Tuesday 16 December 2014


 By Michael Carta.

//Activate v.203
//Recording external inputs
//Run /Thols.exe

A strong white light invaded her eyes whenever she opened them. It hurt too much to make out any figures, or shapes in the light.

“Where am I?” She murmured.

“You are about two hundred and sixty eight miles from Earth’s surface. You’ve been in a comatose state for nearly two weeks now. You don’t remember anything?” The voice was deep, strong, and comforting.

“I work at Franklin labs as a technician- what do you mean miles from Earth?” Every word taxed her body as her head throbbed.

“You’re in the international space station. The largest artificial body in orbit, welcome!”

“I don’t understand. I feel sick. Do you have any water?”
Her eyes burned when she tried to opened them, they were not used to light anymore, so she kept them shut as much as possible. “I feel so hung over.”

“You’re probably dehydrated. We did our best to keep you going, but as you can see there is not much medical equipment up and we’ve had a few hiccups.”

“What do you mean hiccups?”

“Well, we’ve lost nearly half our crew. We came up here with thirteen and now we are at seven since you pulled through. Space is not for everyone and this place is tiny with limited food. You can imagine things were rough at first- multiple people thinking they were in charge. We have had a deadly mutiny, some mental illness, and fatal accidents. Though, that was all long ago. This past week was our safest yet, and with you finally awake we have someone new to talk to!”

“Why am I even up here? Can I please have some water?””

“Oh, you must really not remember! I think it first started with the private medical industry’s push for nanotechnology. They developed the first human augmentation using this technology; things too small to see with the naked eye. Imagine tiny computers within blood cells that would pilot your body to a speedy recovery from any cancer. It was amazing. We had lifelike replacement limbs even stronger than the originals, brain implants eliminating Alzheimer’s, self-maintaining organs promising life over 150 with ease. It was too good to be true. If they had stopped there things would have been different, but the temptation of playing God can change any man.”

“Okay, I know that much. I have worked at Franklin Labs in the nanotech division for years. I just still don’t see why any of that applies to me being up here…I really need some water…”

“I know all about you Ms. Thols, I am Sargent John Nevy; U.S. Air force. I flew us up here. I doubt you are familiar with S.I.N. The origins of the first generation S.I.N. will forever be unknown; anyone involved has been dead for some time. We simply fell behind too fast to catch back up in terms of technology. The S.I.N’s capacity and speed to learn was drastically underestimated. What was thought to take them years to develop, they had mastered in minutes. Before it was realized what was happening, thousands of human lives were lost. Basically, we created the perfect organic machine capable of free thought and judgment. It was a conscious entity designed to better mankind. It was hoped that SIN would be able to develop new ways to combat disease and larger global issues. Boy, we were wrong. This first generation developed and created its predecessor without our knowledge in order to secure its survival. Its single mission: destroy mankind. Why? You might ask. Because to all S.I.N., humankind is a Cancer. We were destroying our host; Earth. We wanted to eliminate disease and better our environment; and I guess in that regard we succeeded. Our path on that planet was unsustainable. The Earth was severely polluted and over populated. SIN decided that getting rid of us was the solution the world needed- maybe they were right… Anyways, it is only a matter of time before the find us up here and finish their goal. Did you know that-”

“Listen I am completely overwhelmed and about to pass out if I don’t find some water soon. I can’t comprehend what you’re telling me. My head is pounding. I don’t know what S.I.N. means…”

“Oh, of course, so sorry! Here, there’s plenty, we have a urine filtration system that is linked to the garden since the Sun provides us with plenty of precipitation.”

She was ignoring him, all that mattered was the squishy baggy placed in her hand. It was cool and smooth. Her body ached for the liquid inside. Painfully, she forced her eyes open. The room was bright and extremely blurry. Her arms had barely any strength, but the lack of gravity allowed her to move with relative ease. While she was struggling with the cap, blobs of water oozed out and were floating in front of her face. She hesitated out of surprize for an instant then began shoving them into her mouth in a frenzy. Instantly she felt better, reborn- life was coming back to her. After a minute or so she closed her eyes and to rest again. The empty water bag was floating aimlessly above her.

“Thank you.” she whimpered.

“Oh, no problem. S.I.N. stands for Symbiotic Intelligent Nano, or in short, artificial intelligence within an organism. Did you know, this satellite has been around since the nineties! It was used by every manned spacecraft going to Mars. See, they had to dock here first to stock up and launch back around Earth a few times to build up speed and slingshot out towards the Martian planet. It is because of this that the SINs most certainly know this station is here. They may not know we are on it, but they’ll find out. Sadly, them coming up here will be to finish what they started. The colony on Mars, if they are still alive, has close to twenty scientists and engineers trying to set the framework for the construction A.I.s which will never arrive. In order to complete their mission, the S.I.N.s will have to confirm the extinction of man. This means getting to Mars and killing the only remaining part of our species. I am surprised we have been up here for almost two years now. We know they are building, we can see their massive structures from all the way up here!”

She was only half way listening and began drifting farther from consciousness. Her body needed sleep, there was too much to take in just yet. Mankind as an endangered species? Freethinking A.I. machines? She did not even notice the other women float into the room and join the conversation.

The women's soft voice was pleasing in contrast to Sgt. Nevy’s.
“John, maybe they’ve already been to Mars and finished their job without using this station first.  If they are smarter than we are, is not possible that they developed a better way to get there? Let’s face it. They don’t know we’re here, no one’s coming to save us, and we’re out of oxygen in about four days. I don’t know why you’re telling her so much, she’s useless to us. She would have been better off not awake- now we have to re-ration our supplies. No offense Ms. Thols. By the way I am Dr. Thraw and I am very curious about your origins...”

Thols was sound asleep now, rest was more important than anything they were talking about.

A few hours later Thols awoke suddenly and with new strength. Her eyes now permitted the light enough that she could see her surrounds better and with minimum pain. The moment she tried to sit up she noticed her limbs had been bound to the sides of the cot.

“What the hell” she exclaimed in frustration.

“Very interesting Thols…” Sgt. Nevy’s voice was concerning and stern.
“What’s going on, let me out of these restraints!”

“I should inform you that we are incredibly curious, that’s why we are still alive ya know. With that being said, I had my doubts and wanted to see first hand. I am glad I did. Very peculiar. Who designed you?”

“What the hell are you rambling on about now? Let me out of this cot, I did not do anything! I don’t even know why I am here!”

“I believe you. Really, I do. That’s what scares me the most. I believe you believe that you’re innocent and perhaps you are, but your potential is unknown and probably deadly.”

“What are you talking about? HELP!” She shouted and started thrashing about trying to get free even though her body was exhausted.

“Thols… you’re one of them.”

“W-What? What do you mea-”

“Your heart rate was strictly 45 bmps throughout your coma, which is rather low. My major concern is that now you are awake and full of rage. Which is normal but, your heart rate is still a solid 45 bmps. Additionally, that water I gave to you earlier was contaminated. You should be puking your guts out. It was not fatal, but would prove you have a normal immune system. Clearly you are something else. I think you’re one of them… maybe you were not always, but you are now. You’re a crossbreed, or fusion and you’re probably here to kill everyone even if you don’t know it.”

“You are delusional and ridiculous. But you are right about one thing, I do want to kill you once I get out of these restraints!”  

“Time to say goodbye Ms. Thols.” Sgt. Nevy was holding a small remote-like looking device in his hand and brought it close to the side of the bed.

“What the hell is that for? You’re going to taze me?” Her voice was filled with sarcasm.

“We’ll call this Truth. It’s a localized EMP. The range is about one cubic foot. Once I push this button it’ll either be lights out for you, or I apologize and unstrap you from this bed.”

“You’re trying to kill me?”

“Only if you’re a S.I.N. See, this device generates an EMP, or electromagnetic pulses that will fry any electronics in range. Even the small nanotech devices that are regulating your pulse and brain functions. In other words, anything artificial is undone.”  

“Just do it you sick son of a-”

Sgt. Nevy activated the EMP and with a demonic jolt, Thols’s body went limp. Her heart rate was now zero bmps.

She felt a quick sensation of falling backwards into dark ice cold water. Pulled out and apart, separated from all thought, feeling, and pain. Bliss overtook her and set her free.

//Connection terminated
//Thols.exe deactivated
//GPS location retrieved

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