Morphosis noun: 1: the mode of development of an organism or one of its parts 2: a nonadaptive structural modification –Merriam-Webster Dictionary
David Castillo was human before he was broken. A part of him still is but a silicon-based lifeform shares his body. As long as he lives so does his symbiont, SARACEN. The numerous changes made to his basic physiology force him to accept he is not the same man he once was. Despite the changes, he still has the same unrelenting enemies. Director Karl Jantzen, head of regional covert operations for The Company has earmarked him for death. Jantzen is an ambitious man who knows no boundary when it comes to eliminating threats to his position. David, alive, can testify to his failures, therefore he must be terminated. Dr. Gerald Frankel refuses to relinquish the hope of using him as the centerpiece of his extensive research on AI/Human interfaces. David is living proof of his genius and the validation of his work. Ergo, he must be captured--returned under his control for further research. Even dead, the chipsets implanted in his body could prove invaluable to his project. David and SARACEN will never be free of pursuit as long as they live. He bitterly acknowledges, in a sense, David Castillo is already dead; officially, he no longer exists. David Saracen, a synthesis of two separate entities, one carbon-based lifeform, the other silicon-based, is no longer broken. His tormentors have yet to realize the full extent of what he has become. But they soon will!
Epithelial appendages have been tapped for epidermal cells to stimulate skin growth in damaged areas to counter scarring. Osteoinductive biomaterials have been dispatched to regenerate host bone tissue. Dehydration is no longer at a critical stage. All monitored functions are within a functional norm. SARACEN reporting.
The darkness was intense. But the suffocating blackness of the void where he dwelt hummed with activity. The other was aware and functional. There was no need to ask questions, because the two had become one. There was no separation between the silicon-based life form and the carbon-based life form. The complex interaction between the two was now virtually seamless. It was not sound, but the pulse of energy, he experienced without hearing. The vibrating strands of matter swirled around him, even in the self-isolation of his exile from human awareness.
The implants within his body hummed with activity. The biosynthetic circuits would be directing organic cell functions to repair damage where necessary. There would also bioengineering models created to evaluate where modifications to be made that could lead to increased efficiency. Reconstruction would take time, but in this iteration he would be aware of the process. Biofeedback could be useful; results would be reviewed via the ACID unit for toxicity and potential allergens. Titanium molecules were large enough to work with on a biological scale, and were organically non-reactive. It could be an additive to use to strengthen his internal skeleton. Or, at least it might be used to shore up weak points, if flexibility did not become an issue.
Growth might be an issue, as a larger size would be more noticeable. But, with the ACID data warehouse the key to protein manipulation might be found in order to avoid too much growth. The DNA blueprint could be changed to build back stronger, denser tissue. The tendons could be made stronger. In order to support stronger attachments the bones would have to be reinforced. That is where the titanium might be useful. SARACEN would notify him when it was time to raise the veil of darkness that cloaked his mind and bring into full awareness.
We are, he thought. We don’t exist separately. The Hindu triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, materialized into his stream of consciousness at the focal point of his random thoughts. He recalled the explanation of the trinity SARACEN had offered—that they were not separate entities, but simply symbols for the different aspects of a single force. They could be named differently, yet their oneness was undeniable, since one did not exist without the other. Sadly, he was not Brahma; the role he had been assigned was not to create. He still had no direct knowledge of all the explicit details. From what he did know, there was never an indication that his original mission was in any way supposed to create anything of tangible substance. The goal was just antagonism and mutual distrust, producing a stasis of sorts. In retrospect, his task was more to have been to assume the form of Vishnu, the Preserver. His sacrifice was supposed to have preserved the delicate status quo in a region that had little stability to preserve. He conceded that had he been successful, perhaps his actions would have generated an uneasy peace—had it all gone according to plan. But it would have been a tenuous peace; fragile at best.
Once all his systems had regenerated, and became fully operational, it would be time to direct his attention to the business of survival. It mattered little, the why of it—why they had chosen him to carry out their plot, why they had decided to put an end to his existence and not to preserve it. He had been broken, but he could be repaired. Deliberately, or by random chance, he had become something other than intended.
Human he was too fragile, so he would become inhuman. Niccolò Machiavelli posed the question in his treatise, The Prince: is it better to be loved than feared, or feared than loved? Machiavelli’s answer to the question he posed rang true. In view of human nature, it was safer to be feared. He would not always be broken. He would return, stronger than before. He could choose to be feared. He would no longer accept the role of Vishnu, The Preserver. When his morphosis was complete he would become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds. He let slip his illusion of calm. He wordlessly screamed his madness into the yawning abyss composed of dark, vibrating strings of matter. His war cry still soundlessly echoed as he plunged into the welcoming darkness.
Morphosis is the third installment in a the Broken series of Si-Fi novels. The novel was first available in Kindle format. The paperback edition was live on Amazon in July, 2021. Print or ebook, happy reading!
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial. – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 1601 A.D.