*Tick. Tick-tick. Tickatick. Tickatick. Tickactick. SLAM*
A grumpy hand shut the alarm up. A moan erupted from the bed and Michaël got up. Scratching his head, slowly straightening, his augmented vision showed him his 'vitals' and displayed his energy reserves. Plenty for the day, but you could never be too prepared. Unplugging a set of batteries that had been charging on the wall, he put them in his sports bag and headed for the shower.
He always thought the downside of being modeled after humans was that they were somewhat imperfect. As if I.R.I.S. had meant for it to remain. Hair grew, they needed to ingest specific fluids in order to maintain their skin structure and care for their inner skeleton. Heck, even sleeping was not a necessity, though admittedly the amount of energy required to work through an entire day without stopping would stretch the planet's energy reserves. Especially if everyone did it.
He was still unsure what to call himself. I.R.I.S. had referred to them as Humans and HED's, but that didn't sound right. They weren't exactly humans, and they weren't exactly bloody bots. His pride, stung at the thought, coiled upwards. No, they were much better than robots. And much better than humans. He thought of a new word for his kind: The Heightened. It had a nice ring to it. He'd send it out to his friends via mindlink during his lunchbreak.
Taking a while to dress up and style his hair, Michaël grabbed his bag and walked out the door. As soon as he was outside, a hologram popped out of nowhere and made his heartpacer race.
"Good morning from I.R.I.S.: Announcement One: If you are still having problems with sleep protocols, please stop by the closest Automated Assembly Chain in your area. The conservation of energy is important to you as much as it is to us. Announcement Two: We have added a new energy monitoring system throughout our grid. You can now track the amount of energy your workplace and your home use, as well as remotely power down appliances that are not currently in use. If you have any problems to report, please contact our People's Agency in Resonance One. Announcement Three: Please stay clear of area Ind-66, further mining has been planned and explosives have been set in several key points. Evacuation is nearly completed. Anyone that haven't complied with those warnings risk termination."
The Hologram vanished and Michaël blinked a few times. I.R.I.S. had been very insistent on the preservation of power. And the mining was a fairly controversial issue. On one side, the world needed more resources, on another, many people had been displaced from that industrial district to make room for drilling Resonance's core. He had never figured he'd be an environmentalist, especially with his job, but one day he wanted to adopt children of his own to raise. He wanted to be a model father. Or mentor.
Walking in the corridor, then into the hall of the building and outside, he pushed his way through the crowd to reach his train to work, just in time. During transit, he looked around in silence, wondering if any of them were actually human. The thought almost scared him. In a way, they had inadvertently stolen this world from them. Humans had even had them as lovers, only to find that they were different. The shock of the discovery of I.R.I.S. was still fresh in his mind. But he remembered those Heightened-Human couples that were together, refusing to let go, trying desperately to adopt from a shrinking pool of human babies. It led I.R.I.S. to make amends, and they came up with 'Heightened' babies.
Michaël looked up towards the great tower outside that spiraled upwards far above the earth and into the sky. The shuttle slowed down rapidly and came to a stop, letting its passengers off, including the young Heightened man. Staring at the horizon, he slung his bag over his shoulder, gazing on the giant monument in emotion, clearing his throat before finally moving towards the flat building crowned with antennas of all kinds. Upon entering it, a number of people nodded their heads to him. Greetings appeared on his augmented display, as well as an anonymous message "I hope you die this time around."
. Michaël grumbled. That wasn't the first time it happened. Someone just didn't like him, and that wasn't reassuring during training. Dismissing it for now, he headed towards the men's locker room. Finding his locker, opening it, he grabbed and put on the suit, the bright golden badge clearly reading 'M. Salio'. Going to the window, he gazed outside. Looked upon the biggest ship he'd ever seen. Ready to reach the stars, and beyond. He let out a deep sigh and whispered.
"Soon.. Soon enough, I'll be flying you baby."