Forbidden Dream: Chapter Two
Forbidden Dream: Cover Art
Author: W. K. Hayes
- Forbidden Dream: Chapter One
Staring deeply into her eyes he could see the glints of gold within the green that sparkled as she smiled at him. His embrace remained relaxed around her waist mostly because it was not...
Forbidden Dream: Chapter Two
Jake walked Rowan into the Hunker Bunker and started to leave when Mike stopped him. “Stick around, Jacob; this concerns you too”.
Jacob looked at Mike puzzled by why he had to stay. “Why, what’s up”? Boonie and Bernie stood on either side of Mike. Jake saw how pale they looked and realized that whatever was going on, it was serious. “Mike, what’s going on”?
“Wait until Linda and Sharon get here and I’ll explain”, Mike replied solemnly.
“Yea sure…who’s Sharon”, Jake asked as he grabbed a lab chair and plopped down. He could feel the muscles in his legs thank him. As he sat waiting he looked around the room which bore no decorations; only a few lab chairs and tables. “Boonie, what’s this room used for”?
“Storage really”, Boonie replied as he hopped up on the side of one of the tables. “When I need extra room in one of the lab areas, I just roll crap down here”.
“Oh”, Jacob replied and turned to Mike who also felt the need to sit down. “Mike, I know Linda but who’s Sharon”?
Bernie answered for Mike, “Sharon is that girl from down in the break room”.
“Is she in your department, Bernie”, Jake asked.
“No, we just see her there from time to time”, he answered.
Mike hopped in the conversation and explained, “Sharon works in First Row. She’s been after me forever to come up to Third Row mostly because she wants to integrate her work with what you guys do here”.
“What do they do on First Row”, Boonie asked.
“When Linda and Sharon get here, we’ll clear the air on a lot of things”, Mike replied as he popped the top to a soda he had in his lab coat pocket. The soda started to spew out on his hand when Boonie pulled at a handful of paper towels and passed a few too Mike.
Bernie stood by one of the three doors leading off into three corridors and asked back over his shoulder, “Hey Boonie, what do you do in here”?
“Classified”, Boonie replied as he looked at Mike.
Mike gave him the same look and answered for him, “Once the girls are here and certain precautions are in place, we’ll explain everything”.
“My husband never really told me a lot about the Hunker Bunker”, Rowan announced gingerly and added, “Just something about specialized research”.
The main door slid open as Linda and the chubby girl from the break room walked in. Once they were through the door, Boonie walked over and punched in a few buttons in the coder. “Now, we’re sealed up”, he said straight at Mike.
“Good, now we can talk freely. First, let me welcome all of you to the, ‘Hunker Bunker’. Before we begin, I will remind all of you that everything said from this point forward is never to leave past that door”, Mike warned. “In here, all of you are welcomed to talk freely about what your specialty in the company is and what you really do here. But, again, when you step back through the door any and all knowledge gained her remains quiet at all times, agreed”?
“Yea, sure”, they all basically said in unison.
“Good enough. As all of you are aware, each one of you are unique in what you do for the company; so much so, that no one else in your department is aware of your real work here at Parsons Industries. So, it’s time that information came to light.”
“Jacob specializes in telecommunications on a sub-space level working with lasers and laser based technology. He’s been with us now for a little better than four years.”
“Rowan specializes in brainwave activity studies and has actually discovered new technologies for mapping brain patterns in sleep studies that have actually allowed her to see what the person is dreaming or thinking.”
“Bernie works closely with certain space exploration agencies creating wormhole technologies that are making travel in space a snap.”
“Linda specializes in robotics technology having completed the first, fully-functional, fully-independent human drone.”
“Sharon is head over our paranormal research department and is gifted with talents that even we are unaware of. Nevertheless, her research has proven most valuable to us.”
“Boonie, here, specializes in the technology that can take all of your guys work to a whole new level”.
“What do you do, Boonie”, Jake asked
Boonie pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose and answered, “I work in Nano-Technology”.
Mike interjected, “About two years ago, Boonie proved successful in creating computers the size of atoms that could be programmed to form any combination thereby creating new molecules, hence, new anything”.
“Yea, we know what it is but Boonie actually solved the problem of mass production”, Jake asked.
“Actually, it was pretty simple”, Boonie replied with a smile. “Mass production was never really a problem to begin with. It’s how to stop the production that was always the problem.”
“Nanytes, as I call them, consume atoms to produce more of their own kind; it was the only solution to getting them to mass produce. However, they would consume anything on an atomic level so we had to scrap that batch and in a hurry.”
“The second batch of Nanytes were programmed to consume metal only”, Boonie giggled out loud and explained, “That was dumb on my part…they ate everything that was metal before self consumption began thereby destroying themselves and all the lab equipment we had present…see where I’m going with this”, he asked. “We thought about using organic material but quickly changed our minds without even trying or we would have been dinner.”
“Anyway, our only option was to use dirt although we were curious to see what would happen to the organic materials within the dirt”. Boonie quickly looked down and then away as though something bad had happened.
Mike quickly jumped in to draw their attention away from Boonies’ reaction. “At first, the Nanytes ignored the organic bio-organisms. However, it’s like the Nanytes sensed the presence of the bacteria and consumed it which was not in its original programming. Somehow, they evolved”.
“That is so cool”, Bernie said letting the hippy in him out.
“Yea, no doubt”, Jake replied.
“No, it is not”, Boonie snapped.
“Boonie, calm yourself”, Mike barked. Everyone’s face went from blank smiles to deep looks of concern. Mike’s stonewall face never changed. “We’re talking about intelligent bacteria. The Nanytes began thinking in a collective way. Creating a single organism as they copied what they had learned from processing the bacteria”, Mike stopped and sighed which was totally uncharacteristic for him. Then he continued, “Soon, we discovered they had found more bacteria by scouring the chamber we had them in. The Nanytes started harvesting the bacteria by creating what it needed to grow creating a sort of symbiotic circle.”
Eventually, they discovered evolution and realized they had the ability to evolve but without a blueprint to go by, they studied us. Using the bacterial growth, mixed with their ability to control their environment, the Nanytes created their first being”.
“It was hideous to look at”, Boonie interrupted. “It was shaped like a human but green and almost slimy in texture”.
Mike jumped back in, “We terminated the Nanytes by sterilizing the room using a laser-sweep system to destroy everything followed by a full room scan. None of the Nanytes had survived and we moved on to our next attempt.”
“This time, we ran the laser-sweeps first to ensure that no bacteria were present in the room. Then, we deployed the Nanytes and to our amazement, they knew…somehow they knew what had happened as if they were linked to the Nanytes from the previous test. Quickly, they changed form into a humanoid creature”.
Jacob quickly asked Mike before Mike could continue, “What did you put in the room with them”? He knew they had to feed on something.
“Absolutely nothing”, Mike replied. “They started using the only material they had, the walls”.
Boonie stepped up next to Mike and added, “Without any type of programming other than shape forming, they wrote their own code by combining into a collective computer if you will. Within a matter of minutes, they had created a human made of rock. We had tried to run the Laser-Sweep but they had already disabled it”.
Jacob looked over at Rowan who was staring intently at Boonie and Mike. He could tell that her husband had never shared the secrets of Boonies’ work. He turned his gaze at Linda who was also engrossed and went back to paying attention.
“Lucky for us, they had followed the pattern of the concrete and became too solid to move. Quickly, we destroyed all remaining Nanytes that we had produced and we also had to destroy all possible data corruptions to ensure that there was nothing left of them or their programming”.
“So, what about the stone Nanyte”, Sharon asked. “What did you do with it”?
Mike looked at Boonie and then he shot a quick glance at all of them ad replied, “Obviously, we needed to dispose of the Nanyte Statue. What we didn’t anticipate was the fact that they studied the rock as fast as they had studied the bacteria. They were immobile and still are. However, they are also very resilient. Lasers aren’t powerful enough to destroy them; well, not anything here so we shipped them off to our facility in Alaska as a precaution.”
“About two weeks ago, we received a distress signal from the facility. Quickly, a security team was dispatched to the Helmond facility. We kept a live feed on them and watched as they entered the facility. Within a matter of seconds, they had disappeared”.
“Where do we fit in”, Jake asked cutting to the chase.
Mike rubbed at his face like his chin was itching and answered, “It’s your unique abilities that we need more than ever. After the first team disappeared, we set up a barrier around the facility to ensure none of the Nanytes escaped the area”.
“Yea, but here’s where things really get weird”, Boonie interjected. “The Nanytes have actually been in communication with us. Thanks to the human material they consumed, they have been able to take on our form and communicate”.
Mike jumped back in, “They also made it clear that anyone approaching the facility with hostile intent would be assimilated”.
Everyone’s face was deeply drawn into what they were being told. None of them knew how they fit in but all of them were feeling pretty scared. Bernie asked them in a dead serious tone, “How do we fit in”?
“We need you guys to design something that is capable of consuming Nanytes and we need it in a hurry”, Mike replied.
Something caught Jacob’s attention out the corner of his eye. He turned to look, only to see a general and his entourage marching up the right corridor towards them. Everyone jumped and looked as the general burst through the doors and announced, “Listen up. The President has authorized the use of a tactical nuke to destroy the facility. However, I warned him that in doing so, we could actually spread the Nanytes”.
Boonie added in, “It wouldn’t do any good to drop the nuke on the facility considering how deep it runs underground. There would still be a good chance they would survive”.
The general agreed, “So, the only way to be sure is to place it deep within the facility and the only way to do that is by getting inside”.
Mike interrupted, “And, there’s even a bigger problem than that…the Nanytes assimilate everything they come in contact with. We would be handing them the worst of the worst”.
“I agree”, General Graham replied. “But, the President believes we can use two. Get one inside camouflaged as something they would ignore and then detonate it at the same time as the other one hits”.
“And, that’s where you guys come in”, Boonie announced. “We need you guys to work together to create that something”.
Jacob looked at Sharon who was fidgeting about. Mike must have caught it too, “Sharon, what’s wrong”?
“I have a cat and this could take a while”, she replied. Mike just sighed and the general grunted. “What”, she barked. “You guys have your families you go home to…all I have is my cat”.
“They didn’t mean anything by it, Sharon”, Boonie replied.
“Enough about the cat”, General Graham barked. “The world is at stake here. If those things leave that facility they could overrun the world in a matter of weeks…if that long. We don’t have time for personal issues”.
“The General is right”, Mike replied looking at them before he stared straight at the general and asked, “How much time did the President give us”?
“Two days. After that, he’s going to use a smart bomb delivery to insert the first one followed up by a surface drop. So, for the next two days, you guys are nothing but asses and elbows, understood”?
“Yea”, everyone mumbled.
“Show them to their stations”, the general barked, spun on his heels and left taking his group with him.
“You heard the man…we’ve got two days to come up with something”, Mike replied.
“Yea, but can’t a smart bomb go deep enough”, Rowan asked the group.
“Doubtful”, Boonie answered. “The Nanytes had accessed the internet before we shut them off. Apparently, one of the guards sent in had a cell phone on him and they’ve used it to communicate with us but we have limited their access via satellite. Nevertheless, while they were online they studied everything they could browse”.
“Do you know what they studied most, Boonie”, Jake asked as he stood up and stretched a little.
“They stuck to government systems around the world. It’s taken a lot of doing for Uncle Sam to convince the world they had no part in it but were investigating the matter”, Boonie explained.
“It’s too bad we can’t just study them”, Linda remarked.
“You can study them all you want to while they’re chomping on your liver”, Bernie replied. “Not me though”, he added as he turned to look back at Mike and asked, “What do I have to do with anything”?
“Boonie, I have shit to deal with”, Mike said as though he were ignoring Bernie’s question. “Get them started”.
“Sure”, Boonie agreed. “Everyone follow me and do not touch anything”.
Everyone heaved themselves up to follow Boonie out the left sliding door. Jake was about the last in line for a reason. He stopped by Mike and in a low voice asked him, “Will we be going there”?
“Probably”, Mike replied as he put a hand on Jake’s arm.
Jake already knew that the only way they could get anything into the Nanyte Hive was to hand deliver it. It was the only way although a flood of options came to Jake’s mind.
Quickly, he caught up with the group in the corridor and followed them. After a few right turns down white halls, Jake began to wonder where the doors were in the place. All he saw was long white walls that made it difficult to see the next turn until one was right up on it.
Boonie stopped the group and waited until they had bunched up near him. Then he informed them, “This place is a maze. If you get lost simply stay straight until you reach the very end of that hall then take a left and keep following the outside wall until you’ve reached the main entrance”. Without saying another word he placed his hand on the wall and a sliding door opened from the wall to reveal a huge and extremely clean lab area that seemed to glow.
“Why is it so bright around here”, Sharon asked.
“Good question”, Boonie replied and answered, “Nanytes are not fond of bright lights so we keep it lit up as a precaution”.
“Maybe they learned that fear from the lasers”, Bernie pointed out.
“Indeed”, Boonie agreed. “We also believe that, that is the reason they have remained inside the facility in Alaska. Right now it’s the summer solstice making the snow particularly bright”.
“Is there a way to hit them with a computer virus tailored to them”, Linda asked.
“We thought about that but they hit some of the best viruses on the net and destroyed them quickly”, he explained.
Jake spoke up and pointed out, “Sounds like they have taken every precaution to protect themself from an attack”.
“They have, Jake”, Boonie admitted.
“Earlier, you said they were in contact with you guys…have they asked for anything”?
“Not to date”, he replied. “They’re communications have consisted of repeated warnings to stay out of the area”.
“Sounds like they just want to be left alone”, Sharon stated flatly.
“They do, Sharon, but if they are allowed to continue to grow, eventually, they will outgrow the facility and the world”, Boonie argued in a gentle manner like a husband trying to convince his overbearing wife of something.
“Humor me but why are we looking at going there”, Jake asked bluntly. Everyone gasped and spun to look at him as though he were insane. “I already know we do and why, but I want to hear it anyway”.
Everyone looked back at Boonie in unison. “Well, it’s possible that we might have to go”.
“Boonie, don’t bullshit”, Jake growled.
“Okay, so we will have to. What can I say, the only way to deliver the…whatever we create, is directly”, Boonie confessed.
“We can’t just strap it to a smart bomb and inject it like a giant needle”, Bernie asked.
“Absolutely not”, Boonie replied. “If we damage the contents by strapping it to a missile and the Nanytes discover them, we would have no other real chance at stopping this before the Prez blows up the facility making it impossible to determine the effectiveness of bombs”. Boonie walked around behind one of the lab tables and told them, “No, folks! We’ve got one shot at doing this and everything about it has to be dead right”.
Jake looked at Rowan and slowly worked his way over to her and whispered, “Are you okay”?
“Not really. I appreciate my husband’s faith in me but this can’t be worth more to him than me”, she confided.
“We’ll get through this”, Jake promised her.
“Speaking of which, my husband needs to know I won’t be home for a few days”, Linda announced.
“Uncle Sam is handling that so no worries, Linda”, Boonie told her.
“Screw you, Boonie. Uncle Sam couldn’t handle this and we’re stuck doing it”, she argued loudly.
“Calm down, Linda”, Bernie told her.
“Why should I”, she barked back.
“Because, we’re all responsible for this mess”, he replied. “Each of us had some part in this including you…didn’t we Boonie”?
“Yea, it’s true. That’s why we pulled you guys together. Bernie created the propulsion systems for the Nanytes.”
“Each Nanyte can only hold one megabyte of information, so Sharon provided us with decision-making software used to amplify spectral anomalies normally used to calculate unseen motion. However, we adapted it to allow the Nanyte to exchange, or simply remove, unwanted programming”.
“Giving it self-consciousness”, Bernie asked.
“Basically”, Boonie answered, “Linda provided the robots engineering schematics for Nanobots”.
“So, why am I here”, Rowan asked coldly.
“Your research is why. Doctor Sloan, you are one of the best in behavioral research and we will need your knowledge to help us find any weaknesses in the Nanytes”.
“I can guess why I’m here”, Jake started to say when a soldier stepped into the room.
“How can we help you”, Boonie asked.
“General Graham has assigned me to this group. I’m Sergeant Decker”, the soldier replied from a parade rest stance. “I’ll be your tour guide on this mission”.
“Did the general brief you sergeant”, Boonie asked.
“No sir! He told me to report directly to you”, the soldier replied.
“Everyone grab a spot”, Boonie told them. “Let’s get down to business. Each of you knows what part you had in the Nanytes. We need you to go back over your schematics, software or what have you and find the weaknesses that we can exploit. At the same time, Linda and Bernie will work as a team to discover a delivery method.”
“Jake, I want you and Rowan to work on what they’re thinking and how they’re doing it. Sharon will assist in discovering more about their psychology and to ensure no other forces are at play here.”
“In the meantime, I’ll have my head stuffed in what I know”. Boonie pointed at a room off to the left of the lab and said, “Bernie and Linda can work in there. Jake, Sharon and Rowan can work in here”. After assigning them work areas, Boonie walked out the sergeant.
“Come on Bernie”, Linda said in an exhausted manner. “Sounds like we’ll be here for a while”, she added.
“Better here than Alaska”, he replied as he followed her.
“You really like her don’t you”, Sharon whispered to Jake, as Rowan grabbed a glass of water.
“She’s taken”, Jake replied.
“I wouldn’t be if I was her”, Sharon replied.
- Forbidden Dream: Chapter Three
Our research and endeavor to fix the problem of the Nanytes kept them running ourselves ragged. Constantly, they bounced ideas off of each other and all the while he couldnt stop noticing her. Thoughts...