Tag: Disguise

Free Writing #72: Peace (Final Chapter)

by on May.15, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Well this is the final chapter, guys. I hope you enjoyed it. Like I said above, if you haven’t read the series before, I recommend starting on an earlier chapter than this one. Also as I have been warning, Free Write will be retiring for a time while I focus on finishing up my novel.

The next few cycles were very boring for Prime. General White visited several more times with Paul to ask a series of questions, usually related to the Malcontents, or the Form in general. Prime was forthcoming but not always able to answer every question. Occasionally Paul would come alone and they would socialize. Paul had his own questions but they were more scientific in nature and that was a topic Prime was happy to converse about. It also helped it practice its English.

After several cycles, the female ally who had been under the control of the Malcontent recovered and reported to the General. According to Paul, she had very little memory of the prior cycles, perhaps the length of time that she had been under control, but her fuzzy recollections helped corroborate some of Prime’s speculation, somewhat. Paul had no idea what was going to happen now but he suspected everything was going to filter up the chain of command to the ruler of the human’s social governance system, which was called a president.

Other humans of a caste or profession that was not immediately obvious by their garments were brought to visit. They were likely singulars as they often offered elaborate greetings and titles which Prime only partially comprehended, and often chuckled in a non-affectionate manner when Prime attempted to ask questions. Prime was not fond of these humans but they were yet another aspect of the human race. If Prime was to be held in one place, it could at least attempt its surveying mission by analyzing the humans that were brought to it.

After a decacycle Prime began to grow impatience, requesting information on the human’s plans regarding its incarceration. Paul gave him no answers. He hadn’t been allowed home either since the incident started and was worried about his cat, which was apparently an organic sub-sentient being that lived with Paul. The General did not visit Prime after he started asking questions, and the humans in the strange garments, which Paul named as suits, were evasive or incomprehensible in their answers.

Prime could have easily gotten out of the containment. Now that it better understood human offensive capabilities and did not have to maintain stealth, Prime felt confident it could simply burn its way through the walls to escape, however it wanted to stay on good terms with the first organic intelligent species ever encountered, and opted for more diplomatic means of getting what it wanted, it began to ignore the suit wearing humans, reconfiguring into its rock form when one refused to answer its questions or was evasive. They attempted to use Paul to get their questions answered and eventually Prime was forced to use the same tactic on him, however Prime apologized before each reconfiguration.

Then came the seven cycles where nothing visited it. Luckily by this point Prime had managed to decipher the wireless traffic humans used to connect their computer devices. Some of it anyway. It was able to decipher text and determine the difference between image, video, and audio streams, but wasn’t able to decode those yet. It spent the decacycle working on this problem, intercepting text communication, and monitoring hyperbands. There was a medium to high probability that the Malcontent was not the only one on the planet. Rather than give away its position, Prime had not attempted to use a hyperband but simply listened. If there was another Malcontent it would likely attempt to use a hyperband to communicate with its now deactivated compatriot.

Understanding human behavior required more processing power than Prime had at its disposal. At times they acted without any reasonable stimulus, such as when the General finally visited after the seven cycles, informing Prime that it was being released. This surprised Prime greatly. It fully expected that it might eventually be released but more likely it would be slowly released into decreasing secure facilities while it introduced or the humans had assimilated Prime’s capabilities. However the General said it was being released by its request but there would be an envoy to greet it when it was ready to leave the base. Prime asked if it was Paul and was told no. Paul had also been released and was traveling home.

Prime wasted no time to be released. It figured it could track down Paul’s home far quicker once it gained proper access to the internet. It was escorted by soldiers out of the building. As it did, it felt a ping in the hyperband. Before it could react, a white light filled its optics.


We interrupt your programming to give you this important news bulletin. There has been a series of explosions at the near by Army base. Authorities have issued a warning for all citizens to stay in their homes or places of business and report any strange activity to the number displayed on the screen. There is no information as to the cause of the explosion at this time but we will bring you up to date coverage as we receive it. I repeat…


It awoke to a hyerband transmission. The source of the transmission identified itself as a Form that it was familiar with. A Form that had been sent on a long distance surveying mission millions of light-years away. That required a significant energy to transfer a hyperband message that far. It took time to wake itself up from its hibernation before it read the message, then it began waking everything up while it also dedicated time to re-broadcast the message. Repeatedly. At high energy.

The message contained one concept, and background locational metadata. The message translated as such.

Malcontent Army. Backup required.

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Free Write #71: War

by on May.08, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

We’re getting close to the end folks. Just a reminder Free Write will be going on hiatus after this story concludes.


By Nojh Livic

“Complicated,” Paul offered, and Prime nodded its head.

“Yes. That is a complicated,” Prime corrected. Paul shook his head slightly but didn’t offer any further corrections. Prime filed away the statement for further error analysis later.

“Please, just explain as best you can. You can interpret, Doctor,” General White said.

So Prime did.

Explaining interstellar politics to a race that had yet to expand beyond its planet was difficult for Prime. Prime was a scientist, not a historian nor a singular. It also quickly became apparent that humans had a limited concept of time, or rather had a hard time comprehending events that scaled well beyond their life spans, which was a significant percentage smaller than that of a Form in good repair. There was also the issue of English, which Prime believed it had grasped a fair competency at including non-verbal cues, but it quickly became apparent that it required more skill than it had to get across certain concepts. Yet with Paul’s help, Prime persisted.

Prime’s race, for lack of a better word, called itself Form. Like all the other sentient races the Form had encountered, it was an inorganic life form. Form differed from the other races encountered in that the intelligence of a Form was housed in a single body, with some limited variation. The other intelligent races had different chassis configurations, if any at all. The Form called them the Formless. This difference between Prime’s race and the others created some conflict, as they did not place as much emphasis on the individual as the Form and as such, many individual Form were lost. The Form retaliated for a time, until it became obvious to a growing faction that the conflict between the Form and the Formless that the war was accomplishing very little other than destroying more Form. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #70: Interrogation

by on May.01, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

We’re getting close to the end folks. Just a reminder Free Write will be going on hiatus after this story concludes.


By Nojh Livic

“I was sent here to survey your planet,” Prime said simply. “Not invade conquer take samples. I was to landing on benign little planet, surveying for scientific and exploit purposes.” When General White raised an eyebrow at the word exploit, Prime looked to Paul, who was also expressing anxiety in his facial features. Prime quickly added, “Exploit resources. Elements. Materials. Energy. Benign little planet was not to have life upon it.”

“Right,” the General said, to which Prime nodded his agreement with the statement, although he wasn’t sure how the General really could determine the truthiness of his statement. “Who sent you?”

“Automind survey device,” Prime answered immediately, to dull expressions. Human communication was so complex it was almost requiring an entirely dedicated process just to handle the non-verbal aspects. “It visited system approximately 1,125,733 local solar cycles, scan all planets for possible survey attempts and relayed this information. I was in stasis and received the relay and decided to survey. Selects planets with high resource content. It did not report any intelligent life.” General White and Paul both frowned but it did not seem to be a hostile frown. It had aspects similar to confusion.

“Do you mean days?” Paul asked. Over a million days ago?” Prime nodded its head in agreement.

“Could you translate that into years please?” the General asked. Prime shook its head to indicate negative. “Why not?”

“I do not know what year is,” Prime offered helpfully. This elicited a verbalized grunt that did not match any particular word or prescribed verbal communication. Prime once again glanced to at Paul, however Paul offered no clues as to what this communication meant but instead explained the ratio of days to years.

“Ah. Interesting. That is close approximation to Earth’s rotation around the star,” Prime noted, to which Paul nodded. “It carries with it discrepancies-”

“Yes, but please calculate i-,” the General interrupted.

Prime nodded and answered immediately. “3082.154808 years, approximately.”

“Wait. Humans inhabited on this planet three thousand years ago,” Paul said, looking at Prime. “But you said your auto.. Your probe did not detect intelligent life.” Prime was growing to like Paul. He was more intelligent than some Forms it knew. The General, however, gave Paul another nonverbal communication via facial expression. It looked hostile or at least aggressive and Paul sat back in his chair.

“Yes. It is, deficiency? Of the probe. It can not think organic life to have intelligence,” Prime explained, ignoring the communication between the humans. Prime chose to shrug. “It is unknown. No. Unset. Unusual? Unusual.” This discussion was starting to stretch Prime’s vocabulary. It would like to have access to the information network again but it suspected that would not happen.

“Unusual. Organic intelligent life is unusual?” General White asked. Prime simply nodded. “How unusual?” The General’s tone was different for this question and he leaned forward slightly in his chair. Prime was not able to identify the tone but it likely indicated some form of interest beyond the urgency of the usual questions.

“It has never been discovered with credible sources in my existence,” Prime stated.

“I don’t understand,” the General stated. Prime nodded and tried to determine what it mistranslated.

Paul, however, spoke up. “It means we’re unique. Its race has never found another intelligence organic species while exploring space.” Prime considered this and then nodded. The General sat back in his chair and crossed his arms, grunting again. Paul looked down at the floor. Neither human seemed to like this information.

“I am not sure I believe you,” the General finally said. Prime responded by mimicking a human shrug. “However let us assume you are just a surveyor. Your probe sent you? No leader? Or government? Or group?”

Prime shook its head again but did not wait for another question to explain. “I am not apart of that. I range lonely until I decided to embark home. The Forms are not organized like that. We collective but mobile.”

“That made less sense than usual,” the General muttered. Prime nodded and would frown but it did not design its face to be able to replicate that level of human detail.

“I am low on vocabulary. Sorry.” Prime said, hoping that it modulated its tone to sound apologetic.

“Doctor?” the General prompted.

Paul nodded and thought about it. “I’m not sure. I guess they’re just, not as much of a herd animal as humans are? How long were you in stasis?”

“Translated for Earth local, 27,145.120048 years,” Prime calculated audibly. Both humans were visibly surprised. Prime realized that it would be considered a relatively long time compared to the average life span of a human. Prime nodded. “It is long time compared to human seeing. Lonely Forms travel slowly.”

“Even at approaching the speed of light we couldn’t make it to our nearest neighboring star in under a few hundred thousand years,” the General stated flatly.

Prime once again shrugged. “Form slow is human fast?” it offered as an explanation. This elicited a chuckle from Paul and from one of the soldiers at the doorway. Prime turned its attention to look at the solider, who quickly tensed and straightened, as if he expected Prime to edit its memory and assume that was the position he had been in all along. The General was slower to turn and look, and only saw the two soldiers standing straight.

“Okay we’ll discuss scientific breakthroughs later. I want to know why one of my labs has laser burns all over it and why several of my people are in the medical ward,” the White said with force in his tone. Prime could not determine if the human was simply re-living the aggravation of the prior events he was talking about, or if he was aggravated by the levity of the humans around him.

Prime mimicked a sigh. “That is a complication,” Prime began.

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Free Write #69: Security

by on Apr.24, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

We’re getting close to the end folks. Just a reminder Free Write will be going on hiatus after this story concludes.

By Nojh Livic

It was at this point, with at least one human dead, several injured, and Prime standing in a humanoid configuration that several more warriors pushed their way into the room via the metal door wearing more weaponry and armor than the previous warriors had. When the general told them to stand down, they took up defensive positions in the room, with two inserting themselves in the space between the general and Prime, their weapons pointed but not firing.

Paul who was rubbing at his ears and his left wrist, had sat down in his chair and was watching the entire situation with little to no reaction. The general began giving orders. Several of the new warriors were told to escort the assistant and the conscious warrior out of the room while humans that wore slightly different coverings than warriors and scientists arrived to look over the woman and other warrior.

“Prime. Are you capable of making agreements?” the general asked, distracting Prime from its observation of the new type of human.

“I can agree or disagree with concepts, ideas, and courses of actions, yes,” Prime stated, turning to face the general.

“Will you agree to not attempt to escape, remain under guard, and answer my questions?” the general asked.

Prime considered this for a moment. “For what period of time?” The general smiled slightly.

“The next few days at least but an indefinite period of time, until I can ascertain if you are a threat and talk to my superiors.”

Prime looked over at Paul. “I can agree to these courses of action with a limit of ten cycles. After ten cycles I will want to re-ask the agreement. Additionally I will agree to these courses of action if the Paul remains undisciplined for his actions related to my existence and remains as my interpreter,” Prime looked over at the scientist, who was the only non-warrior left in the room. He too was being guarded by two other warriors. “If the Paul agrees.”

“Hell yes I agree,” Paul said immediately. “I want to know what the fuck is going on.” Paul was clearly agitated.

“I believe I can agree to those conditions,” the general said, glancing over his shoulder at Paul. “Assuming Paul is willing to agree to answer questions as well, truthfully, about his activities the past few days, and agrees to never point a gun at me ever again.”

Paul lifted his hands into the air and shrugged. “Sure. Unless everybody suddenly starts shooting each other randomly again and talking about invasions. Then all bets are off.” The general chuckled. Prime was not sure why it was funny but elected to mimic the human, which drew the General’s attention. The general’s smile faded.

“We need to get you to a secure location,” the general stated.

“I agree. I also suggest you only use warriors currently in this room. It is possible any of your warriors could be reconfigured,” Prime advised. “Since none of them have attacked, the likelihood that they are is low but not impossible.” The general did not seem happy by this suggestion but nodded

“Sir, we need to get both of them to the clinic immediately,” the non-warrior human interrupted, standing up from the now prone female human. The general nodded. He ordered several of the warriors in the room to go with them and to keep on the look out for a possible attack from anyone, including the hospital staff. The female was carried out on an expandable table, along with the other unconscious solider. The general began arranging their transfer.


Prime, Paul, and the general White sat in a larger but more secure laboratory about a decicycle later. Two warriors, which were called soldiers according to Paul, stood at the lab’s entrance, instead of outside the door. Paul and the general had been brought food. Prime had declined any organic matter.

“Okay. Lets start from the beginning. Why are you here?” White asked.

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Free Write #68: Introduction

by on Apr.17, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

We’re getting close to the end folks. Just a reminder Free Write will be going on hiatus after this story concludes.

By Nojh Livic

“That is well above your security clearance, doctor. Put the gun down,” the general ordered, turning to face Paul, who kept it level on the man. Prime continued to use the female human as a shield against the robotic assassin by holding onto her neck and pointing an arm mounted laser at her ear. The assassin had previously been camouflaged as a fashion accessory around the woman’s neck and Prime stifled a laugh as it considered how the two had effectively traded places.

“No. You put your gun down!” Paul shouted, nodding to the two warriors who were sitting on the floor, one of which appeared unconscious, the other reaching for his rifle. Paul was Prime’s only human friend on the planet. Right now he was being an incredible asset to Prime’s existence by threatening his employers with a weapon, after his boss had brought in another human to replace him and inadvertently smuggled in the assassin. The two warriors sitting on the floor were injured from laser fire that Prime and the assassin had exchanged. Both were obviously suffering from confusion. One put his gun down immediately. The other had no weapon in hand. There was one last human in the room. An assistant to the general, who was only armed with a flat tablet like device. This man was hiding behind the warriors.

The general took a step closer to Paul. “Now son-”

“Please refrain from intimidation maneuvers. Refrain from closing to combat distance with Paul,” Prime warned in English. To make its point, it fired a low intensity laser past the general’s line of vision, over his shoulder. The general froze mid-step, then took a step back. It seemed the general could not tell the difference in laser intensity. Prime’s two lasers was considerably less powerful than the assassin’s torso mounted welding laser but they were far more precise.

“I just want to know what is going on. That thin-ahhh!” Paul cried out as the assassin disengaged from its staring contest with Prime and leapt at Paul. While prime only had one blade extended from its alternate arm, the assassin’s frame contained numerous sharp edges and spikes. Prime had time to fire its more powerful arm laser but that would impart no force with which to deflect the attacker from its path and Prime was too far across the room to attempt its own interception. It fired its laser anyway, scoring a hit across the robot’s shoulder and head. It was an incredibly impressive and lucky shot by Prime’s own personal standards, which admittedly were not very high. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #67: Tactics

by on Apr.10, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

A small announcement. Free Write will be going on hiatus at the conclusion of this continuous story arc so I can focus on my novel writing. Hopefully this means you’ll see more writing times, and possible one or two other new regular posts.

By Nojh Livic

Prime fired its shoulder mounted laser, striking the assassin directly in the head. It wasn’t a very powerful laser, a little more powerful than the kind found in the cylindrical container next to Paul’s computer, but it was more than powerful enough to blind his attacker mid-leap. The assassin had opted to close the distance between Prime and itself before firing its weaponry and now had to land blind. It would give Prime time to take cover. Simultaneously, Prime also fired an arm mounted laser towards the remaining human warrior. This laser was significantly higher powered and could possibly harm the human but Prime wasn’t aiming at the human but across his vision. This provided a distraction from the general who was trying to give orders to the warrior. Then Prime took cover under the table, making full use of the speed the new form provided.

As predicted, the warrior began to fire its weapon, but only the assassin provided a viable target, with Prime hidden. Prime saw the flash of another laser discharge and this time the warrior cried out in pain and from under the table, Prime saw him fall to the ground near his companion. All the humans were talking over each other now but Prime could discern one particular command.

“Damn it, Doctor. Get your fucking robot under control!” the general barked.

That was interesting data as it meant that the humans thought they had its attacker under their control. Prime highly doubted this and evidence presented itself as the welding laser suddenly cut through the table above it very nearly severing one of Prime’s arms. Dodging aside, Prime ran towards the group of humans at the front of the room. Prime leapt as soon as it was out from under the table and grappled the front of the general’s uniform, extending its right arm up towards the man’s throat. From under the limb’s armored shell a long sharp blade extended itself.

{Cease assault}, Prime modulated towards its attacker in a high-pitched modulation not unlike the one the attacker was using, although modern in comparison. “Cease or the human receives harm,” Prime repeated in English at normal human vocal levels. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #66: Birth

by on Apr.03, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

By Nojh Livic

Prime didn’t really have time to consider attempting to save both itself and Paul so it pushed that variable into the tactical simulator process. In the mean time it needed to deal with more pressing concerns. Its attacker was no longer attacking with its welding laser. Small led slugs fired from the weapons of the two humans had distracted the assassin who had turned to face them, swiping its laser across the lab. The laser’s path cut through the laboratory’s walls easily, leaving a small, continuous, smoldering hole in a trail along the walls and laboratory equipment until it ended on the giant metal door, which it did not immediately eat through as the assassin turned it off. The guards reacted with surprise, ducking away from the path of the laser, however one was not quick enough and was struck in the arm. He fell to the ground, screaming in surprise and likely anger. Both, however, stopped shooting.

Prime’s habitat for the past few cycles was in bad shape. The reflected laser fire had heated and cut scores into the inner shell where it hadn’t created an entire hole, while the assassin’s digits had clawed gouges to the outer shell. The slugs from the human weapons had further weakened the container’s structural integrity. It would no longer buy Prime any more time. It needed to begin maneuvering. Luckily the process designing a new form for Prime was finished and Prime immediately began reconfiguring.

The new form was humanoid like before, but taller and skinnier, save that it still incorporated Prime’s outer-shell as armor for the torso, limbs, and head, albeit thinner than the previous form. This form had excellent mobility and speed, a reduced silhouette so as to make harder to hit with projectile weaponry, and a few close and short-range weapon systems. It’s reconfiguration time was also still in the millicycles, making it feasible to reconfigure in order to camouflage itself once it was out of line of sight of its attackers. The downsides of the form were that it was not very durable. Strikes by the assassin’s laser to unprotected parts of its form could easily lead to heavy damage. It also had reduced overall strength compared to its prior form. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #65: Alliances

by on Mar.27, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

By Nojh Livic

Prime’s visual sensors began relaying data before any of its other internal systems. It was in mid leap between the female human and Prime’s own container. It was also in the middle of reconfiguring its frame, which had previously resembled the female’s necklace and now partially resembled a form not unlike Prime’s own bipedal configuration, except with sharper edges and what looked to be a sub-plasma tactical welding laser forming in what would be its chest, already beginning to glow.

As Prime’s audio sensors activated, it realized that the humans in the room were alarmed. Paul was doing his usual screaming. The warrior cast humans were also emitting disorganized sounds of surprise. Prime could see the female human, who did not at all seem surprised that her adornments were coming to life. Prime did not hear or see the general but there was a high probability he was still in the room.

Tactical and strategic analysis were given processing time almost immediately, along with a separate process for designing a more robust combat form, or at least designing some weaponry that would not lower Prime’s defensive capabilities. It didn’t need simulations to know that it was at a serious disadvantage and escape was the best option. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #64: Warfare

by on Mar.20, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

By Nojh Livic

Prime immediately felt the intrusion and shut down all external inputs, re-tasked all its processing to fighting the intrusion. It was vectoring on three different hyperbands. Each hyperband had a slightly different qualities. The three chosen by the attacker were the fastest. The attacker was obviously hoping to overwhelm Prime and it almost did. Had prime been having to actively interact in the physical world, it would have been at a sever disadvantage, however Prime had been working in an almost purely mental state for cycles. As Paul might at put it, Prime was fresh for the fight.

First game the probe attacks. Prime’s own internal processes were perhaps not atypical form a form of its species but no two form’s minds were the same. Probe attacks attempted to map a form’s internal processes and find a form’s core processes. Probe attacks the easy to defend against but also the most devastating if they succeeded. If an attacker knew your internal processes, then they could find exploits in your defenses, steal data, or worse of all, begin taking control of your core processes. If the attacker succeeded with its probe attacks, Prime could find itself literally fighting its own mind.

Human technology suffered from what they called viruses. Automated programs which manipulated systems in order to complete some kind of malicious intent, usually to gain access to or control a system. It was the most analogous thing to the other common form of attack Prime faced. Viral attacks typically attacked a form’s body, attempting to take control of internal systems. They were harder to defend against, far more insidious. Unlike probe attacks, they were powered with their own processing power and often the best attackers shared information between different viral attacks, making them adaptive so that no two viral attacks were the same. Anti-viral protection processes therefore had to be far more complicated and just as adaptive.

Millions of probe attacks and viral attacks swarmed through three different hyperbands, all vying to take control of Prime’s body and mind. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #63: Handshake

by on Mar.13, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

By Nojh Livic

“I- but- what?” Paul asked. The words did not follow any written or conversational grammatical structure, suggesting that Paul was suffering mental distress. “I mean this decision seems premature.”

“I understand your feelings, Dr. Nguyen, but other matters have arisen outside of your security clearance which behooves us to move subject A to a more secure facility,” the general stated. “I would have liked to include you in this considering your familiarity but it is beyond my control.” Paul continued to stare at the general but did not make any further noises, however it was now obvious in his body language that he was in distress of some sort.

The female designated Doctor Wayan had left the general’s side and walked over to Prime’s container. She was peering through the view port curiously. Like Paul, she wore lenses attached to her face via a metal frame and a white lab coat. She was roughly similar height but less width and obviously had less mass. Her head had longer follicles which were currently bound to extend from behind the head loosely. She held a clipboard in one arm, what was likely a communication device in her right ear, and some metal wrapped loosely around her neck that disappeared under her clothing. The metal had a high lusture but an odd color. Not quiet silver and not quiet gold. It, in fact, looks very similar to the color of Prime’s outer shell.

That is when Prime felt a ping. Not on an electromagnetic spectrum where the humans put a majority of their non-organic communications but on a hyperband. Hyperbands were communication channels commonly used by inorganic life over small distances. The different bands could shared information at near instantaneous rate that belied several commonly held human beliefs in physics. Which meant if something was pinging on a hyperband, there was a possibility that assistance had arrived to extract it, and that it was in the building.

Prime returned the acknowledgment ping on the same band. A handshake protocol arrived nearly instantly in response. Prime found itself hesitating. Handshakes opened up instant communication between two forms. It also risky. It gave another access to Prime’s own internal processes, to a limited degree. Some species of inorganic life were known to use it to attack. It was far more typical communication to happen on an open hyperband or through physical means in order to declare intent, before a handshake happened.

Obviously this situation was far from typical. Prime could not verify the sender or make physical contact. If the sender was some kind of rescue, handshaking would be the equivalent of whispering to Prime in order not to attract attention. The humans didn’t appear to be able to sense hyperbands but Prime had only been observing them for cycles. It did not know the full capabilities of their technologies.

The general was ordering the two warrior humans to fetch Prime’s container. Paul was still protesting but obviously not convincing the general. The female doctor continued to visually examine it. Prime needed to make a decision. Prime decided to gamble and accepted the handshake.

And Prime lost.

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