Dawn of a New Age – Chapter 4
Written by Dumano1r :: [Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:38] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 20 September 2017 20:33]
Chapter 4 – Sickness
The nanobots began by cannibalising each other, cutting dozens of the tiny robots into small parts and reassembling them into a factory smaller than a pinhead. With the factory complete the nanobots began to harvest, extracting minerals from Rowe's digestive system and taking them to the factory where more nanobots were built. Within an hour a second factory was operating, churning out nanobots every few seconds. By morning there were dozens of factories and thousands of harvesters.
But the nanobots were worried. Their host was under attack from another infection, an unrecognised disease which was destroying cells at a terrific rate. Their host’s immune system was fighting, but it was losing.
The nanobots had acquired a primary host, but now a new directive floated between them. Protect the primary host.
Rowe woke up. Her head was on fire and cold sweat had plastered her pyjamas to her frame. She swung her legs out of bed, but felt terribly dizzy, so that for a moment she had to lay back down. She looked at the clock on the wall. It was 16:03, still four hours until her next shift started. She lay still for a moment, wondering if she could stay in bed, but she also felt desperately hungry.
She slipped out of bed, staggering carefully to the bathroom, where she retched air into the sink. She gasped as the room spun around her. With carefully slow movements she was able to pull on her casual fatigues, retching again as a fork of pain ripped across her forehead. Finally she sat upon the toilet seat, breathing shallowly, as she pushed on her glasses. When she looked around an ashen grey reflection greeted her. “You look terrific,” she muttered to herself sarcastically.
Brennan awoke smoothly, slipping seamlessly from a deep sleep to full waking awareness instantly. There was a faint, pleasurable ache in her thighs, her sex and her belly. She sat up and stretched her arms, the sheet sliding away over her magnificent chest as she did so.
The assassin was standing in the corner of the room, eyes fixed on the middle distance. She was still naked, her hairless body gleaming in the electric light.
Brennan stood up and looked around. Her quarters looked as though a bomb had gone off. The bed on which she lay was little more than splinters, the sheets rags, the metal frame twisted and contorted. All around the room furniture was smashed to pieces, or bent and twisted beyond recognition. There were deep gouges in all of the walls, as well as deep depressions in the shape of a pert ass; or big, hard boobs. She smiled at the sight of a perfect cast of her own immense tits pressed deep into the metal wall, remembering with pleasure the passion that had put them there.
“Last night was fucking awesome,” she said cheerfully. “I haven't cum like that for years. You should think about changing career.” She moved seductively over to the assassin, standing in front of her so that their wonderful bodies were pressing against one another. She ran a hand down the assassin's side, tracing the contours of her massive chest and the rippling muscles beneath it.
The assassin nodded. “Assassins are trained to fulfill all requirements of their superiors.”
“We'll, you certainly did that.” Brennan leant in and kissed her deeply, but there was little response. “What's the matter?” Brennan asked.
“Protocol dictates that I should return to deep sleep until I am required further.”
“Really?” Brennan pouted. “That's not fair!” She let her hands slide down the assassin's back to rest upon her buttocks. “I want you again now…” she bent down to let her tongue trace circles around the assassin's nipple.
“I am subservient to you, captain, and will do as you command. Protocol allows for some latitude in interpretation.”
Brennan giggled. “Good, then you can kiss me properly, fuck me like you did last night, and then go back into deep sleep.” She grabbed the assassin's neck and kissed her hard and this time the response was everything that she wanted.
Rowe staggered along the corridor to the mess hall. The concerned looks from those she passed told her how ill she looked. Periodically she had to stop and lean against the wall to catch her breath.
When she finally got to it, the mess hall was as busy as ever. There were people on early shifts eating their supper, whilst others were eating lunch, and some, like Rowe, were looking for breakfast.
She spotted ensign Clarke, seated alone with a sandwich and a book, and decided to join her. Clarke looked up as Rowe sat down opposite her. “Jasmine? Are you okay? You look absolutely terrible?”
“I feel absolutely terrible,” Rowe said sadly.
“Then why are you here and not in sick bay?”
“I need food, I'm starving.” Rowe said, wincing as a sudden burst of pain stabbed across her forehead.
“I'll get you some. You don't look like you should be walk around?” Clarke stood up and set off towards the cafeteria hatch. Rowe sat staring into space, not really seeing anything. The pain only seemed to be growing worse.
Clarke returned with a plate loaded with bacon, beans, toast and eggs. She placed it in front of Rowe. “Did you eat my sandwich?” She asked.
Rowe looked down at the empty plate before her. “I don't know,” she mumbled.
“You are properly sick. Eat that and I'm taking you to sick bay,” Clarke said.
Rowe nodded, but her mouth was to full to reply. She looked up at Clarke and managed a weak smile. “Thanks, Grace.”
Ensign Grace Clarke was a b class human who was trained as at asteroid surveyor. Unlike Rowe, she had grown up on Earth, so that she didn't suffer from the effects of third generation low gravity. She was pretty in an unexceptional, plump sort of way, but more than made up for her average looks by having a kind and optimistic disposition. Rowe had worked with her since the mission began and liked her more than anyone else aboard the Magellan.
“Gosh, you ate that fast. I'll get you some more,” said Clarke. Rowe found herself looking at her own empty plate in astonishment as Clarke shuttle's back to the kitchen. Why was she still hungry?
In Rowe's gut the nanobots were working hard, extracting minerals from their creature's diet as rapidly as possible and feeding the ever hungry factories. The biological infection in their host was growing stronger at an alarming rate, consuming precious resources and beginning to destroy vital organic material. The nanobots were building desperately, sensing the need to act fast.
Clarke held Rowe's arm as she helped her to the sick bay. Rowe staggered as she went, the pain all consuming, barely aware of anything or anyone as they staggered into the medical quarters. Rowe was faintly aware of being helped to a bed, of a curtain drawn, of a bright light somewhere above her, of people talking, of hands pressing upon her, of a short, sharp pain, of silence, of darkness…
The nanobots knew that it was time to act. In their thousands they began to attack their host's infection, whilst in the factories new machines were built that bonded with white blood cells and brought strength to a weakened immune system.
Rowe woke up, alone on a simple trolley bed, a pale blue curtain drawn around her. She looked around at an empty space, but even the slightest movement ached as though her muscles were being gripped by a thousand tiny pincers. She closed her eyes, waited for a moment, then spoke. “Hello?” She called uncertainly.
For a moment there was stillness, then the curtain was flung back. “Ah, good, you're awake! And alive as well!” Rowe looked up into the smiling face of the doctor.
“How are you feeling? Terrible? Yes, only to be expected!” Rowe blinked, trying to focus on the doctor's face that swam before her vision. He continued, his voice hurried as though she was robbing him of time that could be better used elsewhere. “Right then, ensign Jasmine Rowe, d class. First things first! Is your will all up to date?”
Rowe heard herself mutter “yes,” at possibly the least reassuring comment one could ever receive from a doctor.
“Excellent! You, ensign d class Rowe, have a case of Centauran flu.” The doctor grinned with his mouth, “It's called Centauran flu because it doesn't come from the Centauri star system, obviously enough. It actually evolved from regular flu on Earth, but people need to name these things! Now - don't try to move, the painkillers will help so long as our stay still - Centauran flu is largely harmless, unless of course your immune system is fucked from several generations of living in an isolated and biologically sterile mining colony. And your immune system, ensign Rowe, is most definitely fucked. I'm actually quite impressed you are still alive now.”
“Now, Centauran flu is resistant to antibiotics, so all we can really do is pump you full of painkillers, and hope that you don't die. Happy? No, of course you aren't, but there's nothing you can do about it, so best to close your eyes and hope for the best. Goodnight!”
Rowe blinked, struggling to maintain consciousness as the darkness crept over her.
A microscopic battle raged inside Rowe, but gradually the nanobots were turning the tide. Together with the enhancements they made to their host's immune system, they were overwhelming the infection. As they fought, they learned, gathering information to help protect their host ever more strongly.
Rowe came round slowly, half aware of her surroundings. The blue curtain had been pulled back, so that she could see the empty bed to her left and the middle aged woman lying in the bed to her right. “Doctor?” She called weakly.
The middle aged woman spoke, “he'll be back soon. How are you doing?”
Rowe wondered how to respond to this. Her body ached, her head was burning, she couldn't feel her limbs. “Bad,” was all she managed.
The middle aged woman chuckled. “I'm not surprised, you look like shit. I'm first lieutenant Pascoe, by the way.”
“Ensign Rowe, nice to meet you.” Rowe looked around. Her tongue felt dry, her eyes sticky. A thin grey tube ran from the machine above her into a catheter in her neck. Rowe felt it nervously.
“It's a feeding tube. You're nil by mouth at the moment. That tube’s been going pretty constantly since they put it in. You must be hungry.”
“I seem to be hungry all the time. I think it's the flu. What are you in for?”
Pascoe chuckled, though as she did so she began to cough until she was barking deep hacking coughs into her hand. When she stopped Rowe saw that there was fresh blood on the white sheets of Pascoe’s bed. “I'm dying,” Pascoe stated simply.
Pascoe closed her eyes, signalling an end to the conversation. Rowe propped herself up onto her elbows, surprised at the lack of pain.
The nanobots were winning their war. The infection was crushed and nanobots were now integrally bonded to their host's immune system. The feeding tube was providing them with all the materials they needed to multiply, so that tiny robots were now present throughout their host in massive numbers.
The nanobots that settled in Rowe's brain bonded together into more powerful machines, until after a while a suitable number had bonded together that they formed a controller. They scanned and interpreted Rowe's thoughts and dreams, rapidly building their knowledge of her species, her thoughts, her desires.
The controller spoke to his drones. The host is secure, commence upgrade.