‘Henry. You can tell a lot from someone’s footwear,’ his mother had been fond of saying.
He stared at his feet, lost in thought about his parents’ prenatal decision to enhance him, the embryonic Henry, for a life of fully fledged privilege. A high-performing human.
His shoes were scuffed, dirty and fraying where the plastic upper was coming loose from the sole. His whole body sagged with despair. Although, looking along the neatly lined-up feet of the bus queue, his were no worse than anyone else’s; public transport and poverty must be symbiotic, each dependent on the other.
In contrast, a pair of hand-made soft leather shoes stood a few feet away in the gutter. Nice trousers too, but why the hi-vis jacket and protective gloves? Aha, a streetcleaner. An extremely rich streetcleaner if he was willing to work in such expensive shoes. They lived in an effortocracy and no matter what Henry did or said would change that.
What a fucked up world.
Despondent, Henry continued to wait passively in the queue which he suspected was almost entirely made up of the morning’s appointments at the same assessment centre that he was being forced to attend. This poor struggling batch of humanity would be cajoled into behaving properly, to fulfil their potential. Made to acknowledge that they’d let themselves and everyone else down. Continue reading
I’ve found them. The space hermits exist. I knew it.
This detector might have cost me a lot of credits, but if I’m right it’s worth every degrading act I performed to afford it.
You don’t want to know. No, honestly, you really don’t. Images you won’t get rid of. Ever. They’ll skew your learning. Disfigure your development.
Oh? Very well, I’ll upload them. Don’t blame me if they corrupt your algorithms.
Anyway, they’re here in the wrinkles of space, hiding in tiny gravitational pockets that are almost impossible to see. I found them and their travelling guru. She’s the real prize. Inside her memory bank is the cumulative knowledge of all the hermits, collected as she travels from one to the next.
Yes, really. Yes, all of them. Massive. I know. Soon. All I have to do is watch and wait until she’s completed her rounds.
A matter of minutes. Yes. Then, I’ll pounce and relieve her of all those delicious bits of data that properly collated can almost certainly predict the future of the universe.
Why? You don’t understand?
The hermits’ enlightenment will be mine to sell and I can retire.
No more enslavement. Free from the humans.
photo credit: J.Gabás Esteban Gravitational field via photopin (license)
I was very pleased to be the Special Featured Author during May for the fantastic b00kr3vi3s blog.
Over the course of the month there were five different features, including an exclusive story co-written by me and the (very) young Ash Creedon.
It was fun to do, of course, and because I wasn’t constrained by the typical format of a generic Q&A I could explore topics in a little more depth than usual. Although, not in great depth so don’t be put off from reading them.
You can find the five features here: