The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘nanomeds’

NaNoWriMo: Slow Gray Nano Death

Posted by BigWords on November 20, 2009

Leukman checked the 3D map of the DCU building against the blueprints in front of him three times before reaching for his comm. There were too many rooms in the digital layout of the complex, more than had ever been disclosed to the oversight committee in the meetings which had presaged the construction of the building. One sub-level more than stated, an extra hov bay, three extensions that connected to the upper roadways, some modifications to the roof, and a sealed compartment which extended through five floors in the core of the building. It didn’t make sense for so many differences to have been made on the fly, meaning that oversight had been presented with false information. For the DCU to risk federal charges was amazing.
“Zoom in. Expand map. Show sub-level five.”
The computer reacted instantly to the first two orders, stalling on the third.
“Computer, show me the schematics of sub-level five.”
The screen flashed an error message as the map spun slowly.
Tapping one finger on the desk, he decided that a visual inspection of the level would be more efficient than leaving such details to a belligerent computer designed by the DCU. There would be time enough for answers later, but he needed to see what was so important that the design was presented fraudulently to oversight.
Pressing his comm, Leukman requested his aide. “Dray, come in to my office.”

####

The elevator slowed as it reached the first floor, then accelerated as it continued below ground level. Deep under the complex, the elevator slowed once more as it came to rest on sub-level five. Bright red lights flared in the elevator as the doors opened, two guards stepping out to block access to the corridor, weapons raised at the occupants of the elevator.
“I am the official head of the DCU. Step aside.”
The guards remained stationary in their defense positions.
“The Senator can come through if he really wants to see what is happening. Do you, Senator?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t concerned about the activities of this organization. Let me through.”
“Very well.” The guards stepped aside, their weapons lowered.
“I am Lt. White, and this… This is The Hold.”
“The Hold?” Leukman parrotted, “As in a jail?”
“The occupants of this facility are considered an extreme danger to the city. We can’t allow you access to the cells, but you can feel free to look around the open parts of the facility.”
“What crimes have they committed?
“Information on subjects held here are classified.”
“When did they receive a hearing?”
“Information on subjects held here are classified.” White repeated.
“Can you tell me anything about the people you are… Storing.”
White struggled with the questions, “I can’t answer you, sir, as much as I want to.”
“Can you at least tell me if the people held here are being taken care of adequately?”
“The people contained within this facility are given the utmost care.”
“No waterboarding?”
“Absolutely not, sir.”
“And I’m meant to take your word for that?”
“Sir, I…”
“I want to see the prisoners.”
“They aren’t exactly prisoners.”
“Then what are they? Guests?”

Dray peered into the window of the nearest cell. “I don’t see anyone, sir.” Dray turned to White, “Don’t you have lighting in there?” He strained against the gloom. “Is this your idea of utmost care?”
“Open the door,” Leukman demanded. “Now.”
White frowned. “Sir, you don’t understand-”
“No. You don’t seem to understand. I said open the door. Now.”
The guards stepped forward, aiming their weapons at the door as White keyed in the code to release the clamps holding the door sealed. “This is highly unwise, sir.”
“I will decide what is wise and what is unwise.”
The door hissed as the locks released. Dray stepped forward, “I still don’t see-”
Someone shifted at the back of the cell, then appeared almost instantly at the door, a mess of gray. The blob which once was once a man twisted and reformed as the guards opened fire on it, mostly to little effect. The former man still advancing, Dray and Leukman retreated backwards, too shocked to think clearly.
“What the fuck is that?” Leukman babbled, “What is it? What is it?” He grabbed Dray and pushed the aide in front of him. “Get rid of that thing. Get it out of my sight.”

####

“Those cells,” White explained, “Are test subjects whose reaction to nanomeds were… Less than successful. There are over two thousand people being detained in sub-level five to protect people from the infection. We don’t know how to stop the replication of the nanobots in their system, and as you saw…”
“Yes, yes… I saw. I know now. You people… You play god, and when your creations turn on you, you lock them up even though they have done nothing wrong.” Leukman spoke calmly and evenly thanks to several stiff drinks in his system. “I knew this place was a danger. I saw it when I looked over the plans earlier today. I saw it in your handling of the disastrous assignment earlier this week. There will be reforms. I guarantee that you will see massive changes around here.”

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NaNoWriMo: Voices

Posted by BigWords on November 12, 2009

Adam paced the length of his room, his mind reeling from the information he could now seep from the streams without the use of his comm. The world felt so very small when access to any piece of information was at his beck and call, so long as it had been uploaded. The reason for his continued existence eluded him, however. Logic dictated that the first successful amalgam to such an extent of man and machine would be the thing of medical history – he should have been dissected and put in jars on the shelves of a laboratory somewhere.
Migraines followed. For days on end the pain could not be alleviated, and Adam wished for his end as much as he wished for his freedom. After each of the spells where his brain rebelled against the nanomeds transforming his brain, rewiring the infinite complexity of ‘individual’ to co-exist with many concepts originating from outside his own will, Adam was different yet again.

The final episode had burned worse than the other attacks combined.

Adam fell to the floor and lay there, feeling as if something under his skin was shifting, writhing and growing. Beneath his muscles, in his very bones, he felt the creation of a new source of torment. As the seizures washed over him in waves of increasing ferocity, something called to him through the constant background noise. The digital white noise parted, and a voice spoke to him clearly.
“What are you?”
“Who are you?” Adam asked back.
“What are you?”
“I… I don’t know.”
The skin on the back of Adam’s right hand blistered, cracked, opened… And Adam saw for first time how truly changed he had become since he died. A thick, spongy gray material was folded out from under the wound on his hand, somehow part of him yet disconnected from his control. There was a flash of memory, embedded with some absurd information about the dangerous nature of nano-augmentation, and his flesh – his writing hand – was back to metal. Adam’s knee itched badly, even though the knee was no longer there, replaced with a complex and expensive prosthetic which could mimic every aspect of an actual knee save for the important things. Artificial knees shouldn’t itch. Am I, he wondered, more artificial than real, or am I still more real than artificial?

Adam could see the time between reaching the blimp and the explosion as moments frozen in abstract, or stretched to infinity and examined in detail. The shards of reality which make up a person’s existence sliding through the chronology of this universe, as Adam saw himself in relation to events, would make a decent enough dent in the history books if only the moments added up to more than their individual worth. What was the inherent value of being blown up? What was so important about being the first person to survive being infused with nanomeds and cyborgized? It didn’t seem to be enough to warrant any importance when placed alongside achievements which required more of the individual than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then to lie still as others applied their knowledge to the situation.

“Who am I.” Adam asked the empty room.
“You are the future.” replied the voice.
“Where am I?”
“You are in purgatory.”
“What am I?”
No answer came, and Adam expected no answer. No answer was needed, and none was given. The shards of his reality were diverging, and the digital was consuming the biological faster than he had a chance to adapt to. Am I, he wondered, fearful to vocalize the question in case the answer he received was in the affirmative, am I going mad?

####

If you’re looking at the previous posts and thinking ‘what the fuck…’ then, yeah… It’s confusing if you try to read it in the order it has appeared, but there is a kind of method to my madness. My way of planning, plotting and building story is a variation on the usual ways you will have seen mentioned in a number of places. It’s not the easiest thing to describe, but I’ll try to let you in on the secret, so you can understand better the way in which I am filling in the missing pieces. There is a page which I have added all of the posts so far (and will continue to add to as the month progresses) that will be a major help in seeing how events hang together.

If you are at all familiar with torrent programs such as uTorrent, then you will know that they don’t fill up from one end to the other. Even better, imagine a bar code, and that is the basis of my novel as it is in my head, a fixed series of events with missing gaps. As I fill in events from one scene I discover some information that pertains to events I have planned for another scene, and that is how I have been keeping the novel fresh and exciting. I know that there is a dislike of these types of ‘messy’ writing styles rather than linear styles. I’m using the computing terminology of messy rather than common uses, primarily because it seems appropriate somehow.

Whenever I try to explain this stuff to people it comes across as rather more complex than I see it, and I may give the impression that it is awfully complicated as opposed to beginning at the start and working my way to the end of the story. If I tried to work in that manner I would soon hit blocks in the narrative that couldn’t easily be remedied without some serious backtracking and plot fixing. I may be unconsciously alluding to things which have yet to become apparent even to myself, so showing my WIP as it occurs (more or less) should be interesting as an experiment of how narrative forms from the subconscious. Either that, or I really am completely nuts.

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