Flash Fiction Friday: Diminishing Returns

"You know, it could go faster. We could make it go faster," Deven said, extending the graph's extrapolated line a few more notches on the holographic display.

Teva was only half-listening. "Have you ever thought about fingers?" she mumbled, half-lidded eyes staring off at an unseen horizon. 

He stared at her, his jaw gone slack. 

"Fingers. They set an absolute boundary for us."

"I thought you'd lost me before, but now..." he pinched the bridge of his nose, "Teva, I am adrift in a nebula without a bearing. What are you on about?" 

"Your voxcomyou remember that part about mobile phones in History of Technocracy in school, right? Around the turn of the 21th century smallest phones were the greatest status symbols and they kept getting smaller and smaller until someone remembered fingers." 

"Teva... you're skipping ahead again. I'm not inside your brain, you have to say all the words." 

She glared at him and made a point of speaking "The phones became too small to use. Their interface required the use of fingers and that was the real limiting factor. Fingers don't change, even if the size of your semiconductor does." 

"Hah, can you believe they ever had to use those?" 

Teva rolled her eyes. Mocking their forebears wasn't her intention, "You could make this thing" she pointed at the ghostly 3D model rotating beside Deven's graph, "work as fast as a femtocamera, but even in a test tube, a human child will take 40 weeks to gestate." 

Deven's head bobbed in a thought-drowned nod; she imagined him suddenly adrift in a sea of understanding, only his head visible above the water. "You're right... We're in the wrong business. Biology is the problem, not this crap! The untapped market potential is enormous!" 

As Deven raced out of the room, understanding sapped the strength from her knees. Teva realized she might have just kicked off the most horrifying revolution humanity had ever seen.