Generator Rex: The Modern Prometheus Chapter one: "Waking"
Binary code sang in the darkness.
The world was faint like waking from a dreamless sleep.
Then came the cold, and the noise.
Metal on metal, married with dueling voices, angry voices.
"SIX LET ME AT LEAST TRY!"
"You have done ENOUGH!"
Then almost painfully came thought.
S-Six sounds angry, Six doesn't do angry.
Doctor Holiday sat up on the mortuary slab, and her body bag fell off. She tired to talk but her jaw didn't move right.
"S SS I x !"
Her right eye cleared and she saw Six pounding Rex into the far wall. At the sound of her voice Six turned around. She noticed his shades where cracked, one of the green lenses missing. Fir the first time she could see one of his eyes, it was brown, and she couldn't help but think Brown, I'd have guessed he had green eyes.
He spoke for once their was emotion in his voice. He was afraid.
"Sara, how is this even possible?"
Six turned his head, unable to look at her. As Rex pulled himself up off the floor the Doctor tried to put her hands up to her face, and only her right arm responded. Things where not in the correct place, her jaw was dislocated at the very least, and looking down at her bare chest she saw a large cross shaped incision held shut with four or five large staples the kind used to close up a corpse after a common autopsy. As she passed out Holiday heard Rex shouting.
"It'll be alright!"
Their was nothing but the dark of the void, and the cold. Then came a voice from on high, it was Rex.
"If I just bring her back, she can fix the rest."
Glowing white lines shot from either side of the blackness lighting the darkness as they collided, and formed a perfect glowing circle. Rex's lines of power faded leaving the circle the only source of illumination against the night. Though it all Holiday as if watching from a place unseen couldn't help but think What the hell happened to me?
The circle was instantly filled with a diagram of her body complete with layers of skin and muscle. The whole thing reminded her of a poster she had on her wall in college.
The visible Holiday, but that doesn't answer my question.
The image reacted to her whims, and the void filled once again with a sounds no human would ever hear. The images head glowed dark red on the left side highlighting a skull fracture that she knew right away was fatal. The jaw glowed yellow and looked like a boxers after a bad punch needed only to be reset. Her left eye also red looked like it was punctured from behind probably by a bone splinter.
The rest of the image was more disturbing. All of her organs flashed yellow, and having done more then one autopsy on dead solderers she knew what she was looking at. Everyone in Providence signs a waver authorizing use of their body for testing. To top it all off her entire left arm was only a dark silhouette.
I . . died and they cut me open to see if working with nanotechnology all day had any lasting effect. Good thing I never smoked yes sir! No wait I have to focus. This thing whatever it is, it responding to me, so think. I didn't feel any pain, why?
A tiny window popped up with two alien symbols inside it. One was highlighted the other not.
I'm going to guess that one on the right means OFF. Now whats keeping me alive?
Seven thousand two hundred seconds later she opened her eyes. She didn't know how she knew that but she did. Holiday was sure she was in a bed this time, not on a slab. The room was full of the sounds you'd find in any Providence long term exam room. Once again she tried to touch her face, and her left arm didn't respond. Her right wrist made it about an inch of mattress before being stopped by a restraint.
At least it's not the morgue.
She head someone move though the room. This time her jaw worked right.
BoBo hopped up on a chair next tot he bed.
"Wrong on both counts sorry to say."
The look on the monkeys face was not a good one.
"They got the kid in the box next to your sister, and Six has been talking to White for over an hour. As for you aaaaa . . ."
She cut him off.
" What happened BoBo?"
He took his Fez off, as if to be respectful.
"It was the pack or well Skallamander I guess, they wanted that thing we went into the bug jar to get. Six fed the lizard man a hand grenade, if it matters to ya. The kid, well they should have let me take him out for a shot and a beer, but you know them. He suck down to the morgue and flipped your switch, and hoped for the best if you follow me. You're an EVO, and near as I can over here nothing well you know deceased has ever gone EVO before. That's the good news I'm sorry to tell ya. They are going to bring in Fell to figure out what you are now, till then your tied to that bed on Knights orders."
The Doctor rolled her one working eye, and thought.
Kell . . . .
The thought of being one of Kell's test subjects on a dissection table made the heart monitor in the corner beep a bit faster.
"I need to get to my lab, if I can get the jump on Kell I might be able to stick with being a researcher, and not be research."
The monkey tried not to make eye contact.
"That's a tall order right now. With the attack and all Whites got the place locked down No offense but your not going to fit in the air vent I used to get here. "
Holiday could help but remember how Six looked away when she'd sat up in the morgue.
"Can you get to Rex? He can open anything."
"I'm surprised you're asking all things considering, but I could probably talk Callan into letting me take his food in. I'd have though you might not want him around."
"Alright, alright, I'll tell the boy you want him here."
Fifteen minutes after the monkey left she remembered she was still strapped to the bed.
A long while later a sword the size of a ironing board poked through the floor, and Rex pulled himself out of what Holiday thought was solid bedrock.
"How the hell that work? Do you have a big drill I don't know about?"
The boy looked her in the eyes or eye as it were and never turned away.
"The whole place is earthquake proof so its build on big springs. Just about enough room to crawl though if you really need to, but its not pretty if BoBo's had Mexican."
Holiday sat up in bed as much as the restraints allowed her. Everything was different now, she knew that much.
"We don't have time. They are getting Doctor Kell to tell them what I've turned into. I need to know before he does, or I'm going to end up as research, and not a researcher. That makes my sister a goner, so everything else needs to wait, OK?"
He never looked more like a child.
"Now get these damn restraints off me, I need to know if I can walk."
Five minutes later Holiday was convinced everything worked but her arm, and her eye. The arm just lay there like a toy with the batteries out, and it had a look about it that made her want the batteries back in fast.
The pair crawled underneath the ground floor of providence HQ her arm tied with Rex's belt. The entire way the Doctor couldn't help but wonder how much time Rex spent as a rat in the walls of Providence.
The boy came to a stop, and used his over sized metal hands to pop a bulkhead out of joint.
"This is the elevator shaft that leads to the lab. It's a long ladder climb from here, but if I can make it with Bobo on my back I can carry you."
Holiday surprised herself by snapping at the boy.
"I don't need anyone to CARRY ME!"
As she shoved him out of the way she couldn't help but think of the over simplified diagram of her body floating in the void, and wondering just how many reasons she had to take it easy. Squeezing her way into the shaft Holiday looked up at the ladder and went for it. Her working hand stayed behind her back as she climbed the ladder by running full tilt her bare feet never missing a rail. When she reached the correct floor she stopped on a dime and her good hand found a place to hold on until Rex flew up the shaft with what she was positive was the same look on his face she gave him when he ran off doing something stupid.
"ARE YOU NUTS! YOU ARE LITTERLY BEING HELD CLOSED BY STAPLES!"
Though all the illogic she smiled, and joked.
"Shhhh don't want anyone to hear!"
The boy smacked his forehead as karma's lethal sense of humor put the shoe on the other foot for once.
"I am going to open the door now! Why the heck I'm not calling Six, I don't know!"
The door opened, and Holiday sat on the ledge holding her midsection. She wasn't in pain the pain was off right now, but something didn't feel right.
"Relax the shafts bomb proof that means sound proof. Six is trust-able, but we might need him later. We are doing this because I can't be more screwed, and your bullet proof until someone else can shut down rogue nanites. I'm sweating that's good, things are working the way they should without me telling them too. "
The boy landed next to her, and started booting up the scanner. Starting her lab up in the morning had been one of Rex's "chores" for years.
"Look I am freaked out here, but you have more right to be Doc so . . ."
Holiday stood up, and for once was the one to hop in the scanner.
"Relax Rex I'm still me, trust me I've been doing a Rosume test on myself all night. He was an early AI researcher that pointed out that artificial life couldn't feel real emotions because we didn't know how to tell them to. I'm scared, I'm pissed, and annoyed I missed my day off this week. I only take two a month you know!"
Rex tapped the controls mind full of all the extra work the Doctor made him do when he used his powers near her scanner.
"I noticed I escaped more often then you did. We should hit the snack shack some time, the foods real umm greasy. I'm guessing basic scan? Assuming you DON'T pull a humty DUMPTY by goofing off!"
She smiled as her nose started to bleed.
"Next time we take the Keep on patrol over NewYork I need to hit Lombardi's, that's Pizza., The third option down should be standard scan with possible head trauma I need to see my brain."
After a long awkward moment the scan was finished, and she slid herself out of the scanner. As she read the screen she tried to find a heart beat to comfort Rex. As comforting as you can be bent over a scanner, reading data about what he'd done to her without thought of the consequences.
"If this goes bad Rex, you can trust Six. The world still needs saving, even if I'm some place else."
Rex's voice cracked a bit.
"I don't want you anywhere else!"
So did hers.
"I know you don't. . .but I might have to. I didn't want my sister to go either, and you see how hard I try to get her back. It's part of growing up Rex, learning to deal with things like that. I know you have to do a lot of that before you should.. . "
The boy laughed a bit though it all.
"Haha Have you met me?"
"Kids throw tantrums Rex you don't. You blow off some steam ever once in a while, but they keep you . . come here."
Holiday walked over to the boy and took him by the hand walking him to the computer screen.
"Here see that? Those are stable uninterrupted orders going from my brain to a lot of nanites. My brains some kind of controller passing information around digitally, and its stable."
She squeezed the boys hand a bit tighter.
"The rest of me not so much. Nantes can turn a man into living concrete, but they need something to tell them too. In most EVO's its bad data, I think mine are waiting for orders, and this console I saw in my head was half in another language. Rex try very hard to remember what where you thinking when you brought me back? "
The boy started squeezing back.
"Doc your . . .leaking."
She didn't look.
"That's because they split the stomach open to test the . . . Rex I'm about to crash back to my command console, and . . . "
He cut her off, as she could feel those glowing lines of his cover her hand.
"You can fix it, I can fix it just tell me how! That's what you do, that's what you and I do!"
"No no, not this time, and not again. Now be a good boy get me back to bed and don't get caught."
There was a jarring sensation as she returned to the light circle in the void in what she suspected was a less that ideal manner. The diagram showed a flashing red stomach.
"Oh you just had to know I ate pop-tarts for breakfast that day. Umm can we fix that?"
Four other organs flashed red as the stomach went green.
"OK lets not do that then. Umm this thing needs instructions. What can we do with what resources we have? "
The circle in the dark did nothing, and there was not sounds of nanite base code singing in the dark. That answered her question by proxy.
"Sheesh I guess going for a jog was stupid, damn. What can be cut and not compromise life support? "
A few things flashed, and Holiday had to make a touch call.
"The eye then. . .and I didn't even get to look at my arm on the scan. If only I can look at it again. "
An image of the scan popped up like a snap shot from here memory. Something was lodged in her shoulder cutting off the nerves and disconnecting her arm from the rest of the system as it where.
"Well you are helpful if not EXSTREAMLY FRUSTRATING TO USE! OK priories cut off support to my damaged eye to fix my stomach . . .no list my damage by severity."
A list popped up and she tried to ignore the fact that her life was on the line.
"OK cut off support to the damaged eye UNTIL we are stable again. Then as repairs are complete move exstra resources to the next problem on the list and repeat until systems are 100%. Tell me that not to complicated for you?"
The sounds in the background kicked in again, and she hoped they meant everything was running fine.
"OK while that's running I don't supposed you could show me what the teenager with the crush is doing with me while I'm out cold?"
A window popped up with what looked like an image from her working eye now half open. It looked like he was at the bottom of the elevator shaft about to drag her back under the base. Rex looked like he was talking but their was no sound. He took a moment to touch her face and looked like he was trying to be kind.
"Well can't fault him for trying. . . . I'm going to need to teach Rex a few things about subtlety when this is over. "
Next: "Life on the other side"