Friday, 31 January 2014

Near future wor*fare




When mum came back from the war her skin was on inside out and she was crapping through a hatch in her belly button. That was nothing. Last time she'd coughed her lungs up and if not for the nanopills we'd have needed to stuff them back in ourselves. Like we did with aunt Claire's. Hanging down her front like a forked bib they were. *Yeugh.*

We did laugh though.

But this time it was the baddies came off worse. She had a vid to play us and it was a case of your tote destruxor. She took out two bungalows and the playground beside the old folks home, and Mrs Moggins vaped the brick flats on Mill Street. They pulled everyone back when the 'topes came in.

'Topes? No snopes. We never opened the windows anyway these days, what with the smell from next door. All just piled up out there they were. Good neighbours. Plain bad luck...

Bzzz...
Bloody corpse flies.
*Swipe. Whack. Kersplat.*
Anyway, it was a quarter past four already so just in time for tea. She went straight to the kitchen and made us caviar on toast - the hotbot was out again. She kept her screams in as best she could. Quite well really. A proper valk our mum.

It was only when she sat down we saw it: she had someone else's nose. Stood out like a sore thumb, and for a moment I thought it might be. It looked a bit, well, blokey. Cheap. A bodged job again - going to the dogs this country is. Turns out it was a bloke's. He wouldn't be needing it though, she said. He was a vet too. In a test bed now, probably having his legs shredded, or his cartilage ripped out. Or something.

Slurping away, we watched Get Frit, Innit? but couldn't send more than a few G votes - Dad was upstairs on the console, hogging the fullband. Flying a wing of unmanned mosquitoes armed with precision bionukes. Trained over the weekend, strapped in Monday morning. Loving it he was. Took out the estate the other side of the mall and didn't shut up all afternoon. Should have seen how they burst, he said. *Pop.*

Tuesday he was getting a bit worn out by it all. Hard on the thumbs. Wednesday he was thinking of going for the sats.

Today he hadn't even been down. Skipped brekkie.

Bored by now, we plugged in mum's false eye. Miligrade tech. Our waferscreen's not up to it - needs 4D really. I ran it down the sofa and up my good hand and saw every muscle as a flow of information, every speck a fact, down to the DNA and beyond. Beyond knowing. Whence all life sprang. 
And where it went...

Still, there was no arguing the world was a better place. We'd never had it so good. Life was just great. Luckiest generation to live. Peak of human history. Smiley face. Liked. +1. j.

And who knew what tomorrow might bring? Couldn't ask for no more. No, you really couldn't. It was the best it could be.

Bzzz...

Bloody fly...

But the windows were closed...

A mozzy. It sat on the rim of the family selfie and watched us, watching. Rubbed its back legs together. Then braced.

*    *    *

I woke up in a boutique with no arms and legs. They were peeling off my face. *Scream.* 
Then my scalp. They started drilling out m-



This is for the Carnival that Hereticwerks are hosting this month, with the theme of Transitions. More entries here.

It's also a second for John's project - From the Zones - a vision of a world in which Zonetech blurs the line between consumer goods and tools of destruction, and a possible near future setting, for wargaming in the Winter of '79 mould, or roleplaying with whatever systems it is you like.

The inspiration? I saw a group of near future vehicles and thought that as futuristic as they all look now, near future warfare won't be anything like as clumsy as heavy metal.

It's more likely to be smaller, quicker, everywhere at once, and maybe really everywhere.

It might not even be called war, if we'd prefer to pretend it's not. It could be called, say, peace. Just another happy day. After all, if we've paid to play, we surely can't be victims.
_

3 comments:

garrisonjames said...

A scary place to visit; hate to get stuck there! Great bit of near future horror. Very atmospheric. You really managed to make me go 'ick!,' which takes some doing, most days.

I added this into the January Blog Carnival Wrap-up post. Thanks for participating!

John Till said...

"Bored by now, we plugged in mum's false eye." Wow. Just wow. Enough creative destruction going on to make even Schumpeter run. Wonderful.

Porky said...

Given the major events of the past few weeks, it seems even less fantastical now than when it went up.