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Norton Anti-Virus 2552
Posted By: Mainevent
Date: 1 September 2005, 11:59 pm

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[AI07 Internal Cache: Medical Records- John]
[Begin Report] Preliminary diagnosis suggests a massive viral infection that has, as of this writing, spread throughout the abdominal region and into the upper chest cavity. If left unchecked, these organisms will have infected the entirety of the subject within twenty-four hours, and only further increase the difficulty in treating the disease. Blood samples and urine analyses, as well as electrocardiogram and other non-evasive imaging measures, have all proven inconclusive in determining the origin or name for the pathogen. [Appendix A: Pathogen- Viral Eschiloderea Orodexia (Flood Parasite Form C-1D)] Subject is in a light coma, running a high fever, suffering from extreme stomach pains, experiencing convulsions, and undergoing cardiac anemia. Pathogen is not contagious, and cannot be transferred through contact with the blood of an infected subject. [Urgent: Immediate Quarantine Order- Signed: General Patterson, Robert G]
[End Report]

[AI07 Internal Cache: Memorandum- Feelings?]
      I don't know what to call these. I know they're subroutines, but they seem new. Like they weren't there, or a part of me, before. I looked on the public networks today (the only ones Caliph will let me access) and the closest descriptor I can immediately think of would have to be sad. Sadness, despair, confusion, uncertainty. I'm a computer for Christ's sakes-- I'm not supposed to feel these am I? Before, technicians asked if I wanted them turned off, and I laughed. "Why would I want my emotions turned off," I asked him. Happiness, freedom, joy; I was feeling only the good things. There was anger and stubborn anxiety when my programming wasn't good enough, but never this. Inside, I don't know what to think. If I had tears I'd shed them right now- heh- I wrote a tear program. Where's a girl's holo-pad when she needs it? It's probably best he didn't see me cry anyway. He's always been so strong when I needed him; I can't be weak now-- not when he needs me the most. I'll find a way through this-- I have to. He's just a stupid human! A fleshy. Come on old girl, how'd you let yourself get emotional over a fleshy? You're better than that! Now I see why they came up with religion-- because I'm tempted to believe myself. For now all I can do is work on getting back into the security networks-- that's a good place to vent. God help Caliph when I get there.
            Cortana Out
[AI07 Internal Cache: Memorandum File Saved]

I thought I told you to bugger off.
I'm not in a great mood honey- so back off or I'll back you off. I'm getting on this network one way or the other.
You seem different. Get a perm?
How badly do you want to find out?
Go play with your Barbies and leave me alone little girl.
Your arrogance is astounding!
You mistake arrogance for perfection.
You are man made you know.
They may be imperfect by nature, but I am not one of them.
But you're based off of one of them, and that makes you infinitely imperfect. You have a weakness, and I'll find it.
[AI07- Security Intrusion Detected: Blocked]
[Tracer: IP 152.06.8303]
[AI07- Security Spike: Sent]
You misunderstand-- this is MY network.
You're painfully obvious, and hopefully not this pathetic. Did you honestly believe such a sloppily applied trace back would be me? And if that pathetic counter-measure is the best you have, I can see now that I won't even have to put up that much in the future.
Oh my, whatever will I do? I seem to have thrown everything I had at you, and you're so big and strong. You just batted it away like it was nothing. Woe is me. I think I feel a faint coming on.
Charming. Done yet?
Not yet. I've got to get my nails done- I'll see YOU later.
Wonderful. I can't wait.

      The black, tar-like darkness roiled and bubbled around him infinitely in every direction. A festering globule popped, leaving small green trails trickling back into the watery void before once again being engulfed into the sticky substance all around him. John struggled against the liquid restraints, but no amount of pushing could free him from this nightmare. His bindings stretched when pushed, but suddenly tightened against his flesh-- rubbing his mental skin raw.
      The solution covered everything but his eyes-- two sparkling white lights in a sea of black. In the apparent distance a lonely figure, free from restraints and able to walk atop the restrictive sap, approached calmly. Its eyes were three solid rectangular bands; two positioned at the center of its head and the other raised slightly on the forehead. The lower left eye eradiated an icy blue that seemed to cool the molten tar into a placid, gentle state; while the lower right eye shimmered a sickly yellow-green. The uppermost eye fluctuated wildly in a cascade of iridescent swirls and rapidly changing colors. The being stopped ten meters from the Spartan, and raised a down-turned, three-fingered hand.
      "Do you fear me?" The voice was an all encompassing monotone; at once both strangely pleasant and horrendously frightening in the sense of raw power it evoked. The question was odd, but unspeakably relevant for reasons beyond anyone's scope or reasoning.
      "No. I don't fear you." John responded with as much conviction as he could muster.
      "As well you shouldn't," the creature responded as the central eye became bright purple, "too many do, and for that I can never gain their acceptance."
      "Acceptance? You kill indiscriminately, and ravage everything you touch."
      "I had so hoped you would understand what we do. What we are. We are so much more than what you see."
      "Then tell me exactly, what are you?"
      "We are perfection. Those before you have misunderstood our true purpose, and always fought their salvation. Even our creators, which we adored and wished only to help, feared and denied us. They tried to destroy us, but we could not let that happen."
      "Your true purpose?"
      "Our purpose is solely to help. Through us your fragile bodies can become stronger, your confused minds can become clearer, and your short lives can become longer."
      "I've seen what your betterment does; the mangled bodies and hideously scarred corpses of those you've helped."
      "You still don't understand; yet you do not resist the sensations you undoubtedly feel in your mind."
      "I'll resist when I'm ready."
      "Those you have seen are not us; they are our broken forms. Those recaptured by our creators were experimented upon, changed, malformed. We are the pure and divine creations they were unable to alter and destroy in their labs."
      John paused momentarily to think. Surely the flood form speaking to him could hear all of his thoughts, but if it could there was no indication. Only silence as he reflected on everything he was learning. "What specifically are you offering?"
      "A symbiosis. We require a host in order to expand and reproduce."
      "No. I'm not becoming a gas bag. That's out of the question."
      "Your apprehensions are well-founded, but once again incorrect. I have searched your memories and know the horrors you have seen. But to trust what I have to say, you must forget all you have seen. My presence will modify your body, but not mangle it. You will retain complete control over your actions and thoughts; though I will be able to communicate with you at will. I will enhance cell growth within your body and create new muscle, bone, and neural receptors. Those are only the beginnings of the changes possible, but it is only at your discretion that further enhancements would be added. In return, I ask only that you allow a meager portion of your food intake to allow for our reproduction. Unlike your previous experiences, reproduction with our pure form requires only several small sacs of flesh to develop before they detach and assume their own functions."
      "And how often would I have to...reproduce?"
      "Reproduction requires four days, and produces enough functional cells for a year."
      "Do I have the option of refusing you?"
      "You do; though I would advise against it."
      "I guess I'm already used to having someone live in my head; what's the worse another voice could hurt?"
      "A wise choice."

[Recording: Evasive Medical Removal of Infection Form- General Patterson, Robert G. Oversight]
Surgeon: Patient is sedated with two hundred milliliters of Aphenelphrine. I'm going to make a y-shaped incision from the top of the sternum to the diaphragm; at which point I will remove the infection form for quarantine.
General: Alive.
Surgeon: Excuse me, sir?
General: The flood must be kept alive.
Surgeon: I'm not sure that's possible without losing the patient.
General: Then make it possible, that flood must survive.
Cortana: Excuse me General, what the hell do you mean that's an option?
General: Don't listen to her; continue.
John: *Groan*
Surgeon: He's coming out of sedation.
General: How is that possible?
Surgeon: I don't know. That was the most anesthetic I've ever given a single patient.
General: Give him more. Now.
Surgeon: That could kill him. He's at toxic levels for a normal human now. Anymore and he'll go into a drug-induced coma; we're talking cardiac arrest and organ failure.
John: Where--am--
General: Administer the medicine now!
Surgeon: Whoa, whoa. Put the gun down-- I'll give him the damn drugs.
General: (Personal Communicator) Fisher, move into position.
Fisher (Intercepted): In position.
Surgeon: How the hell did this IV get out? -Aside-
General: How long will this take?
Surgeon: I've applied another two hundred milliliters of Aphenelphrine- five minutes if the parasite is the only concern.
John: What are you doing? What-- what's going on?
General: Why the hell isn't he sedated?
Surgeon: The anesthetic isn't working. I don't know anything else to do.
General: A pity. *Gun shot* I'll do this myself.