Author: Thomas Desrochers

This mess I’m in, it’s kinda my fault. You see, I was hanging down at Louie’s, yackin’ with the other breadheads in the back room, and Mack comes in with this smirk like he’s scored big. I asked him what the deal was and he took me aside and told me, “Hey, Vinnie, buddy, I cracked it, see? I figured out how to grab all of somebody’s information, history, secrets, details, whatever you like, I got it figured out. Total access!”

I asked him, “Mack, you jerkin’ me around?”

Mack just laughed, wrapped an arm across my shoulders. “Vinnie, buddy,” he said, “I’ve got it figured out, I’ve got the hardware, but you know as well as me that I can’t go puttin’ boards in my own head. Let’s make a deal, Vinnie. I test it on you, you get first access. Total information!”

Well. Sounded like a good deal, right? That’s the dream right there. Knowledge is power, like the boys in the chip shops on King Street are always saying, and Mack was offering me all of it.

“Alright,” I told him. “But you gotta take care of me, you hear?”

Mack clapped me on the back. “Vinnie boy, this is gonna be the coolest thing, you know that? This works, we’ll make billions.”

I mean, it really sounded good.

Too good to be true, even.

Well, I’ll give Mack credit. The thing worked flawlessly, and he’s a regular carpenter when it comes to integrating breadboards in the ‘ol cortex.

Well, one problem: I had no control over it. If I saw a person, Mack’s wonderboard would put their entire life in my head whether I wanted it or not. That stopped being funny when I woke up and saw Mack – and screamed. “Well, Vinnie,” he grinned, “Minor technical issues pave the way forward.”

I started to object, but he threw me out on the street. If Mack’s whole life was a little much, think about what it was like being on a crowded street still fuzzy from the anesthetics. Complete overload just about sums it up, instantly bombarded by… well, all of it. I mean, jeeze-louise – the things these people got up to!

I passed out, then came to in an alley. This cop was standing over me with this look on her face like I’d done something real smart.

“A little early for booze,” she said sweetly.

I shook my head trying to focus. “You know,” I said. “I don’t think it’s normal to spend that much on deodorant.”

She wasn’t too hot on me knowing her deepest secrets, but lucky for me her partner stepped into the scene. “He’s not wrong, Beatrice. You spend a ridiculous amount of money on deodorant. But… How did you know that?”

“And you,” I slurred. “Twelve cats in one apartment?”

Beatrice cackled, then tapped her beat-stick where Mack had been cutting. “He’s a breadhead boy, Claire. One of those hooligans always putting homegrown tech in each other.”

Claire narrowed her eyes, chewed her lip. “What sort of screwy thing did you put in there?”

I shrugged. “I can’t know everything, I guess.”

Lucky for me Claire and Beatrice knew a good thing when they saw it. They got me home, got me cleaned up. Every now and then they bring me to see a perp and we fix ‘em better than any black site. Their bosses love it, and the three of us don’t mind cleaning out these thugs’ stashes.

And Mack… Well, he’ll be getting a visit from some soon-to-be detectives. After all, competition is bad for business.