Despite being one of the larger countries in the world, the mountains in the west and the prairies in the center of the country melted away as Alexander approached home. Despite the ship flying on autopilot, he couldn’t take his eyes off the forward view. His hands hovered nervously above the controls, ready to stop the ship, or divert it away from anything it might come in contact with. Breathing a sigh of relief as he recognized the eastern shore of Lake Huron, an area Alexander once lived in, he knew he was almost back. His excitement growing at the prospect of sharing his secret with his cousins, Alexander considered what he would tell them and how.
There was no door for them to walk in, and the ship was currently invisible. Worried that someone would see it if he made it visible, Alexander decreased the speed of the ship and looked at the icons on the projected screen below his fingers.
“Um, computer…” he paused. “If I left the ship, how would I get back on?”
A small section of the table over to the left hand side was no longer lit. The metal table shimmered slightly with a blue glow, and the material began to shift. It looked like melted plastic, as something was slowly extruded from the surface.
After returning to its normal, solid looking self, the computer chimed in. “This communication device will allow you to give remote commands. If you like, I can also implant you with a device that will let you communicate with me. Would you like this procedure?”
Alexander stopped for a moment. He thought about his life, and how recently he had been trying to better himself. He worked hard to try to resist eating food he knew was bad for him, and tried to get away from his computer desk and walk, run, jog, and even lift a few weights. He tried to make sure he had a social life, and worked at making new friends and maintaining the ones he already had. Nothing could have prepared him for the situation he was in currently, and without asking sensible questions, all he said was “Yes!”
Before he knew what had happened, his chair was lifting him from a position lying on his back, pushing him into his previous sitting upright one. “We have arrived at your destination, and your N.A.C. implant has been successfully installed.” the computer said with an almost chipper sounding sentiment. It left Alexander wondering if the computer had any kind of emotions built in.
“Wait! What? What happened?” Rubbing his fingers all over his head and feeling nothing, Alexander wondered where the implant went.
“You confirmed you would like a Network Access Control implant and I have complied. It has been surgically implanted. You should feel no pain or side effects and should be able to control and communicate with the Resurrection without issue. We have also arrived at your apartment complex where you first boarded this ship.”
Alexander started thinking the words, “how does it work” and before he could finish the question, images flooded his mind regarding the surgical implant of a techno-organic compound that was both spread and inserted into various parts of the brain. He could feel the access to the computer records like it was his own memory, and even better because even the smallest detail could be understood or measured. The sensors of the ship were as much a part of him as his own fingers. He didn’t have to struggle to control things, but instead it was almost effortless, almost like muscle memory of typing on a keyboard or the sense memory feeling you get when you imagine your favourite pie.
“What an amazing feeling.” Alexander spoke out loud, despite the ship already hearing him structure the sentence word by word in his mind.
Looking in front of him, he could indeed see his apartment. The view screen changed as he thought about the emergency services vehicles that were heading towards his place the previous night. He looked at the police tape that was sealing off the area. He also saw some scorched areas along the alley and on the wall of his apartment. The nearest wall to the alley had large cracks in it, and a support structure had been put in place for safety. The damage looked like it would cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands in repairs. Alexander knew it was a debt he would have to repay at some point, but also that it was worth it.
“I should really go down to my apartment and get some clothes, eh?” Alexander looked down at himself and realized he was still in his boxers and a t-shirt, his normal pajamas. Thinking about going to his apartment as a command rather than a question that the computer didn’t understand, he felt a familiar tingling through his whole body. His vision faded to black and then once it came back, he was in the main room of his bachelor pad.
Grabbing a few things from his drawers, and throwing on a pair of pants, Alexander thought about the ship. For a split second he was hit with a wave of anxiety. “Can you still hear me?” he thought.
“Affirmative.” The computer responded almost instantaneously.
“I’m ready to come back to the ship.” And once again, the tingling sensation, black out vision, and Alexander was back on the Resurrection with all of his quickly snatched clothing in hand.
Tossing it all on the ground near the wall, he took a seat at the nearby table and considered where he should put everything. The same strange melting effect that he had seen earlier started to happen along the wall, and it opened up revealing two shelves. Placing the clothing on the shelves, Alexander turned around to look at the table he was sitting it. It now had the navigational controls and maps on it, and the front table was no longer as brightly illuminated.
A The whole thing felt a bit strange to Alexander, and so he tapped, as a non-computer connected person would do, on the controls to point the ship towards Matthew’s apartment. He knew it would take him some time to adjust to the new sensations and abilities, but he felt as though he could feel the implant within his brain and that made his skin crawl.