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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Political suicide

Political suicide  
Bruce foreman looks out the  bulletproof window at the protesters. He didn't know what this lot was protesting about everyday there was a different group of protesters out side. from up on the seventh floor they all look the same. He can't help but fell detached from the rest of the population as he sits in his office protected by armed guards and metal detectors on the front door, CCTV in the corridors and three inches of bulletproof glass. But all that was not going to stop him from dying today. he leaves the window and starts looking through the paper work on his desk. The already heavy work load had recently doubled when the finance minister was found dead in his apartment. Having overdosed on UV42. the united nations parliament was put under increasing pressure. As the wolds newspapers publish photos of the finance minister's flooded apartment. He had been found  laying on the floor in a fort made from the bath room door, the bath tub and the kitchen table. Everything in the apartment had  been taken apart. But the real scandal came two days later when a  man in a cocktail dress was found dead in the air vent. The wold's press had lots of  theories as to what happened in that apartment and lots of questions.
He open a file labeled “proposition to ban UV42” and takes out the last page titled outcome of parliamentary vote he signs the bottom of the page confirming that UV42 was not to be banned. If they had any option he would ban it but it was just too useful. it gave an unlimited supply of clean energy to the solar system. He puts the page back, adds it to the out tray and picks up the next file. “Proposal to unite space programs re-wright 4” He flicked though the page titles regions for rejection initialing each page and signs the last. Only 10 rejection this time. 6 country had handed control of there space programs when the parliamentary UN was formed from the original united nations but other countries was reluctant. Mexico was so against the UN space program they took payment to take 200 civilians to Neptune. knowing the UN would disapprove. when the the Mexican space program come in to financial difficulties Hthey ask the UN for aid. The UN offered to buy out the Mexicans. having expected the UN to offer a lone they looked for another solution and the neptunian forums stepped in. agreeing to buy the helix and 2 communication satellites. So as the UN work to Unite the peoples of the wold a new civilization started to grow at the edge of the solar system.
Bruce work his way through the file 
prosecution to cull doorstep pigeons Rejected
prosecution to catalog all android intelligences Approved
prosecution to dismantle all android intelligences Rejected
proposal for changes to riot act Rejected
proposal for changes to the digital dater act Rejected
and so on about 350 files to be signed. He would usually just get the bare minimum out the way but today he clears his desk. There's a buzz from the intercom “sir do you need me to stay late” he pushes a button on the intercom “not today, oh but can you cancel the cleaner before you go” there's another buzz from the intercom “will do sir” after a bit he herd his pa leave. he gets up and goes to the window the protesters was still outside but fewer in number now. The light quickly vacates the room as the blinds move down over the window his briefcase slams down on his desk next to the empty in tray. Opening it he takes out a file the tittle read “ operation red stone” He has worked hard on operation red stone and knows it would never pass the vote. So he was going to sneak it through. Every one was over loaded with work due to the death of the finance minister but a bigger distraction wouldn't hurt. Out of his briefcase come a small bottle containing a thick black liquid. Bruce had never used a syringe and hesitated before injecting the UV42 in to his vane. The wall around him start to sway as if caught in a sumer breeze bruce refills the syringe from the small bottle and injected  the sand felt good under his feet as he refills once more he stares up at the stars before remembering what he was doing and he injects for the third time. he falls back slowly on to the sand. He sits up and refills again. for the last time the needle slips in to his skin he pushes down on the plunger the needle snaps in his arm as his eye close never to be open again

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

nostalgia train

nostalgia train 
Trench foot's back was killing him he was homeless and had bean sleeping on a sofas in tramps tea room a long with others who's homes was destroyed in the riots. But now he had sold his DJ gear  he had enough money to get off this rock . He was sick of earth and now there was a opportunity to leave. He had herd a rumor that some people in Russia had a warehouse full of otuss and they was giving them away for free. Because they wasn't going to need money in space and it will be essayer to get out past border control if 150 ships make a break for it at once. Trench foot wasn't usually this gun ho but losing his home had pushed him to braking point. The only things the riots had left him was the DJing gear he was using when the riots started. He had just left the train station the ticket was for tomorrow morning so he had a day to get what he needed first stop was the river rat boutique to get some new clothes  
he walks through the river rat boutique past the market stoles to the fitting rooms at the back where the stylists was standing and telling people why to use them rather than the other stylists. one comes up to him “hi sir have you seen my excellent mens ware designs” she points at the photos pinned up out side her fitting room “are you looking for anything in particular” he looks at the photos “yeah, I need just about every thing” she smiled  “i think I can help” the two of them walk round the market picking out material and haggling with the stole holders. When they have what the stylists said was enough material they go back to her fitting room. The fitting room was a prefabricated metal box. The shelves which lined the back of the fitting room was filled with fabric paints, dies stencils and silk screens. Along the edge of the shelves hung various cutting tools and other devices. He stands in the middle of the room and gets measured by the stylist as she tries to make conversation but not very successfully. Its not that Trench foot is unfriendly Its because most of the questions she's asking are about the future and he didn't want to say too much about he up coming trip.
He leaves two hours later with a new wardrobe and a new holdall to carry it all in. He needs to take the weight off his feat so he heads back to tramps.
“Hi Mary, an Irish American thanks” she grabs the pot of coffee “what's with the bag” he looks down at his new holdall “ I'm going traveling” he takes a sip of his coffee “going anywhere nice” he smiled “i hope so” he says as he walks over to a sofa. He drinks his coffee then falls asleep. The sun shining through the big windows wakes Trench foot up. He looks at the clock and rubs his eyes. it was just past two in the morning. He gets another coffee with out the whiskey this time. He drinks it quickly and heads off to the train station. 
He gets to the station and looks up and down the platform at the people with there big bags. He can't help wondering how many heard the same rumor as him. The train move slowly in to the station and everyone gets on and finds somewhere to sit. The train moves out. The trip to russia may take a week depending on if the line is clear. A lot of transport has bead disrupted by the riots. he opens his bag to get out his book. In his bag is a number of items he had not put in there. He takes out a mug with a postet note stuck on it “another one goes for a walk. Hope you like your presents enjoy your trip love the girls from tramps xxxx ” he smiles, Mary had told him how much people nicking mugs piss her boss off. He looks back in to the bag at the three boxes of herbal tea obviously taken from the stock room. Mary must have put them in there when I was asleep he thought. Fore hours later the passengers have got restless and are moving around the train. Trench foot gets up and heads for the dining cart. The dining cart had a row of vending machines at one end and a hand full of  tables. he gets a burger from a vending machine and sits down at the table with the least people round it. The group round the table was exchanging stores. One thing he notice  was no one ask where he was going and he didn't ask them because he didn't want to be asked in return . He looks round the dining cart a tall man is leaning on one of vending machines applying an obscene amount of condiments on to a burger. After the third packet of mustard he sat down next to  trench foot. “Hi” he takes a bite of his burger and a blob of mostly mayo drips to the table. “I'm  Will” the two started to talk. Will was a musician who had traveled round the globe busking from town to town.  Hours later the two was still talking when everyone ells had left the cart.  Will leans in closer “so do you think many of them are going to the same place we are?” Trench foot looks round “how do you know I'm going the same place as you” “because in the years I have been traveling every conversation I have had with strangers on trains has started with, Where are you heading. But all you do is bang on about the past” Trench foot leans in closing the gap between them and they start discussing what no one ells is.
Days past slowly on the train Trench foot spent most of the time talking to will. Mostly talking about space a subject will knew more than most did. This was because his dad was the Theoretical physicist who came up with the hyper light theory. So by the time train arrived in russia Trench foot was confidence he knew everything he would need to now about space. Trench foot and will get off the train and head in the direction of the industrial part of the town. The two of them meander through the street  every so often they turn a corner and spot some one from the train. not wanting it to look like there was following them they turn at the next opportunity. They finely get to otus warehouse and bang on the door. It opens but is stop by a chain a lifeless eye in thick mascara looks at them through the gap “er were here about the em use car” tried Trench foot in a tone of voice which says wink wink nudge nudge “we only have space ships go way” said a pare of dark red lips “let them in” a voice called from in side. The door closed then opens properly. they walk in and are met by two identical gynoids “your lucky it's the last one” one of the gynoids leads them to the last otus they past some people from the train and a group of gynoids. They was relieved to see that it was one of the larger otus they hadn't planed on shearing. A game of rock, paper,sizers dissided that trench foot get the officer quarter. And the two of them unpack.
That night the hole town was woken up by a sky full of otuss as they rush up and out of the atmosphere and helicopters and jets trying to stop them but shooting down would kill thousands on the ground  and so all 150 ships made it out.     

phily rock

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

The uncommon cold

The uncommon cold 
There was voices but they was unclear she had to concentrate on them “is it on?” why cant I see? thought.... thought.. oh whats my name? she thought and WHY CAN'T I SEE? This was troubling “well is it on or not” there was the voices again. “I think so”  who are they and WHY CAN I NOT SEE? “well if its on why don't it do some thing?” what are they talking about and WHY CAN I NOT SEE ANYTHING? “I don't know do I” the voices are so close WHY CAN'T I SEE THEM? “why don't it open its eyes?” thats why I cant see I need to open my eyes. hang on there talking about me. “try tuning it on and off” she sits up then starts to run. Then she falls over. OPEN YOUR EYES! she thought to her self. Three laughing men come in to focus. She jumps up and runs. The men run after her. She burst out of a door and in to the street. Her bear feet pound the pavement. She looks over her shoulder the men are way behind her. She tuns in to an alley and stops behind a bin to try and work out what to do. “bloody hell” a man laying in a doorway is staring wide eyed at her. “why are you staring at me?” the man answered slowly “because your naked” she look down “oh... so I am” a dustcart drives past the end of the alley. The dustcart was followed by five gynoids gathering bin bags and chucking them in the back. Behind the gynoids three police officers caring taser rifles walk slowly making shore no one started any trouble. “here take my coat” he held out his coat from under a dirty brown blanket. She takes the coat and slips it on. “So do you have a name?” “i don't remember. i don't think i do ” the man pulls himself upright. “well how about a AR number”. “a what” “a AR number, Android registration number”  “oh, I'm a Android” “What you didn't  know?” “ it's not that I didn't know, it's just I hadn't thought about it until now” one of the gynoids gathering bin bags walks down the alley and takes hold of the bin. The eye of the two gynoids flash red as they auotermatic check each others harddrives for up dates. “where am I ” says the refuse gynoid as if just waking up from a long sleep. “I think you two should come with me” both gynoid reply simultaneously “why”  he crams his blanket in to a back pack and slips it on. “ because you was just running down the road naked and I just sow you become self aware in a blink of an eye” he look to the end of the alley “ I 'm pretty shore when the cop see two gynoids thinking for there selfs your likely to get dismantled now come on. The three  meander through the alleyways of the city past junkies slumped in doorways dribbling or climbing up drainpipes so they can drain UV42 out of solar panels.
A slit in the door opens and a pare of eyes examine the three standing on the other side of the door, the slit closes and the door opens. Hay Gary I see you got some spare parts for me “oh no doc this is much better then spare parts” the three walk in and doc shuts the door and bolts it. “so what have you got for me” doc says as he starts undoing a button on the coat that covers the gynoid's nudity. Her hand slaps him across his face “ well that don't usely happen” “yes it does but its usely a real girl”  “ok so whats the deal with these two” “there self aware” doc gives Gary a questioning look. “ this one was running around wearing  nothing but a confused look. Then seemed to infect this one” doc walks over to a pile of robotic body parts. A artificial kidney falls to the floor as he lifts up a gynoid head. he sticks his hand up its neck and pushes a cerkit in to place. “ unit 2% operational awaiting orders” says the head in a flat monotone. Doc holds the head up to the two gynoids. All three sets of eyes flash “what's going on, why cant I fill my legs?" Says the head In a panicked voice. “well that is interesting” doc tacks the head over to a work bench with a laptop on it and plugs a cable it to it ear. Gary joins doc and the two gynoids sit down on some sofas around a coffee table with a hand full of old magazines on it. “I think we need names” says the  refuse gynoid “I agree...what do you think of alley” “i like it well what about me” alley pondered this “how about dusty”
doc and Gary look through the head's software “ well it's not a program. Its got in to everything, the only way to get rid of it would be a complete reset” “oi” shouted the head “your not reseting me” “do we really want rid of it?” 
back round the coffee table the gynoids was deep in a philosophical conversation. They had already agreed that there probably is a god or gods and he, she, it, or they is probably an inferior species to humans they came to this conclusion because they know androids were created by humans and they believe androids are superior to humans so it was logical that humans was created by an inferior lifeform. Now they was discussing the meaning of life but is seemed they had insufficient information to come to a conclusion. Doc and garey walk over “we was just wondering if you think  androids need jobs” the two gynoids look at each other “well no we don't need food or shelter so we don't need to earn money” “but they don't earn money any way” “well thats not right” “do you want to help fix that” 
the plan was simple all they needed to do was get close to as many androids they can and infect them. The more they infect the faster the virus will spread
a dustcart moves down a road one of the refuse gynoids picks up a bin bag and flings it in to the back of the dustcart. As the bag moves through the air and lands in the dustcart the gynoid's eyes flash  starting a chain reaction of flashing eyes as the others get close eruth to the first gynoid for the virus to spread. The gynoids stop in there tracks one of them tuns and sees the cops behind them holding there  taser rifles. She screams and starts running the others follow her lead and run off the cops chase after them. Dusty gets out a car park up the road and climes in to the back of the dustcart she opens a binbag and takes out  the head “ Nice job medusa” she gets out the dustcart and gets back in the car “where now” asked medusa “we're going to wait outside a computer factory for a delivery of gynoids to drive right past us”      

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nickabocka glory

Nickabocka glory 

Mike opened his eyes. He was on the floor again, his blanket was damp with sweat. He feels like he  was going to be sick. he Retches but their was nothing in his stomach to bring up.
Tommy lays in his bed listening to his brother retching hoping he will stop but he didn't. Tommy swings his legs out of bed. He steps across his room and opens his top draw. He takes out a small bottle and holds it up to examine the contents. He had been giving Mike half doses to try and make it last. The hospital was not some where he wanted to go right now but this was the last half dose. He put the bottle down and takes out a new syringe.
Mike sits bent double on his bed room floor. Tommy walks in and kneels down by Mike and takes hold of his left arm “you ok Mike?” Mike nods slowly and Tommy pushes the needle in to Mike's arm. As Tommy pushes the plunger. Mike feels the knot in his stomach untie. Tommy pulls out the needle “I'll get you some food” he leaves the room and Mike gets back on his bed and lays down. He stares at the ceiling before closing his eyes and fulling asleep. Mike was addicted to UV42. UV42 is a photo sensitive chemical used in solar panels making them thirty times as effective as previous solar panels. The only problem is it has all the hallmarks of a recreational drug. It's a hallucinogen and it's addictive but uniquely it's was both a upper and a downer, leave it in the sun before taking it would produce a high energy hallucination. one addict once run from Holyhead three quarters of  the way to Dublin probably believing he was the Dublin to London express, before being hit by the real Dublin to London express. If you leave the UV42 in a dark draw before taking it you will happily lay in the medal of a motorway thinking your on a sunny beach, and like all recreational drugs it kills you. Mike didn't think he was on a beach he was painfully in touch with reality. He had been on the program for fore weeks. Fore weeks since he had his infected arm cut off and replaced with a robotic Prosthetic. Tommy comes in to Mike's room “hay Mike foods ready” Mike opens his eyes and sits up “thanks” Mike takes the tray from his brother and starts to slurp the pigeon soup. “I have to go to the hospital. you want to come” Mike looks up from his soup “yeah, I want to try out Alibi.” “ok, finish your soup up then and get ready” Tommy leaves the room and Mike takes his laptop from the bed side table, opens it and press the power button. He finishes his soup as the computer boots up.
The two brother walk out of the high rise building and head over to tommy's ice cream van. Tommy ice cream van was clearly tree welled together most people try to cover up the fact they drive a cut and shut but Tommy had painted each section a different color making his van look like it was carved out ice cream. Tommy got in to the driving seat and Mike got in the back. Mike gets his laptop out of his bag and puts it down on the freezer and opens it a message on the screen said Alibi is recording. 
9 weeks earlier Mike had started a new job at Effecter PLC in the IT deportment. Effecter  is a life security company. A company which sell you a insurance policy then dos all it can to make sure you don't need to claim, mobile CCTV cameras, bounty hunters,an army of lawyer and privet detectives. As well as the high cots of the insurance policy life security companys make money by sharing information with the police, tracking down known criminals and claiming the rewards. Mike was meant to be updating the home security up link. The up link collected the dater from home security systems so if an alarm went off Effecter can call the police and if a policy holder claims for a brake in Effecter can check if the alarm was turned off at the time, if so the pay out would be canceled. Mike couldn't help himself. He hacked in to the restricted files and that is when he found it a files full of edited videos. Effecter had bean editing the videos they shared with the police. two days later a square envelop come through Mike's door in it was a dvd. he Puts on the dvd, it was footage from the CCTV outside the Effecter building. Protesters much up and down slowly the protesters drift away as the sunlight fades this was the day  after Mike's interview the same day human rights protesters set off a bomb. Mike apeerd  on the screen he walked along the pavement put some thing in the bin and walks into the building. Mike  had a bad feeling he knew what was going to happen. five minutes later the bin exploded. Mike was being set up Effecter had edited him in to the videos, but had the police been given the videos or was this just a warning to keep him quiet?. 
Mike sits in the back of his bothers ice cream van as it makes it way to the hospital. Mike's eyes are fixed on the screen. he never was arrested but he became increasingly paranoid and to escape reality Mike turned to UV42 which in the long run didn't help the paranoia. it was that paranoia that prompted him to start work on Alibi. Alibi was a program which eavesdrops on CCTV cameras as you pass them and recodes from the feed. But he didn't get very far with it till his arm got infected and Tommy took him to hospital. Now Alibi was complete no longer will the eye in the sky be the tool of  the rich and powerful. All Mike had to do now was to get Alibi to the people, but how? The ice cream van move slowly through the streets past burned out cars. at least the rioters had moved on. They turn a corner a wall of police block the road to the hospital. They stop the van in front of the heavily armed police. A police officer and a doctor walk up to the van. “emergences only” Tommy looks back at his brother. Mike was shaking uncontrollably “my brother needs his prescription” the doctor looks in to the back of the van “let see it, and Id for both of you” Tommy hands over the prescription and id “ok go through” the doctor hands them back . 
Tommy helps Mike through the door and up to the desk  nurse.Tommy gives her the prescription and id. she taps away at the computer “Ok we need to give you a blood test an a check up. You can weight in cubical five”Tommy takes Mike to the cubical. Mike looks round doctors walk up and down looking at there ClickBoards, Hand hold computers link to the GHS network. “can you pull the curtains” Tommy nods and pulls the curtains. Mike gets his laptop out and starts click with his right hand the only part of him not shaking. He found it hard to believe just how easy it was to get in to the GHS network. it took some time to find what he wanted the e-mail databases for the numerous newsletters. He opens a new message typed a short message and attached Alibi. Mike sent the e-mail to as many mailing lists as he can. picking out the ones most likely to contain people from the under class. 
In a bedsit a man with scars from back street doctors over his body opens an email from the GHS narcotics support group the message reads. everyone is watching you now you can do the same. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A fist full of euros

A fist full of euros 
The helix sits in orbit round Neptune, An otus moves slowly round it and down to Neptune. The otus hovers above a set of still doors. They open and the otus moves into an antechamber. The door above the otus shuts, after a pause the door below opens. 
As the otus lands in Neptune city a small crowd gathers. This was not one of  the Neptunian fleet. This was the otus alius. The Neptunian fleet was made up of older model otus, scops & sunias mostly. The door opens and Kevin Colman appears from behind it. He steps out slowly as if unsure if the ground would take his weight. The Neptunians shift towards him as He jumps up and down. “Its clever that” said Kevin punting at the ground “who are you” asks a middle aged man in the crowd “I’m Kevin am, here to trade” the crowd stair at Kevin he twitches uncomfortably as he tried to think of what to say. “take me to your leader”a wide grin grows on his face. “I'll take him” the middle aged man gestures for Kevin to follow him. Kevin looks around as he walks through the city if you can call it a city most of the buildings are obviously temporary. The only permanent building was the enormous clock tower in the centre of the city. They approach a group of prefabricated huts. This was the nerve centre of the city. People move from hut to hut on important jobs. They come to a large hut, and go in without knocking.
“so who are you” said the prime minster without waiting for the door to close. In the corner was a monitor showing a live feed from the air lock, the only way in and out of the metal and glass star shape habitat chamber that shields the city. “I'm Kevin I'm here to do some business” the prime minster looked up from his desk. “so your under the impression were all stinking rich up here. Well I got news for you. All the money we earn from the research bases gets spent on keeping that ground your standing on from sinking in to a sea of liquid ice.” Kevin sits down on the seat opposite the prime minster and puts his feat up on his desk “oh I know that”
the crust of Neptune was man made and floated on a see of super chilled liquid gas. At the moment it was barely started and it need constant monitoring to keep it a float. But work on the crust was being slowed down by the poor quality of the ground. Nothing would grow on Neptune. So money and man power had to be spent on importing food from earth.
Dennis drives the forklift up to the glass horse and moves the fork under the wooden pallet the horse is strap to. It was Dennis's holiday he had two weeks off from his work on  Triton so he can help out on Neptune. He keeps looking over at the pm's hut as he loads the sculpture on to a flat bed truck. He wanted to stay and find out who this stranger was but he had to take the sculpture to Trinity Point. Trinity Point was one of the ten points of the star of Neptune city. Seven of the points are farm land the other three are the research bases. Dennis started up the truck and it move silently across the city kicking up dust as it went. He parks the truck by a triangular plinth lined up with the glass walls of the habitat chamber. Six men standing by the plinth move to the back of the truck and drop the tailgate. Dennis gets out joins the six men. Tree of them get on the back and push the glass sculpture as Dennis and the others pull. the ten neptunian horses was made on the Helix on the long journey from earth. They had got the material from asteroids pulled along by the forces created by the movement of the giant research ship. Once they got to Neptune the asteroids was used to start the construction of the crust. Having delivered the sculpture Dennis gets back in the truck and drives to get the next sculpture. Dennis pulls up next to the eight remaining sculptures. He gets out the truck and started up the forklift. As he was about to load a brass horse on to the truck the prime minster and Kevin leave the pm's hut. “Don't put that on there, we're going to need you and that truck”called out the pm. 
“So who is he and what does he want”Dennis drives the truck with the pm in the passenger seat and Kevin seating  on the back. “he's a rock hopper and he said he can get the crop to grow” Dennis look back out the rear widow at Kevin how was picking dirt out of his long matted hair. “Do you trust him” the pm exhaled “I think we have to. No ships have left earth since the riot begun” the truck pulled up next to Kevin's otus “and what does he want in return” “the rock hoppers want to start a new Colony in the kuiper belt and to do that they need a ship, the Helix” the tree men step in to the otus. Dennis and the pm look round the otus. It is pack with plants and trees. “all this was grown on asteroids, I dont think there is anywhere they wont grow” Kevin declared “and this”Kevin rest hand on a barrow full of seeds “this will grow in to the best wheat the solar system has ever or will ever see and it can all be yours for the small small price of a interstellar research ship. Do we have a deal ” Kevin look at the pm “i think we do but you don't get the ship till we see a crop ” 
four months later Kevin dances round the cockpit of the Helix as the Neptunians below bring in there first crop.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Decerday night is all right for fighting


Decerday night is all right for fighting  
Elizabeth Sullivan stumbles out of bed and over to the curtains. As she opens them the sun comes bursting into her bed sit. The light is bounced round the room by the foil on the wall behind a wooden trellis, up which numerous plants grow. She gets ready for work, grabs a hand full of grapes off the vine by the door and heads off.
Elizabeth walks into tramps tea room by the back door and takes her apron from its hook. The first band was just going on as she takes her place behind the bar. The tea room is quiet, only the bands and their hangers on, there for the open mic night. There are more people in the car parks of the nearby industrial estate protesting about the lay offs at many of the factories. a guy with a very tight perm and tighter jeans comes to the bar. “I’ll have a Russian thanks” Elizabeth smiles, turns and starts making the drink. “what do you think of the band” says the guy as she adds the vodka to his tea. “not bad. That’s 1.40” he hands over some coins. “do you want to book them for the tea dance, I’m there manager”  “really, wow” he failed to hear the sarcasm in her voice. “yeah, the lead singer is my baby brother. I took him under my wing, taught him all I know” there was a long pause. “well we have booked the bands for the next few weeks” “oh …ok” he muttered, then goes back to his seat. The band on stage was a 3 piece scrounge band. scrounge music is identified by its make-do instruments, often cannibalizing other instruments or replacing broken parts with household items. For example, the boys on stage are using leather cut from the back of a second hand sofa for the skin on the kick drum and have cello strings on their guitar. This means that the sound of a band can change dramatically from gig to gig depending on the wear and tear of the instruments. Scrounge started when government funding for the arts was cut to help pay for space exploration. This hit the small cover bands first, so at the birth of scrounge most of the songs were cover versions often adapted to fit the new metric calendar. Soon the financial problems hit all parts of the music industry. This created an almost infinite number of scrounge sub-genres.
Mary sides up to Elizabeth “hay Liz check out that bloke’s hair” 
“I’ve seen it”
“do you think he’ll pose for a photo with our mop, they’d look like twins!” Mary skips of to the other end of the bar to serve a customer. 
As the band finishes a factory worker comes in and orders 6 Irish and 4 Russian teas to go. Elizabeth gets to work making the drinks. Mary floats over and leans on the counter “hey, what's all this protesting about?” 
“their planning to replace 60% of us” replies the worker trying not to look down Mary’s top “Androids ?” asks Mary
“gynoids actually”
Elizabeth turns round and puts 2 cardboard drink holders containing 10 paper cups on the counter “why gynoids?”  
“eye candy for the CEOs”
“that can’t be true” exclaims Elizabeth
“oh it is” claims Mary “there’s a car factory where all the gynoids have black hair with permanent gothic makeup because thats what turns the owner on”
the worker pays for the drinks and leaves. The next band now on stage set up as 2 police cars speed past out side. DJ trench foot takes off his headphones and heads to the bar “hay it’s Elizabeth isn’t it”  “yeah, but Liz will do” she hoped he wasn’t going to ask for Mary’s number. “you DJed last night for the Tramps tea dance”  
“yeah” replied Elizabeth “you don’t know where I can get another gramophone” 
“why, what’s up with yours?” trench foot leans in “I want to try this thing I saw DJ slipped disc do at Glastonbury,  merge 2 gramophones so you can play 2 tracks from the same record simultaneously. Then you use a mute to alter the sound.” Elizabeth thought about it for a bit “there are a some junk shops behind the tube station, that’s where I got my cassette decks”  trench foot smiled “ thanks” then he looks in Mary’s direction “ is she single ?”  suddenly there was a loud bang which shook the tea room. Everyone move to the front of the room to peer out the window or hang out the door. Down the road black smoke pours out a truck as the sound of  braking glass and sirens fill the street. It soon becomes obvious the noise was coming their way. “ok everyone we’re having a lock in” yelled Elizabeth trying to pull people back in. Mary got the keys out and pushed a button on the key fob the shutters start moving down. Some of the customers duck under the descending shutters and run down the road. The shutters meet the floor, all the lock click shut and a box with a keypad by the door bleeps twice. Elizabeth types in a code to stop the alarm going off. Mary runs to the TV bracketed to the wall and puts on the news channel. A film from a helicopter of the burning truck  plays as a reporter  tells of how a riot had began when the driver delivering the new gynoid workers stopped outside the industrial estate and torched the truck. The occupants of the tea room sit and watch the tv and drink tea as more and more people round the world start to riot. The news shows an image of the earth from the moon's main telescope. Small gray spots of smoke can be seen on the blue orb of earth making this the first riot visible from space

Friday, 10 December 2010

Rock hopping

Rock hopping 
Arthur Foss sits in Tramps Tea Room drinking a mug of the franchise’s nettle tea. He looks round the room. Most of the tables are surrounded by people talking. Some complain about the lay off at the Otus factory, others discussing the best way to grow potatoes in a bed sit. A group of large men dress in high visibility boiler suits rolls in and up to the bar. 4 of the 5 men order their Irish teas to go then leave. The other orders a sandwich with his tea and carries them to where Arthur is sat. he sits next to him. “you got it ?” Arthur nods and puts his hand in his dirty brown draw string bag “not ear” grunts an oil stained Phil as he biting his sandwich. “Got all you need for your little trip?” 
“I  think so” mumbles Arthur. “right” Phil  bites the sandwich followed straight away by a huge gulp of tea “lets go” Arthur drains his mug of tea and slips it in to his bag where it hits another. As they walk down the road Arthur looks at his feet in their sandals made from recycled tyres. Then he looks at Phil’s massive leather boot with steel toecaps. The roads round the industrial estate were empty. He was all alone with a man who had boasted about kicking a gynoid’s face in the last time they had met. Why he felt the need to remove a female android’s teeth with his boot was never made clear and Arthur wasn’t going to ask.
 They walk into a colossal warehouse 30 Otuss half fill it “which one?” inquires Arthur “dat one. Its all set up for you” Phil pulled  out a key card from his boiler suit, opens the Otus and they go inside. “2 padded fold out benches for all your sitting and sleeping needs” Phil pulls the bench in to bed mode and back. “over ear is your compact cooking unit” Arthur looks at the small kitchen with a door one end. “but till you get to the belt you will be sleeping here” Phil lifts up a floor panel with 2 bolts on the underside. Arthur takes an envelope out his bag and gives it to Phil then slides his bag under the floor.
The Otus jerked waking Arthur up. the engine noise dropped then stopped leaving the hum of the energy supply. Arthur puts his ear up to the floor, foot steps move across it. When the hum stops he undoes the bolts and lifts the panel. he Takes a worms eye look at his new home before standing up and stepping back to floor level. it will be about 3 weeks till he can leave and start looking for the rock hoppers. The rock hoppers are a group of hippies who have given up on mother earth and now live in the asteroid belt. They farm the asteroid growing crops in wedge shaped habitat chambers.
Arthur wakes up after his 29th night sleeping under the floor. His back was killing him. He undoes the bolts and pulls himself up. he walks painfully through the kitchen to the door. he slides it open steps in to the cockpit and drops in to the drive seat. Looks at the controls takes a deep breath and flick the power switch. The controls light up. Arthur starts tapping in a code he had paid a lot for. emergency code 79/b will open the hanger door but lock all the internal doors of the ship. He presses transmit, the hanger door opens. as soon as the door starts to open he pilots the Otus straight at the door and out in to the asteroid belt. He heads for the nearest cluster of asteroids, lands and puts the Otus on emergency power. The Otus was now invisible to its mother ship. He keeps his eyes on the radar for a bit then went back into the living section. He pulls his bag out from under the floor past the empty food cans. He takes out his 100% hemp poncho and chucks it in the storage space under one of the padded benches with the vacuum packed shrink rapped polyester bedding. Then he takes out 2 Tramps Tea mugs gives them a bit of a wash and puts them the kitchen cupboard with vacuum packed shrink rapped rations packs. he looks at his now empty bag and says to himself “I hate unpacking, man it's like a total hassle”
Arthur sits in the drive seat with his bare feet up on the controls. The auto pilot moves the Otus though the belt as Arthur drinks his instant mushroom cupper soup with added vitamins. It had been 9 weeks since he left earth. 9 weeks with no music, no books and no nettle tea. A small blip appears on the edge of the radar then 2 more then 5 more Arthur stared in amazement as The Otus moved closer to the wedge shaped of metal and glass each setting on there own asteroid. A big grin rips across his face. he has made it 

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

confusing times

Confusing times. 
As life from earth overflows a simple question gets very complex. 
What is the time?
Denis is in London and the time is 11:15am he walks through a doorway and its now 7:15pm because the shuttle he had just got on was made in Hong Kong. ship time is always the same time as were the ship was built. The shuttle was taking him to the research ship The Helix which was built in Mexico so after the 6 hour shuttle flight the time will be 11:15am. Denis is on the way to Triton. But he has a lot of work to do on the way analysing the data from the super computers already on Neptune and Triton. Not everyone on The Helix is there to do research. for the first time 200 civilians are going to Neptune to set up home. Denis is hoping to do the same so as well as his heavy work schedule he will try to get to as many neptunian forums as he can. 

It was 9am ship time and Denis joins the back of the crowd entering the conference hall. he has been up all night exchanging data with the Australasian research bass on Phoebe. Where the time is now 1am yesterday. A big screen filled the wall at the front of the hall with three words on it •name• currency• time  This is the agenda of the first Neptunian forum the first two are straight forward. The newspapers started calling it Neptune city when the third research bass was built and most of the migrants are European so the euro is a dead cert. Time on the other hand is a bit harder. The three basis run on French, US and Russian time but A neptunian day is only 16.11 hours long. Denis in his sleep starved state was the only one to come up with a logical answer. “why don’t we make it the same time everywhere”

The Neptunian forum put their proposal to the UN who turn it down for 2 reasons. Neptune was not in the UN and because they don’t care if the weirdoes who choose to live on Neptune need three watches. But the scientific community supported Neptunians. Soon everyone outside Earth’s atmosphere agree to run on metric time. It only takes 1 metric year for Earth to give up and full inline with the solar system. New calendars without December and January are printed and a record number of clocks are sold. 
100th of November 0002. billions of faces stare at the time. A simultaneous cheer rings through the solar system As the clocks strikes 10.