Not dead; but dreaming

Haven’t posted as, honestly, there was nothing to say.

Work continues on Cursed Hearts, slowly (it would be oh-so simple to turn it into a novella of 30k words; I’m resisting that impulse.  For now).

I’ve the outline of what looks to be a 11-slide Powerpoint presentation for my Creating Writing/Self-publishing panel at Ohayocon in mid-January.  After a year of watching Milo speeches, I find myself using his voice in my head as I write.

This morning made a re-revision to the images I’m thinking of using in a fan-video; a joint venture of 3-AR Studios LLC and Star Art Works LLC.  I need that in the hands of my collaborators no later than a week from today so they can add/delete/change it.

It’s fascinating to me that the world of Machine Civilization I’ve created is open and flexible enough to swallow all of my other works.  As a former Systems Engineer, I’m absurdly pleased about that.

Christmas break for my girls, so no shuttling them about pools.  I’m hoping for productive evenings this next two weeks.

Ii don’t care that CH is a commercial product (well, yes, I do; that’s not my point) so I’m going to continue sharing snippets here.

Doctor Kamenashi leaned against the wall of the HiObs room, waiting for the nurse’s assistant to finish putting fresh sheets onto the bed, moving the patient gently first one way, then the other. He let his gaze slide to the window and the darkness outside. Sometime around 2330, he thought.

“Finished, sir,” the aide told him. He nodded at her.

“Thank you for your hard work.” He replied absently as she made for the door, then stopped.

“Doctor? This room’s Rule…?” Ito had convinced him to make an order that no one was allowed alone with the patient.

“What’s the point of being a doctor if we can’t break our own rules?” He said with a little smile.

“Yes, sir.” The door closed behind her.

He looked at the girl asleep and breathing easy. For the few hours she’d been conscious during the day, she’d performed well on the psycho-motor tests they’d given her: naming pictures, holding chopsticks; her voice was soft, but clear. Only the traumatic short and long-term memory loss. When Ito had given her the paper she’d written ‘brother’ on, she’d no idea what it meant.

Kamenashi moved off the wall, rolling a stool to the foot of the bed. She was not restrained at all (“pointless,” Ito had told him with no explanation) but his colleague warned him to not needlessly get close to her. He narrowed his eyes, as if trying to peer into her skull.

“A quantum computer built from carbon nanomaterials,” had been part of Ito’s briefing to him. Ito had picked his words carefully; supposedly because of his non-disclosure agreement with Neuroi, but Kamenashi saw the fear in his eyes while he spoke about what he’d done there.

“I’d no idea technology had progressed that far,” he’d replied in surprise.

“Well, Neuroi just put a lot of the pieces together,” Ito said, talking around his sandwich. “Quantum computers were developed in the US, shortly before they fell apart. But it’s here in Japan – in Osaka and Hammamatsu – where the cybernetic and programming work has been pioneered. Neuroi has just… gone in another direction.”

Kamenashi watched him shudder.

Kamenashi reached right to unhook the daily log from the foot of the bed. He saw that someone had handwritten ‘Yamada Hanako’ in for her name: the Japanese equivalent of ‘Jane Doe.’ Ito had swore he’d never seen this girl before, when he was with Neuroi. Thinking about that later, Kamenashi horribly realized that meant there must be several of these ‘subjects’ there.

Where did these kids come from?!? How many were there?!

She groaned slightly in her sleep. He looked up to see her toss her head about, lips pulled back.

“Mother!” She hissed. “You’re hurting me!”

What did Neuroi do to them?

She abruptly sat up, her eyes open and a hellish red. As a doctor, Kamenashi had seen death more times than he could recall. This was the first time he looked into the face of evil.

“It’s alright, Miss.” He said softly, falling back on his training. “You’re safe; this is…”

He’d almost said “a hospital” but drew back at the last second.

“…this is a safe place for you; no one can hurt you, here.”

She actually hissed at him for a moment before her eyes faded to black. She slumped.

“…safe?” She breathed.

“Yes. Safe.”

“Oh.” She lay back down, falling asleep almost immediately.

He carefully stood and re-hooked the log onto the bed. Walking back to his office, he nodded politely to the night shift staff. With the door shut behind him, he’d dropped the pack of cigarettes twice. Finally getting one between his lips, he tried three times to quell his shaking hand to light it. He spat it out and threw his lighter across the room. He leaned back against the door.

“Dammit, Ito!” He cursed. “What the hell are you people doing up there!”

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