And now, virtually penniless, battered by the stress of insane interviews, a promiscuous admin, a gun wielding friend, and dizzy from the fumes of shock pickles, here was Vegetable Man battering him with what could only be called “luxury knowledge.”
“It’s NOT ‘Luxury Knowledge’, Lettuce Wedge! This is the key, the key to the entire Master Plan for TitanTech’s conquest.”
Hearing Carrot Hands, Wedge then remembered something stupid that Latch had once said: “A confirmed drunk is a person who has the courage of his derelictions.” Carrot Hands was drunk; there was no other explanation. He wasn’t mad; he was drunk. Only a drunk would decide to barge into someone’s apartment and extol the merits of an esoteric branch of mathematics.
“You must learn it, you must know what Tensor Calculus can do; you are The One!”
Wedge had stopped crying. He slowly raised his head and looked at the tip of Carrot Hand’s nose, a technique more effective for eye to eye contact than gazing into someone’s pupils.
“Do you have any money? I need money. I need a job. I need a fucking job.” How many times had he begged? How many times had he pleaded? I need a fucking job.
“Let me teach you Wedge, let me show you the majesty of the TC and money will be no exception.”
“Do you have PhDs Mr. Dons?”
Carrot Hands paused, then pulled away.
“Of course. Davids told you I suppose; so what?”
“And that’s actually a carrot?” Wedge stared at the right hand carrot that replaced Carrot Hands' right hand. It wasn't so much a question now. Wedge knew the truth. No, not a question at all--instead a fragile prayer to the Abyss. interrogative or prayer, Carrot Hands answered all the same.
“It’s not bacteria. It’s actual carrot vegetable stuff.”
Carrot Hands pointed his orange stick in Wedge’s face, “Yes, this,. . this, . . . monstrosity is actual vegetative matter. I could eat it and it would provide me with nutrition.”
“And this was the plan of the Black Greens to feed the world’s poor?”
“You’re so naïve . . . “
Dons cloaked his carrot hand and looked away. He then turned back to Wedge.
“This was the plan of TitanTech to make money!!! And what you don’t see is that the Tensor Calculus is what makes it all happen.”
Carrot Hands pulled off the cloak and again shoved his orange dagger in Wedge’s face with a grand flourish;. Carrot Hands was nothing if not a Drama King: a terrible monarch of Life's stage demanding absolute gravitational fealty of all satellites.
“Yes: the Tensor Calculus is the computational scientific infrastructure that makes this transformation, no, thistransmogrification, possible. And you have understood IT Strategy and how the precious information of thousands of formulae can be harnessed, weaponized, on behalf of Genetic Fascism. When TitanTech gets Cole Slaw as its CEO and the right IT Strategy nothing can stop their plans for global biological domination.”
Wedge was coming to. He saw an opportunity. Dave Dons apparently had no idea what IT Strategy really was. Somewhere at some convention, probably in Texas, probably in the Fall, he had been beaten senseless by an avalanche of buzz words and sexy acronyms that had no useful connection to reality. This beating so severely weakened Dons already hyper-stressed brain that he began to view IT Strategy as some cheery chain of business/technical incantations that would constitute a solution for business, a business solution, and could supercharge the agenda of, ah, . . . to . . . .to ?
“Lettus Wedge . . .”
Firmly with just the right hint of unanticipated hostility, Wedge replied. “You’d be doing me a big favor if you called me ‘Lettuce’ or ‘Wedge’, . . . not both”
“Alright then, ‘Lettus’”
“Actually, let me make this easy: call me ‘Wedge’ I really, really don’t like being called ‘Lettus’ because it sounds exactly like ‘lettuce’ and I am not a nutritionally worthless vegetable, I disapprove of its very existence.”
“Wedge, let me explain.”
Wedge needed this explained to him, yes, yes indeed. Yes. . .
“Wedge, have you ever heard of Junk DNA?”
“Well, Wedge, Junk DNA is data. Regular DNA is instructions. Junk DNA is modified by a control virus that exists in almost every living thing on this planet and probably in the things we deny live out there on other planets. It’s like COBOL, the third generation programming language. There was a Procedure Division and a Data Division. Hell, I was horrible at programming with COBOL, a language for bureaucrats and bozos.”
Wedge interrupted, “It was invented to support the Polaris missile program way back in the late 1950s. It was a breakthrough. You could write computer programs like writing prose. There were Sentences, Paragraphs and such…”
Dons looked appreciatively at Wedge, sensing once more that he was The One. Wedge seemed to be nearly preaching as he continued, “. . . and it was chaos. Everyone soon began writing COBOL the same way they had written FORTRAN and other languages, hell, even Assembler. One line meant one instruction. It became kind of like a To-Do List for the computer. However, the notion of periods, commas and the rest were the cause of millions of computer errors over fifty years. And then structured programming came on the scene and COBOL struggled with capturing the designated flow of control forms inherent in it. ”
Wedge then stopped, dumbstruck as he remembered the what Dons, what Carrot Hands hat uttered only moments before; an utterance that now struck him as profound, "And so, what you’re saying is that Tensor Calculus is the tool that is used to manipulate Junk DNA, the data that Instruction DNA uses to . . . "
“. . . yes, Wedge, program Life Forms. It’s the basis for what has been called ‘Evolution.’ Only, it doesn’t really work by natural selection – the Bible nuts are actually sort of right about this --- it works by sub cognitive adaptation, environmental morphing, dynamic somatic change. The sensory experiences of the organism are data collectors, stored in memory, and periodically empowering the Bravo Zulu Virus to mutate the genetic data base. Every life form has the Bravo Zulu virus. Without the virus you can’t be life. Call it a Beneficent Cancer that changes the organism in its next generation to more effectively deal with its experiences in an environment. Organisms that are successful in their environment have no need to morph to the next release, the next step in evolution, and thus our world is the accumulation of loser organisms that have escaped extinction by genetically modifying their offspring. If they can’t morph faster than the environment demands they are doomed to die out.”
Wedge was impressed; the was some heavy fucking shit; Dons did have a PhD after all. Dons continued,
“Here in this hand, the carrot hand, we see the results of not having the right IT Strategy to control the outputs from all the calculations of the Tensor Calculus. But, with the right IT Strategy, we will have the power to transmute organisms for whatever purpose we want. We can cure lethal cancers, all illnesses and create Perfect Persons, Omega People and Transhumans to achieve Paradise. We can adapt humans to pollution and aging.”
Wedge's head swam. The possibilities flit past his mind and imagination like a school of glittering goldfish that numbered in the infinities and yet, and yet, and yet...
Wedge still wanted the fucking job. He'd been through too goddamn much already to lose sight of the fucking job. Mission Control was back in business.
Wedge pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. When he opened them again they were sure and focused. They were business eyes. They weren't eyes that had had sex with horror the past week (month? year? eternity?) They were professional orbs. Business eyes.
Wedge scratched the back of his neck, “I understand, Mr. Dons. And I assure you, my IT Strategy will fully integrate all the data from all Tensor Calculus operations and form a single data base of record, effortlessly accessible through an intuitive web based user interface and obtainable with sufficient encryption to download safely to all mobile devices. Let’s form a team to map out exactly how we collaboratively tackle getting a good business process in place to make IT not only an enabler but a transformer. I think we can get to work the first day I’m on board. IT Strategy is the foundation for powerful and transformative business solutions: solutions for business.”
Carrot Hands was mad, quite mad; who wouldn’t be after your hand turned into a mass of bacteria or. . . a carrot. But as he looked upon Wedge he appeared a happy child, awash in the warm soothing assurance that caring adults were now present, Dons exclaimed, “Wedge, you ARE The One!”
“I hate ‘The One’ more than ‘Lettus’ "