By Robert Lynch
“The procedure is painless, and takes a little more than a half an hour.” The recruiter was saying.
Joe wasn’t listening. To get this job, he was going to have to be Mind Hacked. His mind had been going around in circles ever since they told him. “Are you sure that the procedure is necessary? Can’t I learn on the job?”
The recruiter’s face contorted into a pitying half-smile. “I’m afraid the knowledge required takes decades to learn, that’s why we are giving you this package. It gets you up to date and ready for the workforce.”
“You’re right, of course,” Joe said. “It’s just that this is going to be my first Hack.”
“Truly?” The recruiter said. “It’s been a while since I met someone who said that. Most people have had some kind of augment.”
“My parents are traditionalists,” Joe said. “They like their brains ‘unscrambled.’ I’m not against it, just a bit anxious.”
“Well,” the recruiter said, “Hyperspace pilot isn’t a position that has any leeway for learning in the job. A tiny miscalculation can strand the passengers light-years from their destination, or worse.”
“I get that; I’m willing to undergo the procedure,” Joe said. “It’s just strange because I have a background in hyperspace mathematics. I can do the calculations. I’m not sure what more I need?”
The recruiter’s eyebrows lifted slightly. “The package is mostly required for the interface. We use a neural interface that reads brain patterns. It’s incredibly reactive, but it relies on the brain it’s interfacing with to have to right configuration; otherwise, it cannot work. Are you sure you can do the calculations already?”
“Quite sure.” Joe took a pen to the blank sheet he had on the desk and began filling it with mathematical symbols. “If for instance, you wanted to plot a course to alpha century from this room, it’s a quite simple process of plugging in the variables.” By the time he’d finished talking the paper was filled with the complete calculation.
“Remarkable.” The recruiter held out her hand, and Joe passed over the paper. The recruiter looked down the page and checked over the symbols. Then placed it on a page reader and uploaded it into the computer, which then began to check the maths. “Pilot is one thing, but if you can do the maths this easily we may want to place you in a different job. The template that we use to train pilots is constructed from the brains of the most competent pilots. Your natural talent could increase efficiency if we could copy it and add it to our template.”
“Interesting, I didn’t know that was a position,” Joe said. “What kind of hours and pay does if offer?”
“The hours are gruelling, to be honest.” The recruiter said. “But your family is compensated quite well.”
“My family?” Joe asked.
The computer dinged, and the readout came out perfect.
The recruiter hit a button, and two very large men walked into the room. “Well, the extraction process can be quite… fatal.”