Wired

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is the naer future. Instead of typing information by hand, people can send data directly from their brains via wired connections between their heads and the processors. But change is on the horizon; The kind of change that has reknowned author, Robert Dick to do something crazy to try anbd stop it. All for the sake of some wires!

Submitted: September 29, 2009

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Submitted: September 29, 2009

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Wired

It was a beautiful spring day in Newark, California in the year 2030.  Renowned novelist and amateur programmer, Robert Dick, was working on his latest piece, when he got the upsetting news. It came in the form of an instant e-mail that took up most of his screen. He read it once then read it through a second time just to be sure of what he was seeing. It wasn’t possible! The very idea was insane. Yet there it was in the message that flashed across his screen.

Robert angrily unplugged himself from his processor, barely stopping to save his work, and stormed out of his study. Five minutes later, he was arguing with his wife, Janice in the kitchen.

“It’s outrageous,” he fumed pacing, “preposterous. They can’t possibly think it’ll work”

“Honey, your wires,” protested Janice, “You know I don’t like to talk to you when you have those hideous things on! They look like dreadlocks and they’re a danger to everyone around you. Why, you’re practically a walking appliance”

“This guy, Bill what’s-his-face is tampering with things beyond his comprehension doing this,” argued Robert, removing the electrodes from his wrinkled forehead, “A wireless connection for the Thought Interface Network Kinesis devices? It’s insane, it’s rash, it’ll cause more chaos and problems than it’ll solve.” The Thought Interface Network Kinesis or THINK devices were the systems that many people, like Robert, who relied heavily on computers used to make their lives easier. Many people simply referred to them as wires, which, in essence, they were. They processed commands directly into useable data based directly on what the brain gave them. Potentially, this enabled anybody to create anything, and not just documents. Yet there were still actual programmers due certain requirements, like experience in manual programming, to keep the market open to only the professionals.

“So what does this have to do with you?” His wife wanted to know.

“Apparently I’ve been invited to the symposium luncheon and exhibition for the unveiling today down at a hotel by the Microsoft building. It seems that I’m renowned enough to represent my field of people reliant on the THINK. That’s what the Insta-mail invite said”

“And what are you going to do,” demanded Janice, “You’re only one person. Besides, change will happen whether you like it or not.”

   “I don’t know,” Robert said, “Perhaps I could try to find enough people opposed before the unveiling to support me in an opposing motion. If not I could put a stop to it before it goes global,”

“Robert,” she said putting her dainty hands on her nice ample hips, framing her voluptuous body in a pout, “this is not the media with a libelous news scandal,”

“Did I tell you how cute you are when you talk legal terms?” Janice was a corporate lawyer, who particularly dealt with the businesses created due to technological advancements.

“I hear that every time you want to change the subject, now when is this event?”

“The luncheon starts at twelve,” he said, “The unveiling takes place directly after.” 

There was a pause as Robert glanced at the clock, and then he spoke again. “Can I please get going? I have to get ready, it’s at least 43 minutes from here to  that exact Location in Silicon Valley, and it’s already a quarter to eleven.”

“Just promise me you won’t do anything rash okay?” Robert didn’t know what to say to that. He went with his gut. He looked his wife in the eyes as he caressed her amber hair reassuringly.

“I won’t do anything rash,” he promised. It wasn’t a total lie. Janice hadn’t specified what was considered rash.

In less than fifteen minutes, Robert was clean-shaven, nicely dressed, and on the road to Silicon Valley. The trip took a good forty three plus minutes, as he had predicted.  During the drive, Robert went over his plan of action. His ultimate plan was his utmost concern. It was the one which needed to be most carefully executed. If he did it before the unveiling, he would never make it out, and he would wind up in jail for attempted sabotage. Doing the deed after the symposium was also out of the question. It was quite possible that security would be more vigilant as guests were leaving than when they were arriving, or even when everyone was inside, enjoying themselves.  If it came down to this, Robert decided, the best time to go through with it would be right under everyone’s nose. Hopefully this Bill Character would allow a test of his system. That was the only possible hitch. Once it was carried out, he could always act like something had come up or he wasn’t feeling alright and leave early.

Finally, Robert arrived at the hotel. He took a quick look around. It was the same story every time. Nobody who had been here, even within the past five years, would recognize anything. There was solar paneling everywhere. Some buildings where bigger, others smaller, and some were gone all together. It was the technological equivalent of Vegas. Robert leaned over and checked his expression in his side-view mirror. His face was set and tense. He relaxed himself with a mantra he’d made up for stressful situations and strolled casually into the hotel lobby.

Robert approached the guard at the front desk. He kept track of his breathing, pulse, and heart rate as his brainwaves were scanned. He was thankful the scanners couldn’t read thoughts. He then, made his way into Gallery C where the event was being held.

The atmosphere within the gallery was borderline festive. There were crowds of well dressed men and a few women as well. There were waiters and waitresses passing out hors d'oeuvres. There was even a small buffet table lined with heating trays full of hot food as well as plates full of sandwiches. Robert soon located the display area. The device sat on a low table under a veil of sorts with a shape Robert guessed was a folded up processor. He noted, by looking up, that the entire apparatus was in the blind spot of the security cameras, oddly enough. It was too easy. He could, for all intents and purposes, do it now. Robert was distracted by a familiar voice. He turned to see Thomas Shane.

“Bob? Is that you? It’s your old roomy, Tom,” Robert had known Thomas
since he began college. He had shared a room with the aspiring programmer for four years before graduating. Surely, he would help. Robert extended his hand to greet his good friend.

“Hey, Tom, it’s good to see you. Listen, about this new device…”

“Isn’t it great,” Tom interrupted, “It’ll free us from those awful wires. We can work further away from our consoles. We…” then he noticed Robert’s expression.

“Of course it could have some major setbacks,”

“Thanks for trying to reassure me Tom,” sighed Robert.

There was little time to talk, as more and more people picked out either Robert or Thomas. Every time Robert tried to raise his concerns, his thoughts were interrupted. It was almost as if someone or something was conspiring against him. Finally, the luncheon ended, and an elderly gentleman with messy, thinning hair approached a podium that had been set up next to the device. He cleared his throat.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of all fields here represented,” he began, “Each of you are familiar with the current THINK system. In a few moments, an invention that is bound to revolutionize that system will be unveiled for the very first time. First, however I would like to thank inventor, William Gates III for being here in person on this auspicious day. Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, Mr. William Gates III”  

There was a brief amount of polite applause as William, a slightly short, pasty faced man with thick frames, took the podium. “I’m not big on words, so…” With a flourish, William Gates III removed the covering of his display. Sitting there, looking somewhat like old blue tooth receivers, were three electrode nodes. Plugged into the processor was what Robert could only speculate to be a wireless receiver. William began to explain with mush gusto.

“The L3 wireless THINK is the first of its kind. The benefits of not being limited, by wire length, to just a few feet away from the screen is immediately obvious,” he explained, “but it doesn’t stop there. Because the wireless is based on the same technology used by the latest cellular phones, one can be miles away from their computer and still be able to use it. The only thing the computer needs to be is on.”

The enterprising young man behind the podium paused for breath and continued. “Because the signal is different coming from these than from cell phones, there is not only no need to worry about crossed signals between the two, and there is no need for any government to sink more money into new satellite systems.”

“I will now hand over the floor to you, the user of THINK for questions, comments and concerns,” said William, “nothing? Well in that case…”

“What about battery power?” All eyes were on Robert in an instant

“All L3 wireless THINK systems will come with charger ports and never completely lose their charge,” William countered.

“What about ELF radiation? Granted, it was no problem in the eighties and nineties, despite the hype, but these will be connected directly to the head,”

“This factor was fully accounted for during the testing stage,”

“What about mixed signals,” Robert began

“I went over this, sir. You’re wasting my patience,” huffed William

“Let me elaborate, then,” said Robert, “I meant signals from brainwaves. I don’t want to come home or even be at home and find someone else’s words or programming in the middle of my document.” There was murmur in the crowd at this suggestion.

“I can see you are going to find fault with my system unless you try it so why don’t you come on up here and prove to everyone that it works flawlessly,”

This was the opportunity Robert had been waiting for. He stepped up to the processor and attached the electrodes to his temples. The computer was already on. He issued the command Web Access. He followed this up with the command to bring up his e-mail. This was the moment of truth.

As part of his amateur programming, Robert had come up with two ideas. Only one had gone public. It was his anti-hacking and phishing contingency software. With new age hackers using their brains to hack systems and phish, documents, new countermeasures had to be made. Robert’s system set up a unique tracer and attached it to valuable documents at the users will. Hacker was traced and caught with the document still in hand within seconds of it being phished. The other program was a virus Robert had created on an unregistered computer in his basement. It could be automatically activated by a signal he added to his tracers for when his documents got phished. The other method was by opening it from an e-mail. Before he had left, Robert had mailed the virus to himself. The virus would destroy all hard drive information on any computer on which the e-mail was opened, then move on to any computer sharing a network with it, after which, it would hibernate until a restore was attempted. The virus would then wipe the disks as they entered the processor. The brilliance of it, was that using an e-mail activation meant it would be dormant for twenty four hours.

Robert had to admit, at least to himself, that the system worked well. Still, here he was determined to make it not work at all. No time for second thoughts. He had to go through with it. This wireless crap was not worth the trouble it caused. Surely, signals would be lost like with cell phones. That was as bad as crossed signals. No; this was not a trend that would take hold while Robert Dick was alive. He cherished his reliable wires. He issued the command Sign out and Log off.  Then, he removed the electrodes and put on his best dizzy face.

“Excuse me, I must leave, I’m sorry I doubted your technology, William Gates was it?”

“The third, yes; Are you sure you’re quite alright sir? You seem quite pale,” said the unsuspecting William.

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” replied Robert not stopping to turn around,”

Within another forty three minutes or so, Robert was back home with no one the wiser. The next day, he was at his processor as usual when an e-mail notice popped up. The sender’s name was private, but the address was B-Gates3@yahoo.com. Robert’s heart dropped into his stomach. He immediately began saving his files to disc after disc at a rapid-fire pace. Only after saving everything of importance, did he dare open the e-mail.

Ha, ha,  ha,  ha.  You think your little virus could stop me? Well it can’t.  The L3 will go global whether you like it or not. Nice virus by the way, but it’s nothing compared to what a real programmer can do. This will not only wipe your processor, it will literally fry your brain. You have fifteen minutes starting from the beginning of this message. Heh, good luck!

Robert frantically grabbed the plugs and yanked them just as the first jolt arrived. He moved his arms and legs. He twitched his fingers. He attempted thought processes. All seemed fine. He tried to speak. “My name…is Robert Nicholas Dick,” The virus had slurred his speech a little. He would never speak quite as quickly, but with effort, he was able to speak clearly.

Robert carried his discs downstairs and powered on the unregistered processor. He plugged himself in and sealed off the virus in a triple redundancy file program and off loaded it to flash drive. Then, Robert uploaded all the data from his old computer.

“Well, Mr. Gates III,” he said to himself, “you win this round, but this war is far from over,”        

    

 

  

  

  


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