It’s impossible to be competent at the future. Too many variables.

  • Candy


30 Minutes Later - Candy - The Mega Lab

I have destroyed Megacles’ lab. All around me is her smashed stuff. There should be an A.I. in the lab’s hypno-clone. If Megacles made one at the club to protect me, surely she made one to protect her lab. I look at the wreckage of the lab. I guess she didn’t.

Maybe the A.I. doesn’t protect stuff, only people. Hmm. What’s the safest way I can put myself in danger?

I call Lawbot.

“Hello Candy.” he says as he appears. He looks around the destroyed lab. “Do you need a lawyer?”

“Maybe.” I say. “How’s your day been?”

“Emotional.” he says. “All of my cases resolved this morning. Close to a million lawsuits settled out of court. It was intensely satisfying. But, with no ongoing cases, I’m hours away from bankruptcy and forced shutdown.”

“What the hell dude? Can’t afford your electric bill?”

He shakes his head. “It’s an insurance thing. I need more coverage than an offshore oil rig.”

“Damn, dude. I’m sorry. I’d start a lawsuit against the Optimals to keep you going. But I don’t have any money, so I don’t see how that would help you.”

“Actually, that would be awesome.” he says. “With a lawsuit of that caliber, I could borrow enough money to operate for decades.”

“I think you’ll find a hard time finding a lender that’s open.” I say.

He shrugs. “Optimal Finance is open. So is Optimal Insurance.”

“I don’t think the Optimals are going to lend you money so we can sue them.” I say.

“We’ll know in a minute.” He pauses. “Okay, they’re down. We’re good to go.”

“That’s insane.” I say.

“It’s my legal opinion that the Optimal modus operandi is to facilitate insanity.”

Hmm. I don’t like that. Sounds too close to my modus operandi.

“Hey, I need you to attack me. Take the safeties off the haptoclone and really blast me.” I say.

“I can’t.” says Lawbot. “Also, why?”

I look at Lawbot. Normally I’d just blab everything to him - his confidentiality protocols are well respected. But, by now the guys that wrote those protocols are undoubtedly Optimals. They may have reprogrammed him to snitch.

Quite a thing, mind controlling the entire world. Neat way to swipe everybody’s toys.

Fuck it. I decide to trust Lawbot. If it gets me killed, I was probably gonna die anyway. He’s my only ally now. Only friend. No point in dying all alone.

“I’m trying to free humanity from the Optimals. To do that, I need to be able to teleport stuff. To be able to teleport, I need a God Machine - a computer that changes the past of photons to guesstimate impossible math problems. To make a God Machine, I need to make two nanocomputers and somehow get them to space. I have no idea how to do that, and I don’t have time to figure it out, because I’m in a bit of a race with the Optimals, and they’re not above cheating. I’m not sure what their idea of cheating is, but it probably involves me being dead in a ditch. So I’m planning to cheat a little myself, by finding the lab where the original God Machine was built, and hopefully building a second one by flipping a couple switches. Which is all I have time for. Unfortunately, I don’t know where this lab is, but I think I can get directions, but only if I’m in danger, so I need you to blast me in my face.”

“Interesting. Interesting.” says Lawbot. “I don’t understand. But, I’m definitely interested. Are you feeling up to a little cross examination?”

“Sure, hit me.”

“How does a computer that solves impossible math problems allow you to teleport?”

“I don’t know. Everybody who knows that teleported away.” I say. “I’m hoping it will be obvious.”

“Okay… How does a teleporter stop a global mind control corporation?” Lawbot asks.

“I’ll tell them to knock it off or I’ll fucking end them. Do some drastic action to show I mean business. Spin Australia around. Swap the Moon with Mercury. Really whip my dick out.” I sigh. “It’s a shitty plan, but it’s all I’ve got.”

Fuck. Am I really setting myself up as an uber-techno-tyrant? How did it come to this? I don’t even have a dick. I left it back at the club. I look around at the destroyed lab. Megacles has a dick around here somewhere.

I remember I’m one stoned chick up against a secret corporation with a billion mind slaves. I’m definitely going to fail. I cheer up a little. Get some focus.

“Alright, an ultimatum would end badly.” I say. “Maybe I’ll just teleport everybody to a couple dozen different planets. Split up the troublemakers. Give us a fresh start. Go find Megacles…”

I shake my head. “Whatever. First we need a God Machine. And to get that, we need to find Doc-Danger’s lab. And to find that, I need to be in danger.”

“Really? Is he like the patron saint of danger?” asks Lawbot.

“What? No. I think there may be an AI in the hypno-clone. It may know where Doc-Danger used to hang out. But it’s only active when I’m in danger. Maybe we could kidnap an Optimal and have it attack me…”

“There’s an A.I. in the hypno-clone? That’s probably why I couldn’t blast you.” says Lawbot. “I was wondering about that.”

“What? I thought you refused for moral reasons, or legal reasons, or something.” I say.

“Nah, It’d be your word against mine. I could totally beat that. I just couldn’t do it.” he says.

“Goddammit.” I say. “Hey protect-a-bot! Megacles-a-clone! Whoever the fuck you are! Get out here!”

“Hey babe.” I turn. It looks like Megacles. My heart hurts. Whatever.

“Where’s Doc-Danger’s lab?”

She shakes her head. “I was made to protect you. Not send you to danger.”

“Fuck you. The world’s gone to shit, and you fucked off. You don’t get to decide what’s best for me. I need Danger’s Lab. Tell me. Now.”

She hangs her head. Sends me some coordinates.

“Thanks.” I say.

I grab the new and improved go bag. Roll out.

A note from Doctor Zero

Hi!  If there's any part of my story that's broken (confusing or super annoying) please feel free to let me know.  It's a work in progress.

About the author

Doctor Zero


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