Febuary 2018 WEP “In Too deep” Challenge

When I first saw the themes for this year WEP challenges, I realized I could do an anthology of sorts. Incorporating various off-shoots of the science fiction ideas of “Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and Cyberpunk.” While the variations on those three concepts are starting to grow in genre knowledge, they each present an atmosphere all their own.  For this months piece, I fumbled around with a few different ideas before setting my mind on a Nanopunk inspired story. Nanopunk is one of two offshoots of the Cyberpunk idea, with a heavy focus on the impact of nanites and nanotechnology.  Unfournatetly writers’ overall tend to favor a negative impact over positive. Taking the extremes of both sides, while exploring the duality of technology use. I humbly present my entry into the first WEP contest of 2018, “Hope.”


Hope

Hearing brief snippets of conversation as the anesthesia began to wear off. Something about “last hope,” and “the resistance failing.” Starting to feel the nanites start their rapid enhancement of my body. Grabbing the corners of the operating table before waking up. Scanning the room to see General MacArthur and Sergeant Jones, standing on the left edge of the metal table. Several scientists with bloodstained green robes and masks stood behind them. Everyone’s gaze focused on me, seeming mentally noting every movement I made.

General MacArthur commented “Welcome back Captain Allen, and it seems the last-ditch hope of the resistance was successful. Which is fortunate, since the losses of the human race have suffered is to deep for it to fail. Get him any gear he requires sergeant. We will be dropping him deep into enemy territory soon. Remember Captain you are no longer just a man; you’re a living weapon.”

Nodding my head in silence, watching the scientists begin to unplug the various tubes and needles from my body. Feeling a slight pinch, before the nanites started sealing the wounds. Staring at the cracked bright lights above me, waiting for them to finish unplugging me. Eager to prove I was the right candidate for Project Salvation.

About twelve hours had passed before I was leaning out the open door of a programmed drone. Dressed entirely in a sleek prototype lightweight mesh armor, designed for high stealth missions. Choosing a tri-barreled energy shotgun, two compact tactical pistols. Along with a curved metal handled plasma sword and various grenades. Making a significant assumption, I could take steal enemy weapons if necessary. Glancing at the radar, tightening the straps on my parachute as the drop zone approached. Jumping out the door, instantly bringing the various factors of the drop onto the air in front of me. Keeping a close eye on the ground radar and altitude level, knowing the minimum height I could open the chute. My body was feeling the wind fighting against along its steady descent. Using my hand to open the parachute with a mighty pull at a little over six-hundred feet above barren enemy territory. Being shot upwards some as my descent began to slow.

Rapidly detaching my parachute after landing, rolling to the ground afterward. Taking cover with by sprinting towards a nearby pile of discarded, obsolete robots. Taking a quick survey of my environment, looking around for the giant water pipe. Managing to find two ITY-2000 guard robots blocking my entrance into the control facility. Unholstering one of my pistols, aiming it swiftly. The nanites in my blood were doing a rapid analysis of their structural weak points. Finding their weak spot was the power coupler on the left side of the neck. Pulling the trigger a few times at each target, knowing the noise from the gunshots would attract attention. Noticing their heads twist from the power coupling separating, before falling into the pool of water below them. Waiting a few seconds after the splash before running onward. Leaping into the large pipe, stretching my body out on the rusting metal. My eyes adjusting to the darkness before crawling forward. Using the nanites to hack into the mainframe. Determined to find the fastest way into the control room, that would shut the killer machines down for good. Using a hacked map to navigate the tunnels.

After a couple of hours of careful navigation, I found the ceiling access panel to the control room. Using both hands to carefully move the panel to the other side of the tunnel before peering downward at the immaculately clean control room. Noticing the small army of ITY-2000s’ patrolling the place. The regiment was guarding the large silver computer near the center of the room. Thick black cables ran upward from the back of the machine, supported by the base of a large gray metal structure. It appeared to be a symbiotic structure that ran to the communications array at the top of the structure. Focusing my gaze on the structure, letting the nanites analyze it. Trying to find its weakness from here. Doubting I had enough firepower to drop down and perform the task more overtly. Minutes passed before the nanites brought up three weak points, I could attack.
Pulling myself forward into the tunnel, feeling the cold metal under my fingers. A large maintenance panel was blocking my path, with a large handle protruding outwards. Wrapping my hands around the metal, before pulling it towards me. Finding several black cables bound together, running uninterrupted by the vents. Separating the cables, before placing a grenade in the interior. Using the nanites to sync three explosives on a five-minute timer before pushing myself backward past the access panel. Letting the nanites calculate the trajectory of both grenades, before tossing them along the projected arc. With the central communication tower rigged to blow, I traveled the tunnels toward the exit. Being careful of the explosives I rigged on my ascent towards the control room.

Suddenly plummeting down as the ventilation shaft I was near dropped from the ceiling. My eyes were opening to see lines of the enemy surrounded me. Barrels of their weapons pointed directly at, as their hive mind processed what to do. Massively outnumbered, and outgunned I quickly realized this first mission post augmentation, would be my last. Taking a deep breath, pressing the detonator attached to my wrist. Making peace with myself as the explosions began above me. Hearing them before I could see the orange flames work their way down the building. Watching the fire dance their way down to me before I could feel the heat on my skin. Screaming as my gear caught fire, burning my skin. The nanites were struggling to heal me against the flames rapid consumption of my body. Hearing the shouts of my comrades as I left the burnt remains my body.



Critique level: Full Word Count: 982

Feel free to stop by and check out the other entries for this contest at the link below: http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2018/02/wepff-february-2018-challenge-in-too.html?m=1

 

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29 thoughts on “Febuary 2018 WEP “In Too deep” Challenge

  1. All I can say at the moment, Wow. I like your plot. It seems as Captain Allen goes from one high to another before he self-destructs. It reminds me of the terrorists who wire their bodies and go on suicidal missions. You also had my attention. I overlooked grammar because I was too involved in your story.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing such an enjoyable story! I love reading tales that explore the possibilities of technology, both the ways they can be useful and the potential drawbacks. I enjoyed the balance you struck, and the ending haunted me. The idea of the nanites struggling to keep up, prolonging an agonizing death if their work proves to be futile, is horrifying, but the potential good they can do is a cause for hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Christopher … Nano punk I haven’t come across before … or the effect the nanonites could have … really interesting story line – just feel for him as he dies … but he seems to have achieved his task. Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the challenge you’ve set for yourself, and I really enjoyed the story. Nanopunk, I like it. A single man against an entire army, that is asking a lot but it seemed to be the only way. Self sacrifice the true trait of a hero I hope the nanites manage to heal him. Will the story continue or change to one of the other punk versions. I look forward to finding out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting voice and word choice. Not sure if the mechanical thought processes are a by-product of the nanites; minor tweaking should make it flow easier, and hopefully not totally lose the tone. His emotionless state seems important to his enhancements, and the mission. Nice flow, active, excellent build up of the tension. Now that the bare bones are there, it would be easy for you to flesh this out and extend it to a 3-5000 word short story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to confess I am in too deep here 🙂 not familiar with nanopunk or nanites, probably not the exact readership demographic you are targetting 🙂

    I like the story premise – ‘a living weapon’ – very reminiscent of the suicide bombers that one reads about constantly…and I like the world building. A very unique take on the prompt.

    The use of truncated, ‘rapid-fire’ sentences – mixed feelings about that. On the one hand it adds a great ‘staccato’ vibe to the narration, very effective tone for fast paced action, sweeps the reader along. On the other it does interfere with the flow a bit imo. You will have to decide a trade-off point, depending on what is most important to you.

    The grammar errors/typos didn’t really bother me, not that I’m saying it’s okay to leave them in, they do need to be sorted out, that’ll happen anyways during editing. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. He did a lot in the time given.
    and in under a 1000 I see
    All man kind rested on him
    for humanity to be free

    I’m asking you man
    was there only one
    now that it’s dead
    did his job get done

    could more be around
    these computer things
    and now on this world
    death will truly rain

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christopher, an intriguing story. I find sci-fi hard to read,not wired that way, but I concentrate and always learn something. It is fascinating to imagine ‘what if?’ and go with a story.

    I’ve read all the other comments and a few brought up the grammar which is what we’re supposed to do to help writers improve. There is a school of thought that says it no longer matters, but I don’t think most readers would agree. Your paragraphing was much better this time.

    So, we all get carried away when we’re hot for an idea and get our dirty drafts/sloppy copy down which has lots of typos/grammar probs and stuff, but remember, it’s Write…then Edit…then Publish. You’ll get a lot more fans if you follow the process. It is important in a writer’s life. WEP is an ideal place to do it.

    And if you’re one of those writers who can’t see their own mistakes, ask someone to beta read for you. Most of us do that all the time, as we can overlook our own mistakes. Some of us at WEP would be happy to help, I’m sure.

    Denise

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried to change some of the common repeating words in the edit, and some worked, others didn’t. Part of that is probably the natural atomsphere of building a science fiction environment, I’m guessing. Granted I edit in stages using Grammerly which does help, I think. Still wish it worked on Google docs instead of copying and pasting repeatedly. I’m still trying to find a well established writers community that is welcome to new comers. Chris

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well that was intense. Liked this a lot, as I’m a scifi fan. Would have liked a better ending but it’s too bad he couldn’t have been made fireproof. I wonder how many men or women would actually submit to being enhanced to be a ‘super soldier’. . .

    Liked by 1 person

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