Part 3: Chapter 1: Reset


That is how I felt. The realisation the previous day of what part of me had become had changed everything. It was none of abort, retry or fail. I could not control-alt-delete my way out of this one. I was no longer confident of my abilities in Stasis.

I was potentially about to engage in a new kind of combat with an infinite version of myself. A version of myself that would never have form. Could never have form. A version of myself not hell bent on revenge, but merely alone and looking for a way to regain the status quo of living. A version of myself totally unaware of the implications of the actions it was about to undertake.

How do you do battle against a version of yourself that isn’t exactly you? Something that is nothing more than the vessel for an altogether bigger threat. A threat that will open the doorway for something much worse.

I couldn’t. I had been attempting to look at ways to stop the mass transition to Stasis before the final sequence was initiated and an irreversible process was put into action. I could not destroy Stasis. Although it could be theoretically annihilated, I did not have a particle accelerator available to even attempt to plug the hole and destroy it from the inside out.

I could not assign a denial code to every single human being without them having been in Stasis first. I could not even try the same thing against whatever part of me that had seeped out of me. Although the signature code would be in there somewhere it would not stop the transition event. It would perhaps deny entry to the part of the self-aware ever spreading digital entity that was an imprint of me, but the self-replicating element would still pass through.

I could see no way out of this other than to accept the fate that would befall us without warning in the next minute. Hour. Day. Week. Month. Year.

And prepare.

Alice had called in this morning with a quick update. I had seemingly already been installed as the leader of whatever resistance movement that would be formed within Stasis. She had already managed to recruit several programmers and professional gamers under the ruse of an exciting new virtual reality gaming project. They would arrive the following day at the basement, so I would have to acquire some top spec equipment with Richard later that day. Easier said than done. I sincerely hoped that acquire actually meant purchase rather than dip beyond my current nadir of criminality.

Jennifer and Cara had travelled to London and was currently running counter surveillance and interference on known agents in Patrick’s employ. She was in a prime position to alert us of any moves in our direction.

Emile and Michael were on a recruitment drive of their own. Mercenaries, ex-Army. Even military historians. Anyone that would improve our tactics in the face of Patrick and his resources would prove valuable.

For the moment, all I could do was stew in my own self-pity and paranoia and wait until Richard was ready to acquire some impressive hardware.


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