Serialized Science Fiction.

The Nanovampire
Tom Haynes

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puppy works." I heard a click and then she said, "I disinfected it, the arming mechanism is locked."

I could feel him lean a bit on me as he inserted the device. I could imagine him snaking the contacts through the tunnels. I hated him more than I hated the Flight Surgeons who had grounded me 10 years earlier. "Okay, I've got good connections, the unit is reading everything fine and drawing some residual power already. Arming the unit, now."

The vision shifted, it was hard to describe, but I got the impression I was looking at the device. My god, it was huge, but as I concentrated on the form and thought about how I hadn't detected it in the last year, I realized it had to be wafer thin and about the diameter of a dime. My focus was shifted to the two wires - I realized one would do for collecting the data. At first I thought the second was a backup, or the antenna, but then I realized they were there to form a circuit. The reason the labs used cyanide was to trigger the device and start the brain burning. A biopsy would stop once the expected traces of the poison were found in the system. Hmm, antennas can be used to receive as well as transmit, Houston, we have a problem.

My senses were my own again. I realized the PDA the good doctor wore as a watch was actually linked to the device in my neck. Since he hadn't tried to douse me with cyanide, everything must be to plan. He pulled the mask away and I suddenly had the canister to worry about. If he triggered the cyanide, it didn't matter now which way it was pointing - even a non-lethal dose could kill me if it got to the trigger.

"Logan, time to get out there and earn your pay." he said as he lowered the tank.

"What, I don't get to rest?" I really wasn't looking forward to 10 hours out in the suit. It sounds really exciting when you are a kid, but believe me, after an hour all you can smell is yourself and since your other senses are cut off, all you can do is smell yourself.

"No, the activity well help you integrate the nano and disperse it. Let me know if you get hungry, you might experience some dips in blood sugar until you get acclimatized and that's about all we really need to watch. As a matter of fact, eat a couple of protein bars before you go out there."

I stalled, "How long until they repair the damage and my immune system is back to normal?"

He laughed and then sobered up as he caught that look in my eyes, the one that telegraphs the prey that they are just that and it is time to pay the piper. "Your immune system will never be normal again. We've cured rats with this treatment, you've seen that yourself. But what I never stressed is that the nanobots are there to stay and they mean to work the whole time. We expect your lifespan to triple based on our initial results. Logan, plan on watching your great grandchildren grow up."

Instead of reassuring me, all I could think of was it now possible for me to reproduce? I'd tried before and my little troops had failed me, it had cost me a marriage. But even if I could, would I want to pass my payload on now? I hadn't been careful before Morocco, what with no fear of knocking a partner up and Aids-II, well that happened to homosexuals and addicts. It also happened to me. I didn't need a vision to know the man in front of me had arranged for it, one of those needle pricks in the flashback might have even been ground zero.

I didn't always think things out, which was deadly in my profession, but so was knowing the ramifications of exactly who was going

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