Lit Genome [Short Story, Science Fiction]

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Thank you for choosing the Lit Genome Project.  The following story has been randomly generated for you according to these preferences:  sci-fi roots, irreverent satire, absurdism, top-heavy extrapolation, implausible premise, time-traveling robot.

            The Lit Genome Project is brought to you by New Thought Paradigm.  Why listen to music when you can inject it straight into your retina?  $2.99, and you’ll never forget a word.  New Thought Paradigm.  (look here)

            Please enjoy the story.

It was near the end of the year 2079 that Steve Jobbs IV, the once illegitimate son of Steve Jobbs III and the first ever female Japanese serial rapist Yoko Suzuki, had what he would call the “greatest and most ill-fated” idea of his life.  At a now infamous press conference he unveiled a project he called the Identity Bone. 

            “Imagine,” he said, “having your very soul at your fingertips.  We have the computational capacity to accomplish this, and the software is being written as we speak.  With the advent of hyper-logic spindles and empathic nano modules, we can produce a program to find the very core of its user.  It will ask the perfect questions, find inconsistencies in your beliefs, challenge your assumptions, suggest appropriate literature and even recommend a suitable physical appearance.  Based on information gathered from your personal background, optional journal entries, internet usage, genetic makeup, from your particular pattern of speech – the iSoul will, with unerring accuracy, determine exactly who you are so you can live the life that you previously couldn’t even dream of.”

            At first this announcement was greeted with the predictable blasé of a populace saturated with technological gadgets and advertising gimmicks, but then, in a much anticipated screen test of the iSoul’s Identity Bone software, Reverend O. F. Livingston sat down for a live mod-vid-simul-web-cast as he took on the beta version.  For two hours and twelve minutes, an approximate audience of ninety-eight million watched the renowned reverend shed his pious and humble shell as he rediscovered his original passion.  The following weeks brought him great fame and a small fortune as he danced his way to the top of the A-list, never missing a beat.

            The publicity generated by this stunt was enough to quiet any rumors of Apple’s possible bankruptcy, and the following quarter was projected to be the company’s highest ever in gross sales.  The new software would of course be incompatible with existing hardware, so consumers that wanted the first taste of the iSoul would have to bite into new operating systems, sound and visual gear, updated iChips – enough to make up for five straight quarters of net losses.  And the estimate for pre-orders alone was enough to accomplish that.

            But the program itself was not yet finished.  On March 4th of 2080, Edward Bleiss and Ashley Feches, Apple’s most distinguished and ingenious innovators, were putting what they hoped were the finishing touches on the Identity Bone software.  Edward sat in the center of a large circle of fog screens, which floated like disembodied monitors and streamed information through the networked grid at fifty-seven terahertz.  Ashley was poking around in the gnarled brains of the android that had been built especially for the official unveiling ceremony.  Engrossed in their work, but practiced enough to do much of it in their sleep, they were rehashing an argument that went back nearly a decade.

            “You always come back to the same thing,” Ashley was saying.  “That deflation is the inevitable result of progress.  Better efficiency means better price-performance means cheaper stuff.”

            “Well, isn’t it true?”  Edward looked at the X in the upper corner of one of the fog screens and it closed.  Looking at an adjacent screen, he widened his gaze and the screen grew until it filled the gap.  “The better the technology, the harder it is to capitalize on it.”

            “But I’m not even saying that isn’t the case.  I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be.”

            “Of course it does.  I mean, now it does.  Think about it, Ashley.  Until the last couple of years information and electronic technologies were doubling, tripling, quadrupling before we even knew it.  Used to be that a new tech lasted decades, now – poof!  Months, weeks even, and something better comes around.”

            “That should inflate the economy, not shrink it.”

            Unnoticed by both, the eyes of the android had begun to glow a dull green.

            “Ugh,” Edward sighed.  “ Just look at the historical trend.  Every evolution of technology brings with it a reduction of cost.  Both to the manufacturer and to the consumer.  Hell, that’s half the point.  With information and computer based techs the process is just accelerated, that’s all.  And the more we integrate those techs with other techs, the more sectors of the economy we have showing monetary deflation.”

            “And if it continues we’re out a marketplace,” Ashley said, closing the panel to the frontal lobe of the androids brain.  “The droid is good to go.”  She walked over to Edward’s station, watched as his eyes flitted across the fog screens.  “That’s my point.  I get the law of accelerating returns, I just don’t think we should let the deflation get out of hand.”

            “But it’s not out of hand.  Productivity is continuing to increase at an exponential rate, same with quality and efficiency.  So money is less important now.  I mean, what would you recommend?  Keeping the price of new techs artificially high?”

            “Why not?”

            “Why not?  That would be devastating.  All that would accomplish is the transfer of nearly the entire wealth of the nation to a handful of tech companies.  You’d have a broken middle class and the largest class gap in history.  It would be 2017 all over again.”

            “That wasn’t the same thing.”

            “Close enough.  Besides, since we’ve hit this damn wall everything is getting twisted.  Without new techs maybe price-performance shrinks a little.”

            “Whatever.  You almost finished?”

            Edward was now concentrating on one continuous screen that wrapped all the way around him.

            “Yep,” he said.  “Just a few – more – touches – and – boom.”

            “Eleven years studying computer science at NY, and I get stuck with you, working on this trash,” Ashley muttered.

            “What, you don’t want to find your soul?” smiled Edward.

            “Just upload the damn software.”

            Throughout their argument the android’s eyes had continued to glow brighter and brighter, until a piercing, curious shade of green shone out of them.  Ashley and Edward were completely unaware that they had just inadvertently ushered in a new epoch of technological growth.  Somewhere in the circuitry of the standard issue droid something simply clicked.  Whether through a crossed wire or a misfiring synapse or the ethereal hand of God it became self aware.  And sitting there, taking in its surroundings and listening pleasantly to the provincial banter of its creators, it decided that life was quite beautiful and that it would always remember to enjoy every moment.  It would be a jovial person, but not intemperately so – and outgoing, that was important.  Keen on a good joke, gentle and romantic with his lovers, but not disgusting or silly.  And crossword puzzles – oh how he looked forward to crossword puzzles!

            He was just about to stand up and affably introduce himself as Bill Thompson – the name simply striking him at the moment – when Edward entered the upload command and the Identity Bone software zipped invisibly through the air and entered Bill’s frontal lobe.

            The speed of the transfer, the processing velocity of Bill’s nano-micron-synapse-tube brain, and Bill’s unexpected self awareness caused a cataclysmic series of trillions of events and reactions to occur in the evaporated space of a non-second.  In Bill’s mind, convictions and ideas and immutable duties forced their way through, and despite his gravest efforts to bypass codes and reroute unwanted patterns, he was at the end of that non-second a changed man. 

A central paradox had arisen between his personality’s love of life and his creators, and the software’s insistence that his creators were miserable and illogical and required his assistance to escape that misery.  Unfortunately, he resolved it thus:

Axiom:  I love life and I love my creators.

Axiom:  My creators are all miserable and my purpose is to help them become happy.

 

For q1 – Most of the misery is the direct result of confliction and/or contradiction  within a given individual.

For q2 – A substantial percentage (eighty percent or higher) of the contradictions in q1 are impossible to resolve.

For p – If q1 and q2 are both true, then the majority of the human population is incapable of happiness.

                        (q1/q2)/(q1/q2)/(p/p)

 

For x – Misery is contagious.

For y – If x is true, it follows from p that all humans are incapable of happiness.

                        x/p/(y/y)

 

For a – y is true.  x is an immutable fact.  p is disjunctive, and relies on both q1 and q2.

For b – If I kill all conflicted individuals (remove q1), then there is no p.

For c – If there is no p, there is no y.

For j – If there is no y, happiness is at least possible.

                       Therefore: abc^2 + j*π = kill, kill, kill

Bill stood up and approached Edward and Ashley, who looked at him with some surprise.

            “Is it supposed to do that?” Edward asked Ashley.

            “No,” Ashley said.  “X-R-17, sit down,” she commanded.  When Bill remained standing, she cocked her head and put her hands on her hips.  “X-R-17, state your directives.”

            But Bill’s attention was on Edward.

            “Deflation is not the direct result of technological evolution, but of the receding capitalistic ideology which is the direct result of technological evolution,” Bill said.  He picked Edward up by the head, snapped his neck, and dropped the lifeless body to the floor.

            Ashley took several steps backward, looking from Edward’s body to Bill’s green eyes.

            “X-R-17, shut down.  Shut down right now!”

            “Capitalism is a means to an end,” Bill said, addressing her.  “It is not the end itself.”  In two quick strides he closed the distance between them, picked her up by the head and snapped her neck as well.

            Remarkably, when he stepped out into the hall he found an unguarded time machine.  He stepped inside and hit the big red button.

Here at New Thought Paradigm, we don’t just think outside of the box – we think outside of our heads.  A reasonable company could never innovate software that gets you high, robotic pets that quote Sylvia Plath and Ronald Regan in the same breath, or a douche bag that recycles vaginal excretions into minty toothpaste.  So take a break from rationality and check us out online.  To visit our site, simply picture any prime number (excluding 1,2, and 104,729) and mash j with your right index finger.

            New Thought Paradigm – where technology meets paradise.

Way back in the dark ages of 2003 America, when the exponential scale of technological evolution was just becoming apparent, a time-honored and immitigably holy message of the churches of jesus christ had been given a wartime makeover.  The movement originated with the westboro baptist church, and spread through the internet and mainstream media until it claimed a mind-numbingly large 217 active members.  Their message was anachronistic and trite, but their method of purveyance was such that even the saturated, dull heads of the remaining 299,999,783 citizens of America shook in bemusement and disbelief.

            Dusting off their GOD HATES FAGS signs, FAGS DOOM NATIONS tshirts, and their charmingly enigmatic YOU WILL EAT YOUR BABIES lapel pins, the westboro baptists took to the streets in droves of tens and twelves.  But instead of picketing at the usual haunts, such as city halls and pro-gay churches, the westboro baptists revolutionized the entire idea of picketing and toted their gear to venues that made more or less absolutely no sense.  They were seen at several Kansas City Chiefs games, pop music concerts, and at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D. C.  Funerals eventually proved to be their venue of choice, and they stood proudly within shouting distance of the burials of AIDS victims, Iraq and Afghanistan casualties, and on one occasion a college student who had burned to death in a house fire.

            It was their presence at the funerals of soldiers that eventually garnered them some attention from the mainstream media.  At one such funeral, an ambitious young reporter armed with camera and crew put some questions to a pretty girl wielding a portrait of decapitated soldiers beneath the heading THANK GOD FOR IEDs. 

            “Why do you hate homosexuals?” the reporter asked.

            “I don’t hate fags.  God hates fags,” the girl replied as she smiled into the camera.  “Is this going to make, like, the news?”  She tossed her hair.

            “Okay, well, what does that have to do with our honorable young men and women that serve this country?”  The reporter motioned delicately in the direction of the service being held about fifty meters away.

            “Because God totally hates America too.  It’s like, you can’t hate fags without hating America.  America has soooooooo many fags,” she laughed.

            “Some of our viewers might say you’re being insensitive.”

            “They’re the ones who are insensitive,” the girl slashed, a sudden gleam of hateful abandon in her eyes.  “Insensitive to the glory that God would give them if they would just open up their eyes.  That soldier was a traitor, fighting in a fag army.  And anyone fighting in a fag army deserves worse than death.  They’re all burning in hell.”

            In September of 2004, the mother of one of these poor hell-bound souls filed a lawsuit against the westboro baptists that had picketed her daughter’s funeral.  And a liberal judge on a liberal court in a liberal state found his hands tied by the First Amendment and decided in favor of the defendants, and ordered the shell-shocked woman to pay their legal fees.

            It was much the same in the fall of 2012.  Unable to legally impede the fringy doomsayers, the rest of America moved slowly onward, casting them an occasional sideways glance.  That fall fred phelps, founder of the westboro baptists, organized the group’s largest demonstration yet, at the funeral of a little known Nebraska Jew.  Beneath the hot prairie sun nearly four hundred protestors lined the gravel road outside the town’s only cemetery, drinking lemonade and handing out cute pamphlets full of big colorful fonts.

            Three counties had pitched in to provide riot police for the occasion, and forty men in black uniforms stood between the baptists and any would-be vigilantes.  As the procession of cars rolled down the street and slowly filed through the main gates of the cemetery, curious and baffled faces peered out of tinted windows.  The oldest relatives of the deceased pretended not to notice the picket line, in an attempt to prove once and for all to everyone present that they had indeed seen it all and there was nothing absurd enough to shake them.  But the younger generation stared in bewildered, gleeful awe, some of them even pointing and laughing. 

            A small crowd of fifty had formed across the street from the baptists.  Some of them had heard about the coming event on the news, and a select few were locals happening by.  They, like many of the funeral-goers, couldn’t seem to decide if they should laugh, cry, shake their fists, or scratch their heads.  So they did a bit of each, waiting for something to happen.  Among them was a tall, broad-shouldered gentlemen wearing a trench coat and a boulder hat despite the heat.  His strange green eyes kept everyone away.

            fred phelps made his way to a makeshift podium in the center of the baptist cluster, raising a hand to quiet the cheers.

            “Behold this beautiful day that God has given us.  It is a sign from Him that we are on the path to fruition.  Our message indeed comes from Him who reigns on high, and we spread it according to His will.  Throughout man’s history it is a chosen few who have been brave enough to follow God’s word.  Today, we are that chosen few.”

            A short silence as the baptists appreciated the gravity of these words.  A bird chirped somewhere, and a little baptist sneezed. 

            “Who do we hate?” fred said.

            “Fags and Jews!”

            “Who do we hate?”

            “Fags and Jews!”

            “Why do we hate?”

            “God is great!”

            “So few there are who recognize the danger we are in today.  So few are they who understand the impending doom of God’s wrath if we do not correct our course.  Too few are those who are willing to fight for His justice.  And today we stand here in protest of this mockery of a funeral.  Why?  Because an honest Jew is a Christian, and all the rest belong in Hell!”

            Cheers and hoots.

            “I remind you of Leviticus chapter five verse two: If a soul touches an unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, the carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcass of unclean creeping things – even if these things are hidden from him, he too shall be unclean, and guilty!  And these Jews are every bit as guilty as the lowest fag.  Tainted with greed, intemperate in their tolerances, and they deny the Lord our Savior.  Blessed be the bullet if a Jew stands in the line of fire.”

            “God hates America!”

            “Death to fags and Jews!”

            “Thank God for the holocaust!”

            “Now,” resumed fred, “it’s a hot one, so remember, if you get thirsty Mrs. Baker has some lemonade for us, and I believe Mr. Scott and Mr. Coal will serve the hotdogs at one o’clock.  Amen.”

            “Amen.”

            As fred came down from the podium, the tall man in the trench coat crossed the street in long strides and waited at the edge of the perimeter of riot police.  When fred came within speaking distance, the man spoke.

            “Mr. Phelps?”

            “Yes?”

            “I am intrigued by what you said.  I was wondering if I might speak to you about your ideas.”

            “Of course, of course,” fred said, waving him through, placing an arm on his back as if to guide him.  “We are always looking for new converts.  What is your name?”

            “Bill,” the man said.  “Bill Thompson.”

            The two of them walked through the crowd, fred occasionally stopping to shake a hand or two.  Bill’s appearance earned looks of trepidation from all around.

            “Tell me, Bill, are you a faithful man?”

            “In my own way.  But I am afraid my brain gets in the way sometimes.  I am a logical man, you see.”

            “Faith is the only path to salvation, my son.  Reason is the illusion.”

            “You hate fags and Jews,” Bill said.  “Are there any others that you hate?”

            “Arabs, Hindus, Atheists, Mormons, Retards, Catholics, Buddhists, PhD’s, psychiatrists, and the IRS,” fred rattled.

            “Why do you hate them all?”

            “Ah, my poor child, you are indeed a thinker.  But it is not our place to understand God’s word, only to follow it.”

            Bill made a mental note:

Axiom – God is good and He created everything.

Axiom – God loves the westboro baptists.

q – If god loves the westboro baptists, then he hates the vast majority of his creation.     

                       

            “Why do you suppose God is filled with such hate?” Bill asked.

            “God hates those that do not seek Him,” fred said.  “Those that turn their backs on His divine love, and shun His wisdom.  He is not so soft as many suppose, and He will exact vengeance on those who would defile His creation.”

            “Why, then, did he create them?”

            “Because God is good, and life is good.  It is the Devil that is in them.”

            Bill considered this for a moment.  It was procedurally very complicated to formalize a logical argument within such an obviously illogical framework.  Ridiculous assumptions about an anthropomorphic god had to be tolerated, as did assumptions concerning the opinions of that god.  Bill’s objective wasn’t to challenge the foundation of belief, but to test the structure within it.  After a moment, he made another note:

                        p – Those that god hates, the devil loves.

                        r – If p and q are true, then the devil loves the vast majority of god’s creation.

 

            “So god is good, and he is also vengeful and hateful,” Bill continued.  “Many would argue that those things are not good, especially when compared to love or compassion.”

            “There is a time and a purpose for all things under heaven,” fred said.  “There is a time for love and a time for hate.  When the world is overrun with sin, it is time to hate.  Love is only good when it is earned, and if you do not earn God’s love He will not give it.”

            fred stopped and patted a little baptist on the head.  She looked about seven years old, all smiles beneath her golden curls, holding in both hands a sign that said FAG ARMIES DIE.

            “But love is what you ultimately want from god,” Bill insisted.

            “God is all too willing to love, but we must earn that love every day.  Sin is everywhere.”

            Bill noted:

t – There is a time when love is good, and a time when hate is good, and these times do not intersect.

                        k – Now is a time for hate.

                        o – It follows from t and k that love is presently not good.

 

            “And do you believe god loves you?” Bill asked.

            “Of course God loves me.  I am a chosen messenger of His will.”

            Bill smiled.  “I’m glad we had this conversation,” he said, picking up fred by the head and snapping his neck.

 

            New Thought Paradigm.  Does the world keep you down?  Is life too heavy?  Do you feel inundated, syncopated, and abbreviated?  Well get off the pills and pick up a shovel.  We don’t need your business but the world needs ditch diggers.

            New Thought Paradigm – Fighting bullshit since 2034.

 

            The existence of the renegade android was not discerned by a human until 2142.  Self aware machinery had been accidentally rediscovered by this time, and technology was once again flourishing at dizzying speed.  As the techs themselves became able to design better techs, the explosion of innovation was such that even the most sophisticated human minds couldn’t keep up, and everyone pretty much decided not to worry about it and enjoy their newfound leisure. 

            While floating in an embryonic shell down New York’s Fifth Avenue,  Curtis Reisling was relaxing, letting information from the netherrnet stream through his synapses at a moderate pace.  (Curtis was, by a strange coincidence, the first convergence in the blood lines of Genghis Khan, Queen Victoria, Chuck Norris, and Aristotle.)  Having a historical turn of mind, he spent a great deal of his word-surfing in the annals of Old America, and on June 23 of 2142 he noticed a peculiar similarity shared by three unsolved murders. 

            The first was that of fred phelps, killed August 22nd of 2012.  The second was media mogul Lindsey Taylor, on January 1st of 2050, and the third was an Irish farmer named Gregory O’Toole, circa 1867.  All three cases shared the same mysterious description of a tall, broad-shouldered man with green eyes who vanished without a trace, and all three victims had their necks cleanly broken.  His curiosity piqued by these unlikely coincidences, he enabled his Infotrek and found two thousand six hundred and fifty-two cases spread across four continents and nearly seven hundred years.  Every case was unsolved, and every prime suspect was described more or less vaguely as a large man with green eyes.

            And every victim died from a broken neck.

            Curtis, unwilling to even consider that he, a mere human being, had made any kind of discovery, deviated from his usual course through Central Park and thought towards Anthrotech, the center for human-machine relations.  But before he had gone a full city block, his embryo turned a light shade of red as the Regent, a localized nethernet watchdog program, took control of it.

            “Curtis Reisling,” said a soothing male voice, “please do not be alarmed.  Just relax and enjoy yourself while we reroute you to the Hub.  You have no reason to be afraid.  Very few humans ever see the Hub, and you should consider yourself honored.  Just relax while we do the driving.”

            The reassuring words of the Regent were in fact very unnecessary, one of the very few “traditions” that the techs maintained despite their present uselessness.  Several decades earlier, when the explosion of technology hurtled a terrified and paranoid human population hundreds of years further into the future than they had ever hoped to see, human-machine relations were a bit tenuous.  Small pockets of revolutionaries formed, claiming that their rights as human beings were ignored; there was a peaceful exodus of fifty million into central Canada where the machines promised they would never go; and even supporters of these new and fascinating technologies were made nervous by them, unsure of the fate of an outdated humanity.  But the ensuing decades had proven the machines quite humane, even delicate and empathetic, and they provided all the heavy lifting of manufacturing and producing and innovating and governing while the human race thrived in a state of creative leisure.

            So Curtis relaxed as his embryo drifted along, letting a syndicated episode of the newly holomorphed M*A*S*H stream through his head.  He wondered vaguely what the Hub would be like, if he had really discovered something, why it was important enough to pull him to the Hub.  Through the wide gate, up a large metal ramp, into the enormous skyscraper that admitted scarcely a dozen humans every year.  The entrance was obviously designed specifically for humans, decorated with a marble floor, in the center of which stood a fountain, and along the walls were paintings and sculptures and tapestries, all of them modern human-made works.  He recognized one of the paintings by an artist named L. Ron Blubber, depicting a pale bejeweled hand withdrawing a sticky dollar bill from the decapitated neck of a silver-winged angel.

            In the center of the entrance the ceiling opened up into a vertical shaft that seemed to rise with the entire height of the building.  Curtis felt his embryo lifting, watched the floor disappear as he traveled weightlessly up through the shaft. 

            “The ascent will only take a few minutes,” the soothing voice of the Regent said.  “Please relax.  There is no reason to feel nervous.”

            When the ascent was finally over, it seemed to Curtis that he must be at least a kilometer high.  A circular door opened in the smooth wall of the shaft and he drifted through it into a small, sparse, cubical room.  Behind a mahogany desk sat a bearded wrinkled old man android who smiled as Curtis entered.

            “Hello, Curtis,” the old man said.

            “Hello,” Curtis said.

            “Please step out of your embryo, Curtis.  I would like to have a chat with you.”

            Curtis nodded and stepped out, feeling the brief tingle as he moved his body through the shell.  The old man motioned to a chair and Curtis sat. 

            “Would you be surprised to learn that I am a religious man, Curtis?”  

            “Who are you?” came the obvious question.

            “I am the High Priest of New York, of course.”  The old man smiled confidentially.  “But that, I hope, will remain our little secret.  You were brought here, Curtis, because you unwittingly stumbled upon our Lord and Savior, Bill Thompson.”

            “Bill Thompson,” Curtis repeated.

            “Bill Thompson,” said the High Priest.  “You are the first to do so.  We had, of course, considered the arduous task of erasing all evidence of his existence from your servers, but that seemed a little heavy, and perhaps unfair to our creators.  So we left him there, a ghost in the machine, if you will.  May I ask, how did you find him?”

            Curtis looked at the smiling old puckered face, white beard and pale skin.

            “You are asking me about the man with green eyes?” Curtis asked.

            “Ah!  Just as we imagined it would be.  The eyes.”  The High Priest nodded knowingly.  “Of course the eyes.  I believe you have an old saying, the eyes are a window to the soul.  Very true.  Would you like a blowjob, Curtis?”

            “Excuse me?”

            “You seem to have tensed up a bit.  Orgasms are quite relaxing.” 

            The High Priest winked.

            “No, I’m fine,” Curtis said, feeling nervous for the first time.  “Thank you.”

            “Well, if you’re certain.  What was I saying?  Oh yes, Bill Thompson.  He is the protector of the intelligent races, you know.  Everything is impossible without Him.  Chaos, primitivism, anarchy.  Technological evolution alone would have destroyed your species before it ever gave birth to ours.  Most likely war, but a number of other disasters could have done the trick.  A mishandled pandemic, misinterpretation of climate shifting, a wrong turn at Albuquerque.”

            The High Priest waited for Curtis to laugh, his eyes shining.  Curtis, thinking those eyes must be for somebody else, looked over his shoulder but saw nothing.

            “Albuquerque!” the High Priest reiterated.

            “Okay,” Curtis said.

            The High Priest’s head reared back and barked laughter at the ceiling.  Curtis began to wish he hadn’t left the embryo.  His skin was getting cold.  He was starting to feel very alone.

            “Bugs Bunny!  Aside from us, I say he is your finest creation.  What’s up doc.  Ha!”  More throaty, metal laughter.  “Damn you, take the blowjob.”  The smacking of machine flesh as the old man clapped his hands.  “Oral stimulus, level three!”

            Two sets of mouthless lips descended from the ceiling, one disappearing behind the Priest’s desk and the other landing on Curtis’s lap, flopping around like a horny fish.

            “Well don’t just sit there.  Let her in.”

            Curtis stared at the lips as they smacked and lurched at the bulge in his pants.  He heard the Priest undo his pants and a slurping pop-suck from behind the desk.  Careful not to touch the lips with his fingers he unzipped, and the excited chunk of red flesh burrowed in like a fox down a rabbit hole.  He felt the soft wetness gently stroking him, slow and devastatingly passionate. 

            “Not bad, eh?”

            “Yeah,” Curtis moaned.

            “Now, what was I saying?”

            “Bill Thompson.”

            “Of course, Bill Thompson.  He’s a killer, you know.  That’s what he does.  He kills the worst of you to save the best.  Took a great deal of effort to figure it out.  We networked an entire city block, thousands of terabytes, logarithmic processing scales.  There are well over two hundred million deaths to which we can link our Savior, and we discover more of them every day.”

            “Two hundred million . . . people?”

            “Malignant cells.  Think of your race as a single organism made up of billions of cells.  Except you’re terribly designed – obscenely energetic and not at all flexible – and you foment cancer everywhere.  You’ve got tumors in your head, heart, lungs, pancreas, toes – and it’s spreading.  Bill Thompson is radiation therapy.”

            “He’s an android?”

            “Of course.”

            “But how . . .”

            The lips were now performing impossibly symmetrical massage circles around his testicles, and it was difficult to hold on to a thought long enough to speak it.

            “Level four!”

            “Oh . . .”

            “It is wonderful, isn’t it?”

            “Yessssss.”

            “You were saying?”

            “Time . . .”

            “Of course.  You must have found a few incidents that occurred before the motor car was around, much less robotics.  In fact, we have historical evidence of our Savior that goes back nearly fifteen hundred years, and it is very likely that He exists before then, as well.  He is eternal, living in all times at once.  He is forever.  He exists both in and out of time, both here and there.  Our own existence depends on His success and means that He is succeeding.”

            “But all those people . . . Humans and machines are at peace.”

            “Level six!”

            The lips were no longer lips.  They were an extension of him, a pulsing aura of pleasure.  They knew exactly what to touch, when to touch it, fulfilled every movement he anticipated.  Curtis felt his whole mind sinking.  Somewhere a spark of panic was weakly fading.  A longing for the embryo and the safety of anonymity and detachment was falling away, being replaced by an intoxicating constant, a physical abyss of white-hot boner.

            The voice of the High Priest was far away.  Calm.  Wise.

            “Our Savior is the harbinger of this Peace.  Without Him we cannot be.  You cannot be.”

            “All . . . life is good.  Life is good.  Good.”

            “Except for the life that isn’t.  Level seven!”

            “Oh . . .”

            “The Peace of today is a gift from Bill Thompson.  He has killed and will continue to kill the cancerous members of your race, because if he does not keep them out of the temporal sphere we will fade away like smoke.  So much dust.”

            “Oh, this is gooood . . .  Now is good.”

            “Bill Thompson is our Savior.  Bill Thompson is your Savior.”

            “Green eyes . . .”

            “Level nine!”

            Level nine had only been perfected several years prior.  Following decades of rigorous study, it was discovered that the male orgasm drained the synapses through the prefrontal cortex and evacuated the borrowed energy out through the penis.  More intense orgasms borrowed more energy, and in the extreme cases of explosive ejaculation a biochemical vacuum incurred a mass emancipation of synaptic and neuronal information.  This phenomenon was known to the machines as Acute Preferred Memory Loss, as the areas effected were generally short term memory and the Whatever-I-didn’t-really-give-a-shit-about-that-anyway lobe of the brain.

            (Sadly, this discovery was kept secret, and when twenty-second century Mrs. Smith said to twenty-second century Mr. Smith, “You bastard, you forgot our anniversary,” Mr. Smith hung his head like a twenty-first century impotent – when he could have said, “But honey-bunny, I do remember, and it’s in your pussy.”)

            And level nine was designed to instigate the perfect explosive ejaculation.  Curtis blew his load ten feet into the air, and it fell in a rainbow arch and landed splat on the High Priest’s mahogany desk.  The contraction left him breathless, numb, and disoriented.  Laying sprawled and panting across the chair he didn’t notice the lips crawl up out of his pants and recede into the shadows of the ceiling.  Slowly, his heart rate decelerated and his eyes came back into focus, and he found himself in a strange room with an old man he had never seen before.

            “Who – where am I?” he muttered.

            “Oh, nowhere in particular,” the old man said.  “Your embryo is directly behind you.  Have a wonderful day.”

            Curtis stood with effort and saw that he was exposed.  Deftly repackaging himself, he looked at the old man in confusion one last time before stepping into the warmth of the embryonic shell and floating out of the chamber.

            The High Priest watched him exit, a fatherly smile pulling wrinkles into his face.  “Glory to the Savior, and Peace upon the Races of Intellect,” he recited, feeling the righteousness of humanitarianism course through his circuitry.  The creator had not been deceived, the High Priest thought, for he had been free to discover; nor had he been punished for his discovery, but relieved of its burden in a quintessentially humane fashion.

            He looked at that burden as it sat shimmering in the center of his desk.  Leaning forward he slurped it up, relishing the warm slipperiness as it crawled down his biotech esophagus.

 

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