FB4-96 "Catching Up To Your Past"

FB4-96 "Catching Up To Your Past"

A Chapter by dw817

Inside was a scary looking machine. It was a combination of that optician's chair with a gurney, a mechanized wheelchair and something creepy I saw in a science fiction film years ago. "You ready ?"




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F U T U R E   B A R R I E R
( The 4th Novel )
Secret Technology, Unrequited Love, Absolute Vengeance

© April 2021 - Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission



* * *

This chapter is Rated: TEEN

Slice Of Life (04-20-21)

Good afternoon. I am having difficulty staying awake despite being nearly noon here. It is so dark and murky outside and when your brain sees that, it thinks it's nighttime and wants to sleep.

. . .

I have recently come across the keyboard inserts that are used for Atari 2600 BASIC.

What is this ? For its time it was a revolutionary way to write code for the Atari 2600 computer.

You had 64-symbols available and used two 12-key keypads connected together to give you 24-keys of programming and operation.

While the actual keystrokes to enter code was pretty clumsy especially using a cursor that must change color to match the command or function, the idea of using panels to represent information such as source-code, the stack, your variables, your text output, and your graphic output, were really amazing to see.

Not now but later I plan to make my own custom Fantasy Console for P8, especially when it can finally compile to APK.

This did get me curious though. Now years ago I wrote up the plans for what I called a 4-bit assembler.

that is an entire virtual computer that had only 256-bytes of total space, a display of 16x16 B&W pixels, 2-colored pixels that could move location only or turn off, a double-set of red numeric LEDs or turn off, and a double-set of green numeric LEDs.

In this you used 4-bits, a number from 0 to 15, to represent a single command.

Searching the internet I came across 4BOD (Forebode ?) which was definitely a 4-bit assembler. Unlike typing or selecting commands, however, you could only use the mouse to click on or off single bits of data.

While that sounds pretty nifty in itself it's actually a royal pain to program in as you cannot see your code, nor are there separation bars per 4-bits of data so you have to look at what you are turning on and off for bits very carefully when handling 12-bits for complex commands

As the author states:

"This thing is intentionally designed to be as asinine as humanly possible, even going so far that the only way to do subtraction is by integer overflow. This thing is a challenge to program, and that's the whole point."

And yeah if you like a good mental challenge, look it up, download it, try it for yourself. It is interesting but I can think of many ways to improve it, for instance at least stating to the side what the value is of your 4-bits raw data actually is as well as separation marks.

. . .

The other thing is education. Now my niece is in 5th grade and cannot subtract. I'm not kidding. I give her something like 28-27 and she'll sit there counting on her fingers instead of just dismissing the 20s from both.

And no she doesn't want to watch Schoolhouse Rock which was my first suggestion as I have all the episodes HD now.

No, she was supposed to learn how to subtract properly in 2nd grade so ... Now I know she's been out of school for many different things, but once they realize she can't subtract I have a real feeling she is going to get held back.

. . .

My boss has informed me that he no longer needs me to work on the Game Play part of the main engine I'm working on. He's seen my work and has determined I am more of a database programmer than one that can actually write complex videogames.

Now while I CAN I certainly didn't want to be the one to code into EVE where the player runs around on the field. Why ? Well he doesn't move in a grid. His movements are all very slippery like Super Mario Bros and my knowledge in that specific area of coding is limited.

All my life I have made games that have players and objects slide on to grids, jump on to grids, and are stored on grids. There are a few exceptions like some Applecart games I made years ago, but those games are incredibly simple to write and usually have no more than 2-moving parts.

What my boss is having me NOT do now, which I'm glad for, is the actual gameplay of EVE, where Tadd runs around, the map as it scrolls around him, he slides down inclines, runs up other inclines like Sonic The Hedgehog, etc. I just can't fathom the math for that easily.

So ... I get to write the whole map editor engine. I can definitely do that and it does take a great weight off of me to not be required to write the gameplay code.

. . .

Last we left Dev, him, his family and friends, were all having a nice kind of Continental Breakfast. Afterwards Mr. White was going to work with Dev again, but this time it wouldn't be hypnosis.

. . .

I  was just patting my belly having enjoyed my granola cereal.

"Good ?" Mr. White asked. I nodded. Yeah, it really was good.

"Fine." he said. Then he picked up one of the 100% silver spoons to clink against the heavy lead glass of a glass of orange juice.

"Folks, may I have your attention please."

Everyone got quiet from talking and eating and turned to look at him.

"Thank you, if you'll finish up your breakfast we'll retire to Testing Room #3. It's through this door, down the corridor, and directly the door at the end to your right."

"Dev ? Are you finished."

I nodded. He got up to leave, I picked up my coffee cup and went to follow after him.

As we traveled I realized the floor was not copper. No, some other kind of metal. It struck me as strange that he would of all people not recognize what the actual metal was. And still it was strange that the floor was metal at all.

I could just see a bolt of lightning hitting the top of the house and frying anyone standing on the floor. Not safe at all.

"Through here, Dev." Mr. White said and pointed to the door to the right.

Inside was a scary looking machine. It was a combination of that optician's chair with a gurney, a mechanized wheelchair and something creepy I saw in a science fiction film years ago.

"You ready ?"

I started to back up. He laughed, "No worries, Dev. I promise I won't hurt you."

I was unmoved. He snapped his fingers once and two very large burly gentleman stepped from out a closed door and seeing me one of them spoke in deep friendly tones, "Over here, peanut. The master wants you in the chair."

I still didn't move. He smiled and stepped forward to gently push on my back. "Easy does it." he said clearly restraining himself from his clearly massive strength.

"Right up here, ducky." He lifted me easily with one hand and fastened me in the form-fitting coccoon that made up the device snapping in all of the metal harnesses and connections.

"Comfortable ?" White asked me.

"Not really." I said, my voice being marred a little by the connectors which were pushed up against my face, chin, and cheekbones. With that the two burly gentlemen left by the doors they entered.

"This won't take long." White assured me. "Let's first off see if what I think is happening is."

A new motor whirled into action and a massive pole on a long handle came down from the ceiling.

At this point my folks and friends were entering in and of course they were commenting quite negatively to the way I was hooked up to the machine.

Suddenly White stopped at the controls to face them. "Folks, may I have your attention please. Dev is fine. He's not in any danger nor is he being harmed. This machine simply makes sure he stays still during the examination and operation. There is nothing to worry about."

With everyone growing quiet now but still wide-eyed to see what will happen, White continued.

I could see now the end of the pole had a very bright lens on the end of it, illuminated I guess by a different source. It went right up against my cheek, not touching it but coming very close.

"Hold still, Dev." White told me. I kept as still as I could.

He clicked a few more buttons on the control and some new sound effects warbled into life. Then a lit circle appeared in front of me. It was a blurry circle and looked like the beginnings of a microscope.

"Hold steady." White told me and hit another button and the circle came into view.

There were everyone could see it were little silver things moving around quite quickly.

These - were on me ! What were they ?

* * *

I struggled for a moment but felt the chair tense up in reaction. I relaxed and it relaxed. Apparently I could not get free of my own accord.

"What are those ?" My Mom asked, concerned something like this would be on my face.

White spoke proudly, "Unless I am very much mistaken midear these are nanobots."

"Nanny bots ?" she asked.

White corrected her, "No ma'am. NANO bots. Nah and No. Bots. They are small microscopic robots that can do a great many incredible things. In this case I suspect they are protecting Dev - even without him calling on them."

He flicked another switch and a sudden razor snipped out to the side to whisk quickly across my face, but there was no pain or blood.

He then defocused the microscope and had a different lens to focus on the razor. Everyone could see despite its attempt to nick my face, it was unsuccessful and damaged itself besides.

"You see ? Self-protection. You can see now why it's so important to understand this technology."

My Dad spoke now, "Can't you just get a sample of these - uhh - nanobots - and be done with us ?"

White shook his head, "I can certainly try but shillings to shellfish I bet they won't permit that."

"They ?" Dad asked.

White explained, "The nanobots, they probably have one collective consciousness. That's how I'd program them."

White then hit another switch. The damaged razor retracted but a new item appeared. This one was like a sharp piece of square glass.

It whisked across my face clearly in an attempt to scoop up some of these nanobots.

He then put the microscope on the knife to enlarge.

But it did work ! There on the microscope slide were the nanobots !

Everyone cheered but suddenly were quiet when White held up a hand for silence.

While there were indeed some nanobots on the butterknife, they were not moving.

"You see ? Away from their host, in this case, Dev, they instantly die."

Dad pressed, "But you have the nanobots on your slide, can't you - learn from them anyways ?"

He shook his head. "No. You can see that here."

He clicked a button to enlarge even further until the full nanobot was on the screen. It was strange looking. Then I realized it was empty. It was as if only the shell were left behind and the useful computer parts inside were not there at all.

"All it left is the husk, I can't learn anything from that."

Mom was thoughtful now, "So what does it mean ?"

White brightened up a bit, "Well for one thing it means your son is probably immortal. I doubt he will ever age. He is bulletproof, fireproof, radiation proof, and I doubt even a 6-ton nuclear bomb could so much as damage a hair on his head."

I spoke now, terse with White's encapsulating machine all around me. "But, I did hurt myself earlier. I was angry and punched the wall. My fist hurt."

White nodded, "Yes, it's possible to bypass their programming - especially if you are the one in control of your own actions. But any action that is NOT your own, you are protected. Observe."

Suddenly he pulled for a white painted pistol and with everyone ducking for cover and screaming, he aimed it straight at me !

Then the gun went off. A very brief moment later I felt something tickle against the side of my nose and bounce off.

White was apparently video-recording the whole event as he told the machine to playback index 17, speed 1 frame per second.

There you could see the bullet touch the side of my nose and bounce neatly off. He put away the pistol.

Dad was angry raising back up, "What if you were wrong !?"

Mr. White spoke in equal anger, "I am never wrong about a great many things ! In any case, shall we continue ?"

The microscope's pole retracted and was replaced by a strange violet disc about the height of my head coming down on a much thicker gantry.

"Close your eyes, Dev. You don't want to look into this light." White directed.

I did so. He started up new controls and the violet disc started to light up really bright.


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I still count on my fingers when I'm tired sometimes, but I can generally subtract.

Chairs like that are so creepy! I can picture it.

Posted 1 Month Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Month Ago

Hi Kari:
I've got so many numbers memorized - a great deal of them I don't even need to remem.. read more

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