by Paul D
The ultimate cyborg.
|Dr. Roger Fairly tried to focus his thoughts on driving while racing along with the other cars on the highway. His argument with his wife, June, kept nagging at him. She wanted him to find another job because this one was a ninety minute commute each way, which, added to the ten plus hours at work, left him little time at home, except for sleep.
His solution was to sell the house and move closer to where he worked, but she wanted to stay: the location's just so perfect.
He could never leave this job; it was on the cutting edge of science, and he needed to be a part of this once in a life time opportunity, and besides there was Julia.
A sudden flash of brake lights sent him to the shoulder of the road. He slowed down and came to a stop. He pried his hands from the steering wheel and waited for his breathing to return to normal. Before returning to his lane, he said, “Focus.”
He arrived at Site Q on time. He didn't give a second thought to the soldiers with machine guns at the gated entrance. June believed he worked for a think tank. He smiled to think of her facial expression if he told her the truth: I am a cyborgologist.
His attention returned to the sight before him as a bank vault style door opened in the mountain before him. He drove into the mountain, continued down a narrow road, then parked in his usual place.
This vast chamber under the mountain always captured his imagination. Construction must have taken years. He wondered how many other secret places like this had been built.
He placed his hand on a round metal plate on the wall and a door sized opening appeared. He stepped into a small entry way where armed guards waited. He continued into a scanner. Once his ID was confirmed, he was allowed to leave.
He entered a hallway where, if he spread his arms, he could touch the walls on both sides. He shuddered at the thought and focused on the elevator at the end. His progress seemed like swimming in molasses, and he pulled at the collar of his shirt as if that would help to alleviate his claustrophobia. This hurried walk was always the worst part of his day.
A small four person elevator added to his trauma, and by the time he arrived at LL9, he was gasping for air. He stepped into the lab, wiped his brow, and stood just outside the elevator to allow his anxiety to settle down. The wide open space before him quickly dispelled his discomfort.
His office was in the middle of the oval shaped room. As he walked past Containment Chamber1, he looked into a window. Sergeant Williams, the patient from the previous night, was gone. He hoped the procedure was a success, and he tried to calm the fluttering in his stomach.
At the office, he placed his hand on the round metal plate, and the door clicked allowing his entrance. Dr. Julia Sanders and her assistant Eve Rivers looked up at the sound of the door opening. “You're right on time,” Julia said. Her melodious voice stirred him inside, making him feel warmer. He shut off his mind to that reaction. He continued into the office and brushed up against Julia accidently. Her fingers touched his.
“No thanks to the traffic. How'd it go last night?”
“Eve, go ahead,” Julia said as her fingernail stroked up his spine.
“It was a complete success, Dr. Fairly. Unbelievable really.”
Roger smiled as he brushed Julia's hand to the side. “Is the patient in isolation?”
“Yes,” Eve answered, “as you instructed – for the next twenty-four hours.”
“Excellent, I'll check in on him and be right back.”
Roger mused that Julia had chosen well in Eve for her assistant. She was exceptional, and, although she was good looking, didn't appeal to him at all.
Roger reached the elevator and descended two more floors. When he emerged on LL11, he continued directly to the first isolation room. Three others were empty for now.
The white cube had a twenty foot electrified fence around it. He stopped at a small metal box on a pole and placed his hand on it. “Sergeant Williams, this is Dr. Fairly. I've come to check on you.”
The white wall turned clear, revealing the Sergeant, holding up his right arm and pointing at the area just below his elbow. “It's perfect, Doc; absolutely perfect.”
Roger smiled. “I'm delighted to see that. Have you experienced any after effects?”
“Not that I can tell. I'm more than ready to get out of here.”
“You need to stay for a few more days.”
Roger's cell phone vibrated and he answered it.
“Come to the office now,” Julia said in a panicked voice.
“What--” Roger's response was cut off by the end of the phone call. What could have flustered Julia? He couldn't imagine anything but would find out soon enough.
He remembered their first meeting at a science conference in Denver three years earlier. He'd been smitten at first sight. Thoughts of June kept intruding during his efforts to seduce Julia, who was also married. By the end of the conference, he'd convinced her to join his project. They had been lovers ever since.
When he reentered the office, Julia latched tightly onto his arm and said, “The President is on the way here. He was in a horrible accident.”
Roger shook his head. “That's a bad idea. We're still in the testing stage.”
“I protested, but my concerns were ignored. He will arrive within the next half hour.”
Roger nodded. “Okay, let's get prepared.”
The invasion came less than fifteen minutes later. More soldiers than he could count took over the facility. An old soldier, with a face like a bulldog, pulled Roger to one side. “Let me make one thing clear, Dr. Fairly. You will restore the President, or you and your people will die.”
“The President was dead when you brought him here,” protested Roger. “We don't perform miracles.”
The soldier drew his pistol and held it to Roger's head. “So, does that mean I can shoot you now?”
Fear snapped into Roger's brain. “I will get to work on the President's restoration right away.”
The soldier lowered the pistol. “I'll be watching your progress closely.”
Roger stood between Julia and Eve outside Containment Chamber1 where President Chambers lay. “This is a bad idea,” Julia said. He hadn't told her of the threat. He grasped Julia's hand.
“We won't know anything good or bad unless we try,” Roger responded.
“The nanobots are fifty percent finished,” Eve announced.
“The nanobots will restore the physical body,” Julia said. “But what about the mind? The shock? Will the President be normal?”
Roger kept silent. His concerns matched Julia's. He didn't want to unleash a madman on the country or something even worse.
The soldier walked over to Roger. “The President appears normal again. Why is he not moving?”
Roger tapped down his fear as he answered, “The program is ninety percent complete. Internal repairs are still underway, then we will attempt to reanimate him, which is something that has never been done for anyone who has been dead for this long.”
The soldier placed his hand on the holstered pistol and said in a low voice, “I hope for all your sakes, the President awakens.”
The next hour and a half was the longest of Roger's life. The President lay quietly as the dead normally do. The nanobots attempts to reanimate the President failed, again and again. He kept thinking about the soldier's threat and not wanting to believe it. Julia had said several times that they should call it a day. Roger agreed, but he couldn't give up.
The President's left hand twitched. “Did you see that?” Eve said.
Roger was glad it wasn't his imagination. Suddenly, the President sat up. Julia grabbed Roger's arm. “Can you believe it?”
Roger put his hand on the call box and said, “Mr. President, you've had a bad accident. You need to lie down and rest.”
The President stood up and looked around. He walked to the wall of his containment chamber and placed his hand on it. Roger tensed as the part of the wall under the President's hand started to lose its form. “We have a containment breach,” Roger said in a voice barely above a whisper.
“We need to leave now,” Eve said.
“It is too late,” Julia replied. “Roger has already triggered the fail-safe protocols.”
Roger held Julia tightly in his arms. The countdown was already at five. The small nuclear device would take the lives of more than two hundred people and set back nanotechnology for decades. The countdown reached one.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12.