A fragment this time, which like so many fragments may or may not stretch out to a full length work.
I like the character of the "laptop whisperer" and we'll perhaps learn about him and see a bit more of him.
The Laptop Whisperer
They called him the laptop whisperer.
Nobody really knew how he did it, but they knew he did. He'd wave his hand over a power brick -- always his left hand, the one with the jagged scar near the little finger - and stare off into space for a moment. Then he'd tell us, without fail and with one hundred percent accuracy, whether or not there was something wrong with it. A loose connection, a fluctuation in the output voltage. He'd get it right. Every time.
If anyone asked how he did it, he'd smile, wave his fingers in complex patterns, and say, "Maybe I'm a wizard".
He was not, of course, a wizard. Just someone willing to take risks, who knew that the human body and brain are flexible and adaptable, that the brain will learn to recognize anything, including a magnetic sensor implanted in your left hand, behind a surgical scar.
It became an obsession with him, this second-sight. He of course added more. He can smell WiFi. taste magnetic fields. Hear variations in background radiation. He outgrew DIY modifications, sought far and wide for those with medical training, and resources, and few ethics.
He began to think himself a wizard.
The brain is flexible, but the brain is not infinite.
It's the last one that did him in -- cosmic background radiation. You see, the universe is never silent. It's always there, a hum in the back of his head that he just can't tune out.
He hasn't slept in weeks. It keeps him awake, the universe. After a time, it learns how to make sense of things.
As he lies awake, with no other sound, he hears it. He's starting to make sense of it. He hasn't yet, but he's starting to.
The universe is talking to him.
What's it saying? Is it telling him the secret meaning of creation? Is it guiding him, teaching him? Is it telling him to commit unspeakable evils?
Until we're willing to reshape our brains as he did, and learn to listen.