Navigator Dee shifted to Shadow Mode. He’d hacked his firmware chip with help from Jason Hess. Hess was getting on in years. Hess’s Cyber Augmentation was at Beta Stage; something happened to his bio tissue. A syncretic process, origin T.B.D. began populating the spaces between his cells, erecting a crystalline matrix similar to Aluminum 7075.
Hess wasn’t too concerned. He kept the faith. He was one of the good guys. No one had promised him a mature technology. Hess harbored no fear. In fact… without the Process he would be already dead.
PostHumanism by virtue of Cybernetic Augmentation seemed to be a less risky alternative to becoming a human corpsicle, A.K.A. Cryonic Preservation, waiting for a Singularity that may never come.
Mind you, Hess hedged his bets. A Lifetime Membership; One-Time Preservation, and related ‘basic SA Standby Transport plus CI Perfusion Storage’ had been arranged with Cryonics.Org as a Plan B. Hess could afford several options to the only known certainty called death. Hess was very wealthy.
Were his collaborators… Cyber Shamans Erich Morrison, Edward James, Chango Taureau, and H Joule wildly optimistic, or shifty certifiable stealthy Snake-Oil Men of the Twenty-First Century Kind? A dead man walking doesn’t worry about trifles. His molecularly edge sharpened mind was a byproduct, fair unexpected compensation for the surprise cellular ossification. His team-mate Dee needed him. Hess was a Mathematical Savant, a human Quantic PGA: Programmable Gate Array, with trillions of cells arranged in layers one atom thick four dimensionally intertwined.
Still, today Hess was having second thoughts about the Process. His Ears were ringing like a Fender Strat electric guitar which was acceptable; but that lower molar was killing him. A Dental Practitioner had warned him not to become too attached to Number 30, and damned if he (the DMD) could figure out why the jeopardy was confined to one location in otherwise healthy tissue. Damned… Yes, Hess was damned, but alive.
Hess & Dee had met thrice. At Page’s in the UK 57° N, 4° W, and then an event conducted by Noetic.Org. While there in California it was said an Eleven Rule Lion Man hosted a private party at the Black House on a hilly street in San Francisco, where Dee was introduced to Chango Taureau, a Metal Magister of Seventh Level Degree.
Navigator Dee had known the Lion Man way back in 1985 at that Electronics Entrepreneurship on a little cul-de-sac macadam road facing the abandoned Danvers, Massachusetts State Hospital. The rapidly rampant little consultant corporation which contracted tor entities such as DARPA and NASA later moved to an office building due West known as The Tower.
The original offices next to the little railroad overpass were believed to be possessed by the souls of two US 1920’s Depression Era hobos who one night fell into a drunken stupor and subsequently bisected by the massive iron wheels of a midnight freight train carrying munitions to a battlement on the Atlantic Sea in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The official reason the privately funded imaging company moved was Electromagnetic Radiations mysteriously untamable were raising hell with the Lab’s A.T.E. test equipment. There, the Electronics Engineers, Double-Es, were exhibiting a notable lack of focus and spending way too much time at the local eatery consuming liquid alcoholic lunches to calm their nerves while working inside the Tech Lab facing the Danvers Hospital.
There, Navigator Dee encountered Beau Mansone, an overtly Gothic-Clad, Biker-Booted, IT Wizard whose primary passion was what later became known as Quantum Computing, and Dee had really hit it off him. It was never proven that an unhealthy connection existed between Mansone and the founding officer’s college boy son, Anton Ahearn, a fan of Amateur Astronomy; who one day, fall in the late 80’s spontaneously combusted in the Engineering Prototype Lab.
Those two were straight, upstanding guys who seemingly had little in common other than Tech, and exchanging peculiar musical albums, discs of vinyl back then, with dark cardboard sleeves exhibiting Giger-Esque Fantastic Artwork. Then in 1987 in the midst of an unexpected power outage caused by Hurricane Gloria, illuminated by dim auxiliary backup lighting, witnesses said the two young men began blazing like rainbow-colored fireworks-sparklers then burned up. Leaving only an ozone odor, definitive fingerprints, and a few odd body bits.
Crossing NH-111 East Navigator Dee remained in Shadow Mode, communing with Diesel Dark, one-third of his close-knit family. Wife Pamela Dee however played not second fiddle with Diesel although the three of them stayed closely together overlooking a Tall Place alongside the Atlantic Sea.
Pamela Dee was an elaborate Star-Child Psychic Medium of great spirituality and astounding compassion and love who had acquired a significant following of people who really needed her and called her up a lot on her cell. Diesel Dark was a Mutant Hybrid Rat Bicycle with Narrow Bars, Touring Tires, and Mountain Gearing. Navigator Dee was scary.
Dee kept pushing it in Shadow Mode. He could detect the scent of sea-beasts a mile East. The hazardous headwinds roared, amplified deliberately into what was left of his aged flesh-hearing. Gear Seven, a 15-Cog was wearing down again, time to change the bicycle chain and wide-range 9-speed cassette already.
Dee’s thighs were burning steel relentless. Jason Hess had designed the pain feedback firmware inside Navigator Dee’s composite neurosystem infinitely adjustable from Zero to Eleven, like a Marshall Rock Guitar Amp.
Why do you do it? Why do you force the tension the ligaments muscles cartilage self-destructing bending cracking reconfiguring DNA? Won’t that give you cancer, they asked Navigator Randall Dee?
It feels luxurious like the soft gray Cadillac Coupe my pal Bobby’s father bought in what was 1960’s America. Peaceful, Dee would say. It’s a spiritual thing.
Dee and Diesel continued slamming slicing sea winds scaring the plump white gulls heading toward Parrot Cove to Vitor Tausk’s home at the edge of the world.