The Tower of Babel – 48 Hours Earlier

”Wait, electricity?” I asked Kyra, the T-4 in charge of me.

“Yes sir.” Kyra’s been in the program quite a bit longer than I have. At T-4, she can do things I can barely imagine. But I’m getting there, I’m a T-9. “Your nanomachines are showing an electric buildup. You’re probably creating it unintentionally, but if you don’t get it in check, it could cause you some problems a little later on.”
“Alright, then. What do I do?” I was ready to learn, this stuff never got boring. She explained a lot of techniques I’d heard before and a few I hadn’t. A lot of the Netcaster tricks revolve around having a clear mind and just telling the nanomachines exactly what you want them to do. Eventually, they learn what you want to do and it becomes less about exacts and more about instinct. It’s brilliant when you think about it; why create a series of complex rules that casters have to adhere to when you can just let the casters create their own specific rules themselves?
Regardless, we got the trick down for the most part. She got me to discharge the electricity into a grounded metal rod. And I didn’t break anything this time, a major plus, right? She told me I’d get it perfected eventually, taught me more about monitoring my nanomachines and sent me on my way.
AXZ Corporation owned about a dozen floors in my area of the outsides. I had about fifty floors to go up on my way home, which meant pneumatic tubes for me. A quick jump into freefall and I was on my way there. The center room was full of pnumatic stations either waiting for passengers or had a “Please Wait” light on as a passenger flew by. I pushed my way to a console, programming the floor I wanted to go into a bracelet. After strapping that on I was on my way in the nearest available up tube. I felt my ears pop as the suction started to pull me upwards. Closing my eyes, I let the machines take over. I cleared my mind and asked the nanomachines to give me a full diagnostic. Screens appeared in my field of vision with all sorts of information; my name, my height, my weight, my T level. Even the number of Nanomachines currently in my body. One had a chart showing me any possible defective machines, the newest screen showed my electrical levels. I’ve been told I can manipulate the currents in my body to turn myself into an electromagnet if I so chose. Manipulate them a different way and I could emit an Electomagnetic Pulse, frying machinery near me. And then a screen I’ve never seen before appeared.
“Stop.” I said it aloud before I read the words on the screen. “Disembark next station.” The bracelet around my wrist vibrated a bit and I began to slow down. I heard the gates above me shift, preparing to launch me from the tube. It wasn’t long before I was on the station floor. I opened my eyes just in time to see the opening I was being pushed out of. The area around me was not a typical station; it looked like it wasn’t used all that often. Must have been one of those maintainence levels.
“Left.” A voice echoed in my head. I looked in the direction the disembodied voice mentioned and saw a light and a shadow. I found some handles and pushed myself through the weightlessness toward the light. As I turned the corner, I saw a man with magnetic boots standing at a console, pressing away at the keys. He caught a glimpse of me and stopped everything.
“Who’re you?” He asked, turning. I caught a glimpse of his badge, Michell Blacksmith, AXZ Corporation.
“I, uh, got off at the wrong level.” It wasn’t a lie and he seemed official enouguh.
“Well then, sorry about this.” Michell turned and struck a few more keys. “Good luck.” He sidestepped the console and bolted down the hall.
“Run!” The voice was echoing in my head again. What the hell was that? I didn’t exactly have time to think, though, seeing as sirens began to blare. “Unauthorized entry.” It was already too late, cameras were on me. A small window appeared in my field of vision. Apparently I was building an electrical charge. Seems that’s what I do when I get anxious.
I could hear the sound of tube gates preparing to release passengers. This would get ugly, quickly. And then it hit me. Electricity. I could create magnets, stick to the floor and get around faster. I cleared my mind as quickly as I could, creating currents of electricity around my feet. I promptly fell to the floor, my feet adhered to the metal. Okay, too much. I could hear the Babel force landing in the room behind me, it was only a matter of time.
I felt my feet lift from the ground. Not enough current. A bit more and it was almost like gravity. At least for my feet. I started running down the corridor the same way Michell went, assuming that was his name.
“Stop!” Seems the guards came around the corner. I looked back, knowing I shouldn’t and came to the conclusion there was not enough distance between us. In all fairness, I don’t think it would have mattered how far ahead I was, I probably would have thought that regardless, but I digress, I am trying to run away here.
How quickly could I shift the currents in my feet? This wasn’t exactly the time to experiment, but I was coming to a bend very quickly. I jumped, letting my feet connect with the metal wall and continued running on it. I cleared my mind again, thinking about how to alter the spinning currents. Right as the hallway appeared above me, I twisted the currents and sent them the opposite direction, repelling myself from the metal and launching myself up the hall.

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