A halo of blinking circuitry greeted Lennay Kekua as she awoke from the Proto-Sky. Dr. Vaisman unhooked the cables from her spine and removed the infrared sensors from her eyelids.
“There,” he said. “I told you it wouldn’t be that hard.”
Still groggy, Lennay needed a moment to comprehend what had just occurred. In a few short minutes, she had terminated her entire past. While logged into the Proto-Sky, she was tasked with eliminating all records, data, visual representations, dreams, visions, and memories of herself. The deed was done. There was no record of her existence on Earth. The way Dr. Vaisman told it, becoming a ghost was for her own good. And Humanity’s only hope.
“I have a pounding headache,” she mumbled.
“Your brain is merely adjusting to the new reality. What you’re feeling is a side effect. It will dissipate shortly.”
Lennay looked around the cave. The glow of computer monitors cast a dull cloud of light on the dripping walls. She sat up from the pod and rubbed the top of her eyes. She was tired, exhausted from pouring through each tiny pocket of her life.
“What time is it?” She flicked on the screen her disconnected cell phone. A picture of Manti came up. It showed him celebrating right after Notre Dame’s win at Michigan. She touched the 2-D face of her former lover. Dr. Vaisman gently removed her phone.
“It’s no use dwelling on it now,” he said. “You’ve made the ultimate choice. And although it feels as though you’ve lost someone, realize that you are their salvation.”
“Now that your data has been destroyed entirely, we can proceed under the radar of the robot overlords. They can only track us through bits of information and slivers of statistics. We can operate without fear of them mounting some sort of pre-emptive time assassination.”
Lennay knew this was the only choice. Her powers would be the key to the Resistance. And each day she grew stronger, more perceptive. Her prescient mind became more sharply attuned. She possessed The Crowing, the innate ability to subconsciously produce massive amounts of thermal energy. This genetic mutation had been identified by the machines in the year 2012, just prior to the Reboot. She could be used as a limitless power source to them. But to the human resistance, she represented hope, a chance for freedom.
She scanned the dark cave. “There’s something wrong,” she whispered. “Is there any sort of magnetic resonance that occurs after leaving the Proto-Sky?”
Dr. Vaisman looked concerned. “Only trace amounts. Hardly enough to be detected even by the most sensitive instruments.”
Lennay breathed deeply and opened her eyes as the sound of hydraulics echoed through the cave’s entrance. She grabbed the Scimitar of Mercury from the pedestal. She gripped the handle and felt the wild vibrations of her blade.