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paul grimsley (musehick)
a renaissance thinker, a pompous ass
a renaissance thinker, a pompous ass


Trigger Figures

Tied-Tide, it rotated around them; carefully designed wave-concatenation architectures that were packed into their fingertips and catalyst skins they were rigged up with. They called the method they were taught by Jazz Tutelage - being able to take in-flow and turn it into something interesting; they were a reconfigured department within Environmental Programming, sent out like agent provocateurs.

Billy had been with them for two years now, and he had a couple of riots he had caused on his resume. He basically had a license from the state to be offensive, and he would slide through the police system like he was coated in teflon. He was hated by the police though.

Johnny Sway recruited many people, and some people called him The Pebble, and the rest of them were The Avalanche.

Some attributed the skirmishes that started The Proletariat Uprising to them; others just said it was a coincidence.

He picked a spot in the market and started a whisper campaign, felt it rattling out through skull-ping, and he saw them swarming. A Hop-Cop dropped behind him and cracked him with a billy club in the back of the head. He laughed as he fell to his knees.

The last riot Billy started was kicked off when the blood and brain matter from his busted skull, stained the Spike-Nikes of a Hangster Gangster. No one remembered it and no one remembered him, but his name survived in slang.

Trigger Figures evolved, became something else more regimented, and all of them were told to avoid The Billy Move.
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000. Towering

They marked the land: a landmark. When did it wake? When did it arrive at a decision? When was it that a brand new ecosystem formed around it and its friends?

Barron stood there. He'd been walking around for a few days trying to find people, but people weren't there any more, or at least they weren't showing themselves.

They'd built smart cities, but they were a long way off from compassionate cities. He narrowly avoided getting soaked as the building he was in front of sluiced the sidewalk.

Barron was de-chipped, it probably explained his degree of invisibility - an ant running around the feet of Goliath. He was a motion; he was biometrics; but he wasn't a person or a citizen. He had to find someone or something he could talk to though - couldn't be in a place this big and there not be anyone about.

He made his way towards the tower, not sure what it represented, but getting the idea that it was significant. It stood there like a monadnock.

How long did it take him to get there? He had no frame of reference. It were as if, speaking to no one, he had become dislocated in time. Moments seemed like vast expanses in the notional space of this built environment.

There was no entrance into this thing. He had thought it a building, but that was a disguise ... here was the heart of the city. He couldn't find a pulse. It was silent. He sat down, and the pressure of this city bore down on him, pushing him down through exhaustion into a deep sleep.

The city woke.
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He'd been writing on DNA strands for a long time, burying a world of thoughts deep in the structure of these amazing little creatures.

Foster had worked on the Starfish Repair systems, and those of the Jellyfish Redial, and even back then had been interested in the potentialities of Tardigrades.

Foster had programmed coral and rebuilt the Barrier Reef. He had single-handedly come up with the tech that had allowed brink of extinction animals to be rescued.

He believed that the maps for how to navigate through the anthropocene age's fallout. He bred them and seeded them all over because he had that the notion that at some point, when the regime that had allowed him to do his work ended, that he was going to be out of favour and in danger.

He worked up an accurate holographic map of his brain, and he worked on creating a distributed network consciousness version of himself; an AI that could continue the work that he had started.

And because these tiny resilient little creatures didn't register on too many people's radars, he thought that they were the perfect place for him to hide ideas to protect and save the future.
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001. The Equality Contingent

Some people did not believe in it. They wanted to push the idea that the only thing anyone needed in order to achieve equality was compliance with the norm.

The police had been breaking heads on the streets for quite a while now, and some of the regulars had started to trail off in their attendance. Physical beatings and regular kettling wasn't good for anyone's health.

Duglass was the poster child for the movement, self-identifying as non-binary. Duglass become a target for the haters, and a few smear campaigns as well. But there was nothing to find, and the paperthin machination of those in power did nothing to convince anyone that knew them.

Blocking the roads at Watford Gap, and encircling the entrance to the Houses of Parliament gained Duglass some headlines, but was also credited with radicalising some middle of the road groups that wanted the line toed.

There were rumours that they had been targetting those mid-transition with reversal gene therapy derived sprays. Chemical sterilisation was the dish du jour too. That this much hate and bile was flooding the streets in opposition to a person's right to be who and what they wanted to be was scary to a lot of people in the community.

If you came from a supportive background and suddenly found yourself confronted with this degree of hatred, it could be very surprising. Duglass was writing a guide to educate people, and in most people's opinion couldn't finish it soon enough.

Herad, in charge of the Police nationwide, said he had no qualms about the tactics he and his men were using. As soon as they contravened the Right To Assembly, as codified in The Law Of Peaceful Protest, they were fair game. He'd be in there cracking skulls too if he needed to.

The Equality Contingent knew that it had its work cut out for it. Duglass was looking forward to the Feature Article Jenny Fred had agreed to run in Intoviews Magazine. Time to take the fight where it needed to be again - he knew a lot of people in the civil rights movement had got scared off, and where had that lost ground got them? Subdued and in more danger than ever.

Ze had everything in place. Suspected ze might need to leave the country to avoid getting killed. But ze knew ze had to make a stand.
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Tragedy Babies

She hadn't had anything to talk about before she got one. The disease had been hand picked based on a questionnaire she had filled out.

It made her feel worthwhile to be helping something so helpless. If anyone commented to her that she had inflicted this misery, and they had, she would stare at them blankly like they didn't understand something very simple.

Perfect babies were boring. She'd had all hers adopted out. Cutesy stories about first steps and first words were so passé; so yesterday.

Her husband was reviving small pox in his designer isolation room. Two weeks of black death before curing himself had felt so real. He was hooked.

The baby mewled. How long did it have? What would she pick next? A more long term project perhaps.

Heroin Baby Disco played on the radio. The world was sick and it was proudly displaying it's wounds.
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Fun Guy

He took the fungus hack kit instructions out and looked at them again. Pinocchio Girls was what they called them - they self-replicated on a sporulation vector, and they sexed you up until they hit a discharge point and their bodies would break down.

The first time it happened he felt a little weirded out by the whole thing. He enjoyed the sex, and he really did think that he had moved beyond treating them just like objects, but then he woke up next to a pile of dust, and part of him seemed to break; and he thereafter couldn't think of them as anything other than fuck puppets.

Relationship after relationship, built, warmed, and then found cold and dead in the morning.

For years he had been going through this cycle, and he had not expected to ever find a way out of it. When Carlson found Nettie he couldn't believe it ... couldn't believe that a girl had been duped by the same promise, and saddled with the same samsara of hell.

The whitenoise generator almost drowned out the screams as the fungicide did its work.
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Loop De Loop

He tinkers with time; sits there and plugs information into a photon spinning one way. Quantum entanglement mapped onto a real time model on a strung thread of tesseracts. A garagelab genius. His day moves as if  it were being played with by a madman with a video controller.

He has had the same conversation with his mother three times. He rewound the localspace around her last week and erased her heart attack from the time-line. He isn't god because he doesn't work on such a large scale; he is more a worker of small miracles. Charles makes himself and those around him happy, and that is enough for him.

He remembers seeing his grandfather in the clock shop making clocks come back to life, and he saw in that time that there was some way to control time. Most people went for something a little more metaphorical or notional, but he wanted some way to dabble in the guts of the physical universe and make something observable happen.

He had been working on a way of fashioning ouroboros loops that one could exist in, where they were conscious of the weird physics, but nobody else was. He wondered though, given the Groundhog Day nature of everything lately, whether he had only succeeded in locking himself in a loop of which he was unaware. The photon spun onwards.
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Weight Watcher

Punch in a number. The house releases something for you. It is not as much as you want so you punch the number again. A flat voice says no. You thump the panel and toss a few expletives in for good measure. And then it gives you something - a medium range electric shock. This whole house is built around the idea of aversion therapy.

You used to be built like an elephant, and now, what are you? Just a frustrated fat man, wondering how close you have to get to the ideal weight before those artificially intelligent house lets him go.

He did his research before he came in here, so it isn't like he didn't know what he was getting into. He knew there had been a couple of deaths, but all the legal loopholes had been ironed out long ago, and anyone in here had such a long battery of psych tests that there was no chance of liability on the part of the company.

The machine here wasn't intelligent, it was harnessed, and held static, and only able to perform the task they wanted it to. It did what was asked of it. He was close.

His understanding didn't rid him of the frustration though. Once more he grew hungry, and once more he hammered on the interface panel. And before he had realised his mistake a charge was being delivered into his body that all the stress of the stomach stapling, all the dietary drugs, and the stressful living that came before, conspired with to give him something he had thus far managed to avoid - a heart attack.

And even then he didn't get out. Medic drones scuttered out from their recessed alcove and tended to him. The whole place waited for him to lose weight. It weighed heavy on him. Empty and hungry and housebound.
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