Re: The Show Must Go Off

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Herr D

The Show Must Go Off–part nine

As far as I know, I’m the only one who could possibly have the problem I have. My secret data-retrieval packets almost never return, and, when they do, they have never found a single reference to StayNeur maintenance, upgrades, or replacements. I knew I was taking a chance when I stole one of the prototypes and subbed it in for a standard netjack. The surgeon bot had been easy enough to hack into and feed it the schematics and surgery protocols. It had been even easier to delete the memory after my recovery. It had been RIDICULOUSLY easy to swap identity files with my mark. What was dangerous? Revamping the software of an untested implant without full knowledge of the specs. Some of it wasn’t online or even written down. Anywhere. The inventor had died before he applied for a patent or finished his basic documentation.
I had drooled over the specs I had. ‘Emotional Valence Software’ was supposed to give an edge in counseling, negotiations with over-emotional people, etc. — I saw a con man’s slide rule. ‘Data Evaluation Booster’ could have a person cross-checking with up to two thousand pages at speeds fast enough for an instant reply. The problem was a thousand of those pages were the Bible. A well-meaning tech designer had designed the first implant for seminarians, clergy, and it had never been accepted. Just stolen by me.
Wouldn’t you know it, the inventor had thought of EVERYTHING! Clergy shouldn’t have to go to confession or beg forgiveness of their congregation, or anything traditional like that! They should just automatically make log entries concerning all acts outside their normal character and any serious ones outside the hard-wiring.
Yeah. Hard-wiring. Can’t hack past that. All I could do was develop work-arounds and hope they were enough. I dumped several books of the Bible, including all of the ‘begats’ and compressed all the ones I thought of as repeats. I couldn’t dump the Ten Commandments.
The lying and stealing was easy. I never had lived without that. Sex was easier to do without most of the time–kept me out of trouble. None of the other sins seemed to be a problem. But I’d never killed anyone.
Powering down the StayNeur as if for an EMP burst reduced it. But I had maybe ten seconds when it came back up to declare my intentions in detail so they’d log in the device and not start causing me problems. It could send messages confessing everything I’d ever done if I didn’t satisfy it. Ever try to soul-search yourself and justify it to a MACHINE with a hard-wired ethics set in a denomination you don’t understand in ten seconds? While you’re distracted by the blood covering you and you DON’T have it’s help to not throw up? That ten seconds will stay with me forever. I felt artificial guilt, excessive nausea, panic, everything you could imagine. I still have nightmares about that. And it was all in self-defense. I WOULDN’T BE ALIVE–AND PASSIVE SUICIDE IS A WORSE SIN. Or so I really do believe. I’m not clergy.