Serialized Science Fiction.

The Nanovampire
Tom Haynes

<< < 5 > >>


last image I had gotten about the implant. It popped back up into my stream of consciousness. I could see where parts of it had been eaten away. Remember that sixties movie where they miniaturized the sub and injected it into that scientist and the white blood corpuscles attack the sub, and Raquel Welch? The implant was under assault by my body.

But it wasn't going fast enough, I knew I would starve before it was disabled. I couldn't have that, could I? I reached out and willed the cells to attack the triggering mechanism. I wasn't out of touch with my education, but I wasn't a micro- mechanical expert and I shouldn't have been able to know the schematic of the device. Yet I knew exactly what part to target.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard Atkins ask, "Hey cowboy, you alright? Want to come to the infirmary with me?" I felt him drag me along. My attention was on that device, I had cut the chemical trigger and was working on the receiver, my analysis of the schematic showed it could be used to trigger the charge. I had to cut it at the same time I shorted out the power supply. The design had the device discharging in the event of catastrophic failure. I guess they figured to cut their loses in the event of surgery.

A light was shining in my eyes, but no one was home. "Come on cowboy, respond, or do you want me to stick a defibrillator across your nuts?" Great, I had long suspected he was a sadist. His PDA started beeping and an agitated Collins rushed in the room. I'd swear she was psychosomatic except she really did get sick all the time. I think her days were numbered, no matter how good she was in growing and harvesting pure silicon wafers in micro-gravity conditions.

"Do something for it, give me something, just make it go away!" She had sliced herself with the cutting laser. The wound was mostly cauterized, but she wasn't. I was getting sick of her, sick of him, and sick of this whole damn mess I had been shanghaied into. I don't think that was what made me snap. I think it was the doctor jabbing her with a local and twisting it when it pierced her skin; he was probably more sick of her constant demands than I was at that point. "Ouch, watch what you're doing, that hurt as much as the laser!"

But, and here is why I am sure this was the straw that broke the camel's back, I had just disabled the receiver and power circuitry, I was just starting in on the transceiver, I felt free, and I smelled bacon. Back when I was in the Academy, one of my New Year's resolutions was to be a vegetarian for a year. I sweated it out and the only time I ever came close to losing control, it was all about control after all, was when I dreamed I smelled bacon. I woke up crying, convinced I had just eaten a bacon sandwich, covered in that brown sauce the British love to use to smother the meat.

I realized the bacon had a tangy zest to it, it felt fresh, and it was wafting out of the little wound left by the needle as Dr. Atkins pulled out the local. I focused in on the blood, dripping slowly, like melted wax, down her arm. He was getting out the iodine, to sterilize her wound and cause her more pain. My arm knocked the bottle down, strange, I hadn't told it to do that. He looked over and saw something he didn't like. He frantically started pushing on that PDA of his, I smiled. He saw something else he didn't like.

His fear drifted across the room, I could taste it on my tongue. I was more alive in that instant that when I was in the middle of an Immelman Maneuver. Collins could be dense at times, despite her double Ph.D. in electronics and materials, but right then, well she was as alive as she was ever going to get. Atkins bolted out of the infirmary as she started to wail at the top of her lungs. Unluckily for her, the crew was used to her theatrics - word had gone out about her injury and where she was headed. The smart ones remembered important business

<< < 5 > >>


Technorati Tags: