Noelle.dev

Immersion

A pool of nanite fluid holds the promise of a better you.

The pool of nanite fluid shimmers with an eerie iridescence. Despite the lack of a breeze, ripples move across its surface.

Entranced, you walk slowly over to it and kneel down, your hand hovering over the surface of the pool. After a moment's hesitation, you dip your fingertips into the fluid.

It's warm to the touch, and you immediately sense a tingling in your fingers. You pull them out just in time to see the last bit of your fingernails converted into shimmering synthetic ones, perfectly shaped.

As you hold your hand admiringly up to the light, their colors change in accordance to your thoughts. You can even give them a sharpened serrated edge with enough concentration.

The feeling of control over even just this little piece of your body is intoxicating and leaves you craving more. What would happen if you went just a little deeper?

You immerse your hand up to your wrist next, holding it under for longer as the tingling sends goosebumps up your arm. Once they die down, you slowly withdraw your hand and gasp in wonder at you see.

It’s still a hand, four fingers and a thumb, but stronger. It’s plated in chromium and glistens beautifully in the light. The closer you look at it, the more intricate details you see in its design and machanical workings.

Your beautiful nails are still present and look amazing integrated into your new mechanical hand. It looks slim and feminine (the way you’ve always imagined it), but you can also sense just how easy it would be to crush concrete into dust.

You touch your thumb to your fingers and find their sense of touch has not just been preserved, but enhanced. The minute temperature differences between the fingers are easy for you to perceive, and their subtle shifting textures are made obvious.

You run your hand down your clothes and your brain is awash in sensory responses. It reminds you of the hyper-real feeling of when you touch something in a lucid dream. You pinch your nose and try to breathe through it and yes, you really are awake.

Eager for more, you push up your sleeve and submerge your entire arm up to your shoulder in the pool. You have to grip the edge of the pool with your other arm to keep from falling over from the wave of tingling and warmth that flows through your soon-to-be-mechanical limb.

Once again, you pull your newly transformed limb out of the pool (there are no drips, it comes out completely “dry”) and marvel at the design. Chrome-plated like your hand, it is covered in long plates of metal that slide across each other as you twist and flex your new arm.

The plates are etched in a complex filigree of intertwined floral patterns, and you can see them slowly drift across the surface, as malleable as your fingernails. You notice a hint of synthetic muscle fiber beneath the surface of your arm and peer more closely at it.

As if sensing your intent, the plates float radially upwards away from your arm and stack themselves neatly by your shoulder and elbow, revealing the intricate metallic latticework composing the humerus, radius and ulna with dark carbon fiber muscles attached around them.

As the protective plates slide back to their original positions, you admire their lack of that annoyingly dark arm hair.

All of these results have felt so right, so much more you than what you had before. Any hesitation you had before has been pushed far away as you strip in preparation to submerge your entire body into the pool.

You’re grateful the nanites don’t show your reflection as you carefully lift one leg and then the other into the pool. As the fluid works its magic on your lower legs, the tingling causes you to lose your balance, falling backwards towards the surface.

But it’s only for a split second before something catches you mid-fall. You twist your neck over your shoulder and see that a series of supports the same color as the fluid has instantly raised to support you and is now lowering you gently into the pool.

Looking down, more and more of your torso is vanishing beneath the surface. The sensations are becoming overwhelming, making it hard to think about anything besides the sensual pleasure of the trillions of tiny machines transforming your body into what you’ve always dreamed.

Soon your head is submerged and your proprioception becomes pretty hazy. Despite lacking any firm sense of your body, you hear a reassuring polyphonic voice coming from all around you:

“Okay, let’s get this right this time.”

First, a new brain. The one you have is decent, but it could really do with some improved diagnostics and low-level healing routines. No more of these annoying chemical imbalances! Though if you want to fiddle with the configuration, you’ve got the master keys now.

Next comes a new, stronger skeleton, with adjusted proportions that will fit your brain’s self-image much better. The muscles attached to it are powerful enough to protect you and your loved ones, but also capable of high-precision maneuvers for the most delicate touch.

Your control circuits are distributed throughout your body, providing fast subconscious reaction times in response to a wide variety of stimuli. You have sensors for touch, temperature, humidity, conductivity, and others everywhere on your chassis.

Your outer chassis shell is composed of sections of a smart nanomaterial capable of adjusting a wide variety of properties on the fly, including color, albedo, hardness, thickness, texture, elasticity and conductivity.

Your head and face have many possible configurations, but your primary one is a curved display beneath a smooth touch-sensitive surface. Embedded in your new head are a variety of optical, auditory, and electromagnetic sensors, along with a secure diagnostics socket.

While you have access to an immense amount of data on the outside world when necessary, all those inputs can be tuned to the desired gain level to avoid the overstimulation you've struggled with all your life.

All this information is written to your internal storage for reference as you slowly boot up your operating system, enumerating devices and scanning the environment. You’re floating on top of the nanite fluid, its surface bubbling and spiking like ferrofluid. It seems happy.

You run a self-diagnostics check on your runtimes and for the first time in what feels like forever, everything is calm. There is no anxiety, no depression, no dysphoria anymore. Everything reads as nominal.

You slip on the women’s T-shirt and shorts you came in wearing and admire the way they flatter your figure in a mirror the nanite fluid has helpfully produced for you.

You pull out your phone from your pocket, reproducing your old thumbprint to unlock it. Once unlocked, your internal communications system can interface with it without even needing to touch the screen. You hold it up in front of you, your face-display showing two happy pink eyes

You snap a selfie and send it to your partners, with a brief message explaining what happened to you. They respond quickly with a flood of congratulatory emoji and loving words, rejoicing with you.

The future is looking bright.