dollpocalypse: (!?: i KNOW crazy right)
[personal profile] dollpocalypse

As a 24-year-old boy genius with two PhDs under his belt, Topher didn't find it difficult to line up job interviews that interested him. For the most part, they were all the same: interesting at first when they tried to woo him, but then inevitably also boring; nothing could hold his interest past the second round of getting-to-know-you bullshit.

But then there was this one place in L.A. where he had made it through three decreasingly cryptic rounds of interviewing before he even learned the scope of the job, and the paperwork he'd had to sign before even being offered a final tour of the office was ridiculous. But Topher didn't need an easy hiring process and, in fact, didn't want one. Based on what he knew of the job, the song-and-dance was worth it. So he showed up to the tour with his hair combed and wearing a too-large grey jacket that vaguely resembled the top part of a suit. By the end of the day, he was going to have a job as chief programmer at an underground facility that rewrote people's minds.

"Is it as you imagined?" the woman who would be his boss inqurired. Her name was Adelle, and she was painfully British. Topher loved the accent as much as he found it somewhat unbelievable that someone could be that British.

He took a good look at the glass walls, the spa-like decor of the atrium from the space where he could overlook it from the room they were in, and the slowly mobile people milling about below. The whole thing was like a dream.

"It's actually weirder," he said with delight, turning back around to face her. With a thought toward the many weird sights he had seen since his high school days, he added, "Which may be a first."

"This, obviously, is the programming center," Adelle continued, stepping towards a set of glass doors toward the back of the room. Topher especially liked the way her eyes lingered on his face as she moved out of the way, like she was awaiting proof that he was satisfied.

"It's great," he said, only because it looked like she wanted to hear that. "I love what you haven't done with the place. I get up in this, I'm gonna need a couple throw pillows, a fridge..."

The suit who'd been hanging around behind them cut in, "Should we order you a poster of a cat, maybe hanging off a tree?"

Topher snickered, but refused to meet the man's eyes. "I like this guy already."

"It's not a dorm room," the suit snapped.

"Mr. Dominic is our head of security," Adelle said. Ten minutes into the tour already and the suit was finally getting an introduction after following them around mutely for awhile. Yeah, some department head.

Dominic droned, "I'm here to make sure the house runs smoothly. No unstable elements."

Topher's expression was totally blank as he asked, "So do you get me the fridge, or do I talk to someone higher up?"

Dominic glared right back at him. On cue, Adelle was quick with the distraction. "Perhaps you'd like to see the imprinting process," she suggested.

He would, but only because he still could barely believe it was real. Topher made sure to beckon condescendingly for the suit to follow as he passed through the glass doors into the next room.

The room was set up to situate the long, reclining imprinting chair in the center, with screens and scanners along the walls on all four sides. The chair was currently occupied by one of the local lab rats -- erm, Actives -- who was lying barefoot with his arms over his chest, with cables strapped to his forehead as his entire personality and memory bank were restructured before all of their eyes.

"You build it there, it comes out in here," Topher marveled. Talk about seeing the results of your own work. He couldn't imagine a more gratifying stroke of his ego than a job where he could watch the walking, talking results of his handiwork. The flush of power and pride that gave him was almost erotic.

...But Adelle was still talking, so he tried his best to snap out of his own head and listen.

"We have access to over a hundred thousand brain models. Every scanner Rossum makes sends a full 3D map to our mainframe. In three years, we'll have a million."

"It's beautiful," Topher said with full sincerity.

To undercut the moment, and a little bit to deal with the rush of physical energy he was bound to continue to feel as long as he remained in this room, he looked back at the suit. "I'm also gonna need a trampoline."

The suit's scowl intensified. "We have at least ten Actives sent out per day. It takes two hours to upload an imprint, so I don't see you having the time--"

"Whoa, whoa, two hours? What?" Topher sniggered, looking from the suit to the big boss in the hopes that she would recognize in his expression how ridiculous that was. "Are they memorizing their personalities?"

Interest gleamed in Adelle's eyes. "Two hours is the standing record for any house," she said slowly. "Do you think you can beat it?"

"Uh, to a pulp, yeah," Topher snorted. He sidestepped behind her, moving behind the Active that was currently hooked up to the chair. "First of all," he said, jingling the handful of wires strapped to the guy's forehead, "the analog cables have got to go. You're uploading the personal history chronologically, yeah? Ugh, endless. The information bottlenecks."

Adelle frowned. "To preserve the integrity of the memory structure," she said, like it was something she'd been told by some dweeb who thought he knew shit.

"No, no, no," he interrupted. "You don't have to! They can experience it teleogically and the imprinted memory can sort it out for you."

Please, why didn't commoners know even basic neuroscience? They should really teach it in high schools. Well, normal high schools.

"Dump it all at once?"

"Come at it from all sides," Topher rephrased. "It's basic micropulse. In and out, five minutes, tops."

Of course his truly brilliant revamp idea couldn't go without a stupid comment from the moron in the suit. "What if their brains turn to jelly?" the suit asked snidely.

"Well, with the obvious exception of yours, the human brain is a massively powerful creature," Topher explained. "Underestimating it is usually the last mistake any culture makes."

Adelle seemed to smile at that one.

Suit wasn't buying it. "Cities don't burn because everyone got smarter. They burn because someone lost control of them."

Ugh, god, Topher thought he had left this kind of thinking behind back in undergrad. "I'm sorry," he said with a truly desperate look in Adelle's direction, "but whence this clown? Did Idi Amin turn down the job?"

The big boss took a few intimidatingly British steps toward him. Her high heels were loud on the tile floor; Topher made a mental note that he needed to get a fluffy rug. "Mr. Dominic is my eyes and ears," she said quietly. It was a censure -- he was plenty familiar with those -- but her choice to deliver it out of earshot of the stupid suit boded well for Topher's future at this place.

"Can I be nose and throat?" he quipped.

Adelle rephrased. "In matters of security, my ascent is a formality, including the termination of unstable employees."

Ah. So that's what that meant. Topher gave a nod of understanding, but that didn't mean he wasn't pouting.

That obviously registered with Boss Lady, because when she turned back around towards the suit, her posture was even more severe. "Mr. Dominic."


"Get this man a refrigerator," she said firmly. When she turned back around, she and Topher exchanged a quick smile of understanding.

{from dollhouse 1x13, epitaph one. not for broadcast because of location, of course!}


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September 2015

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