The Whole Does Not Equal the Sum – a writing exercise

A writing Exercise from Writing Excuses episode 4.24 podcast

Concepts to use in the story: Accountant for a church, Contacts that decrease your vision, and brain implants

Exercise: Develop character(s) and conflicts using the three concepts above.  It can’t be silly.

The Whole Does Not Equal the Sum 

by Mitch Lavender

Better living through technology – A mantra that is repeated to the point that it is not even thought about.  No one considers what it means or if they believe it.  They certainly do not question it.  It was the very heart of the doctrine of The Church of π.

The divine writings of Edward Darson III explain the concept that numbers are perfect.  In fact, numbers are the singular and only consistent thing in our existence.  They are absolute and through mathematics control everything.  From the vastness of the universe down to the atoms that make up that universe and everything in it, numbers keep chaos from reigning; it is understood in the way a star explodes and expands, or in the beautiful symmetry of a snowflake.

Therefore, Mathematicians are the Theologians, as they study numbers and their rules, and Programmers are in a truly esteemed role, for they applied these rules to accomplish precise functions, consistently and without error.  It was through application of these programs that The Sum truly saw benefit from these programs through computers and technology.  All hail, Technology!  Amen.

In the year 2034, cybernetic implants were tested on humans.  Initially, the use is limited to helping correct and remediate mental disorders.  Through implants wired directly into the brain, specific areas of the cortex can be stimulated and bridge gaps between synapses to rectify Attention Deficit Disorder, stuttering, and some forms of paralysis.  As the technology matured, ability to correct psychotic behavior, mental retardation, and even Alzheimer’s disease.  So successful was the technology that people without any mental handicap at all started getting implants to augment their abilities.  Cybernetic enhancements to the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch became as commonplace as rhinoplasty was in the early 2000’s.  Better living through technology.

 It is predestined.  As sure as 2+2=4, James was born to occupy a holy office within The Church of π.  He is only an Accountant; with his own flock of Products.  As Accountant of his parish, he was accountable for helping the products maintain integers within their geometry, find harmony with The Numbers and keep the faith until the coming of the Grand Total.

One could attain spirituality with The Numbers by the benefits offered by cybernetic implants.  The body is a temple and so the more implants you had, the closer you were to becoming Whole.  James is in his seventh Equation and has twelve brain implants.  Six of these implants are specifically to enhance his vision, and this was his righteous achievement and his indivisibleness.  It was also his burden, for he now sees with such sharpness and contrast that he comes close to passing out for the sheer amount of visual input in some situations.  Watching a football game is out of the question for him, with the high amount of activity and brightly divergent colors, his head swims with sensory overload.  Better living through technology.

This acute eyesight is so debilitating that James resorts to wearing contact lenses that reduce his vision to a degree that his headaches subside.  He curses his lack of faith and devotion but there was no relief for him outside of this or removing implants, and removing the implants would certainly result in his excommunication.  This is his deep, dark secret, but sometimes he wishes this equation would be achieved so that he had nothing to hide.  It would certainly result in his being Fractioned or even Subtracted, but thus far, no one had taken notice.

(c) copyright 2017, Mitch Lavender

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