The Game is On (Luna 3, Part 7)

in fiction •  8 months ago

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By cdu445 on pixabay.com


Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6


Michael looked … different. Nora-Ceph couldn’t really put her finger on it, but everything in her brain screamed that something was wrong. Had she been a human and not known what was going on, it would have greatly confused her. But of course, she knew. This wasn’t Michael.

”How are you dealing with the transition?” She asked, giving him a warm smile. He stretched.

”Feels weird, only two arms and legs”, Michael-Ceph said, then moved a hand in front of his face to examine the fingers attached to it. ”Humans are weird. How did you deal with it?”

”Badly, at first. Handling memories is a bit tricky”, she confessed. ”They only tend to appear when triggered.”

”Oh, that explains a lot”, Michael-Ceph said.

”For example?”

”Seeing you has brought some very … interesting memories which this host apparently has. I’m not sure if you’re aware of all of them. And the emotions attached to them …”

Nora-Ceph knew. She had now spent enough time analyzing her host’s memories to have discovered most missing pieces. Spending time at her place of work had helped, the presence of familiar faces had made it possible to piece together a life. She still dreaded meeting Nora’s family for the first time. There would be questions, this was, after all, the third weekend she spent on Luna 3 instead of her home colony, Luna 2. @suesa

”Did I offend you?” Michael-Ceph asked, displaying worry on his face. ”I wasn’t aware that this might be a difficult topic, but now that I think about it …”

”Oh, no, no that’s not it. I’m sorry, my thoughts just wandered a bit. And yes, I share those … memories. It seems like our hosts had a rather intense relationship when they were still alive.”

”That’s one way to phrase it.” He laughed and sounded a lot like Michael. It gave Nora-Ceph goosebumps and she had to close her eyes. This wasn’t Michael. It was a fellow Ceph. One of the good guys. He was just inhabiting this body, this human form. Just like she was.

Nora-Ceph took a deep breath and tried to calm herself.

”Did you settle in alright?”

”You mean if I hold all the power my host used to hold? Yes, that worked quite well. Nobody seems to suspect anything, although I was forced to act like a complete asshole.” The frustration in his voice eased Nora-Ceph’s mind. He was still one of the good guys, Michael’s memories had not influenced his character. Not yet at least.

”Then we will continue with the plan?”

”Can you really call it a plan?” Michael-Ceph asked. ”I feel like we’ve been doing everything here on a day to day basis like nobody actually knows where we want to go or what our goal is.” Nora-Ceph frowned.

”You know that’s not true! We were forced to work with what we got to avoid being detected.”

”Sure, but imagine if Nora hadn’t been captured? Or if Michael had killed her?”

*”Why would he kill her?” Nora-Ceph made a step back, away from the desk Michael-Ceph was sitting behind.

”Didn’t you know? Michael was thinking about killing Nora just as much as he was thinking about fucking her. That guy was truly psychotic. And if he had gone through with it, we would be back to zero again. Worse, we would have lost you!”

Slowly, Nora-Ceph forced herself to go back to the desk and this time, she sat down in the chair in front of it. Just like last time, when she had visited Michael …

”Maybe you’re right. It’s about time we got more organized. But this is a unique opportunity! Your host already has a project planned that is for the Cephs. He had planned to unofficially use it for something else, but how many people know about that? We can just use the plans and nobody will suspect anything. Imagine, a protected Ceph community on the outskirts of Luna 3! The opportunities!”

”Not sure if that’s going to be as easy as you hope. There are people funding this, and I don’t think they’d be too happy to see their money go to the Cephs”, Michael-Ceph pointed out.

”Guess we’ll start phase 2 then.”

”Already?”

”What better time than now?”


The meeting with the investors happened on Monday after Nora-Ceph had been reunited with Michael-Ceph. Ten people were sitting around a big table, Nora-Ceph among them. She got some weird looks. Everyone knew she was an outsider, didn’t belong here. Not because she was a Ceph, they couldn’t know that. Or at least so she hoped. No, Nora-Ceph wasn’t one of the investors, she didn’t look like she’d have enough money. So of course, everyone was wondering what she was doing here.

They didn’t know that she was here to make sure they didn’t leave before Michael-Ceph was back. Right at this moment, the whole floor was being cleared of human employees and completely replaced by hosts with Cephs. None of the people in this room would leave with their brains intact.

The door opened without a sound and all eyes were focused on Michael-Ceph, who entered the room.

”My dear Ladies and Gentlemen! I’m sorry to have let you wait, but there is something very important that needs my immediate attention – and the attention of my wonderful assistant. Nora, would you be so kind to accompany me for a moment?”

That was the sign. Nora-Ceph stood up from her chair, gave the investors a friendly nod and smile and left the room with Michael-Ceph, who closed the door.

”Go”, he said into a tiny button microphone attached to his collar. A hissing sound followed, as the room which they had just left was flooded with a narcotic. Only moments later, they could hear several limp bodies drop to the floor.

A group of people came around the corner and approached Nora-Ceph and Michael-Ceph. They stopped in front of the two.

”Medical team reports for duty”, one of them said, then looked over to Nora-Ceph. She had never seen that much pain and happiness in a human face at the same time. ”Good to see you again”, the Ceph said. ”I was worried.”

”Q … Quelz?” Nora-Ceph stuttered. A fist seemed to close around her heart. She counted the members of the medical team. Eight. 7 arms and one brain. Everything that had been left of the Ceph she had belonged to before she had been implanted into her human host. She started to feel sick.

”I wasn’t sure if I should tell you that I … we opted for complete assimilation. There just aren’t enough of us if we all just donate one arm.”

Complete assimilation, it meant that every part of a Ceph was placed in a different human host, which meant the original Ceph was gone for good. There had been one or two Cephs Nora-Ceph had heard of who had done that but … Quelz had always regarded it as too dangerous. Something not right.

”What changed your mind?” She asked.

”We missed you. It just wasn’t the same. We… Quelz became deeply depressed and decided this was the only way to fix things.”

”I hate to interrupt this reunion”, Michael-Ceph said, and he really seemed to mean it, ”but we have ten humans in there who need to be handled as soon as possible if we want this to go smoothly. You should get to work.”

The medical team gave him a confirming nod, put on gas masks and entered the room.

Nora-Ceph felt a weird emptiness in her chest.


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Oh god. I missed the start of this story too. Is there something I possibly did not miss durimg my vacation?!
Gonna give the whole thing a read in class tomorrow; your writing is way more interesting than our lectures lolz

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Good to hear :P

Yes.. make them pay... make them all pay...

Speaking about implanting the foreign brains (into the machines, hot humans)... I remember their video from about 10 years ago, so I checked them now but no progress :(

https://www.reading.ac.uk/15/research/films/res-robotwithbiologicalbrain.aspx

P.S. Draw the "cephie" :)

I mean, I understand that the humans are the bad guys in this story, but being one of them, I'm really having a hard time feeling wonderful about an entire room being indiscriminately killed and replaced.

It's for the greater good, I guess. >.<

On a related note, I had calamari a few days ago. I thought of the last installment of this story and, rather than being put off, laughed and continued eating. I'm not sure if that makes me a lunatic or not. Help?

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Well, good and bad are kind of a question of perspective, isn't it? Are the Cephs truly the good guys?

And I think it's only natural to want to make sure the Cephs don't evolve that far :P Eat away!

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Are the Cephs truly the good guys?

That's a bit of a dangerous question, @suesa. You risk raising questions that are more applicable to our real society than not.

The racist humans in this story are certainly being evil, that's for sure. At least that is my opinion. I was thrilled when Michael was killed. He deserved it.

But this wiping out a whole floor thing.... Sure, they're all probably unfeeling bureaucrats, and they all worked for the bad guy after all. But can you be evil in your actions against evil beings? I think so.

In the end, on the moral judgement of what the Cephs are doing here.... well, the victor will write the history books. Winners of war commit no war crimes.

I think it's only natural to want to make sure the Cephs don't evolve that far :P Eat away!

Indeed, this story makes me question vegans' sanity even more than I already did. Look at the crisis they're enabling, @suesa! Is this what they want? A terrorist insurgency spearheaded by a race of sentient and very pissed off calamari?!

Crazy soymilk-chugging weed-eaters! You're killing us all!

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Oh, I think you misunderstood, the floor being cleared meant they removed everyone from the premises. Converting 10 humans is already a lot of work, tired humans in the way is the last thing they want.

And I'm kind of waiting for the illuminati to kill me any day.

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Oh yeah, I definitely misunderstood this part:

Right at this moment, the whole floor was being cleared of human employees and completely replaced by hosts with Cephs.

I took this to mean they were all being converted. Oops. Well, that changes things a bit. Who cares about some billionaire capitalist investors? Kill them all!

please don't drone me i was joking

"To arms!" shouted the humans.

You could have a happy ending, turning investors into cephi, funding the construction project to the outskirts and make them move there. Then everyone could live in peace.

Would be lovely.

As I read this, my mind was itching with curiosity of what they planned to do about that Cephi project. Oddly satisfied with how it's all going on that end :)

Imagine, a protected Ceph community on the outskirts of Luna 3! The opportunities!”

Would that be feasible?

Eight. 7 arms and one brain. Everything that had been left of the Ceph she had belonged to before she had been implanted into her human host. She started to feel sick.

I felt sick too. Still trying to come to terms with the fact that the hosts have a part of a ceph's arms and is yet as intelligent as a human would.

Would Quelz be more intelligent? Since his host has the bigger of the eight brains. Why did he pick a male host? For dominance sake or . . .

Its looking like the complete annihilation of the human race. Any infiltrated rank or persons are immediately turned to cephs.

What exactly is the big plan?

Lol :). Am always bugging you with questions hehe :D, it was a great read. My only issue is the time one has to wait till the next part.

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The gender of the hosts doesn't really matter to the Cephs, but the question about the higher intelligence is a good one, I'll have to think about that.

And the big plan ... will be revealed in time :P

the plot is very interesting

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How can that be, if you read over 1000 words in under 2 minutes? Doesn't seem like you read it at all.

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He probably has superpowers 😂 😂 😂

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Maybe... Or he's a spammer like most people who comment in under 2 minutes.

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I am a literary reader

To hear the speech version of this post click the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

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stop. this is getting annoying. I'll start flagging this bot if he keeps doing that.

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I've seen this one around. I think it could be helpful, but it's pretty bad.

Maybe a better way for it to behave would be to wait to be summoned, by the author or a blind person.

Still though, blind people have their own screen readers. It feels like less of an attempt to be useful, and more of a thinly-veiled cash grab. But maybe, just maybe, I'm just an arsehole.

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I see it as cash grab, because it's incredibly bad and super annoying.

You should make some physical copy of this story @suesa. Wish just a few help from friends, I think this can turn into a very nice book or novel or something like that.

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I prefer to keep this story on steemit for now. It, and all the other stories I've published here, would need to be completely re-written for a proper book.

This is another evidence of @suesa brilliancy when it comes to writing. There were a few paragraphs I found myself simply rereading over and over, in awe at them.

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I think you misspelled my name, but thanks

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All fixed now. You are welcome.

At this point I can congratulate you, your story is taking on a little color!