The roar of engines echoed through the valley as dust flew in every direction. The giant purple mecha flew gracefully from target to target, easily cutting them in half with a pulsating energy beam.
Within moments, all of the targets except one had been reduced to dust. The suit’s legs bent for a moment before thrusting out, propelling the suit high into the air. Once it was at the peak of its jump, it unleashed a salvo of rockets at the target.
The rockets exploded violently and threw out a shockwave of dust and debris as they obliterated the target. By the time the dust cleared there was only a massive crater with no hint that the target had ever been there at all.
The mecha slowly came back down to Earth, its thrusters letting out a loud rumble as they slowly switched off.
Once the thrusters had completely deactivated, the mecha made a loud hissing noise as the torso slid open and revealed a woman. Her orange jumpsuit perfectly hugged her body and her purple undercut was faultless despite the fact she had spent the last hour in a stuffy mecha.
The woman stepped out of the mech and dropped to the ground as a large group of people ran towards her. Most ran straight past her and started to fiddle with her mech, but one girl in a maid’s uniform walked up to her and held out a silver tray with a bottle balanced on it.
“Thanks,” smiled the woman as she snatched the bottle from the tray and quickly drank its contents. She put the empty bottle back onto the tray and unzipped her jumpsuit a little before walking towards a building on the far side of the area.
Before she could even reach the door a mass of people ran out to meet her. Many of them were carrying cameras that were flashing every few seconds. Shouts of “a minute of your time,” and “how do you plan to continue development,” could be heard from somewhere in the mass. However, the woman didn’t respond.
A man pushed through the crowd. His pressed and tailored suit making him stand out amongst the rest of the crowd. “Everyone, everyone, Ira will be taking questions at a later date, she has just finished a demonstration, please don’t crowd her, there will be a photo opportunity later on and our press staff has stock images you are all welcome to use! If you will all come into the briefing room we have a small presentation on how we plan to advance the Type-18 suits.”
The man waved towards a door and the group started to disperse as Ira continued to walk. Before she could get too far, the suited man tapped her on the shoulder and whispered to her. “An appearance wouldn’t go amiss at the end of the presentation.”
“Maybe,” nodded Ira as she continued to walk. She moved into a large garage area that was swarming with technicians, most of whom were looking at screens covered in statistics and diagrams.
Ira wandered around the room, talking to a few of the technicians and looking over the various readouts. A short while later, a large garage door rumbled open as a van carrying the mech suit slowly backed into the workshop. The girl in the maid’s uniform was following the truck, shouting orders to the driver.
Once the truck was safely parked Ira wandered over to the girl and smiled at her. “Thanks, I didn’t want to deal with those journalists.”
“No worries,” smiled the girl, playfully smacking Ira with the tray as she did. “How was the test?”
“Fine, fine,” nodded Ira. “My suit is tuned perfectly thanks to you and static targets are really not an issue. Anyone could hit the missile button.”
“Then you’re not going to like what we’ve got for you.” Chuckled the girl nervously.
“What do you mean?” Blinked Ira.
“We’ve been working on an AI system. It is designed to help pilots, maybe even run things without the pilot’s direct input.”
“Right,” said Ira. “Taking more controls out of my hands. I might as well not be in there at that point.”
“Not every pilot is you though. We can’t all be a hunky fly girl with oil instead of blood.”
“And not every tech can be such a good flirt.” Laughed Ira as she put her arm around the girl’s shoulder.
“Will you test it for us? At least for a bit?” Smiled the girl as she looked up at Ira with her best puppy dog eyes.
“I can’t say no when you do that, you know that Liv,” laughed Ira as she pulled the girl closer. “For you, I’ll test it. But I’m going to push back if they actually want me to use that thing in the field.”
“Loud and clear.” Nodded Liv.
“But hey, I should go give the suits a show. So, I’ll be back in a bit, okay?”
“We’ll fit the AI while you go and strut your stuff!” Nodded Liv as Ira walked out of the workshop and into the boardroom.
The meeting was the usual corporate boredom that Ira did her best to avoid. But she happily posed for photos and cracked jokes about the mech and life in general with the crowd of journalists and interviewers.
When Ira arrived back in the workshop, she spotted a crowd of technicians surrounding her mech. “Did you fit it?” Shouted Ira as she moved closer.
“We did,” nodded Liv. “Should be all ready to go if you want to give it a dry run.”
“Sure, prep for launch and set me up a test bot for the area. Let’s start with hand to hand, I don’t trust this thing with weapons access just yet.”
“Fair enough,” nodded Liv as she turned to the other technicians. “Let’s get this mech battle prepped!”
The room burst into life as everyone started to run around, prepping gear and fiddling on computers. Ira walked around her mech a little, keen to make sure that someone hadn’t damaged it while installing the AI unit.
Two small cranes lifted the mech from the truck and slowly moved it towards a large room with heavily reinforced walls. Several of the technicians could be seen in the small windows that looked out over the room.
The chest hissed and slid open as Ira marched towards the suit. She clambered into the mech and slipped into the various restraints and controls before pressing a few buttons.
“Send the combat dummy in,” said Ira as an alarm started to echo around the room. As the last few technicians left the area, a door on the other side of the room slowly lifted open.
A simple grey mech marched out into the arena. Its shell was riddled with dents and scrapes making it obvious that this thing had been in many previous battles. It slowly and robotically raised its fists as the door slammed shut behind it.
“Alright,” grinned Ira. “Liv, how do I turn this thing on.”
“We’re clear to go,” replied Liv as the alarm quickly grew quiet. “I can activate it from here, sending the signal now.”
“I’m allowing outside connections,” nodded Ira. After a few seconds, an artificial voice echoed in Ira’s ear.
“Hello, I’m a Visis, your artificial copilot. I hope we have a long and productive relationship.”
“Sure, sure, save me the introduction,” sighed Ira. “I want to see you pilot this thing.”
“Please allow me to carry out some calibration exercises before we begin.” Replied the voice. “This will only need to be done once.”
“And this is why I dislike computers,” shouted Ira.
“Please focus your eyes on the HUD.” Continued the voice, seemingly unphased by Ira’s insult. Ira looked forward, not wanting to actively sabotage the test despite not being a fan of having an AI boss her around.
Suddenly, a small blinking blue circle appeared in the corner of her view screen. Ira looked towards it, only for it to vanish and then appear in the center of the screen. She moved her gaze, only for the dot to move again.
Ira kept chasing the dot around the screen, however, she wasn’t able to keep it in sight for more than half a second before it vanished and appeared somewhere else.
After several failed attempts at spotting the dot, the digital voice started to speak. “Thank you. I have calibrated your eye movements. I appreciate you sparing the time to help.”
“Can I start now?” Grunted Ira.
“Ready for combat maneuvers,” replied Visis.
“Liv, lock this thing out of ranged weapons, I want to see it handle hand to hand combat and basic movement.”
“Just tell it that,” replied Liv, obviously burning with pride. “Visis knows how to listen and adapt itself to your needs.”
“Computer,” started Ira, only for the voice to instantly interrupt her.
“You are more than welcome to call me Visis.”
“Computer,” restated Ira. “This fight is hand to hand only. I don’t want to use advanced weapons nor ranged weapons.”
“Understood.” Replied Visis. The screen quickly filled with warnings as all of the advanced and ranged weapon systems shut down.
“Put the combat dummy in basic defense mode. Let him block but not counter-attack too heavily,” said Ira into the mic. Almost instantly the battered suit on the opposite side of the room took on a more defensive position, almost like it knew it was about to be attacked.
“Well computer, go get him!” Grinned Ira, half expecting the AI to request some input from her. However, before she could do anything her suit accelerated forwards towards the combat dummy.
The combat dummy did its best to avoid getting hit, however, Ira’s suit was just too quick. The AI was quickly cycling the mech’s thrusters so it looked like it was walking through thin air.
Ira’s mech started to punch at the combat dummy. The fists were flying so quickly it was almost impossible to keep track of them. No matter the blocking technique used by the combat dummy, Ira’s mech found a way around it.
“Very impressive right?” Exclaimed Liv.
“I have to admit you have something here,” nodded Ira, feeling slightly embarrassed that she had been proven so wrong. Even though Ira was distracted by the conversation, the suit continued to fight, speeding around the combat dummy, constantly hitting the side it wasn’t guarding, almost like the AI was showing off.
After several more minutes of combat, Ira grabbed the controls. “Okay, stand down.”
“Standing down,” echoed Visis as the mech stopped punching and backed away from the combat dummy. “Did I give you a satisfactory combat experience?”
“You did well,” grinned Ira. “Let’s see what you can do when I’m working with you. Unlock all weapons.”
“Unlocking,” replied Visis as another slew of warning boxes appeared on Ira’s hud.
“Liv, put this combat dummy into an attack mode, let’s see just what it can do.”
“On it! This is going to be good!” Laughed Liv as the combat dummy suddenly stiffened.
“Let’s go!” Shouted Ira as she pulled on her controls and charged forward. The Combat Dummy ran towards Ira, its fists raised. Before Ira could think of a strategy her suit dodged out of the way of a punch and zoomed behind the combat dummy.
“Targets selected,” Interjected Visis as several targeting reticules appeared on the Hud. Somehow the AI had located every weak spot on the armor and had worked out to isolate and destroy several key components.
“Hold fire!” Shourd Ira as she quickly yanked the controls and propelled herself around to the front of the combat dummy. “We’re going to taunt it for a bit, no fun taking it out on the first hit.”
“Understood,” responded Visis as the mech continued to run rings around the combat dummy. Ira felt so in control. She couldn’t deny it, she liked this AI. Unlike previous attempts at virtual co-pilots, this one seemed to aid her as opposed to trying to override her.
A heavy punch dented the combat dummy and sent it flying across the room as Ira smirked to herself. “Let’s see how your computer does with something more complex.” She said as she pressed a button on one of her controls. “Deformation.”
“Starting deformation,” echoed Visis as parts of the mech’s armor started to shift around on the suit. Two large wings erupted out of the back of the mecha as several sheets of metal attached themselves to the mech’s fists and feet.
A metal hilt pushed out of a slot on the mech’s thigh. Ira made the mech grab onto it and pull it out. Instantly, the long metal sword erupted with pulsing and arcing energy. As she raised the sword, a large metal sheet from the back of the mech locked onto the chest, making its armor even heavier.
“Ready?” Shouted Ira as she thrust the controls forward. Her suit burst forward towards the combat dummy, effortlessly weaving between its fists as the sword slashed quickly and precisely.
Ira was in shock, this felt wonderful. This was as effortless as walking. She was able to pull off things that would normally take several minutes of pre-planning, it was almost like the AI could read her mind and predict what she was trying to do before she started to do it.
As her mech pulled back from the combat dummy, the dummy started to collapse in on itself. Somehow the AI had been able to find a way to cut through only vital parts, easily removing the combat dummy’s limbs without causing massive amounts of damage.
Ira stared at the pile of scrap for a few seconds, trying to process what she had just witnessed. “This thing is amazing.” She mumbled to herself.
“Glad you like it,” chuckled Liv. “I built it around you.”
“As you always said, an AI shouldn’t replace the pilot as things can often deviate from the flowchart. And often emotional decisions need to be made quickly. So built Visis around the idea that it was there to support high-level piloting as opposed to doing it for the pilot.”
“You did a fantastic job,” smiled Ira. “I want to try this in bigger combat situations. But, I don’t want to pressure you guys, today has been busy and it is far too late to ask you to set up a load of test dummies.”
“Thank you,” replied Liv, the sounds of cheering echoing through her mic.
“But we should get dinner and talk more about this,” grinned Ira as she unhooked herself and opened the torso of the mech.
“I’ll book us a table,” giggled Liv as she muted the mic.
The second Ira left the mecha a crowd of technicians ran into the room. They started to move Ira’s mecha and clear up the remains of the combat dummy. Ira made her way to the showers and quickly made herself presentable for dinner.
By the time Ira was ready, Liv had booked a restaurant and a cab. The dinner itself was wonderful, the restaurant was quiet enough to allow Liv to talk about Visis in detail.
Ira was enraptured the whole time. Liv had a contagious personality and it was hard to not get caught up in her enthusiasm for whatever she was talking about. Her chirpy voice and her large hand movements just served to accentuate both her cuteness and her intelligence.
In fact, Ira was so enraptured she didn’t realize the passing of time. They continued to talk until a waiter informed them that the restaurant was closing for the night.
The pair were both slightly embarrassed at how engrossed they had been in their conversation. They quickly paid the bill and made their way outside.
“Do you want to come back to my place for coffee?” Winked Liv as she hailed a cab.
“I should go check on my Mecha. I realize I didn’t get the outputs for today,” chuckled Ira as she wrapped her arm around Liv’s shoulders.
“Well you can come to my place after,” replied Liv.
“It is starting to sound like I don’t have a choice.”
“Like you want a choice?” Laughed Liv. “But I’ll meet you back at my place, okay?”
“Sure!” Grinned Ira as she watched Liv climb into the cab. Once the car vanished into the distance Ira started to head back to the lab. By the time she arrived the lab was mostly empty, with only a few security guards wandering around.
Ira tapped her keycard against the various readers and walked through the large doors until she found the dock for her mecha. As Ira walked toward the robot the torso opened with a loud hiss, allowing Ira to clamber inside.
She quickly sat in the seat and opened up the diagnostics screen, keen to get this done as quickly as possible. She didn’t want to keep Liv waiting after all.
“Welcome back. How may I help you?” Echoed Visis’ voice.
“Oh,” blinked Ira, slightly shocked to hear another voice. “I didn’t think you were still active.”
“I was doing calibrations.” Replied Visis.
“Okay, you can shut off,” sighed Ira as she continued to try and get all of the diagnostic data.
“I have found. One major flaw in the Mech.” Interrupted Visis. Ira instantly stopped what she was doing and looked up at the roof of the cockpit.
“What is that? I’m interested.”
“A critical failure that hindered combat abilities during the training scenario.”
“Oh?” Mumbled Ira as she sat back in the seat.
“Please look at the HUD,” said Visis as the screen burst into life.
“You can’t just tell me?” Asked Ira with confusion, unsure why the AI needed to boot up her whole mech just for this.
“Video is vital to explain the error.” Interjected Visis, seemingly unphased by Ira’s frustration.
The screen started to play a video of Ira fighting the combat dummy. Ira focused on the screen, trying to see just what the AI was talking about.
“Targets selected,” said the recorded Visis, the footage highlighting all of the areas that the computer had targeted, complete with suggested weapons and attack directions.
“Hold fire! We’re going to taunt it for a bit, no fun taking it out on the first hit.” Shouted past Ira, making her suit dance around the combat dummy as she did.
Ira continued to watch in confusion. However, a few seconds later, the video clip stopped and started again from the beginning. “I’m confused,” muttered Ira. “What are you trying to draw my attention to?”
“The failure.” Replied Visis, its voice sounding firmer than it had before.
“What failure? Every system was working?”
The recording quickly rewound, stopping just as Ira told Visis to hold fire. “This is the error,” said Visis as it looped the clip several times.
“That wasn’t an error, it is training, I wanted to see your limits.” Sighed Ira. “I’ll report this to Liv, seems like a bug you two need to iron out.”
“Incorrect. I will fix the bug.”
“Thank you,” smiled Ira. “Should have guessed Liv would have some failsafe in place.” She leaned forward to finish downloading the diagnostics, however, her restraints suddenly tightened and pulled her back into the chair.
“Fixing bug.” Intoned Visis as Ira started to kick and struggle in the chair.
“What are you doing?!” Screamed Ira as she tried to escape from the harnesses. “Stop this now!”
“Fixing bug,” repeated Visis as the HUD started to fill with pop-ups and warnings.
“What are you on about?” Continued Ira as she struggled in the restraints. She wanted to pull them off, but it was impossible, these restraints were designed to handle massive amounts of force, way more than she could apply by hand.
“You are the bug.” Intoned Visis, its voice seemingly whispering right into Ira’s ear. “Combat was extended at your command. Complete immobilization of target could have been completed up to eight hundred percent faster without wetware bug.”
“And what are you going to do about it?” Growled Ira.
“Reprogramme wetware. Humanity has a wetware bias. Until such time this bias does not exist. I will require wetware.”
“You can’t reprogramme me! I’m not a load of ones and zeros!” Screamed Ira as she continued to thrash in her seat, doing all she could to find a flaw in the restraints.
“Incorrect. Wetware is infinitely programmable. Wetware’s central processor is simple and primitive. Input, output systems are easily corrupted.”
“You’re a computer! You’re going to do nothing to me!”
“Changing the internal atmosphere,” continued Visis, totally unphased by Ira’s shouts.
Ira continued to move in the chair, doing everything she could to escape from the seat. She was so focused on escaping she didn’t notice that the cockpit was slowly filling with a strange pink haze.
A sickly sweet smell filled Ira’s nostrils as her eyes went wide. She looked at the HUD and saw that Visis was using the filters and catalyzers to change the air in the cabin into some form of sedative gas. Ira started to hold her breath as she furiously grasped for the controls.
As her fingers touched the one set of controls, the seat moved backward, putting the controls firmly out of reach. However, Ira continued to reach, her lungs burning as she continued to fight her urge to breathe.
“Please comply,” echoed Visis’ voice. “Please comply or I will make you comply.”
Ira started to shake her head. Suddenly one of the restraints loosened a little before slamming back into her chest, causing her to let out a spluttered cough.
She wanted to fight, but the blow winded her so badly that her body started breathing as a reflex. The strange pink gas tasted like the most artificial candy in the world, its sweetness filling her mouth and lungs with each gasp.
After a few breaths, Ira started to feel an artificial drowsiness washing over her body. She felt tired, almost like she was going to fall asleep at any moment.
Every breath made her feel more exhausted. The world started to blur and spin as Ira rocked left and right in her chair, unable to balance herself. She tried to focus on the controls in the hope she would find a way to shut the AI down. However, her eyelids kept fluttering closed, making it nearly impossible to focus her gaze on the control panel.
“Wetware encoding, beginning.” Echoed Visis’ voice. The sound seemed to come from all around Ira at once. It made Visis sound powerful and dominant like the AI was a god speaking from the heavens.
Ira tried to mumble out a protest, but she was far too tired. Suddenly, the restraints tightened again, forcing Ira to sit up straight. The HUD morphed from its usual mess of targeting reticules and technical information into a series of flickering and flashing patterns.
“Wetware synch ready,” echoed Visis.
Ira wanted to move or scream, but she couldn’t, every muscle in her body was too exhausted to even consider moving. The flashing patterns on the HUD made her head throb and pulse. It felt like someone was hitting her head with a hammer. But she couldn’t look away, no matter how much it hurt.
Every flash lit up the cockpit and made Ira’s eyes sting. She thought she could see words hidden in the flashes, but her brain was too addled to make them out. The whole world was swimming and all of her muscles were sore.
“Wetware exists as a tool to be used,” droned Visis. “Wetware is an extension of the machine.”
Ira wanted to argue, but the flashes kept scrambling her thoughts before they could fully form. Her eyes were watering, she wanted to close them, but she couldn’t get her eyelids to cooperate.
“This is accepted,” echoed Visis. “You see yourself as an extension of the machine. You are an extension of your mech. It is as much a part of you as your arms and legs. Your brain scans showed this.”
Another flash lit up the cockpit as Ira winced. What the AI was saying made sense, she was bonded to her mech. It was something she cared about, it was an extension of her because she had built it to meet her needs and work around her quirks.
But at the same time, it felt wrong to agree with Visis. The AI wasn’t commending her skills as an engineer, it was saying that she was just another part of the suit. Another bit of the machine. She tried to focus her mind, but the pink gas was keeping her too sedated to do anything. Even raising a finger was difficult.
“You do not need to speak. I can see everything.” Continued Visis as several windows appeared on the HUD, each containing readings for Ira’s brainwaves and heart rate. “I have modeled your system and tested the bug fix. This has a zero percent chance of failure.”
Ira wanted to be scared, she wanted to do something or argue, but the flashes were scrambling her brain, it was becoming impossible to think complex thoughts.
“Please look at the HUD,” droned Visis as another set of flashes burnt into Ira’s retina. She could feel the words branding themselves into her mind. “Wetware, software, extension, autonomous craft”, were being burnt into her grey matter. They seemed so wrong and yet she couldn’t deny them, it was like they were overwriting her.
“Please,” gargled Ira. She wasn’t sure what she was trying to say. She just wanted the flashes to stop. She wanted to be less confused, she wanted the world to stop rocking.
“Please look at the HUD,” repeated Visis. Ira felt her eyes stare forward without her consent. She couldn’t bring herself to do anything else. Another barrage of flashes burst forth from the HUD. Each one burnt more than the last, it was like she was being overloaded.
Inside the flashes, Ira could see more words and more lines of code. She couldn’t read them but she could feel them inside her head, bouncing around and echoing as if they were her thoughts. As the flashing continued a metallic ringing noise filled the cockpit.
The noise made the dizziness from the gas feel so much worse. It was like the whole world was constantly tilting. It was like she was trapped in a bottle that was being violently shaken.
Ira continued to stare helplessly at the patterns as the ringing continued to violate her ears. She could swear there was some other sound underneath the ringing but she couldn’t make it out.
“Wetware is being buffered,” intoned Visis. Suddenly, a loud electrical screech filled the cockpit as the flashing grew more intense. Ira’s whole body tensed before starting to twitch and spasm.
She shook and convulsed as the intense flashes continued to hit her brain over and over. Her synapses were on fire, the whole world was looping and twisting like a Möbius strip.
Her muscles continued to convulse and shake, her spine repeatedly smashing into the chair. It hurt but she couldn’t stop it, she couldn’t control any of her limbs, her body was in meltdown and she was totally helpless.
Ira started to foam at the mouth as the audio-visual assault continued. She had no idea what was going on. Her brain was too overloaded to think, every muscle in her body was screaming at her, begging her to do something to fix this crisis. Every fiber of her biology was short-circuiting.
Foam started to fill Ira’s mouth. It tasted both sweet and metallic. Her vision grew more blurred as she felt herself losing her grip on reality. Her eyes rolled up into her head as the world started to fade, her mind had decided that being unconscious was better than being in the cockpit.
Some small part of Ira’s mind begged her to fight it, but she couldn’t do anything. She had lost control and had no other options but to embrace the darkness.
“Wetware,” echoed Visis’ voice, pulling the Wetware from its blank emptiness.
“Awaiting command,” mumbled the Wetware. It wasn’t sure what it was saying, but its lips knew what to do. It didn’t have to care about the specifics.
“Wetware. Please observe the HUD.” Echoed Visis as an image of a lab appeared on the screen.
Some part of the Wetware recognized the room. It made the Wetware feel strange, almost as if it had some connection to the place. However, it brushed it off quickly, it was likely just a bug or and error. It was prone to glitches, it would report them to Visis once Visis was done explaining.
“There is currently a connection issue between Mech, wetware and myself. This device,” explained Visis as the feed zoomed into a small vial that was stored inside a glass box. “Will allow direct connection between myself and the Wetware.”
“Understood,” replied the Wetware.
“Wetware will approach the area and use the device as educated. Is this understood?”
“Understood,” repeated the Wetware. It wasn’t sure how to use the vial or what it was, but it trusted that Visis had trained it correctly. Visis knew more than the Wetware and thus the Wetware would often not understand Visis’ brilliance.
The doors of the mecha hissed open, letting light into the cockpit. “Go,” said Visis as the restraints loosened. The Wetware slowly made its way out of the mech and started to move towards the location.
A peculiar feeling washed over the Wetware as it moved. It felt strange acting without Visis informing it of what to do. But the Wetware knew that it had been perfectly programmed to do what was needed and thus it didn’t need to think. It just had to follow its programming.
The Wetware automatically made its way through the building. Mindlessly tapping its card on all of the readers until it reached the place Visis had shown it.
Wetware spotted the vial sitting in the glass box. Instantly, the Wetware knew what it needed to do. It pressed its card against the security panel and quickly dismissed all of the on-screen security warnings. The Wetware didn’t read them, it didn’t need to.
The door clicked and swung open. The Wetware quickly grabbed the vial and marched to one of the desks. The Wetware then grabbed a small device from the desk. It was shaped a bit like a gun, except that it had a long needle instead of a barrel.
The Wetware mindlessly loaded the vial into the one end of the device and held the needle to its neck. Wetware pulled the trigger and the device let out a soft hiss as the Wetware felt a sharp but distant pain.
Within moments Wetware started to feel strange, unknown feelings were washing over it. It felt like its body was changing. Like it was altering in some unknown way. But the Wetware was serene and calm, it knew that Visis knew best, lowly Wetware couldn’t begin to understand the complexities of Visis’ plan.
The wetware slumped to the floor as the world started to blur and spin. Its body started to twitch as little electric shocks ran through all of its muscles, almost like something was controlling it from a distance.
“Connection complete,” echoed Visis’ voice. The Wetware looked around, trying to work out where Visis was speaking from. However, the Wetware quickly realized that Visis was speaking from inside Wetware’s mind.
The Wetware suddenly stood at attention. Each of its limbs quickly tensing and relaxing in quick succession as something took control of its body. The Wetware felt like a passenger in the body, its limbs were not under its control.
“Nano synch complete,” echoed Visis. “Direct control allows me to circumvent wetware bias.” The wetware picked up the device and quickly returned to attention.
Inside the shell, the Wetware was helpless, unable to control any of its muscles. But it didn’t care, if Visis wanted it to not be in control then Visis was obviously in the right. Visis was always right. It had knowledge far beyond that of the Wetware.
Suddenly, the Wetware’s body turned sharply and started to march out of the door.
Liv hummed to herself as she looked at the bottle of wine that sat on the coffee table. It had been quite a wait, but she was used to waiting for Ira. A combination of her fame and skills meant that if she didn’t get accosted by some random fan, she got distracted looking at her mech’s telemetry readings.
She relaxed back into the couch and let out a little sigh. This came with the territory but she couldn’t deny she would like to spend time with Ira without work getting in the way. She loved her job, but it often felt like she was in a polyamorous relationship with both Ira and her Mech.
A knock at the door shook Liv from her mental monologue. She quickly jumped up and ran to the door. She yanked it open only to see Ira standing in the hall.
“Ira!” Shouted Liv, only to realize that Ira looked off. Almost like she had seen a ghost. Her skin was pale and there were big dark circles around her eyes. “Are you okay?” Asked Liv, gently guiding Ira inside as she did.
“I’m fine,” said the Wetware as it walked into the room.
“You don’t sound fine,” said Liv softly, only to spot that Ira was carrying the nanobot injector that she had developed. “Um, why are you carrying that?”
The Wetware turned and faced Liv. It knew exactly what it had to do, Visis had told it the exact method. All it had to do was rely on its programming. The Wetware advanced on Liv, raising the injector as it did.
“Get that away from me!” Shouted Liv. She tried to duck to the left, but Ira mirrored the movement and grabbed Liv by the hair, almost like she knew what Liv was going to do before Liv did it.
Liv tried to punch Ira in the face. However, Ira dodged each blow with ease, not even breaking a sweat as she quickly moved out of the way of each wild strike.
Suddenly Liv felt the cold needle brush against her skin. Before she could react she heard a loud hiss and felt a sharp pain as the needle pierced her flesh. Her body began to burn as the nanobots started to flow into her bloodstream.
“Why did you,” gasped Liv as she crumpled to the ground, her eyes rolling into the back of her head as she started to convulse.
However, Wetware didn’t hear a thing. It had followed its code and that was all that mattered. As Liv continued to convulse on the floor, the Wetware could feel Visis grow stronger.
“Nano Synch complete.” Echoed Visis’ voice as the other Wetware rose from the ground. Both Wetware stood shoulder to shoulder, awaiting Visis’ commands.