To bear an earmark in the Madhad State of Great England was a two-for-one, blight and blessing. The Earmarking Ceremony was one of the most important days in any self-respecting individual’s life. It stood as testament to citizenship, social status, but most importantly: the right to an identity.
Be that as it may, it was common knowledge that the minuscule microchip implant in everyone’s earlobe was more than just an identity chip. Each and every earlobe-microchip was connected to the Neuro – a digital repository of human wisdom that could be accessed remotely by “intentional thought”. A subsidiary of the hypernet, the Neuro was ubiquitous at best, its software permeating every holographic screen, mobile device and online store on the face of the planet, under the strict control and regulation of the Madhad State.
Every possessor of an identity chip (or earmark) could thus engage in browsing information or purchasing products of interest by simply thinking things true. It soon became apparent that any device that succeeded in translating one’s thoughts into online actions was also capable of the reverse.
If you could put thoughts on the hypernet, the hypernet could put thoughts into you.
To that knowledge, Vivian Amberville wasn’t the least bit surprised that the first time she used her ID chip to log into the Neuro, she came down with all sorts of munchies.
‘Dunno about you, but I’m feeling like Miss Marriot’s Strawberry-flavoured Lickable Wallpaper,’ said Vivian through a straight face. Patricia Kate gawked.
‘Say what now?’
‘Or Grandma Marley’s Fifty Flavours Homemade Biscuits, for what matters,’ said Vivian unemotionally, changing the subject. ‘Funny how I don’t recall ever buying the stuff. I’d fancy one now, though.’
Kate gave her a look of complete concern. ‘Are you having a fit or something?’
‘And wouldn’t you just LOVE a Mudburger Hamburger? The kind that’s got all these chewy bits inside? I, for once would love a –BECOME A PERMANENT BIGGER SIZE WITH THE NEW CUP ENLARGEMENT OFFER— and the curly burger fries are included!’ said Vivian through a watering mouth.
Kate was now giving her the kind of look that called for an emergency exorcism. ‘Are you quite alright?’
Vivian cradled her head between her palms. ‘Crickey, it’s the Neuro! It’s making me come down with all sort of munchies. I must’ve thought of Moocow Milk, because now I can’t stop thinking about— GROW YOUR BOSOM TO UP TO FIVE CUP SIZES IN LESS THAN A WEEK! GET NOW A LARGER, FULLER, FIRMER PAIR OF –Moocow’s Patented Organic Milk Jugs— oh no!’ Vivian shrieked. ‘Reckon I’m getting spammed!’
Kate waved her hands in a frenzy. ‘Well go on and disconnect from it – quickly!’
‘Log out, log out, LOG OUT!’ Vivian called out loud, her face screwed up in constipated concentration. ‘Password lock? Sure, do me in! Oh, right. I guess I gotto think of a password—‘ she knocked herself in the forehead ‘—wait, what do you mean “add a capital letter”? How on earth am I supposed to THINK IN CAPITAL LETTERS??’
‘Just think of a number to go with your word, and it’ll work,’ said Kate quickly. ‘So Lucian used to say.’
‘D-done!’ said Vivian, before collapsing on a nearby sofa. Not only she felt hungry for at least fifty things, but also embarrassed of getting spammed by the Madhad Insta-Surgery Boutique. It took Vivian several attempts at using the Neuro to master the subtle art of hypernet-surfing – the most important (if problematic) skill one could master in the inglorious Madhad State.