Memories and Restrictions

By Matthew Dentith

He lay, convulsing, upon the stark metal floor. As the cybernectics within him died, so did his final organic memories. Now, with the restrictions from the cybernectic implants dying away, he regained his humanity, and thought that it was ironic, that he could have become the ruler of an emotionless horde, forever conquering, forever surviving. His memory of his flight to Telos, when he was only half-cybertised, filled him with disgust. By then, his compassionate side was fully restricted, he thought only of his own power. Then, when he became more machine than human, his very humanity was stripped away from him, in order to sustain his being for eternities to come. He gave orders, and controlled an empire that was corrupt from its very centre. Not evil, not good, they were abomination to all other races. He remembered only briefly that they had had to retreat to the refrigeration chambers to survive. They slept, while others thought them dead, for five hundred years, until a man awoke them from their slumber, only for another man to return them to their sleep. With his final memories leaving him, so he began to die also.

The control room of the Cyber-Tombs lay quiet. Dormant switches lay beneath an immense dial, its arrow facing down. Framing the controls were two inset metallic doors, embossed with Cyberhead's. The opposite side of the room contained only a raised dais, its hatch closed. The centre of the room held a lone table with what resembled a metallic silverfish sitting upon it. It faced one of the expansive walls, in reality a huge door. Beneath this door lay the sprawled, unmoving form of the CyberController. In the distance farewells were uttered, and the sound of a rocket firing left the planet to its silence.

Then a faint, but growing louder grinding noise could be heard. In the corner of the room, a vague outline of a rectangular solid could be seen. As the moments passed, it solidified, into a blue Police Box. One of the doors opened inwards, and out stepped a man, dressed in fawn. In his jacket pocket sat an umbrella, its handle a large red question mark. A hat was rammed on top of his half-curled black hair, and a long, thin, scarf was draped round the back of his neck, its ends flailing down his jacket. He had the air of a man that knew everything, but did not know whether knowing everything was enough. Moving over to the sprawled mass that was the Controller, he opened a panel at the back of his neck. He fumbled around inside, and attached a small black box. He took another black box from his pocket, and moved over to the control console. Placing the box on the instrument bank, he waited. Carefully, he removed it, and then gently touched the metal finish on one of the control panels. He then placed both his hands firmly on a switch. Nothing happened. Breathing a sigh of relief, he replaced the box in his pocket. Standing over the Controller, he removed the box from the base of his neck. The creature's long silver arms jerked, and the opaque head section started to flicker with light. The man flew into his box, closing the doors. As the Controller arose, the box vanished, fading out of existence, the noise of its departure fading away.

Just as the final surge of power entered the memory banks, the dying detectors felt an unknown source tampering with the failed external power supply. When this was queried, no reply was received. The non-reply was queried, and no answer was returned. All this took nanoseconds. As the Emotional Stabilizers died, he felt pure anger wash over him. Would he never be free? Then new power entered his system. As his power levels rose, repair circuits began their task of rebuilding the organic structure. The CyberController felt strength returning to his limbs, and his newly realigned hearing senses detected a faint grinding nose in the distance. The repair units had just started on the brain casement, when a warning message was transposed to his central processor. Emotional Stabilizers damaged, full emotional control unavailable. Suggested action? The main unit requested if there was backup control? A nanosecond passed, and the answer was returned in the negative. Further action was bypassed to the sub-unit. The answer, incomputable. The CyberController then felt a wave of anger sweep over him, and was surprised for the first time in his life, when the Stabilizers did not cut in. This feeling was replaced by one of revenge, and then rage. These too, were not kept under control. The CyberController felt good. This was power. As he looked over past victories he felt content, as he looked over past foes, he felt contempt. He rose to his feet, preparing to revive his fellow Cybermen. They would once again lead themselves to victory. They would no longer wait for people to come to them, no, they would seek out their foes, and destroy them. As he operated the controls, he made a note in his database to replace all Emotional Stabilizers with versions like his. The emotions of anger, greed, contempt, and the other vehemences would help lead his race to victory. We will survive, we will destroy, he thought, vengefully.

Rochelle Thickpenny

This item appeared in Timestreams 5 (August 1995).

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