Short Stories The Guardian: Rebirth
This is a short story I wrote in 2007 when I was a freshman in college. Let me know your thoughts.
By: Robert M. Pimpsner
There I was, running for my life. I supposed this will become my life from now on. Running from the authorities and my enemies alike, a fugitive like none other. You see I was a relic, a remnant, a failed experiment from years ago that now must be destroyed. I was supposed to remain hidden in the past, never to be remembered. But something happened, the thing they turned me into all those years ago reawakened and now I must run from them and those who wish to use my secret for their own personal gain.
Many years ago, I was a baby, but I died just moments after my birth. My family, stricken with grief and hope to save my life gave my body up to be experimented upon by the government. There was something about our family DNA that was perfect for these experiments and it was their hope that it would be successful enough for me to become the future of warfare. I was not alone, there were many who were subjected to these barbaric experiments. I say barbaric because to change what a living being is, to try to control the very nature, and play god is truly cruel.
The researches created microscopic machines called nanites. They were small but powerful, once injected into my body they attached themselves to every cell in my body and began to take control. These machines were given the ability to take the raw resources around me and use it to build more or repair the body. They retained great processing ability that allowed me to retain knowledge better than a typical human. I was even able to download and upload information much like a computer. It was an incredible feat of organic-mechanical engineering. Had it not been the fact that I was created to be a weapon of war, a tool to fight the nation’s enemy, it would have been granted a Nobel Prize.
While I was not alone, I was clearly ahead of the pack. Many of the other test subjects suffered greatly in one way or another. Whether it was physical deformations, mental abnormalities, or the nanites just did not work. I was one of a small handful that the experiment was a complete success. I looked and acted like a normal human boy, I passed all the mental exams, and the nanites perfectly bonded with my cells.
But something happened. The great Soviet Union, our enemy, fell, and the need to funnel billions in money into top-secret government projects like this was lessening. Combine that with a tragic accident that occurred in the lab where one of my fellow test subjects disappeared, and the project was deemed too dangerous to continue. Before I could be killed, and the program could be hidden away forever, I was taken by one of the scientists. He reprogrammed the nanites, just to give me basic functions and no enhanced abilities with the hope I would function as a normal human being, and one day the experiment could be revisited. With the changes made, It was decided that I would be returned to my family and allowed me to be raised as a normal human being. I do not know if more were saved, but I do know I am the only one they are hunting right now.
Over the next few years, I grew up much like a normal kid, without any knowledge of what I was. I went to school, played with my friends, participated in sports, and when I was old enough was interested in girls. I was an exceptional student, probably as a result of the nanites that were in control of my brain. I always felt like that I was different though like I was meant for something more. I guess that longing feeling was correct because I was about to find out what I could do.
While I had friends, I was not exactly the most popular guy. I tend to keep to myself mostly, and that continued into college. I made a few friends and hung out a lot in the campus lounge between classes, watching tv regularly with the others who hung out in there. But one day, during my sophomore year, I began to feel really sick. My body felt weird, the Doctor could not figure out what was causing it. Little did I know it was the nanites, they were reactivating to their true potential.
The first big change I noticed was just days after I started to feel ill. I dropped a considerable amount of weight in a very short period of time, I was feeling stronger and able to run faster. Then I was able to see further, read quicker, and retain knowledge easier. It was an incredible feeling, I felt like I was Superman.
The biggest event though was the day I killed that classmate in the lounge. To this day I still do not really know what happened, suppose the nanites misfired or it was just a fluke accident from them reactivating but I grabbed him by the arm and tossed him across the room. He was dead, no way he was able to survive the force I threw him. There was something strange on my arm when it happened, it appeared almost metallic. It was the first time I had ever seen such a thing but would not be the last.
An investigation followed. I was removed from campus while the authorities investigated, there was no interaction with my classmates or teachers. I expected something like that to take months, but it was only a few days before I got word on the findings. The investigation stated that it was just an accident, I was not at fault, and was to be allowed back at the school. It seemed very fishy to me, I knew I had to find out what was going on so once I got back on campus, I began asking questions. While there were no eyewitnesses, I knew there were security cameras, but no matter how hard I tried there was no way I was able to get them.
One day shortly after I returned to campus, I was sitting outside when I saw three men in military uniforms walk on campus. They asked one of the students something and he pointed in my direction. I paid no mind to it, thinking that they were just going to one of the buildings, but they were looking for me. I sat at the wooden table in the courtyard and they surrounded me.
“Allard Farrell,” the one who wore a Colonel’s bird asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“You must come with us; we need to speak to you privately.”
“What is this about?”
“I am sorry, I am not at liberty to discuss that. You must come with us.”
“Am I under arrest?”
“Sir, please come with us.”
“Should I have to call an attorney?”
“No, that won’t be necessary Allard,” a voice from behind me stated.
He was an older gentleman, civilians not military. Tall, well built, with glasses and a worn-out suit. The exact type of clothing you would expect an old government-paid scientist to wear.
“I’m Doctor Patterson,” he said, “I would like to have an important discussion with you away from any prying eyes or interested in-ears.”
“Okay,” I said with a hint of nervousness in my voice.
“Great, follow me. We have a car that will bring you to my local office.”
I followed the gentlemen to a black, unmarked SUV that proceeded to drive to a warehouse that looked abandoned. Once we parked, I exited the vehicle and we walked towards a set of chairs in the middle of this empty building.
“Would you like something to drink?” the Doctor asked.
“No, I am fine,” I answered. “What is this all about?”
“It’s about you, Allard, and what you did.”
“What are you talking about?”
As I said that, they rolled in a television set that had the security footage I was so desperately trying to obtain on it. The footage clearly showed me throwing my classmate across the room with such force that he died. But something else was visible on the grainy black and white film, a spot on my arm where the metallic spot was. This was it; I was finally going to be getting some answers on what was going on with me.
“You see Allard, you are special.”
“What do you mean?”
“Have you noticed any changes lately?”
“Yeah,” I said with some uneasiness.
“That was to be expected when we reactivated you.”
“Reactivated? What do you mean?”
“You see that spot on your arm there in the video? That is a substance created by the machines inside of you. The machines we put in you when you were younger.”
“What do you mean?” I said in shock. “What do you mean you put them in me? What is going on with me? Who are you?”
“I am the Doctor that saved your life, Allard. You see over a decade ago I lead the research team into the nanotechnology that currently is inside your body. You were one of our test subjects.”
I sat there as he explained everything. How I died, how I was revived. Everything. I was in shock; how could I not be. It was like something out of a science fiction movie. The science and technology to achieve such a feat was unimaginable. But everything was buried when the project was scrapped. My nanites were reactivated by accident when they were going through the remnants of the lab, I was created in. Since they are now fully functioning again the chances of them being deactivated like they were before were low. So, I listened to what they had to say, and it seemed genuine.
Doctor Patterson was excited, after all, I was his life’s work come to life. He was giddy with all the possibilities now that my nanites were fully active. But he knew many others in the government would not want that to be explored. He told me of a growing divide in their leadership of people who want to use me to solidify their power, those who want to shut me down, and those like himself who want to fulfill the duties of the original project. There were not many senior leaders in the government who know of the project, all the remaining did occupy high ranking positions.
After our discussion, the Doctor had his associates drive me back to the school. Where I just could not pay attention to anything they were talking about in class. I just thought of what he told me, about those who wish to harm me, or worse. That is when it happened. Two government agents in black suits showed up. Like the military men before me, they asked to speak to me, but when I refused, they attempted to forcefully take me into custody. The nanites activated, the metallic substance covered my whole body including my face. I disabled them temporarily, allowing me to escape but as I ran, they opened fire. I was hit multiple times, but the bullets did not slow me down. The nanites absorbed the raw materials from the projectiles using it to fuel my escape. I was starting to realize the true potential of my abilities in that moment.
The moment I left the campus of the school I was surrounded by more agents, all of them with their weapons trained on me. I jumped and easily cleared the blockade of cars and people, absorbing the bullets as they hit the armor that enveloped my skin. The moment I got a significant lead on the men chasing me I was able to deactivate the armor. My legs were running faster than they have ever before, but amazingly there was no fatigue. I ran almost the entire length of the Eastern Coast of Manhattan ultimately coming face to face with another blockade of agents that greeted me in Battery Park. There I was surrounded by water on one side, the agents, and other authorities on the other sides.
It was then I heard his voice again. Doctor Patterson. He somehow was able to tap into the nanites and send me a message.
“Allard!,” he shouted, “jump into the river. The nanites will protect you, I will meet you on the other side.”
So, I did, jumping over the railings and into the murky waters of the Hudson River. The pollution in the water was able to mask my presence. The Doctor used the link he made to my nanites to send me a signal on where to meet him. My nanites gave me a unique ability, one that I was not expecting. They were able to convert the molecules in the water into breathable oxygen for my body, so I was able to hide in the water for as long as I needed to, avoiding the patrols of the authorities who all believed I had died.
Doctor Patterson met me in New Jersey at a secluded spot where no one was around. This kind of subterfuge would become a normal part of my life now that I was on the run. He brought me back to the base of operations he had set up with his team in the warehouse. There was no way I would be able to go back to my previous life. I was enemy number one, a fugitive from the law.
Over the next few months, I remained secluded in the warehouse, becoming more and more familiar with all my new capabilities. Not only could the nanites produce armor, but also weapons as well. I was able to tap into computer networks and download information when I needed to, becoming smarter than anyone on the planet. The ability to manipulate matter and turn it into any form came in handy as we set up the new base of operations under that old warehouse.
The Doctor was able to recover a lot of old equipment and data from the old research lab. He was also able to secure some more equipment that we needed. The nanites did the rest of the work, turning the raw materials in the warehouse into everything we needed to have a fully functional headquarters in no time. We set up computer access terminals for me, the Doctor, and his other associates. I had set up a training area for me to try out all my new abilities. We also created a medical bay as well as sleeping quarters as this will become my home.
There was no denying it, I had found what I was meant to do. With the help of Doctor Patterson, and the others we were going to find out who exactly told those agents to bring me in. I could never have imagined what it would lead to. This was only just the beginning.