The Boogaboo, A Story

September 13, 2009

The Boogaboo, a story by Adrian Perez

You could hear the troops as they marched through the first floor. Bumps and thuds proliferated through the floorboards below Emily’s feet. Men and women, intent on more than preserving furniture, lunged forward on their mission up the stairs.

In history, there are many long transitions. And often enough, you can not percieve totally how things are changing. That’s why Emily felt it was best to be in the fray. If you’re making the fray, you get the satisfaction of seeing the state-change. Still she had no idea that it would be so scary.

As the world came together financially, conversationally, and and occassionally physically, Emily had known that the time for justice was now. In her country, the military was still tremendously large. It was a behometh sitting on the back of every citizen.

To quell her sense of injustice to the state of things, in her afternoons she studied Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. compulsively. It seemed their stories housed the weapon she wished to wield against the world. She was especially enamored by Gandhi’s Satyagraha (“holding firm to the truth that is love”). She also studied Klauswitz and Sun Tzu. The men of war mixed in with the men of peace.

Emily had to have empathy for each side in the fight she intended to win, for she was intending nothing less than the abolition of the military. The majority of her friends discounted her and it proved too devestating at the beginning, so she took herself towards other forms of social justice, practicing as a lawyer, while maintaining her ethical commitment. Most of her job was guiding people into mediated arbitration and away from courts and her office.

Her reputation blossomed as a fair person, and Emily discovered how valuable fairness was. By operating on her strengths in communion over the pursuit of the good and beautiful, she began to defy her weakness. She still lacked bravery, and yet she spoke for truth and fairness. She lacked leadership, and yet she had a growing organization. Weakness was processed by the habit of greatness into unimagined assetts.

So from her personal development came the experiments that led to revolution. Slowly but surely, in a conversation, in a tweet, in a blog post, she changed people’s minds by documenting the strategic acts of suffering that she designed to demonstrate her point about injustice. She lifted not a hand against anyone, and yet, she demanded a just world unswervingly.

People listened as her bones cracked in civil disobediences designed to wake our love. And on the day of a national strike that had been inconceivable ten years earlier, people listened as she was ripped off a podium by a group of coordinated men with the intent of cutting the head from the beast known as peace, but that they called horror.

These pro-military forces were not even composed of the military. As the military grew into a bureacracy of non-fighters, it realized it had to change towards being a force of civilization building as well as destroying. So it was the 800 pound gorilla in the room with so many opinions it had no opinion.

The success of the national strike had so terrorized this abduction group, that they did not kill Emily as planned. They brought her to a house nearby. But in moments the house was stormed.

Emily, blind-folded on the floor heard two helicopters land. A blast as the door was rammed down. Then men and women in body armor burst through the door. Emily kicked her bound feet into the nearest guard. The abductors fired their guns into the oncoming troops. But the troops did not fight back, they simply kept coming. Some were knocked to the floor and some were killed. The mobbing troops crashed into Emily’s room. The first went down, shot in the face. But when her abductors saw that the oncoming troops were merely disarming them as they crashed forward, they set down their guns without knowing why.

Fool’s Errand, a Story

September 11, 2009

Fool’s Errand, by Adrian Perez

It was not to be. Alfred stood on the veranda of his estate, small lap dogs skipping about his feet. There there was nothing that could be done. He simply had to trust himself to do it.

Inside of himself, a deep welling of fatalism poured through his heart. He had never killed so many children before, but on this planet, there was a parasite that rendered half the children into something else.

He looked at one of the children playing out in the garden around the veranda. It’s legs, in reverse to the normal mode of things. The knee caps on the wrong side, for an inverted walking motion. It’s head larger than usual.

This batch of children had been found in a church. The people in that province were utter fundamentalists, with an emphasis on the sacredness of life that stemmed from their roots in Jainism. In fact, they were called Jainist Catholics. It was because of this that the Sterilization Board had commissioned Alfred and his team to clean up the mess they had discovered.

Most of the contaminated children were destroyed immediately on site. They had been hiding in the basement of the church, but Intuitives had been sent out ahead of time to find their location.

He felt like a traitor. The children had not learned the sin of denying the possibility of gifts in the world. Alfred had, however. he had been killing children for years now. He had been in two wars to preserve the freedom of his planet. The last, resulted in the Isolation Field, and it finally left the planet in peace. Cut off from its amibtious neighbors.

Peace and prosperity came with the bizarre curse of the contaminated children. After the Field was erected-and most suspected it was the Field-about half the embryos were born with flawed DNA that resulted in the physical and mental abnormalities. The flawed embryos were thrown out in the majority of the planet, but the planet, as a den of independence from The Authority was filled with a large minority of naturalism who-ha’s. So in the year after the war, Alfred’s job became the killing of abomination, the murder of monsters the religious refused to kill.

So it was totally normal, that as his gas mask-wearing Stormers dropped into the dark basement, smashing wine and monsters in their wake, they separated out the uncontaminated from their other brethren. Prejudice and a fundamentalism of his own should have kept him unfeeling, but the creature he was about to knock out with his rifle was younger than the rest of the contaminated, and playing with the doll he had just bought his daughter for her Birthday. And so he tagged her as clean, and sent her to be processed back into society.

She went unnoticed in the vans of the bureaucrats, her youth and the symbolic spray paint on her shoulder that Alfred had made, rendered her invisible to prejudice. It was unperceived that her eyes had a slightly triangular dimension. Her innocence and the power of Alfred’s clean symbol on her shoulder saved her life.

His automatic reactions had caused him to do this. The first days he had her at his estate, he watched her play from the veranda, holding his rifle. Occasionally, he pointed it at her. On the third day, he set it down, and on the seventh day, he sat and held her in his arms.

Alfred’s wife did not ask him questions. His daughter did not come up to play dolls with this new interloper. The grand piano he had smashed through the terrace doors accumulated cruft from the nature blowing around the house.

The child ran up the steps to play with the dogs at Alfred’s feet. He approached her and crouched next to her. She turned to him with Alien eyes, the ridges on her shoulders more apparent in the dress she had found in his daughter’s room. She wrapped her arms around him. Alfred sat and mourned his family as he held abomination in his arms

Peace War, A Story

September 9, 2009

Peace Way, by Adrian Perez

Alexandra stood in the naive of the dome fortress. She waltzed over to the window and found the valley in ruins. Still in ruins, she thought.

It was a long time before the Geodesics would arrive at the planet. If not waiting, then wanting something from them all.

She unfurled her computer and sat to prepare for autistic mode. She needed to practice if she was going to oppose their takeover of the Gantry. She was the only one left here, everyone had died of Pox.

Wrapping her hands into the computer’s chording surface she felt for the appropriate keys. Rubbing in the final configurations to begin the process. Light from the screen dimmed and she increased her ocular capacity, causing the color in her eyes to exchange away as her pupils widened.

The screen flickered a set of colors in a very specific order. Analyzing her brain for the proper feedback, slowly convincing it that she was who she claimed she was and that she should learn what she was asking to.

Alexandra’s chord grips grew tighter around her. She relaxed and fell into induced autism. She relaxed to get a sense of her body. She sensed the breeze from outside and the lights in the corridors. All of the sensory information of life was pouring in as she maximized her sensitivity. She started to pick up small muscular tremors. Little ripples of blood and tension that an untrained person would never sense. She saw how the movements of her body related to her thoughts.

Most people felt that Aut-class individuals were mainly controlled by the programs they used to train. But it was quite the opposite. Most of the ability was derived from within. Alexandra had trained all of her few years so that she could effectively and rapidly remove all distraction from the subject of study. And with devices that could output as fast as she was inputting, she could process countless thousands of the facets of life that history held, in the blink of an eye.

Next she dropped her discrimination levels. Humans have an immense capacity for judgement. Babies learn in a heavily encoded way by virtue of their lack of judgement. This results in a lot of trial and error which eventually creates heavier and more elaborate forms of judgement. This would be inhibiting to learning for Alexandra.

An autistic person can gain just as much interest from the dirt on the wall behind you as he does from looking at your face. Normal people eventually judge away the extraneous data in their environment. So much so that they can’t even tell you there was a spot on the wall they could have noticed.

Judgement is good for things like deciding which threat to run away from. But it’s not good for learning. If you have a bunch of negative feelings surrounding your teacher’s eyebrows, this will inhibit you. If you didn’t get a math formula the first time and you have guilt over it, this will inhibit you. The elimination of judgement was the most important part of autistic mode.

Judgmentlessness was only created from immense trust and self-confidence. Alexandra meditated on this every day.

Finally, the computer determined she was ready. It began to act like an externalized judgement machine, stopping Alexandra from looping back on data too frequently. And so, over the next half hour, as the Geodesic ships came closer and closer to the planet. Alexandra prepared for War.

The Reliquery’s Garden, By Adrian Perez

It was two fifteen and not a moment too soon as Alex fell forward into the void at an ever quickening rate. He turned off the simulation and pulled himself out of the isolation tank. Toweling off the salt water, he reached for his notebook running the ink of the lines with the dripping water. He scribbled a few notes and Alex walked into his enclave.

A dozen people were working at desks. Some sat in bean bags and others worked in chairs or resting against walls. It was an imperative that they finish quickly. Fleet would be arriving in fifteen days and Admiral Perry would want results. It was only a matter of time before they completed Perry’s commissioned Canceller.

The aliens were expanding out of the archipelago they lived in and their burn fields would encompass the seven planets of New Rapids quickly. It was a nightmare to contend with. The thrill of first contact turning into a stereotypical invasion of action adventure films of the nineteen hundreds.

Alex’s work environment was proof positive that the universe was a predominantly friendly place. Sitting at the table was a Nyad and on the bean bag chairs were a Splik Collective. And sprinkled between the aliens were a dozen other humans. Humans had been meeting and working with aliens with minimal conflict for a long time. And never had a species opened contact with violence.

That’s why this was so strange that a single large ship had landed on a planet, for what humanity and it’s confederates considered to be an opening for first contact. The planet was sparsely inhabited, so the inhabitants were somewhat armed for a colonial rustic lifestyle. They were elected to make first contact themselves instead of waiting for Fleet to arrive.

The colonists arrived in the crater that the alien ship had landed in to find that the aliens had already embarked. They were huminoid, but about half as high as a human. Video being transmitted live to the rest of the Community showed green spherical fields begin to glow and expand around the aliens until as it touched one of the colonists, he burst into flames. After that, all of their transmitters went out. The green fields were slowly spreading over the populated planets in New Rapids. It was terrifying to think of what was happening to the populations there.

That is, it was terrifying for most people, except for a xenobiologist like Alex. Alex could not get those short black aliens with folds around their necks out of his head. He couldn’t get aliens out of his head at all. And while the rest of the human species had long gotten used to taking aliens in stride, he was constantly thinking, ‘Wow, aliens!’ So an attuned form of mild autism was keeping him from focusing on rage and revenge, unlike the other ninety nine percent of the Community.

It was for this reason that Alex had formed a research group to wipe out the aliens. He was one of the first to win a formal contract from the Community, as he was the first to send a probe into the green field, only to see it burst into the same slag the colonists had turned into. The ingenuity and proximity to the problem got him first rate researchers and a queue of materials that they would need.

As he whirled around the room checking simulations and okaying testing. It slowly became obvious that the Canceller would work on the field. Before his team’s probe exploded, they had observed a loud crackle of radio static coming from the field. Other than that, their sensors had not penetrated any further. There was no dangerous radiation. The field was destroying flesh and circuitry some other way.

Alex kept sleeping in the floatation tank to maximize his rest cycles. His crew worked day and night, reading a working Canceller prototype for Admiral Perry. News from the rest of the Community came in bleakly with no sense of hope. Fleet was digging through historical files of old war-based societies, trying to figure out something that would work. Thrown asteroids flashed to vapor. Lasers were absorbed.

Perry arrived a day early, but they were finished with the prototype.

“How does it operate?” Admiral Perry questioned.

“It will take too long to instruct a Fleetmen. I’ll have to go with you,” Alex told them.

Perry considered arguing, but clapped the scientist on the shoulder, and said, “Fine, we leave now!”

They floated in New Rapids. Over the initial planet the aliens had landed on. Alex sat in the control harness. A few neural linkage lasers flashed sensorial illumination through his head.

“Is the device active?” Admiral Perry asked.

“No it will take sometime to initialize. And the harness and I must be deposited into a sacrificial ship.”

Perry grumbled the command to load Alex with some impotence. The green field had already latched onto an evac ship that had passed what Perry had thought was a safe distance.

Crews transported the machine-human hybrid Alex into the command deck of a small frigate.

“If you are destroyed you assure me that your team can continue your work?” Admiral Perry queried. Alex nodded ascent. Perry ordered, “You must transmit your every move. Keep your communicator open.”

The crew disembarked and left Alex alone in the ship. He headed toward the planet the aliens initially occupied.

Perry and the command crewed viewed the vessel enter ever closer to the planet. It was about to come into the same distance the evac ship had been torn to pieces in.

Alex engaged the encryption device and Cancelled the radio burst coming out of the field.

Perry leaped out of his chair. Something was wrong. The ship Alex was in was starting to glow green, but the green field had not extended out of the planet to engulf the ship. It had expanded from the command deck.

“Can you hear me?” Alex asked over the comm.

“Yes, Alex. We read you loud and clear. State your situation,” Perry exclaimed.

“Sir,” an ensign chimed in, “Alex’s ship is no longer accepting transmission from us.”

The Admiral stomped and smashed the console floating next to him. Perry had been in fights with stronger and smarter opponents before, but they were not insurmountable. This was leading nowhere and a society of trillions could do nothing to stop the slaughter.

“Can you hear me?” Alex was still asking.

Everyone in the Community watched in horrified fascination. The ship should have disintegrated by now. A long silence predominated the command deck and Perry collapsed into his chair, waiting for the ship’s shield to fail and immolate.

A voice crackled through the void, terrifying and alien, “Yes! Yes! I knew it. I knew you were sentient. Our nano-communications field…”

Alex sighed in relief and interrupted the alien with what had become the ritual saying of Humankind as exploration took hold of it, “We mean you no harm.”

Implications, a Story

September 1, 2009

Every day, for the past three days, I have taken an hour to complete a short story. I hope they will cause you to feel good things. Here is story 1.

Implications by Adrian Perez

He walked onto the promenade of the lower hull of the ship. Spaceships zipped by in the distance over earth. It was only twenty forty, and the anti-grav plate and the teleporter exchange field had changed Franklin’s entire life. He didn’t invent them, but he had been at the conference where the exchange field was unveiled. Instant Nobel Prize, just add water.

There were a few moments like it in history. Ford’s unveiling of the Model-T. Being in the observation bunker with Werner as the Apollo 11 embarked on its mission. Engelbart’s graphical user interfaces manipulated by mouse. You could go and be impressed, but only a few people would realize that the world was going to be turned inside out once again.

Most of those people, turned into academics and researchers, where revolution was the constant intent. Some of those turned into businessmen where profitable constancy was the goal. Others, like Franklin, turned into madmen.

See, the exchange field caused the world of physicality to catch up to the Internet’s world of interlinked metaphysics. You could teleport anywhere for about fifty cents and once you’re under a dollar, you’ve entered into the world of basically free. So literally overnight, as the plans for the teleporter were breaking out across the Internet, the world was creating the physical internet. And in a matter of weeks people were zipping, as it came to be called, everywhere. Now if you are in the government, like Franklin was, you might be inclined to panic. Which Franklin did not do, as he had funded the exchange field and was somewhat prepared. However, about eighty percent of his compatriots did. And the way the human mind works, that might have well as been one hundred percent.

All around the world, wherever there was an electrical plug, people were building teleporters and zipping. This meant there were mass exodi from oppressive countries. San Francisco started ballooning with Chinese. Europe started booming with Arabs. Aid groups started packing into villages that had polluted wells, only to arrive in completely abandoned dwellings. Every tourist destination was inundated with people who could finally afford to travel. The passport was well past its time. Too bad governments didn’t know that.

Though Franklin had been trying to prepare people in the US government for this, the project was so off the wall, he was always addressed with polite incredulity. It wasn’t denial. Denial implied that there was something worth blotting out of the mind.

It is the nature of madmen to act in unexpected ways. And Franklin worried that the teleporter, although necessary to be released immediately posed terrifying dangers to everyone. Equilibrium was going to be reached, but in the meantime, the world may become a little “nastier” or “brutish” than Hobbes was thinking about.

Together with Professor Falabra, the exchange-field discoverer, he set up a clique to research the anti-gravity plate. He was still getting paid by the government, but he never showed up. Besides the government had more important things to do, like shoot rubber bullets at Chinese farmers that could teleport enmasse to Washington.

The anti-grav plate might seem a little stupid to a world that has a teleporter, but the teleporter was limited in that it only worked efficiently in the same layer of gravity. That’s why the teleporter couldn’t be used as a perpetual energy machine, constantly sending a magnetic mass to a teleporter above itself. Send an object laterally across the earth’s surface and the teleport would only cost you from fifty cents to two dollars worth of energy , but teleport the small distance it takes to get into space and it would cost an unfathomable amount of energy.

So knowing this, Franklin and Falabra formed their working group. Making a physiospacial group was now as easy as creating a forum online. You made your online forum, posited your idea, and instead of everyone logging in, everyone showed up. If you could keep everyone showing up, you had a team. And now it didn’t matter how much time you had to contribute. If you had half an hour to spare, you burst in and got an update. And so at the foot of the mountains in Mojave, where Falabra had bought a massive house for dirt cheap because the post-zip world hadn’t wanted to live there, the team got too work. It wasn’t a headquarters because that model got thrown out with train and the car, but it was a kind of a hub.

They couldn’t store the MRI machine or the particle accelerator there, but they could all sit in the same room and blab and get all those Homo Sapiens touchy-feely conversation you need to make a concept burst into fruition.

A tribe of approximately one hundred and thirty formed. It had no head and was arranged democratically, and as people brought their children and life partners to work, they started to get a serendipitous feeling. Up until the exchange field made the teleporter a working reality, the ability to rapidly try out relationships for compatibility of culture and intellect had been hindered by travel time and geography. This group, eventually being called the Junta, didn’t even realize at the time that they were the most united and intellectually cross-pollinated groups in all of human history.

Three years into their research, as the governments of the world were adapting painfully, religions spreading and declining, and innovation snowballing into bipedal robots, non-evasive brain wires for mental imaging, and the Junta’s anti-grav plate, the Junta decided they were prepared enough to stop work and leave. And putting the final version of their spaceship plans into the net, their ship lifted out of the hanger nestled in the foot of the mountains and rose towards the unlivable void with Franklin staring out the window.

 

He walked onto the promenade of the lower hull of the ship. Spaceships zipped by in the distance over earth. It was only twenty forty, and the anti grav plate and the teleporter exchange field had changed Franklin’s entire life. He didn’t invent them, but he had been at the conference where the exchange field was unveiled. Instant Nobel Prize, just add water.

There were a few moments like it in history. Ford’s unveiling of the Model-T. Being in the observation bunker with Werner as the Apollo 11 embarked on its mission. Engelbart’s graphical user interfaces manipulated by mouse. You could go and be impressed, but only a few people would realize that the world was going to be turned inside out once again.

Most of those people, turned into academics and researchers, where revolution was the constant intent. Some of those turned into businessmen where profitable constancy was the goal. Others, like Franklin, turned into madmen.

See, the exchange field caused the world of physicality to catch up to the Internet’s world of interlinked metaphysics. You could teleport anywhere for about fifty cents and once you’re under a dollar, you’ve entered into the world of basically free. So literally overnight, as the plans for the teleporter were breaking out across the Internet, the world was creating the physical internet. And in a matter of weeks people were zipping, as it came to be called, everywhere. Now if you are in the government, like Franlin was, you might be inclined to panic. Which Franklin did not do, as he had funded the exchange field and was somewhat prepared. However, about eighty percent of his compatriots did. And the way the human mind works, that might have well as been one hundred percent.

All around the world, wherever there was an electrical blug, people were building teleporters and zipping. This meant there were mass exodi from oppressive countries. San Francisco started ballooning with Chinese. Europe started booming with Arabs. Aid groups started packing into villages that had polluted wells, only to arrive in completely abandoned dwellings. Every tourist desitination was inundated with people who could finally aford to travel. The passport was well past its time. Too bad governments didn’t know that.

Though Franklin had been trying to prepare people in the US government for this, the project was so off the wall, he was always addressed with polite incredulity. It wasn’t denial. Denial implied that there was something worth blotting out of the mind.

It is the nature of madmen to act in unexpected ways. And Franklin worried that the teleporter, although necessary to be released immidiately posed terrifying dangers to everyone. Equilibrium was going to be reached, but in the meantime, the world may become a little “nastier” or “brutish” than Hobbes was thinking about.

Together with Profressor Falabra, the exchange-field discoverer, he set up a clique to research the anti-gravity plate. He was still getting paid by the government, but he never showed up. Besides the government had more important things to do, like shoot rubber bullets at Chinese farmers that could teleport enmasse to Washington.

The Anti-grav plate might seem a little stupid to a world that has a teleporter, but the teleporter was limited in that it only worked efficienltly in the same layer of gravity. That’s why the teleporter couldn’t be used as a perpetual energy machine, constantly sending a magnetic mass to a teleporter above itself. Send an object latterarlly across the earth’s surface and the teleport would only cost you from fifty cents to two dollars worth of energy , but teleport the small distance it takes to get into space and it would cost an unfathomable amount of energy.

So knowing thist Franklin and Falabra formed their working group. Making a physiospacial group was now as easy as creating a forum online. You made your online forum, posited your idea, and instead of everyone logging in, everyone showed up. If you could keep everyone showing up, you had a team. And now it didn’t matter how much time you had to contribute. If you had half an hour to spare, you burst in and got and got an update. And so at the foot of the mountains in Mojave, where Falabra had bought a massive house for dirt cheap because the post-zip world hadn’t wanted to live there, the team got too work. It wasn’t a headquarters because that model got thrown out with train and the car, but it was a kind of a hub.

They couldn’t store the MRI machine or the particle accelerator there, but they could all sit in the same room and blab and get all those homo sapiens touchy feely conversation you need to make a concept burst into fruition.

A tribe of approximately one hundred and thirty formed. It had no head and was arranged democratically, and as people brought their children and life partners to work, they started to get a serendipitous feeling. Up until the exchange field made the teleporter a working reality, the ability to rapidly try out relationships for compatibility of culture and intellect had been hindered by travel time and geography. This group, eventually being called the Junta, didn’t even realize at the time that they were the most united and intellectually cross-polinated groups in all of human history.

Three years into their research, as the governments of the world were adapting painfully, religions spreading and declining, and innovation snowballing into bipedal robots, non-evasive brain wires for mental imaging, and the Junta’s antigrav plate, the Junta decided they were prepared enough to stop work and leave. And putting the final version of their spaceship plans into the net, their ship lifted out of the hanger nestled in the foot of the mountains and rose towards the unlivable void with Franklin staring out the window.