Science Fiction Challenge/2540
The year is 2540. Earthlings are just beginning to manufacture nano-scale robots: nanites. Suddenly, strange and seemingly magical events begin to occur.
Humans are not aware that "nanofog" permeates the known universe. This fog allows anyone who is equipped with a "bimanoid interface" to see anywhere, anytime. It is a little bit like the Internet 5 on steroids. Now, in 2540, a few humans are equipped with the first nanites and they begin creating a bimanoid interface, allowing them to tap into the nanofog. So far their early experiments have not created problems, but things are about to get interesting!
Tea Blu C- a genetically modified human, specifically designed to function as a host for a nanite endosymbiont.
Operator 17- an alien life form that watches for new species that are just learning how to connect into the nanofog.
Dr. Vicky Briduk- the genetic engineer who designed Tea Blu C,
Dr. Kimia Ganesha- creator of the nanite endosymbiont that is implanted into Tea Blu C.
It had been a golden day and now the sky was truly glorious with the last light of the fading sun illuminating a band of clouds on the horizon. Vicky noticed a priority message drop into her business queue. Since retiring six years previously, her work-related messages had gradually dwindles to a trickle. Of course, she recognized the name: Ganesha. Vicky opened the channel, allowing Kimia to connect if she was in the net. Vicky reclines and waited for the stars.
Some ten minutes later, just as the first stars were becoming visible, Kimia appeared before Vicky, her image superimposed on Vicky's view of the sky. "Hello, Vicky."
"Kimi! How nice to hear from you."
"How long has it been? I've lost track."
"Ten, twelve years? How goes your endosymbiont project?"
"It has been a long hard slog, but we've finally had some luck. I want you to meet Tea and give me your evaluation of her health."
Vicky feared that something had gone wrong in the course of Kimia's experiments. Of course, there was always danger in any human subject research project. "She's ill?"
"I don't know what's happening. I'm not a medico. The robodocs suspect some type of nanite-induced seizure activity."
"Seizures? What type?"
"Absence seizures. Tea just drops right out of normal consciousness...she goes blank."
"Strange. What does she experience during these events?"
"Often nothing. But on a few occasions she has experienced something. By here description, a kind of alternate reality. Realy, it sounds like hallucinations."
"Have you gotten an optoscan of her brain during any of these events?"
"That's why I contacted you today. I just got a scan and it shows a brain activity pattern that has no matches in the pattern database."
"Fascinating. Can I see it?"
Kimia sent the scan data to Vicky. "What do you think?"
Vicky looked at the scan data from all directions and she shook her head. "This level of neural activity could cause excitotoxicity. How long did this seizure lat?"
"About an hour."
"A whole hour? You couldn't bring her out of it?"
"I used to try, but Tea wants to solve this mystery. She signed off and given consent for riding out these events."
"You can't let her destroy her brain."
"Wait until you see her. There's no evidence of brain damage. In fact...well, I want you to make your own assessment."
Vicky took a deep breath. "Okay, connect me through."
"Tea is sleeping now. Why don't you tube on over and do a live evaluation first thing in the morning."
"I am retired, you know. Well, I'll tell Jimmy what's up and see if he'll let me go. We had a hike planned for tomorrow."
"Bring him along with you...make the trip into a little holiday. I'm sure I could get you two tickets to the Sangsad."
"Oh, alright. You know I hate to travel, but I'm dying of curiosity now to see what you've done to Tea. I'll see you in the morning."
"Thanks, Vicky." The connection cut out.
For five minutes Vicky gazed up at the images of Tea's brain scan superimposed upon the stars and tried to imagine how a nanite endosymbiont could produce such a pattern of brain activity. Convinced that it couldn't, she got up and went in the house to find her husband, Jimmy. An hour later they were in the tube, on their way to Kimia's laboratory.