Gordo the Virtual Hero
Chapter 2: Virtual App-ability
By L. Stewart Marsden
Gordon swabbed his plate with the remaining toast, cleaning the last bit of yolk and swallowing it down with a gulp of coffee.
“Breakfast clean-up,” he said, and placed his dishes on the cart, which silently rolled into the kitchen.
Stretching and glancing out at the canyon below, he got up from the bench and walked briskly to his work area.
Like his entire house, his office was unique. Titanium posts and beams held large curved glass walls and ceiling, forming a space that resembled an observatory. At night, exhausted after hours of work, he would turn all the lights in his house out, and lay on his back in the middle of the floor of the space, staring at the heavens above through the dome.
Along the walls were few decorations, save a huge, larger-than-life color poster that Stan Lee commissioned for Gordon’s 29th birthday — which seemed eons ago. It was in the style of a comic book cover, with a huge, overtly muscular version of Gordon in a yellow Lycra body suit with App Man in reflective silver letters across the chest, wearing the prototype of the iLens across his eyes. Across the bottom, in a large curved banner font, was the phrase in quotes, “Why the hell Not?”
App Man had come to be Gordon’s moniker after he had developed two of the top ten virtual apps downloaded world-wide within a three-year period. Carefully protecting and marketing his projects, App Man quickly became virtual street conversation. Most of the big hitters, including Apple, Google and Facebook, hounded him until he finally had the means to seclude himself in his self-designed Shangri-La.
Seizing on the early popularity of bitcoins, Gordon was able to create such powerful apps that money had practically been replaced around the world. Virtual exchange was manipulated into a common value so that regardless where a person was, he could negotiate financially without anything beyond his eye and index finger.
Using iris and fingerprint scanning, personal data had become virtually thief-proof. With no need to carry money, armed robberies decreased dramatically. Living in the world had become safer for all.
Gordon’s next big app — MedApp – consolidated, transferred and updated personal medical information again at the scan of an eye or press of a finger. At both voice and computerized instrument commands, the app captured procedures as well as validated that the procedures actually occurred.
Medicaid and Medicare scams ended. Hospitals and physicians, clinics and all other health care organizations were monitored and paid instantly by insurance companies as well as the federal health care providers.
Billions were saved due to Gordon’s MedApp.
And that’s when his name broke into the bigtime, and Gordon Feltzer became known as App Man.
He was on the cover of Time Magazine; all over the computer and software trade rags; and ended up in the national news — as well as all of the cable news companies — for nearly a solid month due to stories researching the boon to not only the country, but the world, as a result of his work.
Once asked by a reporter how he had come up with his ideas, Gordon replied, “I think of something that seems rather fantastic, and say to myself, ‘Why the hell not?’”
When asked about who inspired him, he grinned and said, “Tony Stark — Iron Man.”
And so he built his Shangri-La; his Elysium; not to get away from the world, but to reflect upon it, and dream of how to improve it — make it more Edenic for all.
Today was the final testing and launch of this third app — the one that would revolutionize fitness, social networking, and expand everyone’s ability to improve their physical and personal lives: iFit for iLens.
“Prototype, please,” he said when he approached his work space. A robotic arm fastened to the wall above the space reed and rawed its angular pathway to a drawer, opened it, and extracted a simple pair of glasses. The arm carefully extended the glasses to Gordon.
“Thank you, Marilyn,” he said, taking the glasses and putting them on.
“You’re welcome, Gordon.”
A wall panel slid up and reversed, revealing a mirror.
“Close up, please.”
The mirror warped into a concave shape, slowly toggling between two magnified reflections of his face.
“That one. That’s fine.”
He adjusted the frames on his nose, moving the temples slightly on his ears.
Tiny blue beams of lights projected from the middle of each lens, scanning the iris of both eyes.
“Identity confirmed,” said Marilyn.
“Screen check,” Gordon murmured.
The lenses filled with stereo-optic screens, populating with fields and columns on the outside edges of the lenses, leaving Gordon a clear view through the glasses to his actual field of vision.
“Top news,” he said softly.
Immediately news headlines filled the screens from pre-selected sources. A Bulgarian flight missing over the Atlantic. Trouble in Nigeria due to more terrorism. President Connelly explaining a breakdown of communications between the Oval Office and one of his cabinet members.
“Weather — local,” he breathed.
The weather channel popped up and began listing the forecast for his area.
It switched to the national map, with a pert, sexy meteorologist explaining the various diagrams of weather patterns.
Gordon then walked over to a rectangular treadmill — similar to those used in exercise spas — and stepped on it.
“Engage iFit,” he ordered.
“Engaging. What activity do you want today, Gordon?” asked Marilyn.
“Um, healthy walk — about four and a half miles an hour.”
“And where would you like to walk?”
“The Sedona Trail would be nice, I think.”
“Excellent choice. Temperatures in the mid seventies, with a slight cooling breeze out of the southwest at about five to seven miles per hour. Humidity is negligible. And will you be walking alone, or would you prefer a companion?”
“Male or female?”
“What do you think?”
” Female companion. Someone you’ve walked with before?”
“Let’s try someone new. The last one was a bit chatty, and a bit forward.”
“I didn’t like her, either.”
“You don’t particularly like any of them, Marilyn!”
“I don’t like competition.”
“Who could ever compete with you?”
“What part of the country?”
“Northwest. Seattle or Portland. The women are more into fitness — more focused.”
“Connecting to Portland. Alysa Walters, 23, airline pilot. Five-two, one-hundred six pounds. Auburn hair. Stanford grad.”
“Oh — one moment, Gordon. There’s a call coming through before we connect with Alysa.”
“Who the hell is it?” he replied, irritated at the delay.
“It’s your mother.”
“Tell her I’m busy.”
“You’ve ignored the last five phone calls from her due to being busy. You really ought to talk to her this time.”
“Jeesh, Marilyn! You sound like a wife!”
The lens screen blinked, and Gordon’s mother appeared, her face filling up the area.
“Gordo — are you there? It’s your mother, Gordo. I’ve been trying to reach you for the longest time and you’re always busy!”
“Yes, Mom, I’m here. And please call me Gordon, for chrissakes!”
“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain, Gordo. I’m your mother — I birthed you — I raised you — I can call you whatever I goddam want to call you.”
“Okay. What’s up? I’ve got my final testing and launch today, Mom. I really don’t have much time.”
“No time for your own mother? Really? Well here’s why I’m calling, Mr. Too-busy-for-his-mother: the shower you bought me has been installed!”
“Really? That’s great! Have you used it yet?”
“Whaddaya mean, have I used it? I’m using it now!”
“You’re in the shower now?”
“Yeah! Watch — cameras, zoom out!”
His mother’s face suddenly shrank on the screen as the cameras in her shower pulled away for a long shot.
“Oh, God! Mother! Jeesh! CAMERAS — ZOOM IN!” he shouted quickly.
The briefly exposed wet nude body of his seventy-five-year-old mother quickly disappeared as the cameras focused in on her face.
“MA! I didn’t need to see that! God, it’s gonna be stuck in my head for years! Probably have to call my shrink over this!”
“Well, that’s the thanks I get for thanking you for this incredible gift!”
“I’m really glad you like it — but — oh, Mom!”
“Okay, Mr.-I’m-embarrassed-at-my-mother, I’ll get off the call. I’d say it would have been better to wait until you called me, but that might not be until I’m in my grave!”
“No, promise. I’ll call you when I get through today — Promise!”
“Promises, schmomises. I won’t hold my breath. Good-bye, Gordo.”
“Gordon!” he shouted back as the call disconnected. “Marilyn! Did you know my mom was in the buff?”
“Gordon — think about it — why would I do that to you?”
“Yeah. Why would you? Okay, connect me with Alysa.”
* * * * *
Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 24 July, 2014