Laura Whats-Her-Name, while his girlfriend slept across the room. He might not remember her last name, but it was there waiting for anyone to find out. They only had to jump to find it! And they would ignore the context, of course. That night was a turning point, a realization that he was recklessly throwing away a real relationship to seduce a girl he couldn’t even stand during the daytime. What had he been thinking? It was a wake-up call, a start to (finally) become mature, but that wouldn’t be the point. People would only see the cruelty, and then they’d be off to the next jump. God, what if Laura were one of the jumpers? What if his old girlfriend learned of it? Had she ever found out about that night?
    And look at him—thinking about these things! He was giving a roadmap into his worst moments to anyone who was jumping into him right now. Anyone could—
    “Byron!” Ellie shouted.
    Shaw looked up at her, eyes wide.
    “Finally. You were starting to scare me.” She hugged his head close. “You have panic written all over your face.”
    “The Lattice never lets you forget all the terrible things you’ve done.”
    “You can forget if you want to. You just need to be OK with other people not forgetting.”
    “I don’t want to be a celebrity,” he mumbled.
    “Do your job, get it over with. Forget that anyone’s watching.”
    Ellie held him for a bit longer. There was a raindrop, then another. They left the balcony and went into the kitchen.
    “So tell me about this sphere,” Ellie said, as Shaw poured two glasses of wine.
    “You didn’t follow any of the tags?”
    She shook her head. “I just caught the headlines.”
    “You can go check it out in the box if you want to. It’s the most recent tag. I’ll have dinner ready by the time you’re back.”
    Shaw served salads with a side of cuy—protein-rich and perfectly-portioned guinea pig.
    The scheduled rain had grown heavy, splattering hard against the window, by the time Ellie returned.
    “What do you make of it?” he asked.
    “It’s ingenious. You could run an army without anyone knowing the general.”
    Shaw nodded. “I imagine this room somewhere with hundreds of glass spheres on shelves. Each one for a different agent, and all run by a mastermind at the center of it. It’s frightening.”
    “It is.”
    “So how do we trace it?”
    “Did Braybrook’s men have any ideas?”
    “Not that I know of. They think it’s ‘entangled.’ Do you know what that means?”
    “C’mon, By. Didn’t you pay attention in high school physics?”
    “I caught enough.”
    “Apparently not. This is Quantum Mechanics 101.”
    “Explain it to me then.”
    “Let’s say you had

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