Kinda’s medical report flashed on her retinal display, “Candidate Non-Sigma Compatible”. There would be no Everywhere Chip for her. You either had the right brain waves or you didn’t, and Kinda’s dreams of multi-tasking, of being “Everywhere”, were dashed. It meant she could only work in real time.
On the metro home, a stranger plonked onto the seat next to her though the carriage was empty. She shifted uncomfortably. He mumbled something and she pretended to ignore him. He mumbled again. “Excuse me?” she asked.
“Not Sigma compatible?” he asked.
“Why’s that any of your business” she snapped.
“Actually, it is my business” he zapped her his e-card. It simply said, “Omega Wave Inc.”
“My company handles a new, experimental technology. We don’t believe people should be shut out of the “Everywhere”, so our product focuses on Omega, and not just Sigma, brain waves.”
“Not interested in turning into a vegetable. Thanks” she said. The metro reached her stop and she got off.
That night, her sculpting session was another failure. Frustrated, she triggered an Orb search, “Omega brainwaves”. She was surprised. Ten years earlier the technology had been in its infancy, but there were startups across the world reporting positive results. She checked the testimonials of a dozen Orb users, and they all said it had changed their lives. Maybe she had been unfair, Kinda thought. She replied to the e-card, asking for an appointment.
Later the next day, Kinda was excited as she walked out of the clinic. The new chip was under her skin. It would be sore for a few days, but her long auburn hair covered up the bruise. That evening, the chip interfaced with her neural networks and virtuality headset effortlessly, isolating the distractions and anxieties that had affected her creativity. She felt the split as her “Selves” scattered into the Orb to handle hundreds of tasks.
The actual “Self” splitting process was the most controversial part of the “Everywhere Chip”. It was like watching different channels play in Kinda’s mind at once. She sculpted tirelessly in her lab for the first time in ages. Her concentration was only interrupted when she felt the sharp pang of hunger. She’d been in Orb for over a day! With the sculpture finished, Kinda sent a 3D image grab to Cynthia, her agent. Then, exhausted, she fell asleep after eating something her flatmate, Daryl, had left in the fridge.
It was Cynthia’s message that woke her:
01:35 – Darling! I took the liberty of forwarding the image to the gallery. I can’t keep them away. They want it! Oh, Kinda I’m so excited. Love it. XOXO
Kinda smiled and got up to make coffee, then the doorbell rang. At her door was a young man in a bad suit with a stern face.
“Detective Yossi Ormand, LAPD. May I come in?”
“What’s this about?” she asked.
“It’s your housemate, Daryl” he said, “She’s been murdered. Where were you last night, Miss Hibrawi?”