So I’ve been crazy busy the last few weeks. Was kind of surprised that I actually got a Leesandra out, not last week, the week before. I managed to get that Harriotskelli Plays out, but to be honest Quake Champions wasn’t anything exciting so making that was actually hard work. Most of the other videos I make I actually have fun making, but it can’t all be fun and games.
My next few #Video_Goals are some highlights and probably Dawn of War, but should also be picking up Elite Dangerous soon which will be jammed with the lads.
Of course I am working on the first part of Whiskey’s story at the same time. Which I’ve now named (spoiler) Sour Blood by the way (let me know how you feel about that). As well as trying to fit in time for Leesandra.
I have a bit on my plate when it comes to all that, not to mention my actual every day job which will come first even if it wasn’t the only thing paying my bills. Talking about my actual job, they sent me to Australia for a day this week for a conference. I know I’m becoming an adult because I actually feel like I got something out of it and it was all about about my work.
During my time there I had a little inspiration of the Science Fiction variety though. In normal circumstances this would help me write for Leesandra, but this is for a more contemporary timeline.
I exited the airport into the cold, it bit into my fingers and arms like wolf that had been gnawing on snow all morning. Even though I knew I’d be flying from summer into winter I could never have packed for this. New Zealand’s cold was different from the mid-west, it was the Antarctic wind.
Trying in vain to keep myself warm I pulled my sweater up over my nose. At least it stopped my teeth from chattering. I pulled my phone from my pocket, instantly regretting it as another gust picked up. A black electric car pulled up in front of me and it’s back door opened. I hadn’t called a car but I knew it was coming.
The personal concierge app had connected to the in-flight wifi and ordered a ride, the plane would have given up it’s flight details on request. Knowing that I hadn’t made any calls or received any emails regarding my travel arrangements it prompted me while I was catching up on a Netflix show. I had instinctively pressed yes.
I got into the self driving car, the leather seats were softer than i was expecting leaving me both comfortable but uncomfortable at the same time. There were no front seats, this was still jarring as right up until my teens I can remember my parents sitting there in front of the wheel.
The door closed as I pushed in my seat-belt. I barely noticed as it slowly pulled away from the curb. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I winced thinking about how cold it was the last time i took my hands out of my pockets. Shaking off the unreasonable fear, I slid out my hand holding my phone and looked at it.
The screen was on but black except for an alert.
‘Would you like to book a hotel for your stay?’ It has already checked my emails and found my return date. I pressed ‘Yes’ and the screen went black again. It would have already set up the booking, single room, higher than the third floor and a bar of dark chocolate waiting for me. Just how I liked it.
I looked out the window of the car into the cloudy sky. We passed a couple of old street signs giving rough distances and speed limits. It dawned on me that I hadn’t seen any billboards since I departed the airport.
Fumbling at my pockets again I dragged my phone out from the depths and held down the main button.
“Why are there no billboards?” I asked out loud.
“Checking…” My phone responded with the voice of Mufasa, just as I had set up. “The Anti-Advertising bill of…” There was a loud honk from a car next to me, damn human drivers. “… In simple terms has disallowed all signposting in publicly accessible areas. This bill was met with multiple protests from both major business entities but also small…”
“Yeah, that’s enough.” I said as I stuffed it back in my pocket.
The rest of the drive was quiet. The car slowed to a stop outside of the Hotel that was booked for me. I climbed out and it took off just as smoothly as it arrived. I looked down the street. It seemed so bare without posters and billboards. Then I noticed the green, there was flowerbeds and trees every few metres.
Wind hit me again. I shuddered as though my soul had left my body. I need a jacket.
I pulled my sweater up over my mouth again and took off down the street.
“I see…” I said, talking to myself “They are allowed to have their store signage up.” I had spotted a men’s clothing shop. The door was closed but the lights were on. I pushed on the door and let myself in, warm dry air washing over me revitalizing my senses.
“Welcome, how can I help you?” I turned up towards the greeter, for a few short moments I would have sworn, that this store was managed by a human being. Eventually I could see that the gentle and kind face that I saw was not organic. There was always something about the texture of the skin that didn’t look right, even when it’s made to seem like they’re wearing make up. “Would you like to see our winter collection?”
“Yes, thank you.” I responded looking about the store. It was about the size of a large wardrobe. The walls were covered in posters with different male models wearing the clothing brand. The greeter stood behind a semi-translucent white plastic desk.
I walked up to the desk, the top of it had lit up and was now displaying the stores logo twisting around slowly. The greeter tapped their hand on the desk and it faded to another screen, a catalog of winter clothing. “Just a jacket please.”
“Sure thing.” The greeter acknowledged and the screen changed again, now displaying several styles of jacket as worn by pale torso. It was using my exact measurements to create this body double
“Bring that one up.” I pointed to one that would have come down past my hips.
“This is our Ram’s Head jacket, made from synthetic Merino wool, no animals were exploited to create this item.”
“I’ll take it.”
“Please wait a moment while we find one in your size.” The greeter walked, no, glided away out to the back room. They weren’t going to search for my size out back, that was just something all store robots say. Right now they were probably standing in front of a small machine that was chugging away at synthesizing my order. Generating the wool from a fluid pumped into the top and weaving it into the brands trademarked ‘Ram’s Head’ jacket.
I would know, I used to run maintenance on those machines.
For some reason I suddenly remembered a random out of context memory from my childhood. It all a blur except the sound of my father voice. He was talking to someone on the street, they were holding a sign, I don’t know what it said but I can guess.
“Machines won’t ever replace me. They could never do the kind of work that I do.”
I think that was only two years before the last car repair closed it’s doors. I can remember that year a bit better it would have been the same year that the United Nations bill of human rights was updated to include a living wage.
“Here is your jacket sir. Have a nice day.” The greeter smiled at me
“Thank you.” I took the clothing out of her hands and I smiled back. I pulled on the jacket and stepped outside without hesitation.
The year after I quit my maintenance job was the same year that currency was abolished. What could money mean when every task worth doing could be done for free.