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Technical Difficulties

"Troubleshooting is more trouble than it's worth."

By IzaPublished 27 days ago 3 min read
Technical Difficulties
Photo by Cedric Letsch on Unsplash

“Goddamn it!”

Plastic snapped against metal as the flash drive was ripped from the computer port with vigor. Vaia hissed a breath outward through gritted teeth, trying to rein in her frustration. She tossed the drive onto her desk —clatter!— and rested her forehead against the trembling palm, breathing deeply again.

For some inexplicable reason, that damned thumb drive kept alerting her to a corrupted file but weirdly locking her out of its interface, barring her from troubleshooting the issue. She needed to download the files off of this drive, of which was given by a friend of hers as a gesture of goodwill for their new business contract. These files were documents of the latest warehouse seizures made by Pentex; a nefarious megacorporation polluted by the corruption that infested this world. This taint was known by many names, so researching and tracking down their subsidiaries has been proving a difficult task.

The urgent need for these files fueled her anxiety; Vaia had been researching this corporation and its tendency to ruin the Earth everywhere they set foot in, with the aims of hopefully finding a way to stop them however she could. The thought of oil rigs ripping into the forests of the Sierra, her backyard, flashed across her mind; Vaia shook her head vigorously, a low snarl of discomfort escaping her. She needed to fix this…however, she did not have a digital thumb.

The vixen’s mind raced, recalling when she had gotten the drive, whether her laptop was at fault somehow, and where in her city could she possibly seek technical support. The contents were tailored to disintegrate as soon as a wrong password was entered, and her friend told her to contact her specifically if there were any issues after seeing a specialist in town, so it was safe to assume there was a backup for emergency replacement. Vaia’s amber gaze roamed the length of her desk, visually sorting through the organized chaos. A memory formed at the forefront of her mind: walking down Sunset and glancing up to see the sign of a new pop-up shop — Mr. Nancy’s Net Menders. The recollection began to fade, but not before the store’s slogan banner swallowed up the peripheral: Whether hard or soft, we'll suit all of your netware needs.

That brief reflection spurred the young vulpinethrope into movement. Thank the gods I’m already mostly dressed, she thought. Vaia was a flurry of movement — grabbing her keys from the nightstand and slipping them into her jeans pocket, then crossing the floor to the coat hanger by the front door. She grabbed an olive green bomber jacket, lined with brindled faux fur, and wrangled herself into it with rugged ease. Deft fingers lifted a black shoulder bag from another rack, slinging it across her head. Slipping her feet into the Converse that lay at the threshold, Vaia finally stopped for a moment to breathe; even taking the time to do a slow 360 to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything.

Yamuy mrrowed from his perch on the cat tree, right of the door. Vaia rolled her eyes with affection, palming the cat’s face and gently shaking it. “I’ll be back, buddy. Be good.” The vixen stepped out the door, locked it, and set off to the last location she had last seen Mr. Nancy’s Net Menders.


Inhalecoughexhale. Vaia smoothed her expression against the rank fumes of the streets, still loathing the perpetual cloud of pollution that hung in the air. Park, tonight, she promised herself with an exhaled huff. It was the only clean place to breathe.

Amber irises were hidden behind a pair of black sunglasses, despite the rather overcast sky above. Her luminescent eyes were ever watchful, flitting from all the human —some not-so-human— faces that passed her on the sidewalk. One hand swaying to and fro with her gait, the other secured tightly ‘round the strap of her satchel. Her thoughts drifted to the flash drive, brief flare of anger subsiding as she tried to remember if she had grabbed it before she left. Doubt filled her mind and Vaia quickly swerved her trajectory to the innermost part of the sidewalk, hands digging into the black satchel.

¡Mierda! Vaia dipped into a jog, running back the way she came and caring less for the humans exclaiming surprise in her path.

SeriesYoung AdultFantasyAdventure

About the Creator


24 | fantasy + sci-fi writer and enjoyer of both

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  • Emil indw27 days ago

    Who did she meet? Curious 😲

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