Computer Virus

Once we all became cyborgs it was inevitable. We got a whole new class of diseases. Well, not new but new to us. The computer virus.

Marshall had been hacked and he wasn’t happy about it. He was a bit surprised though because he had state-of-the-art cyber-security build into his systems. Who or what had invaded him? And what would it do?

He first discovered something was wrong when he woke up and noticed his right arm was responding slowly. Even subtle cyber-attacks tended to produce such tell-tale signs. He ordered a scan and it turned up negative but he was sure something was wrong. His advisors told him it was a blip, to forget about it.

The virus had entered him electromagnetically. There were no cables or wires. It was atmospheric. Naturally mutating viruses were out there, innocent but uncomfortable, sometimes deadly. Marshall felt sure this was not that kind of illness. It was planned. A person, or at least a meta-person had concocted this thing and sent it into him.

Marshall couldn’t tell if it was his imagination or real, but he felt slightly weaker and tired. His morning medical coffee drip took care of it, and his energy returned but still this was another worrisome sign.

At headquarters he leaned heavily on his second-in-command, not quite trusting himself. Would his limbs be taken over? Would he suddenly lose his voice and speak instead for the invader?

Marshall ceded control—shocking everyone—but assured them it was just for the day and tomorrow things would be as they were. He retreated to a quiet room and contemplated his options.

He could shrug it off, assume there was nothing there or that his internal security systems had beaten back the threat. He could override his advisors and order doctors and mechanics to examine him thoroughly and do a complete assessment. Or he could try to fight the threat himself.

He decided on the latter.

Marshall was thin on this kind of expertise, but every schoolchild knows that a cyber-virus attack on a cyborg starts in the extremities, usually a limb. It typically remains dormant for about 48 hours, preparing for a quick and aggressive attack on all critical systems. The end would come quickly after that. When the mechanics shut themselves down, the bio systems would be helpless. That would be too late.

So Marshall had them removed. His arms. A mechanical assistant did the job.

He returned to headquarters. The staff was surprised to see him back already, and even more surprised to see him armless.

“Let’s get back to work,” Marshall ordered. “Hilton, get me a new pair of cyber-arms. And schedule to have them installed, in no less than 48 hours.”