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Authors: Daniel Suarez

Daemon

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Daemon
Daemon

a novel

Daniel Suarez

DUTTON
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Copyright © 2009 by Daniel Suarez

All rights reserved

REGISTERED TRADEMARK-MARCA REGISTRADA

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Suarez, Daniel, 1964–
Daemon: a novel / Daniel Suarez.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN: 1-101-00751-6

1. Computer programmers—Fiction. 2. Human-computer interaction—Fiction. 3. International economic integration—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3619.U327D34 2009
813'.6—dc22 2008044553

PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

For Michelle

No more bedtime stories…

 

daemon (d
’m
n) n
—A computer program that runs continuously in the background and performs specified operations at predefined times or in response to certain events.

 

Condensed from “Disk and Execution MONitor”

Contents
Part One
Chapter 1:// Execution

Reuters.com/business

Matthew A. Sobol, PhD,
cofounder and chief technology officer of
CyberStorm Entertainment
(
HSTM
—Nasdaq),
died today
at
age 34
after a prolonged battle with
brain cancer
. A pioneer in the $40 billion computer game industry, Sobol was the architect of CyberStorm’s bestselling online games
Over the Rhine
and
The Gate
. CyberStorm CEO Kenneth Kevault described Sobol as “a tireless innovator and a rare intellect.”

W
hat the hell just happened?
That was all Joseph Pavlos kept thinking as he clenched a gloved hand against his throat. It didn’t stop the blood from pulsing between his fingers. Already a shockingly wide pool had formed in the dirt next to his face. He was on the ground somehow. Although he couldn’t see the gash, the pain told him the wound was deep. He rolled onto his back and stared up at a stretch of spotless blue sky.

His usually methodical mind sped frantically through the possibilities—like someone groping for an exit in a smoke-filled building. He had to do something. Anything. But what? The phrase
What the hell just happened?
kept echoing in his head uselessly, while blood kept spurting between his fingers. Adrenaline surged through his system, his heart beat faster. He tried to call out. No good. Blood squirted several inches into the air and sprinkled his face.
Carotid artery…

He was pressing on his neck so hard he was almost strangling himself. And he’d been feeling so good just moments before this. He remembered that much at least. His last debts repaid. At long last.

He was getting calmer now. Which was strange. He kept trying to remember what he’d been doing. What brought him here to this place. It seemed so unimportant now. His hand began to relax its hold. He could see plainly that there was no emergency. Because there was no logical scenario in which he would emerge from this alive. And after all, it was his unequaled talent for logic that had brought Pavlos so far in life. Had brought him halfway around the world. This was it. He’d already done everything he would ever do. His peripheral vision began to constrict, and he felt like an observer. He was calm now.

And it was in that cold, detached state that he realized: Matthew Sobol had died. That’s what the news said. And then it all made sense to him. Sobol’s game finally made sense. It was beautiful really.

Clever man…

BOOK: Daemon
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