unfinished stories

Title: mourn the body electric
by: Stride
Concept: based on my shadowrun character. a rotweiler with brain augmentations is smart enough to know that life sucks.
Problems: being that it is based on a RPG, it is hard for me to tell if it is understandable to the average reader. i know the few people that have read it needed a clue here and there. i'm afraid to 'dumb it down' though. i think i should stop the story when the group leaves the doctors office. ya?
Background: FASA Shadowrun cyberware decker rigger data jack seattle nerps bug city ucas

my protocol chip has been off-line for 49.3 hours now. I'm finding it more difficult to focus on things without it. But I must add to that negative point, the fact that I had no control over the things I focused on. I had no desire for knowledge before. The thirst for data is tiring and, as of yet, seems unquenchable. But there is little else in my life that requires my attention right now. My liberators (an elf female, Malachite, and a troll adolescent male, Pugsley) tend to my needs very well. They’re methods are not as efficient as my handler’s were, but they offer me an affection that I appreciate more as my world grows larger and more intimidating. I fear in the end I may only find that ignorance is bliss. I decided, well before I asked Malachite to connect my data jack to the communications terminal, that “no knowledge is to much to bear.”

“...this is all there really is. No knowledge is to much to bear in the end....” It was a statement in the lyric of a song that was playing in the doctor’s office that Malachite and Pugsley took me to. The singer sounded very confident. For some reason I put faith in her words. Perhaps the protocol chip was still functioning to some degree at that moment and was trying to set a directive to clear my confusion. Or maybe I simply liked the song. But I held tightly to the strength the singer conveyed as I waited for the doctor to repair me. My pain dampening bioware had been pushed to far for to long and as the doctor removed my cyberleg I emitted some pained sort of yelp. Before hand, he had removed all the knowledge and active skill chips from my encephalon’s ports. I had no way of digesting the words that my new friends offered to sooth me, but still their efforts felt good. thankfully the doctor then saw that I was sentient enough to warrant anesthesia. In my drug induced sleep my encephalon logged that it was run through a diagnostic by an unregistered control module. I understand now that this illegal hardware was used because the man that repaired me is commonly called a Streetdoc; an unlicensed private practitioner that people go to when they desire no legal record of their treatment. This one’s name was Timex according to the time/date stamp of my diagnostic. When I awoke the streetdoc’s daughter was telling me that I was a “good doggie”.

she was a very small child. My tactical computer was back on-line and reported that her combat and threat values were negligible. Her clothing and hair were the same bright colors as a frozen confection that my handler dropped once. But Jenny neither tasted nor smelled of citrus. My discovering this made her happy. She gave me more words to show her affection, each phrase ended with “doggie” or “puppy”. One phrase referred to me as “whizzer chrome woofer”, this one still escapes translation. This exchange was wondrous. I wished to stay at that moment forever. I licked her face and she reassured me that I was a good dog. A dog that was good at being a dog, was my conjecture. And for jenny I need not be any more than that. Identity was a difficult void to fill, without my protocol chip.

“I am Ares' Tactical Arms Division's security drone model 240ST/K91, Alpha Centurion Class AI remote target acquisition and close quarter anti-infantry unit. My designation is Professor Hawking XLS-99.”
the statement was a reflex. The first question that Timex asked me after attaching my cyber com-link to the speaker on my collar was “What the frag are you?” And that was all I could manage. I wanted, for myself, to be able to elaborate. I was not capable yet.

Ares... ARES!” Timex yanked his cables from my hardware in a rush and ran around the room collecting my accessories to toss in my saddlebag. “No no no no... I was a good monkey. I ain’t seen no evil. ain’t heard no evil. Sure as frag ain’t spoke no ARES!...! No. Malachite, I love you dearly; GET OUT of my clinic and don’t come back! TAKE YOUR GAIA DAMN FRAGGIN’ NEW TOY and leave. And I swear on the dragon’s new cufflinks, don’t you DARE tell ANYONE!... What a GORGEOUS job I did... Look at that satin brushed steel finish with the black and, m’m’good... OUT OF MY CLINIC NOW!” Timex opened the door to the back alley and held out my saddlebag in the middle of the exit as if to be dangling bait to lure us out.

Malachite guided me out by my harness. It was still badly damaged but it worked good enough for her to give me a gentle nudge, letting me know we had overstayed our welcome. We walked out the door. She ducked under my saddlebag, leaving it for Pugsley to take. His bulk would not let him pass without upsetting it’s balance on the irate doctors fingertips. Jenny put a treat to my mouth as we passed her in the alley. The chronograph displayed in my cybereye verified that it wasn’t a designated feeding time. I took the treat anyway. My chemical analyzer reported it’s synthetic proteins were altered to mimic oats, raisins and spices. Her breath reported she was eating the cookies too. That was the last time I saw Timex and Jenny.

Three nights of running from Ares’ Knight Errant passed very slowly. Malachite’s living quarters were compromised and Pugsley’s loft above his place of employment was destroyed. We had hoped to find refuge in Timex’s clinic again. As soon as we rounded the corner to the alley, the gases of Ares’ caseless ammunition hit my pallete. The back door was crumpled on the ground. It, and the walls around it, were painted with the gold and purple flash marks of White-phospherous grenades. Malachite and Pugsley entered. I took watch on the roof. They came back out with a mangled cash box. Malachite showed signs of crying. I assumed the worst. We never spoke of it.

The contents of the cash box afforded us a hotel room in Renton . For some reason, Ares harassment ceased.

My first quest in the matrix was to more clearly understand how i differed from other Canis Familiaris. The alterations to my body were obvious. I needed to know what other Dogs understood of their existence, if anything. What I sought was to know if I owed my sentients to Ares’ scientists.

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