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DARKMATTER TRILOGY

BOOK ONE — MINDWEB

PART ONE


NEURAL ROBOTICS


Doctor Doug Humphrey sat in the plush leather chair, silently waiting for a response from the businessman on the other side of the large regal desk. His portly body fit snugly in the chair, the fat conforming to the proper shape the chair insisted upon. He had been nervous about the important meeting—his entire future seemed to rest upon its outcome. Despite the importance, the momentary silence allowed his mind to wander and he soon became lost in thought, unconsciously stroking the gray beard covering his fleshy double chin, a feature that was the result of a lifelong trend of too little exercise and poor diet.

Facing the pondering businessman, but not seeing him, Doug Humphrey looked beyond the desk, past the businessman and out the large glass wall of the high-rise building, at the rare and spectacular view of the surrounding city and the vast Pacific ocean in the distance. The shimmer of the noontime sun, reflected off the glass and metal composing the city center, to focus into his mind.

Doug was soon lost in the bright light, the businessman was gone from his consciousness and replaced with the thoughts that the light coming through the window brought into his brain. He wandered over the city in his mind, he could see it was thick with life, he could feel it quivering with fevered activity—the cars, buses, taxis and pedestrians were blood cells streaming through the arteries of unnatural organism. The busy downtown section below him was at the heart of the metropolis, pulsing to the swirling mass of humanity. In the distance, the planes and the ships at the busy port connected the city to the rest of the world in a shimmering metallic lace.

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