If only she hadn't smashed the nano-defibrillator on the way out... perhaps this
whole mess could have been avoided. If only I had told that grad student "no". If only I'd remembered that Love and Science don't mix.
She saw us on the monitors. It was stupid and careless, and I should have known better. I did it anyway, though, and there's nothing I can do the change that, now.
The Drexler Institute for Advanced Nanotechnology Applications (DIANA) announced today that they had finally solved the problem of carbon nanotube generation. Senior research scientist Dr. Maura Ang claims "Through forced pulse emission and microducting, we've managed to generate carbon nanotubes at a rate similar to less exotic materials like nylon. We expect this advance in materials sciences to allow great strides forward in numerous areas, such as armour, microelectronics, and possibly even something like a space elevator."
It took everything DIANA had to get us to the point of generating the nanofibres that fast. We even ended up taking over the supercomputers from the AI lab - the nanofibre project had the greatest potential for securing us funding and patents, enough to keep us all going for decades at a minimum.
I was investigating some strange behaviour in the lab when Maura came in. The AI team had been trying to create a learning organism. They started small. Virtual spiders, tiny weavers. Maura was furious. She slapped me hard enough to knock me back into the rig. She smashed the nano-defibrillator on the way out. I stood to rush out the door after her, to try to make things right. My arm caught on something. Dozens of molecule-thin cables, woven together like a web by unimaginably small spiders.
"The fibres are almost unbreakable," Ang continued, "in the lab we have to use a special machine to get them to dissolve - a defibrillator, but not the sort you use for heart attacks. The name literally means 'arresting the formation of fibres'."
I lost a hand when my arm moved to close to the cables - they're sharper than knives, being so thin. I'd have bled to death if the spiders hadn't cocooned the wound. It might have been easier that way. The fibres are all through my skin now. Into my veins. My nerves. The pain was unspeakable, for a time. They've moved on into my brain now, and the pain has changed into something else. Things are beginning to make sense, now, everything here is connected, one gleaming glorious network, forever expanding.