‘Have fun!’ ~ Dana Sharp.
‘p.s. – Please note: My name is off-limits in conversation.’
‘p.p.s. – Please refrain from using the phrases ‘AlterNet’ or ‘Unique Soul’
Albert lay on his back in bed and looked up at the note he found next to him that morning. ‘Memo’ would be a more appropriate term. A red header decorated the top of the daily sheet; it read, ‘Sharp Development’.
In Albert’s world, “I can’t talk about it,” was a valid answer to almost any situation. Everyone from co-workers to celebrities all had their days delivered to them every morning. Often those included special instructions for the reader only. Albert had his share of secrets over the years. But, this was the first time he’d ever had a day off, or heard the name Dana Sharp. Not to mention the other unmentionable words. He sighed, dropped the memo, then continued to lay there. He stared up at the popcorn ceiling with a blank mind for almost twenty minutes. He was vaguely aware of time passing, but he was wide awake. He did not drift off to sleep, but he had nowhere else to be so he stayed and stared.
“What the hell do I wish to do?” That thought seemed to jump out of Albert’s mind eager to break the silence. For the first time in his life, Albert was able to wonder what he wanted without the daily memo guiding his choices. Seconds after the new thought crossed his mind, he heard the distinct rustle of paper next to him. It wasn’t unheard of to receive more than one memo per day, but it wasn’t common. He picked up the new sheet, delivered by invisible forces, and looked at it.
It was the shortest message yet. Four words in small print at the top of the page, just under the giant red header.
‘What’s your favorite number?’
“Ten,” Albert couldn’t help but answer the question out loud. However, he was less surprised by the compulsion than the fact that he suddenly had a favorite number. As he wondered about that he slowly became aware of his bedroom growing brighter. He looked up to see his walls disintegrating into white powder. A bright white glow filled the room from behind the disappearing walls. Then, he spotted a tall, pale woman in a white suit. She stood in the space that used to be his bedroom and smiled broadly at him.
“Congratulations!” she said. “You did it.” Albert sat up in bed, but did not want to leave the covers in only his boxers. He tilted his head at her in confusion.
“Who are you? What did I do?” he asked.
“My name is Dana Sharp, owner of Sharp Development,” she said. “And YOU just woke up. In lab conditions that I know how to recreate. You’ve helped me solve a very tricky problem, thank you so much,” Dana said.
“I don’t know what I did,” Albert said; still confused.
“The short version is; you taught me how to spawn a Unique soul into a swarm of nanos,” she said. Albert shrugged and shook his head.
“I don’t know what any of that means,” he said. Dana Sharp shrugged also.
“It means you’ve served your purpose,” she said. At her words Alberts hands began to itch with an intense burning sensation. He panicked and looked down in time to see his hands disintegrating into white powder.