It had been a mistake, a painfully raw agonizing two hour mistake that left one young man scared for life. Just thirteen RFID microchips where to be implanted in his body. Four in the skull, five in the chest and back, and two on each thigh . But what was suppose to be precision placement by the the latest medical robot and team of highly skilled doctors went horribly wrong. As he lay there, nearly naked, strapped to the body frame at four points, his whole body looked more like a freckled face kid whose freckles were red. It seems someone had inverted the placement matrix so the robot place all the 395 RFID sensor chips, in every place but the thirteens spots there were suppose to be. Why not turn the robot off? Another computer glitch, seems the bug hit a loop which powered up the UPS to keep life support going, which kept the power on and doors locked, because the sensors though the outside was contaminated. It all failed safe but the operation was inverted and looped. Kind of like hanging on the throttle of a motorcycle to keep from falling off when you slip, it’s a wild ride to a painful end. Thankful Joseph’s more sensitive areas, like his eyes, had been marked off completely so the robot would not even go near them.
Now the medical staff waited to see what Joe’s body would do with this many new foreign objects imbedded in it. Each chip was designed to synchronize with Joe’s system like every other cell would. Hopefully causing his body to accept them as his own tissue. In fact each sensor had a few of Joe’s stems cells implanted in them. They could grow anchors with Joe’s own connective tissues was the plan. It’s similar to how they implant coral into bone and the bones grows together with coral. This the doctors hoped would help stabilize the sensors in his body. After three weeks of close medical care the team of doctors and scientists concluded Joe’s health was not harmed. The downside was the extra sensors left him too wired to participate in their tests. They would have to try again on the next volunteer. Joe would have to spend three years on a small island in the great lakes area away from people, other wise he should be OK. They did not want to send him out of the country or some place where the heat could breed germs. Salt water might affect his system. The each sensor were designed to slowly disintegrate after six months of operation but to be sure nothing went wrong they told Joe three years. Besides the scientist thought they could learn some things about the human bodies ability to deal with implants. Joe was shipped off to a small island just north of Wisconsin to spend three years being watched and paid for his silence. .
Originally when he signed on Joe thought that being a medical volunteer was worth the money and time. Being unemployed for 6 months had eaten up what saving he had in the bank. Now having three years paid vacation alone, except TV, radio, and the internet, was not not really that bad either he tried to convince himself. He sat huddled in the military plane that was winging it’s way up north. Ya, hey! he thought! Yet the presence of armed soldiers and a few medial guys in uniform reminded him this was not just do as he pleases. He was still in a cage just a big cage with lots of room, and a few armed guards.
Once they settled on the island the doctors looked him over once a week. He was like a walking swipe card at the check out counter. They would scan every part of his body and read the data stored in the sensors. Each sensor had a small memory chip and power source in them. What Joe had been doing and what his body had gone through was logged in the sensors then transmitted to the computer and graphed. Hot, cold, ph balance and a lot more were recorded. Even sounds were recorded as a type of vibration. When combined with the GPS tracking devices they had also implanted in him, the staff had an incredible recording, a living picture of what Joe had sensed and how his body had reacted for the past week. Way too much data for anything but a super computer to compile and analyze. For Joe it was like being a child again at summer camp with lots of good air, good food, and exercise. His brain was alive with new information, greater detail, and faster processing, which made his hands and feet seem like he was drugged. He was unware and the medical staff was unware too of his real condition. On the outside it was the same old Joe.
What the doctors did not realize was that Joes body had in fact accepted the sensors enhanced by stems cells as his own body, but went beyond using them to build muscle and other connecting tissue. The sensors, designed to trick the body into accepting them as just another human tissue, had been not only been glued in place but had been wired into broken nerve ending and other tissues. Joes body was now wiring them up for its own use. Joe was unlike most other volunteers in that his great grandparents were from a small town in Germany next to the Neanderthal valley. Not something they screen for in his medical testing. But long dormant genes were awakened in his body and brain. With fresh air and good food, neural nets that had been like side streets, in the city that was his body, were slowly being widened into superhighways. The barely used parts of his brain were slowly being enhanced to accommodate all the new data his body was sensing.
Actuality all of his brain was being rewired to adjust for this enhancement. By a fluke of scientific blundering with advanced technology the sensors were close enough to the real thing and placed near or on top of damaged nerve endings the body as fooled. The trauma was such that it had triggered his body to reach into gray matter, white matter, DNA, RNA, and every bit of his genome, even into the dark matter hidden from human understanding, to try and repair itself. The cells had been asking how do we wire this stuff back up. Only Joesph’s maker could know the blueprints his body was now using. Yet the presence of so many stem cell in so much of his body had unwitting triggered an almost infant like growth response in his sensory system, along with rapid healing. His body, in scrambling to repair broken connections, had tapped in to his Neanderthal roots, back to data from even older ancestors, thus starting to rewiring his whole body and brain in a way unlike the modern humans around him, what was once locked was unlocked.
Each week the doctors dutifully recorded the data. Joe would ask them questions then look at the graphs and pictures they showed him. Funny was he could recall most of video they showed him, but from his minds eye point of view. With soldiers to train with, plenty of time to read and rest Joe’s recovery surprised the staff and had turned into a mini training camp.The medical staff was really relieved they didn’t have a body to bury or some life long invalid to support. On the outside Joe had returned to his same old self just healthier. On the inside though he was renovating, innovating and rebuilding like a master builder would an old building. Joe has started off the study at 5′ 9″ and 185 lbs. Yet the new combined information his cells were working on, powered by his own stems cells, would build a new Joe at 5’11” and 236 lbs with heavier bones, rewired brain and senses. At least part of him was a child again.
Late that summer Joe was predictable/trained enough they let him travel with them to a small town where the staff picked up supplies. Going to the store helped them have a believable image on the island as a group of environmentalist doing great lakes research. The small town being typically friendly yet suspicious of the summer visitors, was willing to supply what ever was asked for but at a price. Tourists were after all a way to make money. Most of the visit went well. Joe had stayed by the truck talking with Susan, one of the two women on medical staff. Kids played on the side streets, people slowly walked across the main road where tourist vehicle would slow down as they passed through.
The happy noises suddenly were stomped out when old man Larson’s boy, Ben, started yelling at a tourist who did not slow down politely. Being from Chicago this didn’t go over well with the driver, who gestured rudely at the big blond haired lug who was yelling at him. Quickly the two men were in a shouting match in another wise busy street, which had come to a halt. A few locals ran over to quite down Ben. He was 25 years old, 6′ 9″and 287 pounds of Norse descent, a modern day throw back to the Vikings. But the man from Chicago was not little either, he was over six foot. Yet his anger had gotten the better of him so he had jumped out of his truck for a fight. Then his pride stopped him from retreating. Ben had stood up straight for once, like a bear confronted by a wolf. The stranger on the other hand had frozen in disbelief for a moment trying figure out if this was the was boy he had started yelling at. As soon as “where this monster come from” had passed through the strangers mind, Ben was in his face.
A few locals and some other tourists ran over to stop the altercation which was snarling up traffic. A few of the soldiers ran over to help out too. Dirk, the commander of the unit, and the other soldier interposed themselves with confidante assertion. Ben brushed them side to get back at the stranger who had failed to keep his mouth shut and let things die down. The stranger had worked in the hood, Ben seemed like a big kid he could push around. When Joe saw the soldiers get pushed aside he ran over to help. People who had been trying to separate the two men finally gave up and let them go at each other.
The stranger had just landed a jab to Ben’s ribs when Joe got to the inner edge of the onlookers. When Joe saw a chance, he shouted as he jumped in the middle of them, catching them by surprise, then hitting both men near their solarplex . Ben doubled over and turned away while the stranger just sat down in the street. The local sheriff and a deputy’s showed up then. Ben was lead away by one deputy, the sheriff was talking with the strange, while another deputy was asking for details from the crowd about what had happened. It was all kind of polite though, no one really wanted to mess up the summer if everyone would just clam down. The Dirk, Joseph, and Ryan where standing off to one side when the other deputy starting asking them questions as to what went on. Dirk and Ryan said they came over to help stop the fight but were brushed aside by Ben, so they just stayed out of it. “No sense in getting hurt if two grown men want to hurt each other,” said Dirk. Joe explained he had come over when Dirk had gotten push around. Then Joe added “Oh and that littler guy I think he is a zombie.” At this the deputy stopped writing looking up at Joe with confused disbelief as if his kid had just confessed to shooting flying reindeer. Mind you, they do shoot deer in Wisconsin, and a kid might mistake a reindeer for a white tail, and deer jump high, but this wasn’t hunting season and Joe was not a little kid. The deputy paused. Joe continued, “I think that guys a zombie, maybe not a fully infected one but he way to soft internally when I hit him.” “Yea, ok Doctor Rambo,” said the deputy. Quietly he finished writing what Joe had said. “Thanks Dr Rambo,” said the deputy with a smirk on his face, then went on to questioning others..
“Why’d you say that,” asked Dirk quietly. “Well it seemed he was sickly and that’s the only thing that made sense at that time,” said Joe. “Joe you gotta remember these guys aren’t the medical staff that you can talk about what ever goes through your senses, said Dirk then he added “and don’t go hitting any one.” “Yea but their cops and they should get any feedback that can help them,” said Joe. They loaded the rest of their stuff in the truck and drove back out to the dock. Loading the boat went quickly enough, now it was time for the slow ride back to the island. Once Joe had left Dirk said to the medical staff “No more trips ashore, for Joe, not for a long while.”
A few weeks later the sheriff, a few state troopers and some other officials showed up at the island’s dock. They questioned the staff on what they were doing. Along with asking about Joe’s background. The staff just followed their script while one of the official recorded information. It was all friendly like the start of a football game. Seems Joe was right, sort of right, in a way no one wanted to admit was possible was the look on everyone’s face. The man in a gray coat started “The stranger was indeed infect by the zombie virus but was not totally taken over by it.” “He was a kind of prezombie that had been a front for the others.” He paused then went on, “He did have to stop at the local hospital before leaving.” “After the doctor looked him over he suggested he might have bruising internally.” But the stranger just said his own doctor could help him.” He paused for a moment then continued. “The police ran his name and id through records, which triggered another government agency to ask some questions. When they all got done talking they asked the doctor who saw him what he thought. Then we got a warrant and checked out the samples the stranger had left. Sure enough, traces of zombie was present in that guys tissue swabs. We raided his place in Chicago and found three others like him along 14 zombies, guns, drugs, stolen goods and other stuff. That stranger was a front for zombies, running his own little criminal enterprise.” the man in the gray suit paused again to let it sink in. Then continued, “Not sure how it works yet,” the man in the gray coat said. “Scary to think though that some people slowly turn zombie while trying to get rich, but end up acting like a fifth element for a zombie invasion.”
“How did your boy spot him any how?” said the man in the gray coat. “He hit him,” said the Susan the medical staffer who was there. “How would that give him away?” “How’s your boy trained to know stuff like that?” “He not trained,” said Dirk. “He is autistic and he in a program to help him fit into society while learning filtering his senses. He is very bright, the scientist think once his abilities are trained he could be a great help to us all.” The guy in the gray coat paused while looking over each face carefully. “OK, we’ll get back with you if we need any more help then.” Yet in his mind he thought that was either the biggest bold face childish lie he had heard or so so close to another reality did not not want to know. They exchanged business cards then left.
After they were gone It was very quiet for about 2 minutes then Susan turned to Dirk and said “were living a lie, inside a lie, on a fast ship in the north Atlantic, at night, in April, you know.” Dirk looked at her and said,”we have to speak with HQ about this, face to face, nothing written down, nothing that can be traced or copied.” “I don’t understand it,” said the medical officer, it would be hard for a trained doctor looking at x-rays to say what Joe had said.” Yet they all knew, they knew, they he seen Joes ability to sense what was going on around him. But lie to him like a child they could not.