28 May 2010
"A brain with electronic motivation", Meg whispered.
"Fuck you!", her body shouted, in its own way, and ramped up lactic acid synthesis. Meg pressed on. It hurt, but the pain was part of her running, and she wanted to run. She'd been running non-stop for almost two hours on the big treadmill in the lab. The brain network maintaining her posture, driving her legs, arms and lungs, was lean, mean and optimized. Pressure-sensors in her shoes triggered dopaminergic electrodes in her brain with every step; honing, shaping, supporting and reinforcing the neuronal network and its muscle contractions. Interruption was impossible. Tiredness irrelevant. Even pain was part of the purpose, part of her strength, her will, her artificial motivation.
Lucy stood at the door, watching her. "It's time" she called.
"Noo.." Meg groaned.
"It's time", Lucy said again.
"Fuck!" Meg shouted and punched the stop button on the treadmill. The treadmill started slowing down, and for a moment Meg found herself trying to keep it going, pressing her hands against the railing and pushing her feet against the rubber sheet, harder and harder, the network in her refusing to disassemble, even though the link was lost, the sensors in her shoes inactive.
"Wow" she gasped, between strained gulps of air, and stopped. "Wow."
She released the railing, jumped off the edge of the treadmill and stomped both feet hard against the floor, putting all her weight and strength into it. But the sensors were silent. She groaned again and collapsed on the floor.
Lucy watched her from the door.
"You ok?" she asked?
Meg rolled over on her back, spread-eagle, and lay panting, staring at the ceiling. "Wow."
More iPlant fiction here