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Good Little Boy

metaphorical_cowboy's picture

Past the preview station is the waiting area. I’ve probably already been scanned for mal intent. I assume the smart gel approved. The neuron batch can’t send me to empathy camp, but my heart rate’s raised. The girl near the window’s cute.

She comments on the birds’ chirping. I tell her it’s just complex pick up lines. She says that’s deep. The ferro-wings bend enough for the plane to pass as a giant bird. Pupil dilation and instinct auto copy suggests she’s implantless. I cat to her mouse, switching mine off and tell her math books are deep, science books are deep, vague statements aren’t. She’s starring at her thumbnail watch.

Doesn’t matter because Chapal exits the plane terminal. His Spanish’s bad, but my Arabic’s worse, so the implants are a decent middle ground. Over lunch he comments on how much better the UN-owned parts of the American Union are. It was only a matter of time before he showed me his scar. If that earlier plane crash hadn’t decapitated him, he wouldn’t have been given additional travel credits and we wouldn’t be “talking”.

During the monorail ride, he talks about how much better Londonistan entertainment is. Supposedly, newer smart-gels can pump out a potentially decent movie/novel/album in a couple of hours. Not a huge surprise. The industry’s nearly entirely automatic.

I drive us home. The car won’t fold into the apartment vehicle locker, so I use a fat lot nearby. Dad greets his nephew. Tiff blushes as Chapal passes her candy. I remind him compensated incest is still illegal here.

With his stuff in my room, Chapal enthralls the two with stories of his “deaths”. Dad laughs so hard, wine comes out his nose. I log on. It’s another social network waning cycle, so his blog shows nothing new. Parading high ORACLE results’ normal. The retro porn is creepy with asymmetrical faces, pubic hair, and dull skin. The food arrives.

Dad mentions the crystal palace carnival is back. Since the water restrictions, water parks house passing fairs/carnivals. As a kid, they were about Brunswick’s only child oriented area. The petting zoo smelled like bad noodles, but seeing a cow was neat.
I’d like to invite Abberline, but not with Chapal here. It’s late so I snag the last fruit doughnut and go to bed. My dreams defrag.

Everyone’s finished with breakfast by the time I’m awake. I’ll wait until we show Chapal the mall. Bubble laws may prevent multi regional stores, but the kinds of shops are pretty stable. Dad had a few before owning more than one business was prohibited.

The pizza was pricey but cheaper than the cappuccino. Everything seemed more vivid than usual but the coffee shop said he was selling the usual grade marijuana. My stomach started to hurt and the advertisements being projected into my head sounded crazy. The mental volume roared over legal peaks. The pain was as incredible as the sensory input. The information pattern density divided by zero.

The next mental second I was in the hospital. I’m the first salmonella case involving a fruit doughnut. With the bad organs replaced, the tests suggest I’m healthy and still hormonally pacifistic. In a few hours, I might be a temporary meta-net celebrity. Abberline sent a “Get Well” message.

We arrive at the carnival around four hours behind schedule. The rides don’t quite live up to my memories. There were goats, pigs, and horses in the animal section. Apparently people used to eat them. I waited until no one was looking and licked the horse. I no longer take culinary improvements for granted. Overall, everyone’s having a decent time.

I get a call. Abberline’s dead. Ran over. Thirty-minutes ago. Video posted twenty-minutes ago on three sites with forty comments and two video responses. Her mom wants me to help pick the next one’s traits. I concentrate on calming down. This is bad, but not the end of the world.

The implant alerts me to news. Congress is allowing the next generation’s cerebral fluid to be replaced with smart-gel derivatives. Still cushions, but increases transfer speed and variable capacity. My special little autistic generation just became obsolete.

Chapal says compares something wryly. Felt a pinch in the back of my mind. He hits the ground. I stomp until my shoes and pants are covered in raspberry jam. The crowd doesn’t try to stop me. Tiff just looks confused. Probably the only “real” violence they’ll ever see. I posted my video, but a few different versions were already there. It’s not much harder to post your thoughts than recordings. I can guess who from the implants’ recording angles. Doesn’t matter because even if he magically decomposed beyond the revival threshold, he’d just make an imprint. I probably just made him an instant meta-net star. I’d swear I saw a “Death by Fruit Doughnut” T-shirt in the crowd.

I didn’t hear a NL-round but the next mental second felt the plush back of a response vehicle. The officer says there was a filing error regarding my ORACLE results. The timing was pure coincidence; no one called. The surveillance system alerted paramedics. I don’t even have to ask where I’m going.