The Floating Spirit is a web novel running from April 14, 2003 to April 5, 2004. Each installment is / will be about 1500 words long. The Floating Spirit falls into the CyberPunk genre - think William Gibson, Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix.
Penelope Gideon - Nelle Nelle is a COBOL programmer, working some of the last Big Iron contracts. For decades, all the Players have claimed COBOL legacy would be replaced with JAVA#++, but Nelle and a few others still make a good living updating ancient code for big corps. One night recently, Nelle found herself in a conga line behind a girl with a fat ass like hers. She intended to say "Hello, Fat Ass Girl," but somebody murdered her new friend and tried to kill her. That's when she met:
Murasaki - Mister Purple Murasaki has tons of old fashioned computer equipment, all from before 2015. He's been diligently working for years, looking for the Floating Spirit, trying to find it before the Baron does. Murasaki has no implants of any kind.
The Baron There are 512 Grid Nodes. 302 are owned by governments or corps. The other 210 are owned by 177 private individuals. Barons are wealthy and powerful, but also subject to strict rules of conduct and subject to summary execution for violating certain rules. Murder isn't one of those transgressions and one Baron has been trying to kill Murasaki and Nelle.
Michiko Michiko-san went to Kyoto to go to school to become a high school teacher. She met a boy and ended up creating The Floating Spirit. After 2015, she joined a religious order dedicated to rebuilding the world.
Captain Coyote "This isn't even the right Mythology for me!" Captain Coyote started appearing to Nelle as she chased The Floating Spirit and The Baron. Real coyotes are tough little predators, making their living on mice and small animals, taking human garbage when they can get it. Despite attempts to poison, shoot, and trap them, they do very, very well indeed throughout the American West. The Coyote of American Indian legend is a trickster. He's the answer to a question you didn't know you needed to ask. Murasaki can't find any evidence that Captain Coyote is real, suggesting that he is an element of Nelle's subconscious. Nelle knows better.
Johnny "Because dolphins were an endangered species." Johnny's coming.
Somebody Else He's out there.
The Floating Spirit takes place in 2050. For Nelle, it starts on Burnday - July 19. The first installment takes place a few days after that.
Burnday is the annual celebration of the last Sekhet satellite burning up in the atmosphere. From midnight to midnight on Burnday, all computer equipment is powered down. This rule applies to any information processing equipment whatsoever, from the Grid itself to the chips in your television. Special medical equipment has been designed to comply with the custom. Pre-1980s ambulances are maintained for use that one day. Since most objects more complicated than a shoe have electronic components in the future, everything shuts down and people party. (Yes, you can wear shoes with electronic components on Burnday, but they may not be turned on.)
Computer technology is fully integrated into the world by this time. Most people have at least one implant to connect their minds to information systems. The world wide computer network is called the Grid. Unlike the old Internet, content is monitored for a few key items. Creating computers unconnected with the Grid is illegal, although it is possible to keep some data local and uninspected by the Grid.