Mirage of Love

In the inaugural volume of the NΛNOCHIP Series, our characters face the dawn of an unprecedented era, propelled by technological advancements that cast a spotlight on ethical dilemmas previously unimagined, necessitated by the naivety of youth and unfulfilled dreams. 

Grappling with the past, Ren and Layla try to reconnect to find those responsible for the death of their daughter. A self-made billionaire orchestrates a bold takeover of two companies that will define the ages to come. Can they stop the masses from subscribing to his vision of democratized knowledge, wish fulfillment, and immortality? 




Chapter:  Layla

In love, like war, there is no consolation prize for trying. Merely participating is a fool's credit if it stops there.  You might as well show up for battle, hit the deck, and pretend you're dead if that's as far as it goes.  

A man, or anyone, in love has to risk everything.  If you lose, then at least you lose while striving for something worth fighting and dying for.  


Chapter(s):  Research / Mirage of Love

Pudge paused to express his next thoughts which were more difficult to say, I could tell. "She had a real positive energy about her, and I was all about that big energy you know. You can’t stay down for long around her.  She just always was you know… she always just like…. Liftin people… "

“Are you saying there’s a chance her consciousness, soul, whatever they call it, is not at rest because they’re holding it?” (Ren to Layla)

“Give her rest and peace, that’s the very least of what she deserves after all of this.”


"It seems the witch doctor of old has become more technologically savvy."

"The Pandora’s box is opened. I have got to find her, Ren. They deceived her. They’re deceiving all of us.”

“It seems that the research quality has lessened of late.  As usual, I’m doing Hannibal’s work for him.  I guess he still needs his old-school white-man privilege.” 

"Father Carmine believed in the ‘Old Ways’ as part of his religious belief system. Roman made sure to not disrespect his beliefs though he did not share most of them. All he cared about was his trust, mentorship, and that he was an effective conduit for sensitive information."


Li Ding

"My observations and study in real world history as taught by my father, is that only bankers and arms dealers win a war. The capture of land and its people is costly to the conquering nation. Though one side may claim legitimate victory, unless the spoils of victory from the war can pay for the campaign, the effort is in vain. The only ones who profit from war are the winners by increasing their power and influence through monetary gains."

"To Roman, life was a sinister competition made for the quick, strong, and cunning. Morals are those things people hide behind to mask their weaknesses or to make excuses. Life showed him no mercy even as a child. The countless abuses left him penniless and broke time and time again. These were lessons he learned all too well before he was a teenager. 

He became smarter, and stronger, and yet bore a callous reluctance when it came to dishing out what he had already taken most of his life. Now, here in the window stood the self-made person not far from becoming one of the most powerful individuals in the world."

ALDON - Getting up...

Chapter:  Burial Rites

"Get up, you’re not done! You only think you’re done because you’re whining and crying while your enemy is savoring their victory before they finish you off. Get your ass up! "

"You’re not done and you know you’re not. You haven’t lost, you have lost the will to fight. I’m telling you right here, right now, you are not done, so get up!"

My father taught me long ago, that being hard has its time and place. In matters related to family and loved ones, it takes a man to love his family and friends with a truth and  compassion that's just as fierce as the fury he uses to fight his enemies. You have to be as real and vulnerable with those that you love as you would be strong and deadly with your enemies on the field. 

Leroy - Leader of the Dark Lords

Chapter:  Training AI - The Dark Lords

"Roman always found humor in Leroy’s flare for the dramatic. Still, he has the programming chops to impose significant damage on someone should he dislike them enough and decide it was worth the time to ruin their lives."

“First and foremost, you bring this poor, young, digital soul into our presence.  The youthful innocence who has earnestly sought after the fruits of our beloved treasure of pleasure. The hallowed name of the game I shall not utter, to only be deprived and denied the opportunity to partake of its blessings?

'Shame!' says one of the others in a loud voice of condemnation which echoes twice more to Leroy’s delight."


“My default is to honesty, but I have learned through observation there are better times to not do so.  Playful bantering for comedy, hurting a person's feelings, revealing sensitive information that could hurt others are all examples.”

"A concentrated brute-force attack could compromise it if its hardware locations are known. Hiding the location of the source code will be paramount as well as where his compute base is located. If not distributed and hidden well, he’ll be dead in the water after a day or two."

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