The box of electrical detritus clatters about when I dump it on the ancient desk; centuries woth of past princes have slept in this room, sat in the wooden swivel chair and worked at the desk. They couldn't even have dreamt of the contents of my treasure chest. I often give them a thought when I'm working on my PC POCKET. It’s incongruous with the old ugly palace and my old fashioned uniform. From the box I take out my soldering iron and goggles. Tears run down my cheeks and I wipe them away with my sleeve. My face is a mess. At least with swollen eyes and snot smeared on my cheek my father won't make me return to the banquet. I plug in the iron.
Nate is moving about in the bathroom. He was too upset to speak and said he needed to lick his own wounds before he could tend to mine. He's been in there for about half an hour. I rake through the box first locating a couple of screens and trying a couple options until I find a compatible motherboard and case. The smell of melting solder indicates the iron is ready.
I sit down on the chair, my feet on the foot of the pedestal so if I want to I can twist it back and forth as regularly as a metronome, and I turn on the light of my magnifying glass. Using tweezers, I fit the motherboard to the screen and solder it in place.
“What are you doing?” Whilst in my bathroom Nate has changed into a pair of my pyjamas. He's had to roll up the arms and legs -- unusually for the dapper Nate he looks ridiculous. I can't guarantee their cleanliness. Hope he sniffed them first.
“Making myself a new copper.”
“Copper?” He raises an eyebrow and grins.
“PC POCKET. The first edition I help Prof with was full of copper wire. We called it the copper for a couple of years.”
“Your dad's not going to like that.”
“Don't care.” I shrug and turn my attention back to sealing the case in place. “He doesn’t care about me. Twenty million people take priority. Like they do they do with you and Soc.”
“He loves you you know.” His hand rests on the back of my chair and he's getting in my light but I'm not ready to lash out at the only ally I have left.
“Yeah and Soc loves you.”
“Point taken. Wish my foster dad could see this. He's into making things like this.” He leans even further over. “He built my boat.” There's a pause.
My hand shakes and I still can't see properly.
“I'm getting in your light aren't I? Dad would have decked me by now.”
I finish the phone and plug it in to charge. “Would you like one?” Stretching my arms turns my chair round in a fluid movement – almost elegant for me. “A PC POCKET?”
“Dunno.” He's lying on my bed, playing with Gorse. Galileo, dad's cat, is sat on the bedside table, in that manner cats have that resembles an owl, watching them both with disdain. “I have a phone.”
“This one's special.” I hold up my arm and tap where the chip is located. “In here is the memory, the hard-drive so the only way they can destroy my copper is by chopping off my arm.”
“Is that wise?”
“Well it's a good job my grandfather isn't around he'd have removed it. Probably taken off my arm with that damn sword that dad is wearing.”
There's a knock at the door and the door handle turns. It's locked and unlike the electronic panel the ancient iron key can't be hacked. Beeps. The attempts to override my pass code don't work. I've created a firewall and a honey pot. I swing back to my desk and prepare for invasion; from the box I take some wires, a case and a screen, and scatter them on the desk.
“Nate, let me in. Why won't my overrides work?” My father yells. “Now.”
He shrugs swings his legs round to the disgust of both Gorse and Galileo. “Sorry, Titch. Not worth my job.”
I shrug, reach over and unplug the copper it has enough charge for me to touch it against the chip in my arm. It asks for my pass code.
Nate turns the key and lets my father in.
Updated Thursday - I've changed the days round to fit a change in lifestyle since the start of a new school year. Even though we don't do school it still affects us.