“Tonight, police have taken custody of a 34 year old man. The man was believed to have been utilizing more than one mind at a time. This type of action has been known to lead to psychotic and homicidal attacks. Family members stated that he did not seem like himself when he attacked his own brother, stabbing him with a vibro-knife. Police have taken his central core into the lab for analysis in hopes that comparing the minds to other criminals will lead to information…”
I closed the news feed, focusing on the primary holo-display. Flicking my eyes left, the eye-tracking brought the task panel to the display in front. My latest client is anxious to receive the new upgraded Peace of Mind (P.O.M) which I foolishly promised would be done by tomorrow. The client had paid me twice the going rate though and I needed the cash.
Thirty years ago, the digital central core changed our society completely. No longer would an individual be limited by their current mental capacity. By digitizing one’s own mind, a user could live substantially longer which increased the need for additional memory storage and learning capacity. Because of this, scientists came up with a way of augmenting a person’s mind with a secondary digitized mind. This secondary mind was either based on a real person’s digitized mind or one which was synthetically created. The second mind implemented a series of extensions which could be used for adding additional memory capacity, boosting the user’s capabilities and talents, or supplying additional knowledge. Because of the complexities and additional overhead brought on by the secondary mind, P.O.Ms were invented in order to manage the large amount of data. The P.O.M is a state of the art organic and electronic interface tailored to an individual’s mental profiles. Beyond the basic function of controlling and managing both minds, P.O.Ms are used in a variety of ways, varying from additional knowledge extensions to illegal sensory enhancements.
This particular client mainly ran a political manipulator “mind” type, likely obtained from the black market for a substantial amount. This meant that I would have to include an outgoing signal blocker since black market minds usually tended to act as Trojan viruses; calling out for help and attempting to resist the user. I always hated doing this sort of work because you could never fully predict what type of complications would result from it.
Once I had the internal firewall in place, I didn’t have any problems implementing the external one. My own central core ran a custom triple firewall, but still I never felt safe when jacking into a mind-probe unit for maintenance. I wrote my own custom mind check command-set and hadn’t received any regular maintenance in years. Most minds required maintenance in order to delineate between the two minds and the AI interface. The secondary mind and the user’s own mind tended to create cross-over talk resulting in the user’s psyche becoming vulnerable to damage, sometimes resulting in total psychosis. The danger involved with running even an extra mind has meant implementation of additional minds beyond the initial has always been out of the question and even outlawed in developed countries.
My own secondary mind was an advanced synthetic hacker/coding type. The mind was amazingly complex and could execute commands thousands of times quicker than I could even hope to achieve on my own. It had cost me almost three years of payments, along with an incredibly taxing and painful install. In the long run though, it had been totally worth it considering I made back the payments several times over in a matter of months.
After compiling and compressing the client’s POM, I locked the door and walked down the steps of my non-descript, run-down apartment complex. As I reached the bottom of the stained, cracked stairs, I heard the unmistakable buzz of an energy weapon powering up behind my left ear. An intense pain hit me, spreading from my central core to the rest of my body; cutting off all functions and rendering me unconscious.