One staple technology of relatively near-future science fiction is the device that can read minds. Here I moved it into the near (and firmly alternate) future by making it an alien device, which allowed me to endow it with certain unforeseen (but very interesting) abilities. For those not in the know, the Krell are the long-extinct aliens from the classic Fifties sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet. I don’t want to completely spoil the ending (of the film), but let’s just say that their own “monster of the id” was rather difficult to control and may have had something to do with that whole extinction thingy. Not to worry, though: it isn’t necessary to have seen the film to enjoy this short story!
Alert readers will notice that I re-used this fabulous picture from last year’s “With This Wig” caption (because, like, hair). The story itself, on the other hand, somewhat reminds me of “Reprogrammed” from 2018, in the sense of being a near-future high-tech gender transformation.