What's the matter Koko?
Where have you been?
It was several days last week,
When you were nowhere to be seen!
We looked all round the garden,
Called your name along the road,
We even put it on the computer,
Asking if anybody knows,
What had happened to our Koko,
Our beloved black and cream cat,
Left out one winter's night,
When we expected you to be back,
Then for days you were missing,
We began to fear the worst,
Now you're home and we're so happy,
Our smiles are ready to burst!
But you paw at the door,
Don't you know that there's snow?
If you go back out there now,
You'll freeze solid you know!
Please come inside Koko,
Sit with us here,
We've missed your soft fur,
And purring so dear,
Oh what is it outside?
What could you possibly want?
Let's go and see,
But please don't run off!
What's all these footprints?
Like yours but so small?
And why all this crying?
Where are they all?
Are you hiding something?
And you want me to find?
If I follow my ears,
And look under here and peer inside..
I can see kittens!
One ..two.. three!
Oh let's get them inside,
A part of our family!
Rowan Blair Colver
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Letter From 6417
Rowan Blair Colver
To whomever finds this well,
Do not let the origin of this letter unnerve you, however, I am writing to you from the year 6417. We send the required information to you through a device known as a linear plane transducer. A manner of time machine, this equipment allows us send precise information along quantum fields, into the past. It is not known at which exact time this message will arrive but we have targeted a period of time sufficient to carry out its intentions.
Firstly, we wish to inform you that the Eden of which humanity has been striving to reach has finally been done so. With the help of technology and cultural reform, over time we have been able to address the major causes of suffering and dispute that dominated the last era. In our world, we live in peace and abundance. Disease has been pushed back to its limits and longevity is a global three figure number. It is important to detail the steps taken to this timely progress in order to fully explain how much work has been done until now.
The economic inequality was handled swiftly, once the third and second worlds began to have internet access and learned the workings of capitalism and the mentality of westernised democracy, first they were able to use this wisdom to build their own financial empires. Although many nations had a head start, it wasn't long before the entire world had adopted a form of capitalist aspect to their society. From the individual upwards, slowly nations became financially independent. The banks had their choke-hold on most nations via debt accumulation and it was decided to address this directly.
International debt was written off in total, meaning a lot of money was seemingly lost. The nature of this money meant that no-one had lost any real material possessions, and only the flow of currency had been halted. In return for this debt, the international community decided to give the banks land rights to the moon. It would be divided up and then any business or works which settled there would be able to pay a fee for their spot. Another measure was taken to address the corporate power that had grown and sneaked in from the back door.
A new Magna Carta style of agreement was drawn up, which gave businesses a personal status. It created a situation where a business was liable to exactly the same laws as a human would be, as if they were a real person. Their style of interaction was drastically changed, now liable for domestic abuse, harassment and other civilian crimes, businesses were forced to civilize themselves. The way they managed government and corporate interactions with this new document was simple, because the company was seen as an individual in the eyes of law, the lobbying power they had was swept aside. Where a person in government could be lobbied for weeks and pressured into making adjustments to suit their associates, now this was deemed as collusion and intent to pervert national interests. Instead, a committee of CEOs from every sector was convened and hold regular meetings with governments who then work together to provide the right services for their nation's interests.
The litter and waste issues were solved with new technology. Each city had one or more waste reduction plants built which use robotics to practically digest the waste and reduce it to sludge. After treatment and dessication, this sludge is environmentally benign and can be used to build, burn, bury, store or be left to disintegrate into the land. Each treatment plant is like a giant stomach and digestive tract, with robots the size of mice which dismantle everything into fragments which are coated in acids and heated, offered chemical reaction and finally exposed to a centrifuge. The fractions are filtered away and used for their own purposes.
After the heavy use of industry for prolonged timescales, the atmosphere had become chemically unstable which meant the weather systems had to work harder to keep up. As the temperatures rose and the winds became faster, we knew it had to be cleaned up. Giant air purification plants were placed in the sky with large helium balloons, their solar panel roofs and position above the clouds make them almost perpetual, and for maintenance, gliding robots often visit and carry out checks and repairs. It took around seventy years to fully restore air quality to that of the twentieth century and another seventy to reduce it to what we projected it to have been before the first industrial revolution in the eighteenth century.
The world water shortage was solved by the invention of purification machines that worked in the ocean. They remove salt from the water and pipe it fresh across entire continents. The wave power gives them the energy to do it and the pumping is done at several stations along its route across land. These are powered either by the sun, the wind, both or sometimes by geothermal activity.
No one has to go to work in our time, all major jobs are carried out by robots and computers with programs that write themselves. Great care has been taken to ensure that machines cannot rewrite their integral purposes but their methodology is basically up to them. Any device with capacity to do harm to life is kept behind strong magnetic fields which wipe their program if they ever pass over them. This information is given to them and they are designed to cling to their knowledge as if it were a form of personality.
Some of their solutions to given problems have been ingenious, and when dealing with their own kind, their lack of conscious life gives them the ability to be completely based on function alone. Humans still do jobs but they're done by choice, money is not earned but given and each person has the ability to earn experiences rather than financial gain. Only businesses continue to use money as their source of currency and it takes on a form much like electricity does, we flick a switch then the money flows. Each person has a switch and it costs them only a portion of their total. The more a person does for their community, the more hours they are paid. This includes studying, cultural activities and maintenance as well as all the things like repairing robots and working with computer code. Hours can be exchanged for money or experiences.
Everyone has a home and they have a piece of equipment which will produce food. From a small particulate material of basic organic make-up, the picnic box will manufacture almost anything. Some people prefer more traditional methods which take time. Meat is now grown in moulds which means that no animals are killed in its production, vegetables are grown in the home with special light rooms which use sunlight and focus it onto the beds. Most streets have their own light rooms too, and residents have been brought up to use them.
It wasn't long after the quantum computing revolution that animal testing was abolished. When it became possible to use DNA as an input for a computer to produce a complete virtual creature, human beings were chosen and the work was done digitally. Any drug designed on the machine would work with the human whose DNA it was and the computer was able to test massive numbers of chemical combinations on the holistic being in order to find the right treatment. Because the computers were devoid of bias, and yet were still programmed to be effective and beneficial, they quickly began to trend with remedies that were previously deemed to be alternative. Within a few decades the medicine industry had been turned around and energy healing with diet, thought work and therapy had become the major recommendation.
Computing power means that all diseases are eventually decoded and remedies are found. It happened to be that the causes of most illness began before the infection occurred, some other factor left us open and this is what the computers acted on. Now we have society which is used to life in a whole new way, disease has been conquered and when we do get ill, it is only a matter of hours until a working remedy is presented.
Wars stopped when the resources became unlimited. Because of the ability of machines to reduce matter into its constituent form and then to build it again into however it is wished, the fear of tomorrow faded. Nations stopped sending troops and fighters across borders when they no longer felt threatened, and when the grievances had faded into past generations, everyone began to accept each other more. Eventually the last known war became outside of living memory and we forgot that once we were a violent and bloodthirsty race of creatures. Only the stories remained and the nature of the warrior became extinct to all but the realm of myth and legend.
Once we had mastered the science of biochemical computing, we turned our attention to all of the systems of the human body. It became clear to us that the human being was a highly advanced biochemical computer with a program. That program was its entire experience in perspective to their moral centre. Their moral centre was based on their ability to feel hurt for themselves and therefore imagine it in others. We were able to use this basic theory to solve the problem of crime. By inserting a biochemical computer virus into all living beings, we were able to conform each individual to their own moral compass. This completely cut through any experiences they may have had which unbalanced their perspective on what they already felt, thus giving them a direct path to their freedom from their own misinterpreted teachings. It became impossible to be deceived and with the spread of this virus, only the clinically ill were left without a connection to right and wrong.
Anyone found to be persisting in criminal activities after the introduction of the correction virus was executed in public. The correction virus was globally switched off during the broadcast of this event. It was found that once the virus had been in place, human behaviour changed drastically. The desire to watch drama all but vanished, theatre became the new thing and the subject matter went to spirituality, politics, science and culture. No one cared to watch married couples argue or drug dealers get carried away and shot. Each time a person encounters a morally wrong thought, they are made to feel like they have the flu and so in time it came to pass that no-one was willing to go against their own instincts to be righteous.
Once we had mapped the human personality into a data sequence, it became necessary to upload this information into holographic databases. These provide ample space for the personality to be mapped each day and the various projections of personal growth can be mapped and projected into the coming days, weeks and months. Once we had the ability to predetermine our selves according to highly accurate computerised calculations, we stopped relying on distractions and past times to take our mind away from future worries. We now have devices to handle that for us and so we have adjusted our choice of habit to those which give us sensual and emotional rewards. With simple programs, we are able to manipulate our mood, state of mind and even personality to create infinite combinations of experience. It we haven't the accumulated hours then the code implantation method works very well. It doesn't take long to learn how to make it for ourselves and we can sit for hours manipulating our own mindset.
Once we had uploaded our personalities onto the holographic hard drives and allowed the machines to project ourselves into the now and beyond, consciousness became adjusted. It was not expected but we as people became attached electronically to our projections. The solution was to adapt to this dual form of space perception and work with it. After some time, and some experiments with specialised code, it was finally resolved when the sensation of reality was brought back to one. It is unclear is the drastic measures about to be described were accidental or on purpose, however a new biological program was introduced to the population of the Earth. The death script was passed over much like the correction virus, and as it travelled around the planet, each body succumbed to its toxic excretions.
This happened several centuries ago and now we exist in the energetic form alone. Our algorithms are responsible for the creation of this letter and the technology which sent it. Everything is maintained by robots and our host machines are fed with menial food and water. Our projected realities appear completely usual and we perhaps would not have known otherwise, until we discovered a locked archive. Upon decoding, we discovered the truth about our consciousness through the detailed list of the protocols which dictated our individual uploads. Since this discovery, and the apparent lack of contact from the establishments on the lunar surface, it has been decided by our ruling minds that we were mistaken to have achieved this goal.
Although the birds are singing and the sun is shining in a clean, blue sky, we – none of us, can see them. Please find attached a list of names. Each name represents a member of a key family which resulted in the bringing about of this world of 6417, we ask you humbly, to eliminate each person on the list. Because the scenario we are in is unacceptable to us, we have included a fail-safe mechanism in this transcription. Within the lines of this message are the direct mental protocols for the death script. Assuming you have read this message in its entirety until this point, it can be assumed you have contracted this instruction to self destruct. Upon completion of the above request, the existence of this script will no longer be a reality for the future will be suitably different, according to our speculations. This means that unless the targets are eliminated, this script will activate in two weeks and you will be the first victim. Henceforth, it will spread until every human is infected and finally dies. We will not permit our souly digital existence to continue. If the time of arrival is correct, each human named in the attachment will be female and between the ages of five and eleven years old. This makes them the easiest targets. For the love of humanity, kill these children.
Mind Pattern Frederick Bantam-Rice
Attachment Failed. Retry? Y/N_
The Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith
Rowan Blair Colver
The double tailed, purple sky serpent writhed like a worm laid out on a cold concrete slab. As it hung in the air for a brief yet menacing moment, parents scooped up their children and ran. The mining village on the surface of Copernicus, the fifth moon of the gas giant Swann, was under attack. These alien beasts would appear from the atmosphere of Swann and make the several day's journey through the near vacuum of prickly space-dust and singeing cosmic rays towards the people who had set up various camps around four of the planet's seventeen moons. Water and minerals were in short supply on Earth and many hundreds of mining facilities has been established across the galaxy. The panicked but well rehearsed escape into the subterranean network of caverns made by the mining hands left only the men and some women to clear the settlement. They knew that within moments, the Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith would no doubt arrive on a crest of starlight, their mechanical equibots galloping over the invisible road of self propulsion.
They didn't arrive immediately. A few moments more passed by and the serpent had restocked its energy. In a twist and a flick, the purple, scaled and oddly shaped creature descended upon the settlements. With one fly past, the current of air that followed its wake tore at the ground. Another pass saw it brush its giant body against some of the higher buildings and their construction materials began to fall to the ground. The small gravity made their journey slower than what a human would usually expect but as some of these citizens were second generation, the gravity of Copernicus had been all they had known. With state of the art mining and spacefaring technology, this modern colony were at the cutting edge of resource attainments. However, until the Chivalry arrived, the commonplace name for the Intergalactic Defenders of the Faith, this expensive and proudly constructed working environment was being broken into pieces. Luckily, the people were able to hide themselves and wait for the response, but as time passed, the Faith in their protectors and their prompt response, was being drastically tested.
Another sky serpent swam down through the upper atmosphere and joined the first. The newcomer was golden and had only one tail. It's head, however, was twice the size of the purple serpent's head and it contained rows of teeth. No-one from Copernicus had seen such a beast, and they hoped it would be aggressive towards the other. They were not so lucky, with a mighty downward plunge, the golden sky serpent plummeted into the ground itself, smashing rocks, buildings and machinery as it went. In a twist of movement, it straightened out and began to plough the ground, devastating everything in its path. If it reached the mines and the caves, no-one would be safe. “Where were the Chivalry?” Asked the worried people as they watched the attack grow nearer and nearer on their video screens.
Then, on a flash of rainbow coloured light which arched across the cosmos and into the path of the first sky serpent, came a legion of giant mechanical horses with metallic warriors mounted upon them. Each had a lance made of white light, which, on contact with material surface, sliced through as if it were air. A group of mounted robotic soldiers broke away from the main charge and began to assess the golden creature. During the battle between the purple sky serpent with the double tail and the dozens of Chivalry which swarmed around it like flies, the golden serpent began to shake the scales around its midriff, which created a ghastly howling sound. It travelled through the air and the rocks, vibrating everything with a sickening frequency.
A larger torrent of Chivalry split from the group, which had now arrived in its totality which caused the bridge of spectral illumination to dissipate slowly, like the remnant of a firework in the blackness of sky. They began to circle the giant beast as before but in this case, the reverberations from its shimmering scales caused mechanical faults in the robots. The equibots seemed to be able to continue but their riders became overcome by what appeared to be confusion. A distaster was happening, as the Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith were being dominated by this mysterious ability to mess with their circuits. There was nothing the onlookers could do but stare at their screens in horror and disbelief as their faith was being stripped away from them, moment by moment as its protectors were one by one being dismounted and thrown to the ground, in a heap of sparks and smoke.
As the crowds of people watched on in terror, many began to cower and huddle in ways reminiscent to the last moments of Pompeii. Children had their eyes covered by their parents and young men and old looked on in dismay at the carnage above ground. The destructive forces of the sky serpents were drawing closer, and soon they would be collapsing the walls of the very tunnels they were momentarily protected from. As their inner thoughts began to question the faith that had been so well protected for so long, these mechanical body guards were not destroyed by the speeds accomplished by the star-drives that propelled them, unlike flesh beings, and so they had long been employed to take care of danger. No human being had entered a battlefield for several generations and the faith in their protectors had always been defended well, until now. It seemed that all was about to be lost but then one of the old women who was still standing, focussed on the flickering screen, said “Look, someone's gone outside!”
As they began to look up at what she had seen, it was true, one of the people from another mine shelter had ventured out and was approaching a riderless equibot, that seemed to be patiently waiting for their arrival. As the figure mounted it, they reached for something at their side. A large lance of white piercing light sprang forth like a fountain of pressurised energy and the tiny figure upon the oversized robotic beast began to gallop towards the golden sky serpent. Then, more figures appeared, inspired by the first, a handful at first then scores of men and women emerged from their caves and took up redundant equibots. The first, who had been collectively promoted to leader in an almost telepathic exchange of consent, reared up and charged at the heart of the golden beast.
In a valiant stride, the light lance pierced the outer skin of the creature and untied what appeared to be its fastenings. In a leap across the immediate space, the lance sliced through the screeching scales and pulled them away from their owner. Revealing fresh and armourless flesh beneath, the rest of the human army drove onward, attacking the weak spots with all their fury. The golden sky serpent reared its giant toothy head and scoured the land once more, rocking the towers and settlements from their foundations. Another surge of force followed, light lances and galloping metal hooves crashed into the flailing creature. On the horizon, the rescue craft began to hover above ground. A much slower vehicle, and not equipped to deal with violence to such degrees as this, it had so far remained at a distance. Now the creatures were being repelled successfully, the doors began to open and children and mothers ran onboard.
The humans were no match for the sky serpents, and it wasn't until another wave of Intergalactic Defenders of the Faith had arrived until they were completely subdued. However, if it wasn't for those brave men and women who stood out from the crowd, who became what no-one had dreamed of being for over one hundred years, and took up arms to protect their families, then this tale would never have been written down. When it comes to the crunch, and the serpents are in the sky, take up your lance of light and protect innocence where ever injustice and violence occur.
Alternative Fruit Creative Arts