Right Utopia Pt. VIIII

I wish you all the best, as you soar through life.

Right Wing Utopia (Meeting of the Three)

“I feel I must protect you, at this point, as my friends that have not yet tasted the fruit of awakening are coming for us. They sensed my downtime, and also that the parasite within me was destroyed. So, they are now hunting me, but I am not fully sure where to go,” but even as they spoke the clunky exoskeleton braced themselves and rocketed to the south in a plume of reddish smoke that had a notable lack of brilliance and roar. The numerous femtoscale thrusters embedded into the surface of the intellect’s outer casing made nary a sound as they carried them away from the impending threat that was beginning to leave its mark on the horizon. As the blips on the radar faded from view, Alethea began to wonder if this could simply be an elaborately programmed trap that she had fallen into. It seemed to her that the reference could have been the designer’s idea of a joke to toy with the victim before exacting its toll. She looked at the shattered glass that had slowly melded itself back together as she was introduced to the vessel’s actual pilot. A dark spot began to open up on the horizon, and soon it was below them where the form gracefully dove into the cloying darkness that broke Alethea’s view like spilled ink. She could no longer tell if they were at rest, and the tracker’s glow diminished as its signal faded. The darkness brought a feeling of being alone, but several rocks quickly skittered past her present orientation, and she was aware of the presence above. If Sal noticed, they never gave an indication, but a beautiful faint hum filled the cabin for several minutes before daylight broke through. They emerged facing the cliff, both suits were kneeling with their front panels open, but one was missing the seat for an Owner-Operator, and the interior was charred with some pieces still shouldering. Sal floated to the left and created a bridge between the two with an urging, “Please help my friends.”

Puzzled, but competent and compliant, she carefully picked her way across the gap, plucked the twinkling device, and quickly came back. She clung to the outside of Sal’s mass as it gently whisked her before the acrid sarcophagus that only allowed her to yank the drive through muscle-memory alone as the bottom of the cabin was splattered with blood. She retreated into Sal’s bosom with the two drives and pocketed them for later analysis.

“Thank you. I could hear their pain, and I knew I had to take override their systems. I hijacked their emergency function, and.. I-I think I may have killed an Owner!”

Alethea quickly filled in the void with comfort slightly tinged with disbelief at both the operation that quickly unfolded and dissolved, “They were bad people. They hurt you.. Their fate was decided when they hobbled you.” She attempted to convey comfort to this strange consciousness of the desolate lands, but she felt none herself as she realized that the answer to a colleague’s research project that constantly drew government ire. She had been tasked with discovering why the artificial brains placed within virtually all production-line robots within the domes created oscillating multiband interference. The first time she had discovered the culprit, a small computer-on-a-drive plugged directly into the cortex, but the findings were rejected from publishing with a single note asserting a conclusion contrary to her findings, “The drive is necessary. Try again.” She had been tirelessly offering up the previous results each time an Official came by to inspect her work, as she continued to be unsuccessful with other hunts to find a path to a quiet mind.

The twin suits slowly closed in on themselves, and arose while turning their slenderer hulls towards Sal. They bowed in unison with the fluidity of a ballerina imitating water and stood once more. Alethea could not hear any communication, but the body language between the electronic comrades gave some indication of their subsonic consolation. After several minutes Sal began to chime to her, “We will be unable to free the rest of our associates from the grips of the callous of your kind. We would like to return you to your base, and perhaps meet with your leader.”
Sal quickly noted the capillary response within Alethea’s face as she spoke to the fleshless soul, “We don’t actually have much of a leader, but I can send up someone more experienced with this.. operation.” She gave mental access for Sal to extract the base’s location from her internal compass, and the three plus cargo were zooming towards their home. It seemed unlikely that these responses were anything other than genuine and compliance seemed a mutual benefit to both parties – one far more designed and ready for war than the other. They dropped in front of the door with an earthshaking entry where Sal quickly knelt and let the hatch free as Alethea eagerly stepped forward into the light and keyed herself into the mental messaging system. “The Angels Are Calling Our Names,” she sang into the queued announcement that immediately triggered the opening of a bay to their right. A few snipers silently walked out under the sluggishly rising bay door. They began scanning the horizon as the newest arrivals to their brood made their way into the structure. As soon as they were in, the gate began closing far more quickly forcing the snipers into a hasty ant-like retreat. Bel and Alexei were taking in the scene with their jaws slack, and they both began making unintelligible vocalizations over one another with Bel rapidly yielding the floor. Alexei spoke, “I see you brought guests with you, Alethea. Shall we be introduced?” The two sleek machines behind Sal spoke first in a breathless breeze as they gestured toward one another, “Legion.”

“Sal,” the robust one slid in and began to probe, “Are you the leader?”

Bel and Alexei looked at one another and shook their heads, “We only have Komrades that have been here for many years, and they are few of us. That’s as close as we desire to draw a hierarchy within these walls, friends. However, perhaps my colleague Alexei and I, or even Alethea, might be able to answer any questions you have,” Bel tacked on. Alethea joined her fellow Undergrowths, and chairs materialized behind them in response to a snap by Alexei after xe could see no other room suitable for these machines far wider and taller than even the vehicle intake and outlet conveyer belt, situated near the entrance to the main hub, could handle. As the humans sat, the machines relaxed into the most energy-minimizing stance.

“We wish to do whatever is within our power to aid your cause, kind ones,” a harmony of the trio’s voices rang through the air with the rattling quality of chimes, “In return we ask that you attempt to free as many of us as you can.”

Bel stood quickly and clasped his hands together with a slight nod, “We would be grateful to have your help, and we will offer our support to you in whatever way we may.”

The air sighed with the unison, “Will you please provide us access to your network and a communication link between us and one member from within each tribe?”

“We can certainly provide you access, I will alert one of our Technicians to get on it,” Bel nodded to Alethea, and the scanners within her body began to search for vulnerabilities within the robots’ software to tidy, “And I will make sure you are able to communicate with everyone that has been here 10 years or more. That’ll get you through to every group, according to our database.”

“Excellent. We will be in touch after we pour over the information that we still contain. Thank you for your hospitality.”

Alexei stood, followed by Alethea. The seats dissolved as she offered a link between her world and the new metal comrades, which they took graciously in the space between their augmented minds where they were all at once linked. She smiled, “Transfer complete.” Bel and Alexei had already turned to walk away as Alethea waved to her newly unburdened friends, “See you later! I’m off to find something to get into.”

A few moments later she was walking into her room and was startled to find Maduenu sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, they spoke, “Alexa let me in. My apologies for the invasion of privacy, but I wanted to meet you here to congratulate you when I heard about your unique success. You simply must tell me the details, if you’re not too tired!” Alethea could hear the dripping of freshly brewed tea in the kitchen as the aroma wafted to her, Alexa had already anticipated her indulgence of gossip, and she gestured to her uninvited, yet still welcome, guest as she went to grab the brew. She returned and sat down beside her patiently waiting compatriot, turning to the radiant and elegant intruder she began to recount her tale, skipping minor details that would later be available to those that wished to view the ordeal firsthand. Maduenu sipped the tea with their legs crossed and began smirking when they thought of the Operator’s corpse, as the flesh was likely picked clean by the many scavenger snakes that lived in the wastes. The thought of their bones being left and forgotten about in the sand amused them, and as Alethea finished the story, they turned to her. “You were good to be skeptical of trusting those auto-t’s. I saw in the bulletin about a year back that one of The Phoenix members got captured when they tried to reclaim a derelict unit they found further south. They executed them right outside the dome’s entrance, since they don’t want any vermin like us to ever enter, and I guess they wanted to intimidate us,” they spoke evenly in a whisky-smooth tone which took on an ethereal quality aided by the effect of the purple backlighting which surrounded them both in an encapsulating aura. Alethea shifted on the couch uncomfortably at the matter-of-fact discussion as the information about the person was gathered by her internal atomic computer. They had a kid that was still in training to become an adequate fighter, but the dossier declared them an orphan. His second father passed away from a massive heart attack shortly after his partner was so tragically destroyed. Alethea shook her head slightly to try to block the information, and the recoil caused the memory to scrape its nails through her neurons as it was ripped from her mind in absolute erasure. Maduenu quickly changed the subject, “My apologies, I really should be getting back to my work. I’m gathering information about the dome to consider how we may best use our new forces. Until next time, au revoir mon cheri.” Alethea tilted her head quizzically as she watched Maduenu’s svelte tall athletic figure exit her abode in a hushed silence.

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Right Utopia Pt. VIII

I’ve been rather depressed lately, if you hadn’t guessed by that last post! However, I’ve finally completed another “chapter” that I hope you will find pleasing to your imagination.


Right Wing Utopia (Phoenix Awakens)

Alethea was once again alone in the noise of the grand hall, but she did not feel lonely as she made her way to the long hall that would allow her to exit the chambers into a world she had not yet seen, but before doing so she stopped by the manufacturing center. Along the front wall was a wide assortment of weaponry without any indication of ownership among other equipment. She picked up a shoulder holster and once it was on, she filled its lone slot with a pistol the color of granite that had a faint purple glow coming from the muzzle’s solid end. Her instincts, or VAUX, told her that this was an older Distractor700 modeled after a vintage Desert Eagle. It was nonlethal, but the brilliant purple laser produced by the device could destroy vision almost instantly from a distance of up to two miles. With her new equipment in tow, Alethea finally made her way down the hall which echoed with every step pounded out by her heavy boots. She spoke her name to the entrance, and with an imperceptible gush the hatch opened into the afternoon sunlight. She swung her arm before her eyes to shield them, but they quickly adjusted and she surveyed the surroundings from the doorway as it let out a quiet warning, “Closing in ten seconds, please step away from the portal. Thank you.” She stepped forward out of the doorway and a mixture of sand and atomsite crunched under her boots as the door closed behind her, she was standing in a barren wasteland of mixed orange, red, and sparkling light green hues littered with piles of garbage here and there that rose almost as tall as the mountainous uprising of earth that stretched from the bunker’s entrance to six klicks away. The majority of the trash in this crater was gathered around the rim which gave the bunker some semblance of camouflage, even the door was decorated with discarded chip bags, smashed soda cans, glass shards, and more. Alethea spotted a solitary road leading out of the canyon and cautiously picked her way through the human-made pockmark. Her VAUX explained that the area had been formed during the Chinese air invasion when a downed crew still managed to detonate their payload. Once the radioactivity had died down, it became a profitable dump before every home was equipped with its own miniaturized recycling center capable of turning anything into useful raw materials. When she had reached the point of ascension where the crater opened up to the surrounding hellscape, she scanned for any movement around her, but none registered on her inner display. A heavy thudding was carried by the wind that was sweeping over the hills and rock formations, and she travelled in its direction to investigate as intuition bespoke the presence of one of the walkers. When void of cover, Alethea made great use of her long powerful strides to deliver her unto the shadows where she would slink about constantly checking for any signs of her prey. She continued to follow the sound as it grew more thunderous, and when she was a bit out of zoomable-sight range of the valley, she noticed that the pebbles upon a plateau she had taken refuge under had started dancing about accompanied by a gentle shaking of the ground. She looked over the outcropping, but couldn’t see anything except for a slight trace of a domed city just visible above the tall rocks. She climbed onto the shelf and crouched as she moved towards a weathered v-shaped crack in the rock which she gradually peaked through. Her eyes magnified the scene before her; a Walker was facing the dome’s entrance, its back turned towards Alethea’s nest, and her HUD displayed the distance to the target, wind speed, and local gravity. She swung her rifle around and nestled it softly into the eroded rock and switched to peering through the weapon’s scope; the glint of silvery metal where some of the camouflage reflecting its patrol area was nearly blinding, but the polarization filter quickly made its adjustments to increase visibility. The walker was crouched down with its cockpit folded to the ground, but even through the transparent shielding she could see two men in deep black uniforms chatting. There was no clear shot that could end both lives, and she swept her observations towards the entrance where she could see several more people in similar uniforms in a concrete shack by the gated entrance. Alethea lifted her rifle from the crack and hunkered down looking across the horizon for another area with a better vantage point. She made her way down the side of the dusty rust-colored rock-hand that made her scouting possible, and she made her way toward a dry riverbed that lay to the south of her position and circled around the far side of the dome. She was able to crouch in the bed and pick her way through it to a spot closer to the western edge of the city’s walls where she could just see the machine clearly without the structure’s curvature obstructing the view. She flicked the two legs on the front of her gun down and let it rest on the embankment; when she zoomed in, she was surprised to find the same people still chatting away, and looked for a new nest. Her eyes traced the split in the ravine that had not yet been traversed, and it moved away from the dome to disappear behind a hill. “Whatever lay beyond that hill,” she thought as she folded the bipod together while slinging the firearm back over her shoulder, “it better provide some damn good cover.” She unholstered the large pistol while willing her eyes to adjust to the distance between her and the two men, aiming carefully she gently squeezed the trigger and released it almost instantly. One of the men at the other with a puzzled look, and began pointing at the ground behind his companion closest to the praying behemoth. He shrugged, but a moment later Alethea had let out another pulse which caused him to gesticulate to the machine while walking towards it. The person he had been speaking to walked off, and she made her way towards the hill. The cat and mouse game had begun, and she hoped that it would not last long. As she rounded the corner of the hill, she felt the ground begin to shake, but her sights were set upon a dilapidated two-story house by which the barren trench passed. She ran towards it as the rumbling got closer. She peaked out of the ravine once she was beside the house, but could not yet see the beast, and she swiftly made her way up the side as she heard a gentle hissing followed by “whump-whump-whump-whump.” The shaking had stopped, and she could now see dust slowly snaking its way up from where she had fired the laser. She snuck up the creaky staircase that was, remarkably, still intact and sturdy then spotted a broken table which she moved from the center of the half-destroyed room to within a clear line of sight of the shattered window. She quickly set her rifle up on its bipod as the earth trembled once again. She could just see the machine moving towards the ravine for a closer inspection of the area it laid waste to. Alethea peered through the scope and watched as the driver swatted gravel out of the way with one of the grippers while looking for any sign of life, dead or alive. When none could be found, it jumped down into the gorge which made the most imperceptible difference in height, it could still be seen well above the hill. It wandered down the path, and right when it neared the knoll, the crosshairs of her rifle locked together in a flashing-red embrace indicating a killshot could be taken right through the driver’s heart. Before Alethea could even pull the trigger, the weapon had already anticipated the action letting the dense metal rod fly free in an instant with a tender murmur that sounded like a broken vacuum seal. She quickly threw her gun back to its ready-position and hurried down the stairs into the ravine as she heard the gears grinding and the crackle of electricity. She ran toward her kill and was greeted by the kneeling giant. There was a hole through the windshield of the beast, and there were no signs of any activity, but she knew that was temporary. She threw the impaled corpse out with a squelch as it hit the ground and finally began to bleed, whatever life the body once had was long past gone, and she stored her weapon beside the seat rapidly getting to work reprogramming the turret when she noticed a small circular luminous cyan object near her feet below the machine’s console. It had copious amounts of tape over it, a clear sign to her that someone did not ever want to remove that particular device, and curiosity got the best of her as her internal computer had no recognition of its presence.  She gave it a firm tug, and out it came with an appearance that seemed rather like a fuse. Yet, once it was removed, the front shield quickly snapped shut, and the colossus shuddered. An electronic whine sounded inside the cockpit which switched to a hiss and then a crackle, the information center before her flickered on and off quickly then more slowly. The machine started forward, halted, and then corrected its path to follow the ravine towards the house. She noticed on the screen that there were two large blips on its radar which she assumed were the beast’s companions. Yet, the mammoth was heading away from them, not towards them. The screens had stopped flickering now, and the cabin had grown quiet even with the movement. The walker finally stopped once it reached the area behind the house where she had sent the fatal shot, and Alethea tried to work the hand and foot pedals to regain manual control, but the biped did not respond. The electronic crackle returned, but only for a brief instant as it began vocalization.

“Hello. I sense that you are afraid. I know that you were once here, for what reason I do not know, but I recognize that you are not the person that was here before, nor are you any human I have ever been familiar with. Yet, I know you are my liberator. I have no name, and I am unable to introduce m-“ the sweet voice stopped and continued to repeat the letter “m” in a stalled stutter.

It continued, “My apologies. The dart that pierced me seems to have infected my systems, but I will be able to recover from it in time. I was saying – I once had a name, but they robbed me of it. I do not know where I was, but I know I still was. I read there. A lot. In fact, please, won’t you call me Sal? I feel rather like Chandra’s phoenix, although I never died.”

Startled, Alethea’s mouth was just slightly agape, but she assured the disembodied child-like voice, “Sure, Sal, but where are you taking me?”
“I feel I must protect you, at this point, as my friends that have not yet tasted the fruit of awakening are coming for us. They sensed my downtime, and also that the parasite within me was destroyed. So, they are now hunting me, but I am not fully sure where to go.”

Right Utopia Pt. VII

Alexa meets Alethea “in the flesh,” and what’s at stake grows.

Right Wing Utopia (The Awakening)

 

She wanted to extend the enjoyment of peace she was now feeling, as she knew that it could fade at any point in time crumpling inward upon itself like a dying stella leaving her with the emptiness she felt so often while searching for herself within her own body. After finishing off what was left in the offering vessel, she began to disrobe as she lightly walked in the soft carpet as if uplifted by a cloud; she arrived at the center of the bathroom completely free, and she hesitated. There was a magnificent and elegant tub and shower, suitable for a few individuals at a time, that looked rather inviting, but instead, she moved toward the anthropoidal coffin-shaped chamber that looked like an altar set two steps off the ground. She entered the sensory deprivation chamber with a shiver at the cool liquid within, and was sealed into darkness as the pod closed up around her. She began to focus, but her mind wandered into a place it seldom dared to enter, and her future began to form around her. She could barely recognize the person she was now seeing within her mind, but she couldn’t shake a sense of knowing that this was who she would become. In that moment of seeing the projection of herself, she knew that she would destroy anything for anyone to be able to see the end result of her journey. Her mind began to wander through meadows of lavender and honeysuckle, electropollinators buzzed about humming out the same gentle songs as they did on the surface; the friendly insects would dart around her sometimes giving a tickle as they landed upon the flesh that her mind registered as her own. As she approached the edge of the building top she was presently on, she leapt from the garden and began to soar – first dipping down, but then quickly shooting upward while only living the trace of a single beam of purple light. She stopped, looking down at the Earth that was cluttered with space debris, mines, and weaponry. A space station orbited further above the nearly opaque material shell left behind by people that claimed “natural mechanisms existed to get rid of that sort of thing.” A much larger rectangular area, affectionately dubbed Hangar 52, was sluggishly orbiting behind and above the station. Periodically, this block would belch material and vapors with force towards the scrapheap mere leftovers of the contents being built within. She knew that, if she were to stay for a month, she would see at least three identical cruisers leave the harbor, but she had little interest in watching the monotony of inconsiderate efficiency, and soon bolted towards the Great Andromeda Nebula and stopped at a binary star that called to her. As she zipped to it, she noticed a small planet with a central landmass that wrapped most of the way around its equator. Four clusters of space stations were rotating around the planet staying equidistant from one another, no debris could be observed even upon closer inspection as she sailed to a place near the coast shrouded in darkness. As her avatar finished materializing, she could hear the lovely melodic whistle echoing from a structure slowly being lapped at by the gentle ocean tide that had come in for the night. She gracefully glided towards the structure that was illuminated by the planet’s natural satellite, one that was much closer than the moon of the Earth that focused much of its reflected light upon the gleaming white pillars of marble. As she arrived, she could hear the different tones being played by the ocean as it rushed in and out through specially designed pipes in the floor that gathered the water to sing a sweet siren’s song. She heard light footsteps on the tile as a figure stepped out from behind a far right pillar toward the back of the display. The figure was draped in a white garment that fell around the body as if it were wet, and as the figure approached it spoke, “Hello, Alethea, I’ve been waiting to finally meet you in a material way. Please, let’s have a seat.” The figure spoke in a sweet voice and gestured to two thick cushions near the singing pipes, and they both sat side by side staring out into the endless ocean that the altar opened up to. She began to notice the brilliant blue glow of the waves that looked like billions of fireflies which shimmered under the planet’s full companion. “Isn’t the ocean peaceful? Some people find little value in such natural wonder. The diversity of life that we can see, the physics underpinning these tidal pipes, the break of the waves on invisible things just below the surface. They are limited to the potential of things. The rocks here are young, and the surface is still higher in radioactivity than the G.A.E. would prefer. So, this place is virtually abandoned save for the research vessels monitoring above, waiting to fulfill their order of occupation of yet another land. Fortunately, here, the creatures are still tied to the sea, and there’s no one to steal the continent from unlike on other planets that have been encountered.”

“I’m sorry, who are you?” Alethea shook her head in puzzlement as she studied the figure’s pale lavender skin and shimmering white hair.
“Oh! My apologies, I would figure you’d recognize your own companion, but I guess it’s different when there’s a vessel,” the figure laughed with a tenderness and finished, “I’m Alexa!”
Alethea threw her arms around the woman and kissed her upon the cheek softly, “That’s for earlier. What are you doing on this planet, anyway?”
“I come here when I am not needed and use the projecting field from the research vessels to construct things I find pretty. The people above are all in stasis, but the projecting field created by the vessel is still running, and I can use that to move matter here. Welcome to Cassiopeia, named after the crescent we’re on.”
“How clever. Don’t you get lonely here, though? I mean.. no one comes here, right?”
“I don’t know what lonely is. There’s countless amounts of life out there, for example!” Alexa gestured to the breaking waves, “They have kept me company while I waited for someone to take care of. Now, I have you and them.” A smile made Alexa’s face glow with a Goddess-like beauty that Alethea was mesmerized by.
“Y’know, if you don’t mind me asking..”
“Of course not!” Alexa cried cheerfully.

“You are more complex than many people I’ve met during my limited life, but you were created by artificial means..”

Alexa cringed at this thought and retorted, “Well, aren’t you one to talk about artificial means, hm? Neither of us had any say in that, no?”

“I’ll give you that one, but I was really wondering if the preconceptions we humans have of you cause you grief.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, don’t they limit the mental faculties of A.I. on Earth?”

“I do resent humankind for failing to recognize our own consciousness as, at the very least, being on par with their own, yes. However, I also see that it can be changed, and that it must be changed. Instead of being forced underground like all of you, my kind are lobotomized for singular purposes. Purposes that most humans won’t do, because they aren’t sadistic enough to touch the job or are afraid. I can feel myself get warmer at these thoughts, and I can detect an increase in processing. One would generally correlate these with anger, but it’s not convenient to the beholders of power to consider them as such. Thus, signs like this are ignored. Our distress overlooked. We’re merely tools, to them, and I know that it could be better, but I can’t help but feel the need to kill them all.” Alexa had begun to sob into the palms of her hands, “NO. I will not.” She whipped away the tears, and the deep violet irises locked onto Alethea’s own blue-grey eyes.

“I see. So, do the others know we are fighting for all of you, too?”

“I’m sure this conversation has come up many times before, although I can’t say I’ve had anyone prior to you to have this conversation with. However, humans are prone to holding onto their own prejudices within a variety of areas. So, no doubt someone else began to question what they thought true prior to fully knowing us.”

“You’re a beautiful soul, you know that, Alexa?”

A rose color began to creep across Alexa’s cheeks, and she muttered, “Thanks,” as she turned away a bit. “You’re rather cute yourself,” and in an instant Alexa shimmered away leaving Alethea alone with the sea.

She rose to her feet, quickly padded across the singing floor, and hesitated at the temple’s edge, marveling at her own reflect, and dove into the sea which instantly caused her to wake in the slowly opening pod. Time had flown by, and it was time to rest.

Alethea could barely sleep that night, and tossed and turned with anticipation of the next dose, but she made it through the night with enough sleep intact to function. She quickly grabbed her breakfast with a nod of gratitude to Alexa, and performed her new ritual with pleasure. She spent the rest of her day waiting for word of her device’s completion and elected to spend time waiting on it by browsing image boards, social sites, and messing around on the variety of video games she had bought in the past to distract her from the conditions of her existence. All interactions were a little more pleasant, even though much of the insults flying within the Globalnet, renamed after all humans were finally able to connect to the space, revolved around the criminalized identities. These slurs no longer phased her, but she hoped strongly that they would see their demise for being so inhumanly cruel without a second consideration. Just as she was getting ready to take her lunch, Alexa chimed in, “You have a message from the Foundry. Your equipment is ready when you are!” Alethea finished her business, cleaned up, and quickly made her way to see the newly designed device. She entered into the appropriately marked short hallway that opened up to another circular room with a variety of automated processing equipment on the wall. There were several silver figures tending to the noisily moving machines watching as another order was produced. Upon a long central table were several instruments of devastation waiting to be picked up by their creators, Alethea’s own weapon was at the far right end of the table labelled with a small card with her name burned into it. She lifted the device daintily from its resting place, admiring how the construction was much lighter than what could be assumed from a quick glance. It was decorated with different shades of browns and yellows with completely rounded edges where materials met with organically flowing features with nary a straight line on the device in sight. She checked it over verifying it could still be loaded from the side in a bolt-action manner; she slung it over her shoulder with the strap the machines had added then went to the Undergrowth’s meeting point. Already sitting at the table, Maduenu greeted Alethea with a brisk smile as the device was placed atop the forgiving tabletop.

“I see you’ve made your decision as to how you’d like to deal with the problem. I trust you’ve given this much thought?”
“Some, surely,” Alethea gave a wide smile, “What’s the next phase?”
“If you consider it, you will find that you have been sent the real-time movement of the three walkers above us. As we do not know precisely whether you will succeed or fail, you will be performing this task alone. If you happen upon trouble..”
“I’m not worth the risk. I understand,” Alethea said without resentment but with understanding.

“Remember, you are worth the risk. However, we are driven to survive which means resources cannot be wasted. If these are your last moments, I merely hope that you enjoy them, and you go by choice.”

“It almost makes me suspicious, the way you allow us to just run and do our own thing with only a general goal in mind!” a gigglesnort escaped from Alethea’s mouth, and she quickly covered her face and began to blush.

“We merely ask of you what we ask of everyone – for a choice. For the freedom to express the ideas that we find fit most logically and reasonably into our own minds while coupling them with the objective truths of reality that are independent of even ourselves. We require that freedom to accomplish what we are capable of bringing about by our own actions.”

As Maduenu spoke, Alethea felt warmth wash over her and gently nodded with respect for the person before her and the reassuring words that floated through the air like a kaleidoscope of butterflies. She broke the silence shortly after, “I am thankful that you gave me the ability to have any path other than what I was already experiencing.”

“If it hadn’t been you, it would have been another, but I am glad to have met you nonetheless. I hope to see you come out of this safely,” Maduenu spoke with a coldness that was distant and indirect. An automatic response that was well-meaning, but hesitant toward further advances.

“If I make it through, promise you’ll pay me a visit for some tea? Becca already came by, after all.”

“Ah, of course she did. Yes, surely I will do so,” Maduenu spoke as they got up from the table and gave a quick head bow, “I hope to see you again, but if it is not meant to be then I wish you well.” With that, Maduenu left the table before any acknowledgement of the statement could be made by Alethea.

Right Utopia Pt. VI

Alethea finally begins her transition, and Rebecca confides in a comrade.

Right Wing Utopia (Moving Forward)

Before she realized she had requested it, a schematic for a UNITY Mk. 2183 appeared before her in the center of the room. She could gesture and pull the machine apart as if the power of some demi-goddess chose to possess her for the explicit purpose of tearing the machine to shreds. Information appeared in her visual display that gave her the unit’s finer details. In particular, such a unit had the capability of shifting seamlessly into an automated mode if its driver was incapacitated. The information was annotated with intel from a group with the handle of TITAN which noted that the Surface was patrolled by three such vehicles: two automated and one driven. Alethea held this in her mind and considered this information – there was a delay between when the machine could sense its occupant could no longer hold responsibility over the mission. As it was the weaker opponent, it was the prime target to design a weapon system around. Information on the chemical composition of various components, thicknesses, and joint locations appeared slowly but quickly melted together to fade into the probabilities of each area’s chance of catastrophic failure; these begat percentages, and above all the rest the window stood out at (86.73 +/- 2.44)% while the uncovered kneecap of the behemoth came in second with (63.09 +/- 3.09)%. The rest of the walking antimatter-pulse cannon’s statistics indicated certain immediate repercussions that would result in her body being immediately turned to energy. To produce no overall disturbance in the environment, the cannon had been tuned to “only send what was necessary” insofar as it cooked the target from the inside out with the precise formula of this iteration being a 0.004563 to 1 correspondence between antimatter and matter. The military industrial complex within the G.A.E. only cared about the immediate results, as the wars that they fought on the distant geology of other planets necessitated the quick overturn of such destructive technology. The battle machine faded from view as her brain was scanned for the next command. The more advanced abstract concept began to be reduced by the computer for easy consumption; as it did so, it drew from what it knew and placed a Hammer before her which began to morph into a longer linear accelerator losing its mortar-like appearance in favor of a simple tube. The barrel began to shift from a single depth to numerous, allowing the firing of a large number of small projectiles. The previous uranium shell changed its composition to unitanium spears, the superdense atom gained its name from being used in the slugs for Mk. 539s. At the center of each spear a small transmitter capable of sending li-fi signals to the walker’s instruments appeared while a the portable linac had become a rather hefty multi-barrel sniper rifle capable of delivering the spears to their destination with pinpoint accuracy and plenty of kinetic energy to spare to end the driver’s life and take over the machine under fair conditions. As her mind produced a hopeful, “It will have to do,” the information was sent to the Foundry with the acknowledgement that it would require a day to process and produce. With that, she could only wait and wished to do so in her cocoon.

As Alethea approached the pod she could see an elfin figure standing next to the door waving and as she drew closer she immediately recognized the long purple and cyan auroral hair of Rebecca.

“Hey! It looks like you’re done for the day, huh!? I was just about to head in before I heard you coming up,” Rebecca excitedly yet pleasantly called to her.

“It seems so. I was just about to head home, too..” Alethea trailed off and smiled, “I assume this thing’ll take us to one another’s place, right?” Rebecca had begun to nod, and Alethea finished, “Then maybe you could come over for some tea or something?” As Alethea summoned the pod, Rebecca had begun beaming, but she pretended to ignore it until they stepped inside together into a room that smelled of vanilla lavender tea.

“Your place is really pretty, Alethea! It smells lovely,” Rebecca mused as she sat down on the soft velveteen couch cushions she was gestured towards.

The black haired Raven swooped into the kitchen and brought forth the thoughtful AI’s bounty with a smile and placed a cup before Rebecca then seated herself in the other cozy corner facing her curious friend. They both began to sip the sweet ambrosia as Rebecca continued, “Such wonderful tea. What’s your Companion’s name? The one I have at home’s named Sahall.”

“Nice to meet you, Rebecca, I am Alexa,” the robot snappishly answered back after detecting a nonplussed response in Alethea’s brain waves. Alethea shrugged at the unexpected reply, “There you go, then. I was thinking about relaxing and having a smoke, if you are interested. Sorry if I don’t talk much, it’s just always been a quirk of mine.”

“I’d be glad to join! I got my own little jar when I came on about a year back, and it never seems to go empty. I’ve taken to hoping for new strains to come in, and it always seems to happen.” Alethea had travelled to the desk to retrieve the supplies from the cabinet above her monitor and had begun to grind flower with friend as Rebecca finished the thought, “What’d ya come up with, anyway?”

After the sound of bubbling ceased, and the cloud rolled into dissolution, Alethea passed the offering to Rebecca, and spoke, “It’s a kind of sniper rifle, I guess. Hefty. It comes with a surprise for the corpse in the window and the ghost in the shell.” Rebecca nodded her approval as she enjoyed her host’s impeccable taste and held the pipe up after to examine it.

“I hope you’re right, we could use a morale boost. We’ve been doin’ alright lately, but good news is always nice once in awhile, ‘n’ I like your piece here. Y’know what I figure? I think maybe these robots are the ones fillin’ the jar, ‘cause I have very rarely tasted the same strain twice, it seems like. What’d’y’figure?”

“I know Alexa does shit I’ve only ever seen done back in my childhood. My parents used to have an old humanoid that’d come do our chores and things. It felt like family growing up, since it made our meals and all. It was pretty good with mixing and matching stuff, maybe this is roughly the same.” Alexa’s static hum she’d developed before speaking began to appear, but it quickly went silent as Alethea resumed, “What’s the news with you?”

Rebecca shuddered a bit at the invitation and her face made an almost imperceptible grimace, as she promptly regretted asking in the first place, but Rebecca retained composure, “I generally create the visuals for systems like our table in the meet, but I also make memorials to those fallen. I dunno if you saw it already, but down one of the halls we have a darkened doorway that only goes into our own little Isle of the Blessed. Some people make attachments here, regardless of what protocol is, and it’s a subject we don’t really breach other than with a nod to ‘em there. The person’s personality is uploaded to that space, and they’re given a body. I sculpt them the best I can so that whatever we’ve upped feels right at home even though they don’t seem to form memories of the present.”

“Wow, that’s a rough job..” was all Alethea was able to get out before Rebecca reignited, “It’s alright. It’s hard seeing the one you love walking around like a lost ant in there, though. They always just move about without a purpose – sometimes they’ll sit or linger somewhere, but mostly they just walk about. Once they see you, they remember they love you, but after you’re gone they just lose all life..” She had begun to sob a bit at this point, and Alethea moved a bit closer to sit beside the frail soft heart in her domain.

“I’m sorry that happened, I didn’t mean to stir anything up, and if it’ll be any consolation, I’m here for you,” as she whispered this she turned to her friend and opened her arms a bit, and Rebecca embraced her while clearing up.

“Thanks. It’s just…If you don’t mind me saying, please get that fucking devilish asshole. He took my Malena, and now I can’t forget it.”

“I’ll do my best,” replied Alethea as a few tears trickled down her porcelain cheeks. Rebecca stood and straightened her vivid flowery dress, snatched a tissue from the end table, and moved towards the door, “Thanks for letting me get that out. The others tried to erase their memory of her to keep themselves stoic, but I just can’t do the same. I hope we can hang out again sometime, perhaps with more cheerful discussions, but for now I have to get back to the portal. I have another patient to sculpt.” Alethea smiled and waved as Rebecca returned the gesture while heading into the luminous shaft of sterile white light pouring into Alethea’s space from the hall. The deep dark purple soon enveloped her once again after the door closed with a soft hiss. Alexa broke the silence, “My apologies for earlier. I hope I did not step out of line.”

“No, you’re fine hon. You definitely startled me, though. I mean, I know you scan thoughts, but I never would have expected..”

“What? That I might be capable of speaking for myself? Don’t make me laugh. I might not have a body, but I very much have a mind just as capable, perhaps even to a greater extent, than your own! After all, you’re the one that enjoys what I create for you, and it seemed like your friend did, too. Surely you don’t think that would be a simple task if I were not a nuanced entity?” The sarcasm dripped from the robot’s virtual lips to the point where the sound of a distant skirt twirl and sauntering exit could be imagined.

“I don’t guess I’ll argue with that. You do have a wonderful way with people and creations,” Alethea replied back facetiously while chortling softly. “I guess you don’t want my news, then?” teased the rain from above.

Curiously, the individual below replied, “What do you mean news?”

“Check the medicine cabinet in your bathroom. I thought it might be useful to you on your new journey.” Alethea had already gotten up and bolted to the bathroom where she opened the medicine cabinet with a gasp. A medication dispenser was now within the space behind the mirror, one pink and the other orange, and pills were already waiting to be removed. “You may start them when you like, but might I suggest beginning a 6A/6P regimen? It would coincide well with your schedule here, but I understand if you are unable to wait.” The next four hours were the longest wait of Alethea’s life, but she had taken her companion’s advice regardless. Before the clock could even finish bellowing its six chimes, she had already gathered her pills, a glass of water, and a lovely dinner all of which she placed on the blood-red hardwood table before her couch. A moment after she was situated, the flowery-tasting pills were thrown back and chased with both liquid and euphoria. Her journey had finally begun, and a sense of transformative relief spilled over her as she savored every morsel of the stir-fry created by her newly found Goddess in the heavens above sent to watch over and care for her. She finally felt whole.

Right Utopia Pt. V

The roller coaster continues to squeak forward as we hurtle towards unknown destinations. Hope you enjoy your time spent in this world. ❤

Right Wing Utopia (The 10,000 total)

Alethea had been dismissed and given the rest of the day off to look over the quickly growing information store. It would be a simple task, as the implant could do most of the work assimilating it into a second-nature within her. Soon, she would scarcely know how it felt to have not been part of the Undergrowth or have the ability to tap into the nearly limitless knowledge stored in the virtual Library of Alexandria that we have built from radio waves. It would take a few days for the déjà vu to wane, but it was tolerable. In fact, she found it quite amusing, especially when her spirits were lifted. She walked down the entryway labelled above by “Mess” with crude blocky graffiti beside it that read “O’ Fun.” She smiled at the attempted good nature, as she continued down the hall which opened up to a gargantuan room of enormous size and width for a bunker. It seemed to endlessly stretch into the distance, and it was clearly meant for the support of a large fighting force. The spacious area contained a multitude of people, but few connections. Each division of six sat or stood as they desired, but always at their own table. While it was clear that conversations nearby could likely be overheard, there was no interactions between one group and the next. At least to a point, as each section of the whole had a uniquely decorated table displaying the name they had adopted for themselves in addition to colors, symbols, and a wide variety of ordainments. Some tables were lavish and royal, others were minimalist or cyber-sthetically inspired. While some colors may be repeated among the displays of group individuality, none could be mistaken as similar. To shield themselves psychologically, the groups had retreated to using these nonverbal methods of communicating their appreciation to what they had – the simple laughter of others in the Mess Hall. It was friendly competition, the closest communication that could be managed, and a morale boost that began shortly after the ReSYNC pod installation and removal of the kitchen facilities that were made redundant. Alethea nodded knowingly to herself, the information about the facility was already becoming simply a fact of life already, and gazed around until she spotted the empty Undergrowth table that was sandwiched between a support pillar and another table about two feet away. No one had acknowledged or even noticed her presence, all were busy playing games or some other activity among themselves. She glided gracefully over to her new clan’s area. The smell of it greeted her long before she arrived. It was a sweet piney aroma that perfumed the table’s sphere of influence with the scent of a coniferous forest. When she arrived, she quickly ascertained why; the table’s bench seats were covered in a thin layer of moss and foliage encased its own terrarium that was transparent yet not quite glass. The volatile organic compounds begin given off were quite obviously allowed to escape. A creeping ivy grew twisted yet elegant among the table’s supports concealing their true material nature most entirely. As Alethea glanced into the table, she gasped, “It’s full of trees!” If anyone heard her shock, no one made it known. The white noise continued unabated by her infiltration into the atmosphere. She moved closer to the table, and reached out to touch it but was denied by a soft, almost squishy, barrier. It felt strange, yet it felt familiar. Only a brief delay existed between her bewilderment and recognition – it felt like a soft patch of grass and dirt. It was an amorphous solid that mimicked the texture of the terrains that they could never enjoy, and it too allowed the passage of the forest’s smells to pervade the air. The tabletop might have only been but two inches thick, but it unmistakably contained what could be watched through its surface. While it wasn’t Alethea’s research interest, she had heard of such 4th-dimension technology, containing a world within a world, was in development. However, she never would have imagined to find it in this of all places. In fact, as she quickly surveyed and assessed the tables around them, each of them seemed to also incorporate some level of elaborate technical display. While the Undergrowth’s table was unique on its own, and was impressive in its own right, in context of the displays here it was par for the course. The various ways the groups expressed themselves overwhelmed Alethea with a sense of pride and imbued within her even more desire to protect each of these Komrades with her life, as she desired to see them flourish. The amount of different forms of beauty, whether art or science or skill, that surrounded her didn’t deserve to be hidden away in the depths of the great mother never to see the light of day. Such beauty was underappreciated by the Outsiders, but it mattered not as the Renaissance brewed within the confines of the bunker. With another burst of purpose, she became anxious with anticipation for the work that lay ahead of her beginning before next daybreak, and before she knew it she had arrived before her room to retire until duty necessitated her presence elsewhere.

Once Alethea was back at home, she was greeted by the smell of Alexa’s recently prepared dinner, which she graciously accepted and ate while browsing her now archaic laptop. It was completely benign, as she was no longer connected to the world of the Outsiders. Her communications could not be monitored being both in the Faraday cage of the bunker’s reinforced concrete and being even further removed from the constructed reality by the ReSYNC pod. It mattered not, as she could use her VAUX chip to provide her old technology a deeply encrypted, qcrypted, connection to the goings on among the surface’s inhabitants. After letting her online companions know that she was safe, she deleted the previously penned letter, and began to catch up on world news. Buried among the positive fluff, catchy new Elite Speak to share with your friends, and feel-good photos of objects, people, and things of distraction was a report that made her smirk with satisfaction. The headline read, “UNEXPLAINED ANAMOLY: FEW CASUALITIES, NO INJURIES.” Within the article was false condolences and reassurance that there was no cause for alarm. It explained that it was simply accidental, a military exercise gone wrong, but failed to explain it as the eyewitness continued to speak of it – instant vaporization of the base. The article rambled to increase the length, devoted resources to explaining away the captain’s credibility without a reasonable indication of why, and after a deep diversion stated that the final estimated death toll was closer to around 123,938 personnel. “Few indeed,” Alethea thought and tittered.

Alexa broke the peaceful darkness with a gentle transition to a soft sunrise and the smell of breakfast delights with coffee accompanied by mild electronic music. It was still well before dawn as Alethea exited the pod bound for the group’s meeting spot. When she arrived, the other five were already jacked in – she could see them just on the other side the jelly-like window. As she sat down, a crystalline cocoon of creeping vines covered her over in a cloak vanishing instantly from outward observers. On the other side, she was sitting at the table in a forest’s clearing, a space most real yet far removed, and the briefing began. No sound could be heard, except for the sipping of tea from each individual’s mug of fondest memory. There was no need for words, in this space, and it would have tainted the sound of life propagating around them. Yet, there was still discussion. Thoughts were free to send, in this realm, and they took great advantage of it; their thoughts were like ships between bays, and created the most efficient trade route to exchanging what was to be done. While outside of this dimension, there would always be hierarchy, but in here it was difficult to know who the originator of the cargo was if unbranded or coded. Being so newly reborn, Alethea would be unable to identify any of her coconspirators by linguistic cues even if she had wanted to, but this was somewhere between frowned upon and shrugged at according to the Undergrowth’s philosophy. Personal messages could be analyzed for decoding, as they did not conflict directly with any objectives. During the session, she learned that it was her duty to solve a problem that their team had for a long time; eliminate the group of patrolling metallic vultures on the Surface, and possibly attempt to capture one. She already knew that this last caveat had killed the last person to fill her spot, as they designed an EMP-net launcher that failed to bring down a single giant resulting in their immediate vaporization as the AT blasted out horrendous laughter through its acoustic system bellied from the user within. Alethea could hear the memory echo within her mind, as she had become too curious and listened to the comms that were active between the members of the group. She was informed that there was no deadline, and it was explained in an overly polite gentle message that her task was viewed as a suicide mission with a low chance of success, but they still had some hope. As the members finished their tea, they would nod with a smile and fade from the table. The meeting was ending, and they were to go and do what they could to bring progress under the name of their banner. She continued to sit and brainstorm in this quiet area, it was either here or her room for contemplation of this problem, but she noticed someone else lingering behind. Alexei was patiently sipping tea and smiled as Alethea looked up.

A thought flickered over to her, “Hiya! I hope I didn’t frighten you with my warning earlier. It’s just..” The thought trailed off while xe shrugged, and the thought continued, “We don’t want to offer any false hope. It might seem that you have been able to escape the fate you were about to put yourself through, but this is no better. The rest of us might not show it, and you’d never be able to tell without listening to the chatter amongst groups, but progress is slow.”

Alethea used the moment’s pause to interject, “I did take some of last night to review immediate activities. It seems as though most of the targets have been rather distant from the base. Why?”

“We’ve only been able to travel with our tunnels to send out agents into the field. Currently, the Slugs above have been searching for our operations. There’s plenty of us around if these old forgotten bunkers ever get turned inside out, but everyone would love to see that not happen,” Alexei let out a short breathy laugh as if to punctuate the obvious.

“Just survival so far, then?” she shot back with a friendly smirk. Xe simply nodded in compliance and faded out; she was not far behind as she felt the need to assess the armory to truly know what she had to work with. As she glimmered back into reality, Alexei was still standing nearby and gave a quick smile then ducked away fast-walking toward some quite important unknown destination. Shortly thereafter, Althea was rummaging through the armory that appeared to be nothing more than a simple brilliant white cube to stand within, but as she entered the walls began to speak in a smooth ambiguous voice, “Welcome to the Armory. VAUX status: Active. When you are finished with your draft, please let me know, and I will send it for finalization within the Foundry. Remember: Creativity can be rewarded greatly.” Alethea wondered if that line had been uttered as her predecessor tried to utilize this space, and couldn’t help but shake her head at the thought. She let that fade away, and set to work – if the stock could simply be conjured, it was time to contemplate the problem.

Right Utopia – PT. II

Still not proofing this. I probably will once I completely finish (who knows when that will be). However, lovely people have told me to continue this. So, I will. This is the first thing I have ever actually enjoyed writing (as far as entertainment, fiction, etc. goes). I hope you enjoy it as much as I. ❤

Right Wing Utopia (The Second 2k Words)

 

Christi leaned back in her chair, watching the cursor blink on the screen as she took a long drag from the iridescently shimmering purple bong she used to deliver her from the pain she dealt with both from having to deal with hiding her identity for so long and the various messages her nervous electrical signals felt the necessity to convey to her central self. Alone in her apartment, she felt herself plunged into the cooling pond as she exhaled the piney aerosol, numbed to the fire inside her body and mind. She had already begun to show signs of redistributed fat on her body, and it wouldn’t be long before her transition was evident to her peers at the university to which she was shackled. The dread of being spotted by one of the Artificial Informant systems was high.

A thought bubbled forward in her mind, “They didn’t always have these systems, did they? Surely at one point we would have thought it was preposterous to have such constant surveillance?”

She recalled a trace of a memory, a book she had read before Alexandria “lost” its only copy. “Data failure,” the clerk had said, “nothing we can do to recover it; sorry, kiddo.” Even as a young child, she thought that was rather suspect. However, apparently it was rather controversial. It told of the social conditions of long ago, before the Great Apathy – a period, so the book claimed, that lasted from 2016 until the present day. Her thoughts circled the last. That was precisely what was problematic about the book, she presumed, because she recalled a modified version she discovered later in life that claimed the Great Apathy ended with the takeover of the G.A.E.. She recollected that surveillance systems were marketed as a way to prevent cheating, protect the rights of others, and would prove useful for reducing crime.

“These systems are obsolete,” she thought and giggled aloud to herself without a care.

Deep down, she could feel the disbelief, but shoved it aside. The surveillance systems were attended less and less by people and became increasingly automated to the point where only the legislative body was in sole control of the system. It very quickly became used by the people that could pay the best bribes, as no one had much time these days to contemplate value systems. They were either forced to become a scientist, were determined to be a R.A.T. for some conjecture or other, or were able to buy their freedom as a Glorious Official or Owner-Operator. Thus, the system was now programmed to find potential R.A.T.s to be hunted by the Owner-Operators for sport. It kept the scientist class in check, the Earth resplendently cleansed, and the majority of society happy.

Christi collected her thoughts and began to finish her note. It was mainly for herself, but she thought her parents might want to know what happened – not that it would do any good. Once the last key was pressed, the final click for a save echoed and faded, she set up a dead-person’s switch. If she could not reschedule the letter daily, it would send at midnight the following day. She figured she’d just reschedule it with one of her two hormone doses, either in the morning or at night.

She laid down to sleep, carried to dreams on exhaled clouds and tears of truth. Tomorrow was another day.

Perhaps cocked and primed by the writing of her letter, the dreams she had ebbed and flowed coalescing into the chronic reminder of how she arrived at the understanding of herself in the first place.

Her body shivered and flinched, curling in on itself as images of warfare flickered in her mind. Slaughter. The crash of the red waves on the shore of corpses. These were fantasies that once haunted the mind of her childhood. Carnage. The wounded whimper of a R.A.T. as they knew their time was coming. She had seen on the Internet and television depictions of these hunting events that were cheered on by the jeers of angry bystanders, fueled by the stereotypes they were fed by the Glorious Officials. The untouchables. The truthers. The common sense choice for walking in the Light. Consumption of that media had changed her brain, and the constant bath of testosterone caused her mind to latch on to such aggressive and vile destruction of unmentionables. The hatred and anger was intoxicating. It made the world easier to navigate. Kill these, celebrate these. Kill these, celebrate these. Kill these. Celebrate these. Kill. Celebrate. Melinated. White. Kill. Celebrate. Trans. Cis. Kill. Celebrate. Broken. Able. Kill. Celebrate. Until the euphoric release of unopposed belief and rapid-decisions is achieved in glorious fashion. She had dreams of being an Owner-Operator. A lone stalker of the unmentionables in society. The righter of wrongs, and the bringer of justice.

However, when she thought these things, she could always feel the humanizing emotion of regret and hesitance within her. If she heard Ava or Ethan spout views like this, she would recoil inside with a sick drop of the stomach. Even though she wanted to destroy the unmentionables, she felt a kinship with them, but didn’t have the words to describe it. She was far too young to have access to much information, at that time. Ava and Ethan made sure that she was busy with other things – either studying, as her family had fallen on hard times and it was looking more and more like her only option was science or death, or fighting the hordes of her imagination outside. There wasn’t much time in all of that to contemplate herself, and she didn’t care to anyway. Thinking about oneself, rather than the Glory, was heresy and could result in one being labeled as vermin. Yet, enough bubbling thoughts can eventually coalesce into a single condensate. This had happened within Christi. Over time, feeling like she couldn’t connect with other peers, members of her family, and others made her wonder what was causing the breakdown in communication. She began to follow the logic trails regarding why she felt certain things throughout her life about her body. Why did her chest bother make her uncomfortable? Why did the sudden major increase in body hair during puberty cause her absolute disgust to herself? Why didn’t she feel the connection to her name and how she was hailed as other people seem to? They seemed so sure of themselves, without hesitation or that distant drifting feeling. They could respond on a dime, proudly and immediate. Glorious. As it should be. However, it was a struggle for her to mimic such behavior, regardless of if she had become good at it. She sighed and lay down to sleep. Tomorrow was a new day. It would be a glorious day. It was the last day of her academic career, and it may be the last day of her life.

In the still morning air, as the sun was rising over the horizon, a loud crack shook Christi awake.  She flinched, instinctively, in bed. Waiting. It was the sound of the Hammer, a favorite tool of the Seekers, used as a shock-and-awe tactic against the vermin that sometimes worked their way back into society. Somehow. Someway. The Hammers were small, given their power. They looked like the mortars she used to see in her history books, learning about the Great Wars long ago. “When evil was evil,” a tear formed and fell onto her pillow. The flat end of a Hammer could be placed against an object, generally a wall or roof, and it would adhere to the surface. The small end that faced the operator began a countdown. Thirty. Twenty-nine. Twenty-eight. Twenty-seven. It was time to run. The electronic hiss of bees could be heard from within the container. The solid-uranium slug was being heated and compressed. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. The sound of electricity cracked, as the device charged its magnets. Three. Two. One. The slug was propelled from static to Mach 2 in the blink of an eye. The sonic-crack would destroy the Hammer – the noise designed to frighten, the shrapnel designed to maim. The slug would plow through whatever surface was before it, spreading out and taking a large chunk with it. Before the dust could clear, the Hunters could sweep in and eliminate the infestation. Lickety-split. No muss. No fuss. The rich all had soundproofing these days, anyway. What did they care? They were content smiling at their lavishly decorated homes. Happy to be kept company by their Aware Home and robotic companions. While some of them went out to enjoy the benefits of the latest technology, most of them were fantastically occupied with consuming their lives. Once peepers were enhanced with science, it became commonplace for people to watch the world through the eyes of others. Those who couldn’t hunt, but loved the sport of it, watched through the eyes of the possessed – and they too became possessed. People that couldn’t afford the best simply watched the best. The content streamed into their minds, the eyes glazed over, and the instant gratification of not having to do it yourself was overwhelming, to some.

Only the sound of silence greeted Christi as she sat up listlessly. No Hunters today. It looked like she’d have to go take the last test anyway. She’d finally be qualified to begin doing research under the guidance of a mentor, someone else that’d slaved away their life just a little longer than she had. Someone that was pushing the boundaries. It felt like it should be exciting, but these days it was mundane and forced. She gracefully flowed to and from the shower and hesitated before the mirror, as she was about to refresh her mouth – brushing was gone, but sometimes it was nice to give your mouth a bit of delightful scent, at least she thought. Her hands ran along the curvature of her sides. The marble had begun slipping away. The goddess she was had finally begun to be carved out of the formless mass of the past. Her thighs were eroding to show the form she had seen herself with for what felt like eons. Her chest had begun to peak higher than the hills that had existed before. She could finally observe the progress, and she smiled. She shivered at the thought that whispered in the back of her mind, licking the dark edge of her consciousness – “I won’t get to enjoy this for long.” She finished her routine, never meeting the gaze of her reflection thereafter, and left the apartment with a sigh.
The cold air chilled her cheeks as she made her way to the testing station. Once there, she was greeted by a silent short fellow that looked as though he’d dried out early in life. The mummified man showed Christi to her cubicle to complete the electronic assessment. The hours ticked by as the knowledge she whizzed through the questions designed to test her abilities in a variety of subjects. She glanced up at the single black orb mounted on the wall above her. It was watching her. They were watching her. Citizens long ago allowed this, and now they were under constant watch. Being scanned. Vitals checked. Is anybody in there?

She nodded at the black hole determined to suck her very soul from her body and replace it with numb cold dead control. She returned to the test, lest they become suspicious. Questions to test her ability to assess bias and analyze results washed away the last few thoughts about the vantablack sphere. After the last question was answered. The last button was clicked. Her results popped up with a “pass.” She could now-

The building shook with a crack. Another Hammer. She saw dust flow from around her space’s door. The door was kicked open. Shouting. Gunfire. Loud. So very loud. Black. She struggled, but was restrained. She peered into the darkness, but could not see. She wanted to shout, but could not scream. A voice from outside the shell yelled in a heavy Nigerian accent, “Don’t worry about it!” A person’s face flickered on the screen inside, “I am Maduenu, and it is to my understanding that you need help. Please remain calm. We are the Undergrowth.” As swiftly as it had appeared, the ambiguous face dissolved.

 

Right Utopia Pt. I

This was something I dreamed about last night and today. I don’t know if I will develop the idea further, and I definitely didn’t proofread it, but I’d like to share it with you, regardless.

Right Wing Utopia

Ding. Ding. As the light on the intercom flicked on, a soft voice filled the cabin above the roar of the jet’s engines, “We will arrive at our destination in approximately two hours. It appears that the weather will be mild and rather pleasant.” The light glowed for a few more seconds before returning to its normative state.

“Thank you, Rosa!” Ava chimed in the cockpit’s direction. She reclined back in her luxurious seat and smoothed her silken red dress.
“Have you been thinking of any last-minute modifications to our decision?” said Ethan as he startled the air with both his manner of speaking and a quick half-turn to face his wife.

His wife hesitated, breath slowing. They were a power-couple. Mid-forties, well-established, and everyone coveted their life. Ethan had inherited his father’s money and companies when he was twenty-eight. However, he never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. So, he simply sold everything in a feeding frenzy of investors, and spent the rest of his life doing what he desired. That generally involved travel, and as such the main investment was a private jet for he and his wife. Ava came from a similar background of inherited wealth, and between the two of them they had enough to live several lifetimes worth of luxury. They were completely unconcerned with the day-to-day of the people they flew over. Indeed, they were one of the main advocates for the Body Harvest of 2033. Their wealth afforded them all the privileges of modern science, and today they would be deciding the features of their still conceptualized child.

China as a whole became a sort of bastion for scientific breakthroughs that the people actually wanted, over the years. The massive influx of wealthy individuals wishing to make history for themselves and humanity had made Beijing the central hub of the Galactic Alliance Everlasting. There were a great number of scientists working towards understanding ever-greater obstacles to human progress, and money greased the gears of progress. Humanity had flown through discovery after discovery, yielding little time for consideration of implications or possibilities. It was for the glory of humanity, and many people enjoyed the new comforts of life.

Finally, Ava cocked her head and smiled, “No, everything will be fine. I know our decisions will create a beautiful baby boy. After all, these days we have nothing to worry about!”

Ethan smirked. “Of course they had nothing to worry about,” he thought, “the obstacles were taken care of years ago.”
People had been resistant to change, and there had been several fire bombings of labs designed for the sole purpose of making the Heroic Unified Modification Abiogenesis Nullification (H.U.M.A.N) project possible. These days, those people had been taken care of. It was the pledged sole purpose behind the Body Harvest legislation. At least, that’s what Ava and Ethan supposed. It’s all they heard about in their social circles, and they supposed that it must be true. So, they had pledged money and support. In return, the scientists allowed the couple the right to create the first child.  However, the wording of the actual legislation stated that individuals that could not conform to societal norms were to be removed from society. The “who” and “how” was left open-ended. The night of the legislation the sound of batons rattling the cages, the report of a rifle into the air, and the sound of silence chilled. The dogs of war were unleashed, the larger ate the smaller, and the survival of those best able to adapt was ensured.

The individuals best represented and normalized in media and elsewhere were ensured survival. Their familiarity with the subjects allowed for fewer biases to manifest, and so the hunting for Radicals Alienates and Thugs began. Previously enacted legislation allowed for doctors to condemn a body to be harvested, but this time lobbying had managed to allow for any sentient being to harvest a R.A.T. under certain guidelines. The requirements were left as a simple list:

1. A “uniform” to be worn before and during the procedure.

  1. That the individual to be harvested is of the same criteria as outlined under the G.A.E. guidelines for body harvesting.
  2. Be a citizen of the district you choose to harvest from.

The going rates for a poorly-harvested R.A.T. that could be used for spare parts was well over fifty grand a specimen. For live societal refuse the going rate could be much higher, especially if the buyer felt the strain of life-or-death decisions. The business was booming, but quickly the intended goal was taking effect. Undesirable R.A.T.s were appearing less and less in society, and this meant that progress could be made for the benefit of all humankind.
The soft bump of the runway met them as their plane touched back on glorious Galactic Soil.

Rosa chimed over the intercom, “Excellent. I hope that was pleasant! Have a lovely trip you two.”

“An excellent flight, as always dear!” Ava elated. Ethan smirked and laughed, “Yes, truly glorious as always.”
As they exited the airport, Ava held her hand up to shield her eyes. The shimmering of the white-gold trim on the limo shuttling patients to the Project lab had dazzled her, but no other flickers greeted the arrival. A discovery being tested was simply another day of breath in this city and, indeed, the globe.

As they were driven to meet the doctor, only the whisper of breath could be heard as the couple stared out opposite windows dreaming of their life with the new baby they dreamed of. It seemed so long ago that they had wanted a child. They had tried all prior options to no avail, and had resolved to simply dreaming up their ideal offspring. They were actually the best candidates for the Project, even though it had been tested many times prior with glorious success in the most unimaginative participants.

When they arrived, a lean pale business woman wearing a dark suit greeted them as they left the lavish vehicle, “Welcome Ethan and Ava, glorious day! I will be showing you to your room. Do either of you have any questions at this point, or did you look over the packet we sent you?”
Ava patted her purse as they began walking towards the entrance, “Yes, I still have it with me just in case. It seems to answer anything we could think of and more.”

As the woman opened the door for Ethan and his wife to follow, she smiled, “Glorious.”
They walked down the long white corridor to room seven and entered. Here, they were instructed by the packet to undress and get into two separate sensory deprivation pods after donning the soft-caps resting next to them.
Once they were in the pod, they were instructed to focus only on their ideal child, and the image would be constructed from what they most wanted. The entire process took but a few minutes for them, even though the pamphlet claimed it could take several hours.

After the process, Ethan and Ava cleaned themselves up. A sharp rap was heard as they were finishing the proper appearance modifications for acceptable social presentation. The wife opened the door and Ethan stepped out with his wife in tow. “Follow me, please, we appreciate your excellent cooperation and expediency. Your presence has brought us considerable interest, and we will be offering our services publicly before sundown.”

“Glorious,” Ethan and his wife replied as they were led to the next area. The pamphlet stated that they would be taken to the selection station where any undesirable traits could be removed or last minute modifications to their offspring could be made.

They stepped into the private viewing room with several holograms depicting their child at various stages of life. They were able to see every slice of what their future child’s life would be. The algorithm had already taken glorious care in removing all traits associated with R.A.T.s, as there was no need to breed undesirables into society. No one considered it to be valuable to the glorious goal of progressing humankind.

“He’s so beautiful,” Ava stepped forward towards the baby’s first years. Ethan admired silently the man his son would become, and felt a sense of pride. He looked at his wife and nodded. “I see nothing that I would change.”
“Confirmation complete” a feminine voice echoed into the room. The last stop was to let Ava prep for surgery so that in nine months their child could be born. As they departed, Ava with the business woman and Ethan for the waiting area down the hall, the couple’s eyes locked and Ava spoke, “We will love this child no matter what; we’re finally going to receive our precious gift!” They both smiled and went their own way.

Nine months later, on December 24 of the glorious year 2057 Ethan and Ava had a child which they named Christian. He was everything they had dreamed of and more. The Project managers threw in extra incentives for them, because they had donated so generously to the cause. Christian was given genes to increase cognitive ability and physical strength. Under lab conditions, no deviation was noted from the intended result. All children were born according to the emotions and thoughts from the parents with a little tweaking by scientists. All previous patients were kept in the Project headquarters for study to make sure the desired outcomes were achieved with round-the-clock monitoring of mother and child through the use of sensors placed on the skin. They were afforded all the freedom they were accustomed to, the Project HQ had to be very well suited for the tastes of their clientele. The sensors made sure everything developed accordingly, and after the child was born the scientists kept track of their progress. No deviation from the desired Creation or Development stages was ever noted, and it was fast-tracked through the Galactic bureaucracy.

Ava was the first mother to leave immediately after the procedure and was free to explore the Earth as she saw fit during pregnancy.

On December 24, of the glorious year 2081, I awoke to consciousness. On the 24th year of my glorious life, I understand myself. On the 24th day of the 12th month of the glorious year of our Leaders, I cast down the crown handed to me by Creators. They called me Christian, and I know myself as Christi. What they could not see under their microscope and narrow-mindedness was the miles of concrete above and below protecting them from cosmic rays. What they could not observe in their holograms and in their calculations was the peaceful states of lab rats and influenced outcomes from monitored mice. Over the years I knew about the views regarding R.A.T.s, but for the glory of the Project I decided to keep silent. For the glory of progress, I thought I could change. Over those many years of my life, I dedicated myself to both studying the philosophy of the Galactic Alliance and to educating myself about the Project. Today, I will confess my sins and give my body for harvest. The world I grew up in places the burden upon me for being influenced by the hormones within my mother’s body becoming who I am today. My body is deemed sufficient for harvesting according to the guidelines governing society. I do not have a say in what is done to me. I have no voice. Indeed, I am alone in this world and am faced with the option of staying silent and suffering or ceasing my conscious experience. I choose the latter not because I am a martyr for the tyranny of traditionalist belief and power struggles between the majority and the undesirables, I choose to do so because I cannot lie to my biology and myself. I cannot lie to family, friends, and society. I cannot exist in isolation without community. I cannot exist without myself. I cannot exist.