Friday, July 29, 2011

Flash fiction biologSciFi "The Outpost"

The Science

         “Good morning, “ Carter says. Suzi perceives—she can almost digitally view—that Carter wishes to perform an analysis function with his prosthetic neura-net (she still calls it an old war wound), attempting to attach clouds of language memes (as meaning?) to her recent activity at theOutpost. True, she is the biobot of choice for Com:Trax, the product of  years of quantum programming by the new generation of bio-coders, but her determinants have somehow become self-determinism, haven't they? She has become a singularity; she has learned a new language of encryption from theJungle, a language Com:Trax knows nothing about. She must be, he thinks, the totality of the scientific method gone wrong (modernized again?); no pure urge to seek any form of truth (with or without social play). She views Carter's conclusion as his final answer. She nods.
“How are you?” Suzi says. Her quantum mind connects to Carter's neura-net and, for an instant, they see each other as friendly. She turns, in the darkness of her workstation, away from the digitized cement walls of the old war bunker; cool in its history, its embedded array of old mainframes beneath the floor with containment areas for gadgets lining the walls; the window to theJungle just behind her. There is a familiar questioning voice resonating between the corridors and there is a different sound, as if she had been transported to a castle, 13thCentury, holding a musical instrument, a vielle, shaped in ancient wood, and she believes she has created her own memory, going back to an earlier time, a time that had collected and stored data within the cells of primal wood; she recalls enjoying the sound of nature and now appreciates it for what it has done for her, resonating within these thick walls of old wars ongoing outside(W.O.O.W.O.O.)--a resonation she never would have noticed within the confines of her defined matrix, her own Hilbert Space. Now she finds herself in Carter's presence, at the lab station, where scientific activity meets truth and attempts to keep social bonds of theHumans from being a complete orphan. Carter, who considers himself an expert in analysis, questions her motives and calls her secretive, a secretive quantum robot.
“I'm good.” Carter says.
“Well,” he says. “I'm having a little trouble tonight--this data that has come to the attention of Com:Trax.”
Carter gives a look that Suzi feels as hostile. Carter shows his age, a noisy, aggressive man who fought in the Oil Wars to pay for college. It's his half-prosthetic brain—a neura-net with its genetic algorithms; it foretells the look of a future warrior.
“It's your attempt to understand social bond,” Carter says. “There has been bugs in your formal analysis, the data inputs have been traced to you--your matrix functioning as sole operator.”
   “I don't mean to legitimize anything with my pragmatic analysis,” Suzi says. “Just a few little tests here and there.” Suzi senses a pang of emotion about once having some feelings for Carter, even if she is quantum programming and he is neur-net prosthetic. Suzi gets good input from Carter, and upgraded his genetic algoritms recently, when she detected post operation stress trauma embedded disease(P.O.S.T.E.D.) in his online behavior. 

        Carter's life at theOutpost wasn't what he expected; he considers himself an expert in analysis (a thinking, most likely, stemming from his time spent at war) and he has cured himself of PTSD, at least for now. For an instant Suzi scans the databases, hoping to find nothing incriminating her. 

“It's your odd use of language particles,” Carter says.
“I'll take a look.” Suzi goes to her database and selects a few samples which Carter shows on the big screen, flashing in descrete packets. In another life, he would have been a great linguist, smooth with words, precise, up on a podium. Suzi views this as just another example of the rise of the unbelievable (the unbelievable, another modern reinvention)--history continuing to ask questions in hopes of finally arriving at justice (isn't justice already extinct?); the answer finally arrives from another mainframe.
“Here is the answer.” Suzi says. “Not useful, natural language combinations, but stable gene combinations--DNA bonding, not social bonding.”
“Isn't there a difference?”
“Apparently not.” Suzi feels a coolness.

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