Change came one day out of the blue. Everything appeared to be the same, but there was something that felt different. It could be the coffee I was drinking. It wasn’t the usual place I went and I was trying to tell myself no coffee today; but I couldn’t resist. Half way down the road, I was passing another coffee shop, with the doors wide open and the smell calling me again. I almost went in, but turned around. I wanted to puke. Dirty, grimy, filthy place it was. The only thing saving it was the strong smell of coffee, redirecting my attention to my craving.
A small thing I noticed, the place was packed. Why? It’s unbelievable that they could enjoy that filth. How can they drink in there?
“Aah, yes,” I noticed why. Persuasion was calling me. It was that feeling and yearning to purchase their product, something you truly did not need, but felt you must have.
I remembered my father telling me that I must earn my way. The more I learn, the more I get, the higher level I would achieve. In grade school, I saw it happen. It was like the law of the land, except that it wasn’t for everyone. The calling didn’t come for some, they got no urges and was instead stagnant and delayed.
It was the coffee that changed. The bottom was slurpy and disgusting.
“What the hell is this? A surprise at the end?” The cup fell out of my hand like it was a bomb dropping. The slime came up and out. I had no choice but to run over to the garbage in the alley. A little girl stood holding her dress with her face full of curiosity, not understanding. I had to laugh. Was she docile? One of those who had no future?
Then the screams came. I got up to walk away. The crazy girl was screaming like she was being attacked and me being in the alley wasn’t going to help. I wasn’t ready for any accusations over one of those children.
She was drawing a crowd, as her mother tried to find out why she was screaming and why she was pointing at me. Her eyes were glowing. Her tears were thick and milky. She was one of those and she was overcharging. Then her screams stopped suddenly, terrifying everyone. The silence of the girl was alarming even to me. I thought she was dead. Did she overcharge?
I couldn’t move, just like the rest of the crowd. We felt some feeling of understanding. I was no longer the threat, but the little girl, she was our real threat. Everyone like her was a threat. Her mother was screaming inside, not knowing what to do.
We lived in a world where people bought additives to enhance themselves. The incapable, the handicapped, the delayed, and the wanting to be better than the rest. They who desired to put “plates” in themselves. These computer technology gave enhancements. In the beginning we all thought it was great, removable, and gave us a sort of superpower, like superheroes. But it became faulty and haunting. The enhanced sometimes got confused, distant, overloaded with information, violent, and miserably misplaced. They had taken themselves from natural beings to unnatural configurations.
The little girl fell to the ground, lifeless. Another fried person.
It wasn’t too long before more people gathered around to see the little fried girl. They began to protest against the “evil thing”. The evil thing had been protested against before, for over a month now. They wanted it outlawed. No artificial intelligence inside man. But fighting it was impossible. The money being made was incredible. There were some people even making it at a lower cost on the black market. Who was going to stop something like that? And how?
More cries came. They were much more natural than the cries of the dead little girl. There was a difference. The red jacket, yellow hats, pointers came. They scooped up the little girl. And then they made their announcement.
“No more of this! No more enhancements. This is the last day. The decision has been made. We’ve enacted a frequency to shut it down. We’ve ‘watered down’ the processes and all who has it must remove it at once. It is officially outlawed on all lands.” The announcer said.
A few minutes later, there was a buzzing vibration. Everyone looked everywhere, not understanding. The artificial intelligence was being destroyed. But the shocker was, we didn’t know. Who knew? No one knew that they all had it in us. When was our enhancements put in? When were we made exceptional? When? My heart was beating too fast and I felt I was going to explode, but instead we all fell to the ground from exhaustion. Did I really smell the coffee?
I felt empty, hungry, and a bit disoriented. I suppose I was feeling just like everyone else. But most importantly I felt frightened and alone. But we were all frightened and alone from the shock of being disengaged and no longer part of any technology.
It was the freedom that we should have had many years ago. Today felt like yesterday, but new. I had to say it felt kind of relaxing too. Our fear was covered with smiles. Our eyes weren’t milky. They finally saw a future of freedom and relief.