The Manna Trail



“Uncle Luke,” Penelope said with a slow smile.  She nudged her twin brother Pablo with an elbow.  “You have a female DP?”

Dunn would have to be more careful with these kids.

“Go ahead,” Daphne said silently.  “Tell them all about me.”

“What’s her name?” Sarah asked.

“She’s just a DP,” Dunn said.

“Charlie, that hurts,” Daphne whined.  Only Dunn could hear her.

“What’s a DP?” Rangor asked.

“A Digital Person,” Sarah said.  “Sometimes they put them in your head.”

“Do you have one?” Rangor asked.

“No, silly,” Sarah said.  “They don’t fit into kids’ heads.”

“What does your DP look like?” Robin wanted to know.

“She looks like nanochips and chemsistors, like any other endoware DP.”  Dunn didn’t mean to snap the words.

“Oh, is that what you think?” Daphne silently asked.

“Robin meant her avatar imagery,” Penelope said.

“She’s probably some top secret superspy DP,” Pablo said.

“Why yes,” Daphne said from inside Dunn’s brain.  “In fact I’m a combat grade DP-10 with advanced encryption and decryption capabilities, wide spectrum electromagnetic detection and jamming capacity, and affective algorithms compiled by the UN’s leading character designers, situation simulators, and plot engineers.”

“She’s just a DP,” Dunn told the children.

“And I’m charming, too,” Daphne said.  “And cute.”