OK, here we go with snippet 3 from The New Prometheus.
Hope you're enjoying the story so far.
Book release soon.
Frankie felt herself begin to rise from the darkness, the strange dreams she couldn’t quite get a grasp of faded and slipped away from her as sounds started to register. She could hear humming, the sound of cooling fans or electronic equipment perhaps, and then a voice, a voice she thought she recognised, but struggled to place right away.
‘Frankie? Can you hear me, Frankie? Are you awake?’
She felt strange. She could feel her body, but… it wouldn’t move, and it didn’t feel quite right. She tried to move her neck, to stretch her muscles, but nothing happened. However, she found she could move her jaw and her facial muscles. With an effort, she opened her eyes and knew something was very different. She didn’t feel at all tired. She felt alert and ready if only she could move.
Suddenly, icons like on a Data Pad flicked into life around the edges of her vision. Then, to one side, text appeared in a window and scrolled up in front of her. It moved incredibly fast, and yet, she understood it. She knew what it meant. It listed the date and time, noting that she had apparently slept the night and one whole day away, and then a long list of “systems” coming “online” and passing some diagnostics tests. She started to get a bit of a sinking feeling as her suspicions grew.
In front of her stood Doctor Xenox holding a Data Pad and tapping at it occasionally and looking up at her. Xenox was a thin looking man in his fifties maybe if she had to guess, with a shock of white hair, combed back from his face making him look like he had been blasted with wind. He wore a lab coat and had two chrome metallic attachments, one over each eye. They might even be artificial eyes. She wasn’t sure.
‘Xenox? Doctor Xenox? Is that you?’ she asked.
He smiled up at her. ‘It is, yes. Welcome back.’
‘What? Welcome…? Where are we? What have you done to me?’
‘I saved your life,’ he said.
Memories suddenly flooded back, images of the Jacker girl firing her gun at her and the incredible pain she’d felt in her stomach.
‘You found me?’ she asked.
‘And you… healed me?’
The Doctor pressed his lips together. ‘In a manner of speaking, yes. I did the only thing I could. You were very badly hurt, and there was only one way for me to save you.’
‘What have you done?’ she said, her voice demanding.
‘I gave you a new body,’ he said and tapped on his Pad.
Her vision glitched with digital static for a fraction of a second, and she found she suddenly had use of her neck muscles again. She watched as the Doctor gestured to her right, to a nearby gurney with a female body laid out on it. The injuries to her lower torso were severe. She could see her insides and the huge loss of blood that she had sustained, as most of it was on the floor. A green surgical cloth covered her face up to just above the eyebrows, revealing the top of the head, or what was left of it. The top of the skull had been cut off like a lid with a clean surgical cut and the brain removed.
Frankie felt odd. Like she should be feeling sick to her stomach, and about ready to throw up, but although she felt sickened by what was before her, she knew she wouldn’t actually vomit.
Still, she had a horrible feeling that the body she was looking at, the body she was no longer inside of, had been hers.
‘Is that…’ she couldn’t finish the sentence and hoped that the Doctor would know what she was going to ask.
‘…Your body? Yes, it was your body. But now you have a new one.’
She slowly looked down at herself, and quickly noticed that she was naked. Not only that, but she felt like she didn’t recognise her own body. The shape was different. It was a subtle difference, but she knew it wasn’t hers. She also noticed she had no nipples on her breasts and there seemed to be various lines, like seams where she had been assembled, running across many parts of her body.
‘What the fuck have you done!’ she exclaimed. ‘What is this? This isn’t me? I… Shit, what the hell?’
‘Calm down, you’re not helping yourself,’ he interjected.
‘Calm down? Don’t you tell me to calm down. You’re not the one strung up and inside a body you don’t recognise,’ she accused him.
‘Look, I appreciate that, but it was the only way…’
‘And why can’t I move? What’s going on?’
‘I’m restricting your movement, which, given your reaction, was probably a good idea,’ he mused, almost to himself.
‘You’re doing this?’
‘Well, LUCI, the mainframe is,’ he said, indicating the computer stations behind him.
‘Well, I’m awake now, let me down, let me go.’
‘Hmmm, well. Not quite yet, I might wipe your memory. It might make this easier,’ he said.
‘You’re what?!’ she exclaimed. ‘You can’t do that. Why would you do that?’
‘Well look at yourself, look how you’re acting.’
‘I’m acting like anyone would do, who had been through a back alley surgical procedure, without their consent.’
‘You gave me your consent, you asked me to save you,’ he corrected her.
‘No, I didn’t.’
‘Well, actually, yes you did. I told you I could save you and I asked if you wanted me to, and you agreed with me,’ he stated.
‘I was delirious and in shock, you can’t ask me questions like that when I’m in shock from a gunshot to my stomach. I probably wasn’t thinking straight. I can barely remember any of it as it is,’ she explained. She looked over at the bloody mess of her body on the gurney and sighed, noting that she found, she hadn’t been breathing like usual. She’d been drawing in breath to speak, which mean she had some artificial vocal cords, but she clearly didn’t need to breathe to survive.
She eyed the mess of her natural body again, icons popping up in her vision over the body analysing the wounds and giving estimates about what her chance of survival would have been based on the data her cyber brain had.
The wounds looked severe, fatal probably. And yet, here she was, alive, in a manner of speaking.
She might not agree with his methods, but, it appeared that he had saved her life, she thought, calming herself down.
‘Look, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. It seems like you have saved my life, from what I can tell, so, although I might not agree with your methods, I am grateful for that.’
The Doctor smiled. ‘Thank you, even with the caveats, I appreciate the sentiment.’
‘Don’t think for one second though that you’re forgiven. I’m still not happy, and the way you’ve gone about this… well, it leaves something to be desired, that’s for damn sure.’ She grumbled, doing her best not to get too angry before a question popped into her mind. ‘Anyway, why me?’
‘Why not you?’ he asked.
‘Just seems a little, random?’
‘Not really. I’ve been looking for someone to inhabit my creation for a while, and you were pretty high on my list of choices, so…’
‘You saw me go past your lab yesterday, didn’t you?’ she accused him, making a mental leap.
‘I saw you, yes, and when I heard the Tech Gang, I thought I’d check out the aftermath, just in case, you know.’
‘Jesus fucking Christ, you were out there looking for someone to harvest?’ she said, feeling her anger rise again.
‘That’s one way of putting it, yes.’
‘You are a fucking animal. You know that? A psycho! I feel like you’ve raped me and now I have to live with this monstrosity,’ she yelled looking down at herself, unable to keep her rage in check and wanting just to rant and shout at this monster of a human being.
Xenox tapped his pad, and suddenly her voice stopped working. She could still move and do everything that she needed to do to talk, but there was no noise. It was as if her vocal cords had just stopped working.
She panicked for a moment, trying to shout and scream as loud as she could, but to no avail.
The doctor looked up at her and seemed to be resigning himself to something.
‘Frankie, you’re not leaving me with many choices here, I’m going to have to run a memory wipe on you. I can’t have you acting like this,’ he said, deadpan as he walked towards his workstation.
She felt a wave of fear pass over her. The idea of losing her memory and not remembering who she was, it sounded like death to her, a kind of living death. An end to who she was and everything she had done or accomplished.
And yet, she couldn’t help how she felt. She couldn’t let him just get away with this. She had spent her whole life avoiding Cyberization. The thought of it had repulsed her, even from an early age. Even the idea of the Nanobots inside of her was more than a little creepy. Did she still have those she wondered? Were they still there inside her brain, or what was left of it?
- Nanobots status – Working at 100% efficiency. -
She blinked on seeing the message pop up in her vision. Well, that told her.
Without warning, the lights suddenly went out, and the hum of the computers faded away to nothing. The power to the building had been cut.