Christopher’s neck was bruised where they’d held him down while forcibly removing his arms and legs. He’d fought them hard, but it had been pointless; here he was, dumped by the side of the road in an old damp car seat, helpless and homeless.
Tears were rolling down his face and he could do nothing about them.
How could it have come to this? Less than a year ago he’d taken an affordable loan from a company that owned massive driverless trucks. He’d replaced his arms and legs with prosthetics to become a highly paid and highly sought after new-breed trucker with enough strength to load and unload the huge cargos.
Now look at him. Useless. Slumped on a dirty seat in the gutter with the small begging bowl the bailiffs had graciously left in front of him.
A group of people approached and his hopes rose. As they got close he called out. ‘Please. Help me.’
Roger and Dimitri were holding hands and had been ever since they’d grafted their skin together to show the world they were a couple. After hours of intimate debate they’d decided that permanently holding hands was the most powerful symbol they could think of.
‘Up yours, body beige,’ shouted Roger.
They raised their clasped hands in a fist salute and with their free hands they touched the lips of the Picasso masks they were both wearing and gave the group of jeering men the middle finger.
A young woman with a tough-girl walk spat on the ground in front of them.
‘Thank you for your kind offering,’ he said and stepped over it. They’d provoked this sort of anger ever since they’d started to change their bodies. Others, more sadly in their view, had simply copied their modifications. Even more depressing was the banal media tittle tattle about their day to day bodily functions. He adjusted his mask. ‘Fuckers. It still upsets me,’ he whispered.
Surgically attached to his inner arm was a perfectly scaled clone of Dimitri’s left ear. He stroked it and Dimitri smiled as the gadgetry transmitted the feeling from the clone to his real ear.
It was their opening night and fans had gathered outside the gallery. As they approached some of the fans lifted their arms to show copy-cat cloned ears and a few had even gone as far as joining their hands together.
Brain hackers, brain professors, brain artists, the human brain project, a brain curious audience and me.
We were all there for the Virtual Futures Salon about NeuroStimulation.
It was my first ‘gig’ as the Author in Residence and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The venue was a bar in Soho, London and the place was buzzing with conversation, debate and towards the end with electricity being zapped through some willing brains.
My story, written especially for the evening, is set in a call centre of the future and based on the notion that NeuroStimulation has become the everyday way of boosting your brain.