From the Archives: Untitled SciFi Story

This fragment doesn’t even have a title. The filename is just “Story1.doc”, which tells me a whole hell of a lot.

Here’s what I remember: It’s a science fiction story set in a future where science and religion have sort of merged. Specifically, there is a religion (not a cult, but a major religion) who’s members undergo cybernetic enhancement as part of their faith. Here, someone has decided to join the club-


“There won’t be any pain, will there?” The boy squirmed with nervousness and impatience as his arms and legs were strapped to the table. The technician worked in silence, sliding in and out among the machines, stopping to restrain the boy almost as an afterthought. “Did you hear me?” the boy said.
“Yes, ” replied the technician. His voice was surprisingly human, for a being who was mostly machine. “There will be pain.”
“It won’t hurt much, will it?”
“Yes, it will.” The technician was aggravated at the boys questions. Most initiates were silent. He liked the silent ones. “Keep quiet and let me work.”
“I…I didn’t mean to distract you, I just…Can I have something? To deaden the pain? The Order has potions to ease pain doesn’t it?”
“An anesthetic would be useless. Part of the Enhancement process is the removal of all poisons and chemicals from the body.”
“Chemicals?”
“‘Potions.’ Nothing unnatural to your body will remain after the process. You’ll
have a very clean system when were done here.” The technician tightened the restraints and then disappeared behind one of the machines that crowded the room. “I’m almost ready.” He said.
“I don’t know about this… I don’t like pain.”
“Look!” the technician was clearly aggravated now. He stormed from the behind his console and leaned in close to the boy. The technician’s lifeless, mechanical eyes focused on the boy with a click and a whir. “You cannot survive in the Sanctum without the Enhancement. Enhancement is part of the Order. You were told all of this many times before, so don’t act surprised now!”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
The technician stepped back behind the machine and made the final adjustments. Various mechanical arms extended towards the table where the boy was restrained. Each arm held a different cluster of instruments: knives, needles, and other things the boy did not recognize. There were a hundred different sounds and the machines powered up and prepared to administer the Enhancement. The boy braced himself as the sounds increased to a peak and the arms crept closer.
“So, what can I expect?”
“You can expect it to hurt.” The technician looked up from the console and smiled, his teeth were a frightening mixture of bone and metal shards. “A lot.”
The process began.

[END OF FILE]

I have no idea what sort of story was going to follow, or whether it was going to be a novel, a serial story, or a single short story. There are a lot of places I could go with this NOW, but I don’t know what I had in mind back in 1995(!) when I wrote this.


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