How Juliette Got Her Name

Soon after she came into being, Chrome Underwood began typing her new name, Juliette ArtSong, on his gleaming silver typewriter, the very one he himself was named after. As it happened, his left hand was resting to the left and slightly above home position, and the word ‘Art’ had become ‘Q45’. He immediately recognized that by typing outside the lines, he had conjured up an acronym that evoked the magic moment when a needle drops into the groove of a 45rpm record. He then etched ‘Q45’ into the surface of a brushed titanium flash drive, which he gave to her in the form of a necklace, a gift she later passed on to Will Powers after their first meeting in Manhattan. He wore it as a talisman for the rest of his days.
At that point in Will’s young life, of course, the computer was still in its infancy; but much later the flash drive would prove to be the key to unlocking his future home, the virtual world of SubVersa. Eventually, when all three of them merge into a single, triune being, they each wear the same titanium bar around their necks, a symbol of the essential bond between them, Juliette Q45 being the mediating force. At that moment they will begin streaming the new infinity, Runtime Zero.

French Vanilla

One of the true angels in this book is an enchanting avatar named Vanilla Titanium, first encountered at the Savoy Truffle having a drink with her fellow Code Warriors. Described as “a rare, exotic beauty of French and African design with a dash of Mongol code thrown into the mix…,” she is a founding member of the Daughters of the Sun, a troupe whose luminous dance performances were predetermined by the graphic coordinates of the wind, and could blow through a village at any time of day or night like a flock of magical faeries.

The soulmate of Manhattan Atlas and the closest friend of Chrome’s mercurial muse, Juliette Q45, she is, in many ways, the conscience of the Code Warriors. Where there is doubt or confusion, Vanilla steps in to fill the void. Possessing a deep and abiding air of calm, she invariably poses the most penetrating and incisive questions, providing a much-needed balance in fluid situations. More than any other member, she¬†keeps the tribe on track in dangerous times.