For next couple of months, Carter's life was a blur. Some of it was because of what they were doing to him, but not much of it. He only had one surgery in the whole process. Everything was done with injections and radiation and fiber optic mini-intrusions. At one point, somebody said something about nano-tech actually building systems inside him. He didn't really remember.
His perceptions of the world around him were changing quite rapidly. The first thing they did was implant computer systems in him. They originally intended him to operate it with thought control, but that was a bit more than he could handle right away. He was fitted with a pair of glasses that enabled him to see a "screen" and the computer responded to finger movements. Soon; however, the very intelligent system they had installed taught itself the brainwave patterns that produced the finger movements and was responding before he actually moved. It wasn't long before he found the finger movements unnecessary.
Receiving information from the computer proved far more problematic. No matter what they tried they could not unpload directly into his brain. Information had to be filtered through his sensory systems. There was too much for him to take it in aurally, but having that computer screen in his eye was distracting at key moments. Eventually they fitted him with a small screen actually in the lens of his eye. They gave him an auditory input and gave him the ability to switch between them turn them off. Nevertheless, being intimately connected to the Internet and other various networks made it very difficult for a very long time to have any sense of "reality." For Carter cyberspace became a very real place.
Then there were the internal effects of what he thought of as "Amy's suit". Amy had not told him everything the suit could do. It greatly enhanced his sensory abilities, thus flooding his brain with even more information. He found himself able to see into the infrared and ultraviolet spectra. This gave him a sort of built in night-vision capability, among other things.
Being an exploring soul, Carter did not stop with what they gave him. He figured out how to use the computing power at his disposal with the infrared sensing capability to actually do infrared spectroscopy on objects he examined. His network interface gave him near infinite library matching capability, so even though he was no chemist, he could do some chemical analysis right in the field.
He found himself able to listen through walls, which grew embarrassing on more than one occasion as he discovered the various "relationships" around him.
Carter’s reality-confusion was further troubled by the fact that he was never in any one place for very long. He'd be taken to this facility for procedure A and that facility for procedure B and so forth. Goldman seemed to be the only one that had the whole picture of what was happening and he was so full of wisecracks that Carter just shut him off most of the time when he talked.
When Carter could get an actual conversation, Goldman proved to be a pretty nice guy, and sharp as a tack. Eventually, they found themselves back in the Twin Towers Project complex under the White House where Goldman became Carter's tenuous thread to reality. Nobody ever told Carter anything but to "explore his possibilities," which he did, but each time he did he found it hard to rejoin humanity.
Goldman kept him human. Between Goldman's very human wisecracking, obscure cultural references, numerous flaws, and constant presence, Carter would use Goldman as a path back to the human race. Carter found that by focusing himself on Goldman he could begin to shut out all the extraneous information and input and begin to feel again like a man, not just a mobile network interface.
Goldman wasn't a warm guy, which was good for Carter, but eventually he felt a need for more than the thrust-and-parry of "guy" conversation – he felt a need for real human contact, the kind of conversation guys only have with girls, and then only when they are alone and only when they really, really like the girl. Once he realized the need he was experiencing, memories of Amy flooded everything.
In his room alone, he broke down and cried, and cried, and cried. For the first time since she died, he felt fully human. Goldman watched the whole thing over an observation system about which Carter knew nothing. Goldman smiled broadly. On a nearby computer he called up his project notebook and made a simple entry, "Subject Ready."
The next day, the President dropped by for a visit. It was the first time Carter had seen the President since the day he agreed to all of this. As the President walked in, he nonchalantly greeted Carter with, "How's my terrorbuster?" wearing a very mischievous grin.
Carter looked up at the President and activated the mimicry stealth circuits that now were his skin and took on the appearance of the ugliest superhero costume anyone had ever seen. "Mr. President, this is a terrorbuster and I don’t want to be one."
The President laughed, hard. "I suppose you have decided you are Captain America then?"
In the blink of an eye, Carter became the spitting image of that comic hero, shield, chain-mail and all, "Well you have to admit, he cuts a pretty good jib."
The President laughed again, but Carter kept talking, "Sir, I do need a codename, and I’ve been thinking about it."
He moved in front of a nearby computer and activated the invisibility circuits. He began to shimmer and then blended perfectly with what was behind him. The effect was startling. It was as if he turned into a computer screen and keyboard. "Mr. President, I have become the first true 'Intelligent Interface.'"
"I-squared," chimed in Goldman from the corner.
The President just smiled and said, "So you have," then nodding to Goldman, "and so it will be."