December 1, 2689
It was so weird, the other day my holoEYEport totally freaked out on me. I couldn’t see anything, but everyone said that I was coming through just fine. And then it like really cut out, audio too, and it was just me, I was alone, shouting out, “Hello! Hello?” and I couldn’t tell if I was getting through, if anyone else was reacting to me or not. I’ve never lagged for more than two or three seconds; can you imagine what it was like to be cut off for four minutes?
The Diagnorithms gave me a once-over, but just kept asking me when I upgraded to sixty-seven point two. “When was your last upgrade?” And what do you say to that? Because I don’t know the exact date of my last upgrade off the top of my head. Do you? You have to go through settings and the information sub-panel, it’s in there somewhere, but come on, shouldn’t the Diagnorithms be able to access that information a lot faster than I can?
So yeah, I didn’t get very far, and after a few minutes of the same repetitive prompts, they gave me the all-clear to resume communications. Once I was granted the OK for reintegration, my contacts flooded my middle-left inbox with dozens of fetchbacks. It was me, during my time offline, apparently everyone could see me, it looked like I was glitching out, totally flailing around. But people got bored after a minute or so, and it took some coaxing, but most of my inner network let me wipe the incident from their externals. Now if I could only get in touch with system admin to see if there’s any way about filing a motion to have it partially censored from the alpha core peripheral …
Shit, alarm code beta-six? I thought the last swarm of mutant bee-borgs was eradicated seven months ago. I’m being assigned to evacuate via Cross-Junction Eleven. Hopefully this is just a false alarm. Diary, off. No, don’t write ‘diary, off,’ just shut down. What the hell is wrong with this thing?
December 5, 2689
It was far worse than any of us could have imagined. The Authority assured us that the mutant bee-borg threat was under control, but apparently they were just hiding out and regrouping. Which I don’t understand, because how could they have slipped past the attention of the Sentry-Corps? Unless, could The Authority have been compromised also? It would explain the glitches, which have only been getting worse.
I don’t know anyone else here in Cross-Junction Eleven, and since we haven’t yet been given access to connect via any sort of local network, we can’t communicate. That is, not by any conventional forms of communication. Maybe it’s in my head, but there is this one girl docked four ports away from me, I think that she’s making some sort of gesture my way. At first I just thought she was having some motor control glitching issues, because who hasn’t lately? And it’s not like the Diagnorithms have been much help. But the way she keeps motioning to me, if it’s a glitch, it’s coming through almost like a strange pattern.
I’m getting pretty tired of emergency rations. It’s like, every time threat levels subside below the acceptable parameters, I always think to myself, finally, no more emergency rations, and I act like that’s the last time I’ll be forced to suck down nutro-carbons from an omni-pouch. And then it’s all, “Bleep! Bleep! Report to Cross-Junction Eleven, await further instructions.” Is that selfish of me? That, yeah, we’re all in danger, and all I can think about is my emergency nutro-carbon ration?
Man, that girl won’t stop. I’m not scheduled for recoupling integration for another four years. Can’t she tell than I’m not developmentally matured for procreation sequencing? I wonder what she’s after. Diary, off. Diary, off. No, off. Diary … goddamn it.
December 8, 2689
What I’m going to say sounds impossible, I get it. But that girl that I was talking about the other day, well, yesterday she was still acting really weird, all of those hand motions toward me. I didn’t know how to react, and so I didn’t do anything. And then she just stood up and unlatched out of her docking port, right, and she started walking over to mine. And I was like freaking out now, because none of my proximity sensors were registering another presence. I was thinking, surface-level power blockage? Have there ever been any reported glitches of personal sensor arrays?
And then she just took off her faceware, just gripped it by both sides below the jaw, and it popped right off. I didn’t know they could just come off like that. If it weren’t for my internal diagnostics displaying no abnormal activity on my top-left inbox, I would’ve sworn that my heart had stopped. Without her faceware, she looked just like someone out of an old-timey holophoto. It was a strange sensation, her naked face simultaneously horrifying and yet, thrilling? Alarming? There was some other emotion, something I couldn’t identify.
As she reached out her hand toward my face, my bladder relieved itself into my hydro-recirculation pack. Her mouth was moving, sounds coming out that I didn’t understand. My head was screaming, “Abort! Abort!” I knew that my best course of action was to initiate a level two hibernation sequence. But my heart – is this what your heart feels like? – told me to trust her, to let her show me whatever it was that she was trying to do. Could my faceware come off like hers? Do I look that soft underneath?
Her lips stretched upward, her tongue twirling irregular laps inside her mouth. She was trying to communicate with me. She was attempting to gain access, to me, but on some sort of an organic level I didn’t think was still possible.
That’s what I thought, anyway. After another thirty seconds or so, I could see the metallic gold stinger start to emerge from the back of her throat. I’d only ever read rumors about how the mutant bee-borgs might be able to burrow into our weak organic components, hijacking our higher operating processors. This must be how it’s done. I thought, after it engrained itself into my consciousness, would I have any awareness of the insect controlling my body? Or would my life be totally extinguished?
Just as I caught a glimpse of the tips of its crystalline wings stretching past the corners of her lips, my emergency bottom right inbox flashed red, alert level nine point six. “Duck! Duck! Duck!” it read, and my body processed the command automatically. And it was just in time, because two Sentry-Corps Patrolbots blasted through the upper encasement of Cross-Junction Eleven, frying the girl’s head. The mutant-bee borg tried to scurry away, but they snared it in some sort of plasma net. I felt the warm rush of liquid through my hydro-tubes as my bladder let itself go once again. Diary, off.
December 13, 2689
This is total bullshit. Apparently the whole mutant bee-borg Cross-Junction Eleven incident was some sort of a random screening. How was I supposed to remember to execute proper protocol during such a crazy test-scenario? Why wouldn’t they just automate it under my higher programming commands? After the Sentry-Corps finished with the bee-borg, they undocked me and brought me before a quad-core tribunal. And all they told me was the sentence: “You were unprepared for emergency scenario eight-five J; sentence: recoupling reintegration postponed, five years.” Again! At this point, I don’t think I’ll ever get to recouple. And by the time I do, I’ll be thirty-two, that’s almost half my life-cycle, none of my eligible bio-mates are ever going to want to comply.
I’m just left with so many questions. Like, was that really all a test? Because I saw that mutant bee-borg, I actually looked right at it. How can they tell me that it didn’t exist when I saw one with my own holoEYEport? And now I’m being reassigned to work unit thirty-five? That’s like eight units below my work level. I can’t shake the feeling that this is all a huge set-up. And none of the tribunals are granting me access to an appeal.
And now right before I power down for the night, I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but I swear I can hear a buzzing. That’s crazy, right? They told me the mutant bee-borgs aren’t a threat. You know what? I can’t deal with this. Diary, off. Computer, delete all higher-level memories from December 1st onward. Yes, I’m sure. Just tell me there was a memory error. I don’t know, just make something up. Fine. Acknowledged. Execute.