Sunday, April 05, 2009

77 Crimson Calamity Unplugged

Festivals and autograph signing had begun to pale on Crimson Calamity, a Brazilian head-job with highly experimental wetROMs and a compulsive liar, Crimson could remember the first upgrade, having dumped her core memory (she read later it was impossible to re-install with original file structure intact, oops) she had boosted her colour sensitivity, strictly a wetware upgrade, nothing much to it, colours seemed primary, rich, extravagant, with a squeeze of a finger she could see in ways her parents had never imagined were possible, let alone have allowed if they had found out.

By 24, Crimson was as patched as an old tire, a ceaseless stream of home cooked sense implants, she could taste colours with her fingers and see music with her tongue, There was no end to the many combinations she could explore, it had to come crashing down eventually.

One morning, it did, she awoke in total darkness, her Eyesoft(TM) had fatally crashed, causing her to stumble for the panic button on her dresser, it had failed many times only this time, the hard reset commanded by the panic button refused to activate and she was left stumbling and bumping into furniture until she made it to the doorway and knocked at her neighbour's.

With a little help (luckily, it was Sunday and he was home) she discovered the problem, her WetWare processor had permanently failed and since the warranty had long since expired she was left with no option but to disconnect it from the visual cortex entirely. Her neighbour used his 8-pin hardline to connect her to his diagnostic program and suddenly, for the first time in over a decade, Crimson Calamity saw without enhancement, and it was fascinating.

She had forgotten the fine texture of shadows on wood floors, the grain of igneous stone on the windowsill, the frosting of dust on unwashed windows, the myriad of greys and browns on a single patch of wall. Her Eyesoft(TM) lost these subtleties in exchange for colour not possible in the ordinary world, for how long had she felt it was the ordinary world which suffered as a result?

"What?" she said.
"I don't know if I've ever seen you breathe like that"

She noticed her breathing, deep and even, touch was touch, sight was sight, a forgotten feeling; was it relief?

"Yeah, well, it's been awhile."
"I can connect you with a new chip, your old one's toast" holding up the diagnostic printout.
"Alright, thanks."

It took time, so much detail in the world was overwhelming, the ultimate resolution.

She lost the contact info on the way home to bed; to slip into scalding cold sheets and shiver in the rush of old new sensations.

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