Aw Fuck Me!
Chapter 1: Prelude to Disaster, a Death in the Family
Caution: This Time Travel Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Ma/ft, Consensual, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical, Revenge, Humiliation, Sadistic, Interracial, White Male, Oriental Female, First, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Pregnancy, Slow, Violent, Military,
Desc: Time Travel Sex Story: Chapter 1: Prelude to Disaster, a Death in the Family - Jim has just came up with a way to provide a near unlimited supply of energy to the world, and solve many of the worlds problems. At least that was what he was thinking when he pressed the button... While Jim was looking at creating a new source of power, he end up with a sort of time travel device. Now lets just see where it takes us.
I muttered, “Aw fuck me!” having selected the phrase from a host of explicit expletives, and derogatory statements, of which all were wholly inadequate to my present situation.
“I fail to see the relevance of your statement to my report,” replied Adam.
Rolling my eyes at one of Adam’s many ways to say, ‘insufficient data,’ and then sighing to myself, I merely said, “Report understood.” While it wasn’t really so, I wasn’t about to get into a debate with Adam over it at this time. A somewhat ironic choice of words, when I think back on it.
I suppose, for the sake of my own log report, I should bring the reader up to date and fill in a few details.
My name is Jim. My last name is unimportant as you wouldn’t have heard of my family unless you lived in the somewhat elevated and rarefied circles of the obscenely wealthy. Those of the current Thirteen Families liked to keep it that way, not desiring the attention.
Unlike many of the entertainer types, politicians included, who thought any publicity is good publicity, those of the Thirteen felt that such was not the case. For many held that it was not good, and more often dangerous and to be sure always unwelcomed. It had become the family heads policy of not needing the public knowing who we were or what we did. This was very unlike in ancient times when many of the significant older families enjoyed having the masses quivering in fear at their feet. Even after most of the families had abandoned the practices of olden times, there were those who called themselves Kings and Lords that used a form of control that even those of the families would have a hard time living with today.
Slavery? Even as late as in the Roman empire at its greatest, you would find slaves were often treated with a great deal more respect than you might expect. This was all the more so if they showed a higher level of competence than a mere thrall, who was merely doing what was needed to survive. A thrall was usually a person that was incapable of taking care of themselves and was all the more likely to become a beggar or a thief at that time. The foolish ones didn’t last all that long. You might think that in today’s world, thralls would not exist, but there are far more of them than you might think. The welfare rolls are filled with them, but in today’s world, you will not find them working in the home of someone more productive.
You could hardly call a thrall a slave. Thralls need almost constant supervision. While a slave, on the other hand, was intelligent, requiring little in the way of monitoring. While They needed more oversight, as without oversight they tended to think that had more power than they actually did. Some bullied their lesser peers without sanction. Slaves were often rewarded for good work and given more freedom, but harsh discipline awaited those that failed their Master’s expectations. As a result, slaves usually were able to work for their own benefit; but shared such with their masters, since they were still considered property, and what the slaves’ possess was also considered the masters.
However, a good master knew not to take it all, or the slave would just stop doing whatever it was he was good at. As others saw the rewards of excellent service, they improved their skill sets.
With more exceptional service a slave could even win his freedom, often working now for their previous owner at pay. But now the free man had to take care of their own needs, such as feeding and clothing themselves.
This proved to those Families that were more progressive that a slave could be found more productive if they felt they were free and unshackled. Also on the plus side, they didn’t need the constant supervision or oversight that thralls required. They had been allowed to throw off their apparent chains of slavery. This had many positive benefits, in that releasing the Families from micromanaging the masses, they became self-managing and even more productive. Hence the term ‘wage slave.’
The Egyptian Pharaohs had perhaps been the first to discover this with the Hebrews, only to have the traitor Moses cause them to lose control, all but ensuring the downfall of that family, and the rise of his own. The story of which is still spoken of today though from the other side with a few added embellishments.
Maybe this would explain how simple slaves at that time, (As written in the Book of ‘Genesis.) had so much in the way of cattle, sheep, goats, goods of every sort; and, lest we forget, Gold! Gold that was used to form the Golden Calf, and given as offerings. That when he/Moses saw it, found so displeasing.
There is no record of what was written on the first set of tablets. One can only wonder when Moses smashed the first set of tablets, was the commandment of ‘there being no graven image’ and ‘no other God before me,’ a part of the original commandments? Given that, what else might have been changed? After all, a single unseen God that does not require manufactured idols for worship can be much more profitable in the way of offerings, or Tithes.
Religion is funny that way. When you find you can no longer use a whip to keep an uneducated people in check, create an all-powerful God to fear, and let it do the hard work for you. People are much easier to control if they are fearful. When you can put the fear of a vengeful yet forgiving God, or even a rewarding God, you find people are much more willing to get with the program. Add a reward after death? The promise of a better life after death? Just how much better can it get? Not only do you have no one saying that there is no reward, but no reward also need be given while they are still alive! A win, win for the Priests.
Telling people to have faith in a person’s belief system is self-reinforcing. That if that faith is challenged, you are in effect calling them stupid, or ignorant. Let’s face it, people would rather believe in almost anything, even a lie, more so than think they’re, simple-minded, stupid, or ignorant. They also get very angry thinking you are calling them that. That is also something that leaders can use to control their people. By saying you must have faith without proof, they no longer need to be shown evidence that what you are telling them is real. Just mix in things that they can see and know to be true, and they will willingly believe in the rest, no matter how much it might stretch credibility.
You might wonder how an adult could be so gullible? Well, you don’t start with adults, you begin with their children. Almost any adult can tell a child a story and the child will believe it. Just think Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or even the Tooth Fairy; to get the idea. Add to that if the adult believes in it as well, then the child no longer has a reason not to believe it later in life, even when their reasoning skills are better refined.
Today my so-called peers of the leading ‘Thirteen Families’ think that the accumulation of additional wealth and power is a continuing game without rules as to how to acquire it. Unrest, Wars, manipulating markets, the controlling of resources; it was all fair game to them, no matter who got hurt. In some ways, even that gives many a sense of pleasure. The way they kept score was with dollar signs and other outward symbols.
Umm, saying they have no rules is not entirely accurate. If you have ever played a game of ‘Monopoly,’ you know it is the kid that knows the rules the best that always wins, often by misrepresenting what the rules are, or just out and out cheating and enforcing the rules when it was to their advantage. Those that do not know the game’s rules, and lack knowledge of what is permitted and what is not permitted, will invariably lose to those that do. That was and is the lesson to be learned from that game.
I had not wanted to play that game; I saw it as silly as it was all too easy to play. You might wonder at that, but when you are born into a family that has been playing that game for generations, you wish for a new game to learn and play. As a youth at the time I saw it as more a curse, and burden that would be limiting my vision of my future. The reality for me was that there was no point in it, so I sought to avoid it in search of something more challenging. I was a chess player, and they were playing checkers. I thus became the black sheep of the family, striking out on my own to acquire a different manner of wealth, in the form of knowledge and a meaning for life. After all, knowledge is power, and in many cases far more valuable than gold.
I found I was gifted. I had never thought so before as I was breezing through prep schools. I thought it was due more to my name, as the work I did seemed far too undemanding. The lesson I almost missed was merely the discipline to get whatever assignment I was given done to the best of my ability and within the limited period. That is until starting university at MIT, it seemed amazing to me that the school seemed to think the students needed to relearn what they should already know to be there in the first place. I noted how others struggled with their studies to do just that, while I seemed without difficulty to go through mine. Well, at least for the first few years or so. Also, I was trying to make friends with those that were more like myself, committed to a higher standard; but I often ran into egos that made creating friends difficult. Another hidden lesson that I almost missed. Having only known those of my own social class before, it was odd relearning - or was it readjusting - to the differing set of social customs of my new peers; and oh, how very different some of them were.
Then things became more interesting. I can’t say that they were more difficult - even though they were - as I became more engrossed in my major: studies of mathematics, engineering, and science. Physics drew my most profound interest, with the uses of Nuclear energy and the promise of cold fusion drawing me like a magnet.
Nuclear energy had been around for decades, yet it seemed to me that its real potential had been barely tapped, and it had been mishandled by the military-industrial complex. I felt it was something that could change the world in ways yet undreamed of! The possibilities, to me, were absolutely staggering. I saw it as a way to the stars. A dream that seemed to have been abandoned in the later part of the 20th and early 21st century. The noblest endeavor of mankind and it had quietly been dropped. It was frustrating digging into the reasons for that. As the space race had fostered some of man’s most significant innovations, of the century.
While my father and mother didn’t fathom me, being more in line with their own peers and focused on power, money, and appearances; my grandfather applauded my vision and efforts, and supported me in them. He became my most trusted mentor and best friend, and perhaps the father-figure my birth parent could never have been.
I didn’t lack for my own resources. I wasn’t just born with a silver spoon in my mouth, it was more like a Diamond encrusted platinum spoon! Indeed, I hadn’t bothered to keep track. I just knew I had more than I needed or could spend. However, I didn’t let myself become careless about it. I hired trusted managers to handle my affairs so that I merely needed to check the books every now and then. For the most part, I was free in the pursuit of my studies and research.
I was more than comfortable with modest apartments on both coasts. Now, I called them modest, and by family standards, they might have said I was slumming. My mother had refused to return after seeing them. She had the opinion that I might as well be living in a cardboard box in some dirty alley, I believed I’d heard her say. Just how would she even know about cardboard? But to those below the so-called 0.01%, they were nothing of the sort.
A young woman I had been dating, of one of the lesser of ‘The Thirteen,’ had called it “quaint.” She hadn’t returned after finding out that I didn’t keep a number of servants to respond to her every beck and call. I felt it was just as well. Did I really want a woman around who couldn’t make a cup of coffee, or even open a bottle of water for herself? I wasn’t looking for a trophy wife, but for one that would challenge me, and help me to become my very best. For some reason, such a woman didn’t seem to be among the elite.
Not that I had lacked in female company, though that had dropped to next to nothing when the woman I had deeply loved, simply dropped off the face of the earth despite my best efforts to find her. It had left me feeling empty. My grandfather had tried to comfort me saying I was too young to have that sort of relationship, and that it would have put me off track. There would be time later when I became more seasoned. He never said a word against her and offered to help in her search, and even said he thought she would make an impeccable wife, but I always wondered. Her loss affected me greatly. I was left with nothing but to throw myself more fully into my studies. Personal relationships were placed on the back burner. However, I still held out hope of finding her.
I had been working on the final stages of my Ph.D. and was on the verge of creating a working prototype when news came of my grandfather’s passing. I was crushed by the news and stopped work on my project to grieve and attend his funeral.
While in theory, I knew of his importance within the family; it really hadn’t sunk in that he had been the head of our family, and had been so, for as long as anyone could remember. The number of people at the funeral and their importance left me in awe. There were even a few heads of state in attendance, and more than a few statesmen, Senators, Congressmen/women, and all manner of movers and shakers. I was humbled when I realized how much time he had given me, to mentor me and be my loving grandfather; when clearly he had such responsibilities of running the family, as he did.
The memorial service could have been for a head of state, and I felt humbled when it was my turn to speak. I had never really known my grandfather as the towering forceful head of the family. I spoke of how he had always simply been my grandfather, and how he had bounced me on his knee when I was a small child and had always been there for me as I was growing up. I spoke of his constant support, and the love I’d always felt from him and that I had for him. Then, as I gazed upon those in attendance, I realized how he had sheltered me from this part of the family business. My grandfather was a force to be reckoned with. I could see that he was a man held in awe, and maybe more than a little fear, by all those present ... my own father included. I think I was in tears as I was led from the podium. I certainly didn’t recall much of what was said, later.
Figuratively, the dirt on his grave hadn’t even settled before the clamoring for the reading of his ‘Last Will and Testament’ was made by the family. I had not wanted to take part, but my presence was a requirement of the reading. Why that was, I would learn much later.
I didn’t fully understand it at first, but when the dust had settled my father was a primary beneficiary, with a detailed listing of those holdings he now controlled. One dollar went to each of the other members of the family. The explanation was that, since they were so focused on finding ways to steal money, they were encouraged to keep right on doing it; but it would be done without his help. A rather unsubtle way of saying he hadn’t approved of the way they had been doing business. He may have been the head of the family, but he was not micromanaging them.
I seemed to have escaped his wrath. I had received his fully restored and beloved Aston Martin DB5, of ‘James Bond’ fame, “and all that it contained.” My gift had been one of the first listed - which should have been a red flag to those paying attention. - and in truth was not really worth all that much, not really being that rare a car. Those present were impatient to get on with the reading and finding out where the real money would go to. There was a listing of its contents; that they ignored, and didn’t even bother to have it read. The main focus, again, seemed to be for those out looking for the really huge prize. Most looked at the Aston Martin as some gag gift of no value. They laughingly told me that I would need to sell it to pay off my student loans, while those that felt they were entitled to some part of the billions and maybe trillions that Grandfather had commanded, and already arguing over contesting the Will. While my father was explicitly instructed that he would not be allowed to redistribute the contents of his ‘Last Will and Testament.’
I was more or less pleased to be out of the money grab. I was extremely delighted with the gift of the Aston Martin. Grandfather and I had taken many a long drive in it while talking about most anything, but mostly it was about our visions for life, and what they meant to us. He was forever challenging me and testing to see how I would react. It always pleased me to see him smile when I did, and he would tell more about the hidden lessons and their meanings of what I had just learned. He explained that my instincts were unfailing, that even without his explaining and direct guidance, I had chosen the right path and solution. They were some of my fondest memories, and I had come to love the old man as a father, as my real father could never be.
To say the Will would be contested, would be an understatement. Dangling billions in front of the attending attorneys would ensure a bloodbath for years to come. I didn’t know how he could have left it as he had. He had always seemed to have things well controlled. The old man always had understood what he was about, always planning well ahead. Somehow, I think he was having the last laugh from the grave. Though I didn’t see how this could benefit the Family, it just didn’t seem like him to leave our family vulnerable like that. Was my grief masking my instincts about this? I knew something was not right, but I didn’t want to deal with it just then.
To say that I had lost what little love and respect I had for my extended family, was a given. In their eyes, great wealth equates with greater power, and that was all that seemed to be on their minds for now.
I was told that the Aston Martin was outside, and I was to take possession of it immediately. For my part, I was happy for any reason to escape the mayhem that was already building within that office.
As I made my way down to where the car was parked there was a man, a person who looked like he could have been part of the presidential security detail, or my worst nightmare in a dark alley, standing beside the car. He looked me up and down as if satisfying himself as to whom I was. He then handed me the keys and said if I had a need of his services only need ask, and he would find me. He had told me his name, not that I was listening all that carefully, but as with most things of that nature, I wouldn’t forget it. “He would find me.” That seemed like an odd way of saying it: ‘just ask,’ Like, just say the words out loud, and he would find me? “Of course, I didn’t say these things out loud.” He merely smiled cryptically, as he handed over the keys.
I must have been still a little unnerved that my grandfather was dead, so the first thing I did was walk around to try to open the passenger door before realizing Grandfather would not be driving. I tried to hide my embarrassment in front of this man, who kept a straight face, as I walked back around to unlock the driver’s side door. It didn’t help that this car had right side steering being of British Manufacture. My grandfather would laugh most every time I made the mistake of trying to enter the right-side door. So, I had gotten into the habit of going to the left side door after that.
I couldn’t help but start crying, as I drove away. It was grandfather’s car. I felt like an interloper sitting in his position. I still felt his presence within his car, even though now it was mine. I quickly made my way out of the city in the direction of one of our many drives together. I soon found myself on the route of one of our favorite drives. It almost felt like he was with me, as it was when he first taught me to drive with a stick. I glanced over feeling he was there and noticed the old fashion cassette player for the first time, sitting in the passenger seat. It had a sticky note that said play me.
I hit the play button, and familiar music started from it, the theme music from ‘Mission Impossible.’ Then, “Good afternoon, Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is in the glove compartment. As always, should you or any of your I. M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.” Grandfather loved the old Mission Impossible television shows.
The tape actually did self-destruct with a hiss and the accompanying smoke.
Did I really have a choice? I pulled over to the side of the road, and the lock to it was keyed to my thumbprint. Opened the glove box with a shaking hand. I recognized this was yet another test he had set up for me, perhaps the last one he would ever give me. I pulled out yet another tape-recorder and an envelope. Rolling my eyes, “Really grandfather?” I hit its play button. The familiar music began again, but this time it was my grandfather’s voice. “Good afternoon, Jim,” followed by a chuckle, “I’ve been dying to use that line ... Oh wait; I am dead if you’re hearing this. Well, damn it! It seemed funny at the time.”
“In any case, Jim, by this time you are safely out of the Attorney’s office. With any luck, you will be soon forgotten about as the thunder clouds gather to fight over my Last Will and Testament, and the money. By God, I hope it takes them years to sort it all out. I did my best to make damn sure that you would be out of the ‘crosshairs’ of that fight.” “Out of the crosshairs?” I thought about that for a moment before bursting out with laughter, ‘Cross Heirs.’ Grandfather’s puns took a bit of getting used to.
“You probably think you got off lucky,” I heard as the tape continued, “with just the receiving of this old car of mine. I made it very clear, though I think few will take notice, that you were to receive “all that was in it.” Know that I spent some time priming my attorney on just how to phrase that so that the others would become impatient and waiver the reading of that list. Well, Son with that said, you didn’t get off scot-free!”
“The folder contains the primary key list of holdings I deemed most far-reaching for the family and perhaps humanity, as well as a full listing of what I own or control, that are not listed in the will. They were transferred ... by means of a number of different holding companies ... to you, many years ago. There will be no need to worry about the vultures tracking them, they are not that good, or trying to take them away from you. It should take some time before they realize what was in the ‘Will,’ was a mere fraction of what I had owned and controlled of the family’s affluence.”
“What you now hold in your hands are the essential holdings. They are now yours. Everything in the ‘Will’ is merely a smokescreen to keep the vultures off the scent. These will, I hope, shape the future of a much better world, as we have often discussed. I trust you to know what to do. Enjoy the Aston Martin, and take care of her. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim...” ... then there was laughter that faded out. As with the other tape, there soon was the hiss of smoke as the tape self-destructed. It was hard to believe that Grandfather had such a low opinion of many in the family; but, from what little I had seen of them that day, it was well justified.
There were a number of listings in the envelope that I was given to check. For some reason, there was one Medical group that it was stressed I was to see them, first.
Since that medical group was first on the list, I made a quick search of it on my smartphone, and I learned they were a company making inroads with some Medical Nanomites research. Unfortunately, whatever breakthroughs they were after always seemed to be right around the corner, with only minor developments thus far.
Another was a Research group working on ‘Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.’ Though the research was for a worthy cause, I felt that many of these research groups were merely looking for research grants without doing much research work.
Then there was a robotics company, working on some different but very forward-thinking developments. For some reason, their advancements made me think of toys.
Another company was an electronic chip and computer maker. They seemed to be dogging the giants in the industry with some innovative chip design and computer architecture, with accompanying software development; but nothing mainstream, and thus I found hard to believe would be profitable. But Grandfather was betting on them, could they be the next Microsoft or Apple?
There was a company that made 3-D printers, I saw them as useful, but I didn’t see why it would make the list, most everyone had one these days, even I did.
Maybe it was the next to last item on the list that held any real interest to me. It was a firm that made compact nuclear reactors. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the one I was most interested in as it related to my field of interest.
Finally, there was, not surprisingly, a number of financial institutions, and real-estate holdings. I had to chide myself. I wasn’t here for the money, but Grandfather had instilled in me the need and usage of capital to finance the needs of the family and the dreams of the future.
He had suggested I see each of them first hand (all except for the financial institutions, and the real-estate holdings) and form my own opinion of each. Of course, the last were really old hat, and there could indeed be nothing new for me there. The real-estate holdings were but chips on the board game. Mere leverage for other things.
Well! Grandfather didn’t pick losers, and if I were to figure out why these were the principal companies he wanted me to see, that held the promise of a brighter future, I would have to see them first hand. There was apparently something to see that was not in the public records.
I now had this great little Aston Martin and no plans. My Doctorate paper being placed on hold, and with my counselor disappointed with that development, he did realize that I would need to work through my grandfather’s death if I were to be able to finish and turn in an acceptable paper.
So, I started to make my way down Grandfather’s list.
The Medical research group that was first on the list just happened to be the closest. (Was that a coincidence?) So, I set my GPS and made my way there. The Medical group seemed to be a weak business investment on the surface, it was looking to create some form of medical nanotechnology, without success. As with most research groups, it hadn’t turned an actual profit in its many years of operation. Just managing some useful gains that helped keep them operating. With most of the teams seemingly hitting dead end after dead end. There was always some sign of a breakthrough in the near future if they could just overcome some vague technical obstacle. It just didn’t feel like Grandfather.
After the tour of the company’s facilities in which I had been able to speak to anyone about the progress, after all, Grandfather and now I was a major stakeholder, was freely given. Ascertained as much as anyone could about the inter-workings of the labs.
I was shown to my Grandfather’s office and was left alone to ponder what I had seen so far. It wasn’t looking good. Even with my general lack of interest in turning a profit, this should have seemed much more advanced than it did. It seemed a lost cause in spite of its promise. However, Grandfather had put it on the list as a must see. Why?
After sitting in his chair, I made my way to the middle of the room, and quietly stood there, wondering what had been going through my grandfather’s mind when he had sat in this office.
Something was tugging at me. Something was not right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something here. I sensed Grandfather had left me another message, but one he wanted me to be alone to figure out. It struck me that this was important if he had maintained an office here, it meant he had spent more than just a little time on this project. And such an odd position. It had the appearance of a corner office, but the windows were all covered. And when I went to look behind them, it confirmed what I had already felt. That the position was closer to the center of this vast building. Why was that?
Grandfather, as I was learning, was not merely cautious. He had become downright paranoid! This thing with his ‘Last Will and Testament’ was just the tip of the iceberg, and I had mistakenly chalked it up to his becoming older and sickly. I should have known better. I was smarter than that, and so was he.
I turned around once again slowly in the middle of his office. Then it came to me, ‘His Office!’ Then I spotted it. There it was on the far side of the room from his desk, an old style ‘ticker tape’ machine. He hated the damn things as meaningless. He’d recognized them for what they were. A means to manipulate other people into reacting one way or the other in their business dealings, often to their own detriment. They were not all that informative, showing gains and losses, often inciting excitement, or fear, and often without any real justification for it. Men literally jumping to conclusions, and out of windows when it showed terrible news. More than one ‘Family Head’ had died because of them. Now, why would it be here, where he couldn’t help but to see it when he despised them so?
Then my Grandfather’s words came to me. He would often joke “some things are better hidden in plain sight,” and there it was. A ticker tape machine with an old tape that he knew only I would recognize as not belonging here.
With the message I found on the tape itself, I was able to quickly find the rest of the clues and put them together. Then as I sat there trying to take it all in, I hit the intercom button and asked for one of the Doctors by name. When he entered, I stood to greet him and offered him a seat and a cigar and asked about the weather; the code he had been waiting for me to give.
Dr. Bellows smiled looked up and spoke one word, “Adam?”
After a moment, a voice out of nowhere spoke.
“The building is secure.”
He then turned back to me giving me his full attention.
I looked back at him, questioningly. “Okay, Doctor, can you now show me what my grandfather wanted me to see?”
Dr. Bellows again smiled, got up and went back to where the ticker tape machine was. He gave it a slight twist, and a section of the wall lifted, into the ceiling. Behind the opening, there was a small but well-equipped lab. He went in, and a voice called out, “Welcome back, Doctor Bellows.”
I walked in behind him, and the same voice said, “Greetings, Mr. Wolfenstein, please confirm your identity by placing your hand on the glass panel before you.”
I did so, and watched a line of light move up and down under the glass under my hand, wondering how it knew my name, and felt a pinprick, causing me to jerk my hand back.
A moment later, the voice said, “Sample confirmed. How may I be of assistance?”
Dr. Bellows said, “Adam, if you would be so kind, please show Jim our progress.”
I was at a loss. I was sure this was a machine, yet Dr. Bellows was speaking to it like it was a person.
The voice said, “Affirmative. If I may direct your attention to the monitor,” and it lit up.
Thus, began my briefing, which was anything but brief, on the status of the Medical Nanomites program.
While still out of reach for the masses, they had advanced far beyond their press releases, far enough for human testing for those that could afford it. Dr. Bellows was a bit hesitant to allow me to become the first full-fledged test recipient. He explained that while animal testing went well, those tests required a small fraction of the Nanomites that had so far been created at great expense and time. They needed to be recovered at the conclusions of each phase of the testing. My grandfather would have been first, but with his death, it now fell to me. Again, this was something I had learned from reading his secret notes. He had intended to be first to try them out, with me being second.
The need to be recovered at the conclusions of each phase of the testing troubled me. Was that going to happen this time, and to what effect would that have on me?
I now knew that the appearance of the Medical group was meant to make it look like a poor business investment. That was most likely to keep the hostile takeover types from taking an interest in it. But a smaller part had indeed delivered. I realized the rest had become mere camouflage. Again, this was another lesson from my grandfather and one that was not lost on me.
A detailed listing of the group’s officers didn’t even name my grandfather’s or my name as having a direct controlling interest in the center, they were all deeply buried under shell LLP after LLP companies. I knew the drill.
My mind was brought back sharply with the words “ ... Results positive on stage 1037, Nanomites program now ready for human testing. Subject James Adam Wolfenstein, Family Alpha Prime approved for the first implantation.” I was startled, I wasn’t the ‘Family Prime,’ my father was. I then heard a printer at work as forms appeared, and the voice instructed, “If you would, please sign the release forms.”
With the voice making the request, I was a little bewildered, and for some reason, I started to look for a pen. I was caught up short when I heard my grandfather’s laughter, and then his voice, as I heard my Grandfather say, “Now, Son, did you really think a release form is, or would be necessary, or that it would even do you any good?”
Puzzled, I asked, “Grandfather?”
There was a pause before Grandfather’s voice said, “Yes and no, I made this tape ahead of time. It was a ‘just in case I wasn’t alive’ thing. I’m afraid that I threw in a bit of fun.”
Dr. Bellow added that Adam was entirely humorless.
It was not until after I had agreed to the Nanomites implantation, and to a small implant that guided them that I realized that Grandfather’s paranoia was based on genuine threats to his life.
“Jim!” my grandfather voice said, turning serious, “I do not wish you to delay this. If we had reached this stage while I was still alive, I might still be alive, and not in the unfortunate position I now find myself in.”
I guess being dead and buried could be called an ‘unfortunate position.’
The voice of Adam started at this point with, “On reports of your grandfather’s alleged death, my programming initialized, ‘Prime Directive Omega.’ On determining your grandfather’s actual death, I was able to retrieve a tissue sample. Following DNA testing to determine the authenticity of the sample, an in-depth analysis was made to determine the cause of death. Results of toxicity screening indicate poisoning with a previously undetectable substance. Prolonged exposure resulted in his demise. Recognition and countermeasures incorporated in the medical database of the implant, along with all other known toxins.”
Murder! My grandfather was murdered? But I couldn’t offer proof of it, nor did I have any idea who was responsible. A long-standing code between the Thirteen Families precluded assassination because, without that caveat, the families would have been wiped out ages ago. That just left someone within the family as a possible culprit, a family member; but which one, and did I really want to know? YES! Whomever it was, friend or foe, God help them, for they would receive no mercy from me!
Grandfather had been targeted for death. It stood to reason that others had as well, who and how many. Something I’d have to consider right away. Should I inform father? Grandfather had suspected he had been targeted and hadn’t told him. I took that as my cue, I wouldn’t as well.
This was about as bad as it gets. The last time something like this happened was nearly 350 years ago. There had been fourteen families then; now there were thirteen. Everyone knew that lesson yet someone dared to try it again. The other Twelve would be taking note of another family’s civil war, and be looking for opportunities to exploit.
There was another danger. The heads of the family’s branches would start noticing unaccountable deaths and act. With Grandfather dead, they would be taking matters into their own hands, and maybe before they even knew for sure who was responsible.
I was free at this time, (Was I indeed?) but sooner or later, I would be deemed a loose end that needed attending to. Grandfather knew. He must have known this was about to happen. Even now he was doing his best to protect me and preserve the family from extinction.
I hadn’t known I was in danger, before. I wish I could have remained in that blissful state of ignorance. While I had no real love for my family, other than my grandfather, I didn’t wish anyone’s death either. Now I knew at least one of them would sooner or later seek mine.
Another lesson that was to be learned; do not alarm the family least you make your enemies aware you know about them.
I timidly asked the faceless voice, “Adam, I can call you that? Can you... ?” then strengthening my resolve, asked, “What is known of those responsible?”
Adam responded with, “Affirmative, that is my designation.”
Then Adam responded with, “Analyst incomplete. Acquirement of signal Intelligence has been initiated. Tracking has been initialized, current probabilities now stand at 3%.” I mulled that over.
Adam spoke again, saying, “Stage 1038 of the study of Nanomites program of human implantation and testing awaiting your approval.”
Having been startled out of my contemplations of grandfather’s death and the possibility of my own, I was too stunned to answer. Dr. Bellows cleared his throat. I had forgotten he was even there.
I looked around, not sure if I was seeing anything at the moment, and asked “Is it kidding?
Dr. Bellows said dryly. “As I said before, Adam has exhibited no sense of humor,”
My Grandfather was dead, and I could be next. I was a soft target, and accidents could be easily arranged and explained away. Did I want to wait? Grandfather certainly hadn’t wanted to, nor did he seemed to want me to delay. It had just been unfortunate timing that the program had not advanced in time to save him.
I heard Grandfather’s voice again as it said, “I would prefer that you to move forward with this without delay, it is that important.”
I heard Adam speak again, volunteering, “Do you wish to have further primate studies to evaluate the progress firsthand? The last 100 test cases have survived increasingly extensive trauma, disease, and toxicity issues. In addition, test subjects seem to have gained better overall health. While analyst is incomplete, there seem to be additional unforeseen benefits noted with the conclusion of testing. Even tests with subprime test subjects have shown marked improvements in well-being.”
“In further analysis of ‘Prime directive Omega,’ delay is not recommended.”
I looked around for the source of the voice, and then at Dr. Bellows thinking, “I thought you said it didn’t have a sense of humor!”
Dr. Bellows replied, “It doesn’t.” I was wondering if it was Dr. Bellows that was exhibiting no sense of humor.
Out loud I asked, “What is the probability of success?”
The response was, and I quote “Fifty-fifty.”
Again, looking at Dr. Bellows, I said, “I think you should reevaluate your opinion on its lack of humor.”
Dr. Bellows replied. “That was your grandfather’s idea as the baseline requirements of a successful program, I can assure you that the success rate is much more promising than that. I have been personally surprised with the results. I was sure a great many more of the test subjects would not survive. Those that did not survive bled out before the Nanomites could close the wounds. Testing with more dynamic Nanomite programming prevented death in all but the most critical of traumas such as those to the head.
“And this is most promising! We have rejoined severed fingers and limbs with near full function, and the effects of burns with their resulting scar tissues have been greatly reduced. We will continue testing of course, but these little buggers could ultimately change the world of healthcare as we know it, putting a lot of Health Care Corporations out of business. Once all the technical details are worked out of course.”
I sighed as I considered how many more people would be happy to see me dead. With almost a third of the GNP involved in health care in some form or another. Maybe even some within the family! The cost of healthcare was reaching the point where, if you were not in the higher income brackets, you just didn’t get it, or at best, got simple primary care. For the grossly wealthy, people were expendable and readily replaced, no matter how skilled they were. It was Just one more thing that had never set well with me. Did they ever consider that they too might be expendable?
I considered the benefits that this could have overall, and couldn’t see a downside, other than its cost, this research was something that would be continued and made available to all if possible.
Still, all this was first-generation experimental work, and all these tests had occurred under laboratory conditions. I knew that people making a pitch would always put forth the best face, and either leave out the bad or just gloss over it. So, I asked, “Ok, I have heard the good news, now tell me the bad.”
Adam replied with, “Currently, there are vulnerable areas within data transmissions. With close monitoring, these can be overcome. Isolation from monitoring can lead to reversals of the beneficial health effects. It is felt to be a grave concern.”
I thought about that, was this a joke or instead a pun?
“ ... With the circumstances surrounding the death your grandfather, logic dictates it as a high priority to developing countermeasures to rectify this vulnerability. In accordance with ‘Prime directive Omega’ automatic updates have been approved, and employed.”
I had now heard this ‘Omega directive’ a number of times already, so I asked, “Okay, just what is this ‘Omega’ thing all about?”
Adam replied, “Prime directive Omega was conceived and authorized by your grandfather, that on the confirmation of his death. The Omega Directive once initiated covers your physical safety as much as possible. I initiated monitoring since verification. It was discovered that others have also been monitoring you outside my system. I neutralized devices detected on your person while you have been within these facilities. The frequencies used can give new access to the hostile intelligence command structure. Therefore I (‘I’ there it was again, ) initiated additional tracking protocols.”
Adam, “Those devices will be reactivated for the time it takes you to reach your vehicle, where you will once again be shielded from electronic monitoring. It has been arranged for a complete change of wardrobe when you reach your next destination.
“It will not be necessary for you to remove these Devices,” Adam continued. “You were tracked entering, and logic dictates you should be observed leaving. Your vehicle, since it had been your grandfather’s, has already been installed with electronic countermeasures. The Nanomites implant will activate your personal ECM once you have entered your vehicle, rendering listening devices ineffective. The vehicle can still be tracked, but what is said within will not be overheard, nor will anyone not physically seen entering with you, be identified.”
Grandfather had never struck me as the paranoid type, yet there was evidence that apparently, he had seen this coming long ago, and had been making provisions.
Did I want to go ahead with this procedure, and exactly what would it do to me or more to the point, for me. Number one it had been said that it would make poisoning me much harder, I was under no illusion that it might be 100% effective, but anything that would keep me from dying as my grandfather had, had to be a plus. Then there was protection from trauma, to just what degree that would be, was an unknown, but if even half of what I had been told was true ... I made up my mind with that thought, to go ahead with it. If Grandfather wanted this for himself and for me, knowing it could have saved his life; whatever the downside could be, it must be worth it.
I asked, “When can we start, and how long will it take?”
Adam said, “You may start now, the procedure should take no more than four hours, including recovery.”
I pressed for more information. “All right then, what do I have to do?”
Adam replied with “Please sign the release forms...”
I was about to do just that when Grandfather’s burst of laughter caught me up short. I mentally kicked myself at being caught twice, making the same mistake in such a short time.
“That is twice, Jim,” his voice said. “Please don’t make me start wondering if I may have picked the wrong young man.” There was another spell of laughter, “Oh, well, too late for regrets now. Good luck, Son, and be careful!”
Grandfather rather enjoyed seeing my awkwardness in times like this, seeing how I would react and adjust. For him, it was like watching me do a mental exercise for the first time, the more I did, the better I got. I thought, well, “He is dead now, but seems my exercises would continue. For some reason that reassured me that he would somehow still be there for me.”
I composed myself and looked back at the Doctor.
Dr. Bellows cleared his throat and said, “There is a shower there, in the corner. The process is quite automatic. Don the gown, when you’re finished with your shower. I will guide you to the operating table after that, and give you a small injection. When you wake up, it will all be over.”
Funny the things you think of just before losing consciousness, as I recalled those last words, “It will all be over...”
Oddly, I can’t recall dreaming. I just opened my eyes, blinking as if nothing had happened. I asked. “Well, when are we going to get started?”
Dr. Bellows frowned then smiled, as he looked down at me, flashing a light into my eyes, why were doctors forever doing that? “We completed the procedure some time ago. You’re just waking, how do you feel?”
Maybe I was not entirely coherent, so I said, “With my fingers...”
He blinked, and checked my eyes once again, and said, “Adam, Analysis please.”
“Test subject James Adam Wolfenstein, Family Alpha Prime has appeared to regained consciousness. All biological readings are within norms of his last physical exam. Handshake between Nanomites and implant complete, and within given tolerances, surgical openings have closed and are almost entirely healed. Toxins from the anesthesia have been neutralized. Current assessment of success is ninety-five percent. Continued monitoring should raise this assessment to ninety-nine percent.”
I thought, “Not 100%.”
Dr. Bellows looking at me, and asked, “So, how do you feel?” Being a bit more coherent, I realized the same joke would not go down well, I considered just how I did feel and replied with, “Well the truth is I don’t feel a bit different, and I honestly thought we hadn’t started yet.”
Dr. Bellows mused. “Interesting, given that the other test subjects were unable to speak. You confirmed their complete lack of fear over repeated treatments. Their initial treatments were always the hardest.”
Dr. Bellows asked, turning his face up as if speaking to the air. “Adam! Are the Nanomites ready for the first test?”
Adam replied, “Affirmative.”
I, feeling a bit alarmed, asked, “Just a sec, what kind of test are you talking about?”
In answer, Dr. Bellows slashed my hand deeply with a scalpel.
I looked at him with surprise, thinking, “What the hell?” then looking down and seeing the bleeding had already stopped, or had it even started? The cut was closing before my eyes, and no pain other than the initial shock of the surprise attack. That had definitely not been pain-free.
Adam noted, without emotion, “Bleeding stopped after one second, ensuring the wounds self-cleansing, and the cut closed within 30 seconds...” and as I watched, I heard the voice continue, “ ... no visible scarring should remain after one hour.” The gash in my hand had disappeared before my eyes, and all that remained of a nasty cut was a pink line that was quickly fading away.
I asked sharply. “What the hell was that all about?”
Dr. Bellows said with a bland look. “Sorry, it was determined that you would be reluctant to see someone slash your hand.”
I asked, “It was DETERMINED!!!” Still angry, but watching my hand in disbelief. I said, “Damn right I would have,” still looking at my hand. I then asked, doubting what I had seen, “Did I see what I think I just saw?”.
Dr. Bellows, without answering, asked, “Would you close and open your hand forming a fist?”
I did so a few times.
he asked, “Is there any pain?”
I did it a few more times, slowly shaking my head, and said “No. Come to think of it, there was none while it was healing either. I distinctly felt the cut, then nothing, and now I’m not even sure that it happened ... Wait, there seems to be some itching now.”
Dr. Bellow replied, “That will likely go away when the cut fades away completely, Test subjects often would scratch at the wound area prior to its complete healing.”
I nodded, “Yes that seems to be the case,” Still watching my hand in amazement. “I don’t feel like scratching at it now though. That was quick!”
Dr. Bellows asked, “Would you be interested in further testing, with greater initial trauma?”
I thought, blinking back at him, “Greater initial trauma?” the thought of my slashed hand still very much on my mind.
Dr. Bellows explained, “Well, other than the usual adrenaline rush proceeding known hazardous activities, there is no way to prevent the initial pain of trauma injuries, short of Anesthesia, But, you will survive, and any pain minimized within seconds.”
I asked naively, “Just what sort of test do you have in mind?”
He shot me!
“Wha ... What ... He’d done what?” my mind asked in shock disbelievingly, I found I was unable to move my body or to form words vocally. “I’ve been shot! Damn that hurt like hell, and it was burning like...” I stopped in mid-thought as I then realized I felt nothing, I been shot, and it had hurt. Damn how it had hurt, but now there was nothing. I looked down, and just as if I had been in some old vampire movie I saw the bullet expelled, and drop to the ground with the hole then closing. Dissipating as if it had never happened.
After the initial shock, all I felt was numbing, and warmth, and then some of that itching again. With disbelief, I had witnessed the bullet emerge from where I had been shot, and drop to the floor. Next, the same thing that had happened when Dr. Bellows cut me. The wound closed without pain, and there was soon a bright pink mark on my chest with more itching.
I looked up at Dr. Bellows, scowling, “Don’t tell me, let me guess, ‘it was DETERMINED’ that I would be reluctant to see someone shoot me.” I yelled angrily, “Damn it, no more fucking tests like that! That hurt like hell! I am not some damned test animal.”
Dr. Bellows seem to ignore my outburst, and calmly requested, “Please look again at where you were shot.” I looked again down at my chest, looking at where the now merely pink mark was. Seeing it heeling didn’t make me feel any better.
Dr. Bellows pointed out, “That would have killed you before. Adam, Your analysis please.”
Adam replied, “Affirmative. The bullet pierced the chest, cracking one rib and lodged within the heart itself, causing massive blood loss and an erratic heartbeat that if left unchecked, would have led to death within moments. The shock had forced the heart to discontinue a regularized heartbeat. The Nanomites then stopped the heart completely, slowing the blood loss, and making the ejection and subsequent repair of the heart tissue easier. The Nanomites then commenced to eject the foreign matter that was the bullet, and proceeded too close the penetration, and repair the heart tissue before restarting the heart within seven seconds. Full ejection of the foreign matter took twenty-two seconds. Healing of the heart will take somewhat longer as heart muscle tissues are more complex. The broken rib will cause the most pain as it is repaired, the pain has been blocked, locally, but it is advisable to refrain from strenuous activity for at least an hour.”
I held up my hands, backing away from Dr. Bellows. As I thought he was enjoying this just a bit too much.
“No more tests,” I ordered. “I think I have gotten the point.”
Dr. Bellows noted, “Well, you can still be killed, it would just take a greater trauma type injury that would overwhelm the Nanomites.”
“Are you sure you wouldn’t want to see a demonstration of say a severed appendage?”
I clamped my mouth shut, not wanting to give the least indication that I might to agree with such a test. Not wanting another surprise. Blowing air out of my lungs, and drawing a deep breath calming myself, I asked, “And poisons, those would be taken care of as well.”
Dr. Bellows replied, “Yes, as well as a number of other conditions. Not all diseases and poisons to be sure, but those that have specific procedures that can be neutralized are included. The Nanomites also seem to attack any foreign microorganisms and repair cell damage. Some of our researchers are convinced they have been attacking cancerous cells without having been programmed to do so, or at least that is what we think we are seeing. So far examinations have been very encouraging. It was most unexpected when we first learned of it.”
Wow, all this from an investment that seemed...”
A sudden thought caused me to look up and say, “Wait a minute! Is this something the military would be looking into?”
Adam replied, “Affirmative.”
Dr. Bellows continued, “Your Grandfather thought that using this technology for military applications should be discouraged, and has had Adam sabotage their progress. On top of that, it is exorbitantly expensive.”
I wondered about that. Adam, I inquired, still looking around for the source of the voice, “Can you do that?”
Adam replied, “Affirmative.” Adam volunteered, “As described earlier, there are vulnerable areas with data communications. They have not understood that their work is being attacked.”
I was starting to have strange thoughts about Adam with some of its responses and abilities.
I asked, “How long will it be before they realize it?”
Adam replied with, “Someone may already suspect it, but so far the project administrators seem to have full faith in the computer system they are using! In truth some might be delaying the work themselves, seeking to bleed more money for themselves, and it has also been suspected that foreign spies might be hindering and providing details to their respective affiliates.”
Dr. Bellows continued, “The Military are becoming frustrated with the lack of progress, and some have threatened to pull the plug on the project, though that seems unlikely given the potential the project has. Still, they have poured a lot of resources into it, and it is becoming harder to justify the cost overruns to the various oversight committees.”
Respective affiliates? So just not foreign governments but other possible players. The other ‘Families?’ ... I thought to myself, meaning more than one was interested. I wondered aloud, “Why is that they trust their computers so much?”
Adam, again with his usual unemotional tones, volunteered, “Your Grandfather provided the systems to them, at a price they couldn’t say no to.”
I thought to myself, that was an odd way for a machine to say it. And again, there was that hint of humor within the computer’s statement. I felt like I had walked into its punch line.
We talked a bit more as I learned more of the details. The time passed quickly, I had been there the entire day without realizing it, and as Adam explained, I had been seen walking in, and would need to be seen walking out. It was an odd feeling, now knowing I was being followed and watched. I shook hands and made my goodbyes, promising to speak later about the details of the project, and left. I had a lot to think about as I again looked at my hands and saw nothing; now no longer sure of which one had been cut.
I thought to myself, “Grandfather sure knew how to pick them.”
Another lesson, here: don’t advertise the family’s focus.
Walking out, I was now aware that I was being watched. I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but I now knew it was being done. I no longer took for granted that I was as safe as I once thought I was. I wondered if I had given myself away with the recognition that I now knew I was being observed.
I had never before been known to check out a research lab before, that was not within my own particular interests, I would have to keep that in mind now as I went on to inspect the others on my list. Knowing I was now being watched, I had to assume Grandfather had been, too. It couldn’t look like I was following the same trail as my grandfather. How much had I inadvertently given away with this visit?
Clearly, Grandfather had deemed it a necessary risk, but he had said he trusted me to know what to do. While I needed that lab and its work, I couldn’t afford to have it look like I had been more than a little interested, given my known connection and relationship with my grandfather.
I thought to deal with it much as I thought my grandfather would. I would have it appear as a stockholders’ revolt and have the lab sold off piecemeal while transferring all the critical personnel and all the assets to a secure location. I would have to set up my own organization to do it, and I knew I was now up against the clock.
I don’t know how much of this I said out loud to myself, for the next thing I knew there was a voice that sounded very much like Grandfather’s from the lab. That said, “Please follow the directions from the GPS system.
I was about to ask him questions when I realized it was merely a voice prompt when the voice of the GPS system immediately started after to give me instructions to an unknown location.
While given my grandfather’s insistence that I do so, I was not in a hurry to see my Grandfather’s many holdings given what I now realized. Many were running satisfactorily and could wait while I figured out my next move. I hadn’t been that interested at first. But now seeing what Grandfather’s game was I knew I was in for a number of new lessons. I didn’t feel like we were apart anymore.
With this visit, I understood Grandfather’s plan more clearly. I realized each business was a part of a larger puzzle that had the goal of enriching all mankind, and incidentally keeping me alive. Maybe our shared vision in the common good is the reason he took such an interest in me. For right now, the immediate goal was to keep me alive.