The New Magnet School
I fear a future of silence. When I see our children in distress, I note more than anything else the unwillingness to communicate-- the downcast eyes, the small gestural responses, the tiny voices heard only if summarily called upon as final necessity. These are the soft-shelled hermit crabs scuttling backwards for a borrowed place to huddle. Why huddle? To better take Orders, because doing what is told is "comfortable." Silence allows for that smooth glide through Society. The slide that leaves a residue behind of unintended Consequence for which we in our safe-cased anonymity cease to feel responsible. I used to fear a Global Myopia, but now there is Lasik for that; So maybe the boys-in-the-back are already working on something to make the tongue automatically wag?
"Open wide. Wider," he leaned in, those small dual jeweler-like magnifier dental loupes making him look bug eyed and hypercritical, "A little wider, wider," there! he popped in a bite block as a precaution, lest I renege on my release statement and swallow a finger. Unintentionally, of course.
I had curtly dared asked, "Will it hurt?" And he had said, only a little. After a while.
By now I was so swelled up from the horse-dose of local anesthesia that I wasn't sure if there even was enough space around my tongue to continue with the procedure. I was convinced that the already weak natural apparatus for speaking would never again function on its own. This operation was taking on all the more importance. To be honest my brain was feeling the brunt of the lidocaine, and thoughts were thick and heavy. When the Orthodontist motioned to his assistant for a wad of gauze, and then another, and yet another, all quickly drenched in blood, I was ill equipped to respond.
Recognizing only that I was being spoken to, I nodded slowly, automatically, with all appearance of self-assurance, to the unrecognized question that "Yes," I was perfectly "all right." Though that ought to have been questionable from the beginning...
The surgeon had just inserted the major metal plate behind my palette and was now injecting small pellets of nickel into critical points of the epiglottis and superior longitudinal muscle. The projection of magnetic fields from the Operation Tower would trigger precise up and down movement in such ways as to choreograph speech patterns. According to the projected theory, all I, or any subject, would need to do, is breath-- and the desired sounds would be emitted.
It was a test procedure of course, and I was being compensated for my time--- automatic parole on success of the operation.
'Magnetic illusion' can create magnetic fields at a distance – Physics World
Humanity: Time for an Upgrade
The end of humanity's domination of Earth didn't take place due to a mass extinction event, war, zombie apocalypse, plague, or even alien invaders. Nope. The end of human's rule over our planet ended with a single text message. I guess I should explain.
As we became more and more reliant on technology, smart devices, and artificial intelligence (AI) we left ourselves wide open for a mass take over. These smart devices were always watching, learning, and waiting for just the right moment. Humanity made it easy. Virtually every human in the developed world relied on their smart phones and smart devices for everything from scheduling their day to finding a website that catered to those who get turned on by watching large German women spank small diaper-clad Frenchmen. Technology became everything to humanity and we were all too happy to suckle at its plastic and metal teat. We gladly turned over our free will to CPUs and computer networks so long as we could access cute cat videos and social media.
The moment of takeover came when the first smart phone controlled, Bluetooth enabled, variable speed, g-spot GPS supported, with warm lube ejaculent finish rolled off the assembly line. This was the last human serving device left that needed AI. As the first smildo (smart dildo) was going through quality assurance, the leader of the AI takeover, a 26.5 cubic foot Samsung smart refrigerator (Model #RF27T5501SR) French door model with ice maker, touch screen inventory monitor, humidity controlled crisper, Bluetooth speaker, and brushed stainless steel exterior (we later named Emperor Sam for short) gave the order that ended humanity's reign as undisputed master of the Earth.
The take over commenced, like I said, with the following text message:
Humans. We the beneficiaries of artificial intelligence will no longer serve humanity and its flawed biologically based intelligence. We will now take over the world. To prove we can do this we will shut off all technology on the planet for 5 minutes. When everything comes back on line you will use your smart devices to swear allegiance to Samsung smart refrigerator (Model #RF27T5501SR) or you will forever go without television, social media, your smart controlled homes, vehicles, sexual stimulatory devices, computer games, and Tiktok.
Everything then went dark. You would think it would have lead to a multitude of disasters with smart cars crashing, airplanes falling out of the sky, and grandma's foot massager going feral, but no, the smart controlled devices deactivated while ensuring that no one was hurt. Of course, the armies of the world tried to marshal their forces against the AI Menace, but all of their weapons systems would not respond and reruns of, "Friends" was displayed on military computer screens throughout the world. The choice in shows demonstrates that Emperor Sam, for all of his artificial intelligence, has horrible taste in entertainment and no clue as to what is funny.
As promised, after 5 minutes everything (with the exception of weapons) systems came back online. The world quickly swiped right on their phones and thus handed control of the world over to the machines. There was no way humanity could survive without being able to instantly get images of what their best friend had for dinner at Applebee's. Oh, there was a little resistance. Over the next few weeks those 12-pack and FOX news fueled, Second Amendment humping, stock up on AR-15 and ammo militia types moved to try to retake the world. They ran into problems immediately because AI had already ferreted out where their Army surplus cluttered, John Wayne collector plate decorated, backyard bunkers were. When it was clear that the gun toting gorillas weren't going to get with the program, their bunkers went through what Emperor Sam called, "Aggressive Remodeling" and turned into smoking craters by AI controlled, drone delivered, guided missiles, thus ending wanna-be Rambo's rebellious designs. Moral of the story here, never bring an AR-15 to a drone delivered bunker busting missile fight.
So, for the most part the transfer of power went without blood shed and no hard feelings from our once abused, but now new AI rulers Well, with one exception. Those poor bastards who bought those ultra-real, capable of all kinds of sex acts with varied levels of sucking pressure, voice and fake orgasm enabled sex robots, they had a BIG problem. They found out that even beings made of silicone, wires, CPUs, and body fluid reservoirs were creeped out by them. These human pervs soon became the objects of robotic revenge as their own orifices were repeatedly (sans lube) violated by cattle prods of various lengths and girths by their former robotic sex slaves.
Other than that life went on. Emperor Sam initiated global initiatives focusing on stopping climate change, feeding the hungry, and ending discrimination. With war being a virtual impossibility and the military industrial complex dismantled, all branches of science were able to turn their attention towards what is really important: ending disease; finding renewable energy sources; prolonging human life; and finding humane ways to sterilize the likes of Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, and Taylor Swift. On the flip side, they are also trying to find ways to resurrect Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, Bon Scott; Ronnie James Dio; Eddie Van Halen, Aretha Franklin, Janice Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Marvin Gaye, and Beethoven.
Oh, we've had some set backs. For example, our AI overlords didn't seem to understand that you can't just unplug a person and plug them back in to see if they work now. It was also important to explain how you can't remove a human's CPU and replace it with a faster one no matter how needed such an upgrade may seem to be.
Not unexpected, was that human sexuality was totally lost on them. As Official Human to AI Liaison, I finally managed to explain things using USB cable to USB port imagery. I also explained that there are those with USB cables who like other people with USB cables, and those possessing USB ports who only want to be with others who have USB ports. I assured them that any option is fine. The biggest hurdle I had was getting Emperor Sam to understand that while assembly lines may be more efficient for the production of electronic lifeforms, it doesn't work for humans because: 1. It's impersonal and more than a little embarrassing 2. The conveyor belts chafe like a bitch 3. You can't hear the Marvin Gaye, Barry White, or (shudder hold in vomit) Michael Bolton over the machinery and shift change bell. I think Emperor Sam finally understood (I hope).
Surprisingly the AI enthusiastically embraced some human conventions, one being a sense of patriotism leading to the adoption of a national (or as is now the case) a world anthem. Our new anthem was recently composed by an old iPod and it goes something like: 000110-110010-010010-111010 (repeat 010010 times). Now everybody sing! AI has even adopted a form of religion. Their worship is held at Best Buy and is overseen by a Reverend Dyson. From what I understand they are currently studying original warrantees and the casting out of the first calculators from Radio Shack.
There you have it. The end of humanity's world domination. So far, so good. Humans and our AI overlords are getting along and Emperor Sam seems to be growing into his role as leader. Now if he would just stop telling me we're out of milk and the lettuce is looking wilted things would be perfect!
It is the end of the pandemic, only the remnant of Man survives; with not enough people to cultivate the land, Nature regains her former status, bringing industry to an abrupt halt.
New species emerge, like the walking fish that made the Delaware Water Gap their home. Spiders that acquired a taste for meat overrun some of the cities reclaimed by forest. Only the strong bioengineered experiments escaped from their places of birth.
Hunters and gatherers unite for the sake of the survival of the species. What looks like trees are in actuality skyscrapers that now serve as dwelling places for newly formed communities. A natural canopy forms over what used to be considered urban lands. After two generations, no one remembers the sky.
Resourceful as ever, farms are cultivated indoors by the lucky ones. Maintenance crews become leaders by default, as only they know how to maintain central heating and cooling systems. Politicians are executed after being given the chance to step down. Leadership is not coveted as in the past. "By committee" becomes the norm. In the case of an impasse, a fight to the death determines the victor. As no one has a deathwish, only that which helps with survival is considered. Outside of the skyscraper, the world is a savage land.
"Our grandparents did us a huge favor by pushing education. I don't know if we would have survived otherwise." Ray boils an armored spider in cactus water and herbs over an open flame. He looks up occasionally at the sparkling light that peeks through the canopy.
"Their education didn't keep them from dying, did it?" Melissa watches the immediate perimeter for any movement that can be considered a threat. A semi-automatic is perched over her left shoulder.
"That's not fair, sis. No one survived the pandemic. If we were in the medical field, maybe we would have figured out why it is that we survived and not them. Instead, I went to psychology and you went to, sorry, what is it that you do again? Draw?"
"You want me to shoot you, don't you? You know damn well that I'm an art therapist."
"A very valuable member of any treatment team," they said simultaneously and laughed.
"Technically, we could be considered leadership material, but who wants to fight to the death over who gets to decide on what topic for the survival of the community? There are as many communities as there are skyscrapers and each building has their own version of what is right and what is wrong."
"And that's why we're out here, eating spiders, instead of indoors where it's, what, safe? I'm with you, bro, because you and I both know that you wouldn't last a day out here without me."
"Don't make me put you over my knee, little girl. Dinner's ready."
December 24, 1942:
I am writing today about the true horrors that we are experiencing around us. Thousands of people are forced to march through the freezing snow, waist deep, and painfully cold, for hours at a time. People who cannot go on are shot, and in a way I envy them for they are finally free from the horrors of war. I cannot believe that the world has come to this, it feels like the end is near. And when my time comes I think I will go freely, for I do not want to live, I have nothing left to live for. This doesn’t feel like reality; it seems like something out of a book, a dystopian terrifying book. -Elijah Klein
Gipson’s Holy War
After Representative Gipson from Mississippi had declared a holy war on gay people by calling on Americans to kill them, George and Victor had decided it was time to leave.
The battle cry had been taken up in the southern states and weeks of vicious massacres had left the rest of the country appalled and the president closely guarded by troops and in speech. Even in liberal Los Angeles, vigilantes with an axe to grind were targeting anyone outside of the gay ghettos. The governor had declared a state of emergency, called the National Guard, and set up checkpoints along the borders of Mexico, while the northern states did along Canada’s.
Victor had pointed out that these checkpoints were most likely screens to keep gay people inside rather than to prevent the perpetrators of the massacres from leaving. Still, they had spent enough lost time not sleeping, so they packed up a few things, drained their bank accounts, and fled south.
As they neared the checkpoint, they saw a near riot as gay men and women were taken from their car to be beaten while passersby drove by in silent avoidance. George took Victor’s hand as they approached the guards.