TOA Chapter 10: Under The Knife

Calgary, Alberta CANADA | Thursday, April 3, 2070 | 6:00pm MDT

Newton shivered as he sat in his office chair, isolated and alone. He felt a cold sweat come over him.  He was deep into the clutches of anxiety.

Newton had never felt more fear in his entire life.  He had never needed surgery before, let alone been volunteered, more like forced, for a project requiring surgery.

Newton had never thought he had much need for God in his life.  However, at this moment he was considering Him more than ever before.  Using some third party sources, Newton had managed to find a rare electronic copy of the Bible.  Since the popularity of the Brotherhood all Bibles had been banned in Canada.  It was the same way with the rest of the world, so they were hard to come by  He had started reading through the book of Genesis, he was finding it very interesting.  Newton could not figure out why on earth Adam and Eve would do the very thing God did not want them to do after He had been so good to them in the Garden of Eden.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door.  Newton would have to read more later.  If he got caught reading the Bible at work, he could easily lose his job.

Newton closed the Bible application on his desktop and casually pressed the button that allowed him to remotely open his office door.

Zeke Sabates stepped into the room.

“Newton, it’s time.” he said calmly.

Zeke kindly escorted Newton to his Throwback Cadillac Escapade.  This was Cadillac’s attempt at making a luxory open topped jeep.  These were most popular in the 2030s.

Newton sank into the leather seat.  Zeke drove him to Calgary Health Unlimited.  He sat with Newton and waited a half hour for Gene Cleveland to appear.  The man of average height finally appeared after his  break was finished.  This time was spent eating supper and waxing the bald portion of his head.

Gene was excited ready for action.  A smile crossed his face as he saw Newton and Zeke.

“Hello gentlemen!  Are we ready?”

Both nodded.

“Follow me!” exclaimed Gene.

He lead them down a hallway and through a door.  Gene instructed Newton to lay on what looked like an operating table.  Newton nervously obliged.

“Zeke, do you have the prototype?” inquired Gene.

Zeke fished around in his pocket and pulled out the small device that he had snatched off of Newton’s desk just before they had left Newton’s office.  He knew Newton would not remember to bring it in the nervous state he was in.

“Are you nervous Newton?” asked Gene

Newton nodded.  He was so nervous he could not summon the words needed to describe it out from inside him.

“Have no fear, this is a new process, but we have researched extensively and have come up with a plan to make it work.  We will be knocking you out so you won’t feel a thing.”  The process of this sort of implantation could still take a considerable amount of time, so the sooner we can start the better.”

“Let’s get it over with then” said Newton, not at all enthused anymore.

“Excellent!” squeaked Gene.

Immediately, Gene, with the help of Zeke, proceeded to wheel Newton out of the room and farther down the hallway.

The hallway opened up into a large room where many staff were milling about.   When they saw Gene, they stopped what they were doing and congregated around the trio of Cleveland, Sabates, and Hiltz.

Gene nodded to the group of surgeons and they began gathering the supplies needed to carry out the surgery.

Newton laid their motionless.  He wanted to throw up, but there was nothing in him.

Gene turned to Zeke.  “You should wait outside in the waiting room.”  Gene escorted him out.  “However this turns out, science makes a great leap forward today.”

Zeke nodded and found a chair.  Taking out his portable desktop, Zeke began the process of installing the receiver software so that he might be able to test that once Newton emerged from surgery.

Zeke hoped it would be successful.

Gene returned to Newton’s side.

“Newton!” He exclaimed, “everything is going to be alright.  I’m going to put this mask on you and you’re going to count to ten.  OK?”

Newton nodded, still petrified with fear.  What if he didn’t make it out alive?

Gene placed the mask over Newton’s nose and mouth.  The flow of gas was activated.  When  asked to count to 10, Newton barely got to 2 before he was out cold.

The doctors drilled a large hole into the center of Newton’s forehead.  After much research it was decided that it would be easiest to make connections to the dendrites in the frontal lobe of Newton’s brain where thoughts are processed and plans are made.  After the incision was made, several tiny robotic probes were sent in to connect the wires between the transmitter and the dendrites.

The procedure took 5 hours.  The exact same amount of time it took Zeke Sabates to install the receiver program onto his portable desktop.

After the surgeons had closed up Newton’s head they backed off and allowed him to rest.

Gene approached Zeke.

“May I have the receiver program so I can install it into the hospital’s software database?” asked Gene.

“Certainly.” replied Zeke.  “How long will you test Newton for?”

“He should come to in an hour or so.  We’ll discharge him and keep close track of his thoughts over the weekend.  If it works the way it’s supposed to, we’ll start mass production on the units since we have copies of the plans now.”  Gene had stolen Newton’s notebook during the surgery.  Not exactly the professional thing to do, but it was for science!

Zeke returned to his office.  He had left a note instructing Newton to HOLO him once it was time to be discharged.

Newton awoke at 11:00 in the morning on Friday.  The first thing he saw was a gorgeous woman.

She smiled at him.  Suddenly he recognized this woman.  It was Jennifer!

“How did you know I was here?” Newton asked.

“I got your note.” she said, understanding that Newton probably didn’t remember everything that had happened over the past day.

“Oh yeah, that makes sense.”  said Newton.

“Come on!  Let’s get you discharged and go have some breakfast!  We can still have our date!”

Newton was overjoyed, and he was not the only one who knew about that.  Ignoring Zeke’s original request he caught a ride home with Jenny, but not before they had stopped for a generous helping of pancakes and hash browns at a near by pub.

Over the weekend, Jenny stayed with Newton so that she might be able to take care of him in the event he needed anything.   At one point on Saturday afternoon as Newton was examining himself in his bathroom mirror, Newton asked “Jenny, why is there a green light on my forehead.”

“I don’t know Newton, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about you.” she replied with a smile.

Newton would take the compliment.  Jenny was full of those, but he still found it disturbing, as he had not included that in his original plans.   He would have to speak to Zeke on Monday and possibly place a HOLO call to Gene.

Newton was itching to understand why it was there.  Just one extra thing to keep him up at night.

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