Welcome to the Net.

“And there. All finished,” the doctor spoke triumphantly as he lifted the surgical solder from her arm. He removed his safety glasses and motioned for her to do the same. “Now, because of the area is essentially cauterized, you are all sealed up, but don’t think that means you’re fully healed. I still want you to avoid getting it wet for at least a week. After the skin is healed you can go back to taking showers, swimming, going to the beach; you won’t even have to change how you wash your hands. The port is water tight and will prevent anything you don’t want from getting in there. I do recommend that you give it a little swipe with a Q-tip if you get particularly dirty. Can never be too careful, considering this port is wired directly into your nervous system.”

The young girl stared down at the tiny rectangular port now implanted in her wrist. She turned her arm over and over, flexing her hand up and down. It was a little sore and she could feel an unusual tightness where the synthetic nerves connected to her actual nerves.

“That tightness will go away in a few days,” the doctor said, “so be sure to get it a rest. We wouldn’t want to pull apart the connections while they’re still grafting.” He spun away from her, fiddled at his computer then turned back, holding a thin, black cable. “Okay, ready for our first upload?” She nodded nervously. He took her by the hand, palm up and gently pulled the skin tight around her wrist. He held up the flat connector on the cable, “Now you see these two little buttons on the side? That’s your release. All types of connections, whether you choose to go wired or use a wireless receptor, will have these buttons. You have to press them every time you plug or unplug to retract the anchors. The anchors make it so the plug can’t accidentally slip out or anything. If you don’t retract, you could tear the water tight seal inside the port or rip the entire graft itself. It’s nothing we can’t repair, but it will hurt like hell and you’ll need to be re-grafted immediately.” She nodded obediently. “Okay, so when I plug in, you’re going to feel a sort of tingly sensation going up your arm and into your head and chest. Then you’ll see a connection indicator sort of just floating in the air, up and to the left in your peripheral vision. Don’t try looking directly at it, you’ll never actually catch it. That way it won’t interfere with your normal vision. A green box means it’s ready, a blue circle means it’s processing, and a red x means an error. Depending on what programs you’re using, sometimes there will be a drop down menu that will appear and disappear more in the focus of your vision. It’s just like the e-glasses that you’re used to. The interface is basically the same, only now it’s all in your head instead of a mobile display. Alright, here we go.”

He plugged the cable in and she let out a soft sigh of surprise as the signal darted up her arm and into her head. For a moment she felt limp and confused as her nervous system scrambled to make sense of the impulses. A faint blue circle spun just above the doctor’s desk, pulsing for a moment before dissolving into a small green box. Clarity swept over her and she relaxed.  A comfortable, warm sensation started at the crown of her skull and washed over her entirely. She reached up to feet the short hairs on the back of her head where the organic circuit board had been implanted a month earlier.

“It’s working,” she whisphered.

“Heh, well yes of course. I would hope so! Now, let’s see how well it’s working. Just look at the screen over here and move the cursor.” She looked at the screen and without hardly thinking about it, the cursor began to cross the screen. “Ah, good, the connection is solid. As you know, it works just like the e-glasses. You can control anything with a ‘Synthetic Telekinetic System’ just by willing it. Just as easily as you would go about lifting your arm, you could move a file on the computer or play a video game. Now we are going to create a ‘Brain Backup’, basically upload your memories, thoughts, feelings, all those deliciously intangible things of the mind, on to the secure server. It will technically be a part of your medical file but you will have ‘Diary’ access. No one, not even you, can get into the full back up without full consent, and disclosure, except in the case of medical emergency, in which case only relevant information can be accessed. In Diary mode, however, you can access most of your files at will, make edits as you like, and input new information. This doesn’t overwrite how you remember things, it’s no different than writing a journal. But in the event of a full memory crash, only the true backup will be used to reload your mind. We’ll update the official back up copy every time you come in for a check up, but feel free to use Diary mode as often as you like.” As the computer began to scan her mind, she found it difficult to focus and restless.

“You can also get little “Memory” apps for your phone that you can use to store dates, reminders, things you need random access too, all of that.” He held up the small, wrist watch like device. “You don’t need the e-glasses remote phone anymore, this phone will plug right into your port. You can access whatever you put on there just the same. That motherboard implant can translate all the songs and videos on your watch so it seems like you’re experiencing them in your head. Like a dream, or when you get a song stuck in your head. But remember, the one you’ve got is a basic model, it’s only got a few terabytes. So don’t go loading it down and make sure you sync the important stuff often.”

She leaned back in the chair and looked over to the computer. A window with countless numbers streaming within was centered on the screen with a status bar at the bottom, marking how much of her mind had been recorded. 18 years of experiences, emotions, and education, all being processed and condensed into raw data. Everything that differentiated her from a walking turnip had now been reproduced and stored comfortably in a neat little package on a network of computers. This sum of her being was now had a copy that existed entirely separate from her. Surreal did not begin to describe how it felt.

The green box suddenly turned blue and spun itself into a circle. It slowed and began to pulse again before turning back into the green box.

“Ah, fantastic, the upload is done. You should be feeling less disoriented now. Don’t worry, it won’t be like this every time. The more frequently you upload, the easier it gets. Well, that’s about all we have to take care of today. Any questions?”

She grinned and girlishly shook her head.

“Well alright then, back off to class you go. And Happy Birthday. Welcome to the Net!”


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