“What is he?,” Amy said, still somewhat in shock.
“He,” Bill Gates said, “We’ve nicknamed Borg, which is short for Cyborg, or a cybernetically based organism”
Amy looked at the red velvet stanchions which created a clear circular perimeter around him, spaced in a ten foot diameter around the ‘Borg’.
The ‘Borg’ as he was referred to was clearly human, or had once been at least. Not anymore.
His entire body was wrapped in what appeared to be a black synthetic material, with the exception of his face and the groin and buttocks area which was freely exposing his genitals and flaccid penis.
Layered on top of the black synthetic material were a series of black functionally placed plates, an almost outer layer of armor of sorts with wires and tubes wound haphazardly interconnecting the plates in what appeared to be some form of life support system.
These plates were situated on his chest and shoulders as one might wear football shoulder pads, they stretched the entirety of both arms. A plate was situated above the abdomen, which wrapped around his torso, oddly the man completely bare with exposed skin from the wist down to the thighs, exposing the buttocks and genitals, and then the plates and synthetic material continued from the thighs down to the boots and feet.
The one visible eye was gaunt, as if the man hadn’t slept in years, and physically attached to the other eye was an ocular lens of some kind, with a set of tubes and wires which went some went from the device directly into his skull, others went into what appeared to be a black skull cap which where a part of his skull was clearly missing, replaced which machinery and tubes and wires leading into it.
She walked closer, looking at his exposed groin.
“Curious, isn’t it? An armored man with his most vulnerable parts exposed for all the world to see?,” Bill Gates said.
Not sure how to respond, yet, Amy drew closer but was prevented by the ropes.
“May I? “ Amy said, looking down at the ropes.
“I’m afraid not, “ Bill said, reaching for a nearby broomstick minus the broom used to demonstrate precisely what he was about to demonstrate.
He walked up to the edge of the perimeter, held the broomstick just over his head, and then walked around, bouncing the stick off of some invisible force which completely surrounded the man.
The sound of the broomstick reverberated and sounded like a thick concrete sound, as as Bill traced the invisible containment shielding the cyborg making it clear there was a perfect sphere surrounding the man.
“Can I touch it,” Amy said, “Is it safe?”
“Sure, go ahead,” Bill said.
She put the palm of her hand out, when it abruptly came into contact with a smooth surface, but there was nothing else significant about the surface other than it was simply invisible.
Amy walked around the Borg, her hand against the spherical surface the entire time.
“Oh we’ve tried everything to get inside. Furthermore, paint, water, and anything else we attempt to adhere to it simply slides off. Even terrestrially based friction-less surfaces will get dust adhering to it, and this won’t. We have had materials scientists working on it, and they’ve come up with an odd conclusion.”
Amy looked at him in much the same way a child leaving the house for the first time might suddenly learn there’s a scary world out there.
She felt it too.
The lump in her throat.
The unease in the pit of her stomach.
She didn’t know if she wanted to be here anymore.
She looked at Bill, and walked back to stand in front of the Borg.
“Mr Gates, I don’t know if I’m ready for this,” she said, “I’d never imagined…”
He cut her short.
“Amy. What’s his name?,” she said.
She blurted out “Q,” she said, as she looked at him utterly confused.
“That’s right,” he said, “Now how did you know that, when I never told you?
Amy looked around the room, for markers or any indication of his name.
“You’re just saying that to lead,” she said.
She was wanting to cry. Her emotions were becoming overwhelming as the thoughts drifted over her again, “Run, as fast as you can and leave this place and never look back”
She held back.
“No, That’s what we’ve named him as well,” he walked over to a nearby laptop which was atop a rolling cart.
“Come here, please, “ he said, “Now I am not going to touch anything, I want you to see what we named him and what we have on him without my interference. There’s no password on that machine, double click on the file on the desktop named ‘Borg Presentation.pdf’.
A document came up on the screen, a full life sized photo of the man, and underneath it.
“Suspected Seed Cyborg “Q” discovered near Palmer Station, Antarctic – September 23rd, 1997″
The photo contained two men on the left side of the invisible sphere which was atop a bed of ice, in a large tent with a canvas sheet over the top of it, and on the other side was a woman in an orange parka as well.
Amy was feeling sick to her stomach.
“Mr Gates. I’m not sure what you’re wanting from me with this, but I am in so far over my head I’m feeling like I can’t breathe. I’d like to go now, please take me back to my research park, I’m sincerely wanting to pretend none of this ever happened.
Bill Gates was clearly disappointed and went to put a hand on her shoulder.
“How do I know that name?,” she said.
She was fighting back the tears.
“I’m sorry. This was too much too fast,” Bill Gates said, but was interrupted as John Medina came through the doors in a hurry.
“Bill, we have something you need to see,” John said.
Bill looked at Amy “Amy, can you,” he briefly considered his words before reconsidering and resumed “I was going to ask if you would wait a moment here, but it’s up to you, you can come with me or wait a few moments for Bill to tell me what he has to.”
Amy looked at the ominous figure named Q.
“I think I’ll go with you,” she said, as she’d finally gotten back in control of her emotions.
She tried dismissing it all as an act, but try as she might, there was one thing beyond rational explanation.
The invisible wall.
AS the two went through the double doors down a short hallway, and as John Medina openly discussed an anomaly on a remote EEG reading, Amy wondered “With his resources, could Bill have access to technology and is putting on this act just for me? To what end?
They turned a corner where a sign by the door said “Security and Monitoring”.
The room was enormous. And less like a typical corporate security installation and more like a command center. Q had an entire section of monitors devoted just to him, but there were banks of monitors which appeared to be showing other research facilities around the world.
And some which appeared to be monitoring nothing. One was pointed to an ocean. Another – was – wait a second – is that a strip club? Others, interiors of houses and apartments.
She didn’t ask questions.
She just wanted this all to be done with.
John led the two of them to the monitors and equipment observing Q.
“I’ll be quick about this, but Amy, I was hoping you might ….,” John trailed off a bit, “Oh nevermind, Edwin, would you please replay the visuals of Amy’s contact and the Remote EGG readings, start before they entered the room.”
John looked at Amy and Bill “Ok, Amy, we’ve perfected a remote EEG sensing device which lets us read the hrainwave patterns of subjects, and as you’re well aware is my expertise and area of study.”
“Off to the right, is the remote reading for Q.”
“It appears dead,” she said.
“It does, doesn’t it?,” John said, “and while I’ve had a great deal of time perfecting the remote EEG, it’s just one of numerous devices we’re trying to use to understand the telepathic field he’s clearly emitting,” he said.
Amy chuckled, nervously.
“Unless, of course you have a better explanation on how you knew the same name we had picked for him,” he said.
She didn’t have an explanation.
“Can I continue?,” he said.
Amy’s nervousness was subsiding.
She didn’t want to tell them, but the being “Q” she now felt had somehow controlled her emotionally, provoking the deep seated fear that made her want to run, and being out of the direct proximity of him had palpably deteriorated that feeling.
Amy’s composure and some confidence regained, she responded “Sure, go ahead.”
The monitor on the left showed Bill Gates and Amy Newton entering the room. Some discussion.
“Now I need you to pay attention to the EEG readings on the right,” John said.
And it happened. At the same exact time Amy had come into physical contact with the invisible sphere, the EGG sprung to life.
Saying it sprung to life might be a bit of an exaggeration…
But the change was irrefutable.
“Holy shit!,” Bill Gates said, clearly excited,
Amy gasped at the same time. “he’s alive!”, she exclaimed.
“Edwin, real time display, please,” said John, as Edwin responded by flipping the monitors back to a date and time displayed on the screen which correlated to the current date and time.
“He’s got the same EEG reading as a comatose patient,” he said.
“That provides further proof of our suspicion,” Bill said.
Amy looked at Bill and back at John.
“Proves what?,” she said.
“Amy, we need your expertise and now your touch to research the mind in ways no one else ever has, but we need to know if you’re on board before we discuss more,” she said.
She thought for a moment.
“Only if I can limit my exposure to that… thing…. ,” she said.
The two smiled at eachother.
“Absolutely. He’s clearly a critical part of this research. But because of the lack of direct interaction, you have your work cut out for you before engaging in anything with any degree of reliability remotely,” Bill said, “it took John nearly 10 years to perfect his remote EEG, and little more than a month afterwards here you are proving it’s reliability and the need for your skills and some degree of haste.”
Amy looked at him, suspiciously.
“Is there anything else I need to know?,” she said.
“In due time, Amy,” Bill said.
“Can we count you in?,” John followed.
“You can,” she said, “Only I want a Lexus. A new one. “
“You got it, “ Bill said, chuckling.
“Now the sphere. We’re suspecting it’s…..,” John began to say…