The lobby was cold and sterile. It had marble walls that could have been elegant if you didn't know they were just a fake finish over dry wall. The Metacortex brain logo was the centerpiece of this entire waiting room. There was a zen simplicity that wasn't lost on me.
"Hi, John. I'm Sarah, and I'm going to be testing you for the position today."
She was a thin redhead with a certain edge in her eyes like she knew something I didn't and it empowered her.
I followed her swaying hips as she led me to a small ten by ten meeting room, leaving a wake of vanilla in the air.
"I was told you were going to take blood. I'm a little confused about why?", I said this in my usual non-confrontation knowledge seeking tone.
"This is true, but I need you to fill out this non-disclosure privacy agreement before we can talk. How does that sound, John?", she said in a sweet disarming tone as she handed my the clip board.
I smiled and scanned the documents. I picked up words like "privacy", "not liable in the event of accident", and "full recourse". It looks like they're covering all their bases. I signed it. What was the point of delaying, I was going to either sign it or not find out what this was all about. There were no real choices to made here.
"Excellent", Sarah smiled. "Ok, we need to test your blood to look for certain enzyme factors that are indicators of mental acuity."
"So you can tell if I'm smart just by looking at my blood?", I questioned skeptically.
With a nod, she took my blood and exited the room leaving behind that lovely scent of vanilla.
Fifteen minutes later, she came smiling with a manila envelope in her hand.
"We like your numbers. So let me tell you a little about what we'd like you help us with.", she said while opening the envelope.
She took out a picture of a large helmet with a three inch thick cable protruding from somewhere behind. It was connected to a large rack of servers with lots of lights. It was sitting next to, what looked like a dentist chair with a grinning lab technician wearing a white coat like some insane asylum.
"Um, ok... so this is the VR gear?" I said with a tone that betrayed my skepticism that this thing is legit.
"Indeed. This is the Digital Mind Feedback Facilitator Helmet, or DMF for short. It's a digital link between the mind and the machine.", She replied, ignoring my tone.
I looked at her blankly as I tried to curb my condescension. "If I understand what you just said, that helmet, reads your mind... seriosuly?", I failed at hiding my tone of ridiculousness.
"It's more than that. The machine feeds sensory data directly into your brain in a format that the brain can interpret as normal sensory stimulus. Your brain creates a virtual world based on this data stream. In fact, your normal senses get short circuited while the machine is on, and all you experience is this internal world." She took a deep breath as if she just ran a verbal mile, "...and it reads your neural response to the data stream and interprets them as actions and words that it feeds back into the machines. So, no keyboard and mouse here... you walk around the virtual world by trying to really walk."
I looked around for Seth, "I'm being punked, right? Where is Seth?".
Sarah giggled, "No, John. This is what we've been working on for the last 10 years. We've brought together the elite experts of multiple disciplines and we are finally successful."
She continued, "At this point, we're going to give you a choice. We can higher you on contract for a month with an option to renew, or we can part ways and you are obligated to keep everything confidential until we give a press release some time late next year."
She waiting as I took a moment to think. If this is a scam, I'm curious what their angle is. If it's not a scam, then... holy shit, I need to see this. Either way I have nothing to lose but my dignity, and I'm not feeling a lot of that since yesterday.
"Where do I sign?"