Punch Fracken had done just about everything on his bucket list by the time he was thirty. He was considered as close to perfect in the world of technology as a man could get. His boss at TurboData bragged he could make a computer stand up and piss.
It was true. He could. But Punch Fracken had no joy.
Not that he actually believed in joy. But he did believe there was something. Something he had yet to attain. Something that eluded him between his bits, bytes and binary theories. Some nights he would lie awake for hours just picking through his brain, pulling at small wrinkles and swirls, clicking each cell for hidden files.
He had planned his life meticulously, moving to Topeka, Kansas, to the middle of the nation as it were, to keep his thoughts and emotions as centered as possible. No distractions, no unnatural pulls. Both the east and west coasts exerted unhealthy social pressures.
This thing he lacked, this thing his soul sought, drove him and disrupted his sleep. Finding it would enable him to accomplish the final item on his bucket list. He would at last transcend the cold hard perfection of his computers and attain fulfillment and peace.
For Punch, wisdom, understanding and knowledge formed the true Trinity, a Diety he adored. He laughed at the idea of men in the Old Testament building a ladder to heaven. Ha. The way to Heaven was through the mind, through merging his thoughts with the greatest thinkers of all time. With the mind of God.
One morning he woke up with the answer. New software! He needed a compilation of magnificent art, great writing, world changing inventions and revelation. The great intellectuals and great statesmen. He spent the next ten years bringing it all together. In the end he called his masterpiece Saint Moi.
The morning he completed it, as he prepared to merge, to transcend, he glanced in a mirror. My God, he was old. Haggard. Yet nearly complete.
He brought the laptop to his bath. He shaved, cut his own hair, washed away the years of grime and neglect. And then he dipped himself and the machine beneath the water and felt the sweet ascension.