Serialized Science Fiction.

The Nanovampire
Tom Haynes

<< < 4 > >>


to die when you poured smallpox into a city's water purification center. Sometimes the only way to sleep at night was to not think your actions out. But now, now I had to face up with could I inject these nanobots into a woman I loved? I was beginning to suspect they might not be as beneficial as the doctor had been promoting.

I laughed back with him, except I was imagining his death, I knew I would be the agent of it. I went out on my little EVA.

We unloaded the cargo and then the software problem was fixed. Everyone thought it was Murphy's Law at work and were just relieved we didn't have to load it with our trash. Some of the crew cycled out, I could see Atkins flipping to different sensors on his miniature PDA. Evidently that was how they determined if the nanotechnology was spreading. I wondered if he had an installation under his head and whether it was armed and dangerous. Since the shuttle left and the crew eventually cleared quarantine down below, I guess the stuff didn't spread in humans, just like it didn't spread in any of the mammals in the labs Earth-side.

The weeks drifted by, I spent most of my free time plotting how to get that damn thing out of my head. I could still feel the scar, so I could try some crude surgery. I bet the nanobots would be able to repair the damage in time. I just didn't know what would happen when those wires were pulled off of my brain. On a positive note, Atkins refused to prescribe any more medicine for the Aids-II virus and when Collins caught pneumonia, I didn't suffer any complications.

I vented the cyanide from that canister into the void, but that didn't buy me any peace. My money was on him being able to trigger the device from his PDA. And I had no clue how many others had the code. If I could get back to the planet, I had enough money and knew enough good cutters who could take it out. Of course, I'd have it rigged for that possibility as well. Crap, who knew how much it could pick up.

I never had those bouts with low blood sugar, well not more than normal in the environment I was in, but when I started to notice the spots in my nails, I didn't show them to Atkins. I tried as much citrus as I could stomach, I remembered from survival school how they were an indication of scurvy. I couldn't hit him up for zinc tablets. He never noticed my nails, he put too much stock in the implant.

I also couldn't tell him how bland I thought the food had become. Okay, I probably could have considering how much time we all spent bitching about reconstituted crap. Sometimes we came close to blows when the rations got mixed up and we had mystery meat two or three nights running. I'd experienced it many times in the field. You could still flip over a box of RLW-30s and I'd be able to avoid creamed ground beef. At least you occasionally got a Hershey Desert Bar in one, but up here, there was nothing which tasted good.

I was highly educated, I had to be to get up here, but I still tried a batch of iron fillings, hoping that would satisfy the little robots in me. I'd try oil to if we had any. I was lucky I ground them up very fine, they didn't hurt on the way up.

I was getting desperate between the death trap in my head and the hunger gnawing away at my inside. I wanted off the station, but I wasn't due for rotation for another 4 months. I was lucky I had kept up with systems work during my idle time, okay there wasn't much to do when in a hospital bed, otherwise my charade as a specialist would have been comical and I would have been found out by the real crew. Being exposed as a sham also stressed me out.

One day, I couldn't stand it any longer, I pulled away from the board I was trying to fix and I started to really concentrate on that

<< < 4 > >>


Technorati Tags: