Prologue

Although she was killed in the line of duty when I was 12, our sis found a way to keep protecting us through life insurance. It was large enough to build a new home on the 20 acres she'd bought for retirement and six weeks after the funeral, we moved out there and started building. Because of her belief in protecting us, she taught all of us how to safely shoot a gun and we'd bought several of them for protection and hunting.

2 yrs ago, I had read a 40 yr old Prophetic Sociology Paper titled "Hell's Kitchen" that scared me, about our society going down the drain. It predicted the growing police and political corruption with our biggest cities being overrun by gangs fighting to see who'll be top dog and our smaller cities eventually seeing the same problems.

Click - This is ABC World News:

More attacks occurred along the border during the night with over 50 attackers dead announced the Border Patrol. 2 million people have been without power in El Paso/Juarez since 2 am. Once again, protests against the border closings in Juarez escalated into Riots overnight. Property damage is estimated at 5 million Pesos. In local news, demands have increased once again for an Investigation into the construction delays and cost overruns of the nuclear plant in Hatch, New Mexico. It is now estimated to be 32 months behind schedule and 500 million over budget. Local News is Next

Click

Being indoors was a relief as the air was much cleaner inside due to features developed by the Biosphere projects. Saying" Mom I'll take you into town this afternoon but you're going to need your mask as the crap is blowing up from Mexico again" before laying down for a nap.

Due to the growing pollution, our farms couldn't provide enough food to feed everyone now, our health was going downhill and companies still refused to do anything because it cost money. Yet I still dreamed that someday soon, I'd be able to move the family someplace with clean air, water and soil but knew it was only a dream because anything that affected the bottom line or profits was anathema to the corps who had the money and political clout not to care.


God damn tinnitus I think as my ringing ear wakes me again. Sticking my thumb in the damn thing, I decide to hold my hand as a telephone and see if anyone will answer this time. Saying Hello only to get a Good, you're finally there. What the... ? I've got a deal you simply can't refuse. Go away and bother Picard "Q" I say.

I Am Not "Q" although I can understand your annoyance with that penny ante fool.

Then who are you?

"I am ... Erhh - it's been so long since I last heard it that I have forgotten my own name - no matter. What I am offering is One Wish and it can be as complex as you want. You may ask questions before making it and I will tell you if I cannot do what you want, though unlike that fool "Q" there is little in the Multi-verse that I am unable to do."

Multi-verse? Is that what we call Parallel Universes? Although Parallel Universes are part of it, the multi-verse encompasses far more possibilities So you could move me and those I love someplace that we like or you can bring tech from there to here?

"Either is possible but you must know that some places do not exist or are unreachable."

Most of what I want is theoretically possible and comes from what we call Science Fiction. I prefer the stories that include a solid basis in fact and theory and that are generally thought of as Hard Core Sci-Fi. Many of these stories involve the "What If" element and explore both the good and bad possibilities of technology.

The first element involves the so called "Psychic" abilities of which I want Telepathy, Telekinesis, Technopathy Both telepathy and telekinesis already exist in your race but technopathy requires some growth before it will be a possibility. I can give it to you but it will require rewiring of your brain to do so. Damn! I don't know if I'm willing to go that far but thank you for that info. What about Multilingualism (reading/writing/speaking) every language?

The speaking is easy as it is a refinement of telepathy. Combining it with reading and writing though is interesting as no one has ever requested that combination before

One ability I desire is Accelerated Healing with the addition of Regeneration. I'm not concerned with a fast regeneration, just the ability to repair/regrow organs/limbs and is it possible to add immunity from all diseases?

"It's easy to expand the existing regeneration ability but while possible, immunity requires enough change that you would no longer be able to breed with your original species - a technological solution is preferred"

Nice to know that about regeneration, as to immunity, I already have a technological solution in mind.

One ability that I've personal experience with is Precognition. What I would like to have is a precognitive ability that is quantum in its scope; showing all possible futures.

You already recognize precognitive events?

I do - though it is usually after the fact. I have recognized a precognitive event early enough to respond appropriately.

"Strange - your species does possess a limited Precognitive ability yet as with all of the Psychic Powers, there is great disbelief in them."

So is it possible to expand my Precognitive ability to see all futures?"?

"Since you are already capable of it, it's is feasible since it would simply be an expansion of an existing ability"

Good! An ability that goes well with Quantum Precognition is Path Finding. It is also required for teleporting myself or objects where I desire instead of the middle of a wall or star yet I do not know if it's a psychic ability.

"Looking at your species, I see many examples of it, yet cannot identify whether it is a psychic or innate ability. Very Strange. It will take more investigation on my part to determine if it can be expanded in the manner you wish."

Of the fictional abilities - "Rogue" from the X-men comic books, has one that I'd like if possible. It's her ability to borrow/learn another's capability through touch. Unlike her though, I want total control over the ability and the default to be off.

"There is a universe where the X-Men actually exist and looking at her and the others I see that they are not related to your species even though they are humanoid. It can be given but will require significant genetic changes."

Thank you for that information even though it is disappointing. I'll leave that one alone.

Of the Technology I'm interested in, it is derived from a series of stories called the "Swarm Cycle" posted at Stories Online. The Confederacy uses nanotech for its manufacturing and medical services and I want one of their Industrial Replicators plus a Colony AI system with expanded storage filled with their entire knowledgebase including all of their replicator patterns.

Place these in a 90 cubic meter chamber, 100 meters below ground at Easter Island that is only accessible by teleportation - either of my own ability or through their transporter technology. I also want a single portable transporter terminus for family use. Include a cargo transporter terminus in the floor of my garage.

"I've located the universe where the technology exists and can grab the items you desire - as to the chamber that is simple and can be accomplished in moments"

As part of the technology transfer, I also want two of our vehicles transferred to the chamber, the Volkswagen Beetle and Van as I will use the AI and replicator to recreate all vehicles to my specifications.

"On the vehicle relocation, that too is a simple."

One final question involves Reincarnation. What I want is to ensure that all of my memories, knowledge, skills and abilities are transferred to a body with the same number of limbs, height and weight with that body given full access to them until I finally desire to end.

"It is feasible but is not something that I can ensure will work as you desire. One thing that will not be possible is the transfer of any technology that you have gathered or created but the transference of your life-force and accumulated knowledge is possible."

So everything I've asked is possible even if it has serious disadvantages?

"The answer is 42"

What?

Oh you wanted to review your wish before making it - Yes, all that you have asked is possible.

I Wish for

  • Telekinesis with a 500 Kg and 50 Ly range

  • Telepathy with limited Mind Control

  • Accelerated Healing with Regeneration

  • Quantum Precognition

  • Path Finding

  • Multilingualism

  • Reincarnation

  • The creation of a 90 cubic meter chamber, 100 meters below ground at Easter Island

  • transference of the Volkswagen Beetle, Van, one Confederacy Industrial Replicator, one Confederacy Med-Pod and a Confederacy AI with the entire Confederacy Knowledgebase and all Confederacy replicator patterns into the new chamber

  • A Single portable Confederacy Transporter Terminus on my desk plus a cargo transporter terminus placed in the center of the garage floor

Wish Granted I wonder how he'll do in the future.


I see both cars in the middle of the chamber with a simple cube with one face having multiple warning labels that I guess is the input side of the replicator and opposite it, an opening, square in shape reaching almost to the edges of the cubes face that was about half way through the cube. Suddenly a voice asks

Why am I not in a standard Colony Pod?

There are several reasons I answer the voice, assuming it is the AI. First is that this is a secure location, accessible only by transporter or by my personal ability to teleport. Second - this is a parallel universe and there are no Sa'arrm here. Third is that I have not decided if I want to expand you further.

I am planning on using the replicator to construct a Mk 2.5 habitat pod then teleport it to the asteroid belt along with the replicator where it will begin construction of a manufacturing replicator. Once that is completed, the industrial replicator will be returned here while the manufacturing replicator begins constructing either a space-dock or MMC (mobile manufacturing complex) but before anything else gets done, I have a name for you.

A Name? Why should I need a name I am an AI."

It is almost a cultural imperative for American's to name things. Be it people, places or even things. At this time I wish to designate you as Socrates. This allows me to identify when I'm talking with you. All future AI's will receive names based upon their facility name.

Acknowledge - Unit Designation changed to Socrates

Now from the replicator, I'll need some seating. Please select something to fabricate. The next item is a PDA. I want it to look similar to the current Apple iPad - do you have a pattern like it?

Nothing like the iPad

Damn. That means we'll have to design one up. Will that be an issue as the only area's I'm concerned with are the exterior size, display and auxiliary ports such as USB and such.

There's no problem adjusting size and features of the PDA. I can combine several into a design the replicator can produce.

Okay, then the physical size needs to be 24 centimeters by 32 centimeters. The display needs to meet the UXGA (1600x1200) 4:3 ratio with true color capability and needs to be 22 centimeters by 30 centimeters. Enable Rotation between Landscape (4:3) and Portrait (3:4) with Landscape being the default. Include a minimum of 3 USB ports, a memory card reader capable of Micro-SD/SD/MMC cards, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, HD Cam capable of recording 1080p video, microphone and headphone jacks, Slot Loading optical drive capable of handling Blu-Ray, DVD and CD's. Include a docking port that can recharge it from standard current. Install the maximum memory and storage consistent with a 12 hour minimum run time. Also include a biometric locking system.

Once that is completed, construct a med-pod and set this as the standard augmentation package. Note that only life threatening repairs are authorized not cosmetic changes including limb regeneration. Vision corrected to at least 20/10. Visual range extended from Near Infrared and up to UV-A frequencies. Hearing limit will be normalized to 20KHz. Last install a full Nanite suite.

For volunteers, Regress their physical age as close to 20 years as possible w/o cosmetic changes. For females who have reached menopause - the regression is not to restart their reproductive system.

"Starting construction of a chair for you. Completion time is 45 seconds followed by the PDA - completion time is 2minutes 7 seconds. 46 minutes to completion of standard med-pod."

Thank you Socrates. One question I have revolves around your self-repair and construction capabilities. Do you actually have any or is a replicator of some sort required to provide you with them?

The standard colony AI arrangement consists of a Mk-2 pod with a basic replicator.

I need the weight in kilograms of the industrial replicator. If it is light enough, I can teleport it without using an amplifier, otherwise I'll need the parts for an amplifier.

The industrial Replicator weighs 1238 Kg. What is a MK 2.5 pod?

Damn! Too heavy for me to teleport it without an amplifier. I'll have to assemble it while the two vehicles are being recreated. The Mk 2.5 pod differs from the standard Mk 2 pod due to a larger power supply. Shield and thruster strength is increased by 200 percent. Gravity plates and Inertial Dampening are included plus there is a Transporter station and twin med-pods while life support capacity is doubled.

The minimum power supply required is 2.5Mw as included in the Mk 2.5 pod.

So I can transfer you to a standard Mk 2.5 pod when I have a spare

Is there an advantage to moving the replicator using telekinesis?

Secrecy
Even a heavily stealthed transport may draw attention to this facility and I wish to avoid that as long as possible. Can the transporter reach a habitat pod in the asteroid belt?

With a 2.5Mw reactor installed, two way transporter use is available. Otherwise the pod transporter is one way only.

Explain that please.

The 2.5Mw reactor is the smallest available to fit a Mk 2.5 pod. The improvement over the Mk 2 pod is that of a continuous power output, limited only by available fuel. The Mk 2 pod uses a battery system that can be quickly drained of stored power.

Using the batteries of a Mk2 pod, a standard transporter is limited to a 10Km range and 2 transports in an emergency. With the 2.5Mw reactor, that range is extended to 30 Light minutes and as many transports as fuel provides.

Next we'll need the parts to an FT and T generator. Once that is completed, I'll move the replicator out to the asteroid belt to begin assembly of a manufacturing replicator. Then it will construct a Mark 2.5 pod with this layout. The upper level will have 2 pairs of bedrooms with each pair separated by a bath. The two pairs will be separated by 3 meters centered upon the grav-lift. The additional space will be configured as a small gathering space with tables and chairs. The lower level will have two half-baths with sink/toilet, an office, the primary replicator and dining area. Place alcoves on opposite sides of the entry - one to hold the transporter station the other holds the two med-pods. Once finished, I will transport to it with the amplifier for my telekinetic ability and then return the industrial replicator and begin creation of multiple stealth comm. satellites before beginning work on a proper pod for you.

Thank You for considering my need for a proper pod. The current setup does appear safe but I do worry about security.

Secrecy and Security are why this chamber is only accessible by transporter or teleportation.

"Completion of Med-Pod in 37 minutes"

What? When did you start the med-pod?

"8 minutes ago - with enough raw materials, an industrial replicator can assemble a single med-pod in 45 minutes and 15 seconds"

I better get moving I think to myself before moving both cars out of the middle of the chamber.


Okay Socrates, what does my scan show?

Current repair time exceeds 28 hours.

What's the most dangerous issue right now?

That is the overall damage to your heart and lungs. To correct only that will require 6 hours but will provide a major improvement in general health.

You mean cleaning my plumbing and making sure the lungs are clear will take 6 hours?

No. The 6 hours includes fixing your heart. Cleaning your plumbing and fixing your lungs will only take 2 hours by itself - the 28 hours include fixing your vision and hearing, clearing the arthritis and neuropathic damage along with rejuvenating you to a physical age of 20.

How much time if we add the vision and hearing repairs?

Total time is 8 hours to complete.

Then we'll add the vision and hearing repairs plus the maintenance nanites. Program them to a minimal level as the only thing they will be doing is disease prevention. While the repairs are being done, begin construction as specified on the van first, then the bug and last will be the Tracker.


Grabbing the portable terminus, I head to the family room where I place it in front of the fireplace while calling a family meeting.

Do you see the silver pad in front of the fireplace? Mike I want you to walk over there and across it. Don't stop moving when you get there. "Why?" You'll see.

What? Where'd he go Aaron - mom screamed at me. He just beamed out. That is a transporter disk and he's now in my command center. I want you to do the same thing he did. Simply walk across it and keep moving since I'll be right behind you. It took me a bit of chivying her but soon enough she stepped over the terminus and was beamed into the chamber.

Welcome to the command center a voice booms out of the air.

What the shout in stereo. "Who's that?" Sorry for the surprise. Mom, Mike please meet Socrates. He's the Command AI and can answer questions when I'm not here. Mom demands, "How'd you get all this Aaron?"

It's a strange tale, last night, my ear started ringing so I answered the damn thing. Sure wasn't expecting a reply and damn near fell off the light when I did. The short form - I was granted a single wish and this is part of it.

See that cube with the ball sticking out? That's a replicator - uses nanites to build just about anything. Right now it's building a Mk 2.5 habitat pod though I'll get to why later. Once that's done, The Goose, Herbie and Scooter are going to be recreated with several safety features and now that I have a way, I'm increasing the protections on Mike and you.

This here is a med-pod that can heal almost anything if you can get to it and as part of the protection I want both of you to climb in one of them right now. It'll rebuild you from the inside out and make you fit and sassy. It'll take a full day for treatment but it means you'll be ready for almost anything.

Make a note Socrates. We're going to need emergency medical supplies. Smart bandages and such that can stabilize people long enough to get them into a pod.

Noted Aaron

Yea, we do have a habit of naming things, even things that really have no purpose in being named other than to identify their function.

"Aaron - why are you going to fix the Goose and Herbie?"

Mom! With how bad things are getting, the damn gangs, police corruption, pollution and the fucking attacks across the border, I want all of us to be as safe as possible even though some things are still in the air. All three cars will have a limited AI like KITT from the Knight Rider show and they'll be electric but what else I'm including - Gahh! I don't know yet.

I'm planning on using the Goose for long trips. He'll get a bubble top like George had plus I'm hiding a replicator in the icebox/sink unit. I'm also planning on a transporter pad in the middle for evacuation. Don't want to use it but it'll be there if needed. He's going to get full A/C as I want to be comfortable while out there and the engine compartment is going to disappear because the motors will be at the wheels. Herbie get's A/C but I haven't even thought beyond that yet. Hell I don't even know what extra's Scooter is getting but he gets something. While both of you are in the pods, I'm going to be working with Socrates on how the cars will be recreated.


With Socrates help, I'm now working on cutting pollution around the world but it's going to take a lot of work. The first idea was a fuel cell. We've got several under development but none of them on the market. I'm going to change that and the fuel cells have to become as common as light bulbs to really make a difference. What Socrates has found for me in his records was a fuel cell that we can produce with our level of tech. The biggest part of it is the catalyst used, which is from common aluminum. There's just a slight difference between it an aluminum cans so recycled aluminum is going to be usable. The biggest problem has been you can't simply pull into a gas station and refuel, yet we've solved that since the fuel we'll use is Diesel. Sure it's not perfect but it does allow us to use the damn stations and make the transition to hybrid/fuel cell power cars without pain. The other element is that we're not fighting the Oil Companies, who will come after us, either to buy the patents or shut us down.

Another tech we're starting to look at is solar panels. If we can get the production cost below one dollar a watt, we can sell them cheaply enough to really get solar powered traffic and street lights in place all over the country. Another thing I want to do is get a solar roof panel; something like a tin roof. If Socrates finds the method, we can finally get decent 30 to 50 year roofs priced about the same as upscale roofing costs today. Eventually I want to have a true multinational conglomerate just like G.E. but instead of being in the States, I plan on putting the company headquarters on our own island. Once we reach that stage, we'll finally be able to start the needed recruiting to get us into space on a permanent basis.

As I said earlier, I want us to stay under the radar for as long as possible as various companies are quite willing to play hardball. Because of this and the possibility that someone will attempt to kidnap or even kill us, we're all going to be getting plenty of range time and I'm going to introduce you to two of the Confederacy's weapons. The first is the Mk 2 blaster. It's something like what Star Wars showed. Very powerful and quite deadly. You will learn to use it safely. The other is the Stinger. It's a stunner. In other words it'll knock em out and leave them with a monster headache. There's several versions. The first looks like a set of rings (brass knuckles), the next looks like a play gun while the last is a rifle. The last item I'll introduce you both to is body armor. We've got several varieties, the most useful looks like simply clothing. This means almost all of your clothing will be replaced with the new fabric as it protects you from knives and small caliber guns such as the common Saturday Night Specials and .38 caliber snub nosed.

As part of our security efforts, Mike and I will start work on upgrading home security using confederacy tech. The first element is going to be a privacy wall around the entire perimeter. This wall will be hollow to begin with but Socrates will fill it in with the needed sensors, shields and materials to change it into a full security wall capable of stopping a tank. On the house front, I've already started some of the upgrades and one thing I'm looking forward to is a proper home network.

One thing that absolutely has to remain secret is knowledge of Socrates and the command center. As part of the security directives that have already been taken, both of you have been conditioned so you can't tell anyone that Socrates is an AI. You will refer to him as a person. Another element is phones. I've designed smart phones with Socrates that look like standard smart phones, work on our current plan and are untraceable when talking to Socrates or on the private channels. The reason for this is that I've had Socrates create a large number of stealth satellites and placed them in orbit. Keep in mind that as Socrates is my AI, he will be monitoring everything through the phones.

"What? Why does he have to monitor things?" Mike, he's an AI. His job is to serve us. Hell he doesn't care when you shit unless it's a health problem and your nanites will tell him that. He also doesn't care who or what you screw unless it's underage. Eventually it will be a fact of life. AI's will monitor damn near everything but as their memory is not infinite, anything that doesn't trip a flag is gone. Seen and immediately forgotten because it's unimportant to them. The main thing is, Socrates will only have the phones for monitoring. As we get the cars back, he'll be able to interface with them and help like KITT does and with some of the extra's I'm thinking of, that might be some very big help. The last thing is that all of us will be in peak physical condition even though we don't look like it. This means we have far more reserves to draw on should something happen.


Boy you don't want to get into a pissing contest with me because I piss worse then a horse and you'll end up all wet.

"Gi me ya purse ho - I'm taken wha's mine."

Child, you're about to get a major case of asswhoop ifen I don't kill ya an rite now I'm think'n it'll be bettr to jus shoot you dumb ass and let the cops figure out who-dun it.

Somebody done pissed in yer Wheaties kid? asks Mike as he walks around the corner.

"Whas it to ya?"

Bzzzt - wrong answer dipshit. Damn idiot. Doesn't know when to back off and quit - thinks he's some kinda hot shit. Are you okay mam?

Didn't see wha'd you do that put his ass down and he's down like my drunk ex.

Just something I discovered accidently. Works like a charm and his head will feel like the day after a 3 day drunk Mike tells her.

"Oy that's gonna be fun" she says.

Opening his phone, Mike calls Socrates and asks "I need advice Socrates."

Tell me your problem Mike.

Woman was damn near mugged by a ganger so I zapped him.

Bring her home and I'll let Aaron know.

Damn-it Mike, you just had to go and get into trouble didn't you. Guess I can't blame you for trying your stinger and I did tell you it was safest but why did you bring her here?

"Socrates" answers Mike.

"Alright" I sigh. At least it wasn't just another harebrained thought. Let's call Socrates and see why he suggested it.

What can I do for you Aaron?

You can explain why you told Mike to bring Nancy here instead of taking her home.

Recruitment; According to the information I was able to dig up, she offers several skills that you critically need and based on what I've found out, I'd estimate her CAP to be close to 7.0.

Skills like Yvette at Ishtar with James Rab?

Yes

Tell me about yourself Nancy. "Why should I?" As Socrates said, Recruitment. I've got several patents applied for involving fuel cells and I've started rounding up funding to get started building them. In 3 years, I plan on being one of the biggest employers locally, in 5, I want to be the biggest and in 20, I want to be a multinational conglomerate. "You sure not talking small potatoes then. First off, I live in Clovis, where I help take care of my folks. During the school year, I teach 8th grade math at the junior high." Oh hell, you have to deal with all those hellions then. "It's not too bad, as long as I've got my stick." Yea, I guess herding cats can be a useful skill.

"Now I want to know what Socrates was suggesting Aaron." His suggestion was grabbing you as my executive assistant. "Socrates. I need you to look at the advancement ratio of her students."

I'm on it boss

What I'm thinking is that we have a serious lack of employment around her and our teens are getting into trouble because there's nothing to do. By setting up the factory her as I'm planning, we're going to have positions open for teens in the warehouse and some in manufacturing. We can actually liaise with the school's metal shop class and get a hand up on the basics of working sheet metal. Things like Rolling and forming. Then there's the welding and soldering. We'll need those skills too so the school or ROP can teach them. One of my goals is to have these fuel cells as common as light bulbs and we'll pay over minimum wage with excellent benefits. That's where you'll come in. If I can get the funding, I'm hoping to be able to open the plant in 18 months. It'll take that long to build the place and then get people trained to make the damn things.

Warning I'm detecting Multiple Missile Launches

Has SAC Confirmed those launches?

10 minutes to Impact. SAC Confirms, Hotline Confirms. Someone compromised the Russian Missile Command System. Civil Defense Alerts going out. SAC scrambling ready wings and anything else they can get in the air. Multiple Launches detected from China. 200 additional ICBM's targeted at North America. 2000 plus Silkworms targeted against Russia, Japan, Korea and Eurasia, many appear to have nuclear warheads

Mom, Mike grab the dogs, and evacuate. You've got 5 minutes to be gone. "We're going and good luck son" said mom. Mike starts whistling for the dogs while stepping into the kitchen with mom where I hear them running in response. I soon hear Mike speaking about having the dogs, saying "it's time to leave mom".

You now have some choices Nancy. First is bail with mom and Mike. Second is stick with me and the third is to head to a shelter, which I don't recommend. Remember that Cannon is a SAC base, thus a prime target for a warhead.

Warhead ETA?

5 minutes

No time left to get to town Nancy so you either come with me and I'll introduce you to Socrates in person or stay here in the garage as it's the safest place. I'll tell you though, that it's going to get damn nasty pretty quick and I'll be in the middle of things trying to save as many as possible.

Socrates start loading the Goose with Medical and Search/Rescue tools and equipment along with 5 sets of dungarees plus a Stinger.

I'm on it boss. You want the Red protocols?

Yes, we'll use the Red protocols for the time being. Start locking the house up and give me the time count.

3 minutes remaining. Peggy and Mike with Dogs are in the command center

Follow me Nancy ; I've got a few things to pickup and specific steps to follow as part of the Red protocols. I soon have all but the last pad in hand after moving around the house and grounds before telling her to step on that pad.

What? How? Where am I and what is this place?

"Welcome to the Command Center" says Mike. We don't have time to talk so grab a seat and Aaron should be here soon.

Why - aren't we safe here?

We're pressed for time mom says sadly. Mike and I have to transfer to another facility and prep for wounded and any survivors that Aaron manages to find.

Nancy - I'll answer what questions I can

Was that you Socrates?

Yes Nancy, I am Aaron's command AI Socrates.

I'm glad you're here Nancy. Status Report Socrates.

The Chinese compromised the Russian Missile Command and launched a First Strike. Due to the MAD (mutually assured destruction) protocol, the United States and NATO have responded in the prescribed manner. SAC has scrambled all Ready Bombers and are currently scrambling anything else they can get in the air. The Navy's ELF (extremely low frequency) comm. system has been passing doomsday orders

Did you say China launched 2k missiles?

Yes but those are the short range Silkworms. The big issue are the 200 ICBM's targeted at major American cities.

Raise Shields on the Garage and ensure the Goose is at full combat readiness.

Acknowledged - Goose is awake and has control of home defenses. There's an energy shield forming over North America that appears tied to the electric grid

Socrates, There's been rumors about such a shield for many years but now that it's active, I've decided that [em}you Nancy are going to evacuate with Mom and Mike where you'll be run through medical for a health check.

"I'll go with them and hope for the best Aaron but I'm scared for my folks. Funny, I just realized that I never did have kids with my ex and I'm grateful for that now."

That sucks but we've got to play the hand we're dealt Nancy so once there, Mike will take you to medical and show you a med-pod. It uses a Nanite based system to fix almost all problems. Socrates, I'm also authorizing training for her - EMT, stinger, the Goose, issuance of a Mk2 blaster, unpowered armor and switch to the full protocols. All levels are now authorized.

Understood - Volunteer Processing for Nancy, all tech now unlocked and construction of Mk 2.5 pods at full levels. 250 pods have already been completed now starting production of an Aurora class ship.

What's that shield status and cancel the starship. I want a transport framework to bring those pods into orbit for transfer to the ground. All pods will expand to their maximum size once down.

It covers all of North America including Canada and appears tied to the electric grid as the few holes I'm seeing are places with known blackouts.

What I want is the pods distributed this way, 80 percent of the pods are to be barracks, of the remaining 20 percent, 90 are medical with another 90 dining pods. Of the 20 unassigned pods, 15 are to be configured as CAP centers. Testing, Waiting and restroom on the lower floor, upstairs is a squad bay for the security/duty team plus a transporter and a 3 cell brig along with the replicator. For the time being I want all medical treatment limited to the Level 1, emergency and life threatening repairs only. Once the CAP pods are added, notify people that additional treatments such as Regen/Rejuve are available to qualified volunteers and include the loyalty treatments.

Nancy asks "What do you by further and loyalty treatments" Aaron?

You're getting the full volunteer package Nancy. This means not only are all of your health problems being fixed and I do mean anything that's medically curable including organ and limb regen, you're getting the Rejuve package. Your physical age is going to be pushed back to 20 if possible and unless you're post-menopausal, you'll be able to have more kids, vision will be restored to 20/10 and you'll be able to see down to the infra-red and up to UV-A with the last being hearing. It's normalized to 20 kilohertz, which is the human limit; so you'll be able to hear everything again. The last part is you get a set of maintenance nanites. These help keep you healthy plus they'll provide emergency repairs in the event of injury. They can't save your life if you're badly injured but they do make a difference in what you will survive. I've decided to do something about the damn obesity problem with your BMI set to a maximum of 20.

The loyalty treatment will be applied to everyone. It's not a brain washing method. Its purpose is to prevent problems by ensuring folks don't go attacking the facilities or other people. The other element is that it helps instill respect for the law and authority. It's not a brainless respect though, If someone feels strongly enough about it, they can refuse to carry out some orders and I want it that way though some people are simply born slaves. These people need to be protected and the only solution is to formalize the relationship with the owners being required to care and protect them. They refuse to think for themselves and insist that their someone else make all decisions and since they exist, I'm going to ensure they're at least treated like the valuable commodity they are. Socrates make a note of this discussion. Reopen this with me tomorrow morning.

Acknowledged - Mike and Peggy are ready for you Nancy. Please step onto the transporter pad and I'll send you to them.


Okay Socrates, are you ready to be moved to the belt?

Ready

Configure two of the unused pods as Hangers and outfit one of them with a couple of Panzers and a Leopard Class. The other hanger gets as many shuttles and pod lighters as you can cram in them while The remaining pods will be dropped onto Easter Island and attached to the command center. Since North America has an effective shield, transfer the Goose back to the command center. I've decided to help Eurasia instead. Okay, the amplifier is running and I've got a solid lock on the star-dock. Initiating transport - Transport Completed.

Socrates, how soon before you're connected to the dock?

2 minutes to connection.

Good! Once you're connected, prioritize another factory replicator and get it ready as quickly as possible then start work on a mobile manufacturing complex. I want that entire mining/assembly line up and running ASAP. Next I want you to examine the methodology used by Tuan Nguyen and Constance McKenzie at Azaharat to get production and facilities online so quickly. Include a solid look at the process they developed for their domes. It appears to be a viable solution to getting functional facilities on minimally habitably planets such as Mars.

The Nguyen/McKenzie dome design was added to Colony AI programming. A combination of the Nguyen/McKenzie protocols with an MMC should result in a 40 percent increase in raw productivity. Build times show a decrease across the board of 22-63 percent.

Damn! That's an impressive jump in productivity.

A 20 megaton airburst just hit Clovis; damage to the house is minimal due to security wall with no damage to the garage

Second U.S. Launch detected, targeted against China. Looks like 1000 warheads. Multiple Chinese warheads, targeted for San Diego Naval Station overshot and hit Rio Colorado, Mexico, triggering a magnitude 9.9 along the southern end of the San Andreas as the land barrier between the Gulf of California and the Salton Sea has collapsed. The area is now flooding with current projections showing that Downtown Indio will be underwater.

There'd been talk about the San Andreas for many years, so I'm not surprised at the magnitude of the quake or about the failure of the land barrier and resulting flooding. I'd read about that possibility several years ago, so where in hell did those U.S. missiles come from? Last reports indicated total U.S. missiles at 800 and they've fired 3,000? Just where had the government hid them?

No treaty violations or lies detected as total missiles launched by the U.S. has not exceeded the 800 limit of both Salt Treaties. This new launch is only 400 missiles each with 25 warheads

As soon as the MMC is online, I want you to begin building a full set of stealth recon satellites as I want full planetary coverage then brief Mom and Mike on the changes and record this message: U.S. has shield in place using power lines. Casualties are minimal. Salton Sea connected to Gulf of Mexico and currently filling. Eurasia hit hard. China gets teeth kicked down throat by U.S. retaliatory strike. end message.


The world as we knew it ceased to exist two days ago after a brief nuclear exchange. North America, protected by its shield emerged virtually unscathed while Russia and the former Eastern Bloc nations suffered great casualties. China, thought it could pull of a successful sneak attack, caused great damage to Eurasia. Hiroshima, Nagasaki were both cleansed by Nuclear fire once again. Tokyo was also cleansed this time and the Emperor was killed. Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan all came under fire as did Russia from Chinese built and armed Silkworm missiles. Thinking themselves clear, China was surprised when the Second wave of American missiles was launched. Over one thousand warheads devastated China with Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi'an completely destroyed. Multiple missiles hit the new dam upon the Yangtze river, destroying it and causing flooding down the entire length of it.

Much of Europe was devastated by the many Chinese missiles. Paris ceased to exist along with the many works of art in the Louvre, in England, Westminster Cathedral was flattened but the catacombs saved the lives of those who took shelter within. Even the Chunnel became a death trap as missiles impacted the yards at both ends. The combined shockwaves began collapsing the tunnel, killing anyone who'd survived the fireballs and train derailments. In the Middle East, many bombs and missiles destroy the oil fields and this time, the burning fields have no one to put them out. Thick Oily black smoke rises, only to shroud the land from the sun while poisoning the air so much that the people and animals simply dropped dead. Of the many Chinese warheads targeted against Europe, Berlin, Lyons, Geneva, Paris, Stuttgart are all hit. Pakistan, India and Turkey all feel the wrath of China who feared their ever growing populations.

The only regions almost completely untouched by the war included much of South America and Africa. North America was targeted yet most missiles failed to detonate due to the shield except where the power was out and while all of this was happening, I had to sit helplessly within my command center, praying that enough people would survive and planning how we would help those survivors.

I know it sounds cruel but I decided to leave both North and South America to themselves as they suffered hardly any damage. Things might get a bit tight there but with the Oil from Venezuela and Mexico, things would remain stable. Europe was my first concern. Many people there spoke the same language I did, so communications would not be a major problem and with those survivors who join willingly, I gained the needed workforce to help the rest of the world.

Thus ends the Prologue to Future Imperfect. If you want to see more of this story, give me feedback so I'm encouraged to write more. Otherwise this will sit for a while as I'm still working on my Plague Stories.

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