An essay by Derek Wright, as provided by Michael Monaco
Art by Luke Spooner
Bell told me about it over pancakes.
“It’s like these robots, okay? They go in your head. And they make you psychic.”
I hacked at the pancakes. Our waitress was surly, and the pancakes reminded me of her. “The fuck you talking about now?”
Bell sighed. She could sigh like it was an art form. She was the Yo Yo Ma of sighing. “These robots, Derek. You get them put in your brain. And they like pick up on your electricity and other peoples’ electricity, and they make you psychic.”
“I’m not a neurosurgeon or whatever. But that’s what I heard about. They have them in alpha now, for like really rich California-brand yuppies.”
“It’s Google Glass all over again.”
She shrugged, clearly done with my shit. “I just thought you might be able to write a piece about it for that tech blog you keep talking about.”
“Yeah, maybe.” The waitress approached, and I redoubled my efforts on the pancakes.
An excerpt from the Neurobots website:
“For centuries, man has struggled to communicate using only language as a tool. Whether written or spoken, language is a MEANS to an END: transmitting ideas from one brain to another. Now, for the first time in human history, we have found a way to bypass language entirely.
“Enter NEUROBOTS. NEUROBOTS are able to pick up on the electronic impulses that go into creating an idea. Basically, they read your brain. Then, they can transmit that information as data to any other NEUROBOT network within thirty metres. This information is processed by the receiving NEUROBOT network, et voila–your thought has leapt from your mind to the mind of your friend, family member, or coworker.
“LANGUAGE is an obstacle to COMMUNICATION, and we have removed that final obstacle. Welcome to the future of interpersonal contact.”
I got in touch with Jen. Jen runs UberGeek, a division of the Roflcom website network. I like to pretend that I write for UberGeek sometimes. They pay decent, for a tech blog, but you can’t make a living on that shit. If it wasn’t for Bell, I’d be living in a dumpster somewhere trying to eke out a meager life on foodie blogging or something.
“Jen–hey. Hope all is well. Have you been following this ‘neurobot’ stuff? Do you have anyone doing a piece on it yet? Because I’d love to cover it. Let me know, Derek Wright Freelance Writer University of Minnesota Class of 2013 English”
Jen is tough. She is a champ. You’d have to be, to run a tech blog. UberGeek brings in a good five hundred thousand hits a month, which is not exactly chump change in the blogosphere. And Jen is behind it all. I’ve never met her in person, and sometimes Bell and I like to imagine what she looks like. I could probably find out on Facebook or something–Bell always suggests it, but I shoot her down like she’s flying a Zero and I had family at Pearl Harbor.
I picture Jen as in her early thirties (not unlike myself), with a modest dye job in her hair–a blue streak, maybe, or red highlights. She has piercings (very unlike myself), but acts like they’re no big deal. She wears graphic t-shirts under blazers (geek chic, very like myself) and generally presents herself as a no-nonsense-but-still-cool-geek-lady. This is how I imagine Jen.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.
Derek Wright is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis with his infinitely-more-competent girlfriend Bell. Derek graduated in 2013 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English Literature. Derek specializes in writing on science & technology news, and is currently working on the Next Great American Novel–working title is Sun Over a Southern Jungle.
Michael is a blogger, writer, and admin assistant extraordinaire from Washington, D.C. He graduated from William & Mary with a degree in Linguistics and Creative Writing. His greatest fears are crocodiles and failure, and he loves writing speculative fiction even more than he loves his neurotic Boston Terrier.
Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.Follow us online: