January 22nd, 2013
Author : John Arthur Beaman
Waking-up felt strange. “Waking-up” is probably not the correct term, but its close. Her eyes didn’t work at first. That should have been expected, but it still surprised her. She was confused. Why couldn’t she move?
Lying down with her head resting flat on a gurney, a sheet was drawn over her body and pulled up to her chin. A small wire tucked into her long, brown hair was connected to the back of her head. All these things she knew, but where she was and what she was doing there were painfully absent from her mind. “Calculating,” she said aloud.
Hearing her voice was startling. It was her voice, but it sounded distant, almost as if it had come from outside her body. “Analyzing,” she told herself, this time very conscious of leaving the words squarely in her head.
”My name is Nancy,” she thought. “Nancy? Calculating. I am eight years old. Error. Calculating. Was … eight years old. I am a woman, thirty-four years old and … and what? Designation: Nancy Ellen Tobey. Doctor. Neurologist. Dying? Memory accessed.”
Her torso lurched upward as her eyes opened. The sheet fell to her waist revealing her naked body as the wire fell away from her head. “Calculating. Alive. Why?”
She tried to take a deep breath and did, but it was a strange sensation. It was a cold, almost metallic feeling. Looking around the room, her eyes made some quick observations. “Calculating.”
She was exactly twenty-six and five-eighths inches off the ground. The distance from floor to ceiling was exactly ten feet. With merely a glance in any direction, she could make precise computation of height, width and distance.
As her head turned mechanically from left to right, Nancy’s attention was drawn to the body lying to her left. Between her and the body, a monitor displayed the blinking script, “” underneath lines of code. Forcing her legs over the side of the gurney, Nancy stood uneasily as the sheet fell to the floor. Unsteadily walking to stand over the body, Nancy puzzled over the lifeless face. “Designation: Dr. Nancy Ellen Tobey, deceased. Calculating.
“Anomaly detected. Accessing memory. Analyzing. Anomaly resolved.” With perfect clarity Nancy could recall the slightest minutia of a life once lived – from the first thoughts that sprang to being in the womb to the last moments of mortality as a mind wondered aimlessly to strangely lit corridors of belief.
“Memory accessed: July 9, 2082. Eight years old. Father’s suicide. Memory deleted. Memory accessed: August 13, 2085. First kiss. Accessing. Calculating. Memory Accessed: March 23, 2092. First sexual encounter. Accessing. Memory deleted. Undelete process initiated. Undelete successful. Accessing memory. Accessing. Accessing. Accessing. Memory encrypted. Save file.
“Memory accessed: July 29, 2108. Biological failure. Accessing. Analyzing …”
Dr. Nancy Ellen Tobey scrutinized over the final preparations. Making sure every last detail was complete, she knew the lifeless android wasn’t her but hoped it soon would be. It wasn’t the weak, emaciated body that cancer had turned her into. Rather, it was an idealized version of a body she used to have. Without being absolutely sure that her android’s brain would be able to process emotions, she was confident that only a Full Neural Engram transfer (even to the very point of death) could make it possible. This was her chance at immortality. This was proof it could be done!
“Analysis incomplete,” Nancy thought as she remembered the cool feel of the saline solution entering “her” veins. Running her hand across her left forearm, she puzzled over the look of her hand. “Who am I?” Nancy thought. “Calculating”
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