<- Chapter 3: Life, Death and Carbonism
Rick is more obsessed with his work than usual. He's had Lunie give him the schematics of the reserve security guards in the underwater base. We haven't had any need to even activate them in years. He brought one to the lab and has started trying to control it with the router installed in his mechanical brain. I don't know what he's planning to do with it.
He's sufficiently distracted though that he won't notice if I slip out for a while. He doesn't mind me leaving, but he likes for me to take a cell phone bracelet with GPS with me, which he developed after I was kidnapped a while back. This time, I don't want anyone to know where I'm going.
I've created a modification on the design of the primary sentries of the old underwater base. It's now wearable robotic armor that can change colors and patterns to help me blend into my surroundings. It has a selection of colors and patterns that it can take on to hide more easily. The parts that I slip my wings into can act as a hang-glider, but it's not as versatile as my normal wings, even with small rocket boosters on the outer tips. The rocket boosters can keep me in the air a little longer and help with airborne steering, but they also would be too visible if anyone else is around.
To minimize delay in controlling the special features of the machine, I've used tech Lunie developed to integrate the armor to catch signals from my upper spine. If I want to move my wings, for example, it detects this andmoves the mechanical outer wings to match the motions. I replaced the tranquilizer guns on the hands of the machine with tight fitting gloves that have long thin blades that extend off the back when I bend my wrist inward.
I've got the address, I know that if I don't do this he'll be back, and I've sworn my revenge on him. This is the end for Mr. SeBright.
I use Rick's remote portal device to send myself to the air nearby where Ray lives, in the air. I glide to the roof, and begin climbing down the fire escape to his apartment.
I've been invited to speak at an international conference concerning what to do to deal with Dr. Shay. The world is fed up with his interfering, and now he's started demanding world leaders to step down and give him control over their nations. He's clearly insane. I think with some well placed spies we can get close enough to kill him though. As I'm figuring out what to say for my speech, I feel a draft. My window is open. As I go to the next room to close it, I'm grabbed by a robotic figure near the doorway.
"Figures you'd want to stop me from going to that conference. You're scared of people like me, who're willing to stand up to you."
"What conference?", came a female voice from the machine.
"Wait, you don't sound like Dr. Shay. Who are you?"
"I asked you a question first."
"We both have questions then. How about a little game? For every question of mine you answer, I'll answer one of yours."
"Fine. I'm Dr. Springs. Now, what conference were you talking about?"
"It's a private conference with some international representatives to discuss how to handle Dr. Shay. He's the one who sent you, right?"
"No. I decided to come on my own. When is this conference?"
"Next week. Are you a colleague of Dr. Shay's at least?"
"We've been dating for years. What would I need to get into that conference?"
"A hand print registered in their system. How did Dr. Shay survive that public beheading?"
She pauses for a second, then responds "I'll show you."
She grabs me by the waist and jumps out my window. She spreads these large mechanical wings and starts heading for the local portal station, where the subways used to be. It's the middle of the night, so I know it would be useless to try to scream for help. She's probably armed too, so all I could probably do by screaming is get somebody else killed. She dives down the opening, following the angle of the steps and stopping in front of the portal.
"This thing can re-animate the dead too?", I ask.
"No," she responds, as she takes out a cell phone.
"Hey, Lunie? I need you to re-route portal number 45218 to the underwater lab for a few seconds."
The portal shuts off. As it restarts, she tosses me through and jumps in after me. The portal shuts off behind us. I'm brought to one of the labs, and she ties me to a lab chair.
She then takes off her armor, revealing some sort of small hole in her neck. She also seems to have large butterfly wings attached to her back
"You see this hole in my neck?", she asks.
"It lets me control that armor more directly."
"You can interface humans and machines directly? This is bad. I know something bad is going to come of this. Dr. Shay has once again gone too far!"
"Actually, he didn't develop this tech. Our daughter did. The three of us all have our own projects. We rely heavily on the inventions of one another, but the problems we each wish to solve are a bit different."
"Solve problems? You're lunatics! You're screwing with things that should be left alone! Name one benefit your meddling has had!"
"Well, we cured HIV by creating an opposing virus to it. You can't possibly argue against that one and sound sane."
"Wha... When did that happen? I know the numbers are down, but HIV is still out there."
"The cure is transmittable in all the same ways the virus is. We released the cure in places where the virus was effecting the most people, and we just let it spread. The FDA refused to approve it because they don't approve virii as cures."
"I'm not a medical expert, but I'm sure that's dangerous somehow."
"You're right about one thing, you're not a medical expert. Now, on to the experiment, shall we?"
"Wait, what experiment?"
"I'm going to give you one of these device ports that I have, allowing you to interface with certain machinery."
"I didn't agree to that. Let me go!"
"We're under international waters. There is no jurisdiction here. I don't have to let you go."
Just then, I hear another voice over some sort of intercom system.
"Dad wouldn't approve of forcing any experiment on somebody."
To this, Dr. Springs replies, "Oh, hi Lunie. I kinda forgot you monitored the lab here."
"Lunie?", I ask.
"I'm their daughter, the one mentioned earlier."
"Oh... I wouldn't suppose you'd be the rebellious sort that'd defy their parents and let me out of here, would you?"
"I don't know. I know my dad would never hold somebody against their will, but I'm feeling a bit undecided on what to do about you. It's no doubt for the same reasons my mom brought you here."
Dr. Springs joins back in, "There's a private international conference being held to decide Rick's fate. I need his hand print to get in."
Lunie responds, "But how will allowing him to interface with machines accomplish that?"
"It's probably better if I don't tell you."
"I'll see it regardless. All cameras are my eyes, remember? Anything connected to the internet."
At this point I realize that their daughter is really some sort of mechanical persona that's connected to the internet, and not a person at all. Yet, they treat her like a person, as if she was really their daughter. Lunie is, by far, the most dangerous thing they've ever created. I'm not even sure how to destroy it. You'd probably have to shut down the entire internet. How in the world could I do that?
Dr. Springs and Lunie continue their conversation, "By the time you see what I'm doing with him, it'll be too late for you or Rick to dissuade me."
"That's not exactly encouraging. Are you absolutely sure you know what you're doing?"
"I'll trust your instincts, but only because this is such a strange time, and I have things to deal with of my own."
"Thanks. By the way, how's Keith?"
Dr. Springs starts gathering various tools together.
"He's good. I let him know recently that I'm an android. He took it pretty well."
"Yeah, but the whole town knows now too. A lot of them aren't taking it so well."
"Oh, and I'm pregnant."
"That's great! I didn't know you could do that..."
"Yeah, I made the necessary modifications right after the wedding. I'll explain the details later."
As I'm trying to figure out how in the world it's possible for a machine to be pregnant, I feel a needle pierce my arm, and I quickly go to sleep.
Chapter 5: This is War ->
Copyright 2007 Sean Breslin