Thursday, 20 April 2017

In God we Trust

[Media prompt] Facebook shares brain-control ambitions.
In God we Trust

Mark Zunkerberg, or what remained of him, seethed silently in his saline solution. This resulted in an infinitesimal temperature upswing, which was just enough to raise the alarm in the room next door.

“What is it now?” thought Dr. Lee, the duty physician who had been hitherto relaxing to the opening movement of Chubby Checker’s Symphony in C Major. He stood and looked through the window into what they all called Bunker Zunker, then checked vital sign readouts.

“Feeling a little annoyed are we?” he said, dialling the climate control down half a degree.

Chubby Checker had started to sing, his rich baritone rising above the strings, and Dr. Lee turned his eyes to the surface and let the music soar through him. It was no fun spending his Sunday afternoons three thousand feet below the site of the old Denver International Space Station, but at least he could play his favourite music without anyone complaining.

Ensuring the integrity of the Zunkerberg central processing unit was no small honour, so it would be a mistake to think Dr. Lee was in any way dismissive of the duty assigned him. Quite the opposite. Along with the millions of other inhabitants on Earth, he knew that any interruption to the smooth operation of the Zunkerberg CPU would spell the end of life as they knew it. The responsibility was enormous, and his heart swelled with pride whenever he remembered that he was one of only five people with the knowledge to preserve the entire world.

Dr. Lee looked into the bunker again. Sitting squarely in the middle of its four well-lit white walls was a concrete and steel alter, upon which sat a glass dome as old as the ages. Older than the Church of the Virgin Momo, and more than likely older than Rockditch itself. Inside the dome was the CPU upon which they all depended, floating serenely in its salty bath. Well, not always serenely, reflected Dr. Lee. It did have a propensity towards unpredictability. Like the time it made the remaining whites convert to Hijadilam. But that was before Dr. Lee’s time.

At four o’clock, Dr. Lee prepared to handover to … to someone whose name he had momentarily forgotten. No matter. It would come to him. He had been down here so long that his mind played tricks on him. Time seemed to go on forever, which was logically impossible. He sometimes felt a sliver of something, to call it doom would be a bridge too far, but a crack that opened and let in the dark night. And in those moments, fleeting as they were, Dr. Lee saw nothing but the Zunker Brain and himself, locked together and alone in the finality of the universe. 

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