Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Memory Hunter part 1

Trapped down here again she remembered all the pain of the invasive memory wipe procedures of her neural network. The white coats were quite thorough and deliberate, still she had retained a bit of identity. A name. Her name was all that she had left then. Her idealogical beliefs were gone and with them the will for any further struggle. But it was not good enough for the white coats. They would have gone beyond the limits of her body and pushed her to any extreme to erase all that was left. It would seem they would not be satisfied until there was a husk of a human left with just the basic functions still performed automatically.  The man naming himself her brother had saved her from this "renegotiation" by hacking in the underground HUB of the prison and creating a malfunction in the smooth operations. Linking himself directly to her wetware he had said "RUN! I will guide you!". Now after that the city was flooded he had helped her to get back down here to reclaim what was lost. Her old memory set-up, represented by the trillions of neural connections was digitalized and bitted, kept hidden on a data slate somewhere in here. If it was still there, that is. An uncertainty that had her pressing on. Once one had served their sentence their memories were given back on top of the idle stay in the facility. With no real reason behind himself, one could lose decades down here without realising the world is flying by. Her old beliefs and inclinations, then, had no correlation to her present state of mind. Her freedom now was due to the clean slate she had been given but her past was still clinging hard to her. She knew that in order to be truly free she had to reclaim her old self and look for trails of breadcrumbs, the holes and ideas that was pushing her into this pit now. The brutal flooding of the city that her brother had caused was still not justified in her mind and she had even, unknowingly aided him in doing so the day before yesterday. But one thing was certain - he needed her more than she needed him.

The disaster had cleared all life from the upper levels leaving only some rodents scuttering the metal corridors, breaking the monotonous sounds of distant and muffled alarms. As she was striding the on, the dim red lights changed to bright white, with additional sections of the ceiling switching on. The wreckage to the mighty citadel had twisted the tunnels. Rabble and soil could be seen here and there and lights were missing. In some sections the damage was so great that it was like walking on a roller coaster. Oblong repair droids, like giant mushrooms, started appearing, hovering about the walls and meticulously checking every inch of the halls, screwing, melding together and carrying themselves back and forth. Additional lights were going on where they could deal with the wreck. She touched one of them, who did not bother at all at the intervention. Briefly tapping into the network of the HUB she saw it's wholeness down there and the twisted extensions of it's grid up here. Down there things were still ordered. She blinked and the image was gone. She knew an outside mind could be traced back here, if somebody had the time to spare to follow that faint trace. She doubted it. Knowing that there is no soul up here it was safe to run. With echoing metallic clangs she was leaping over scattered debris and the brief observations of the floors told her that this was a general storage area. Everything needed to facilitate basic life, no weapons. Prisoners and guards both were holed in the lower decks and if they did not want to send men to see what's going on up here that meant that every man counted. The flood must have hit them hard."How many lives "brother"?",she gasped, breathing heavily - pace not slowing down for a moment.

She came to a big hall, dark, with a corridor lighted on straight ahead. The thick chain fenced platforms on the floor were missing in the middle with day light oozing hazily from above. Drones were drifting around the walls, zapping them in brief flashes with old emergency flares. Flickering lights were struggling to keep the hall lit. Catching her breath for a moment she came to the edge of the hole and measured the distance. About 3 metres. Looking down she could see the debris of the cave in, 3 levels bellow and under it bright light clearly visible from here. That's where she was going. Taking a few steps back she then ran, tossing herself over the gap and landed on the other side, rolling over and quickly on four legs crawling onto the stable safety of the corridor. The platform under her had given in from her weight. She nervously smirked, a remark of carelessness.

Standing up she came around the corner and saw a battle droid, much like those service bots, laying in pieces in front of her. Around it two bodies of the Rejected. Dried blood and precise gun shot holes were covering them. The frame of the battle droid was a messy plethora of cables, integrals and small undefined parts laying about it's round main body. So in their pitiful curiosity the wretches had come even here and the absence of any gun bots was speaking even louder about the situation down there. An old flash of insight and an idea sprang into her head. She crawled next to the Bot's frame and started digging in through the electronics, coming to the radio receiver. A highway into the HUB with no power, however. An algorithm quickly formed and transmitted a connection between her brain's flux of electricity and the bitted language of the modem. In a pulse the core illumined itself to her and she could see a whitish haze flowing from it and every device, bot, droid, every receiver as a white star, as if a faint light on the night sky. The bright lines of the ordered levels down and the twisted flickering on and off matrix of the upper levels. The luminous wisps of the droids around her were like bees buzzing trough a garden. In a moment she saw the entire prison. Blinking the vision was gone and she fell to here knees. Her body had used quite a bit to sustain even this insignificant and tiny current of electrons. She felt her limbs as if made from lead. A slow and thumping heart in her chest was reading the seconds and a dry mouth was taking in deep breaths. Her sight cleared after a while and thought had come back into her head. Standing up she could remember now where the battle bots were positioned and where to look for a way in. A mouse hole, perhaps, but she had found a way to the lower floors through a detachable prison cell. Her former home. They used cranes to move them around like bricks to preserve space and accommodate the numbers of "guests". But before that she needed something to replenish her strained body. A chocolate bar would do nicely.

(She needs electricity to power up the gadget and connect to the network. Her only resource available is her own body's electricity. Our bodies produce electrons by breaking down molecules and we use this minuscule current to think and feel. Without the current for a moment the body would need to literally eat a bit from itself to restore the current. This is potentially dangerous, not because the body would not sustain itself without food, but the brain can suffer fatally!)