Chapter 4. The Haunted Flash Drive
There, among the dusty trinkets, broken tools, and displaced idols of our messy human history, Chloe and Jeremy embraced in a kiss. His mind raced as he tried to calculate the odds of a workaholic grad student coming by in the wee hours to index, say, some late 17th-century cuff links. Jeremy’s best guess was that he and Chloe probably had the room to themselves until about 7:00 AM.
“Do you know what I’m thinking?” he said, almost panting.
Chloe let her lips brush gently against his neck, and then whispered seductively in his ear, “I will in a minute.” She discretely removed something from her coat pocket – it resembled a flash drive, except where you would expect to see the standard USB plug there was a four-inch-long metallic needle that tapered to a fine point. With a sudden, practiced movement, she plunged the needle into the back of his neck just above the c1 vertebrae, angling for the brain stem.
There was a high pitched whine as the mechanism deployed an energy pulse that surged through Jeremy’s neural networks. It was powerful enough to make his slack-jawed skull momentarily visible through the flesh of his face.
He fell dead at Chloe’s feet, and the acrid smell of singed hair wafted up to her as she inspected the mechanism. A small, blinking red light embedded in the side of the killer flash drive changed to solid green, indicating the Whole Brain Emulation was a success. The entirety of Jeremy’s sentient mind had been transferred and stored in the form of light energy on a quantum memory chip.
“That’s pretty neat,” Chloe said as she tucked the device back into her pocket and stepped over the body. She noted the clock on the wall when she got to ground level: 12:41 AM. She really wanted to stop at Roy’s 24/7 Diner for pancakes, but there wasn’t time. She had to rendezvous with an agent on the outskirts of some little farm town way out in the sticks.
Chloe sighed and fed a few dollars into the vending machine, finally opting for M&M’s and Cool Ranch Doritos. “Breakfast of champions,” she muttered as she headed out the door.