Saturday, August 25, 2007

Under my sweat suit I wore the integrated exoskeleton. Over the past week the nanites had woven a quantum-fiber network into my central nervous system. Using a hierarchical gradient of neuron signal interception I was now equipped with a brand-new, secondary nervous system which boasted speeds limited only by my consciousness; and the speed of my consciousness was now limited only by my ‘integration’ into this new system.

I had opted to choose a 10 year plan of neural replacement – using the accelerated limbic-system and cerebellar replacement method. My research had seemed to indicate that this would be a fairly less traumatic method while still being rather quick overall.

Having my limbic system removed left me in a strange apathetic mood. I could, at will, change back to my old feelings. I could feel as though nothing about me had changed – and yet when I turn off my old feelings I find the hollowness somehow comforting. It’s the feeling of a clean, new room or a blank canvas – potential was here…but was this really me in this state?

I emerged from my basement apartment/lab in Tokyo onto the mostly crowded sidewalk.

As I reached the curb I willed the acceleration routine into action.

The first thing I noticed was the loss of sound. I knew things were still making sound, but my mind was now traveling so fast that it would be some time before a coherent record would be available of the pressure waves in the air around me – to me sound was now as meaningless as a gentle breeze. Any warning that sound might offer me would arrive so slowly as to be useless as a butterfly delivering the message of a bullet fired.

I was inhaling but it would take me hours (days?) before I would exhale again.

The city was bustling afternoon-style. To me it was an image. I glanced to the left and actually felt the inertia of my eyes turning.

My entire tissue-structre had been reenforced by the nanites, and at this moment of first movement – my first action in an accelarted state – I realized that I was now no longer merely human. I was in fact something else.

My new limbic system was feeding me good levels of motivation and restraint in real-time. I felt pretty confident about this whole experiment.

I did wonder, however, if moving my eyes this quickly made a sound. I decided to disengage the accelaration.

As I throttled down my CNS and consequently throttled up the speed on reality I began to notice sound returning. I jumped immediately back into standard speed and was greeted by a fairly loud snapping sound: that was my eye’s sound waves echoing off the buildings.

Few people took notice, it could have been the snapping of fabric, or perhaps a quick electric arcing that made this noise. Besides, all these people on the street had other things to occupy them.

I decided to jump.

Why not give these people something to occupy their minds other than the day to day mundane. Why not?

I would just jump perhaps two meters into the air – enough to be decided as a street magician perhaps. Dismissed but not forgotten an occurrence.

I crouched and decided that I would throttle-down time at the same time I would throttle-up my analogue-legs and body. My quantum-fiber network worked to teleport my atoms in response to causal effects – in other words, as I would take an action which would in reality require immense energy reserves I instead swap atoms from elsewhere in the universe, replacing them at planc-speed as my analogue body worked.

As I was crouching and simultaneously slowing-time I noticed my feet lifting off the ground: I was crouching faster than gravity would pull me down – it felt as though gravity was weakened. I carefully proceeded to crouch a bit more slowly and eventually managed to arrive in my final, crouched position.

Why hadn’t I just done that in standard-time? I guess I was just trying out the new capabilities – even on uninteresting things.

I began to push myself upwards.

As the jump began I noticed the exoskeleton reacting to the action. The exoskeleton was growing a wire-mesh out of the bottom of its boots. The function of this wire mesh became apparent when I took note that the cement under my feet was starting to crumble.

Horrified, I realized that I was about to cause great destruction.

I had made a severe blunder. Without realizing it I had scaled up my jump power to a level much higher than I intended. I knew that this mistake was now intractable. The energy had been expended and now the local universe was going to deal with it the way it usually dealt with large, instant releases of energy.

The only question I had to answer as I sat here crouched, but already engaged in a jump, was in what way would I manifest this energy?

I could go for full kinetic conversion. At this point early on in the jump I could simply go with the flow and let the ground below me crumble violently.

I would attempt some braking in exchange for heat. The amount of energy I was expending was very large and to convert even half into heat would certainly cause great damage to to storefronts and people close by.

On the bright side, I had a very long time, subjectively, to decide on my course of action.

I finally opted for a good mix of kinetic, auditory and heat releases which I decided would result in the least amount of casualties around my launch point.

Now all there was for me to do was to observe the jump.

I decided that doing so too slowly would likely drive me mad with guilt. I then realized that I would probably just turn the guilt off…this horrified me a bit; I realized I would turn that off too; got more horrified and then decided to just accept things as they were.

Still, I took a glance around me at the innocent people that were about to be affected by my recklessness.

The jump was causing very unusual phenomena. I was watching the non-Newtonian motion of the cement below my feet as it became a molten dust.

Like a floating lens a shock wave, violent and crumpled, was emanating from my jump-shoes (my snow-shoe-like meshes crushing the cement).

The light was very bright as I reached my full stretch and my center of mass began to accelerate upwards.

It is amazing how much inertia there is for the fast-moving. I could feel it in every fingernail and every hair on my arm.

I couldn’t bare to watch this unfolding so slowly: I throttled-up time just a bit more.

I was looking directly upwards (part of the launch routine I called) at the point of highest-energy, so I didn’t get to see the worst of my explosion until I was a few hundred meters in air.

As I rose from the launch site I began to tumble leftwards. While turning I noticed vapor-trails streaming off of my body – my fingertips and my feet. I also noticed that my sweat suit had been torn-through and burnt up by my launch. Like a rock through rice paper my body had torn-free of the suit and discarded it within the hell storm of energy that was the launch-point.

I realized that people would probably think this was a bomb. I also realized that what goes up must come down. How could it be that I would cause two points of destruction from this misjudgment?

I had finally reached a rotation where I could see the launch site clearly. A dusty, smoky splotch tucked between buildings with shattered windows was all I would make out. A few people were running from the scene.

I opted not to enhance my vision any further than this.

My trajectory would reach over a kilometer. As I decelerated my vapor trails ceased. I was still traveling upwards at a very high rate.

Pockets of warmer and cooler air buffeted my path gently through my arc.


Telene said...

What happened when he came down?!?!

b love said...

I just finished reading all the stories here and I really enjoyed them. This story is my favorite of the bunch.

One thing I wondered about was his ability to swap atoms from elsewhere in the universe. It seems that could give rise to many interesting abilities. For one thing, could he have swapped out the high energy atoms from the site of his jump, hence limiting the damage? Perhaps he doesn't have that degree of control. Perhaps he can only swap atoms inside his body with those taken from random locations in the universe.