Iconoclasm, A Science Fiction Story

November 25, 2009

Iconoclasm, by Adrian Perez

In white robes, creased with grease and dirt, Samuel climbed into the cockpit of his translator. It lifted off the ground and out of the Lab’s garage. He set it flying in a continuous loop around the planet. The dim whirring of the engine filled the cabin.

The white noise lulled Samuel to sleep. He drifted out into a world of dreams. They were going to expel Samuel from the Lab. He had lost what he thought was an impregnable tenure there. He was not sure what he was going to do.

All of sudden the translator’s engine blew out and the suspension field faded. He erupted awake and crazily started to hit every inert button on the control panel. There was no power in the craft at all. Samuel was amazed. He had never been in a failed translator. As a mass-produced form of transportation, a translator never failed.

It was okay with Samuel, he did not care about much anymore, especially himself. This was way better than languishing or having to kill himself.

A buzzer turned on and Samuel awoke in the Practice Hall. He was not plummeting to the ground like his dream had promised. It was worse, he was sleeping in an empty classroom, aware that his tenure at the Lab was in fact over.

Samuel’s creativity was failing him. He had never been any good at action, or asking for help. Given the option to read books forever and write down ideas in a note application, he would gladly have taken it.

That’s why he had pursued the Lab so vigorously. All over the world, in the vast sea of poverty, a declining middle class was pouring all of its resources into life-rafting its children in Lab corporations. These companies were the only ones with enough agglomerated resources to offer a life of any stability.

And stability was in high demand these days. Over the past ten years, three nuclear weapons had been used on cities.

Samuel did not know that he had been heading toward prosperity when an off-chance burst of enthusiasm and hard work created a company that one of the Labs wanted to snap up.

Suddenly he was in a world of protected neighborhoods with quality-guaranteed water. Women looked at him differently now that he carried the Lab robes.

Still, Samuel was still never able to manage his sense of general malaise. He had tried everything. A non-stigmatized psychiatric effort. A bout of religion. The exhilaration of love.

He could see it in everyone’s eyes at the Lab too. He was just a forerunner example of what everyone was feeling. This state they were living in was going down the tubes. And it would reach equilibrium without incorporating their welfare.

Some of Samuel’s colleagues joked that the Internet would save them. That if the combination of all of us using the Net seemed to be resulting in a rerouting around damage, then perhaps the Internet would help itself reroute around the broken system that seemed to enclose it.

Samuel rolled off the desk he was sleeping on. He slugged to the translator garage. Maybe his dream was a premonition.

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