Edger and Mikey
“This nano-sized AI have a name?” I ask. “In fact it does,” Mikey replies, straightening. “The AI is the component InstaTron is contributing to this enterprise. We call it… InstaTron Tron.” “Wait, wait,” I say. “InstaTron… Tron?” Mikey nods. “So that’s two Trons?” Another nod. “I’m going to be honest with you, Mikey. That name sucks.” “Eh. You get used to it. So, as I said, InstaTron Tron was designed to help achieve omniscience in the Collective Unconscious without overloading the human brain. But it was stolen from our labs a week ago. Then, without warning, it came online last night. It…opened a Twitter account.” “Oh, crap.” “Right. People have been tweeting at InstaTron Tron ever since, corrupting our baby. It’s out there right now, totally confused.” “Confused? Confused how?” Mikey compresses his lips. He takes a measured breath before answering. “It’s embarrassing. But, reading its Tweets…it’s like InstaTron Tron can’t decide whether it’s a…some kind of a neo-Nazi anarchist…or, a…a cow.” “Ha! I’m sorry. It sounded like you just said your high-tech super-advanced nano-artificial intelligence thinks it’s a neo-Nazi anarchist cow.” Mikey nods. “Uh-huh,” I say. “Not exactly your run-of-the-mill Michael Crichton novel, now, is it?” “Edger, we’ve got no way to shut it down. InstaTron Tron represents a quantum leap in programming and nano-technology.” “The evil cow.” “It can remotely access any server in the world, hack into government satellites at will“ “And it thinks it’s an evil cow.” “Edger—it could launch nuclear missiles.” He drags his hand through his hair and releases an exasperated sigh, but I press on. “Mikey, you’re telling me my life would depend on technology that thinks it’s an evil cow? You’re telling me the best outcome of all this is me sticking an evil cow chip in my brain?” “InstaTron Tron was never meant to be an autonomous, roaming entity. It was meant to be a part of this.” He jiggles the superhero ring box at me. “And it just shut down all power to the Eastern Seaboard. Edge, I need you.” I stare back at him. “Holy shit. Holy shit, Mikey. You’re seriously asking me to risk my life to fix this shit?” “Edger, I know. It sucks. I f***d up, okay?” Neither of us says anything further. His eyes seem to fill in the blanks in my head. This is more than him trusting me to be, I don’t know, incorruptible. It’s about expandability. If I died in ninety-six hours, who’d miss me? Gran and Fabio. Not Shep, that’s for sure. Would Kate? Probably not. But maybe none of that matters. Maybe Mikey is right. I have been throwing my life away. That’s the key point here. He’s not asking me because he thinks I’m such a great guy. He’s asking me because he’s looking at the big picture. And in the big picture, losing my life isn’t much of a loss at all.
by David Beem
Meet Edger (Ed-jer), a twenty-six-year-old gadget retail dork destined to become the world’s first superhero!
His superpower: the ability to channel the Collective Unconscious, a psychic network connecting the living and the dead. In his arsenal are the skills of Bruce Lee, the strength of Samson, the wisdom of the ages…and the dancing chops of Michael Jackson—including that one twisty foot move, crotch grab, and fedora tilt.
But there’s a catch…
Like every psychic superpower to get administered through a hypodermic needle, this one comes with a prick. Someone seems to have misplaced the booster necessary for stabilizing his superpower. Without it, Edger has three days before his brain turns to pudding.
Join our Dork of Destiny as he overcomes the world’s greatest butt, two rival Cluck-n-Pray gangs, an evil cow, a Green Bay Defensive Tackle, rifle-toting assassins—and a pair of stoners who inadvertently create the world’s first supervillain after a wild night on Twitter!
David Beem enjoys superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. Help actualize David’s inner confidence. Visit his website today, and buy all the stuff.
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