Uploaded Fairy [ Editing ]
I had hoped that after Voreth's Promise merged with reality, there would be an end to some of the social dynamics that made old social networks what they were; no more would there be social networks that made it easy to quietly observe other people's profiles, then write indirect passive aggressive comments about people. But over time, what happened in the digital world became increasingly common place in the non digital world. Nadine held onto life on a dagger's grip.
"I thought I could get away from some of these pricks, and yet now I encounter them even when I walk to the store." I said.
I had developed a tendency to talk to myself, and mostly choose not to express my issues when other people were around. I knew that there were two different kinds of people: people who didn't want to listen to anything I had to say, and people who wanted do so only if you payed them enough. I had neither the time or the cash, spending most days avoiding both Ellen and Millie, despite claiming to have the utmost of affections. I stopped dreaming of building robot dogs I had always wanted to since I lived in the sky; tailored advertisements had a way of ironically talking me out of doing things I once loved: for myself, the love was in the flow of metallic flesh on screens.
You'd think with the old government no longer in charge, people would opt to live in a worker-owned paradise; but the reality is far different, especially with a partial return of feudalism since the merge of the digital landscape with meatspace. The inner most parts of the city were in modern stasis, the outer towns still chopped each other's heads off. And in between this life, and the next, is Purgatory Road, with a few extra layers of slime. I still held onto building my own artificial intelligence, even if I was already technically living with one.
A girl from a video game was not exactly what I had in mind to live with when I lost everything I had every held dear.
I couldn't honestly say I always wanted to date a robot, but it was one that increasingly interested me. My relationship with Ellen becaming further strained. Neither Ellen or myself really knew each other anymore, so we were prepared to never speak again. Sometimes, as with other relationships, life gets in the way of common sense. I felt like I was living in a continual nightmare where nothing was as it seemed, do to some things being holographic in nature, and others of the flesh.
But what I really wanted, was unconditional love.
What they called love in the Potato District, was not so much love, as relationship arrangements out of financial convenience. Starting from the age of youth delinquents, and on upwards. Up until the age of twenty six, when people died from a purple slime infection, or chose to live alone wandering aimlessly until they did.
In the darkness, was Dantino, as I went out for a smoke.
"I thought I told you never see me again." I said.
"I can give you the power that you seek." Said Dantino.
"Didn't you already try that devil's bargain?"
"Hey! It was worth a shot girl. How you been."
"Tired, always. Vision fading. Et toi?"
"Da rien." Dantino gently pulled in Nadine closer, taking nibbles from you neck. -- But I nothing the unconditional love that you seek.
"I seek nobody on this Earth."
"I don't believe that."
What I new, was that generally people never stuck through with their underlying loyalties.
"Where you've been?" A friend would ask sometimes. Instead after friends would see each other again after a good long while. They'll tell her you're to revolutionary or exhaustingly negative. People are used to having selection of rules people to follow; though often tended to make up rules largely on the fly, and never expected themselves to obey them. For myself, there was only one rule that mattered, after I fell from the sky: survive.
What Dantino promised me more than survival, but a chance to live a normal life in less violent parts of the potato district, far away from those who lived on Federated Server farms, for all his charms, I couldn't help feel that they were merely words he uttered, when one wanted to kiss women's necks in bed.
Instead so much data was filled inside my head, enough to blow up a cybernetic elephant-dog hybrid, covered radioactive purple slime littering the landscape of sidewalks.
I would sometimes draw the pages of my own life in blood communists signs on sidewalks.
After I returned home, I thought of my relationship with things I grew up reading; I was raised under the idea that good will always triumph over evil. But for me, Super Heroes were worse than clowns; clowns never caught a break. And this was what brought me manga, as it presented heroes in such a way that they didn't seem like state communists or fascists. Even classic American Anti-heroes came across as fly by night. I used to find bins of the comics in garbage cans in the city.
"Hey Malcolm, have you ever wanted to time travel?" I said, while pointing to the edge of the lunar eclipse.
"That's not possible Nadine."
"No really, look at this garbage can. All these comics from over on hundred years go."
"Man, I always wondered about that paint job."
It was one of the few time we bounded with each other sense we were kids, but I rarely went out into the world. Not even for pain powders I needed, because I still remembered how Blanci would hold them for ransom from me. When I experienced physical agony long enough, sometimes the hate hurts less over time. My brain finally giving up, my body's an asshole, I'm done with this shit.
I still held onto these comic books I would find in my youth, as reminders of another time when society was superficially more innocent. Even if there was the same amount of corruption as there is now that made some of these pamphlets illegal to own. Because life wasn't a utopian or dystopian novel.
It was a reminder of a more innocent time.
If it were dangling in front of you with a noose. At times I wish I had met Malcolm in different circumstances.
It was just a few years ago when we met.
The teacher was an inhuman mass of pixels.
I reclined in my seat, dreaming of completing a great project at home I had wanted to do since I was a tot. I always wanted a robotic dog, but never got to have even the parts to make one until very recently. I simply couldn't afford a real pet. In the classroom, the automated intext promptor printed out the letters of the national anthem:
In our Fatherland, with our mothers,
Whom bake fresh pasta and green peas,
Come home to our house, stay with us,
And become our children and our brothers.
Let us govern you, lay your children on us.
A female student, her name Brittney, woke me up. If anybody could be described as having a fake smile, it was her; it was fake enough to break glass.
The other students, all roughly between thirteen and fourteen, got out their ereaders, flipping the page to the current assignment. But I kept drifting off into space, fantasizing about working on my robotic dog like it was a full time job, when according to my teachers my classwork should require just as much attention.
At the end of class, a bell rung, and the rest of my classmates rushed out of the classroom. I preferred to imagine bringing my pet to school, and use that to get back at some of my school bullies, having it rip their rip out their spleen and them some.
I tried to get to class, my arm gently tugged.
"Hey Wait, Richy!" Brittney said.
I said: "My name is Nadine, not Richy; we're going to be late."
Brittney had never been one to pay attention to her gender issues, but also found me to be to feminine for their apparent gender, that she eventually no longer wanted anything to do with me. "Does everything happen to be such a hurry Richard?"
I tugged my arm out of Brittney's grasp, but my ex simply wasn't aware of the problem it was that she would misgender me. I would have to keep an eye on her at lunch, or she might steal my all the cookies that mom rarely made except on Holidays. It had been this way since my mom found out Nadine could bake, and simply chose not to.
Brittney was a whole five minutes late. The teacher, an artificial intelligence that recently replaced normal teachers, forcing the old educator class to find other jobs, printed out a tardy slip. With the fine print:
Corporal punishment, Saturday morning.
Once she got in her seat, Brittney showed me the slip. "How did you get that one, I thought they banned the practice." I asked.
"My father bribed the staff." She brushed her brunette locks in my direction. "You never talk to me anymore Richard, has something changed?"
I remembered the last time we went out together. It was a movie theater trip with some of our school friends. Her then boyfriend Alex, whom she had dated previously, and the most beautiful of platinum locks, a pair of ovular glasses, and always carried a book of Shakeaspear's plays with him, wanted to arrange a partnership with me to politely get Brittney off his back.
Me and Brittney lost touch sometime around , anthe 8th grade, and had not spoken much until very recently, when I was first kicked off the flying wing schoolplane. I mostly talked with Alex during the times I was able to sneak a ride without the pilot realizing it, leading me to often being kicked to the curb, and having to walk home after curfew. "I've been busy lately."
The computer beeped for class to stop talking. The rest of the day followed a similar pattern.
"Hey wait up Richard!" Brittney said. But it was to late for me to catch up with her. When I arrived at my second class, when my ex arrived late again got her second tardy slip. That's to strikes with a paddle.
I rode a flying wing bus that day, in the same manner in which I would usually to do so, climbing in through the escape pod. At a comfortable seat, I hunched over Alex's shoulder, jokingly took the book of plays from his hands, and prompted to tease him about how Romeo and Juliet was dreck, gave it back, then sat beside him.
I wore a pair of head phones, banged my ears to various Cybergoth bands. Among other things teenagers did in their long trip back home.
At home, I raised my smart phone to the door lock, then let myself inside. There was a can of mushroom soup waiting for me in the kitchen, with a post it note of my name on it. I forgot to read the fact that it was intended for Tuna Cassrole. Although that later ended up being for naught.
I opened the can, threw it into the microwave, being lucky to not make a mess. Then slammed my backpack on the bed. I got out my kit to make a war dog.
My phone buzzed. "Oh hey, Brit. I thought I told you not to call me again!" I hung up, and muted Brittney's number. Then sat at the table to finish the school work I didn't complete in class. Then finally began the real project I was waiting for, a robotic dog that had long since been advertised on television, and wanted to open the box to see the surprise.
I recieved another phone call, while chilling out with my screwdriver.
It was my mom Juline, who would often get home late during the evening, the nature of her work required constant attendence in political meetings with different aristocrats, something she could not take me to despite otherwise being more of a helicoptor than a parent. "Hey Richard, I have another meeting that will keep me busy until later this evening. Could you go ahead and put the mushroom soup in the Tuna cassatole?"
I hated being called Richard, but hated my mother's wrath even more. I got out another can of mushroom soup to cover up my misdeed. "Yea! Sure will."
"Thanks, take care sweety."
I got back to tending to my pet project. My seat looked like it was made of wood, but was actually a form of industrial plastic; most of the wood produced these days came from trees that were raised in giant farms, rather than natural lumber. Which meant that seats now had a certain stiffness that was completely unlike the pliableness I had grown up being used to during the 2090s. I would watch various channels from Alternet to Commondreams, generally avoiding disaster channels like MSNBC or Fox News. I preferred to look at drawings of girls in wooden shoes, and get my rocks off to that.
Mother did not come home that night, and I was starting to get worried. But I decided to not call 9/11.
Instead I gave into sleep.
The next morning at the station, I tried to push myself through the crowd and get on. This failed miserably. The next attempt, I tried tailgating my friend Alex, but he was prone to being a tattletale despite nearing fifteen. In either case, I had to hurry, as I seemed to not be allowed onto the bus yet again. This meant another day of aching legs. But this was an adventure that came with the territory, such was the tagline of my favorite main character in one of the best JRPGs of all time: <i>Juh Rahn Dia.</i>
I arrived three hours later, but also generally tried getting up three hour earlier. Just barely on time; much of my life was spent having to make certain adjustments to various set backs, rather than confronting them head on. If my life went on the normal path, I would be working as just another poltician, now sitting on the throne with Millie after rescuing her from a fate she honestly should have saved herself from: decapitation.
But I generally hated politique, wanting instead to turn my entire world upside down.
I just didn't know much of my world would soon be done in, in this fashion. At the speed of a targeted terrorist attack on my mother's office, with her racing against the clock to send a final message to my middle school principle.
It was late that morning during third period. The intercom in the classroom called for her to come to the office.
In the office, I sat in front of the super computer's desk. Vice Principle Beep Bop was a towering monstricity of wires and computer chips, completely binary on a screen that floated in the air as if it were a Graphical User Interface from a video game made by sadistic head masters. I wondered if this was the computer that paddled Brittney, and had to restrain a cackle picturing her being pulled up by wires.
"We saw the joke you made to Alex about Romeo and Juliet. Did you know I also hate Shakeaspeare?" The computer monitor buzzed in and out. "But sometimes, life will throw unexpected barriers at you. Your mother didn't come home last night. She died when she was mugged by an Anarchist lady we gave proper public relations to on the news. Don't worry, we already beheaded her. But you will be moving to a different school closer to your other relatives."
The computer pretended to wipe what may be described as a digital tear drop. "So we made a cake for you to celebrate your fourteenth birthday!"
I rode to my new boarding school. Beside me were two armed guards, both of which were decked out in black. A few months ago, I wore the boots that could easily me confused for combat boots, yet now I were her two Birkenstock Clogs, the simplest of plain clothes, while resting reclined back with a double layer of pillows.
Once I arrvied at the admissionss podium, I asked to remove all things I was carrying in my purse. This included the book I kept to remember Alex by after I stole it from him on the flying school jet. A collection of ghost stories we used to read when we were young. We also liked Ghost Stories in virtual reality games, under the glow of hallucinatory camp fires.
The guard asked her what the book was.
I sneered, "might as well be Shakespeare."
"Yea, I hate Shakeaspeare too."
The only light is that of a small lamp. I put my bag into the closet, while doing so I had began to have the creeping feeling of isolation and despair; the room was a modified asylum cell block, the walls covered in white paint to wash away the blood of a now seemingly distant era.
Previously France and Japan took over the United States, installing Hafestra as the prestiage language. Then the Second American Revolution erupted and split the country into multiple comparmentalized zones, with regions in between considered disputed. France had resolved to replace lethal injection with the Guillotine, that evolved into a special firearm for extrajudicial decapitation.
Now I rested in a room originally designed for political prisoners. I dreaded living in a place that was the stronghold of a now distant, decaying empire.
My desk looked like it was made of wood, but in fact it was made out of biodegradeable plastic. The wooden shoes were issued were modelled after the nineteenth century peasant wear to add to our humiliation.
I peeked outside my peek hole on the door.
"Hey, It's Michael, can I come in?" he said to me. Michael was to be one of my room mates. Despite the fact that I was a trans girl, the school still treated me as if I was male. I turned the knob to let him in. "Need any help unpacking?"
"I'm almost done, but feel free if you think there is anything I didn't unpack." I said, then leaned in closer to hear the beating of Michael's chest, to know another human was there.
"So who are you?" Michael said, gently brushing Nadine's hair.
"Nadine! Et toi?"
"We'll get along great, you seem loving. But keep your nose clean. People here might take advantage of your kindness."
In my mind's eye I saw an apartment structured like a tiny house. The glow of the neon sky gave the glass scattered reflections. Inside, a few months before I arrived, I was sitting with my mother at the couch.
"What do you I need a baby sitter? I'm thirteen."
"I know that, but you always matured slower than other boys."
"I'm a girl for one thing."
"You know, your uncle will never consider you female."
I took a screw driver to adjust the tightness of her robotic arms and legs. And I asked "Could I at least have a war dog?"
There was an old saying that mentioned, it wasn't the fall the kills you, but the sudden stop. But generally this was a statement generally from people who have not fallen into the outer most edges of darkness. The fall was not the worst of it, my body a mess punctured limbs.
When you're missing a right arm, it's easy to think that maybe eventually you'll stop using this particular limb. But for myself, I had come to realize that ones dominance was not based on your strongest hand, but the side of your brain. When I slide my fingers across a tablet, it feels the same as always, albeit without as much feeling; I liked to shop for parts on the open web, on the off chance that I found parts to rebuild my war dog. She found Spark plug in a garbage dump, just down the road from Purgatory, who was merely a skeleton of his former metallic rat dog self. I barely made it through to find the him due to the light not always reaching this district. It was easy to fall into with the rest of the strawn metallic nuts.
A few months ago, I was in the hospital.
I could remember the sound of being dragged on a metallic table to see the good doctor, inquiring with my best friend why in the world I survived. Her left arm was a broken chunk, one that could barely make a slam dunk, or any other aspect of athletic fulfillment in the floating city, yet now hear I was, living on my own with the rest of the alleycats.
"Do you think she's going to make it?" a voice asked.
"We'll have to see, they're punctured all over." the doc said.
Yet now as I looked to the stars, onward into the aristocratic Utopian mess I once lived, I realized being down here, how good I had it up there. And yet, while I didn't completely trust her new friends, I now would no longer have it in me to trade them for the world.
I lived in my own darkness.
When I woke up, I found Blanci leaning her head on my eggplant, and could sense her faint outline, as she grasped for air. "Here, have this head ache powder. It can help the pain a little bit." Blanci offered. I grabbed it without a moment's hesitation, almost fall asleep in the process. "Please stay awake, it sure gets lonely here."
"And who is this pretty face." I asked. This was how she I Blanci, with her rubbing my eggplant. One of her first true crushes, but we never got close enough to reveal ourselves to each other, before she was beheaded by militarized police and dream-scanners on the hunt for her whereabouts.
A Spanish girl raised by Italian parents, though do to a month having run away from home, her accent of a Sicilian was barely noticeable, borrowing more from the Urban culture of the Southern most parts of Chattanooga. I didn't know much about Blanci's past other than this, just that whenever we discussed rats, Blanci always would ask me to stop.
But I always wanted pet rat.
It was just a few months ago, when I had run away from the boarding school. I was a runaway much like the others; there was still some part of me that always wanted to go back to the place where I once belonged.
While we were getting used to mainly eating roaches we found on the street, if we could even find that, the secondary American civil war had largely been kind to Blanci's family before she ran away.
My own was an aristocratic family whom worked closely with the multiple CEOs of the potato district. Even now I still dreamed of rolling soccer balls, rolling away from me always being just out of reach, and in front of me always some faint glimmer of reality television and dancing shows.
The motion set that covered the city was called the Meadow Of Gold. I called it simply shit, but it was the kind of shit that, despite the most miserable aspect of our existence in these streets, made us hold on just a little bit longer, like some abstract idea that we will someday become rich and famous, score a dark comedy skit on comedy television. I preferred the darkness of my own bedroom. The glow of L.E.D. lights, the flow of French Chanson singers singing songs of good night butterflies.
Dead men's lullabies.
Yet in this world, below that distant prairie, while some fairy and elf always play dangerous games, I find myself resenting the image of such falseness. I was a Satanist at heart, wanting to expose the lies for what they were.
When I had met Brittney for the first time, it was a time when I was much more easy going. We had known each other for months, but stopped seeing each other when she used to play "school". Much of my issues of about my own gender had not yet been formed. I had not yet switched to public school, where I would hang out with school friends to play pool. Yet now as the years went by, I simply ask myself why I decide to run away. Sometimes people separate on bad terms, yet when you're young there is nobody else's term besides the terms of your parents.
Me and Brittney were politically the opposite, as I would later find out second hand. She was the right hand, and I was the left hand; I took our relationship down the left hand path toward darkness. While I ate spicy food, and wiped the sweat off my brow, I still regretted no marriage vows to Brittney, my desires fading like the wind from some other lover's memory.
In high school, I generally avoided other women, partially do to my own feelings of inferiority, but also my unwillingness to subject others to the darkness of my own lust. At the time I had multiple issues related to hating other girls who were more attractive than I.
Yet the hacker instinct ran wildly. Life like an electronic keyboard, with various previously recorded music notes. Songs from various decades. Childhood memories is one of those things one tries to push toward the past, but I kept wondering what Brittney would think of me now. Even within my own family, I was largely the opposite of almost every I knew; consider the fact that she had been watching a weird mixture of Alex Jones and Noam Chomsky, with the old Green partier winning out in the long run.
I found various conservative talking heads truly alien, in a way more bizarre than exotic science fiction short stories.
To think, me and Brittney became so different.
Like life fracturing into broken glass.
When I used to write little diary entries, I got into the mode where every poem I wrote was a suicide letter in miniature; a song about the lost moments of life. In their slow rhythmic melodies; I laid the groundwork for my own inner destruction. And there was a part of me that relished the thought of being completely forgotten.
I fantasized of severed necks and blood on the floor. I dreamed of guillotine blades for those whose death the people shall not ignore; dreamed of blood squirts and gore. Dreamed of music boxes, and the fear of whether I could eventually be open about my own sexuality, like blood flowing from the wound of Adam's apple like the sound of crickets chirping in the darkest of midnight hours. I dreamed of my own inner life, falling to pieces. my life, my story; my own self-destruction. Yet there was something holding me back.
Something that I didn't want to acknowledge.
That I wasn't the only one in this world, on Purgatory Road, where the crickets always chirp no matter the time of day; where the music box plays broken children's rhyme, not always stories of urban decay.
Now I typed arcane programs, distracting from my own inner clutter; words flowing like fractured Ruby syntax on green screen monitors. The flow of Base64 syntax. That I would be left alone again, to rot along the floor like I was all those years ago.
To rot in my own inner life.
The vampire life.
"Nadine, you said this would be the last powder." Blanci said.
I scooted through life, as nothing but the dregs of my former existence. The laptop provided a light that attracted gnats.
"Just one more powder, then I'm done." I said.
"You said that last night." Blanci wasn't the one that should really make judgments based on people's disabilities. My own, other than my own absence of a left arm and right leg, was apparently not obvious. Out of breath, I went through life like a speeding bullet train popping powders like jaw breakers for tots. "I'm not your mother Nadine."
Sometimes life felt like an absurdest drug PSA. Dropped in from a CIA helicopter, one hand gun aiming toward the finish line, someone's skull. An adrenaline high more potent than the most reflexive of fight or flight responses. Like a robot fist hammering your personal alarm clock like an old introduction to cliche science fiction novella; the story of the rest of your life before you found agame called: UPLOADED FAIRY.
"Look, you don't have to understand my condition. But at least don't be a dick." I said.
"I'm a lady. Not a dick."
Nadine inched very close to Blanci's face.
"Ladies can be dicks too. They can have them as well."
It was one of those nights where the only way to resolve a personal problem was a one thirty two caliber in the brain, and two hammered right into your phantom knee. "They can certainly be scared of rats."
Blanci, from the point that me had met me, never took kindly to this aspect of her past, though she refused to admit this. Blanci simply ignored me for the rest of the night. Midnight finally closed at five in the morning, multiple hours past the sound of quietness in the air. I preferred to spend time listening to listening to songs like "Ma France" than Blanci's shit. Yet I also knew, at least for the time being, we needed each other.
Perhaps myself more than Blanci.
"Fine, none for tonight."
There was something about the weather that, despite its intrinsic coldness, did not make me want to go back to living with Blanci. When you compare Blanci with Brittney, it only made sense that my only satisfaction is to see Brittney suffer, at least it seemed so at the time. Yet the monotonous buzz of my robotic limbs made me want to keep searching for meaning in a world without, even if that meant digging for scraps in a local dumpster.
Spark plug was in mostly decent shape, but had a few dings and scratches. The major issue was rust stain on the shell. I took coordinates of the width, height, and depth of the main frame. An old model morphing into the new, almost as if the old designer knew what the most current update in the design would be. There was something in the design that made me want to hold onto my lost youth, despite the very obvious indication of its futility.
I no longer dreamed of the world above; I simply desired for at least one simple night where I could sleep normal sleep, and dream normal dreams.
I desired total oblivion. But the old lucidity drove out demons like holographic witches.
"Are you ready to order?" I heard Ellen say, as gradually as the vision from inside her dream began to fade way. He could distinctly remember various advertisements playing over in her brain.
"Yea I'll take a coffee." I ordered, ate, then exited the building.
After she walked through the sliding glass doors, I tried to remember what it was that made me want to remember what those ads specifically were. Perhaps they reminded me of a lost time, when I lived in the sky. Ads from when I was plugged into my deck. Somehow I got the impression that only worked, when I was plugged into the pod-net network.
Blanci was outside to greet me, in the thick green fog that covered the city. She saw her take the powder, choking and snorting on it after accidentally taking a breath into it. Fumes were tossed his direction.
"Remember boy, ... you need me. Or you will die ... cold during the night." Blanci, my Fruit Pie, said, in that near calmness that would give just about anybody chills. Almost like she wasn't even there. I needed something for my mental fight. Bianca's generosity was the only reason I was even alive at all.
The next morning I was disturbed by Bianca's cell-phone, woke up as if rising from a fall from the sky. "How was your sleep dear wanderer?" Blanci asked, eye-balling me like a cat to mouse.
I think at sixteen, I'm a little bit to old to be called a run-away. Besides she's not my mother. I was not sure what felt more like a sledgehammer. Blanci's grating voice, that can can through anyone like a sword, or because of my aching robotic arm and my immune-suppressant withdrawals. "So let's talk money for a minute."
"Do you wish to grab my only bullets?" Blanci said.
"I only wish to know how much, you think is reasonable to give me to take the medication that I need." I said.
"That you can carry it around with you," she said, in that slightly less grating voice that was still grating. "To buy more of that powdery pill stuff?" I wasn't sure why she was still getting on to me about it, though in a way she was like a mother I never had here. For this reason, I was still attached to her.
"Well I'm going out." I stood up in the nude.
"Hey cover yourself up -- with this blanket." Blanci said. Then dragged me into the closet to try on some new clothes that would not make me stand out.