Brain Power by Rhys Clarke
Chapter Three: The Pitch
‘Nature’s awfully unfair, isn’t it?’ sighed Alfred K. Broderick, once Samantha had stopped screaming, ‘It heaps strength and intelligence on some and abandons the rest of us without anything to rely on. Take your case, Mr. Whittaker. You’ve got a company to run, an estate to manage. If nature had been fair to you, she would have given you a mind well suited to the world of business-a passion for numbers and a talent for counting, that sort of thing-but she didn’t. And now you’ve got all this stuff you have to run, without the foggiest idea of how to manage it all. It’s just not fair, is it?’
‘No,’ breathed Byron, his eyes shining with blank wonder. Samantha’s mind turned to her tiny flat, to her cramped bed, to the pitiful state of her bank account. A spike of irritation shot up the back of her throat and she found herself having to camp down on her tongue to avoid saying anything stupid. She didn’t think it was very kind, talking about the woeful disadvantages of being born a stupid millionare, right in front of the help. Broderick patted the glass dome with a thick, hairy hand, beaming.
‘What you need, Mr. Whittaker, is a good head on your shoulders. A mind made for business, for numbers, for sensible business deals. And that’s exactly what I’m offering you. This brain here, let’s call it Brain X, has been especially grown for the purposes of running a successful business. I would be more than happy to loan it to you until you’ve gotten yourself out of your current financial difficulties-for a small fee, of course.’
‘I don’t understand,’ said Byron, ‘how is this brain, this business brain- how is that supposed to help me?’
‘By talking to you, of course!’ croaked Broderick, ‘in its own special way, of course. Here, try this…’
Broderick grabbed one of the long, protruding wires that snaked out from the silver base of the dome. At the end of this particular wire was something that looked like a pale grey suction cup.
‘Just take this wire,’ said Broderick, ‘and attach it to the side of your head, like this!’
Broderick rammed the suction cup onto the side of his immense temple. The inside of the dome flashed yellow and, for the briefest second, Samantha fancied that she saw the brain shiver, as though startled.
‘The thoughts of Brain X run down this long wire here,’ explained Broderick, ‘and pass out the end of this little sucking bit, before passing right into your brain. It’s that simple, so you see, Mr. Whittaker, the next time you have an important business decision to make, just plug yourself up to Brain X, wait a minute, and it’ll tell you what to do! Amazing, isn’t it?’
‘It is amazing,’ whispered Byron.
‘What I want to know, Mr Broderick,’ said Samantha, ‘is where did you get this brain from?’
‘What a silly question!’ hissed Broderick, his mad eyes rolling like a pair of sparkling blue merry-go-rounds, ‘I grew it of course! I grow all my brains and carefully cultivate them for individual clients. So,’ said Broderick, flashing Byron a thick, yellow smile, ‘do we have a deal?’