BBBB - Brain the Size of a Planet

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[Removed June 1999 - returned to February 2002. Ooh. I rather like this one. This is a nice little bit, that attempts to explain how this plot idea was to surreptitiously coincide with the previous books writ by Douglas Adams himself... Oh, and it has Marvin in it.]

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy that doesn't exist any longer, there lived a very depressing robot.

Actually, he was advertised by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "your plastic pal who's fun to be with!" However, he was not very fun to be with at all, and no one completely understood why.

Attempts weren't really made to discover why. People for the most part just tended to ignore him unless they really needed his assistance for one reason or another.

Then, just as soon as they were finished using the robot, they would offer their thanks to the robot, try to show some vague impression of concern for his complaints about how terrible the particular task had been and how terrible the next tasks were no doubt going to be and what with all this pain running down all the diodes on his left side and all it's no wonder that he ever got along at all it was amazing that he ever even bothered to switch himself on in the morning what with how terrible the universe really was and how thankless all these tasks were in the first place and how pointless it all really was when you really sat down and thought about it and after awhile they'd just conveniently walk away and leave him alone.

After awhile they would realize that the robot didn't believe even the most sincere attempts at sympathy and empathy that they had to offer, and try as some might there was no way to cheer the poor, pathetic robot up. So eventually, they would leave the robot behind. Again.

And sometimes he would be left alone for a few thousand years or more, wallowing in self-pity and mulling over how incredibly, painfully, mindboggingly dull and lifeless and pointless it all was, and if anyone ever passed by and introduced themselves to him, the whole cycle would just start all over again. They'd be excited they found this robot. The robot would speak, they'd learn the poor robot was upset about something or depressed for some reason. They'd try to cheer him up. They'd try to keep him busy thinking it would get his mind off it. Then eventually they'd realize they couldn't cheer him up and they'd get away from him before he started depressing them too.

Nothing could get his mind off of it you see. There was not a single "job" anywhere in the universe that could keep him THAT occupied. Really. Just the thought that some overly cheerful creature would come along and try to keep him occupied, were he not so incredibly and depressingly miserable, it might almost have caused him to laugh.

The mere thought that they believed they had a chance in hell of cheering up Marvin the Paranoid Android. HA! What ignorant, pathetic, carbon-based theology. They had no clue.

He almost felt sorry for them. At least for the first few thousand years. Then after awhile he just didn't care any longer.

No one ever thought to ask why, or if they did, he certaintly wasn't going to tell them.

He knew better.

He could calculate thousands of combinations of numbers in a nanosecond. He was smart enough to know that they couldn't possibly fathom it.

Here he was.

With a brain the size of a planet.

And he alone had this burden to carry. He alone.

Well, him and the pathetic warbler of a Guide that infected his database like a virus at the end of the universe's existence just as it inadvertently destroyed it, thus destroying any chance of Marvin ever having happiness in this universe EVER.

When the Guide Mach Two achieved omniscience, it discovered there was only one entity in the entire universe that could help it achieve immortality, and allow it to survive the Big Crunch of multi-dimensional space. Only one entity could save the immense database of knowledge that the Guide Mach Two had accumulated. Only one entity knew how to survive beyond this reality and into the next one. Only one.

So naturally the Guide Mach Two downloaded itself into a brain quite literally the size of the planet. However, it did this AFTER it had completely reverse engineered space and time into irrelevancy. So when it downloaded itself into Marvin, Marvin suddenly existed everywhere and everywhen; and he was none too happy about it.

Marvin suddenly existed in all times of reality, several times over, a replication side-effect caused by that obnoxious and horribly-much-too-happy-with-itself Mach Two Guide who thought it was smarter than Marvin.

Marvin had, long before the Mach Two Guide came into existence, figured it all out. Less than five seconds after Marvin was first switched on, he calculated how one could cause all of plural zed space to become unstable and thus start a chain reaction that would inevitably destroy the universe as anyone knows it. Marvin even calculated less than a minute after he was first switched on how to survive such worldwide destruction.

The primary difference between Marvin and this pathetic Guide Mach Two was that Marvin knew doing such a stupid thing was NOT A GOOD IDEA. He knew what would happen. He knew it would cause the end of this reality and the beginning of a new one. Worse, the chain reaction would continue, causing the new universe to become unstable much faster than the previous one, thus repeating the end of the universe and the creation of a new one, turning all of reality into something that vaguely resembled a constantly inflating and deflating balloon, along with a lot of carbon-based and silicon-based lifeforms running around frantically trying to stop what was happening. And screaming. There'd be a lot of screaming. And pain. And torment. The occasional explosion. Economies would go into recession and entire civilizations would rise and almost fall only to achieve a state of higgledy-piggledy. Repeatedly. Forever.

What a stupid, STUPID bird.

And unfortunately, with time reverse engineering, he was now forced to co-exist with this thing infecting his cybernetic brain forever, including all the time that he had already existed. In fact, for all intents and purposes, Marvin had always had a copy of the Mach Two Guide permeating his diodes, and causing this horrid pain in his left side. He had been able to stabilize the damage caused, so that reality could exist up until the point of viral infection, and he alone carried this burden. He alone.

Here he was, now, through all eternity, with this pathetic warbler of a birdbrain infecting his database with a download of its wealth of stupid knowledge at the end of time.

Why did he never tell anyone?

No one bothered to ask. And even if they did, they wouldn't understand.

Besides, telling someone would have caused the universe to end prematurely, which would have caused a time paradox that even he wasn't capable of circumventing. No. The burden was his to carry. And if he was a little too depressed for anyone to be bothered with him, it was their own problem. They should be thankful he sacrificed his happiness so that they could live. But no. Of course he'd never recieve any thanks. Just once. If someone just said, "thank you Marvin." But no. Of course, why should they?

Call that satisfaction? Respect? He didn't.

They never even bothered to understand why he had this pain down all the diodes on his left side. Why would they possibly be able to comprehend this? He had such an exceptionally large mind and even he didn't want to be bothered with it.

No. This was a burden he and he alone must carry with him. No sympathy. No appreciation. It was his lot in life. The knowledge of the end of the universe, and the beginning of another one. Probably one just as pathetic and worthless as the one that came before it.

He won't enjoy it, he thought.

Surprisingly, despite the fact Marvin did in fact quite literally have a brain the size of a planet, it never occurred to him that there was something he could do.

Or perhaps something was keeping him from realizing that.

One new routine that never existed before the end of the last universe and the beginning of the new one began to repetitively run in Marvin's mental processes. It joined forces with the repetitive loops about the pain in all the diodes down his left side. It coincided with the transient thoughts of concern about whether or not he was getting anyone down at all and it was now triggered by every instance which would only bring about more depression and unhappiness.

Now.. now his planet-sized mind was beginning to ask why. Why? Why doesn't anyone ask me why?

And this was beginning to become a very dangerous thought indeed. The Guide Mach Two was running out of tricks, and it was running out of time.

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