Author : Evan McCoy

Crecy knew something was wrong with the optics app when he opened his eyes and the world exploded into colour.

At first the experience was violent and a little frightening. He blinked several times and probably had some vague notion that this would clear his vision. It did no such thing, though the psychedelic interplay of random hues and patterns settled a bit. Now the colours drifted in coalescing waves of banding reflected light.

Disoriented, he tried to remember the surface he was looking at. What was it and how was it supposed to look? Flat, for one thing, where now it looked like a smoothly pulsing ocean of rainbow ridiculousness. White, for another. This was, he remembered, because white was considered by marketing to be both elegant and futuristic. A fitting backpanel to the holographic display he was supposed to be seeing. Maybe it was there, drowned out by the malfunction.

So caught up in this unexpected vision was Crecy that his hearing had completely checked out of his sensorium. In fact, had he touched anything or tasted anything more unusual than his own saliva, he would not have been able to process those perceptions either. Whatever his eyes were doing completely overwhelmed anything else. The apps that were supposed to plug-and-play with the optical component were in revolt.

And then it all switched back on at once and the colours in his eyes flexed in what could only be a sympathetic response. The hum of the machines in the lab were visible as oscillations akin to sonar. He could see the smooth laminate surface of his chair under his arm. And now, perhaps most bizarrely, he could see what his own mouth tasted like and it was about as disconcerting as it sounds.

Easy to forget all that when spirals and cyclones of vivid blues, greens, and reds were competing for his attention with every subtle shift of sound.

Before he fully realized he was actually seeing his senses as weather patterns of luminescent colour, he had time to dimly notice several dozens of hybrid shades he had never known.

The apprehensive urgency that something had gone terribly wrong with the procedure drifted off into the background of his awareness. Then a voice crashed through the spectral clouds that floated across his vision. Louder than everything else he was feeling, the voice was all Crecy could perceive. It was the lab tech’s voice, the confusion in it threaded through its greater aura in electric yellows.

“Obviously we miscalculated something…” it said. Crecy understood the words dispassionately, the fact that the implant had done something unexpected was abundantly clear. Rather than voice his agreement, he marveled at the nebulae left over the background sounds of the room by the intrusion of that voice. When it came again, these nebulae were absorbed in another cascade of fiery colours, like spilled acrylics on a watercolour landscape.

“The holographic overlay isn’t synching properly, you’re just experiencing a bunch of defrag and artifacts on top of cross-over to your other senses. Which means the firmware is affecting the other apps.” said the lab tech. Then, “We should turn it off.”

“No thanks, I’m quite enjoying this.” Crecy replied.

And, watching his own words take shape over the other’s like a flower in a regress of polychromatic blooms, he rather was.


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows