Psychopunk Lullaby Vol. 4


I awaken the next morning not knowing where or who I am.

“It’s normal, Joey,” she says, bathing me in crimson light. “It’s just your brain rebooting itself to fit around the data. You’ll remember everything soon.” She strokes my face gently, her massive blue eyes pleading for me to trust her.

Sparks race across my vision while I thrash around. “Who are you? Who am I? What’s going on?”

“Listen,” she says. “We’re trying to get Upwind so that when your head pops and I run hot, we can commandeer enough Mindspace to make sure whatever we do stays permanent.”

I shake my head, the confusion and pain getting worse. “What’s Upwind? What are we trying to do?”

She sighs and pulls my head against her, cradling it in her arms. “Upwind, Joey! It’s how much access we have, how much bandwidth and speed and skill and trust and popularity we have. Upwind! Most of the bigshots Upwind are celebrities or scientists or models or writers or coders, but that’s not the only way to get Upwind. You can do it sneaky, open a few back doors, operate a few puppet personalities. You know, like Yimmy, that little hotbot program I wrote three years ago?”

I shake my head again. “What’s a hotbot?”

She wrinkles her nose. “Welll, no matter how sophisticated, no slicing can access the pleasure principle directly, that was one of the core tenets whenever they sliced the world. It’s part of the Delusion. It’s quantum encoded, nobody can get in ever. But sex is okay, along with art and music and whatever but sex is easy. Yimmy is a doodle, something I threw together so that boys would think I was cool.”

That’s wrong. Yimmy is fantastic– incredible– seven kinds of lifelike. Yimmy is the standard other hotbots fail to live up to. Yimmy is a dream, or a wet dream, really.

Sally’s patience is starting to pay off. I’m starting to pick up the pieces again. I’m starting to realize when and who I am.
“Yimmy isn’t a doodle.”

She smiles. “Coming back?”

I rub my temples. “A little. What does Yimmy have to do with Upwind?”

Sally idly flicks some cards around the room. Where they stick they grow tiny forests complete with fairies and gnomes dancing in tiny-savage rhythm. “Yimmy’s got a backdoor. She can grab me a few gigs of memory and bandwidth from anyone running her. She’s the best thing we got going right now, but a few other projects of mine– not to mention the historical stuff you’ve been cooking up, plus whatever comes out when your head pops– means we should be way clear Upwind and ready to change the world.”

The word flicker fights through my subconscious and then I have to be sick. It’s a few hours before I’m myself again.

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