Monthly Archives: October 2015

Leesandra Part 5

As the shadows grew longer the buildings lit up. The streets emptied, the living district was rarely filled with pedestrians even during the day time. Blue noble gas lights identified the centre of the road, yellow ones on the edge of the side walk. Ground level of the district housed no shops, the only light to flow out onto the pavement was the lobby lights with a malfunctioning polarisation in the entryway glass. Polarising glass frequently malfunctioned as it switched every few hours, keeping the sun dim in the day and the light in during the night.

Leese walked for hours, keeping her thoughts at bay. Taking in the dark as much as she could before her night vision automatically turned on. The dark was never quite as she would have imagined thanks to her dreads now glowing a dim purple, she had yet to figure out how to control every aspect of her implants. That was the price she paid by turning off her virtual visual display.

She had reached the outskirts of the district. Slowly the buildings got shorter and further apart. She’d be reaching the edge of the city soon, a light forest, the cities oxygen supply.

A rustling disturbed the music she played through her ear implants, putting it on pause. She became very alert hoping that whatever it was didn’t falsely activate her combat mode.

“No. No. Yes. No.” She heard the man’s voice before she saw him. Heat vision picked him up inside a bin in between the sky-high buildings. “How can people be throwing out such junk?” Leesandra turned back to the road. She shrugged in reply to his question.

“Hey, I asked you a question miss.” Leese paused mid-step. “How can people be throwing out such junk?” He swaggered into the street, enough light caught him that she could see him without heat detection. His clothing was torn and patched, he was her height, taller than most humans. He pulled off a ragged woollen hat and held it to his chest. “If you pardon my appearance of course.”

“Why wouldn’t you throw out junk?” He stepped closer, skip in his step.

“Because junk is normally the best stuff there is.” He grinned, his teeth stunningly white in contrast to the dirt on his face. “I mean look at you, ‘Junk human’ genes.” He made quotation marks with his fingers.

“How did you…?”

“Oh never mind that my dear. Come, sit with me, let me tell you a story?” He beckoned her into the alleyway. She pondered for a moment, he didn’t seem like much of threat, especially not to her. She also wanted to know how he picked up on her humanity like that. She followed him down beside the bins.

He had set up a little tent behind and in between two of the sky rises. Hidden from everyone, not even the cleaner-bots came down here, there was no need. With a little rain, the sides of the buildings activate their cleaning routines. Any litter or trash would washed away into the storm drains for a long journey to the water cleaning plant.

He went into the tent before her, she peered in side with caution. He had a table and some chairs set up, all fashioned with some cardboard boxes. She thought to herself ‘He’s either crazy or a genius.’

“Please sit?” He motioned towards a cardboard chair. She sat in it, it was oddly sturdy.

“Now, story time. Please save your questions for afterwards. A long time ago when the kybers were first made the humans were in outrage. They sought to destroy us. They saw us as an affront to their lives and beliefs.”

“I know all this, I did take history.”

“Shh. I’m just getting to the good part. There was war between us. Many of the original kybers were killed, never to have their memories replanted into a clone. Large numbers of humans died as well, unable to be brought back even if they wanted to be. At the start of this war, we kybers did not want to kill humans, we only did so to protect ourselves. That was all we wanted in the beginning, to help the human race reach their potential.” The ragged man took a long pause. Breathing heavily, staring at the table between them.

“But something changed. We suddenly changed tactics, knowing that if they succeeded in wiping us out there would be no reason for our passivity. We created kyber genes with the sole purpose of fighting, soldiers class kybers. And implants that would be able to provide triage for those soldiers. Triage Class. Those with these implants went mad, off the rails in whole new ways. They were untested you see. Implants designed to use any material it could to replace limbs, organs or other implants. Genes that gave knowledge of all kyber genetics, gave the ability to know the race and class of any person they sensed.”

“So you’re a Triage Class kyber?”

“Of course. Well I’m a hybrid, just like you in many a sense. Triage Class and Programming Class.”

“How come I’ve never heard of the Triage Class kyber?”

“How come I’ve never seen the kyber implants your dad gave you?”

“Huh?”

“Oh, you didn’t know. You’ve been hiding away from what lurks inside. There’s Doctorate Class genes, cousin to my Triage, which are not your mothers. And the ones that sit where your fathers kyber genes should be. They are not ones I have on record, but are dated, as created around the time I was in service.”

“What are you talking about? They’re just standard kyber genes?”

“There are no standard kyber genes, they all have a Class or many Classes. Designed for certain purposes. Would you like me to find out what purpose they have?”

“I… uh… um.”

“Well, there is so much to you isn’t there girl. Female Human, kyber, doctor and now this.”

“What are they?”

“Oops.”

“What?”

“Turns out quietly searching the kyber gene banks for that ID pops red flags for the monitor systems. And I’m not exactly the kind of person who should be alerting monitor systems.”

“You’re crazy.”

“I know. We’re gonna have to run.”

“What do you mean run?”

“Like come with me. We’re going sewer diving.”

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Maeve and Whiskey Chapter 1

Glimpses of the nightmare flitted from her mind. Distracted momentarily by the dampness around her, the dream was lost to her memory. She threw off her blankets, directly into her wash basket, the cold sweat brought by her recurring nightmares had been leaving her short on linen.

The street lights shining into her windows offered no solace. However they did direct her way to the bathroom. Bright light reflected off the white tiles and the mirror, shocking her eyes. Grabbing onto the sink to keep her steady, she let her eyes adjust.

“I’m too young for this shit.” shooting herself an accusing look through the mirror.

Whiskey had been having nights like these since she moved into this little town. She repeated to herself while she stood under the shower “This is simply stress, I don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll find a job.”

The money left behind by her late mother and even later father would last her a very long time. But she couldn’t bring herself to like the idea of sitting around doing nothing.

Wrapped in the towel, Whiskey sat down at the desk she had purchased the day before. Somehow it was already well cluttered. Grabbing a bottle of wine off the the top of some paper she breathed a sigh of relief, it had not marked her resume. She only had one copy left and couldn’t print anymore until she went to the big city library. The printing shop in the town was used too frequently for her to not be recognised, therefore highly embarrassed.

*

Whiskey had finished getting dressed, there were still several hours before the sun rose.

Sitting in her desk chair she tapped her feet, then she tapped the desk with her hands. Eventually she was shaking her whole body. Then she stopped. “What the hell am I doing?”

Clearly her boredom had started to degrade her brain. She stood up, grabbed her wallet off her desk and headed out the door.

“Wallet, keys, phone, resume and legs. Right all here.” She closed the door after making sure to touch every item she had listed. Then, for testing purposes, she tried to open the door. Once satisfied with it’s security she turned and walked to the stair case.

Her apartment, if you could call it that, was above a set of shops on the main strip of town. Directly across the hall lived the owner of one of the shops. There were no other ‘apartments’ in the building so they were more spacious than you would think.

The street was empty, there wasn’t even a stray cat for her to pat. Whiskey suddenly decided that a cat would make a perfect addition to her new apartment. It would teach responsibility and give her an excuse to stay home for the night.

But she really wants to work on her people skills. Perhaps a plant. Whiskey doesn’t know how to care for a plant. Sunlight and frequent waterings should be easy enough, certain plants need different amounts of water, maybe a cactus…

Whiskey’s thoughts were cut short by a loud crash, it sounded like a two large garbage bins were fighting with each other.

She turned to face down an alleyway. She shouted “Hey!” Something flashed red, lighting up the whole alley. Another loud crash.

A man ran out of the alley. His thick black overcoat flapped as he moved, flicking off bright embers. He ran right past her on the road. Whiskey half turned, he stomped down in the middle of the street spinning on the spot to face the alley. “What the hell are you doing?”

Whiskey felt a powerful heat on the side of her closest to the alley. Slowly she turned back, her vision filling with fire. Her eyes widened as the sight became clearer.

The fire had a human shape, largely out of proportion, elongated arms, stumpy legs and hair that was literally launching itself into the sky. Around its waist and thighs were shiny bands of metal, Whiskey couldn’t be sure but they seemed to be engraved with something.

“You should have kept running.” A voice as harsh as its source billowed out. The flame person threw its hand out. Without thinking Whiskey jumped in between the man and the alley. Regretting the decision immediately, she tried to turn away. The ball of fire hit her side, it was harder than she had mentally prepared for.

Her body fell to the ground, limp. She resigned herself to staring at the loose stones on the road in front of her face.

“I am fire incarnate!”

“Freeze!” A voice came from behind the fire person.

Whiskey tried to move, it only made her gut hurt. She could no longer feel the heat.

“Took your sweet time.” This voice was close to whiskey, it must have been the coated man.

“Freezing charms aren’t easy to charge.”

“Whatever, chain him up we’ll melt him at the shop.”

“You want to pick up the girl then?” Whiskey sucked in a huge breath. It caused too much pain, making her start coughing.

“Why would I do that?”

“She just risked her life trying to save you.”

“I wouldn’t have been hurt by that.”

“It’s not like she knew that.” Whiskey tried to speak up, she couldn’t pull in enough breath.

*

The guy in the coat had picked her up with ease. Laying her down the back seat of a car. The drive was smooth but the pain in her stomach only seemed to get worse. She couldn’t concentrate on exactly where they were going.

Slowly the car came to a stop.

“How are you feeling back there?” The person without the coat had a smooth voice, it was deep but she wasn’t going to assume it was a guy.

“Ugh!” She could only get out a loud grunt.

“Are you going to help me with this Afreet?”

“Hold on a second! That pain in your gut, it’s getting worse right?” Whiskey nodded her head, unsure why he was asking. “He threw a slow burn, you think you owe her now?”

“Damn it, okay bring her inside.”

Every movement she made now sent sparks down her limbs. The throbbing in her torso drowned out her thoughts.

“Hey, stay with me girl, we’re going to fix this but you need to stay focused okay. That fire that you saw out there was called an Afreet. I’ll explain that one later. The fireball that you intercepted was more magical than what normally comes from one.” The smooth voice pulled her mind away.

“Roll her over a bit.” The shocks in her bones made her yelp.

“It works over time, that’s why your clothes are not on fire. Slowly but surely this fireball is supposed to burn you from the inside out.”

“And there… we… go.” A chill ran up Whiskey’s spine. The throbbing stopped, but a pain lightly crept into her cheeks, she had been clenching her jaw very hard.

“You’re looking better already.” The smooth voice chuckled. “You should rest here for a bit, we’ll be back after we deal with the popsicle outside.”

“Popsicle?” Whiskey mumbled.

“I’m David by the way, Mr Grumpy outside is Isaac, what is your name?”

“Popsicle… uh, wait, I mean Whiskey, my name is Whiskey.”

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Maeve and Whiskey Prologue

Snow gently swayed from side to side on its way to the ground. It avoided a circular piece of air as though there was an air cushion, bubbling out, pushing the flakes away. As a piece got close it was miraculously moved away.

Without a sound or prior notice a human body appeared, flying at speed, out of the area that the snow could not occupy. The body landed in the layer of ice on the ground, bursting it out like a slow splash. He grunted and moved, trying to roll so that his face wasn’t in the snow. His arms were tied behind him, his legs strapped tightly to each other. He was dressed in ripped jeans and a grubby singlet, the temperature here froze the sweat on his face.

A leg manifested in the gap without snowfall, another person stepped through, she was wrapped warm. Her boots crunched over to him. Grabbing his tied hands, she threw him back, he took in a deep breath through his nose, finally filling his lungs. The duct tape was ripped off without pause.

“Maeve, baby?” He grinned through the sting on his lips. She kicked him in the stomach then smashed her fist into his face.

“I can take your tongue, dislocate your jaw or you can stop talking. Super healing won’t stop pain.” He looked up with puppy dog eyes and a bloody nose. “You got more to say?” He shook his head quickly. “Do you know where we are?” He shook his head again. “Novaya Zemlya, deep under the Iron Curtain.”

“Why?” She kicked him again, not nearly as hard but it went into the kidney.

“Shut up! I’m about to tell you. We are within 50 metres of the blast point for the Kuz’kina Mat.”

“Kuz’kina Mat?” He got another punch for this one.
“The largest nuclear explosion to ever be tested above ground, likely the last one ever.”

He shivered, it wasn’t due to the cold. Despite the freezing cold he held a perfect complexion and no sign of body temperature loss.

“That won’t… kill me…”

“Don’t you think so?” She leant over to put her face up to his. “No-one claiming any measure of immortality made it out of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Have you ever seen a nuclear explosion Jerry?”

“N…No.”

“Sensing some hesitation there, well a lot actually, but you know us soulless types.” She pulled herself up. Turning to look around through the trees. “It’s like a big flash of pure white, some have said that it’s like a thousand suns.”

Grabbing his hands Maeve dragged Jerry over to the closest tree. He continued to shiver.

“That wasn’t a two way portal.” He finally managed to get out.

“Nope.” She put him up against the tree.

“You’re going to be blown up as well.”

“Probably. Difference is, I chose to come here.”

“Y… You’re a shaphist, you can’t think that will save you?”

“Not really, I’m kind of hoping that it doesn’t actually. Still, it’s one thing I have yet to test.”

“I… I… I am sorry, please, please forgive me!”

“Skipped anger, straight to bargaining huh? Don’t worry, I didn’t want to wait aroun…”

They were surrounded in light before they heard the explosion.

*

The ground was bare, no snow, no grass. Heat still rose off of it. The air was still, the storm had passed. Everything within 100 kilometers was dead, yet something moved the dirt. Dust rolled and collected, soon small lumps had collected together.

Little pieces of bone and flesh re-assembled themselves. First the skull, then the ribcage. Brain and esophagus, spinal cord and hips. Flesh started to appear on the top of the skull as the lungs had completed. A harsh deep breath was made.

Maeve screamed.

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Leesandra – Part 2

When kyber’s first created upgrades that would carry over to children they extended the child period of their natural growth. Evolution’s reasoning behind a quick maturation and short term between birth and developing the ability to give birth, was no longer necessary.  This meant that before puberty they would have full chance to understand social structure before it was clouded by the natural urges to procreate.

Leesandra had been given textbooks on ‘kyber human deviation’ during her time at her human school institutions. She understood the motives and reasons behind the kyber race as a separate part of human advancement. She even knew the chemical and physiological changes that would occur when she went through the belated adolescence at the age of 18.

What she had never thought to grasp was the effects this would have on her kyber implants.

The little spasms and moments of complete inability to move had spurred her mother into taking her to a kyber clinic.

“I see that you’ve disabled your HUD and all notifications.” The doctor sat behind a translucent desk that only served as a display screen for patients and something she could rest her hands on.

“That’s a pretty large breach of privacy isn’t it?”

“Your mother signed the forms allowing my complete view of all your kyber systems. Even being human she still holds guardianship over you until you are twenty one.” Her voice was monotone to the point of sounding artificial. Leesandra expected it probably was. The Doctor continued to rifle through Lessandra’s diagnostic logs, absolutely still, except for the eyes darting from left to right reading information projected onto her retina.

Leese looked around the room she was in. The carpet made from the same poly-fibres that made up her clothes, keeping the room warm able to change colour on the whim of anyone who linked into its interface.

The ceiling and walls were a perfect white, unblemished except for the health warnings, charts and skeletal images projected out from their surface. This information seemed to only be necessary for the rich human patients the doctor had that wouldn’t be able to interface with the wireless data net and that would actually need the health warnings.

The window beside the doctor was an illusion, projected from the wall like the pictures on the other side of the room. Although it was an excellent illusion, even able to fool kyber eyes. It could not fool Leesandra’s knowledge of the external part of the building. That wasn’t a wall that reached external side of the building. The trees and leaves dancing in the wind weren’t their either, this building was far from any park.

“Interesting.”

“What’s interesting?”

“I’ve never seen someone else’s diagnostic log that wasn’t missing a few time stamps.”

That means there was a way to cut out pieces of the log. Leesandra thought a loud curse.

“So there isn’t anything unusual going on here…” Leesandra looked up at the doctor as she paused. “Now that is interesting…” The doctor brought her hand up to her face to rub her eyes. “There is something unusual, but easy enough to get through. The human half to your genetic makeup isn’t something that I, or anyone for that matter, has seen before. Luckily the kyber additions corrected for this instinctively by replicating the extra chromosomes your maternal gamete was missing. This however has left some discrepancies where your kyber puberty is concerned. Only the female kyber chromosomes contain the information dictating what happens with your implants, your fathers can only do so much.”

“So how do we get through this then? Also why would that cause the issues I’ve had?”

“It’s simple really, you just exchange the information through fluid contact with any kyber female. For those issues, it was a nerve confliction where your kyber parts were failing to upgrade implants you had as a female and implants you didn’t have with not being male. We’ve had the same issues with same sex kyber reproduction.” “What do you mean fluid contact?” “Any bodily fluid that contains cells. Body contact doesn’t transmit enough of the data to completely change the kyber genetics.” Leesandra jumped out of her chair.

“You want to spit in my mouth?” She backed up awkwardly hitting the chair with her leg.

“Nothing as drastic as that. It doesn’t have to be me that you interact with for this either. Any kyber female will do. The fluid just needs to enter a chemical sensor, not specifically tongue or stomach.” She continued to back up.

“I don’t know any kyber females that I would be comfortable doing that with.”

“It’s not an invasive thing. Your body will take what it needs based on what it was missing and filter out the rest.”

“They will basically be my kyber-mother.”

“Only six out of fifty eight of your chromosomes will be replaced. If you want to be philosophical then yes. However genetically and in the eyes of the law, the kyber in question will have little to no connection with you unless already established.” Leesandra just stood and stared at the doctor.

“I can give you the data stream address for a female only chat room to find a volunteer if you…”

“No, no. I’ll take yours if you are willing.” Leesandra put out her arm, it opened at an invisible seal. A chemical input slithered out into her palm. The doctor stepped around her desk and up to Leesandra. She licked her thumb and pressed it against the input in Leese’s palm.

Her HUD automatically reactivated with the input, it notified her that it detected material that was compatible with her. It requested permission to integrate it with the next cell change.

She selected the OK option.

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Part 3

Her mother was dying.

Nervous system slowly breaking down. A rare genetic disease. She was beginning the gene therapy but it would take a very long time to take full effect. Even once it had cured the disease it wouldn’t replace any damaged nerves. If she lost the use of anything she would not gain it back.

The human doctor made sure to note that it would not pass on past Leesandra. The kyber implants already clearing the genetic markers that caused the disease.

“Well Karen, you’re eligible for government subsidy on the therapy. If the illness progresses far enough you have also worked long enough to go on to a medical compensation pay. As well as free access to a rehabilitation clinic where they may have luck in regenerating the damaged nerves.” Leesandra noted that she liked this doctor more than she had liked her visit to the kyber doctor four years ago.

“But I’ve only worked state side for twenty two years?” Her mother asked.

“Your file shows that you were working as a human-kyber consulate while in the human colony. That will be why they have added in your twenty years working there as well. And that’s not including the subsidy on all treatments for genetic disorders.”

“I don’t think I should get any special treatment.”

“You’re not getting anything extra, compared to anyone else who’s contributed as much as you have to society.”

“Still not going to like it, if that’s okay with you.” The doctor smiled at her stubbornness.

Leesandra had been researching the disease in the back of her mind from the moment the doctor mentioned it. The gene therapy had a one hundred percent success rate, however even extensive rehabilitation did not show much evidence in repairing the nerve endings just as Leese had expected.

Cases of this disease were few and far between. It wasn’t very often that people had reached the age for symptoms to show before getting the gene therapy. Once given the treatment you physically can’t pass it on. Karen’s mother, the grandmother Leesandra never knew, had obviously had the same illness.

The human colony, situated in the old Americas, passed up on the medical benefits that kyber technology had led to.

*

Home, was a small two bedroom apartment in one of the many cloud reaching buildings in the living district. When they walked in the entranceway Karen placed her bag down on the Welltro-Mat™. It pulled her bag into the wall, clicking and rubbing as it pulled out her things, organising them and connecting to her phone.

“Welcome home, the time is seven past six in the p.m. You have no new messages, you have no current events. Would you like your usual beverage? A gin and tonic water, with lemon?” Her phone woke the Home-A.I as it was connected.

“Yes please Cal.”

“And for you, young Miss Patrick?”

“Same as normal Cal.”

“Would Mistress like me to read today’s top news stories?”

“Put on the T.V. Cal, the news should still be on.” Karen pressed the touch panel on the archway into the living room, indicating the size of the couch to be produced.

“Of course Mistress.” The wall on one side of the room opened a hole up to about waist height. A growth started to protrude out of it. Slowly the couch took shape, the synthetic fibres forming the frame and the cushions. Always comfortable, always exactly the right amount of seats. “Your drink, mistress.”

Karen took the drink out of the dispensing slot in the wall. Leesandra’s lemonade was produced straight afterwards. The couch reshaped slightly as Karen lay down over its entirety.

“Mistress, we are now running low on ingredients necessary for the recommended vitamin and mineral intake. Would you like me to purchase the adequate supplies?” Leesandra never really liked how Cal referred to her mother as Mistress. It might not have been so bad if the House-A.I default voice wasn’t female in nature. Although, now that she thought about it, the male voices it had come with would have sounded a lot creepier.

“Yeah, go ahead Cal. No wheat grass though, okay? That stuff is disgusting.”

“So, we need to talk Mum.”

“What do we need to talk about Leese?”

“This disease.”

“I’m getting the treatment and all the subsidies. What else is there to talk about?”

“The treatment takes a long time. I’ve looked on the data-stream, there’s not a good chance you’ll get your nerves back.”

“You’re not a doctor Leese.”

“No, but I have enough doctorate class kyber gene’s to enrol in medical academy.”

“Thanks to that doctor visit two years ago.”

“Don’t change the subject mum. There’s another way to fix the problem.” Leesandra stood in the door way to the living room. Not two feet from the couch.

“What other way?” Karen sat up.

“Just let me…” Leesandra stuck her arm out, her medical extension sliding out from inside.

“Get that away from me!” Karen jumped back, scurrying away as fast as she could on the synthetic cushions.

“Mum, I…” Tears welled up.

“Leese…” Karen realized her action.

Leesandra dropped her drink, spun around on the spot. She ran out of the house.

There was no way Karen could even hope to catch up to her. She had just treated her daughter like the thing she feared most.

The thing her daughter, feared most.

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