Theme IX: Digital Identity, “Holograms of Hummingbirds”

By Nikolas Reda-Castelao

Holograms. They shot along the corridor and Luke sat in the mobile chair, a velvet luxury, as it droned along the wall. It was chromium with a slight eggshell color, sprayed on for adornment. The holograms were all of women, a digitized menagerie of the basest collection, the most repudiated of collection, the ghastliest of collections of illusions. Each one scrambled as the projection rings tried to color-code the right quadrants and vectors of complicated math problems, the kind people like Luke had completely forgotten.

These were, by conventional means, pretty women. The equidistant lines from the center of their axis and the varying circumferences of their figures were all perfectly processed to make sure that Luke was witness to only the most up to standard models that were available in the area. Small datum whirred at the bottom of the holographic tubes. They gave distance, age, weight, height, cholesterol level, resting heart rate, telomerase decomposition rate, daily blood-sugar level, police records, number of employments, salary, number of previous sexual partners and so forth. Luke gazed at all these potential matches. A tube shot from the right armrest and wrapped itself around his waistline, whirring loudly as it wiggled into his wraps of flesh. The sensation was that of a whispered waft, coolness as his body, a heaping mass, tightened. His muscles tingled from the silent shocks the belt dispensed, and they tightened. The cable ceased and coiled back into the armchair.

He stepped from the pulpit and onto the echoing floors. Each step expanded and contracted into his ears. He walked amongst a universe and within a singularity. He took his shirt, now a robe draped over his thinned body, and shed it. There wasn’t a single piece of geometry in his entire composition that was askew or undefined. Lines and numbers seemed to exist in places previously imaginary, hypotheticals made all too plausible. His veins made tributaries that mocked the shapes of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. His jaw could shatter through the chromium walls. But it was slackened. The chair hummed and a camera emerged on the left armrest. It burst a display of light that encumbered him and the slight warbling of the noise from the immense speed of all this information covered him. It was like millions of microscopic hummingbirds. 

 “Hal, upload my likeness into the Public Cerebral Page. Return me the matches.” 

The warbling stopped and the light vanished. A moment passed. Luke’s eyes became like plastic eying his options, these top specimens of desired beauty. A static-infused voice returned to him, “Master Luke!” 

 “Recalibrate your Timbre Modulator. You know that voice offends me.” 

“I’m terribly sorry.” Hal changed its voice to something precise and proper, articulating a King’s English. “Master Luke. You have returned with the expected hundred percent match ratio.”

Luke nodded his head. “That is very exciting. Commence with the Cupid Algorithms.”

 Hal proceeded.

“Sir these are the candidates which have passed the proximity and physiological facilitators that you have set. Of these 10 candidates, past empirical data suggests that you are more prone to selecting ethnicities based from the Caucus mountains or the early Tigris-Euphrates civilizations, so that eliminates 5 immediately.” Five of the women instantly vanished. “Taking into consideration your masturbatory habits and recent sperm count as of,” a second passed, “this second, it is indicated that you are preferential to an engagement that is approximately between 5-7 minutes if you make appropriate use of your breathing rhythms. A tracheal softener will be provided at the door. To complement this bodily need, you will be paired with a partner who aligns within .65 z-scores of the optimal vaginal sensitivity algorithms median.” Three more holograms disappeared. “Now, estimating size girth and length of penis, sensitivity in compatibility with the Buttock formula, coopting a .5 hip-waist ratio for leg length, I find that both are nearly indistinguishable.” 

“Huh,” Luke breathed. 

“Never worry. I am currently calculating and collecting all past medical information on these candidates, including surgeries, optometrist, podiatrist, dentist, cardiologist, urologist, OBGYN, and therapist reports to substantiate the most compatible and fertile candidate for your needs.”
There was a pause. Luke looked at the two women once again, both stunning, by conventional geometry, and their entire lives passing before their feet. They were clothed in provocative clothing, tinted the psychologically imposing colors of red and black. Luke’s eyes were plastic and his face as metallic as the wall behind him.

“Susan reportedly began seeing her fifth-grade counselor on reported accounts of repeated aggressive behavior towards her female peers due to a traumatic death of her father that same year. At eighteen, her psychiatrist tripled her dosage of common OTC anti-depressants before she was institutionalized for a brief period of 20.5 days. Amanda has in the past contracted several sexually transmitted diseases from negligence of her HAL system and has conflicting reports of two cardiologists arguing over the possibility of a mysterious cardiac disease. Whether this is a malfunction in the detecting doctor’s body drone is unknown.” 

“No need. Send Amanda a sexual invitation here. Word it to be both charming and yet provocative, making a slight reference to my wealth but compensating for common touch.” 

“Absolutely sir.”

Luke stuttered in a moment of sudden thought, “Hal. Why do you remind me of the entire process every time? Why not just do the algorithms?” 

“To ensure that you are aware of how the process is done and that it is done with your consent. You have to be reassured that this is done with complete consent and transparency, right sir? The current cultural trend in Public Cerebral Page forums is quite adamant on the notion of Consent and so to decrease the likeliness of chemical triggers to anxiety, we are designed to ensure that you are indeed abiding by this trend.” 

 “Right.” Luke continued to gaze at Amanda. He got bored. He returned to his chair and it whisked him to the Hygeine Chamber, where he would prepare for the interaction with Amanda. 

On his way, he passed a window, and outside was a woman in a polka-dotted green dress. She was smiling, he thought. He wasn’t sure. She made this contortion with her lips as she pressed her nose against some tulips. He had no idea what she was doing. But he felt, in his chest, a billion hummingbirds. “Hal!” 

 “Sir, your heart rate is approaching high levels, I should warn you. If you are engaged in rigorous activity, perhaps you should cease for the moment until the interaction with Amanda.”

“Who is that woman,” he bellowed at his chromium walls, pointing like a child out at this perplexing person whose weird face motions made weird motions in him. 

“Guinevere Eross, sir. She is a currently widowed Hispanic woman, aged 34, weighing 134 lbs with a resting heart rate of-“

“No! Stop that! Who is she? Why is she doing that thing with her mouth?” 

 “That is called ‘smiling’, sir. It was a social currency predating our current generation and is used to communicate, in homo sapiens, cordiality and harmless intentions. In other primate species it is used to communicate aggression and submission, weakness, so to say.”

“Smiling! Yes! That is what that is. She is smiling!” The hummingbirds rioted in his chest. “I must meet her. I have this strange feeling in my chest. She is causing it.”

“That is your brain communicating to the adrenal glands of your body to produce excess amounts of norepinephrine and similar endocrine chemicals. It is an anachronism of Cro-Magnon human civilizations when scarcity was abundant. It is not Ms. Eross. She does not meet the specifications chosen out by your Cupid Algorithms nor does she align with the physiological inputs of your current biometric necessities. Amanda has been expertly chosen from thousands of potentialities. The algorithms are immaculate and have been checked repeatedly in my processors.”

“But look at her face. I’ve never seen hair like that before!” 

 “Master Luke. I am not wrong.”

Luke passed the mirror and she was gone. The right armrest protruded a needle and it slipped in him powerful liquid, amber in color. He sat there and let a billion hummingbirds be euthanized. He couldn’t alter the biometric calculations to ruin that optimal 5-7 minute sexual contract he had drafted with Amanda. Hal could not be wrong.


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