NeuralPing announces…

  • Free, to the first one million applicants, NeuralPing HotLink implant
  • A painless, direct-brain interface which provides secure, seamless access to the World Wide Web
  • Get all your questions answered instantly through GChat‘s engaging query interface
  • At your command, have local, national and world news delivered straight into your mind
  • Get reviews for any product, any service real time right-where-you-stand, with no phone lookup
  • Call your friends and relatives direct from your brain with NeuralPing’s Co-Nect (some fees may apply)
  • Only the first 1 MILLION will get their HotLink implants absolutely FREE!

(Services include full coverage for six months after which standard charges will apply.)


“Hold still, goddammit.” Bennie held the hair-thin needle over Margie’s scalp.

“You said it wasn’t gonna hurt.” Margie complained, her face nestled in the doughnut shaped cushion, the rest of her body prone on the masseuse table that Bennie used for impromptu neural hacks.

“Oh, come on. It’s just a little pinprick.” He tapped a few keys on his laptop. Signals traveled through USB, into his custom RassPi black box unit and into the wispy filaments connected to the acupuncture needles embedded in Margie’s skin.


“OK, I’m done sticking you. Let me run diagnostics first.” He tapped furiously, watching the readout in the dark terminal windows. “Looks good. Now,” he said, pausing for effect, “I want you to think of a safe word. It should be a word you rarely use. But when you think the thoughts ‘stop’ or ‘quit’ that’s gonna be the word that will turn this bypass off.”

“Off? What about turning it on?”

“Safety first.”

“Fine,” Margie said, her cheeks squeezed by the dark-red ring. “How about crapola?”

Bennie laughed through his nose. “Yeah, that’ll work. When I say go, you think and say your safe word. Ready? Go.”

Margie blurted out her special “stop everything” safety word.

“Good,” Bennie confirmed, typing quickly and hitting enter. “This time, think of a word that you rarely use, but if you did, would bring you joy and that warm feeling, like Christmas morning.”

“What about ‘Christmas’?”

“What? You never say Christmas? It’s too common. Think of another.”

“I don’t know, Bennie. I ain’t got nothin’ in my life that make me feel like that. Why the hell do you think I come to you in the first place?”

“Yeah, yeah. I get that. How about some favorite flavor or candy you like but rarely eat?”

“Hm, like peppermint?”

“You like peppermint?”

“Mm, not that much. Bubblegum,” Margie squeaks through pursed lips.

“Good. We’ll use that one.”

Bennie primed the RassPi with his hack that would induce the NeuralPing chip implanted in Margie’s skull to squirt an oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin hormonal cocktail into her blood stream. When she thought and said the word “bubblegum” the chip would be fooled to reward her with a feeling of joy and well-being. For this, Margie, and hundreds of others, were willing to pay him handsomely.

He removed the needles, swabbed the area with alcohol and helped her up from the padded table.

“OK, let’s test it out. Think and say ‘bubblegum’.”

“Bubblegum.” Margie’s eyes squinted in skepticism. “Nothin’…” Her eyebrows arced and her pupils dilated. “Woooo, that’s… that’s incredible.”

“OK. Now shut it down.”


“Say your safe word.”

“Oh, yeah. Shit, this feels so good though.” She breathed a frustrated sign. “Crapola.”

Bennie watched her face sour. “Looks like it’s working.”

“This sucks,” She said, her upper lip in a sneer. “Fuck this. Bubblegum!”

Bennie grabbed her shoulders. “You gotta control yourself, Margie. You use it too much you’ll become immune to your own happiness.”

“Bubblegum, bubblegum, bubblegum.” She jumped off the table and danced around, her arms flitting, her hands butterflies in the wind. “Bubblegum.”

“Goddammit.” Bennie grabbed her wrist, pulled her close and pinched her right earlobe. “Cerberus,” he exclaimed dramatically.

Margie quit her frantic, marionette-like display. “What the hell.” She jerked her arm from his grip. “Don’t kill my buzz, dude. Bubblegum,” she said, defiantly. She waited. Nothing happened.

“I told you. If you abuse the hack, your brain will shut down. Someone will find you in a ditch, starving, drooling, chanting your happy word.”

“I don’t care. Turn it back on.”

“Yeah? Well, you gotta pay me first. After that, you can bubblegum until you laugh yourself to death.”

11 thoughts on “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NeuralPing HotLink

  1. You know, I often wonder (and this is a simple curiosity, not a knock) if it’s necessary to name the accouterments of a process or not. The argument for is authenticity, the argument against is distraction. I guess it’s down to what’s the real character in the piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything is an experiment.
      “ChatGPT, write me a press release about a new brain chip called… that can do …”
      No idea what it would say – but it prolly excels at such business speak.
      Sam Altman (OpenAI’s CEO) continues to surface in the news. AI Safety? Of course we’re concerned and focused on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was on the “creative writing” bit. Techspeak bullshit is the point of press releases. That. Or to present deniability and a retaliatory falsehood in the face of evidence of “unpleasantness”


        1. Ah, I see. Misinterpreted that.
          As a techie, part of the fun was imagining the actual process of hacking a neurallink chip.
          If the story were larger and focused on the social impact of a million dopamine addicts, dying in the gutter then the process would indeed have been distracting.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m a big fan of generic process description. There are those who delight in process detail, though, so it’s a personal choice. Depends on who the intended audience is. Like, if Patricia Cornwall suddenly decided to write fluffy children’s books somebody would have to step up for all the fans jonesing for gruesome, detailed autopsies.

            Liked by 1 person

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