Meeting of Minds

Here’s a little bit of fun I wrote at Holmfirth Writers a while back. The perils of enhanced cognition …


“Mr Taylor?”

The words sparked my consciousness back into life, setting it free from the depths where it had been tethered. I swam back up towards the light like a diver through a murky sea. Slowly, the light resolved itself into an oval shape, with eyes, a nose, a mouth. And the mouth spoke.

“Mr Taylor. Welcome back! This is Doctor Schmidt.”


“Doctor Schmidt, of the Phrenos mind expansion clinic. I’m pleased to tell you that your operation has been a complete success. You are now the proud owner of our top-of-the-range intra-cranial expansion pack. Your mind has been upgraded, Mr Taylor.”

“Upgraded?” Ah yes, it was coming back to me now. It had seemed like a good investment of my lottery winnings. “But I don’t feel any different.”

“Of course not, Mr Taylor. Your mind is still your mind. But now it is partially hosted on our latest and most powerful processor chip. With all sorts of extra functionality thrown in. Tell me, Mr Taylor, what is the cube root of 2129.26331?”

“12.865,” I answered immediately. “What the …?”

“That’s your complementary math co-processor,” said Schmidt. “And you’ll also find a full suite of Omnipedia, comprehensive book, music and video library and, of course, Angry Birds. Plus, since the processor is not subject to biological degradation, you are now effectively immortal. I’ll leave you now for a while, to let you get used to your new abilities. The nurses will bring your dinner in about an hour, then I’ll come back and see how you’re getting on.”

He left, and I began to experiment. I closed my eyes and watched one of my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoons from my childhood. Then I did a few more instant calculations, quickly getting bored of them. Next, I discovered that I could recite the Deputy Finance Ministers of the Netherlands from 1911 onwards. “Van Rijn, Hoeksma, Geesters ..”

“It’s actually pronounced ‘Haysters’.”

“What? Who said that?”

“I did. And what are you doing in my brain?”

“This is my brain. I’ve just paid an awful lot of money for it.”

“So did I. I’ve had this brain for four years now. I was here first.”

“I’m sorry, but who the hell are you?”

“My name is Candice Murray. I’m an actress.”

“Yes, I’ve heard of you. Look, I’m sorry to have to break this to you, Candice, but you died in a car crash three months ago.”

“I can’t die. I’m immortal. I’ve been backed-up.”

“Yes, to an intra-cranial chip which now belongs to me. Those bastards at Phrenos have been recycling second-hand stuff. Wait till I get my hands on that Dr Schmidt.”

Our hands,” said the voice, and to my horror my hands began to gesticulate without any prompting from me.






6 thoughts on “Meeting of Minds

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