"What the heck am I doing here?!"
Being whisked off to the far edges of the cosmos in an indefinite time period is typically not how one intends to spend a random afternoon. Yet somehow, this is just how our unlikely hero — an unexceptional, 21st-century earthling — ends up.
But the strangest part of it all isn’t when and where he awakes… but how.
While artificial intelligence has gotten incredibly advanced and become an utmost necessity in the distant future, a more high-end, revolutionary alternative hit the intergalactic market: brain cards.
Thanks to a massive marketing campaign carried out by the megacorporation Alpha 88, biological interfaces became all the rage for being able to process massive amounts of complex computations needed to operate powerful machines, including battleships, on a level far beyond that of conventional AI, albeit at a premium cost.
But as with all fads, the brain card trend eventually faded, and manufacturers simply discarded and dumped whole warehouses full of viable inventory.
Sometime later, Todd, founder and CEO of mercenary outfit Boom Company, acquired and refurbished a prototype strike vessel for his expanding fleet, but was a buck short of making required software upgrades.
At a garage sale in search of dashboard accessories and other items, Todd chanced upon a heavily discounted BC unit on the shelf, and seeing it as just what he needed, immediately hit add-to-cart.
But one of the myriad reasons behind BCs falling out of fashion (ethical questions not even among them) was prohibitively expensive maintenance. Such technology is famous for having issues of all sorts. With all service centers now decommissioned, Todd may have gotten more than what he bargained for…
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