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[Fiction] Brain Trust, the beginning.

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An invitation to Wardenclyffe to visit Machina, one of the few novas closer to his level of intelligence. No sooner had he read the encrypted message, had he began downloading topographical and other geographical information on the surrounding area. Access also took it upon himself to increase the encryption in the connection between home base and the uplink chip he implanted behind his ear. Now all he had to do was wait for his critical timing to come to completion.

Through the satellite vision he 'aquired' he could see the brown truck taking the turn off to Wardenclyffe, and it would only be another couple of minutes until it made it to it's destination. As expected, the driver of the truck got out carrying a very small package, and as per the directions, he unwrapped it, and set the device no larger than a wallet on the ground right outside the gate. It's time. His eyes and skin turn null, as ones and zeros begin covering his surface. Eventually he looks like nothing more than a torrent of binary data swirling about, and in a clock cycle, Access vanishes, now being carried across a wireless Opnet signal, straight to the PDA he had delivered to Wardenclyffe's gate.

As quickly as he vanished he appeared standing over the PDA. Picking it up, and slipping it into his pocket. Access was quickly aware of the observation devices, not many things with a stream of electrons flowing through copper and gold wiring slip past him. He knew he was being watched, so he simply waited. Machina would acknowledge him when he was ready.

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A wailing symphony of alarms rolled an unshowered, unshaved Machina out of the military hammock that served as his bed and onto the floor, landing in a pile of dirty laundry, skin mags, and at least one grey gym sock that was suspiciously crusted into a crumbled shape. The alarm was something close to 'Revelrie' being played by a deaf man through a bullhorn. It could've scared the balls off a brass monkey, and it was nearly the only thing that could jolt Machina out of bed properly.

He collected himself, furrowing his brow at the distant terminal in the next room as he gave a passing scratch to his balls and lit an unfiltered Lucky Strike. He kept one eye on the plain, brown package truck coming down Tesla lane as he fumbled over to the adjacent toilet, taking a morning piss so thoroughly needed that he had to brace himself against the wall as he did it. Machina flicked ashes onto the floor as he finally left his impromptu bedroom to enter his workshop, still having not bothered for such pleasantries as pants or a shirt. "Camera one-seven, zoom thirty-seven degrees." He watched impassively, yawning as he shook off the morning, and watched a nondescript man emerge from his vehicle and unwrap a plain package. Without so much as a prompt, the series of systems in Machina's console wall went to work evaluating data. Before the kid could finish unwrapping the package, Machina had a monitor display of his driver's license, lease, social security record, tax records for the last three years, police record, and any other pertinent but extraneous details, like in this case, the fact that Alfred James Abrahms was adopted. He also got visual on the vehicle's DMV records, identified as a common package truck for a local delivery service that Abrahms was in the legitimate employ of. His outside sniffer came up with jack, too. Looked clean. Machina exhaled a jet of smoke, dashed out his butt and lit another.

The kid and the truck drove away, leaving a common looking PDA on the ground outside the gate. Machina was about to send a probe out to investigate when the nova he surmised was Access arrived, as if springing whole from the screen of the device. His targeting system had him immediately; it could sniff out a trace of quanta within a good half-klick. Machina flicked it off. Access was a guest, after all. He hadn't expected him quite so early, but he was glad to have something to do. He'd just finished his final battery of tests on the upgrades he'd made to Rachel and had run out of projects. Besides, he was eager to get cracking on this whole "saving the world from itself" thing he and JC had been talking about.

The nova slipped on a tight-fitting navy blue tee shirt and a pair of choco-chip BDUs that looked like they'd seen their share of 'B' before fitting his headset on. He flicked the front gate release and spoke into his headset, broadcasting to a pair of horns that looked like they belonged on Dodger Stadium, and back when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. "C'mon in, JC, and don't mind the mess. Hit the cargo elevator at the east end of the warehouse and wait. I'll take care of the rest."

"And hey, glad to see you made it."

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Access' trench coat, hung at his side as he passed through the gate. The sensor arrays inside his coat responded to his subconcious thoughts and began relaying data to his PDA, and his own senses.

Access walked towards Wardenclyffe, making his way to the building. Upgrades have definitely been made. His was almost overwhelmed with the level of technology he could sense around him, it made him feel like a kid in a candy store again, but he contained himself and hid his excitement.

"It's my pleasure to be here Machina." Access spoke to nothing distinct. He knew Machina would be able to hear anything he said with a several hundred meters of Wardenclyffe, if not further. JC stepped into the freight elevator as originally instructed. "So what is first on the agenda?"

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A cheap 40-watt lit up a cracked plastic faceplate above the eastern service elevator, pausing for almost thirty seconds on 'B2' before climbing to 'B1' and finally '1F' in a third as much time. It wasn't hard to see that the cage went lower than it was letting on, and if Access was gauging correctly, he figured that Machina's lab was a good six stories beneath the ground floor. Nothing in Wardenclyffe's architectural plans accounted for the extra floors, and Tesla sure as hell hadn't added them in his time. Machina certainly kept himself busy.

The horizontal doors opened to the ceiling and floor, rusted-out hulks that were probably the genuine article, right down to the leather handle hanging from the top. An iron gate slid sideways, revealing a dusty wooden cube paneled on the sides and ceiling with iron. It looked uninviting, and so lo-tech it predated the twentieth century, nevermind the twenty-first.

"First", Machina spoke into the headset, "I'll show you around. You can probably figure out that I don't get a lot of visitors, and hey, brother, I can practically see Access, Jr. pokin' through your trousers." He cracked a grin that was almost audible as he crumpled his coffin nail into a tin

ashtray and lit another. "Believe me, you ain't seen a thing yet."

The doors groaned shut, and with a dangerous surge, the box started to waft downward. The panel above the door lit up 'B1' and 'B2', which through the glass portcullis in the door, looked like some form of nonessential storage, a graveyard of ancient machinery covered in dustcloths large enough to be circus tents and so many nondescript crates it could've been a recreation of the final scene of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. That's where things started to change. Access heard the unmistakable hum of electricity initialize in the cube as a few billion nanites turned on all at once. A thousand points of light. The small room lit up with a green haze. It would have been easy to think that the walls simply began to glow a nano-era LCD green, but Machina's guest knew the score. What looked like light was a thousand thousand thousand scanners, taking in the physical profile of anything as large as a dust mote or skin flake. Access was one of the few people who could pooch this array, but he let it go. After all, Machina might just be paranoid enough to have rigged a triggered reprisal for any such tampering. The scan completed in time for the freight lift to stop, the doors waiting for a human touch to open them. Access was about to do it himself when he heard the dull thud of combat boots outside, followed by the sliding open of the external doors.

Machina grabbed the cage door and threw it aside on its track, offering a meaty, creased mitt in welcome. "Hey there, brother." He grinned toothily, smoke wafting from the end of a cigarette clenched in his teeth. "Come on in."

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Ones and zeros, little balls and clumps of ones and zeros hovered around him. Onward past that, there were even more shapes, some of them taking obvious forms, others more mysterious in their shape and design. Access analyzed his surroundings, the existance of all things technological in the area was now apparent to him.

"It's a pleasure to meet you. Now let's put our quantum powered gray matter to use and save the world from itself, because we both know the humans aren't any more useful then a herd of monkeys."

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Machina cocked a somewhat perplexed eyebrow as binary began to flood all around Access. "Neat trick", he said rather plainly, cigarette dangling from his lower lip. He had surmised that Access was sending out this data like a sort of technological radar, beacons that reported back with an informational ping constantly. He supposed he didn't much need to give Access the grand tour; he'd probably just made the whole place. The Telluric Resonator that powered the Tesla Ray, his Project Thor console, his security array, his command console, the scores of gadgets both mundane and nova-inspired, the fearsome bipedal robot that stood in the hangar some four stories tall, and hundreds of gadgets and pieces and parts aside. Machina scrunched up his chin, obviously impressed. "Very neat. I guess we can skip the coy preliminaries, huh? No sense tackling this like a couple a' fuckin' virgins. Oh yeah, and hey," he pointed to the adjacent room through an arched doorway faceted with steel rivets, "the john's back there. I figured I'd point it out, seein' as how there's nothing tech back in there."

Access knit his eyebrows together. "Strange, I was certain that I detected--"

"Ex-girlfriend!", Machina cut him off, yelling. His guest smiled slightly, and Machina gave a rough chuckle. This guy was alright.

Access and Machina adjourned through his nerve center and into the hangar, a mammoth structure that resembled nothing so much as an open warehouse, chocked full of devices and crates and coverings for both. A metal behemoth standing some forty of fifty feet tall dominated the far corner, threatening the entire room with it's menacing girth. Below it, a duo of cars - 1967 Shelby Mustangs, the both of them, and as Access now knew, a good deal more than that - sat near the beast's tremendous metal feet like toys. The left wall was dominated by a half dozen rickety sheet metal bookshelves that held thousands of books, everything from Chilton's car manuals to collections of comic books to treatises on quantum physics, sociology, history, art, music, etc. It was plain that they'd all been read thoroughly: the spines of every book had been creased in several places.

Machina pointed to a set of doors that hugged the far end wall of the hangar, a weighty set of vitrium doors that betrayed nothing behind them, only passively waited for someone to address the clear panel that sat on the wall next to it. "That's where we're headed", Machina said simply. "I've got some chairs in there."

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Access absorbs all the information around him and is snapped back to reality when Machina began to talk, he listens, then looks ahead to where Machina pointed. "Chairs sound like a rather brilliant idea, then I can prove to myself again that this lump of grey mush I have in my head is not being wasted on repeating tasks. I feel I grow stupid when I don't keep on top of things."

Access waited for Machina to lead the way towards the Vitrium doors. "What exaactly is it you had in mind to revolutionalize the way the world operates?"

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