Author: Dr. Crichton PM
A man who had lived in a vegetative state for years due to a severe brain injury since childhood regained normal functioning by the miraculous technological advances of neuro- cybernetics. Little did he and the others around him knew, however, that he was created to be the most advanced weapon by a shadowy organization.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Mystery - Chapters: 23 - Words: 43,066 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 05-18-13 - Published: 09-25-12 - id: 3060987
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"There, there, sweetie!" A woman's gentle voice called me. I raised my head and saw through my teary eyes the faces of a man and a woman smiling at me. I could not identify them, but I just knew that they were close to me, very close to me. The man put his hands over my eyes. "peek-a-boo!" He said that as he uncovered his hands. I giggled. The man and the woman both laughed. Their voices were music, and their faces were beautiful.
Sudden, the smiles on their beautiful faces turned into pure horror, as they gazed at something behind me. The man bolted towards me, picked me up and spun arround. Then I saw what they had seen.
A gigantic truck at full speed went off-road and hit us head-on.
Reboot Sequence Initiated:
Time: 2003/08/18 10:34
Location: Washington State
I woke up in a bed in what looked like a cheap motel room. How did I get here? Before I passed out I was on top of a truck speeding at 80 miles per hour. Someone must had saved me after I passed out, otherwise I would fall off the truck and be run over by the traffic on the highway.
I checked the time without the need to of a watch. I was unconscious for 10 hours. How come my Emergency Reboot Protocol was not activated? It did work after I was temporarily knocked out by a Thanatech guard.
Then I realized that my arms were in restraint. Oh no, Thanatech had captured me! What were they going to do with me? I pulled on my restraints violently, but they would not yield.
"Easy, little hacker!" Sergei appeared out of no where, "You are safe now. Stay put, we need to patch you up. Geez you really took some beating at your first mission."
Indeed, my body was now full of bruises from all the fights, falls and scratches. Sergei took out some splinters out of my arm and put gauze on my wounds.
"Oh Stephen you have me worried to death" Teressa also appeared. She examined my wounds carefully. "Teressa, how did you-"
"We knew you were in trouble", Teressa said, without lifting her eyes off my wound, "We monitored your motherboard activities in real-time. We knew that you were in a combat situation because of the high adrenaline readings, we knew you were temporarily knocked out by reading your EEG (note:electroencephalogram,or brainwaves) and Emergency Reboot Protocol report. So Mr. Zurich had decided to extract you from the field. He knew from the NSA satellite that Thanatech was trying to trap you on Highway 101, so he stole...I mean took control of a truck and drove it underneath the ramp of the highway at the right time, knowing you would jump on it. He was the one who saved you."
Zurich saved my life? I had many surprises today, but none could top this. But I had other
"I lost my consciousness on top of Mr. Zurich's truck. It began with -"
"It began with a smell, right? Just like that day at the CORTEX Symposium? ?" Teressa's voice was suddenly intense.
I nodded, "Again- how did you know?"
Teressa sighed, "Since the incidence at the CORTEX Symposium 10 years ago, we had attempted, unsuccessfully, to find out what caused the erratic loss of consciousness in you. All we knew was that during that incident, you had an EEG change similar to that of a human having a seizure. We saw the exact same pattern this time. This type of unconsciousness does not respond to Emergency Reboot Protocol."
"We think the seizure is triggered by a smell. " Marco continued, "The erratic brainwaves originated from the olfactory center in the frontal lobe. It must be a smell that you remembered from early childhood before Naissance-" Teressa gave Marco a look and he shut up.
"ah...never mind Marco, he does not know what he talks about."
"But what were those restraints for?"
"That's too many questions for one day, Stephen. You need rest."
Then everyone was gone to leave me to rest. I kept wondering that something did not compute. What was Teressa trying to hide from me? She was the person I trusted the most.
I searched my Standby Surveillance Log. My sensory drives were always operational, even when I was unconscious. So what was seen or heard during unconscious periods were stored in Standby Surveillance Log to be reviewed later. I found out that 5 hours ago, Teressa and Sergei were having a conversation in the neighbouring room when I was unconscious. I could barely make out what they were saying:
"Smell was associated with memory. Whatever Stephen smell, it must has triggered a part of his memory from a time before Naissance. Since all pre-naissance memory has been quarantined, any activity there will cause a seizure to the rest of the brain."
"Yes, Dr. Lange, Little Hacker did talk about dreaming about a man and a woman after the incidence at the CORTEX Symposium 10 years ago. Did he remember?"
"I do not know, but I will not attempt to perform excision on his memory centers again. Brain surgery is a very dangerous work, and he almost died from his last upgrade. "
"Could we put him on an anti-seizure medication?"
"No Sergei, since almost all anti-convulsants dull the mind to some extent. Stephen must remain sharp all the time as a spy. The only thing we can do is to avoid triggers. Marco, what have you found ?"
"I just found out from Mr. Zurich that the truck he drove used to carry a brand of perfume, Miel de la Fleur. The brand was banned years ago after it had been found to be carcinogenic. As a matter of fact, this truck was used to carry the left over perfumes to designated facilities for disposal."
"The perfume must be the trigger then! Someone must have worn perfume Miel at the Symposium 10 years ago. The smell of Miel was probably associated with someone Stephen had deep emotional attachment to prior to Naissance. "
"So we shall take precaution to not to expose Stephen to perfume Miel again. It should be easy, since the perfume was out of market years ago."
"Right, but do not let he know about that."
What did Teressa mean by "someone I had a profound emotional attachment to?" I was attached to was Teressa, and possibly Sergei, Marco, and even Mr. Zurich to some degree. But those questions never got answered.
When Mr. Zurich saw me, the first thing he asked was for me to upload the EMRA (the illegal database that Thanatech secretly compiled) I stole from Thanatech to the NSA database. He was furious after finding out I did not have the complete database : "Your first mission was a disaster! I told you to bring me the ENTIRE database but you failed. Also you lost consciousness twice! I am surprised that you are still alive!"
"Stephen did great on his first mission! Every great spy has a beginning!" This is the hundredth time Teressa argued with Mr. Zurich. In the end Mr. Zurich left in a tantrum.
I went back to school after my wounds healed. Bob and Gene were glad that I was back. Teressa told the school that I had a ski accident. Indeed, I looked as if I had fallen off a cliff. My other wounds gradually healed, but I still retained a scar on my brow, which would stay permanent.
Many more years passed, and it was close to graduation from high school. One day I saw Gene near my locker, "Hi Stephen, have you asked anyone to the Prom yet?"
"Greetings, Gene. To answer your question, no I have not"
"Oh." said Gene. She paused for a couple of seconds, as if she was waiting for a response from me. Then she continued to ask: "Are you going to ask anyone to go to the Prom?". I noticed that her face blushed.
"Negative. I see Prom as a pointless, frivolous social event that does not achieve any objective. As a matter of fact I am not going. What about you?"
Gene was silent for a while. I noticed some light reflection in Gene's eyes, which indicated presence of lacrimation. "Gene, are you crying?"
"No, I just have an allergy" Gene replied, "You are right, I am not planning on going to the Prom neither, what a waste of time." After another minute of pointless conversations, she left.
As soon as Gene was out of sight Bob came up to me. He had been observing us the whole time. "Stephen, you are an asshole".
"What did I do?" I was surprised that my friend would say that to me. I was 100% certain that an "asshole" was an unflattering title.
"Gene has persisted for three years trying to get your attention. You always turned her down. Do you really not understand how she feels about you?"
"She sees me as a friend, and vice versa" I replied, "what else could it be?"
Bob shook his head " She LOVES you. She does NOT need your tutoring all those years, as she is already at the top of the class. All those years she baked sweets for you, showed up at every event that you went to, and not to mention spent countless hours listening to your boring math lectures. You know when you had the ski trip accident? During that time, she asked me if I have heard anything about you or if you were okay, every freaking day. Considering how shy she is, I can not imagine how much courage she has to summoned before talking to you every time. What I can not understand is why she keeps focusing on you all those years after getting nothing in return. She is a cute girl, and she can have lots of guys after her if she wishes. But no, she picks Mr. Spock, or Mr.I-am-too-cool-for-any-human-emotion."
The depth of human psyche had always been puzzling to me, but after Bob had shed the light on Gene's motivations and behaviours, I was utterly stunned. Indeed, that explained a lot of Gene's behaviour. I did not understand the different types of human love, other than the fact that I loved Teressa as she was my guardian and protector. It would be proper behaviour for me to show Gene that I care about her as well-whatever that means.
The next afternoon, I approached Gene "Greetings, Gene, would you accept my request to go to Prom with me?"
Gene was stupefied for a good second. Then, something incomprehensible occured. Gene started to cry-there was no mistake about that this time.
"Did I say something wrong? You do not have to go if the idea upsets you." Human emotions were so frustratingly incomprehensible-she cried when I did not ask her, and she cried when I did.
"No Stephen I would really, really like to go with you...I am just really happy and really surprised...after all that time..." she spoke as she wiped her tears away, and then put a smile on her face.
Time: 2005 / 06/17
So the Prom night had come and I dressed up in a tuxedo as human convention mandated. I was supposed to meet Gene and then Bob at the Hilton Hotel at 19:00. It was then I received a message, an urgent message.
"Meet me at Rendez-vous point Beta". The message was not sent to my cellphone. It was sent right into my motherboard. Only a handful of people could have access to my motherboard.
I went to Rendez-vous point Beta, which was a code for a shabby back lane near our home. I saw Mr. Zurich there. Behind him there was someone else, someone as tall as Zurich, but heavier. He had a mask that covered his chin to nose. But he had a gaze that could send a chill down down any human's spine. I knew that because I have human components.
"Agent Falcon, let me introduce you to Mirage. All you need to know is that he is my superior. That makes him your superior as well. It is absolutely imperative to follow his every order without questioning."
I could see Mr. Zurich showing an uncharacteristic fear and respect for the man named Mirage. I studied Mirage's face. I could not see anything, as most of his face was covered up.
"So this is the CEREBRO project" Mirage said to himself. There was something odd in his pronounciation of words. But there was also a quality to his voice that could make someone shiver.
"Well CEREBRO, from now on you will only use the code name Scalpel " Mirage addressed me directly, " I need you on another assignment, this time it will be a long-term assignment that takes at least 2 years. During the time you will not be allowed to communicate with anyone other than Zurich when outside of the parameters of the assignment. You will come with Zurich and me right now to the CORTEX company jet. "
"Right now? Where am I going?" I thought about Gene and Bob who were waiting for me at the Prom, as well as Teressa, Sergei and Marco. I would not be able to talk to any of them for the next 2 years?
"You will know once we arrive at the destination," Zurich said "I will let Dr. Lange and the others know that you are off for a long-term mission- but the details would remain classified. " Before I could say another word, Zurich silenced me with a look. " Your wish is my command" I said to Mirage, and followed him.
I did not even get to say goodbye to Teressa. If I could have the human emotion of regret, that would be my greatest regret in my operational life.