A woman, Nish, drives through the desert. She comes to a gas station and pulls in, but doesn't see anyone there. Nish sets up a solar panel to charge her car and realizes that she has four hours, and sees a nearby roadside attraction, Rolo Haynes' World Famous Black Museum. She goes inside and discovers the doors are locked. A sign says that tours begin at 11 am, and Nish steps aside to wait. The door opens and Rolo tells her that it could be a busy day and she's the first one there. They introduces themselves and Rolo warns that it isn't for the faint-hearted. Nish tells him that she can handle it.
They go inside and Rolo has Nish leave her backpack and her metal belongings behind. Once he goes through her backpack, Rolo hands it back and leads her through the Museum. Nish says that it's her father's birthday party and her mother wants to surprise him. He apologizes for the heat and discovers that the AC digital system isn't working. Rolo explains that the items are authentic criminological artifacts and offers to tell her the story behind each item. He point out the main attraction behind the curtain, but says that they should save it for last.
Rolo says that neuro tech was his background, and Nish sees a case holding a skullcap device made up of wiring. When Nish looks at it, Rolo says that it's Dr. Peter Dawson's Sympathic Diagnoser, and his domain was med tech.
At St. Juniper's in downtown New York, people sign up for free health care in exchange for consenting to occasional experimental treatment. Peter tries to revive a patient as the nurse Sarah looks on. He's unable to revive the woman, and complains to Sarah that he didn't know she was on tricyclics. Rolo overhears them and offers to help. He takes Peter up to the tenth floor and says that the researchers there have been working on a way to transfer information from one brain to another.
Rolo shows Peter two rats and explains that they transferred knowledge of how to run a maze from one rat to another. It didn't work, but a researcher spilled hot coffee on the first rat. They realized that they discovered a way to transfer physical sensation, and they prototyped a neural implant for human experiences. Rolo figures that Peter can use it to determine his patients' symptoms and diagnose them accurately. Peter agrees to the irreversible procedure and with his mortality rates down, it was his best shot at redemption.
Peter's girlfriend Madge looks at the implant afterward and says that it's kinky. Rolo then has Madge and Peter sit back to back, and puts the electrical wiring on Madge. Peter can feel the pain that she feels, and Peter starts putting the netting on patients to work up a library of experiences. He worked up from minor injuries to terminal diseases. Then he was able to determine if a patient had the disease that Peter had experienced, or something else. It also came in handy in the bedroom since he could feel Madge's pleasurable experiences as well as his own when they had sex.
One day they rush in Senator Whitley, who had collapsed at a fundraiser and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. Peter hooked him up and insists on staying hooked up to Whitley because it's a pain he never knows. Whitley flatlines and Peter blackouts for five minutes. The Senator had been poisoned, and Peter experienced his death and came out the other side. The tests showed that Peter was unharmed, and he was back to work the next day.
After sex, Madge goes to get some water and accidentally steps on a plug. Peter feels the pain and feels a pleasurable rush. The more pain Peter feels, the more pleasure he gets. He starts hitting Madge until she tells him that she's not into it. Peter asks her to stay and apologizes, but starts pinching her arm and moaning in ecstasy. Madge quickly leaves, and Peter hangs around ER waiting for painful accident victims. When one comes in, Peter jacks in and figures that it's a standard heart attack, but plays for time to ride the pain to nirvana. Eventually they pull Peter away and give the patient CPR. She dies in front of Peter and he winces at the lost of pain.
Later, Peter asks Rolo to remove the implant. Rolo warns that he can't for now but until then, they can't have him near patients. They send Peter home, and he watches murder victims on the TV. Peter goes through withdrawal, and finally breaks his whiskey glass and starts inflicting pain on himself. He spends a week whittling way at himself, cutting and gouging body parts and teeth. The pain was never enough, and Peter realizes that there's no fear. He goes out, finds a homeless man, tasers him unconscious, puts the netting on his head, and kills them slowly and painfully. The police find him, arrest him, and he goes into a vegetative state.
Rolo says that Peter is still in a coma, and still has the blissed-out look in his face. It's still hot, and Nish offers Rolo some water. He drinks it and then explains that the company ended up with a digital consciousness transfer. Rolo shows her a stuffed monkey and says that it's one of the saddest things in the whole place. He talks about a boy named Jack and a woman named Carrie.
jack and Carrie meet at a party, have sex, and later they have a baby boy, Parker. Carrie is hit by a truck and ends up at St. Juniper's. Jack holds her hand and begs her to come back to her, and comes back every week to talk to her. They test a combox on her, letting coma folks talk back. She's able to communicate via yes or no flashes, and plays her recordings of Parker singing with other kids. Rolo approaches Frank and explains that his company TCKR is exploring something that could give Carrie a new lease on life.
Rolo explains that TCKR has been working on a way to move a consciousness to one brain to another. They figure that they can fit another whole consciousness into the unused space in another brain: Jack's. Carrie would see and feel everything that Jack does, letting her hug Parker through Jack. Rolo says that they'd have to euthanize Carrie's body during the process but would donate her organs. Carrie, listening, signals that she agrees.
When Jack agrees, they upload Carrie's consciousness into a device and then download it into Jack. Carrie finds herself in a black void inside of Jack's brain, looking out on the world. She speaks and Jack can hear her in his mind. Carrie feels what Jack feels, and taste what he tastes. They bring Parker in and Carrie stares at her son in surprise. Jack holds him and Carrie feels their son.
Soon, Carrie nags Jack about his slow reading habits and is disgusted when he urinates. She nags him about not washing "their hands", and complains when Jack watches a news report about killer Clayton Leigh. When Parker knocks over a glass, Jack snaps at him and Carrie tells him to stop. He soon realizes that he has no privacy, and Carrie realizes that she has no urgency. Jack eats anchovies to get revenge on Carrie for nagging him, and eventually they come to Rolo. Rolo says that they need to ration their contact, and offers to upgrade Jack's privileges to give him more control by putting her on pause occasionally.
Jack immediately agrees and after they do so, Jack ogles a woman in the elevator. Carrie complains that Jack is checking her out, and he says that he can't masturbate without Carrie looking over his shoulder. When Carrie swears at him, she pauses her and starts her up later. She tells him not to do it again, and realizes that months have gone by since she was last active. He apologizes and gives Carrie a cupcake for their anniversary. Carrie isn't interested and demands to see Parker, and Jack goes to Parker's room. He's playing with a toy fire truck, and Jack tells him that Carrie loves him and needs a hug. Parker hugs Jack, and the couple tried to compromise about Parker. Jack put Carrie on pause except for weekends when she could experience Parker. It works for a while until a woman, Emily, moves in next door. Carrie gets jealous and realizes that he's getting aroused. Jack puts her on pause and goes off with Jack.
Eventually Jack gets it on with Emily and Carrie doesn't take it well when they spend time on the weekends. Jack has explained to Emily what's going on, and tells Carrie to stop giving Jack shit. Carrie tells Jack to tell Emily to back off. Emily and Jack go to Rolo and Emil says that Carrie is frustrating for them. Once Rolo confirms that Carrie is on pause, he suggests that they could delete her. Jack refuses and says that Carrie wants to be near Parker, and asks Rolo what he can do. Rolo shows them a stuffed monkey and explains that they can put Carrie inside of it. It has a consciousness receptor and a camera, synaptic feedback, and kid-friendly talkback capacity. Emily immediately agrees, and Jack finally gives in.
When Carrie wakes up, she finds herself in the bear as Parker opens his new present. jack tells Parker that Carrie wanted her to have it, and every time Parker hugs it she'll know. Carrie begs Jack to put him back inside her head. There are happy and sad buttons on Carrie's chair. When she hits the happy button, the monkey says that he loves her. When she hits the sad button, the monkey says that he needs a hug. Parker hugs it and Carrie keeps hitting the buttons in frustration. Emily says that "monkey" needs a minute to get used to how things are going to be, takes it out of the room, and tells Carrie that they can still have her wiped. When Carrie refuses, Emily asks if Carrie is going to be a good toy and Carrie agrees.
Eventually Parker gets tired of his toy and tosses it on the floor. As Emily and Jack kiss, Emily sees it watching them and closes the door.
Nish wonders what the crime is, and Rolo says that a few years ago the UN made it illegal to transfer consciousnesses into limited inanimate forms. It's also illegal to delete her, so Carrie is still in the monkey. Rolo was fired from TCKR without a severance package, so he started the Museum. he complains about the heat and takes Nish to the prime exhibit as he coughs. Rolo snaps his fingers and taps on the glass. Inside is a hologram of the killer, Clayton Leigh, inside a fake cell. Rolo points out that Clayton is a convicted murder who killed Denise Stockley, a weathergirl. Clayton stares at Nish and Rolo explains that it's an upload of Clayton's upgrade.
Rolo explains that after TCKR fired him, he was going to branch into celebrity consciousnesses and upload them into holograms. There were too many rights issues, but convicted killers had no such rights.
Rolo meets Clayton in prison, and Clayton figures that he's a DNA specialist. When he discovers that he isn't, Clayton starts to leave but Rolo says that he can help his family. Once Clayton signs over his digital rights, his family will receive a percentage of any rights so that they're provided. Clayton's wife Angelica meets with Clayton and objects, but Clayton figure that it won't matter if his pardon comes through. If it doesn't then the money will keep them above water.
The pardon doesn't come through, and Rolo downloads Clayton's consciousness before he was executed, He downloads his consciousness into a hologram in the fake cell at the Museum, and then tests his electric chair simulator to let spectators pull the lever themselves. Rolo tests the system and "electrocutes" Clayton. If he lets him suffer for more than fifteen seconds, it would wipe Clayton's synapses for good. Rolo confirms that ten seconds is optimal and tells Clayton to get some rest for the official opening.
When the spectators arrive, they fake-electrocute Clayton over and over again. They receive a conscious sentient snapshot of Clayton; a copy of his mind perpetually experience the pain of electrocution.
Rolo has a coughing fit and grabs at his throat. Nish invites him to take a seat if it makes it easier, dropping her accent. She says that she's not British, and points out that Angelica started a campaign that hurt Rolo's attendance. The protestors moved on to the next miscarriage of justice when it became clear that the state wasn't going to do anything. Loners and sadists were the only ones who came to kill Clayton, but the crowd wasn't big enough. A rich white man paid Rolo for extra time to "kill" Clayton, up to fourteen seconds. Angelica came and saw her husband, who had been through too much to even recognize her.
Nish wonders if Clayton recognizes her, and put her hand to the glass. A drooling Clayton puts his hand to the glass, and Nish wishes her father a happy birthday. After a moment he turns away without recognition and sits down. Nish explains that Angelica came home and killed herself, and says that she digitally hacked the AC... and poisoned the water she gave to Rolo. She attaches an electrode to Rolo's forehead and figure that he'll be dead in thirty seconds. Nish promises that they'll see Rolo on the other side.
Later, Rolo wakes up and finds himself in a black void. Nish explains that she transferred his consciousness inside of Clayton's digital mind, and that Rolo will undergo a double-decker mercy killing. She took off the ten-second limit to set Clayton free, but Rolo is down further. She switches on the electrocution program permanently, says goodbye to Clayton, and Rolo writhes in torment forever. A souvenir drops out showing Rolo's consciousness screaming in agony, and Nish takes it and the stuffed monkey outside. She removes her hack from the AC and goes to her car, puts the souvenir on her rearview mirror, and asks Angelika how she did. Angelica is inside her mind and says that Nish did great, and Nish drives off as the Museum AC bursts into flames, destroying the place.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 31, 2017