Saturday, November 22, 2008

Leif's Cyberpunk Novel - Part 1 of 4

When Leif posted the beginning of his Cyberpunk novel on the ZAON forum in December 2002, about a year and a half after he wrote it, he prefaced it with this:

It started as a concept for a Cyberpunk game that I thought was really cool. Unfortunately I did not have any players, or at least any worthwhile players, to run the game with, so I took the advice of one person and I started writing it as a novel.

The people that have read it said it was pretty good but I thought I would post it here to see what others thought.

It follows two groups of characters though a complicated maze of perception and reality as they try to unfold the truth about their 2 worlds in a setting that takes inspiration from "The Matrix" and "The 13th Floor."

The "one person" who gave him the advice to write it as a novel was me.


Chapter One Intro.....

Ramac awoke slowly. The room had a the familiar glow of dim blue light on stainless steel. The smell antiseptic. Ramac had seen these rooms many times. It was an O.R. And the smell that crept beneath the sterile facade was his own blood. He remembered why he was here.

How long had he been out? What had gone wrong? Was the job a total loss? And where was Logan?

No time for that. He had to get on the net. He had work to do. The wound seemed to be healing nicely. Logan was the best flesh mechanic on the continent, and those nanites were earning the 55000 Euro they had cost him to implant. The pain chip was working perfectly. Not so much as an uncomfortable itch.

He pulled the IV from his arm and swung himself out of bed. As usual the pain chip perfectly edited the unpleasant sensation of smashing his head into the steel cabinet. However the shock of falling rather clumsily to the floor took him off his guard.

Why couldn’t he stand? Why couldn’t he feel his legs.

Logan came quickly when he heard the noise. He lifted his patient back into bed and assessed the damage.

“What, you didn’t think I had enough work? Had to break your nose for good measure?”

“It’s a good thing you lost your licence, Logan. With your bedside manner you would make a lousy pediatrician.”

“Well, you don’t pay me for my sunny disposition,” Logan said, as he set Ramac’s nose.

“So, how bad is it?”

“Well, you never were all that pretty. I don’t think this will make much difference.”

“No, how bad is the rest of me?”

“You took 3 ten mils to the back, man. If I hadn’t been right around the corner you’d be dead. As it is, one of 'em cut your spinal cord and you are paralyzed from the waist down.”

“That your idea of breaking it to me gently?”

“Bedside manner, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re still a f----- prick, Logan.”

“Maybe so, but I figured you probably got a clue when you tried to stand up and put your face through my medicine cabinet.”

“Is it permanent?”

“I am afraid so.”

“What about nanosurgery?”

“That would be a possibility if you had just broken it, but with a gunshot there is too much trauma. There wasn’t enough tissue left to repair the gap before the nerve endings died. Cyber replacement isn’t an option either because the nerves are severed to high.”

“What about full Cyber conversion?”

“Sorry same problem. Besides, I don’t really think you have the temperament that would go well with a titanium body.”

Ramac was silent.

“Can I get you anything?”

“Yeah, a cyberterminal. And a bottle of Scotch.”

“I thought alcohol dulled your reflexes.”

“No, it just makes me walk funny.”

“Ah point taken. I’ll go get some then.”

As he turned to go Logan felt a stab of irony. He would never have to worry about such an injury. For the blood that flowed through his veins was Genor. He could regenerate, and had he still carried the virus that had saved him from a similar fate years ago, he could cure Ramac as well. Now the virus was all but dead. Only a few of the Genor still carried it. It could only be created though direct and creative cloning of new Genor. And the formula had long since been lost. Ramac wasn’t going anywhere. His career was over.

But Ramac wasn’t so easily discouraged. He had been on top of the game for almost 30 years. He was smart and he was patient. And most of all he was determined. He would walk again and if the Genor virus was the only way, then he would find a way to get it.

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