Note: This week I take a break from aliens abducting annoying people and cede the floor to guest blogger Liza O’Connor, who tells us about the world from her latest science fiction novel, Scavenger’s Mission.
How MAC reads your mind.
MAC is a scary AI. It can read your mind, but not directly. It does it by projecting images of what you are thinking about in a room that is wall to wall sensors. When the average person realizes that whatever they think will appear on the wall, they will try NOT to think of the items they don’t want MAC to know, but that just highlights those memories.
Thus, for most people, the ethics assessment is an exhausting and brutal experience. Some have almost died from the assessment. It leaves no stone unturned.
It begins, letting the viewer believe they can control the images on the wall based on what they eat. (Lunch is served at the first of the test). But this sense of control soon ceases and upon discovering they have no control over what MAC sees, every bad thing they’ve ever done tends to show up.
Alisha is either an exceptionally good person or she’s very forgiving of her sins, because she scores higher in ethics than any Ryder has ever done. And she falls asleep at the end of her test. (Most are retching in the bucket located by their chair.)
By Liza O’Connor
Meet Alisha: A young woman who refuses to live the life her parents want.
In a single month, Alisha Kane has gone from a wealthy debutante to street girl to scavenger. While testing her new flying skills in the Cully Canyon, Alisha incurs a near-death crash landing. She’s “rescued” by a colonel of the SkyRyders and her life changes forever.
Meet Logan: A SkyRyder colonel in charge of a sleepy fort with little to do other than arrest the occasional scavenger.
For the first time in his life, Logan’s attracted to a young woman, only she’s probably a scavenger and he’ll have to arrest her. But first he offers her a shower and food while he checks on his crew. His videographer has captured her extraordinary flight through the Cully and her flying is astounding!
He forgoes arresting her and puts his career at risk by asking MAC to assess her skills and integrity as a potential SkyRyder. If he can get Alisha into the SkyRyders, it will be his greatest contribution to the Corps.
Upon seeing her arrival, MAC upgrades Alisha’s test. Her flying skills are not just excellent; they exceed what was previously thought possible. MAC classifies her as its top asset and soon she proves her value.
But…the SkyRyders remain a male dominated Corps where Alisha’s sense of right and wrong often clashes with her superiors. How long can a rebellious young woman survive in a regimented Corps?
When Alisha completed the regs test, she ate her lunch in a windowless room with no furniture other than a chair, a small table and a trash can. She had barely taken a bite when images appeared on the walls. Some were terrible, some sensual, and others were funny.
Over time, Alisha sensed a pattern. The really horrible images followed every time she ate a portion of the meat. The sensual items appeared when she ate the vegetables, and the Jell-O brought up funny pictures. Alisha avoided the meat and enjoyed the remainder of her meal.
When she finished her lunch, an image of Colonel Logan appeared on the wall, which surprised her, because she’d just been thinking about him. He looked so stern, and then suddenly he smiled at her. She couldn’t help but smile back. Images of him carrying her out of the wind farm, tending her knee in the tub, examining her for injuries, and then the two of them sleeping appeared on the wall. How did they get those pictures? she wondered.
Suddenly the images were replaced with DC’s. Her smile disappeared. She watched as he slammed her against the corner of the bed, as he grabbed her breast and twisted her nipple. The image changed to the ridge. He flew above her and stalled her out on the rocks. The image repeated with a similar result on the second run. The third was different only because she had gained more altitude, but that just made her fall more spectacular and deadly. She re-lived the pain when the tree gave way and her knee smashed into the rock ledge. Her knee throbbed now.
The images changed to the fourth run, her crash into the wind farm and her failure to notice her blood trail until it was almost too late. Seeing the laser bead on her shoulder, she weaved through the wind turbines, trying to confuse the laser’s tracking sensor.
Alisha felt the same emotions as she watched herself—the same fear, the same fatigue, and the same hopelessness.
The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1
About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.
Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science
The SkyRyders Series
Scavenger Falters-coming 2017
Scavenger Vanishes-coming 2017