Written by: Emily Small 07/01/11
Beep Beep Beeeepppppp…. Beep Beep Beeeepppppp….
“Oh dear gods, what the heck is that noise?” the inner voice chimes off inside my head. Attempting to grasp what is going on, I open one eye and lean in the direction that the annoying sound is coming from. Low and behold, the alarm clock; henceforth to be called “The bane of dreamland, the warden of my mornings, the timekeeper that keeps my ass in check.” Joy. I reach over and smack the top of it with my palm. The brilliant person who designed this one made it so that was all you had to do to shut it up. The padded circle on the top when smacked resets that sucker into snooze mode, and allows my world to be silent again… at least for another 7 minutes or so.
I look at the time now. 0603 – the blue LED lights faintly glow in the darkness of my cave like existence. Why the heck had I set the damn thing so early? I mentally shuffle through what I was supposed to do today. Oh yeah, that’s why. Meh. Really not looking forward to this. Don’t get me wrong, it has to be done but yeah.. this is going to be an expensive and painful day. Stretching out my body like a cat, I fully extended my frame, left…. right. Hmmm… feels so good… rolling over, I plant my feet on the cold floor. Why hadn’t I put carpet in here? Oh yeah, this one room shack was supposed to be temporary. I tap the switch next to me, various muted spotlights glow around the room exposing my personal space. Since I was only home at night, I hadn’t really put a whole lot of effort into adding much furniture. Bed, bookcase, an old steam-trunk, a couch, TV and a chair by the small fireplace the place came with was about all I had. Does the television count as furniture? I guess when it covers a whole wall it kind of does.
I had put various pieces of artwork on the walls… Pieces that probably should never hang in the same place, now all combined to make up its visual representation of what my interests are. Three such pieces were the half-dressed Steampunk chick dancing against a dark world framed painting, a Where the Wild Things Are children’s book poster, and an intricately embroidered Victorian tapestry of a naked Eve in front the snake coiled around the tree of knowledge hanging on its ornate pole; to say the least, I’m eclectic. Or is it eccentric? Who knows.
Opening the steam-trunk I pull out my leather skirt and jacket. I drop them on the bed beside me. I slip into a black lace bra and pair of matching panties and pull on some stockings, all before donning the skirt, and then I slide into my favorite pair of knee-high leather moderately heeled boots. I glance into the 6 x 6’ mirror leaning against the wall beside my bed. Hey, don’t judge. A girl likes to watch sometimes. I wave my hand in front of my face, and watch as I shift. Turning to the side I admire the image. Not too bad, but then I notice the black hair. Red again today I think. The image blurs, and there I stand. What was the term? Oh yeah, “hawt.”
It always amazes me how teleports must have changed things. No longer were people bound to the transit systems of the times, nor even to the ground below them. One could set up a skybox in unoccupied space (which normally required you to pay outrageous fees), you would gather the location codes into your memory chip and simply willyourself to go there. Cool right? Amazing . So what is the problem with this? Well, if someone had occupied that space before you, they would have the telemetry to access that location. You know, like, when you aren’t there. Yeah, the security businesses were booming. Monitoring orbs could be set up, and simply read their chips and force them out if they aren’t welcome.
My glorious day job was coding those orbs. People couldn’t seem to grasp them even though the programming seemed laid out. Once in while we’d have a non-chipped person gain access, these were usually some new comer to our world who hadn’t had the correct intake or instruction on propriety. It seems like only the True Believers were the only non-chipped ones who stayed around and even most of them were converts so yeah. Chipped at birth.
Today I wouldn’t be going to work, I had to go collect the update for my shape. I know this sounds bizarre, but I can’t even remember what I was like before the intake and before I made my first shimmer. Intake was what happens when you arrive from Earth or numerous other planets, places or dimensions. Usually it is your essence that arrives in center. These have been converted from whatever form and matter you had before into a digital construction and then transmitted through time and space into our dimension. It sounds all complicated and stuff. But basically … wherever you were before, you weren’t partial to, or you were sent from. Your soul was ripped out, and now you are here.
Doesn’t sound too bad right? Well, lemme tell you, the intake process is a nightmare. You are dazed and confused, trying to figure out where you are, and your “temp” form which is a skin and shape given to every new arrival is less than stellar. This is decided when your essence gets inputted into the transfer portal to be chip installed, there you are given options as to what sex you wish to be, and basically what theme of person you are. Want to be the rocker guy, or maybe the nerd girl? This is all done in the blink of the proverbial eye. These are total gross generalizations of types of people and yeah, kind of all look rather scary in contrast to how you would like to look. When you dislodge from that hell half the time you can’t even recall how to walk with any definition, you are uncoordinated to the point of banging into walls, frustrated and even trying to communicate is disconcerting.
So how does one find their way? Well, the intake offices are supposed to give direction, but most of the time people just bumble along till they figure things out on their own or run into someone willing to help them get acclimated. Finding ones way to new skins, shapes, hair and even code switches that reteach one how to move with any grace at all have to be found and installed into ones chip. We all start out this way, so you figure we’d be … more attuned with others and their needs, but newp… Like in any world, most people are assholes. Sadly, I am one anti-social bitch and usually just ignore everyone around me. Probably why I write code that keeps people the hell away from you and all your crap.
So yeah, today I need to update my shape, I was going to get a new “skin” but ended up finding one in the treasures box that I found the day before. I was grateful the douchebag who tried to gank me, hadn’t ruined its code generator. I input the telemetry on my teleporter and whisk through the mainland centers to the little off the track store I purchased shape from. Try to understand, in a land where you can look any way you wish, its hard to decide exactly what your form should be. These merchants make huge credits designing shapes for the masses that they think look good. They do look good, but then if it’s a popular place, about 800 others have that same look.
So how does one find individuality? You try to find one that allows you to alter their interpretation and make it your own. You could just design one yourself, but I have to tell you, with all the variations of how one can look that is time consuming and honestly, I just don’t wanna.
So here I am, waving my hand over the sensor I add the credits to the store register. They have all my past transactions coded so it’s pretty easy to get updates. This electronica female voice tells me, “Please enter the customization chamber now.” And this would be the painful part, entering the dark chamber the old shape is ripped from my form and the new one firmly planted in. You can do this anywhere really but unless you’re a newbling, one does these things in private.
I exit half stumbling out into the warmly lit room. Kind of Japanese art deco meets Zen spa in appearance. The various shapes they are selling are demonstrated in full color larger than life images plastered on all the walls, with their not included skins and made up all oh so pretty poses. Normally this place is dead quiet minus the gentle trickle of water. This would be one of the main reasons I chose this place because it was so off the beaten path that I hadn’t run into a soul who looked even remotely like me. So yeah, someone was here, and they were being pretty loud.
I wonder why I hadn’t worn any of my weapons as I slip around the corner, and the bizarre humming sound gets louder. A strange glow that sort of reminds me of my alarm’s LEDs dances off the reflective surfaces along the floor. I see this “man” kind of stomping through the men’s quarter aisles, he seems to be looking around as if trying to decide. His feet are apparently the source of the strange and now blinding blue glow and distracting humming sound. He seems to be still sporting the new intake form, a very pale scrawny male figure with bad hair and no real definition. On a normal day this would be one of those someones I would gladly ignore, but he seemed kind of lost, and those feet, why the hell were his feet glowing. I move in closer. “Hello, were you aware your feet are glowing?” Yeah, I’m all about subtle. He laughs and states, “I went to visit this Tron expo and they gave me these shoes that glow and I don’t know how to take them off.” The wonders of newbidom. It’s amazing to me how they can continue to live and procreate. I like his tone though, refreshing really, someone who can just be honest and laugh at themselves. I walk him through the process of how to get them off.
After he’s freed from glorious glowment attachment, he glances around once more. “So which one of these guys would you hang around with?” he asks me. What an odd question. Not really knowing how to respond, I tilt my head. “Which one do you like?” he asks. “I am not going to tell you.” I say simply. I go on with, “picking out ones shape and how one looks should be totally personal. This will probably be your most expensive investment minus your housing and a skin that you will have here. You need to find the you that fits you and how you feel you should be.” I wonder if that just sounded bitchy or if he gets it.
“hmmm, good answer.” He says it kind of sounding like I passed some test he was giving mentally. I ramble on explaining my whole theory on making ones shape more them and how with these from this store, you could edit them to be more an individual. He doesn’t really say much. Just random things that are clever that make me laugh. Weird, cause I should be laughing at how he looks, cause yeah, totally ridiculous. Why am I staying around? What’s the draw?
He seems to like the one I totally would have picked had I allowed myself to, is he a mind reader I wonder. As per the norm of being new, he allows the system to transfer his shape right there in the middle of the store. I moan softly to myself. Well, at least he’s not changing his clothes. His form fades, and shimmers. Wow, even with the bad skin and craptastic clothes, he looks pretty damn good. Too bad he’s bald. I just smile and ask, “Came with a style card huh? Did you wanna look just like the guy in the picture or would you like me to show you a place you can get one that is more unique?” Yeah, I like him.