Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In Transit Monsters 26 (A Story of the Hecate Project)

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Ghale (H minus 2 Days)

Martin cleared his throat.  Despite it being a Dreamspace, he still had his avatar portray him as accurate as possible.  The gesture had meant to gather attention.

He looked like a relic from a different era.  Which he was.  His generation had thought their world was going to end, like ours only recently had come to terms with.  For Martin, it had been the world humanity had poisoned.  For us, it had was our only encounter with a intelligent, extraterrestrial civilization.

"Thank you for coming."  Martin began.  Press Avatars stared without blinking.  Thousands of screenshot prompts hit the dreamspace.

Martin looked up from the podium to the rest.  We'd already sent out a press release.  We'd opted for using a dreamspace press conference.  I started to wonder about that choice.  It had been a security concern.  A way to reduce the chance of the joiners or one of the myriad of terrorists from launching an attack.  Maybe it would make us look weak.

That hadn't been the reason for my stomach churning though.  An impatient Miri sat next to me.  She didn't want to be here.  

"My co-Director, Ghale Putnam and I decided to hold this announcement.  The UN gave us the choice to decide whether to inform the rest of the world about our activities.  Until now, that secrecy has been paramount.

"The Pygmalion Program has been working hard for over ten years.  We had the unenviable task of trying to find a solution for our conflict with the Enemy.  That much about us has released to the public before.  The UN security council gave us clearance to breach certain laws.  These laws restricted research and development on human genetic designs and artificial intelligences.  In two days, we plan to launch the result of the work we've done outsider those laws.  Project Hecate will transit to Mars in two days time."

The dreamspace filled with whispers and chatrooms.  I gazed around.  Standing up, I continued where Martin had left off.

"We've opened the wiki files for Project Hecate to the world.  We'd also like to introduce the end results.  These are the soldiers Pygmalion has crafted to retake Mars from the Enemy."  I gestured.  Heuristics reacted to it.

Images took over the dreamspace.  Examples of what Miri had come to call Homo Sapiens Hecate appeared.  Each of Miri's monsters.  Their proportions looked wrong.  Heads too small their bodies.  Legs thicker than anything human.  Metallic skin.  All of their hair looked short.  Their bio-organic bodies looked more than a little inspired by the Enemy.

My daughter.  Charlie was among some of the images.

I had gotten used to them.  But shocked texts filled the room.  Something caused the dreamspace server to rock with traffic all of a sudden.  Shocked whispers.  I tried to keep my composure.

"An artificial intelligence has redesigned the human genome."  Martin inserted.  "She created the baseline according to our requirements-"

"A machine designed human."  One of the avatars voiced.  The journalist's avatar didn't ask.   It just sounded shocked.

"Of course."  I answered.  "That was the point of ignoring the laws on scientific research-"

"How do you know they won't join the enemy?"  Another interrupted.

That unleashed a torrent of activity.  Questions and texts flooded at us.  Avatars got up, screaming at us.

@AdamOphelia980: @Pygmalion.  These things exist?!  

@Yolun$456: @Pygmalion.  Is earth worth the cost of this damage to human genetics?

@MattHellas78: @Pygmalion.  YOU DARE SPEND GOV MONEY TO MAKE THESE MONSTERS?!

@TheiaThylios: Um, my BrainSys is acting strange- has something infected the chat?

@Gylos1860: My system is typing- HUMANITY MUST BE PURE-




I blinked my eyes open.  I lifted my head from chair.  My eyes hurt.

"That could've gone better."  I muttered.

I looked over to the other two chairs.  The three of us had sat down in the Pygmalion conference room before starting the press release.  Miri blinked at me too.  Her eyes were bloodshot.

"My head..."  Miri shook her head.  "I expected some tense questions but- what was that?"

I looked at a nearby screen.  Messages drifted by.  A news source reported it.

"Ugh."  I grumbled.  "Someone snipped us."

"What?"  Miri looked at the screen.  "'A memetic virus took over fifteen-hundred BrainSys at a Press Conference five minutes ago.'  Memetic virus?  That acted that fast?"

"Terrorists."  I studied my reflection.  I tried to adjust myself.  I looked like I'd woken up from a fever.  "Terrorists infected us."

Beginning BrainSys Diagnosis.  Please Wait While the System Scans.

"Why-"  Miri paused.  "Nevermind, I understand that some people don't understand our work.  How?  You and Martin said it was a secure connection."

"I don't know."  I looked over to Martin.  "Martin, you awake?"

The old man laid in the chair.  His head slumped.  I blinked at him.  Miri followed my gaze.

"No."  I told myself.

Miri moved over to Martin.  She lifted his head.  The movement had been gentle.  Miri took care to   She put her ear to his mouth.

"He's breathing, but just barely."  Miri shook her head.  "We need an ER transit.  Now."

Aftermath 26A shorter one this time.  I don't know if anyone reads these little afterwards.  If not, these seem to be my own way to sarcastically talk about my own work.

Not really.  Not cocky enough for that.


Still.  The idea on this one had been to continue throwing some sort of action into the mix.  H-day is coming.  I imagine part of what is so wrong about the Homo Sapiens Hecate is that they break the uncanny valley.  They lack normal human proportions, intended to be able to stand ten meters tall without issue.  It scares you because they don't look real.

I don't know how to draw that.  I think it'd look uncanny valley-ish.  Monstrous.  They aren't, but human events always seem to never favor the monstrous.

#InTransitMonsters 26.  A #serialnovel and #firstdraft about Technology as Messiah.  A retake on frankenstein, less on monsters destroying humanity and more on technology redeeming us from our own failures.  At least I hope so, anyway.