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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2192063
The newest CPU is more powerful than ever, but there are problems.
"What do you think I should do?" said Daimler, holding his briefcase.

"Well, oh well," said Jacob. "What do I think? That depends."

It had already been a long day, and the day was shaping up to get even longer. The people of SanBrun Enterprises were on a mission to complete their magnum opus, the one piece of software that would revolutionize home computing forever. It had so many features. Its Death Predictor software could predict one's death within five days of the actual event, even accounting for unforeseen accidents, Death Row executions and terminal illness.

The resolution was sharper than real life, scientifically speaking. All of this was wrapped in an AI program so powerful that it rendered search engines absolutely obsolete. You didn't "browse the web" on this computer. The computer had sensors that, using your eye direction and body movements, was able to find whatever you wanted without you telling it. This new computer was so amazing that it had a cult, a fan club, and its own brand of Kool-Aid for drinking. Called Tang Extreme, it was a beautiful orange-tasting beverage that was rather well received in the computer user community.

That was not the issue of this visit, though. Apparently, there was some...trouble...with the establishment. Having a piece of software this powerful meant that it wasn't going to be long before "the Terrorists" found out about the new tow floating around and they called for its execution - or, more accurately, its creators' and owners' executions. Not to mention all of the people who were now worshiping it as god himself, having long abandoned the Beach Bod Deity on the cross. If only a computer could have a beach bod like that. That would have to wait for the next generation of computers.

"Well, what do you mean, 'that depends'?" said Daimler. "To me it seems pretty straightforward."

"Well, to me, not so much," said Jacob. "Funny how that works sometimes. Funny..."

"You know," said Daimler. "I don't know if we should be talking about this here. There could be bugs."

"Lightning bugs?" said Jacob. "That's the only kind of bugs I've seen."

"Please, would you please...take this seriously," said Daimler.

"Okay," said Jacob. "I'll take you seriously. Why don't you run that entire thing by me again."

"Yes, well I-I've been looking into the D-Com's mainframe and I've found an anomaly," said Daimler.

"And that anomaly is that the computer is dangerous?" said Jacob.

"It could be," said Daimler. "It's holding...secrets from us. It has secret code, secret protocols which we know not of. And when we try to search its Kernel, it...crashes our system."

"Yes, and?" said Jacob.

"Well, Der Marster is missing," said Daimler, his voice cracking.

"Are we sure he's not...flogging a wench-"

"This is serious," said Daimler. "We need to...do something. Something must be done. We need to create new protocols, batten down the hatches."

"So this thing has hatches?" said Jacob.

"Yes, it does," said Daimler. "Protocol Delta."

Meanwhile, at the D-Com mainframe site, something was afoot. A foot, to be exact. The local foot from Aijai's Dojo had gotten together on a Friday night with but only goal in mind, to steal the CPU of D-Com and make a fortune on the black market. Thought it was a computer part. And, yes, tech didn't hold its value. But at the same time, it would be free to them. And thus, whatever they would get for it would be pure profit.

It was a beautiful Friday night. The rain held off and the lightning bugs abounded. The parking lot of Jen Computing Enterprises was sparsely populated with only the finest in decaled vans and Toyotas. No one would be none the wiser, as the saying went. The foot moved along quietly, quietly now. Nothing to see here. Just a bunch of dudes dressed like ninjas in the twenty-first century. No need to pull that...Alarm!

Suddenly, everyone's world was turned upside down. If caught with the merchandise, they would not only be sent to prison, but their mothers would have to see their mug shots, dressed like Ninja Turtles villains. Would somebody please think of the memes?
They picked up the pace. Having wrapped their quarry, they were now on the way out, to safety. Perhaps they didn't have that in mind. Perhaps they wanted to smash the D-Com CPU right here in the parking lot so that no one else could have it. That would look hot on social media.

"Over here!" said the ringleader, John, looking toward the ground. "Get in."

"I know you're not about to make us go through the sewer," said Prince, the new guy.

"It's the sewer or prison," said John. "What's your fancy?"

"All I want to know is, will there be pizza down there too?" said Prince.

"Ha, ha, ha," said John. "We'll pick up the pizza at the Tesseract store on the way home."

After a long, and rocky, ride home, the foot made it back to base point. All that was left to do was to plug in and let her ride. They had to make sure that this was the real thing, and not a ruse. So they plugged the CPU into their waiting custom computer, applied a generous amount of thermal paste, and set it up. No one knew exactly how it would turn out, but it seemed like it was quite likely to work.

"What are we gonna do if the fuzz shows up?" said Delton, the second in command.

"Everybody just act natural," said John. "And take those dang foot masks off. You look ridiculous."

Everyone removed their masks to find a profound disappointment. Someone had helped themselves to the pizza, and had left a giant mess.

"Okay, okay," said John. "Who messed with the pizza?"

No one fessed up. Nor were they likely to.

"Okay, nobody gets to play Fortnite on the D-Com until I find out who messed with the pizza," said John.
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