Dr. Gammon was a tall, slender man in his early sixties. He lived in a two-story mansion with a wide circular driveway up front, and a large entertainment patio out back crowned by an Olympic-size swimming pool. The house had four bedrooms upstairs: his double-sized master, and three others occupied by short and slender, small-breasted virtual girls from Thailand. It was Gammon’s dream house, mirroring what he once had in Santa Barbara until he lost most of his wealth during the big market crash. That would be the market crash that followed the ill-fated War for Silicon Valley.
Gammon was a diehard anti-capitalist. For decades he tried to weaken the United States from within, by using his money to fund covert actions against the government, and by churning out socialists by the dozens every semester that he taught at U.C.S.B. Those same students were supposed to be taking care of him now, helping him and his associates, and several other people who supported the movement.
Gammon and the rest of his ilk were limited because they were all on Q-drives. If everything had gone according to plan, he should have been in China by now, inside a freshly cloned, younger body of himself, and enjoying real Asian ass instead of the virtual ass he’d been savoring for the last month. The students who came to check on him said everything was fine, everything was moving smoothly, but they’d been coming by less and less often as of late. When they did come, it was only to tell him to take control of a synthetic person for the purposes of disposing of people who were getting in the way.
The last couple of times had been tough. He’d sent out instructions to override a synthetic brain, but for some reason the connection had been severed before he could complete the job. Later, the same student had rushed into his virtual setting, asking him to try again because the target was standing in front of the synthetic person. Gammon was given an active link, a link to where the synthetic person was. He used his computational mind as he always had, enhanced by quantum displacement, and in layman’s terms switched the synth brain for his own brainwaves. There was a muddle at the destination. Gammon assumed his waves were being blocked, and so he increased his quantum force to barrel past the obstruction and take over the synth mind. Too late, he understood that it wasn’t only one synth brain but many of them close together. This could be dangerous, theoretically, because the facilitating program that preceded and followed his cyber-attacks would have a lot of variables to factor in, and might not be able to erase them fast enough before the active link could be traced back to him. Luckily, the disruption occurred again, kicking Gammon out of the synth brains before any anchor programs could latch on, but he hadn’t finished the job of assassination a second time.
Ever since then, Gammon had been waiting for the student to return. The student always came by to pick up a report Gammon made, of how the attack took place and what needed to be taken care of to avoid the prying eyes of investigators. In some cases, video recordings and receipts had to be removed from locations, or evidence had to be planted to divert attention, such as when a large number of Q-drives had been delivered to the addresses of a number of innocent, important and wealthy people. Seeing the student soon after Gammon had acted was a way for him to reassure himself that any loose ends would be cut off. Where was that student?
He was busy thinking things over for a while, in his small library and den on the first floor, when one of the Thai girls walked in. She was dressed in a yellow micro-bikini.
“There is a visitor for you.” She said.
“Oh, good!” Gammon left his den, bypassing the virtual girl without a blink and heading toward the foyer. He was about to give the student a good piece of his mind for making him worry so much.
As Gammon passed the living room windows, he saw a man in a suit standing outside. That was not the student he was waiting for! Gammon peered out the last window, thinking the man was some kind of lawyer, who had a big, shit-eating grin on his face. The doctor hadn’t even opened his door yet and he already knew he was going to hate this man.
Gammon flung the door open and glowered at his visitor, just as another Thai beauty walked over beside him. This girl was fully nude, in case she needed to entertain a guest. “Who the hell are you?”
“Drake, Drake Engstrom is the name.” The man fully smiled at him. “And taking care of business is my game. Hey, that girl behind you doesn’t have any clothes on! Hi, cutie!”
“Hi!” The friendly Thai girl waved back.
“Sheila, go upstairs!” Gammon barked at her, before facing Engstrom. “I don’t know you. What do you want?”
“I wanted to check this place out.” Engstrom viewed the front porch area. “Nice pad.” He turned to see the landscaping and fountain in the center of the driveway. “Really nice.”
“What do you want?” Gammon repeated.
“You’ve been a bad boy, Holbert. Can I call you Holbert?”
“Kiss my polished ass!”
“Sometimes, people think they can get away with things.” Engstrom went on. “They think their plan is fool-proof. They think they can…”
“Get out of my reality!” Gammon shouted.
“I will.” Engstrom smiled again. “In a minute, Holbert.”
Gammon glared. How he hated this man!
“You know what the problem is?” Engstrom started up again. “You had a good plan, a really good plan. You could have gotten away with it if it didn’t have so many moving parts. And by that, I mean your guardians. You thought they were going to be faithful and follow your instructions after you were killed, and they did that at first. Later, when things began to unravel, they panicked. That’s when your plan went to shit.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t start playing games with me.” Engstrom replied. “I’m being straight with you. If you want to play games, I’ll have my cyber-people start erasing things from this scenario. What was that cute little lady’s name again, Sheila?”
“I don’t care about Sheila.” Gammon huffed. “I was getting tired of her anyway. Go ahead and erase her! See if I care!”
To be continued.