There is a story about the crew filming the last landing of the Hindenburg. They were having technical problems with their cameras; the airship was due to land at any moment. Desperate to get the cameras working, the camera operators balled up his fist and struck the top of camera sharply, the camera began to work and they were able to capture the fiery last flight of the grand air ship. Some say it is the first recorded case of “percussive maintenance” in the modern age.
I planned to do basically the same, smacking my brain, not with a fist but with a giant blast of electricity. I could only hope my situation turned out more like the camera, and less like what it filmed.
“What! What the fuck are you talking about Q?”
“Seriously Q, that sounds like a really bad idea.”
Both Rain and Marla had perfectly rational reservations about my stopping and then restarting my brain. I would have had a long reasoned chat with them about the pro’s and con’s of my approach if the sound of them talking wasn’t making my head explode with pain.
“I…can’t…don’t have time to explain, I need you to whack…shock my brain… electricity lots of it here and here.” I pointed to the two gold connections in my skull.
“Trust me…” I had to keep my eyes closed because looking at anything was causing an agonizing flood of visual stimuli.
“How high should the voltage be?” At least Jason was asking useful questions, too bad the only thing I could do was open my arms wide, only to quickly return my hands to my head so that I could writhe in pain some more.
“Are you kidding! That’s going to kill you!” She loved me, but right now I needed someone who would electrocute my brain without reservation, because if this didn’t happen soon I was going to die from neural overload, or bash my own skull in to make the pain stop.
I nodded my head toward Jason, hopefully indicating that, yes, please shock my brain with large amounts of electricity.
“I have a transformer out back we use to convert the output from the wind turbines to the inverters…on a day like today that’s putting out a couple thousand volts. Will that do?” Jason said pointing to the back door.
Thumbs up. I stood heading to the transformer, and almost immediately fell flat onto my face. Blood was streaming from my nose as they carried me out the back door. The pain lost in the buzz going on in my brain.
Rain and Marla carried me out the back door while Jason ran around the shed to return shortly with a pair of jumper cables in his hand. I couldn’t help but smile slightly. Maybe it was the absurdity of it all, or maybe I had been spending too much time with Marla.
Jason quickly turned off part of the transformer, and connected one end of the jumper cables to two large metal connection points. He turned the switch back on and touched the two ends of the cables together briefly sending sparks flying into the air.
“Do I like hold them on, or just give you a quick juice?” He seemed remarkably calm for someone about to electrocute a friend’s brain.
I made hand motions indicating a short blast and then removal.
“Ok here goes nothing…umm…clear?”
Wow…that sucked. I sprang back to existence with a giant sucking breath, my vision was slowly extending outward from a tiny dot of black and my arms and legs felt like they weighed a million pounds. My toes and fingers tingled as blood slowly made its way back into them.
The smell of burnt hair hung heavy in the air, a quick check revealed I now was missing a small patch of hair around each connector. Couldn’t really blame Jason for that, but I might need to wear a hat for a while.
“Jesus Christ Q.” Marla was watching me from one side of the table.
“You stopped breathing for a while babe, so umm I had to slap you around a bit, I don’t really know CPR.” Rain was hovering over me looking very pale.
“I’m sorry I scared you, but I couldn’t think of an easier way to reboot the boot loader in my brain.”
“Should we even bother having you try explaining that?” She sounded incredulous but you could tell by the look on Marla’s face she was happy I was OK.
Jason got me a glass of water and I laid it out for them.
“When we were in The Company compound they needed a way to connect their data feeds to my brain so they could make it do the future forecasting thing. The problem was that my brain only had the normal type inputs, sight, sound, touch, that sort of thing. My human senses wouldn’t allow them to cram enough data into my skull, I mean what were they going to do, sit me in a class room and teach me all that shit?”
“Yea but why did we just have to electrocute your brain?” Another sensible question from Jason, who to his credit, seemed to be taking this all very well.
“Well what they did was they put a small computer in my skull that had some tiny wires that lead to different parts of my brain. This allowed them to pump data directly into my brain, but it needed some simple programs to allow it to regulate certain things. Before I left I made some small edits to that system.”
“What I think has been happening is that the edits I made to the system have allowed the system to work in both directions now. Instead of just having programs on a chip that allow data to enter my brain, the data can now flow out of my brain into the chips. All that garbage in my head was my subconscious creating programs.”
“How is this possible I mean how does that work?” Rain looked pretty confused.
“My head is so full of shit at this point that honestly I don’t really know, but what seems to be happening is that my memory and the computers in my head are getting together and creating… I guess you could call them helpers. They calculate things, measure things, help me remember things, seem to tap into my predictive abilities.”
“Umm that sounds pretty awesome dude…you got like Google in your head.” Marla could understand body modification.
“Yea if I could get it under control, instead the interaction between the programs and my normal brain functions seems to be causing some sort of feedback loop.”
“Is that bad?” Rain said helping me up. As I looked at her, faint traces of the previous shapes briefly appeared but faded away.
“If I don’t electrocute my brain every time this happens, my brain will get so overloaded that my heart will stop beating.”