August 13, 2008

They Used to…Pt 2a

Little long for a full chapter, so I broke this one up into 2, fairly readable parts :P

I have fun with the new country names in this. There aren't many country names because this story is set so far in the future that the sun is cooling (I'd imagine near red giant phase--and yet somehow humans have survived the radiation) and there aren't 7 continents anymore. because they either broke up or disappeared completely..rather, there are more islands and 3 big continents and only a few major countries now thanks to wars and what not. Shit, it could happen *shrug*

I've been looking for more ways to at least hint on all this IN the story without making it overly social and long. The thing I'm not really having fun with is city names for some reason.

I also realized that since I can do blogs from Word 07, the font I use carries over to my blog and...well, my font is apparently really tiny. So that's fixed.


Alex and Travis traveled down the street, Travis padding silently on his bare feet, Alex squeaking along in his Solars. Travis sighed at the noises, feeling slightly embarrassed but his discomfit was outmatched by his excitement. Being the offspring of two fairly wealthy parents, all his life Travis had received nothing but the best, most innovative technology money could buy. Unfortunately, this was not the case once he'd left his home world for Earth after college. Instead, he had spent the past three years living in relative squalor thanks to his inability to hold more than $2 Earth Currency, instead perpetuating an illusion of luxurious living to the folks at home. Adding insult to injury, his parents had sent him off to live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on the continent. Surrounded by uppity, nosey, tattle-tale neighbors with at least three personal robots per kitchen, Travis had been feeling the pressure. Alex was the only one who knew about Travis's situation and thankfully kept it quiet. But once Travis had started raving about owning a personal robot, Alex had his doubts and worries about his friend's motives.

"Are you totally sure about this?" Alex asked for about the 500th time that month. "Totally sure?"

"Damn right," Travis said cheerily. "I've never been surer."

"You sure?" Alex continued, oblivious to his friend's displeasure. "I don't see why you need a robot anyway. Why not get a task manager like me? Those are expensive."

Travis looked mildly aghast. "You mean—like that old thing? Never! Besides, what could I do with a task manager that I couldn't' do with a personal robot?"

Alex gave light sigh. "Travis, you really should just tell your parents the truth. Even if you can afford to buy the robot, how you gonna keep up with it?"

"Alex, Alex…" Travis said condescendingly, as if explaining to a child. "These robots will take care of themselves. They're those re-processed things, little to no upkeep. The ad said so."

"Re-processed?" Alex raised both eyebrows. "You know what those things are right?"

Travis stopped and thought a moment. "No, actually I kinda don't. I just know they're pretty cheap."

Now it was Alex's turn to be patronizing. "Travis, re-processed robots are…uh, how do I put it…they're—they're people."

Travis's face turned blank. "Excuse me?"

Alex spied a bench and began walking for it; Travis followed behind him, the blank look still on his face. Alex tried scaring away the three feral pigeons off the bench, but when they simply scowled at him he sighed and sat next to them. Travis sat on the other side of the trio and craned his neck.

"So, re-processed robots are what?"

"Re-processed robots are people, like I said." Alex swallowed and glanced at the pigeons before continuing. "Um, they were people anyway. Sometimes police take criminals, Jane and John Does, or anyone they just need getting rid of and enhance 'em with robot parts. You know, scramble their memories to make them useful, turn them into cyborgs."

"…That sounds like some straight Phillip Dick shit," Travis said flippantly, much to Alex's dismay. "Come on, the BusPad is lit."

"Travis," Alex said firmly. "Those things are dangerous. Unpredictable and unstable. They have a lifespan of like a year!"

"Then I'll buy a new one when it goes nuts."

Alex sighed as he and Travis stepped onto one of the five large, square BusPads. The pad was red for boarding and a few minutes after Travis and Alex got on, the pad turned green and a ring of light zipped up their bodies, vaporizing and teleporting them to Danube City, fifty miles away.

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