Chapter 7. Within you, not without you

A book cover in the style of a 1950's pulp sci-fi novel. An AI generated set of computers are connected by wires.Welcome to NaNoWriMo, where I - and thousands of other plucky souls - try to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

You are reading "Tales of the Algorithm". A compendium of near-future sci-fi stories. Each chapter is a stand-alone adventure set a few days from now.

Everything you read is possible - there's no magic, just sufficiently advanced technology. Think of them as technological campfire horror stories.

Your feedback on each story is very much appreciated.

And so, let's crack on with...

Within you, not without you

Welcome to your new Gutsy5000! Thank you for trusting us to manage your health-implant needs. We pride ourselves on providing you with the best technology for in-body health monitoring. We strive to make sure that you are happy with your new implant and are sure that it will bring you many years of security and joy.

Before contacting us, please take a few moments to read this FAQ. Our customer excellence managers are happy to answer any questions which are not covered in this document. Please note, we reserve the right to charge you a one-off helpdesk fee (in addition to your low monthly subscription) if you ask us a question which we reasonably believe could have been answered by this document or on our Discord channel.

By now, the pain of the surgery should have diminished. It usually takes a few weeks for the probes to travel all the way through your digestive system. Once done, they will provide you with a wealth of data about your biome and biological needs.

Our technicians will have paired your implant with your iPhone (Android version coming soon!) and you will have already set up an account with us. The app is self explanatory, but we will cover some of its more advanced functions in this document. Be sure to send the community your questions if you are confused.

I feel the need to pee all the time

This is quite normal! The probe has extended into your bladder. Every few minutes it will send an ultrasonic pulse to detect just how "full" you are. These pulses can make you feel like you need to urinate, even when you don't. You can adjust the timing of the pulses to better suit your needs. Note, you cannot turn off the bladder-sense functionality.

TOP TIP! Watching a movie or going on a long car journey? Check your predicted bladder levels before you start. We analyse thousands of people's data so we can predict just how long you can last before you need to go.

BONUS! Thank you for opting-in to data sharing. Our carefully selected partners will make use of your current urine levels and your precise geolocation in order to understand just how many restrooms they need to install per location.

What gave me gas?

We've all been there! An inopportune fart can be disastrous - whether on a date or in a big board meeting. No one likes a bottom-burp. By carefully analysing the flora and fauna along your intestines, our app can give you 87% certainty about what's causing any gastric distress.

An in-app alert will discreetly alert you to any upcoming flatulence. A little emoji will tell you whether it is safe to pass gas and how noxious it is likely to be.

TOP TIP! We have partnered with "no-win no-fee" lawyers in your area. As soon as your probes detect food poisoning, they will automatically instruct a lawyer to sue whichever restaurant or family member gave you the shits (Tony, can we reword this??). Any legal settlement will be fairly divided between us, the lawyers, and you. Any money you are due will be applied to your account as service credit.

BONUS! As part of our commitment to quality, we may occasionally send you an in-app survey after you have performed a bowel movement. Please complete the survey - including photos - for a chance to be entered into our prize draw.

Is my child abusing alcohol?

Thanks to our unique family plan, you have enrolled your children into our programme. The little-ones will benefit from you being able to see how they're developing in real-time.

But sometimes those little blighters can disobey perfectly reasonable parental instructions. Kids, eh! Your iPhone app will be permanently synchronised with your child's tummy, so you can keep an eye on them. You can configure suitable ingestion levels. If they've snuck an extra piece of chocolate, you'll get an instant alert about their blood-sugar spiking. This can be helpful for maintaining discipline and order in your household.

Older children may wish to experiment with alcohol. The Gutsy5000's GPS knows what country your child is in, and what the legal age is for the consumption of alcohol. You will see a real time map of where they are, and if they've accidentally wandered into France to enjoy a (legal) glass of wine.

TOP TIP! International flights do not register on our app's database. Carefully monitor your child during flight to ensure they are only consuming alcohol in moderation.

BONUS! Had a heavy night? Your drinking data is automatically uploaded to our servers for analysis. If you have been drinking heavily, our app will auto-order you some paracetamol from our preferred pharmacy partners. If you wish to opt-out, please arrange to have your implant surgically removed.

Why is my ex-wife so grumpy?

After a divorce, it is natural for both parties to feel resentment for one another. Once enrolled into our family plan, you cannot remove yourself. This feature will be available in due course. Until then, you will be able to see each other in your app. But, don't be alarmed, this can be helpful. You will be able to monitor your ex-wife's blood-sugar levels. You'll know if she's grumpy with you or whether she just needs a little snack.

You will also be able to monitor her blood-alcohol level when she goes out on a date. You'll get a real-time alert of where she is, what she's eating, what she's drinking, and anything else she ingests. For your peace of mind, data is stored in the cloud and can be made available to either party in divorce proceedings for a modest fee.

TOP TIP! If you prefer not to know what a spouse is doing, click the "I'm going through some stuff" button. We will hide any information for 24 hours. Longer timescales are available if you upgrade your plan to premium level.

BONUS! You earn GutsyPoints™ every time you check in on a family member. Points can be redeemed for fantastic prizes. We have a range of SmartBody options which you could win. Fancy sharper eyesight or a less jittery trigger finger? Check out our website today!

No stress, no mess

The modern world can take its toll on a man. Stress ulcers, problematic drinking, and drug abuse are all common ways to cope with the harsh realities of life. Our in-app alerts will tell you if you're too stressed and can recommend carefully selected yoga studios in your area.

While we cannot condone the ingestion of non-prescription pharmaceuticals, please be aware that some in-app adverts may contain offers for compounds which may not be legal in your jurisdiction. Please exercise caution when ordering pills, supplements, inhalers, or narcotics via our in-app purchase functionality. We are not liable for the products advertised to you and will not process any refunds for substances which have had an adverse affect on your body or legal situation.

TOP TIP! As your Gutsy5000 was subsidised by your employer, we are required to report certain material facts to them. If our machine-learning model predicts that you will not be sober in time for work, we will notify your manager.

BONUS! Remember, invite your coworkers to install a Gutsy5000 today! If anyone you refer is later fired for their substance abuse problem, you may be eligible for a cash reward!

Law enforcement

Did you know, your biome is beautiful and unique? Because of that, we have a microbial "fingerprint" of your body which can be used to identify you. If you commit any crimes, it is likely that a trace will be left at the scene.

In certain circumstances, we will hand over all of your details to law enforcement. This includes location, stress levels, blood-alcohol, narcotic information, your family's whereabouts, what their last meal was, and if they are still breathing.

TOP TIP! Don't bottle it up! Talking about your mental health is a sensible way to manage your feelings. If our sensors notice that you've recently had a high-adrenaline moment, we can arrange a premium therapist to call you within 24 hours. This will be charged to the card you have on file.

BONUS! If you are a current or former law enforcement officer, you can buy our special "Qualified Immunity" package which gives extra protection to your privacy.


We hope you have many years of happy experiences with your Gutsy5000. Please note, the implant is guaranteed for 24 months. After that time, readings may become erratic and unreliable. As part of your subscription, you are required to undergo surgery to upgrade your unit in order to keep it functional.

If you are currently in jail or prison, we will make arrangements with local authorities to extract our equipment. Please note, removal of the probes is best done under general anaesthetic and this procedure may leave a small amount of residual scarring. Your data will remain in our servers for at least 7 years and may be accessed by your defence team on payment of a suitable release fee.

The whole team at the Gutsy5000 studios hopes you and your family will enjoy learning just a little more about each other.

Thanks for reading

I'd love your feedback on each chapter. Do you like the style of writing? Was the plot interesting? Did you guess the twist? Please stick a note in the comments to motivate me.

You can read the complete set of short stories in order.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 7. Within you, not without you”

  1. Dragon Cotterill says:

    Why does this remind me of Tom Scott's "Welcome to Life"? Perhaps it's the self same legal ridiculousness of letting something try to take over your life?


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