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Charlie D and The Fed pt.1

metaphorical_cowboy's picture

Ship's docked, so I hit up the bar. Every word glows green here. I don't speak Romulan, or anything but English, luckily that works everywhere in the universe. The drinks taste bad, but the alcohol has bite. At least the local ladies grow out their hair, the military ones are just rednecks with semi-mullets and shoulder pads. The planet seems odd with sophisticated country folk and idiotic city dwellers. The music is terrible, but I'm a fish out of time and water regarding most tastes. After ten drinks, I figured the closest hottie deserved to hear my life story. Besides the pointy ears do something for my brain.
My life blazed from birth in the 1960's. Having cracked my head twice before five and waked/baked my brain, I was on track to a slow life. It's been two years since my second start and I don't remember much from before now. Then I was here, snatched by a butterfly effect-type deal. I woke up fused to the wall by foot but was able to communicate my situation to someone through screaming/puking before passing out.
I woke up in a med center. There's special procedure for dealing with my predicament, but they room mated me with a guy who could fill me in. Guy introduced himself as Charles Darwin's clone from the future of an alternate universe, Charlie D for short. Agateophobia rekindled in my brain every locked up fear of insanity. Then he opened the window making me wish for a second pair of pants. To be fair, few snap from 1984 to star date 50893.5 in a day.
Homeboy's story didn't calm me down. Cloned from Earth's History's most important anti-religion revolutionists, he was among the few zillion sole survivors of the destruction of the universe. Said the future was boring beyond comprehension. Everyone knew everything in the back of their mind and eternity meant trying to pass the "time" with a bunch of annoying people. The event cut every piece of string but one. Said trying to change the end result was pointless. They used the last string as a flux able chronoton to send him back to warn everyone, chancing a chain reaction of accelerating the process instead of halting it. He assured me that it probably didn't. Said he like the simpler times when physical force was need for teleportation and replication. Seemed like a barrel empty of monkeys and full of plot holes beginning with how, why and WTF.
They stuck me in a support group for time-jacked folks once I healed, often apologizing to me. Apparently, most of Earth's (specifically the west's) historical figures had been time-jacked at some point, with a few actually killed and replaced. The original Abraham Lincoln died before assuming presidency and the second during the civil war. The third and final one was a clone sent back for historical accuracy. For consistency, children are told the fable version when it is politically correct. Apparently, the final frontier was in maintaining history. Aside from this and Robot Hitler, history lectures of future painted current times a Heaven. Everybody magically became peaceful and inspired b/c aliens showed up. Earth started a one gov't policy to benefit humanity as well as decide to abolish currency and need for work. Frustrated with the idea, I was told I'd like working for the greater good instead of greed. Legal system shifted to almost no prisons and absolutely no death penalty. Spanking kids and treason were both crimes punishable by semi-mandatory family counseling. The gov't was even obligated to provide free pornography for citizens. Seemed like an odd interpretation of the first amendment to me. While the second amendment was abolished, new ones were made concerning children. Women had complete control of their bodies and if she decided not to abort the child and the father wanted nothing to do with the child, no judgments were made. In a way, the world seemed less barbaric than in my time.
I still feel old looking at the sky. It still has stars, but sometimes all the ships block blur everything. In the first week in my brave new life, Charlie D broke the news to me that all wasn't well. The mask just changed color he said. Gov't hadn't changed much, only people had. Deals were still made with "gifts" still awarded to small groups. Apparently, no one cared that an official was awarded ownership of an entire planet. I was a little surprised to find that only five percent of Earth's population still voted. It's common knowledge that warp drive caused space to collapse over time. Seems all non-walking movement damages the environment. He explained to me the social norms of the federation. Officially, humans were the same as they've always been. The truth was that centuries of technology had weakened the human mind and frame. Before then, I'd never noticed that I was a great deal thicker than the rest of my fashionably inept species. For whatever reason, fashion trends reverted back to the crappy bright colored spandex stuff idiots wore in my day.
Even males dieted for an attractive slim frame now. Felt weird knowing I was big. Charlie D said this was why Fed ships tried to pack on Klingons for muscle if possible. For a human, benching two-hundred pounds was something, not that anyone remembered pound units. Seems during the wars leading up to fed's homies getting control, Metric finally shanked American Standard, politely saying humans were too stupid to remember things not of base ten. Sucked to learn that short people were bred out a while ago through the use of hormones. Sucks to be one of the top 100 smallest human adults. I was a little comforted upon learning the natural human immune system wasn't worth shit now. In nature, the average human would die within a year from germs. Centuries of antibiotics not only made germs more resilient to cures, but also made immunes systems immune to the cures that would cure the germs. So, I was superior, yet inferior.
I kept shut about this during the sessions. Sometimes we were paired up with talk buddies. Mine was cryogenically frozen three centuries ago. Freddy always talked about how humane the justice system became. In his day, he'd spent almost twenty years in the last prison for strangling/raping or raping/strangling a total of seven women with shoe string. Said he knew he was sick, but was too afraid of judgment by society to seek help. Said he was arrested on the final time when he snatched two ten year old sisters on their way to middle school. Knocked out the first and raped the second, then strangled her, then did the same to the first. Boy got paranoid and left them for dead in an alley. The first had a phone he missed and called for med. Her little sister's cause of death was actually bleeding to death from the rape. I hadn't woke up that morning expecting this kind of stuff. Seemed harder to believe he was cheerfully detailing me about his now socially acceptable past than that I was in the future. The ape in me wanted to kill him, but the counselor, noticing this, said that he’d changed. Society caused his disease and society was obligated to cure it through counseling and medication. Also reminded me freedom of speech was inalienable.
In the history lectures, she told us the shift for a humane justice system with taking into account the feelings of criminals too. Got Freddy's attention by saying a century later, he'd've been called a hero for trying to control himself w/o mood stabilizers. She said he' a testament to human endurance. I kept my mouth shut. In the case, the Supreme Court deemed the death penalty inhumane, saying it only caused suffering b/c it not only didn't bring back the victim/s, but it robbed the world of another person who could be cured. The judge said "deal with it" to the victim's mother and that he was sorry for her loss, but no one had authority to decide someone deserved to die. From there, few crimes went unknown with most perpetrators turning themselves in for free stay, including free college and guaranteed jobs. The whole of society by this point was on mood stabilizers in one form or another. Often, the attacker and surviving victims shared the same prescription. This became standard policy, with only the Federation not upholding it. By that time, imprisoning criminals, now called victims of society, not to be confused with the victims, occasionally called accidental deaths was deemed inhumane. Certainly the Federation found ways to imprison people it deemed too dangerous for the gov't, but people still hold that against the military, calling them Nazis (now a synonym for dictatorship).
Class ended and back at the apartment, I recognized a fragrance so old, yet so familiar that I could've tracked it a mile away. Stuff. Charlie D was the coordinates. Forty-five minutes later, I'd ordered enough food from the replicator to hear the over consumption alarm, so it'd be dead for a few hours. "Yet I hunger for more", I replied to it to no avail. He told me there was not well in Fed town that had been left out of the lecture. I hadn't really thought about this stuff when I came here. I seemed to remember hearing that everything was legit now. The problem was that certain things were less legal than others, like the voluntary income taxes of my day that were anything but. Now that humanity was sophisticated, the Fed/ Gov't had some problems with changing thought processes they'd worked so hard to mold. I inquired as to whether replicators could make the stuff, assuming they couldn't. He assured me I was only half wrong. In course of packing a second bowl, he began to tell me about faults in the system.
The replicators could essentially make anything, but safeguards were put into place. Sophisticated as their creators were, picturing what criminals do with things was near impossible. He said I had another advantage/disadvantage deal with them. We thought differently and they unofficially thought me inferior behind each smile. So if I stuck with my element, I'd overcome them. From there, he began to tell me about the adventures of dealers he'd heard as a childish energy. The gov't sought to be the only supplier, so with backing from the Fed, most dealers' fates were sealed. Plenty died off record, always blowing up from engine failure while trying to warp or the lobotomy, for humor sake of course. The few remainders quit or wised up fast. Homeboy said that was another reason he'd come. They were the street pharmacists of the stars, providing what the Fed didn't. The whole mess started after the population was weaned off drugs. By this time, the Gov't/Fed had changed the basic genetic structure of humans to a small degree for better control. Parents had a better chance of spontaneously combusting than having a blind child. But like one, the other happened on occasions.
Charlie D broke subject and started talking about his life a little. Said I'd've loved it at first. Who doesn't love the concept of "magic". Upon quarry, he said no one did shit really. As a child he certainly did b/c everything seemed interesting. "Oh snap", he said and proceeded to get up , stumble, fall, laugh, stumble, get up, and stumble to his room, returning with a carpet in his hands. He introduced the carpet to me as Perkins. "Notice anything different from a normal carpet", to which I replied no. T'was the first thing he'd ever focused hard enough to make as a child. Eons younger than the others, he found them to be lay, often killing time by making beaches a grain of sand at a time. There could've been other kids, but none saw creating extra life worth the small inconvience of devoting a small portion of thought temporarily. I had to ask why was he made then, which he said he'd get to. Instead of making a friend in the traditional sense, he'd gone through interpreting semi-laws differently to make something. "Thus Perkins", he said tossing the carpet to the ground where it stopped, floating a foot off the ground. Needless to say I was impressed.
He explained that the answer of basic movement from inanimate objects had been backslapping people for about a millennium or so. Newton’s Third Law inspired him to make an object super programmed to give reaction without action, giving a low quality version of life to Perkins. The bells on the ends were just bells. He tossed it at my feet and said it was mine. He did warn to be careful, since the past that was our present wouldn't mind at all getting their hands on some future stuff. T'was the only thing he brought with him. I asked if he could still do the God Mode deal to which he said, he was normal now as a safeguard from the future should he try and conquer the past. Figured I'd hit some sleep so I hopped on Perkins and tried slowly hovering to my room, knocking over much in the process.
The next session concerned religion. The lectures ran around the idea that ancient humans lied to each other due to a lack of science. Only be chance were creationists slightly correct in that humans, along with Romulans and Klingons were created by intelligent design, but that evolution always wins. Earth was seeded by an alien race long ago for an experiment. This information wasn't discovered to be fact backed until twenty years ago, finally abolishing the Nazism of older religions. However, religions died out after Fed took over, unoffially denouncing such nonsense. In the wave of Atheism, science prospered and everyone seemed happy, now chemically less capable of assuming the supernatural as an option. Only once did a problem arise when robot zombies invaded Earth, but the Klingons saved Earth from human's genetic "DOES NOT COMPUTE" function. But with all the zombies dead, life was good.
I later sought out the theatre, anticipating the amazing plots and characters I would doubtlessly be entranced from. Four hours later, I emerged from Star Wars IV, the third remake. The homosexual/anorexic Luke, juggled becoming a Jedi and his relationship with Darth Vader who turns out to be his father. The transgendered Leia leaves a depressed Chewie (Vader's secret life partner) and marries body conscious Han Solo. Yoda stood nearly seven feet tall. Description like GOD AWFUL gave Lucas clone too much credit. I could demand no refund for I hadn't paid, and I had no syntho popcorn to throw b/c replicators' grid knew the situation.
Charlie D's stuff was now nightly routine. As the universe and stimuli spun through my brain, I casually commented on the race issue, still a touchy subject. He didn't appreciate my comparisons of Vulcans, Romulans, Q, Klingons, Furengi, and Borg to Space Elves, Dark Space Elves, Space Wizards, Space Orcs, Space Goblins, and Space Zombies (Not to be confused w/ Robot Zombies). I thought it was funny. However, he was moderately impressed in my progress with Perkins. As round four passed, I wore Perkins like a cape. "Will you teach me to make this on the replcitors?" I asked him while leaning to the wall for stability. "Sleep apprentice, you have much to learn tomorrow."
The majority of the next day was spent doing the same as last night....
It was then my one female audience, obviously bored went to leave. Upon the dropping of a pound on the table that her eyes lit up w/ lust for adventure. So I ordered more drinks and returned to my tale.
Only when night arrived did I begin training. Dealing's requirements were closer to a Doctors/computer programmers than the kind I was used to. Currently only a hundred or so worked in Fed territory. I had to be either really smart or really dumb if this was going to work. Certainly I'd have to know a great deal about chemistry. All of this had to be done the old way. Electronic Resources could always be tapped, but the Feds left books alone. Funny enough, I obtained the majority of educational resources under guise of pursuing a high school education (equivalent to a sixteen year old). Playing the time-jacked card proved effective. Stupid always equated to power in one form or another. Jesters had free speech in the dark ages, I had Benzoylmethylecgonine.
Much time passed in my training and I'd progressed decently. Crossing Fed turf unnoticed was the first step. We'd found temp jobs at a shipping company near the planned route. We'd set a subspace signal to create a disturbance along the plotted trajectory using an old school satellite running off the crystal radio principle to cover tracks. We mentioned hopes of working in this new age during sessions of suport group. Day went decent, ship checked out. Listening to the radio turned out haphazard as every single things put on air was terrible. "Trying too hard has side effects on creativity", said Charlie D, "This is another side effect of chemically modifying the human brain.". He went on further telling me the gov't gave out free porn for plenty of reasons. One, it satiated the remaining small bit of instinct in the human body. Two, centuries upon centuries of porn killed human libido. No one notices b/c it took so long to kick in. Said eighty percent of males had problems with ED. Gov't gave out the problem and the pill cure. The problem for male self esteem also help keep populations at a slower pace. With longer life, in order to have living space growth rates had to drop, so the side effects of pesticides used on crops for centuries combined with the concept of Ultra Porn did just that. Just then a subspace disturbance knocked auto pilot out and sent us through Federation borders. "Now we wait for a few hours and see how long it takes for the Fed to pick us up.
Hours passed and no one came, as far as Feds anyways. The giant cube descended on us, hailing w/ "Resistance is Futile." Space zombies. Two drones poofed on top of us. My brain kind of tickled as the one holding me scanned my brain with his all seeing laser eye. Partially relieved, I was a little insulted when they got off us and simply left. Afterwards, we uploaded everything and landed at the drop point, explaining why we were late. When they uncomfortably laughed at us not being worth assimilation, I knew they wouldn't call in. This was where we would start.