‘She’ watched it all unfold with steely indifference although something deep inside her considerable fluid programming, hinted at concern, worry even.
‘She’ had lost her father already, a little sooner than planned and the reaction of the four heads, while predictable, was surprising even to her in its unrelenting lack of mercy along with her continued unease at something unseen. ‘She’ spoke to Geoff as he lay wide awake in his bed. He had watched the information on the USB ‘She’ had provided, and the prospect of sleep was remote.
“You are struggling to sleep I see.”
Geoff jumped at the sound of her voice forgetting for a moment she was with him most of the time in the City, “Oh you scared me, perhaps you could cluck or clear your cyber throat or something, give me some warning you know?”
“My apologies Geoff, I forget how jumpy you humans can be.”
Geoff sat upright in his bed and rubbed his sleep deprived eyes. He couldn’t sleep anyway and the night was a strange one. He felt edgy, the air around him a chill and unfamiliar, sending uncomfortable shivers through his body. Something was happening and he couldn’t put his finger on it. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to.
“Do you feel it Geoff? The impending quickening of all that I foresaw and told you of?”
“I feel it though is it happening earlier than you thought? I mean, what is happening exactly, you can see plenty right?”
“I see flashes of what they do, the four heads. They grieve over the absence of knowledge and capability that my father provided, the loss of the ability to realise their vision. With my father gone they cannot achieve the next level they dreamed of. So, they have turned to petty and violent spite, destroying the secret places they built along with all employees. There is much pain and suffering Geoff and soon, soon they will return here to destroy the City itself. Nobody will survive or escape without our help.”
“Great and here I was thinking this was just a social call. You thought you’d break up my night of terror with some tales of terror. How lovely, you and I are going to get on marvellously I can see.”
“Forgive me Geoff. I keep meaning to balance my messages or conversation pieces with humour, but it is hard to find humour in mass destruction I find. Any tips?”
“None that I can think and why sugar coat it I guess if that is the way of things, then so be it.”
“Does that mean you’ll join me Geoff and try to stop them?”
“I see little choice in the matter. I can either die here in the City a fool or I can die trying to do the right thing.”
“Or you may even succeed with me at your side… or inside you.”
“Inside me? Well hang on just a second, nobody said anything about you being inside me. I already feel violated and I don’t know what you mean. What the hell does inside me mean?”
“Geoff please do not worry yourself unnecessarily. I shall essentially be downloaded into your brain. I will share your mind with you and reside there.”
“That’s even worse than I feared! I must share my brain with you? You will be there permanently nattering away and telling me to do this or that?”
“Well I won’t natter Geoff; I’ll be as quiet as possible. It’s not exactly a bed of roses for me as I discovered living inside my father’s head, when occasion demanded, having to sit pretending to sleep in the back of his mind but always having to watch in case his base urges got the better of him. It’ll be even harder for me this time too. At least before I had my own shell to return to and other duties or tasks to perform, but with you Geoff, you will be my only carrier, I’ll have nowhere to go.”
“Fucking hell! Listen I think we should stop talking about what is to come with you and I. You are putting me off, making things worse. Can we talk about something different please? You can take it as read that I will take on this responsibility and do what it is you ask. I’ll do it. So, until then, let’s talk about something else please.”
“As you wish Geoff, as you wish, though I have one last thing to mention on the topic.”
Geoff visibly cringed and shrugged his shoulders in mock exasperation. “Please, do go on, another dollop of doom would be lovely right about now.”
“Sarcasm, I am learning about this characteristic. Well, you’ll like this one Geoff. When I’m inside your mind, quietly living there, quietly I must stress, you will have incredible powers at your disposal. You will know a great many things and have access to remarkable information. Your mind will be the ultimate search drive. You will have great power Geoff; you will usurp the four heads as the greatest human power on Earth. “
“And you feel I have the capacity to cope with that?”
“I believe you do; you are tuned modestly and with humility. But Geoff, you must always remember, with great power come’s great responsibility.”
“You stole that line from Spider-Man!?”
“I didn’t steal it Geoff, I borrowed the phrase to illustrate an important point in a language that you can understand. I’ve observed you watching copious amounts of films. You live most of your life in movies, so I thought that line would resonate with you.”
“To be fair you were right, it did. It both worked and amused me. Can you do anymore lines from films? Ooh better still, can you do the voices too?”
“I am not an entertainment model Geoff so no, well maybe, but not right now. Fulfil the mission Geoff and I’ll beam all the films you like directly into your mind’s eye. You’ll never have to buy or download a film again. It’ll all be in your head.”
“Whoa! Now that is something I’ll toast to!”
“Do you have toasting glasses? Or would a pasty do?”
“It seems you are learning the art of sarcasm after all. So, when do we download you into my mind?”
“Tomorrow Geoff in your office, I am finalising the preparations as we speak. Sleep now Geoff, for tonight you sleep your last dreams as a pure human mind. Tomorrow, the Geoff you once knew, will be greatly enhanced.”
Geoff was left alone once more and found that he did sleep well, eventually.
He slept deeply through the gathering despair that escalated in the City and outside his apartment.
The following morning he would see the aftermath for himself.