Right Utopia Pt. IV

I don’t have much to say, this time. No real changes, just more fleshing out of characters and the Undergrowth. ❤

Right Wing Utopia (The Novelette or 2k more words)

Maduenu continued, “We lost one of our technical experts, goddess rest her soul, but you would be able to fill the role perfectly. Unless, of course, you do not wish to associate yourselves with us. However, I can make you one promise. We will not interfere with your personal growth and identity. All we ask is for your unique brand of comradery and fulfillment of your assignments. If you accept this, we will reactivate your VAUX chip, and allow you access to the necessary information to bring you up to speed on every detail.”

Alethea had finished her relieved emotional outburst by drying her eyes, and began to nod, “Yes, oh my, yes.” It was the only response she could muster after feeling the reaper’s icy grip tightening around her over so many years. The androgynous battle-hardened and scared onyx form before her seemed larger than life, an effigy from which to draw inspiration, smiled at her which made Alethea smile back and shiver ever so slightly. The person before her closed their eyes and looked up slightly focusing just above Alethea’s crown, and she felt her head begin to tingle and warm slightly. A comforting sensation, warm and soothing, pulsed through her body as the chip inside of her mind began to reactivate. She could almost feel the knowledge flooding her mind and her muscle’s coordination and endurance improve. She was awakened once more.

As the intel began to stream in, she looked around, and the details of those around her began to display. Standing before her was Maduenu Ifeanyi, twenty-eight, they/them pronouns, 180 cm tall. As the computer began to recognize her brain’s patterns once more, the notification advanced to reveal biographical information. The new notification stated that Maduenu had graduated both the top university in Sector Alpha, but not just once. They completed training in propulsion systems, astronautical engineering, chemical engineering, and condensed matter physics. After the first two doctorates, they had been drafted and deployed to Mars as a saboteur to destroy a base there. No details of the mission were available, but Alethea recognized the year. 2070. That year, two rival corporations were attempting to achieve glory for their respective home nations. The world held its breath as the groundwork for the next and last superpower was being laid before their eyes. The Chinese had been the first to the dusty red planet, and they already had their base up and running long before the Nautilus arrived to setup shop for the United States and her money. The world thought the results were final, and that the damage had been done. They believed that the war for the future had been won, but that was merely because few anticipated the lengths the “former” owner of the globe would go to in an attempt to save face. The world had begun to scream just as Alethea was about to blow out her 13th birthday candles. An urgent alert from the president had been issued, and it had sent the wi-com device, willingly attached to everyone’s face for visual and auditory feedback, into a frenzy. The alert blared loudly as a notification scrolled across the screen: Casualties on Mars. 128 dead, 42 missing. Nautilus ship, base, and crew OK. Unknown cause. Chinese Declare War.

It had been a grave distraction from the festivities, and though she was young, Alethea couldn’t help but feel a sense of attachment and loss. She was young and naïve, and did not believe that science should be subjected to the external forcing of nationalism. However, it didn’t seem to her like the people in charge cared much about that. Such human bias made for a good story, and kept people interested. Rivalry brought so many people together on Earth, and few could imagine any other way. So, while some unquestioningly celebrated the newfound luck of the United States that put their team back on top, she remained skeptical and mourned for the lives lost that were there to pursue knowledge regardless of risk or influences. Knowing the past of her new friend made her shiver for she knew that she was looking at the destroyer of worlds. She did not judge them, because she knew that there could have been many factors at play that she need never know that forced her companion into such an unfortunate set of circumstances.

Alethea continued to scan the notification. The date of their comrade’s return was also the date of their deployment to Sector Gamma, which the southern half of the Asiatic continent was renamed to during the war. It was kept, as it was a useful tool to eliminate national identity and patriotism which allowed for the ushering in of a singular cultural identity under the G.A.E. banner. The notification showed their insertion point as being 31 N and 121 E, likely through the ports of Shanghai.

She could recall the town being cleaned off the face of planet Earth. It was the detonation site of the first Babbling Brook, a devastating implosion device whose radius of effect could be easily be tuned remotely or programmed. The toaster-sized device could be delivered in a variety of ways, but by far the most surprising was sneaking someone in, and allowing them to perform the operation alone. The device itself attracted little attention, and allowed for the operative to plant it wherever they like and retreat to safety before removal of the area. The little objects with large appetites earned their nickname by their peaceful auditory emissions as they began to ionize the area around them, and their strength began to increase. Little was known about why it sounded the way it did, but humans not knowing something didn’t prevent things from behaving as they do. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop people from speculating or forming hypotheses. Perhaps it was the sound of everything within the device’s hemisphere of influence being slowly sucked into the Cherenkov blue abyss, forever to be locked away behind unfamiliar doors within the machinery. Maybe it was the weeping of the universe as another atrocity was committed with its own natural laws. No one knew. In fact, no one really cared. It worked. It did its job. It ended the war swiftly. No one cared to bother with trivial details, such as they were. It was only after this deed was performed that Maduenu returned for further schooling. Below their military and school information was a note for acknowledgements. They were credited with the invention of the Flat Entangled Emission Drive and the weaponized version, the Babbling Brook. The former was just a fancy way of saying that humans had been able to harness the power of small two-dimensional black holes and use their radiative emissions as a way to give a much needed boost to smaller spacecraft as compared to ion drives or solar sails of the past. The dangers of operating such a drive was great, and it was only used on crewless voyages for supplies, probes and the like. The drive had a failure rate of 1 in 20, and when it failed it failed spectacularly. It would swallow whatever it was carrying whole and dissipate relatively quickly, which was what sparked inquiry into its weaponization. The first invention had likely been an act of goodwill and faith in humanity, but the latter was simply the result of money greasing the right palms and “loving” coercion. They had been so young, gone so much further, and seen so much more than it seemed likely in a single human lifetime, but here they were. Still one against many, outnumbered many times over, but fighting to keep their faith in humanity strong, because it was all that was left.

Alethea began to examine the other individuals that were still working around her. As she settled on a target, the display changed to Bel Haverstock, twenty-two, he/him pronouns, 191 cm. The page turned, and showed a B.S. from a noteworthy school in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in life support systems. He had served in Sector Beta and notes indicated he was a bit of a Swiss army knife of sorts, as he enjoyed weaponsmithing of all sorts. She turned and eyed the person to Bel’s left, and their information popped up with Alexei Lesya, thirty-three, xe/xem pronouns, 163 cm. Once more, the next module of information revealed the person behind xyr details. Xe had a Ph. D. from the same university as Maduenu, but with a specialization in artificial intelligence and neural networks. No military experience was on record, but the acknowledgement pinned them as the creator of the ReSYNC pod.. or was it pods? No matter what it was considered, the usefulness was obvious, as it greatly reduced the amount of space a large group took up simply by living.

The next glance was to Alethea’s left, and more information became available. Rebecca Clark, twenty, she/her pronouns, and 166 cm. No formal education was listed, but her acknowledgement was for being a remarkable artist and being quick to learn new duties. The person to the right was Ekkehard Lorenz, thirty, he/him, and 180 cm. Military experience was limited to Sector Alpha, and they had a bachelor’s in chemistry with a doctorate in general physics. Their acknowledgement was regarding their defense of Sector Alpha during the last ditch attempt by the falling neo-superpower to turn the world into a burning cinder. Unfortunately, their air force could not counter the deadly precision of the crewed and automated turret system that patrolled every conceivable route of attack. Ekkehard alone was credited with decimating about 62% of the invading fleet clearing them from his machine’s hellish sights without remorse only duty.

Maduenu began to speak, “I’m sure that you hear the other comrades elsewhere, it’s hard to miss when the bunker is so good at carrying the discussions throughout. However, you will have very little interaction with them beyond seeing one another about. I don’t recommend much interaction beyond this.”
“Why? I’ve never been able to interact with many people, especially not people that understand,” Alethea had stood up rather quickly, reacting to the least of her concerns without much thought as to why, and looked quizzically at the figurehead.
“We generally have a very short lifespan,” the veteran continued, “Many of these people that you will pass are soon to become ghosts of your past. Nothing more than a fluctuation in your memory that briefly disturbed the space near you. This is the price we pay for our attempt to exist. We survive only as long as we’re able to stay one step ahead, and we concern ourselves with the 6-person groups we are assigned to. We cannot be concerned with what happens in other units, as it can be a drain on the psyche, and burden one’s skills.”

It was cold, but Alethea sheepishly looked away, because it was entirely true. Even if they hadn’t been Undergrowth members, they would still be hunted until they no longer existed. If it could be found that a person was defective, they would be eliminated without question or reason. It was the natural order, now. It was as tradition dictated for so many years. Try as they might to fight it, many of them were doomed to be memories that would establish a future they would never be able to exist in and enjoy. They were giving their time and lives to ensure the survival of their own slice of humanity.

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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.