So, this is what happens when I decide that I should get back to my roots with a breeding-oriented short story. This is from my latest bit, “Winning the Genetic Lottery”. It doesn’t have any supernatural, science fiction, or other elements. It does however feature a man so rich he may as well be a minor deity, for all the influence he can summon. Imagine a man with the fortune of Bill Gates, but with a mind formed by 4chan. This man drops $1bil on anyone with a personal project he finds amusing, and our hero makes the mistake of presenting one: becoming the most genetically successful man in history.
For those thinking about screaming, “What the hell are you doing writing something other than Progenitor?!?”, I’ll point out that I do my writing on my android tablet and find myself inspired to write on it when I’m not home. Given that I’m home for the weekend, I probably won’t be accomplishing much on Progenitor. But a short story probably wouldn’t interfere with it if I can finish it by the end of the weekend.
This is an excerpt, and is most of what I’ve got written so far. But I intend to keep working on it throughout the weekend.
Chapter 1: More Money Than Any Man Needs
International software magnate Linus Ritchie was bored of doing things with his fortune. He’d amassed trillions of dollars by commercializing his Kernux operating system, squeezing most competing vendors out of the market by the mid-1990s. He was so rich, and so bored, that he would make anonymous posts on message boards from time to time, asking simply, “What would you do with a billion dollars?”
Those who presented the most interesting responses were hunted down and actually given a billion dollars. These ideas didn’t need to be particularly good uses for a billion, just interesting enough to strike the whim of a trillionaire who could afford to drop a billion dollars on some poor soul and pay a small crew to follow them around filming what they did with the money, producing a hit reality TV show for his own amusement. The goals which the applicants named were rarely accomplished, but Linus described his interest as, “strictly for the lulz”. Any applicant who tried, however hopelessly, to accomplish his goals, Linus considered a good enough investment.
To further amuse himself, he’d never provide proof of his identity until his representative contacted the “lucky” recipient in order to arrange payment. This encouraged plenty of folks to make false “what would you do with a billion dollars?” posts on over the internet, which served as yet another source of amusement for the trillionaire. On occasion, he’d have the better trolls hunted down and paid, as well as people posting ideas to them. Needless to say, the signal:noise ratio of the internet for anything calculated to amuse Linus was horrible.
One morning, I was sitting at work while waiting for a test run of my software to finish running. I was sipping coffee and killing time by browsing Kriegslist, when I spotted a “What would you do with a billion dollars?” post. I had nothing else to do for a few moments, so I took the time to type out the following:
“I will become the most successful man in history by getting more women pregnant than any man before me. The history books may forget trillionaires, but DNA would never forget me.”
My finger hovered over the send button, pondering whether I should send it or not. After all, it was being sent out via my work computer.
“Meh”, I said as I clicked send, “this job sucks anyway.”