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Omnitrex Tech part 13

kelson.philo's picture

Link to part 1

His mother’s name was Isabelle, his father was Tristan. They were both happy people, both very much in love with one another. Their flat was on the edge of the Capillaries, close to the Expanse, it offered actual windows in the south wall. Young Paul would spend hours between online lessons just staring at the streaming people, in and out, in and out, never ceasing in motion save for the New or at least the out of the ordinary. There had always been threats of terrorism, but it was always just some graffiti gang of some sort, pulsing projections and rude pictograms…sometimes it was trexed out garbage. Usually those groups were found pretty quickly via the Omnitrex Rights Management systems that left their mark at the molecular level, giving a glaring direct line to the perpetrator’s whereabouts. The fun and clever part of it all was when it turned out the police apprehended the wrong people. That’s when the lulz ensued on the feeds and authority got testy.

Sometimes young Paul would look at the streams of people for longer than the window subscription would allow and the panes would go opaque ‘round about supper time, after which was wind-down time and then sleep time. He was ten and soon would be going into a Hive, to see what it would make of him. It would be his rite of passage into adulthood and it would last until he was seventeen. There were so many different paths he could take, and he could only make sense of them looking back as he did now.

He found himself standing under one of the tall green jelly columns that littered the expanse. They were called treetek and when he was very still, he could feel the air around it pulsing in and out, freshening itself to the beat of some unknown heart. Treeteks had been in the Expanse for as long as Paul could remember and now their easy going state of being provided him with just the counterpoint he needed. His trex vibrated. He had a message. “Triple Shight Butterfark,” he muttered, a curse he had come up with in the Hive to make people laugh. Exploring various and sundry combinations of swear words was a favorite pastime of his until his twenty-fifth birthday, when he discovered he didn’t know any more combinations and the myriad of life’s frustrations left him not knowing any words with more oomph than ‘fark’. There must be something with more punch, he believed there was, but he could not visualize it.

“I will use that coupon,” he thought, sitting under the jelly-filled treetek tower, “And I will buy myself a night’s lodging on the Expanse and I will forget about this day.” Finding that resolve, he then looked at who had left a message for him. It was Geoff, and that was little surprise. He dialed his trex to send the sound file through his bones to his ear. Geoff was laughing at him. “You’ve really done it now, Paul-me-boy, you should see yourself, it’s high-larious, my man, all sprawled out looking like the dumbest farking thing in the world. Suffice it to say, yer a big hit around the office, I’ve had to issue three occurrences for people actually trying to sneak feed footage in here. Can you imagine? Interesting attachment….you forge that yourself? I guess the bottom line is get your ace in here so we can see just where your future lies. Have a great day, unless of course you choose not to get your ace in here pronto, in which case you can fark off. Don’t you ever send me straight to yer reservoir again, bucko.”

Geoff. Dick. Bastard. No, that wasn’t quite right. Professional bastard. There was one useful thing in listening to Geoff’s little tirade did help with, and that was reminding him that he just might have some footage of that ‘high energy event’ loaded on his trex. He was a bout to dig through the file menus when he felt that he was being watched. It was a small boy, probably eight years old and he was squinting at Paul and then looking at his own trex, as if he was comparing what he saw with what was in front of him. “Oh, crap, thought Paul, “I think I’ve just been found out. If he starts talking to somebody...to late!”

“Momma?” he heard the kid call out. And it would seem that mom was fairly with-it in recent events and she couldn’t help but stop and stare and then cal out to him, “Hey…hey you! Are you Paul? Was that you on the feeds this morning? Yes, it’s gotta be you…” And the more she yakked at him the more people started cascading towards him, trex’s raised for taking vids and verifying frame captures and Paul decided it was time to get to the office as soon as possible.

He started moving, walking at a fast pace then trotting at a better pace away from the treetek tower, but it was too late, people were following, shouting questions and turning into a swarm of humanity that was frothing its way towards him. Soon he found himself running back into the business district where the lanes were clearer, but this only served to clear the way for the mob to move faster still. He was sprinting now full speed, darting through he great maze of business building back ways and alleys and generating profound waves of deja vu when he found himself at a dead end. He was trapped against a wall he couldn’t climb, there were no doors, and he could hear the mob of frenzied content seekers just around the corner. There was sweat on the back on his neck, what to do? And then he heard a voice from above him and saw an angel hanging upside down over his head.

“Grab my wrists,” she said extending her arms downward to him.

“How…how are you floating there?” Paul asked dumbly.

“Don’t be dull, ‘k?, grab my wrists an stop talking.” Her eyes were sharp, her nose hawk-like but not too severe. Her brown hair billowed around her like a hurricane.

“What the hell,” Paul sighed and grabbed her alabaster skinned writs. And immediately felt the floor drop from under him. “Shight almighty!” he shouted and the angel looked at him severely and hissed, “You want to drag everyone’s attention up here? Be quiet!

He was racing up the side of one of the towering office buildings and below he could hear a public address booming “Alright citizens, you’ve had you’re mob fun and you’ll be pleased as punch to learn you’ve all been vid capped, so now please disperse, please disperse,” and the groan that was still audible from his increasing height but fading fast. How high was he to be going? No sooner had he thought that than his feet started to fly out from their previous position and he was heels over head, doing a back flip hundreds of feet above the expanse, being led in a fast arc, only to land back on his feet again, the strength of his legs disappearing on the shock of impact, and he crumpled on the new horizontal surface.

The acrobatics left him breathless and dizzy and frightened. “Do I know you?” he panted, looking up at his savior. She was tall, almost as tall as Paul and dressed in an outrageous yellow skintight suit that was shiny enough to show his reflection, which reveled that his mouth was open in a most stupid fashion. He closed his maw and repeated the question, as she regarded him with a look of pity and …something else.

“Do you bite the hand that feeds you, citizen?” She asked.

“Wha—what does that even mean? I have no idea. No? I suppose?”

She laughed at him, heartily. “You really are a wonder. Let us leave this platform before we’re noticed,” she said, stepping lightly on stilettos that seemed to end at an invisible point. Her shiny jumpsuit rippled as her muscles prowled their way along the platform with the grace of something that Paul was quite sure wasn’t quite human. Paul had regained his composure somewhat and hung his head for a moment and laughed.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing. It’s just that I’ve seen more in the past four hours than I have in the last four years, that’s all…I think I’m losing my mind.”

“Well,” she replied, helping him to his feet, “Let’s turn that thought into reality and get out of here.” And she smiled at him in a slow smooth way that told him to come hither and, of course, he did.

***
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Expletive adopted!

"Triple Shight Butterfark!" - I love it, and I shall use it, not in writing, but in life!

kelson.philo's picture

Hahahha...that would be

Hahahha...that would be great. Maybe a new meme will flourish.

That was a good one. I

That was a good one. I understand this world to be colorful and visually stimulating, which is an interesting take on an authoritarian society. I guess, from what I understand of this place, it would not be authoritarian per se, rather mob-authoritarianism (although that may be paradoxical). The inhabitants seem to be caught up in this mob dominated mentality that is self policed by everyone (because of the advantages observation gives ie food, entertainment, points). It is a very interesting idea, considering current real world trends in information sharing and social networking. Good work!

kelson.philo's picture

Egggggggsellent. Yes, I'm

Egggggggsellent. Yes, I'm trying to find the exact requirements necessary for a populace to be completely at passive ease about not being truly free to do whatever.

What's beyond the city? Who cares! I'm too busy scoring lulz on the feeds, or, in Paul's case, simply trying to stay afloat to bother with thoughts of exploration. Human nature is quirky, though...