Concept Art Writing Prompt: A brain in a jar basks in the warm glow of monitors

Welcome to another installment of the Concept Art Writing Prompt. Each week, we post a piece of unusual artwork, hoping to fire your imagination and get your fingers typing. If today's well-connected brain in a jar inspires you, write a piece of flash fiction and share it in the comments.

This week's concept art comes from Polish illustrator Michal Dziekan via mashKULTURE. You can see the full image below, so you can see it in its full glory before you get to writing.


Once again, I'll kick things off. Please add your own inspired tales in the comments.

"Pearlescent Autobody, how may I help you?"

The sound of a voice — a real, physical voice — jangled in Janine's gray matter. "Yes, my left knee is locking up. I tried the hard restart, but..."

"Ma'am?" Janine interrupted the caller. "Could you please switch to the data-only link?"

"Oh! Of course!" The caller radiated polite surprise, then switched to data-only. Janine never could focus with the vocal link radiating over her. "I didn't realize Pearlescent hired disembodies to handle support calls."

Janine rolled her eyes, one of the last visceral pleasures left to her. "I assure you, ma'am, that I'm well versed in all of Pearlescent's models." The truth was, Janine probably knew more about Pearlescent's artificial bodies than any of its customers. Since the moment she came out of cryo, Janine had spent every free moment studying the specifications of every body and peripheral offered by the company. She'd long ago decided that it was worth logging the extra ten thousand tech support calls to splurge on the ultra-durable Pearlescent Mark Five Deluxe, and then save up for the speed and power enhancements once she was comfortably embodied.

Janine transmitted the caller's customer number and peered at the records, even though they clearly showed up inside her mind. "You're in the Longman Gazelle?" she asked, trying to keep the awe from her mental tone. "No one's ever logged a lower body bug in one of those." She silently cursed herself. She got docked half a call every time she let proprietary information slip, no matter how innocuous. "Are you engaging in a high amount of physical activity?"

The caller chuckled. "I guess you could say that. I just got back from a transglobal run. I know, it's contraindicated in the first five years, but it's an amazing experience. You should really do it once you get your body."

Janine paused to take a sip of cola. It wasn't really cola, just a liquid stimulant she could pump into her brain at will that simulated the experience of drinking a soda (even if it never quite "tasted" right). The last time Janine could remember running was in her twelfth grade gym class. She was always one of the slow girls, the ones that Ms. Gruber clapped and cheered at — "Come on, ladies! You can do better than that!" Janine found herself almost longing for that burning feeling in her lungs and the sting of humiliation when she was the last one to finish the lap.

Janine sold the caller on a full joint upgrade that would more than make up for the docked call. When the line disconnected, Janine pulled up the Mark Five Deluxe window, which she always had at the ready. Then, after a moment's hesitation, she flipped over to the Mark Five Basic. Maybe, she thought, durability was overrated.

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