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Author Topic: HYPERTHOUGHT TRIPOUT  (Read 95 times)
Kingmaker
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« on: October 09, 2017, 06:36:33 PM »

ONE.

The searing cyan spotlights of seven ScyWay drones cut through the violet haze of the Dullframe district of Complex Nineteen.  The Complex was a designated virtual sanitary zone and the movements of disposal units were heavily regulated.  The ScyWay drones roared along the skylanes, probing for an illicit heartbeat.

Camber watched the wasp-shaped drones from behind the crumbling brick of the old MicroTronix building. The hypercarbon façade was riddled with holograffiti.  Nanopaint swirled with metatags and neoprofanity, gibberish words that had no meaning when sober.  

Like all Citizens, Camber was hairless and gaunt, a pallid narrow thing wrapped in a sexless yellow jumpsuit.  Unlike other Citizens, however, Camber’s eyes were open.  Camber’s mind could see the body that encased it; the mesh of flesh, organs, wires, pipes and circuits, capped on either end by an organic neck and a featureless cybernetic pelvis.  It was plausible that Camber’s body had once belonged to a woman, but to whatever extent Camber was human at all, the thought of femininity was alien to the conscious body.  Camber was a xenoform, and xe was still acclimating to xyr precarious situation.

The trouble had all begun two point six-three cycles ago when Camber’s ScyWay visor had shattered.  The first weeks were a nightmare, when the metamescalux still coursed through Camber’s veins.  The towering megascrapers and the ScyWay drones and the enforcement borgs were nauseating, but once the drugs and feedback had faded, Camber came to accept reality.

Not that the unreality of Wonderworld was without its perverse pleasures.  Under the visor, Camber had power, serving as a media exarch with full access to content controls on a metric-rich data distribution channel and a daily uplink to retroform subscribers.  Compared to the uniform grey-black structures of Complex Nineteen, Wonderworld was full of vivid stimuli, constantly whirling and refreshing to occupy the Citizens.  In the hyperstream, a smell or sound or taste could invert and reverse and reverberate so many times, bouncing along the synapses until hybrid inspiration thought-matter superseded over-sensation spindling the surface-system-symbol-spendspiralsplurgespecsuperseverance;

Camber doubled over in pain. The metamescalux was gone but the pangs of hyperthought resurfaced from time to time, snaking around xyr mind like a tentacle.  Hyperthought was lethal in large doses without the lux.  

The drones had moved on – Camber wheezed with relief.  But as Camber stood, a black metallic hand gripped xyr forearm.   Wide-bodied, three metres tall, and six-armed, a Protector androform stood over xyr.  Its two crimson eyes scanned Camber’s vitals.  Its voice was hollow and joyless. “Halt, Citizen. Sanitation imminent.”

Camber jerked xyr arm out of its grip.  “You’re not funny, Dandy.”

The androform cocked its head to the side. “Humor: loading.” It gave a nod.  “Insufficient data.  Playback: I should throw you into the junkyard, you sack of bolts.  Response: Why?  Playback: It is a joke, Dandy. Meant to be funny.  Analysis: >First tree: Some things are funny.  All things which are funny are also humorous.  Humor may consist of things not funny.  Funny is contextual.  Funny is subjective.  Funny is irrational.  >Second tree: Humans have emotions.  Emotions are chemical reactions to stimuli.  Perception of danger is a stimulus.  Humor exists to alter severity or balance of emotions.  Synthesis:  Funny is an appropriate response to danger.  Subjective context rule requires humor to relate to immediate dangers.  Conclusion: When danger is present, threat of destruction is funny.”

“This is why you aren’t funny,” Camber whispered.  “Now keep your voice down and help me up.”

Dandy lifted xyr onto xyr feet.  “Query: What is the mission?”

Camber dusted xyrself off.  “The mission is the same as always.  We get free.”

Dandy crossed two of its upper arms and put its two lowest hands on its hips.  “Correction: That is an objective.  Updated query: What is the plan to achieve this objective?”

 “Easy.”  Camber opened xyr pelvic storage compartment and retrieved the source of xyr most recent trouble: a ScyWay Diagnostics Toolkit, which was little more than a small silver cylinder capped with a glowing red sensor.  “We’re going to the relay station.  And then we’re going to blow it up.“

The lenses to Dandy’s visual receivers widened.  “Proclamation: Oh dear.”

Camber grinned xyr yellow-green grin.  “Now let’s get moving before the drones get back and turn you into a pile of scrap metal.”

Dandy wrapped its six arms around Camber as its hands converted to hoverwheels.  “Query: Oh, was that supposed to be funny?”

As they lifted into the air, Camber noted the unusual ping in Dandy’s inflection and wondered – not for the first time – if the damn thing had feelings after all.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:47:53 PM by eldo. » Logged

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