Well, the year is 2084, the day marking my 13th gen to be exact; I am 13, turned 13 today. I know that sounds funny; I certainly look older. Actually it is my 13th year after reprog, whatever difference that makes.

I had just eased back into my kline. That last word is pronounced like it sounds, except the last vowel is pronounced like a ‘y’. Still, it is an amazing chair that automatically senses the position I want, and instantly moves, adapts to support my body in that position, sitting or sleeping. It uses things called movable force panels. They hold me up without touching me; whatever it is you can’t see anything! There is nothing under me but a small, padded box some distance below me, resting on the floor. I don’t understand exactly how it works. All I know is that it is very comfortable. I can select a preset or just move the way I want to be, and my kline moves those invisible panels to comfortably hold me up. And, since nothing actually touches me, the air flowing slowly around me… It is just very comfortable. I was sitting mostly upright at the time.

Actually, I was trying to decide what to do next. I had just finished a long and complex ergos. That refers to the work I do during the day. I do most of my ergos from my ergon, which refers to my work room, along with the equipment I use in there, a large vid, keyboard and such. Meeting with others in the brotherhood; I always do all of that from my ergon, the vid in there. I sit in a different type of kline in my ergon. It keeps me mostly sitting upright, and is not near as comfortable. But I need to be sitting up and alert for my ergos.

And there seem to be quite a few options available for how members of the brotherhood can spend the rest of their day after their ergos is done. There are a lot of old vid segments to watch, and I mean a lot. Most are many decades old. Even if the plot of the stories is half-way serious, their way of living is just so different from ours. It is hard not to laugh! There is also plenty of more recent brotherhood sessions available for viewing. It is not as limited as it sounds; there are a lot of different tastes among the brotherhood, and you can just about pick what you like, and learn more about life. I used to watch them, but I think I have seen many of them, more than once. Well the continuously updated portion of the brotherhood programming, exploring the latest trend or wrinkle, some follow that carefully! And each of us has at least one vid, and vid-visits with friends, even if they live far away, is very common. And there are so many in the brotherhood that you can easily make new friends that way too, and never need to get up out of your kline. I know others of the brotherhood that try to sleep extra after their ergos. But kids especially, many in the brotherhood actually talk to friends and such, late into the evening. Every vid supports up to 8 streams, and most have 2 or more vids. Well, you get the picture. Oops, that wasn’t supposed to be a joke! Well, it is easy to get a room full of interaction all from the comfort of your own kline. And when you think you have had enough for one evening, you just turn your vid off! I think a lot of the brotherhood spend their evenings like that. Well, I deal with the brotherhood all day for my ergos, so maybe I get enough of that.

Last night after I finished my ergos, I worked on my project. Well, it is an old personal transport vehicle, named after a four-legged farm animal of all things. Nobody drives, and so we don’t even need transports. There is no place to drive them anyway, besides a huge open space down below. But some of the brotherhood still like them. My project goes like this. I know all the pieces that need to be used to make the transport. One piece at a time, I carefully work on trying to specify chemical composition, then the exact manufacturing steps for that piece. It is often trial and error. But when I get those two steps done for one piece, the vid, really the system, will analyze the result and tell me whether or not that part fits, holds up, is correct. It also records the exact process I specified to make it, if it is right. Well, my project is to work through that entire process for every one of the 2,000 or so parts that are required for that transport. Then I need to work through the actual assembly order, working up the right tools and such.  I am nowhere near that far along; it really is a big project! The starting view is something called an exploded view showing every single piece on that transport. I really like looking at that sea of random parts, connecting everything together in my head, seeing how various sub-assemblies would look. That is just a lot of fun to me. I can actually build the whole thing, visualize the whole thing in my head, I don’t know. That project, for me, is both relaxation and fun. Well, it is something different to do, anyway. I think my brain is pretty tired after my ergos.

And once the entire project is done, a big machine somewhere can use all my completed manufacturing steps, assembly steps, and actually build that transport. There are those that have the RUs (resource units) to do that, and they will reward me nicely (in RUs) for access to my plans. Few in the brotherhood have the RUs to build a whole transport, or other large item though, much less drive one around. I certainly don’t, but that isn’t why I am doing it. It is just fun. And this whole process, that is what some of the brotherhood actually do for their ergos, their work. They usually do the production process for much smaller objects. Sitting in front of a vid in your doma (the name for the collection of rooms where you live, taken from some ancient word, I read), there are a lot of ways to make RUs. And after making enough RUs, some can actually afford to purchase the raw materials, use their build steps, and make the finished product themselves, then sell it back to the system, or to others in the brotherhood if there is interest. Expendable items that keep everything running, the system will pay you for them (in RUs of course), then use what you supply. But you need to have the RUs to invest in the material first. And, if you want, the system will pay you to actually manipulate, use your vid and keyboard to perform and control the assembly process to build a simple plastic bin, or whatever else the system wants built. Just about anyone can make a small amount of RUs from their kline, enough to pay for their doma, anyway.

For me, well I guess I really enjoy helping other people, others of the brotherhood. I don’t mind that being my egros, and I make RUs doing what I enjoy. I sense that is rather rare here. Well, working with the brotherhood, that can be pretty hard. I do feel sometimes like I deal with the same problems over and over again, and often with the same individuals, maybe. Help session connections are supposed to be randomly placed. Still, I wonder sometimes. But I actually like the challenge, trying to find, unravel the latest turn in a particular problem, relationship, issue or whatever. Helping people in the brotherhood get along, and at least accept their lives, that seems like a never-ending task. I like doing that! Of course I often have on-vid resources as I try to help the brotherhood with whatever is concerning them. It is all done over vid anyway, and computers constantly monitor everything, everyone. For me, the computers, the system can post some suggestions on my vid, which only I can see, of course. Sometimes they help. Other times, I just have to rely on my experience, my intuition. But I am here to help them. That part of my ergos I like. Working with the Echelon, of which I am a small and lowly part, that is a little more difficult. Those above me don’t always go according to either the computer suggestions, or what is plainly good sense.

Well, I need to be careful about even thinking stuff like that. Every doma, and I mean every doma everywhere has a Serve Box that constantly monitors emotional state, words, actions, etc., in everyone in that doma. Serve is actually short for Observe, and sounds nicer than it is. Oops, that’s two opinions. I need to be more careful.

Still, after a taxing ergos, after a bunch of brotherhood sessions, then a more difficult but thankfully shorter time dealing with the Echelon, I was done with my ergos and ready to relax. My not ergos kline is the best place for that. And I can select a few saved presets. I did that, and just sank in. And this kline has no vid near. After viewing a vid all ergos, I usually need the break. The only vid on was a smaller one across the room, showing brotherhood news I think, and I wasn’t even paying attention. I had been staring into my vid all day.

My daughter Violet ran over and jumped into my lap soon after I sat down. She is 5, and my kline automatically adjusted, both to her motion and added weight. Violet enjoys jumping like that, and was counting on my lap and the kline to catch her. She always laughs loudly. I keep telling her some day she will be big enough to break my kline. She laughs at that, too. For now, it is a bit of fun we can enjoy together. We hugged briefly, then I asked her about her day. She told me about some of the new words she had learned, and that she hated her math teaching algorithm. I smiled, then reminded Violet that the algorithm was specifically selected to match her mental functioning. Violet rolled her eyes, and said “mental functioning” along with me, but added a slight sneer. I think the Serve Box is a little more lenient with children. We both laughed together, then Violet eased back and rested on my chest as I hugged her.

“Daddy, what do you do all day?” she asked slowly. I think she knew, but maybe she was ready for a little more information.

“Violet, I am a Minister. I help the brotherhood get along. I also help them more fully embrace the basics of the brotherhood.” I stopped there, because I knew Violet would pick up there. She was taught this in all her instructional streams.

“One world, one love, and many perspectives” Violet said proudly.

I smiled and hugged her again. “Good girl!” I said, clearly happy with her attitude about such an important, basic truth. Well, the important phrase is “One world”, or “hen gase”, the official name for the brotherhood, which just means “one world” in some archaic language. And that’s the only bit of archaic language I need to know! And no, I spelled everything correctly. All lower case is used to signify that every member of the brotherhood, which is everyone living in hen gase, we are all equal; none are more valuable or important than anyone else. Well, within the ranks of the Echelon, that is clearly… nevermind…

But I guess Violet was not through. “And we learned today that all we need is ourselves! We don’t need help otherwise, except from the Echelon.” Violet thought a minute. Then she added “But that’s what you do daddy, right? You help others when they need a little extra help.”

This was a question, and I smiled at her depth of understanding. “Each person in hen gase has all they need. Sometimes, they just needed a little gentle reminding.” I said this, then smiled. “And yes, that’s where I come in.”

I think our teachable moment together was done. Violet jumped out of my lap as she said excitedly “Amy and Gem are waiting. I am trying to help them!” Then she ran into her small, dimly lit room to the left, jumped back into her own kline, and was instantly back in front of her 3 Vids. One was for her instructional streams, and the other two were for chatting with her friends. She quickly resumed Vid connections with 6 or 7 other kids around her age. I think she had already done her exercise slot.

But her last comment, that made me smile. Violet was trying to help her friends, just like I do a bunch of each day. Well, when I selected Violet, when I selected the Chrome String for her very being before she was born, I had specifically included an emphasis on that. Helping others is a personal preference of mine, and I was just delighted to now see Violet following the same path, even in such a small way. Of course, I had no way of knowing if she would stick with it. As a parent, I can only hope. Nothing has changed that. With so many others impacting Violet through her vids, it is just too hard to predict. I would have to wait and see. That didn’t stop me from hoping.

I sighed. Having Violet really was a nice change in my life. I think I really needed her. I made that decision because system suggestions about… Well, by myself, I just felt… solitary. As a Minister, I am around the brotherhood (well, via vid) all day, and occasionally actually attending meetings (with Echelon though). Still, I just felt… The pathing algorithms came up with having a child as a suggestion, and that sounded nice to me. It has been very rewarding.

And I don’t need a pairing to do any of that; it is all automatic. I guess somewhere, there is this huge collection of the two pieces (seeds) necessary to start a baby growing. Some machine somewhere, takes my selected Chrome String, brings the two seeds together, adjusts everything to match the Chrome String I chose, and the baby is born! The same automation keeps everything going until the baby is ready for me. Well, I also contributed more to that seed collection; that is all part of the arrangement. I selected the Chrome String for my daughter, and the system did the rest. A year later, I went to the local birth office (one of the bottom floors), and picked Violet up, a year since the two seeds were put together. She was a baby, of course. And I fell in love with my daughter right away. Well, she does have my eye color (blue), and I carefully selected her hair color (blond) just because I like that. I doubt this will ever happen, but should I ever decide on posting for a temporary pairing, I wouldn’t mind a woman with blond hair.

And the name Violet… The system reviewed the Chrome String I had selected, and suggested a name starting with “V”. Violet was the first word I thought of.

And women can and do have sons or daughters too, and it follows the same process. And the instructional vid streams for each child adjusts to whether they are daughters or sons. That part is almost as automatic as the feeding and cleaning equipment for babies.

Well, sometimes us grown-ups just need ‘release’ (a fairly prominent pathing suggestion), and there is highly automated equipment for that, too. It is just a part of life, I think. The equipment takes care of the necessary manipulations, and you can select from a wide range of visuals if you want them to be a part of the process. And seeds for making new babies are collected as a result. So, I am contributing to the brotherhood when I do that. Well, I’ve only done that occasionally, very occasionally. I hear at first the equipment was used constantly. Now however, it seems to be just an occasional thing, from the brotherhood that I am familiar with, anyway. You actually need to leave your doma to do that. Few do that unless they absolutely have to. But still, I can take care of all of that… I don’t need a pairing at all, and really don’t feel that inclination.

Well, some still cling to the old approach, permanent pairing and such, doing everything together, always staying together. It is not yet prohibited, but I hear that might be in the works. Well, these PP couples, they are some of the brotherhood that I spend a LOT of time with. Things can just get pretty complicated. But I actually enjoy trying to understand the latest blow-up; who did what, and how it affected both. But still, independence seems to be a lot easier to manage from what I have seen. And not having to worry about what another person close-by might think, or how I make them feel, I think that might make me more relaxed.

Well, Violet is different, but in a lot of ways, she is programmed to be like me; I picked out her Chrome String! She is my daughter, and we get along fine. She spends most of her time in her room in front of her Vids anyway, and when we do spend time together, it is always brief, but fun. I am really glad I had her.

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1. 2084 hen gase is copyright 2017 by Shysage.

 

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