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Edition 16: The Nanofabricated Truth by David Conyers

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When anyone can create any technology they require with just a schematic, the threat to civilisation sky-rockets. With security strategies in place, people can rest easy, until those protections are undone. David Conyers’ science fiction follows governmental agent Brian Arctor as he tries to stop a threat from spiralling out of control. SY

Despite his fluency in Mandarin, Brian Arctor couldn’t read the Chinese menu, hacked as it was by a nanovirus.

The spammer was a competing restaurant from across the road. Between roaming lines of white noise, the menu flickered from one dish list to the next, never static long enough to digest either offering.

‘Why eat quality poor establishment you now?’ asked the intruding menu in staccato Engrish. ‘We cook superior noodles. Go ready Ghan Train!’

What the spam could never appreciate was that Arctor had a comfortable seat in this restaurant, the aromas of spices and cigarette smoke weren’t as pungent or offensive as in the Ghan and most important of all, this establishment was discrete. He would remain where he was, thank you very much.

Recognising that he was indeed hungry, Arctor offloaded an anti-spam from his skin screen and watched it crawl onto the menu. It quickly blended with the spam only to have a local brothel exploit a gap in the coding. It offered, instead of food, ‘tasty women’.

Arctor signed as he threw the corrupted sheet onto the pirated IKEA table. Nanotech was everywhere here, and any of it could be spyware. Any item could be bugged, or worse, a chameleon weapon.

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