Part Two of “Quincy and the Nano”

The journey continues as I, a fantasy writer, attempt to write science fiction.  My greatest challenge so far with sci-fi is that I really just don’t know the language.  I don’t know science and technology.  More importantly, I’m not sure I know how to make it sound like I do. My solution thus far is to wield my ignorance in a sort of ironic manner and hopefully make do. Can nanos solve all of my problems? Let me know what you think of my  descriptions of time travel and Quincy’s first impressions of the future.  And what you think of the story thus far, of course. To read Part One, click here!

“Quincy and the Nano: Pt. 2”

            Now perhaps you are thinking that Quincy James is a rather silly hero for anyone’s story.  After all, he wandered away from a tour group at a scientific research facility (which anyone will tell you is a bad idea) and then he began pushing buttons and twisting knobs on a machine that was clearly not a machine he should be pushing and twisting at.

But Quincy is not really as stupid as he seems. After all, he is writing his dissertation on nanotechnology and he can use five syllable words in casual conversation without batting a lash.  Quincy also cannot really be blamed for the button-pushing, knob-twisting tendencies, since it is a known fact that all scientists have that predisposition, and that machine shouldn’t have been out where just any young scientist could wander up to it, anyway.

So now that we have exonerated poor Quincy, we will take a look at where he ended up.  Quincy did not really know what happened to him at first, which is understandable.  He pushed, he twisted, and then he felt as though he was being pulled inside out while simultaneously being forced through a sliding glass door that wasn’t opened far enough.  When he blinked again, he was in the future.  It was really all very simple (actually, the scientists of that unnamed research facility have been desperately trying to recreate his series of pushes and twists ever since, to no avail).

Quincy rubbed his eyes and looked around.  He was still in a research facility, but it was definitely not the same.  It was shinier, it had even more buttons and knobs, and there were frequent interruptions by a light, feminine, robotic voice speaking through an intercom on the ceiling saying things like: Nanofield: Activated. or Proceed With Nano-Infusion. or Activity Level: Eight Point Seven.

            He didn’t know what any of it meant, although his fingertips immediately tingled with the need to push some of those buttons.  They were glossier and more beautiful than any buttons he had ever seen.

“Hey, there, you!  What are you doing?” came a voice from his left.

A young man, about his age, came striding over. He was wearing a white lab coat, much like the one Quincy himself wore, except this man’s coat had a sort of shimmer to the fabric and a gray metallic inner lining.  There was also a black pad on each sleeve, sort of like an iPhone set into the cuff, Quincy thought.

“Do you belong up here?” challenged the man, looking very ferocious and territorial, as most scientists will when someone gets too close to their knobs and buttons.

Quincy, who was holding up remarkably well considering the fact that he had just been hurtled several centuries into the future, said, “Uhhh….”

“Let me see your ID badge,” said the man, curtly.  He reached over and grabbed Quincy’s right wrist.  He turned the sleeve over, seemed very confused by it, then grabbed his left wrist and inspected it.

“Where’s your nanoreader?” he demanded.  “What sort of rubbish coat is this?”

Quincy managed a garbled shrug, which is difficult to describe – sort of a twitchy series of shoulder movements.  His eyes were having trouble focusing and he thought his large toes might both be numb, though he wasn’t sure.

The man pursed his lips and finally said, “You must have inhaled something from the Nano-Breather, so we’ll sit you down over here until you can talk.”

Quincy allowed himself to be led to a large room with softly rounded walls and a large window on one side.  The chairs were pod-shaped with very hard cushions.  Not comfortable.  Quincy made a face.

The man rolled his eyes.  “Clearly, you did something very stupid with the Breather.  Here, let me.”  He leaned over, pushed a bunch of buttons on the arm of the pod-chair, and it suddenly became inexpressibly squishy and comfortable, conforming to Quincy’s shape.  He let out an oomph – but it was a happy oomph.

“There,” said the man.  “Now, I’ll come back and check on you in fifteen minutes.  That should give the effects of the Breather a chance to wear off.  And then I expect a few answers, okay?”

Quincy nodded, a gesture he now found himself capable of, and snuggled deeper into the chair to wait.

When Quincy woke up (he hadn’t even realized he’d dozed off), it was to see the face of that man again, very close to his, scrutinizing him the way scientists so enjoy scrutinizing strange, new specimens.

“There you are,” the man said, with a sudden smile that was much more pleasant than the constant frowning from before.

Quincy tested his ability to speak.  “Where… am I?”

“Don’t know where you are?” the man frowned.  “That’s a new side effect.  We’re going to have to log your results.  You don’t mind if I take some blood, do you?”

Quincy did mind, but the tiny blood-extracting device that the man attached to his finger had done its vampiric deed before he could object.

“I was at the lab… on a tour,” Quincy said.  “And I pushed some buttons.  Turned a knob.  And then I was here.  And it’s different.  Is this the same lab?”

The man told Quincy where they were.  Quincy stared.  He told the man where he thought he was.  The man stared back.

“Why, it hasn’t been called that in, oh, over two hundred years!” he exclaimed.

“What year is it?” Quincy suddenly asked, feeling numb in his large toes again.

“It’s 2313 A.D.  Obviously,” stated the man.

At which point, Quincy passed out.

Part Three coming next week!

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About Melissa

generally in love with things Celtic, mythological, fantastic, sharp and pointy, cute and fuzzy, intellectual, snarky, cheerful, or some combination thereof. Such things as sarcastic bunnies wielding claymores might come to mind...

Posted on July 10, 2013, in Fantasy, Humor, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Melissa Rogers, Science Fiction, Story and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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