I, too, am a mathematician, and it strikes me fanciful odd that, although we had never met before, my, ahem, distinguished colleague here has had such a hand in my fortunes. Perhaps we're under the same star, because as his fame rose, so did mine. And, just as his once-closest became murderously envious of his success, so too did mine.
I specialize in number theory, specifically the search for large prime numbers— my personal preference is calculating ever-larger Mersenne primes, but that's just one bee in my bonnet. Large primes is a field that comes in and out of fashion, governed by the fads of the time. Specifically, when cryptography is waxing, large primes have a certain tendency to become the talk of the town.
When the, um, distinguished Mr. . . ahem, Mr. Strep released his Waitress Zone Protocol, it suddenly became a trivial task to factor previously intractable sums. This, unfortunately, put the world's data in jeopardy, as we were already utilizing the largest known primes. The race was on, and the nefarious hackers had gotten out of the gate first and fast. Being at the top of my field, a sudden cloudburst of grant money cracked the sky o'er my head. This cloudburst quickly became a downpour, and I was rich beyond the dreams of most men— although, with constant meetings, flights, algorithm development and hardware tweaking, I hardly had the time to use but a fraction of my economic windfall. Nonetheless, it was a grand time, as I got to trot about the globe, meeting with the finest minds, and exchanging blows and parries with the blackest of black hatted "security enthusiasts." In my travels, among many a raucous adventure, I was introduced to a beautiful Thai maiden, her face like the moon, her breasts like leaping gazelles, her mind as sharp as razors and brilliant as ground zero. She was a gifted geneticist, and we toured the world as husband and wife— she in her labors and me in mine.
I had two brothers— or rather have two brothers, as you'll soon understand. Two ne'er-do-well brothers, one a musician and the other a poet. Both had squandered their lives and, more significantly, had squandered the considerable trust funds our dear father bequeathed them upon his demise. Sooner than later, each had come sniffing around for a handout. I'd already been well-schooled on the inadvisability of lending them money and leaving them to their own recognizance, so I instead offered to hire them both on as "consultants," so that they might travel with me and be kept out of the den's of iniquity that had so often drained them of all wherewithal.
Little did I know how envious my brothers— the very blood of my blood!— had grown. They hatched a plot to kill me— albeit an incompetent one which would never have escaped detection had it succeeded. One evening, as we flew across the Pacific courtesy of the great generals of our military, I awoke to a terrible roar, and found that my brothers had taken hold of my wife and me, and were about to cast us out the bomb bay doors. My attempts to reason with them failed, and we sound found ourselves clutched by the surly bonds of earth.
As we plummeted, screaming, to our dooms, my wife quite suddenly dissolved, and revealed herself to be a Distributed Nanobot, much as yourself. She swaddled me in herself, and whisked us back home, where we eagerly awaited the return of my brothers. We heard their drunken laughter long before they reached the doors of our mansion and, in that time, I just barely convinced my wife not to kill them— although, that was as near as I could come: she swore that, harm them as she may, she would not snuff their respective lights, no matter how dim and flickering those flames of intelligence were.
You surely know, my distributed host, that the most massively parallel processor in the world— the processor with the greatest degree of inter-gate communication and efficient messaging, is the human brain itself, yes?
Well, when my dear brothers fell in the door, my wife, gripped in an inspired rage, parasitized them both, and so now my wife is my brothers are the two fastest, most efficient massively parallel processors the world has ever known— ever sieving and checking, confirming the primacy of larger and larger numbers, ready to generate the necessary composite encryption keys at any moment. They travel with me for always, ever diligent in their processes. My work progresses at a lightning pace, outstripping the thieves and beggars at every turn, and, although I am always with my beloved and my family, my heart is as empty as a synapse. I'm as lonely as Mars herself, dear Distributed Nanobot, and that is the sad conclusion of my tale.
to be continued next week . . .
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