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Maru the Go-Go Doll

“What does ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’ mean?” asked my friend Maru, an evil glint in her eye.

Rising to the bait, I quickly keyed the letters f-l-o-c-c-i-n-a into the addresss bar of my web browser. Wanting to sound reasonably intelligent, I thought for a moment, then paraphrased. “It means to minimi—you know damned well what it means.”

Maru’s smile twisted into something smug and unattractive. “I don’t see why you insist on doing things the old-fashioned way.”

I don’t see why I still refer to you as a friend, I thought. “I still enjoy the challenge of thinking for myself,” I said.

“Highly overrated,” sniffed Maru. “Hey, we’re going out for sushi after work, want to come?”

“Sure, why not.” I didn’t bother to feign enthusiasm; Maru was already off to claim her next conquest.

config

“So where is this place?” Devon asked, shifting from one foot to another. “Are we just going to stand here all night?”

“No, no, no,” said Lawrence. “We do this all the time – we just pick a new restaurant or bar, and ask Maru for directions. She’s like the world’s best tour guide.”

“Gimme a sec,” said Maru. She closed her eyes, as if reading the backs of her eyelids. “97-J Teppe Street. It’s three blocks north, five blocks west.” She smiled in triumph and held up her impeccably manicured hand to be high-fived, by everyone and no one in particular. Ace batted at it half-heartedly, to save her from looking like a human antenna right there on the corner of 83rd and Norway.

I rolled my eyes.

“How does she do that?” whispered Devon.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Does she have a compass in her head, or something?”

“GPS.”

“GPS? For real?”

I nodded.

“Wow.”

“Yeah, wow. She’s a real Go-Go Doll.”

“She got the implants? Daaaaaaaamn.” Devon looked impressed. He gave Maru a long, vertical once-over, pausing a good three seconds too long on her perky little butt-cheeks.

“That’s not where they implant the chips, Devon.” I smacked him playfully on the arm.

“Sorry.” Devon gave me a boyish grin calculated to make me forgive him anything. Despite which, I felt a sulk coming on. We walked in silence, behind the others.

“Do you think I should get the implants?”

Devon stopped dead in his tracks. “You’re kidding me, right?”

“No,” I said quietly. “I see how you look at Maru. I see management eyeing her for promotion. I look at her – she used to be my friend, but now…” The others had turned around to see why we stopped. “Never mind, they’re waiting on us. Let’s just get sushi and not talk about this anymore.”

config

Dr. Chivari shoved my MRI films up onto the lightboxes mounted to his office wall and peered at them. He rubbed at a tiny speck with a corner of his fingernail, then, satisfied that it was a tiny speck and not the beginnings of a brain tumor, he turned and smiled at me. “Everything looks normal; I see no reason we can’t proceed. If you’re certain this is what you want to do.”

I wasn’t certain of anything, but I nodded as if I hadn’t a doubt in the world. Yes, definitely – drill a hole in my head and implant your little Go-Go gadget in my brain. I want to be smart, successful, and upwardly mobile like Maru.

“You understand the risks? Everything’s been explained to you?”

I nodded and feigned boredom. “I could die during the operation. I could die if there’s a reboot during a freak thunderstorm. I could end up cross-eyed, blind, or mentally retarded.” I ticked each of these things off using the fingers of my left hand. “I could be rendered sterile. I could suffer inexplicable depression, suicidal urges, or precipitous drops in blood sugar. I could fly into a homicidal rage—“ That one actually gave me pause. I pictured Maru and I, going at it over the thermocopier, wondering if either of us would have the nerve to pull the core and nuke the entire office staff. I stifled a giggle. “I assume full responsibility and indemnify you and the clinic should any of these things happen as a result of the implants.”

“And you still want to proceed?”

“More than ever.”

Dr. Chivari scribbled something into his planner, looked up at me, and said, “Tuesday the 5th, then.” He returned to his scribbling. I was dismissed.

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“I thought you were smarter than that!” yelled Devon.

“That’s the whole point, Devon – I’m not!” I wailed.

“Sianna, you’re smart, you’re pretty, you’re – why the hell would you want to be a Go-Go Girl? Don’t you realize the guys just use Maru – the girls hate her, and the guys treat her like a party trick?”

“She knows everything.”

“She knows everything about nothing. You know how to use a search engine. Maru IS one.” Devon sat on the couch next to me and wiped away a tear. “You know it’s true. Don’t do it, Si. Don’t turn yourself into a Go-Go Bot.”

Later that night, we made love. I couldn’t help but wonder if Devon wouldn’t like it if I could call up the Kama Sutra behind my eyelids at will, during the heat of passion. As if reading my mind, he cupped my face and held my gaze. “I love it that you keep your eyes open during sex. It’s like a window to the soul.”

config

They found Maru the next day, her eyes rolled back in her head – her tongue shoved into a USB port. That was the other side effect I’d forgotten, back in Dr. Chivari’s office. “I’d be vulnerable to hacking.” Maru had been caught with the VP of Intellectual Operations, and his son – an angry teen who’d been spurned by a Go-Go Doll teacher built like Lara Croft– had played Maru like an RPG. She would live, but would forever babble only two words: “Game over.”

17 Responses to “Maru the Go-Go Doll”

  1. James says:

    woohoo…words from the amazing HOlly! write down more words. we want the rest of the story!!!!
    James would be over the moon if you read Limit The Influence That Others Have On Your MindsetMy Profile

    • How about more stories? Not sure there is much more to this one. 🙂 The main one, though – that’s a bit longer. Shoot, the first one that started out to be the main one and wasn’t is longer! 🙂

  2. tbaoo says:

    yes i didi it the old fashion way – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/floccinaucinihilipilification – and i really enjoyed the serious warning hidden in your story. do not stick your tongue in an usb, especially when your backsides exposed 🙂 great stuff
    tbaoo would be over the moon if you read moony the story thus farMy Profile

  3. Marian Allen
    Twitter:
    says:

    LOVE IT! I want to know more about this society and these people (the survivors, that is). 🙂

    MA
    Marian Allen would be over the moon if you read H is for Help and HindranceMy Profile

  4. Alberto says:

    The first thing I did as I read the article is to find out the meaning of the word. It turned out to be a worthless search (at least in my opinion).
    Alberto would be over the moon if you read cheap travel dealsMy Profile

    • Which word was that, Alberto? There were a lot of them in the story. You mean “floccinaucinihilipilification”? Yes, pretty much – and that symbolizes exactly my point in the story, doesn’t it? 🙂

  5. Primo says:

    I just wish that we will not come to this in the future. I don’t like the possible effects to us.
    Primo would be over the moon if you read cheap maternity scrubsMy Profile

    • I agree, Primo, but I have the feeling this is not too far off. There could be very beneficial effects. Or, as I can well imagine, whole class structures built on biotechnology and money.

  6. Bodie P says:

    Great story, well told, and I loved the quirky ending. But I can’t help wondering what it must be like, to have all the knowledge of the internet at your synapse tips. And why would that make one such a jerk? Did it happen to everyone, or just Maru? And were her butt cheeks naturally perky, or was that a side effect of all that knowledge? If so, the chip might be worth it…
    Bodie P would be over the moon if you read Crazy Little WomenMy Profile

    • More to the point, having all that information at your synapse tips doesn’t automatically make you LESS of a jerk. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Bodie P! I do not know why your comment ended up in moderation, but I have given Akismet a swift kick and a scolding on your behalf. You let me know if he doesn’t behave!

  7. Samuel says:

    Wow, this story is great! I love it.
    Samuel would be over the moon if you read some good oil painting tipsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Samuel! I’m so glad to hear that! I’m working on a new one, now – part 3 of “The Stone Cavern” has just been posted (but be sure to START at part 1!)

  8. LOVE this story! I’ve been writing articles about people-tech and generally waging my finger at those who think jacking our brains would be a good thing. So this strikes a chord with me, but you handled the story very well also. Great stuff. I’ll be looking for more of your stories.

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