Ah, home! Ah! Home!
My collection of Truth Beetles confirmed what I had already cleverly deduced, Janice had nothing to do with my mysterious disappearance. I was already sure of this but decided the Truth Beetles needed a bit of practice and, after that particularly slipshod performance, I was correct. Janice wasn’t even fazed. About the most perturbed she got was when the Truth Beetles mussed up her hair, which, considering she’d just had modified androconial organs pissing chemicals into her lobe-folds, is indicative that the Beetles are a bit off their game. That or Janice is getting stronger. A nightmare scenario I’ve several fail-safes in place for, even though screaming paranoia tells me that exercise is just building more hulls on an ironically described ocean liner.
Well, as Janice re-applied the various snake oils and toad balms the business folk continue to trick women into using, I got down to business.
Full disclosure: I had no idea where to begin. Normally, something is either Janice’s fault, not Janice’s fault but I blame her anyway and amuse myself punishing her, or not annoying enough to really warrant any significant action on my part. Here we had a bit of a puzzle: I wanted quick and preferably drawn-out revenge but had no real clue as to the culprit. Most of the staff were of Sapience Level Frowny Face or lower meaning the building was able to scrape their mental metadata for evidence of whether they were involved in abducting me or not. Turns out not. A pretty much forgone conclusion given I’m a Sapience Level Gold Star Premium but it’s underneath the unturned stones that the best stuff hides so I wasn’t going to skip the process. Bleak feedback on the scan from my Psychophrenologists down in HR, though, apparently there’s a being in the Mail Room whose inner monologue is the theme to Get Smart on repeat. I don’t know if that’s even something that needs fixing let alone whether I’ve the means to fix it but I’ve decided to imprison it in a Headball playing nothing but Popcorn just to see what happens. It always pays to be sure, even if you’re not sure what you are being sure about.
So my normal lineup of degenerate malcontents were content meaning I was plumb outta ideas. I’m Sapience Level Gold Star Premium enough to admit when I need help and so I decided to rent the cheapest private detectives I could yell at Janice to find. I hated them on sight but, having spent enough time outside the office to last me several vampire hormone fuelled lifetimes, they were the least hated option.
About when the mentalmod fad took off is where you began to see some real goddamn syndromes walking around. Turns out the human brain has about x amount of energy that can be spread across a variety of intermingling domains so provided you don’t breach that x you can spec the thing to do an awful lot. Don’t give a fuck about shapes? Great! You’ll never identify a circle again but now you can describe the thing mathematically in ways that frustrate and amaze most of the lesser AIs. Ha ha, pretentious cunts.
Naturally people took this too far and ruined it, first by producing all sorts of boutique savants and other natural crimes, then by rendering the whole hobby unfashionable. India used to do this quaint thing with the chromosomally abhorrent monkey children the abundant unnatural chemicals and radiation produced where they’d figure the horrid little pinheads for monkey gods and treat them accordingly. Modern society wasn’t so kind to the thrice autistic memory machines who traded recognising faces for more musical talent and they were of the more pleasant examples. Now these things bumble about, usually unable to experience the kinds of despair their condition would cause a normal, in an uneasy truce with greater society. A peace that will hold out as long as nobody shits on a bus.
The one looking at me had to have been one of these. He was far too friendly and everything he did got passed my defences. Fortunately, these were only the superficial defences of my firewall personality but having to nearly seriously think was annoying enough to register. He’d be dangerous, possibly Omega Plus, if he weren’t an otherwise empty golem. Social savants, I’d heard of a few, specced the mentalmods in the whole opposite direction to the wannabe droids. Most went way too far and either killed themselves or became famous celebrities, a few are said to have stumbled on Artificial Zen but that would be like an alchemist stumbling upon a particle accelerator. The firewall personality told me I wanted to be his friend again. I didn’t but damned if I didn’t respect the artistry.
The other one was a refugee from a Castalian cult that eschewed artificial evolution for the more stable natural form, albeit in an unnaturally well organised fashion. Most breeding cults fell apart after about 3 generations but the Castalians had hung on rather admirably and produced some interesting, if a little behind, results. Their weird philosophy of organised chaos was reflected in the other one having the calmest eyes and twitchiest hands I’ve ever seen on a human who hadn’t caught that disease that makes you sleepy and grow hands. I’m pretty sure he can fight, too. One of the Anti-Virals sizzled up out of the ground to look at him earlier and the Baboon Collective had actually scurried off as he exited the elevator. Both suggest a worrying mix of Castalian refinement and batshit savagery.
I hated both of them and hired them immediately.
In office news, Amber was in the United States Socialist Soviet earlier in the week for some get-together of all the useless video trash Max Headroom tried to warn us about, so we’ve not made any new amusement-records for you to piss your lives away viewing. This upsets you terribly so take some pharmaceutical-grade opiates, which I am suggesting you take out of genuine concern for your pain and not because I get five American Socialist Value Tokens for every one of you gut-blobs I get hooked on Oprah-Grade smack pills. Chow down, you doped out pac-men.
Gelatin is dried ghost cum.