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Andrew Dobell Author

The Prometheus Awakens - A New Prometheus Prequel - EBOOK

The Prometheus Awakens - A New Prometheus Prequel - EBOOK

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EBOOK

A New Prometheus Short Story Prequel Book 0.1

Hackers, corporations and life changing revelations.

As the daughter of two corporation scientists and engineers, Frankie grew up inside the corporation facilities as a true believer.

The corporations are benevolent and do a lot of good for humanity through their tech, such as the nano machines inside all humans – or so she thought.

Away from home at university in Neo-London, Frankie befriends her hacktivist roommate Mal, who reveals the truth about corporate rule, and might just change Frankie’s life forever.

The Prometheus Awakens is a short prequel to the best-selling New Prometheus Series.

The New Prometheus is a Cyberpunk Techno-Thriller Series, that’s a must read for fans of Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner, Alita Battle Angel, Cyberpunk 2077, Akira, The Matrix, Robocop and Total Recall.

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0.01

“I don’t give a shit about my parents,” the girl said, her tone flippant and bitter. “It’s not like they care about me.”
Frankie sat on the university steps beside her roommate, gazing out at the towers and arcologies of Neo-London. The megacity stretched as far as the eye could see, the spires stabbing high into the sky like daggers as drones and flyers drifted between them. Built within the crater of a nuclear blast, atop what had once been the former city of London, it was a gleaming monument to capitalism.
“My dad has his own company,” the girl continued. “Some sort of accounting firm, I think. I don’t really know or care. I’m pretty sure he sleeps around. He and my mum don’t get along anymore, and she drinks too much. They seem to hate each other’s guts, from what I can tell.”
Frankie watched the girl as she spoke, her tone changing from one of spite to just tiredness and exasperation. She’d had enough.
Frankie had known her for a few weeks. She was sharing a room with her at Neo-London university, but this was the first time they had really talked to each other. Mallory, or Mal as she preferred to be known, had been cagey at first, not speaking much and keeping to herself. Frankie had tried to talk to her, girl to girl, to make conversation, but hadn’t got very far.
Mal had been a closed book.
She seemed to prefer spending hours online, surfing the web or chatting with friends Frankie had never met. The sound of her tapping on her tablet or keyboard was a constant feature of their room.
Frankie didn’t mind. She figured Mal would open up eventually. She couldn’t stay silent forever.
When she’d first met Mal, she’d been a little scared of her. She only ever wore black, had the sides of her head shaved, wore facial piercings and sported numerous tattoos. Frankie’s usual circle of friends was much more vanilla, and Mal’s fashion choices had been unconventional.
But her initial reticence faded quick, and she’d started to try and interact with her. They were sharing a room after all, and this would be a long year if they never spoke. She’d invite her out for a drink or food, and even asked if she’d join her and her friends, but Mal had always said no.
Until today.
Frankie had been shocked. She’d expected the usual response, but was thrilled that Mal had finally said yes.
The walk around campus had been lovely. After picking up a coffee from a stall, they’d ended up sitting and enjoying the view.
“What about you? What do your parents do?” Mal asked.
“They work for Nano Technic,” she said.
“The corporation?”
“They’re quite high up. They work on nano tech. It’s pretty cool work, actually.”
“If you say so,” Mal replied dismissively.
Frankie gave her a look. “You don’t agree?”
“The nano keeps us healthy, as long as you can pay the insurance. If not, then you’re up shit creek. Nano is just another form of control by the corporations to keep the masses in line.”
“That’s a very pessimistic view.”
“You disagree?”
“I do. Nanobots are essential with the failure of antibiotics. They keep us safe and healthy. They allow major operations to happen that wouldn’t otherwise. They’ve saved the human race. You can see that, right? It makes sense to pay insurance for them. This stuff isn’t free, you know.”
“Spoken like a true servant of the corporations,” Mal said, rolling her eyes. “Did you read that in a leaflet?”
“No.” Frankie felt a little offended by the jibe.
“Then, let me tell you what really happened. During World War Three, while the effectiveness of antibiotics faded and the death toll from disease rose, the corporations developed nano and cybernetics to help the war effort. War always forces technological advancement, and this was no different. With the power that the world's governments still had at the time, they forced the corporations to disseminate the nano to the masses, saving millions.”
“The government didn’t force them. They worked together with the corporations to stem the tide,” Frankie interjected, remembering everything she’d learnt from her parents and the school she’d attended in the Nano Technic archology.
“That’s what they want you to believe. In reality, it was a little more contentious than that. The governments needed the tech, but the corps did not want to just hand it over. That wasn’t in their self-interest, even in the face of extinction. But, they saw an opportunity and took it. In return for the nano, the corporations negotiated for more power, more freedom and less oversight. There was a shift in power. It happened slowly, but with their tech in the majority of the population, including politicians, and the ability to turn it off at a moment’s notice, the corps grew in power, slowly taking control of governments around the globe.”
“Really?” Frankie asked, incredulous. This didn’t match up with what she knew at all. She couldn’t argue that the corporations were powerful, she could see the proof from here, their vast buildings dominated the skyline. But to make them out to be these megalomaniacal, evil overlords was a step too far… wasn’t it? “Where are you getting all this? Are you sure?”
“Absolutely, and they didn’t stop there. They abolished National Health Services around the world and set up insurance programs for the
nano. Now, they control everything. The government, the police, the justice system, everything, and God help you if you can’t pay.”
“You sound like a conspiracy theorist.”
“You think I’m making this up? That I’m reading into things too much and coming to a ridiculous conclusion?”
“Well, yeah. I know the corporations have a lot of power, but what you’re talking about, it sounds... I don’t know… paranoid?”
“It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you, and I have seen the victims of their power first-hand. Nano is only one part of it. They have their claws in everything these days. Today, their control over nano could be taken away, and they’d still retain their power. Corporate cybernetics are the same. Just more control.”
“I don’t have any cybernetics.”
“I noticed. No neural net or anything?”
Frankie nodded.
“Have you ever been tempted?
“Not really. My parents were very strict. They were adamant that I didn’t get anything while I lived under their roof. ‘Wait until you’re old enough to make an informed choice.’” Frankie mimicked her mother’s tone as she quoted her.
Mal looked surprised.
“What?” Frankie asked.
“Nothing. It’s just strange, is all, given they work for a corp. I presume they have implants?”
“Yeah, they’re wet wired. They need it for work.”
“And will you have a cyber brain implanted, one day?”
“I don’t know. It seems like quite an invasive thing. I know it’s routine these days, but I’m not sure. I get by just fine without it, and my phone does everything I need it to do. I already have nanobots that I pay insurance for… Well, my parents do. I’m not sure I need anything else.”
“Let me give you a piece of advice. Don’t get anything from the corps on insurance. You’re linked to them forever, then. If you do get something, use a cyber doc.”
“You mean, one of the back-alley street docs? The ones in the Undercity? Isn’t that risky?”
“Well, compared to the pristine surgeries of the corps they’re a little more… basic, but they’re usually run by doctors that used to work for the corps, so the care is comparable.”
“But why set up in the Undercity? It’s just full of gangs and criminals.”
“There’s much more down there than that. The doctors that set up these labs are often on the run from the corps, fearing for their lives. The Undercity is the one place they can disappear and help those who need it. I’m not saying it’s not dangerous down there, but it’s not like they have a choice.”
“No one in their right mind would go down there,” Frankie said. “It’s too dangerous.”
“People go down there all the time. Most have no choice. When you can’t pay your insurance, the corps will come after you and demand payment. And they’re not above breaking a few legs if they need to. Some people can find the money, but those who can’t, run, and the Undercity is the perfect place to disappear.”
“But there are programs in place to help those who can’t pay, charities and other organisations that can help you work off your debt. Besides, it makes no sense for the corps to go around hurting people. Why would they do that? They’d be lynched. The corporations are powerful, but they’d be held accountable by the law and the government if they were doing that.”
“That’s what they’d like you to think…”
“You keep saying that, but I just can’t believe it,” Frankie said. “I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it, not in this day and age.”
Mal smiled. “I’ll prove it to you.”