Jaymi’s first response to seeing Bang Dead’s new “Trivia Score: Wacky or Boring?” Newsfeed was to start creating Kim’s code out of thin air, beginning with nothing but a fore-echo of this Beast’s thoughtful seriousness of mind. If the ones and zeroes behave themselves, Kim will soon emerge from his code. He’ll be painted with his own visuals, which will animate him; he’ll be scored with his own soundtrack, which will come alive; and he’ll be tested. Then within a few days he’ll be electrified into incarnated form, in all his beauty, like a burst of love.
But despite this creation cycle of Kim, there is little clarity as to how the “Trivia Score: Wacky or Boring?” Newsfeed could possibly fail to barrel upwards and outwards in popularity and profitability around the world, at least for as long as tabloid culture outsells the rest.
Throughout each Beast’s creation cycle, there is battle and change, negotiated beauty, flying sparks of metal on stone, and the smooth wet glint of emerging eyes…
OK then. He will dispatch his beloved Evelyn—and through her, himself—on a discreet mission into Ain’tTheyFreaky!. What aspect of it could she access, though? He shuts his eyes in thought, scanning his memories of working for Dud; then he murmurs “Westmont.” He reaches over to one his secondary computers, finds the same folder where he located the confidential PDF outlining Bang Dead’s game, and searches it for the word he just spoke aloud. Yes, there it is!
This is starting to look like the basis for one of those plans.
He strides out of his study, down the stairs and through the ground floor, to a hallway near one end of the house, where he knocks on the door of the self-contained guest wing where he installed Evelyn. After a few moments he hears her footsteps beyond the door, which she opens. “Hi!” she says, licking a red lollipop and smiling sweetly at him. “Can I help you?”
He clears his throat. “Evelyn. Yes, you can. Now you’ve had time to settle in, there’s a mission I need to send you on.”
“A mission? That sounds exhausting. I was hoping to take it easy today.” She beckons him through the door, which opens into her kitchen.
He advances a couple of steps inside. “Yes, a mission. You have been incarnated so that I can send you out to do things, you know. Not just so that you can lounge around here and eat.”
“Thanks for reminding me I'm hungry,” she yawns, crossing the kitchen to the refrigerator. “I’m feeling that reckless, I might just open the grapefruit juice.” She opens the fridge door and peers inside. “I don’t want much for lunch—just a liverwurst and Miracle Whip sandwich should be enough.”
“I’m serious,” he says. “Now you’re here in meat-space, I’ll be sending you out into the wider world. So get ready for some action scenes, please.”
“OK Jaymi, but I should warn you I’m feeling blowsy and fractious today, so let’s make those scenes snappy, please.”
“Evelyn, listen. The first thing I’ll be sending you off to do, in the next day or two, is to meet Amber and introduce yourself to him. He has the details of your joint mission, which he’ll fill you in on.”
She looks thoughtful. “I don’t know. On second thoughts, maybe a sandwich won’t be enough. You know, I once prepared a meal for myself—and I should add, this was something a bit more labour-intensive than just heating the contents of a tin. It was at least cheese-on-toast. So, I’m standing there looking forward to eating it, but then what do I do?… OK, I’ll tell you. I absent-mindedly slid the whole thing off the plate, into the bin. Oh yes I did! It was very simple: there was my carefully-made meal down there in the bin, mewing with rejection at being thrown away for no reason whatsoever. It was doing more than mewing, in fact. It was weeping… But what could I do? I couldn’t eat it now. Sigh. A modern tragedy.”
“Right,” says Jaymi, stepping back through the open doorway into the main house. “Please listen. When mission time arrives, today or tomorrow, then I am going to come back again to fetch you. And I’m going to need a little more focus and dynamism here. OK?”
“OK! See you soon. Keep in touch!” And she closes the door on him.
He stands there a moment with his mouth hanging open, resisting the urge to remonstrate through the door. Then he turns and steams back up the hallway, filled with a sudden and furious need to calm down.
For more about "The Beasts of Electra Drive" by Rohan Quine, see
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