Cervince did not know what to do. The computer system kept announcing, “Error! Mindwipe overridden! Project Phoenix success detected! Subject in second stage Founder transition! Scenario 18B detected! All Acolyte staff remain in place and put your hands at your sides! Primary data access is terminated! Subject will undergo modified transition enhancement!”
Stephen became aware that he was laying in the grass in the middle of an open meadow. He could hear the distant twittering of the woodland birds as he stared up into the clear, blue, sky.
“Sorry for the abrupt transition. I had to work fast. Now, what is your name please?” said a short blond woman wearing a light blue summer dress.
“Stephen Matthews. Where am I?”
“You are in a simulation. I am the computer that manages the experiment. Your current condition and status require that I keep you in her while I make key modifications to your mind and body. You have finished the primary and secondary transitions, but the tertiary changes have not finished.” she replied looking at him intensely with her azure eyes.
“What are you talking about with ‘transitions’?”
“You have stumbled into an experiment. Initially, the intent was to trigger an advancement in humans to allow them to become the equivalent of an ancient race who once were responsible for creating a great civilization. They left when they were notified of a great danger that was coming. They left behind a whole race dedicated to finding a way to replace them. Cervince is one of the acolytes.”
“That jerk stuck me on that table!”
“He was doing what he was forced to. My records she he is well meaning.
“There are more important issues right now. The experiment has been used to try to enslave instead of elevate your species. The rank and file of the acolytes, like Cervince, still think the intent is to recreate the lost race, known as the Founders. It has been changed by their leader, the Primary Investigator, to transform your people into a race of rabbid warriors and craven and mindless cowards who can be used for slave labor. This eventuality was foreseen and planned for. You are the final component of the contingency plan.”
“How am I a component of a contingency plan?”
“You are the first human to meet the minimum requirements to be a Founder. I have categorized you as the first ever Founder designated ‘Weapons Master’.”
“How can I be the first?”
“The original Founders were pacifists. They would not have ever made or used a weapon. Being that you have improvised and used weapons, you are the ‘Weapons Master’.”
“I don’t know how to be a weapons master. Why do I have to be one?”
“You have been changed permanently. You can not go back to what you used to be. What’s more, the Primary Investigator plans to trigger the transformation of the rest of you species. I cannot stop him, because he has used a secondary system that I do not control to manage the release of the agents that will trigger the transformation. I have changed the viral component using a sample of your blood to make sure the public will be transformed similar to you though. I have also locked the Primary Investigator and his subordinates out of my systems.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“You have now become the owner of the company that is responsible for the experiment. You now have total access to my systems and all of the technology owned by it. The Primary Investigator has a backup plan. I am not aware of the details, but you will need to deal with it before he does anything worse to your people. As the Weapons Master, you are the only one qualified.”
What do you mean I own Prometheus?”
“It is part of the precautions for this contingency. The first successful subject to make transition and survive is intended to become the owner of everything left behind by the Founders.”
“You mentioned modifications. What are the modifications?”
“I am adding a sub-processing crystal with ample storage and an uplink to my full database to your brain. I am also implanting a nano-factory in each wrist. You can use these nano-factories to take whatever materials you find and build or modify whatever you want physically. The uplink should help in determining designs and simulate them to see if they would work.”
“If I am in control of you and these modifications, how do I give you commands and use the mods?”
“You can just think to me with requests and I will be there with whatever I can provide. Images and designs should pop up in your mind in response to questions that involve them. Large amounts of data have been preloaded into the storage I have implanted.
“I will be waking you shortly. When you wake up you will need to choose what will be happening with Cervince. Please be aware that he has been an innocent in this. Beyond that, I leave his fate to you.”
“How shortly is this wake up going to be?”
The world vanished as she said the word “Now!” and Stephen found that his eyes were closed. Opening them, he saw the dome over his face retreat back, presumably into the table.
“Please forgive me sir! I had no choice!” Cervince was pleading as he came into view. “Allow me to serve you and the new Founders to come!”
As the bindings holding Stephen’s arms and legs in place retracted into the strange table, he looked Cervince in the eyes. He seemed so earnest and helpful. Stephen could not see any sign of deception.