I still had a human body. For the most part. I'd done away with a few organs I thought weren't pulling their weight. But my brain was still recognizably human. I could turn off the enhancements any time, and go back to my human brain.
That sounded like something a meth addict would say.
Should I do it? Should I revert my mind to its human state? That would leave me more vulnerable. Could Genesis be manipulating me? Unlikely. I resolved to give up my life in the matrix after preparing Mephistopheles' little surprise.
Three hours later, I was sitting in a chair, eyes closed, writing a program that would un-cyborg me for twenty-four hours, maximum. I quintuple-checked it for bugs. Nothing. Writing bug-free code is one of the benefits of being part-machine. I hesitated before ordering the code to run. But I didn't see any plausible risks, and it would be an interesting experience. Probably help me relate better with normal humans. I pressed a metaphorical button, and felt my mind recede.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of color. As I cyborg, I'd enhanced all of my senses (and added some new ones). Having my sight confined to such a small band of the electromagnetic spectrum... I felt blind. I had made some changes to my eyes, so I could still see better than normal. But, man...I couldn't even read the titles of the books on the other end of the room. Furthermore, I couldn't remember them. My cyborg mind had had perfect memory. My human mind didn't. Before I had been augmented, had it been normal not to remember your dinner from three days ago? I couldn't remember.
I felt limited. Slow, stupid, and unable to remember equations I'd derived just a month before. Was that how the New Archivist felt when she turned into Lucy? A combination of sadness at her decreased mental faculties and sadness at realizing she wasn't who she thought she was? I felt sorry for her. I still thought she was a parasite sucking Lucy's life, but I felt sorry for her.
That's another thing. I was so emotional! I hadn't even noticed, but I'd been subconsciously dampening chemical imbalances in my brain. Now, I was left to feel the full force of emotions. Panic was so distracting! Had it always been that distracting? And annoyance was so... annoying! Had I been dampening happiness too? I needed to make myself happy in order to find out.
"Noetron, prepare a large amount of ice cream, assemble a sequence of awesome science fiction movies, pull up those simulations of many-quark interactions, and play me some bad-ass music."
Within a few minutes I discovered that, yes, mortal happiness was better than cyborg happiness.
Eventually, I became curious. What was it like to do drugs? I had always eschewed them, fearing the consequences of addiction. But now, I had the opportunity to take drugs, discover their effects, and then use my cyborg powers to erase any trace of addiction from my system.
Not true, some part of me pointed out. You can only erase physical addiction. What if you like it so much it saps your initiative to do anything else?
Well, some part of me countered, then it's no different than any other fun hobby.
What ensued was about ten minutes of me debating philosophy with myself. It ended with me saying this: "Noetron, I want you synthesize a dose a crystal meth."
Noetron normally does whatever I ask. But he has pre-existing orders to prevent me from harming myself, unless I can convince him that self-harm is necessary. He wasn't a fan of the drugs idea, but decided to be diplomatic about it. "Are you sure, sir?"
"Are you aware of the adverse health effects?"
"I'm a scientific genius. I think I know what they teach in a high-school health class."
"This could have extremely detrimental impacts on your scientific productivity."
"Good point. If, at any time after the next twelve hours, I attempt to try any sort of narcotic, please to your best to stop me." I paused. "Non-lethally." Another pause. "In a way that doesn't permanently hurt me or anyone I care about." You've got to be careful with computer that follow your orders.
Noetron thought about this. For five or six seconds. Which was enough time for him to consider hundreds of millions of scenarios. "Very well. But if I detect any traces of addiction I will classify it as attempted mind control and detain you by whatever means necessary."
'Whatever means necessary' includes things like threatening to destroy the New Archivist if I take another hit. Don't do drugs, kids.
A few minutes later, a robot came up to me, carrying some small crystals. And, for the first time, I did drugs.
It wasn't that great. I kept getting all excited about some equation, and quitting halfway through to solve some other problem. How did meth addicts ever get through an elementary course in quantum field theory, I wondered. Meth was pathetic. I waited for the high to dissipate. "Noetron, please synthesize every narcotic drug you possibly can.
That night, I did enough drugs to kill a rhinoceros (rhinos are allergic to a chemical found in heroin, but still). It was fun, but not great. I couldn't overdose, since only my central nervous system was human. Even so, I ended up with a truly incredible headache.
In the end, I reactivated my cyborg components a few hours early. Drugs were boring compared to what a cyborg can do (I can remember sex with perfect accuracy, watch a dozen action movies in my head, and solve complicated mathematics problems all at the same time.)
The experience had taught me something about the human condition. Humans were unfocused, irrational, feeble-minded, and way to susceptible to damage. I resolved to bring about some improvements once I took over the world.