I’ve been working on a new story recently. Sadly, it’s not connected to the world. I’d have to force it for it to work, and I don’t think I’d be able to finish it if it wasn’t natural.

Here are the beta versions of the first two chapters. This is going to be medium sci-fi, hard in places (like the Ringworld) and the more soft things like how the nanites and certain things like a Silicon society, which aren’t mentioned yet.

Ringrun
Xewleer

Sensory deprivation is a luxury. It’s something that those who get tired of what we see go to in fear of seeing too much, smelling too much and being too much. What people don’t tell you is that this is nothing compared to a cyborg shell. Been running so long I can’t even feel that. That’s the curse of immortality.

Wouldn’t be a curse to anyone else. The same exoskeleton that let us explore our Solar System is the same prison that ensorceled me. Yes the word is ensorceled. It was given to me by a techno-sorcerer and his cybernetic magic. They unmade me and put me into my prison. For the artist, the politician or the criminal scum, this would be a gift with a giant red bow from God himself.

Before my great transformation, I was just a person. A person completely consumed by living. I ran only to keep my figure, and to occasionally catch an elevator. I drove a car, some cheap Ford ten years out of date that had a smoker’s cough. I kept out of most vices, never partied kept myself respectable. I was PROPER. Then adventure found me and later, civilization crumbled.

That’s the thing about it, really. Civilization’s great and all, but I really don’t think anyone appreciates it when they have it. No no, Civilization’s something to fight against and blame for our issues. ‘Kids are corrupted by mainstream whatever culture!’ or ‘My child is an ax murderer because of a culture of violence brought on by video games, holodecks and movies!’

Rubbish all of it.

==Chapter 1==

Dyson Rings are one potential pinnacle of a civilization’s development. I can see it now. You see this nice planet. Let’s turn this crap into giant ring! Hot damn. Nothing can go wrong with this plan. For all my sarcasm, nothing did. Using the earth, the Moon and the whole asteroid belt and whatever the hell else they used, earthlings turned the earth into a gigantic wedding band. Good job guys.

I was born when people were still considering leaving the asteroid belt. Google was bringing the internet to Mars for reasons no one really got but was excited about it anyway. Satellites were using quantum something or other to transfer information and life was sort of peachy.

Forgive my brevity. I have been running a long time and it’s hard to keep an upbeat mindset. Haven’t really spoken in a long time either. Life was good then, better even than the life in one of the primo-grade ring segments. By the time, I was born there was a great ‘green’ movement on earth. Plants were everywhere. The plants helped with the environment as strains were developed to act more like natural air filters they sort of already were.

Food was delicious. Occasionally I have to delete memories to have room for new ones or new modules for something or other. You know, free up some space. I never, ever delete my memories about taste. Feelings, eh? Who needs to touch anything? But taste. Have you ever had good coffee? Bad Coffee? Sometimes I call up my memories of bad coffee just to sort of laugh about the fact that I drank the piss supplement.

Or meat. I was a carnivore, but one with panache. The tender flesh I could have at a Mc’spaceburgers (or whatever that ageless monolith is calling itself). But the taste of it. I never really appreciated just how GOOD a steak was. Vegetables too. Everything in the dang world that could be eaten I miss.

Sounds remain to me, which is nice, as does sight, not that I’ve been to an art exhibit recently. I remember I did go to an art exhibit once. Some spanish guy I never got the name of. Did nothing but 3d paper models of famous works of art. Dead and his works burned.

Everything was so important back then. OH MY GOODNESS! It’s Christmas and there’s a five percent sale on everything. Satan, I will sell my soul for that snowblower right there. Yeah. Not even snowing the stupid bastard.

There’s the sarcasm again. Cyborg-ism has its advantages. I don’t have to breath, which was always annoying (except for smells. I miss the smells). I don’t have to worry about my heart or how I stink. I can just move. My brain is managed so I don’t have to sleep unless I want to. I can think and not be distracted if I don’t want to. Don’t need clothes!

Admittedly, my style never changes. Same surgery white-gunmetal gray bits with the Tron lines of blue-black running all through me. Every joint is some sort of beetle knee and every step is the smoothly oiled machine of SCIENCE. I don’t really have a face, lost it in a fight a long time ago. It’s a blank slate, almost literally, with eyes painted to soothe the feelings of the few humans I run into. I do have one true vanity, a ponytail of excessive circuit wires that runs out of my head. I can retract them in a pinch, or lose them entirely if I have to.

I’ve gone utilitarian. When I need a pick-me-up I just plug into the electrical mainframe (benefit of the techno-future: outlets EVERYWHERE) and hope they haven’t changed the protocols, requiring hours of updating and praying my old pursuer isn’t catching up. Fortunately, the human/cyborg brain is quite hardy and immune to most cyber viruses. It’s like having several cooks in a kitchen, someone’s going to catch it and keep things from burning.

I suppose I have one more thing to talk about. What I run from is nothing more than a giant mass of nanites. Whatever it was, it isn’t that any more. The oldest man lived to be 969 years old. It’s the cut off point for some reason. Besides that, the nanites erased him. He’s an animal of sorts. Forged from a man and turned into a monster.

Chapter 2

-text from Quantumnet databank 159439194F-
-retrieved under orders of the Committee for the Investigation of the ‘Nanite Beast’-

Title: Digi-Diary
Date: 05-24-4031 (AI reckoning 0904094375283095)

Account: Argos Ascendant
Level: Sectional Administrator: Maintenance

The cyborg doll runs through the forest of metal and into the mole hills of the steel dirt. She dances from her pursuer who cannot be stopped. It is a dance. Every move seems choreographed like they have done this a thousand times before.

I can imagine it. The strange ferrous beast and the doll dancing in a studio, practicing every move to perfection.

Bah, this feels weird. As cool as earlier was, I’m not a poet. Lets get this stream of consciousness going more naturally.

The doll is triple colored. I thought, at first, there was some difference, due to the spacing of lights, dirt and the movement. But really, there is only the white body parts and the black ‘circuitry’ around them. The blue comes from blinking lights in the black. No face, which I feel is odd. It’s an old model isn’t it? They were very into making things very human, with faces and everything.

She’s just running. I’m watching her through my hundred eyes all over segment 11044, ever since she came in. She was pretty far ahead of the brute. Kind of lovely. Sort of clockwerk, not jerky but infinitely smooth.

I remember the old man Rauss and his little clockwork birds. They were beautiful little creatures that lived on for generations after he died. I have the last one on my bookcase. I’m an archaic guy, I know. I tried to get it to work again, but so many of the gear ratios and parts were run down, I just can’t figure it out.

Point is, she’s way cool. I wonder about her parts in the same manner. I can tell just by looking at her, model be damned, that she’s been active a long time. How did entropy affect her over the years? It’s impossible for her joints to stand so much activity for the time she would be active. The supplies would be the tricky thing, where to get replacement parts for a model that is not in production within my gaze?

I would help her, but all I can do from my couch is unlock the doors and close them on the beast. I would like to talk with her, but I doubt it would do any good to her.

Thanks to me, the beast was stopped for a little while. I finally got a good look at it in mile 432. It’s not got a real shape. No, that’s not-

It’s got the vague shape of a four legged beast. No head, but many protrusions. No tail either. I tested it by zapping it with a defense weapon – Committee note: Records show Mark fourteen compublaster, model 2, Blastech Heavy Industries – I am extremely thankful that I had the foresight to fire from a direction that had no known residence. The bastard is terrifying.

One of the protrusions pointed in the direction of the zapper and disintegrated everything in that direction. I have no other words for it. The zapper disappeared, then everything else behind it exploded in a perfect circle. Pierced the skin of the ring. nearly forty miles of destruction.

I didn’t oppose it after that. Fortunately, accident reports have been very slim for the last few generations, so I had a lot of material to give the rep-bots. The hole was patched up and the levels were repaired to their original specifications.

I was humbled by the display of power. What was that cyborg doll running from? If it was all that powerful, then why doesn’t the beast just use the guns on her? There’s something amiss here. And honestly? I don’t want to find out. It feels too big, too terrible for me.

Ate: Greenbean sludge, the last of the fish protein tablets and that carbonated fruit stuff. Have sent out for supplies. Expect them in a week or so, depending on when I can have the fourth lift repaired. Didn’t realize so many subsystems were interconnected.

Slept: four hours.

thank you for reading. I hope to continue the story and finish it.

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