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daily – 12

I dump the results for each coordinate into the pre-sorted graph, then quickly drag them apart just enough to make the whole a little clearer across the trend time. Wherever these places are, they’ve been doing some heavy comm traffic. Or they were. Whatever it was going on, the last few increments on the time axis each show fewer and fewer spikes.

I tag a strong red to the start time and a cool blue to the end, emphasizing the trend. Freelancer liberty. Then I pack it up and shoot it back Down Under. The screen clock congratulates me on an eight minute job.

I know my work has all the collective meaning of an ant on the highway, but at least I can get the momentary satisfaction of being good at what I do.

With a soft boop, the extract finishes, and I pull it to the front, but it sits there like a lump of incredibly dense digital stone. It doesn’t match any media formats on my system. Ha. Ha. Ha.

A razzing noise sounds as the other full priority request icon, the one from Artie, vibrates visibly, shaking its way to the front.

“Oh no you don’t,” I say, pulling the extract back to the front. Yes, out loud.

It takes a minute, while Artie’s icon keeps razzing me, but I find the backtrack software in my archives. I feed it the extract, then set it loose in the net.

Then I pull open Artie’s request.