Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dido GreekChild (2008)

In the beginning, God created the world: heaven and earth, light and dark, water and land. This was good.
Then God created plants and animals. They were good too (even the mosquitoes). [But] Then God created Man. He messed up.
Man destroyed all of the above, usurped God’s throne, and took God’s name for his own. This was bad.
God saw what he had done and attempted to remedy his mistakes, but Man/New Gods discovered his plans and confined him to an earthly form. This was also bad.
God/No More God watched from his new position as Man/the New Gods spread across the galaxy, finding new and fertile planets and infesting them like ants of Latter-Day-Gaia. He watched them create the new technology allowing them to live safely on these new planets, even on other planets not so perfect for human support. He watched as Man/the New Gods settled into their role over the [other] humans and other creatures, naming themselves the Olympians and keeping amazing powers to themselves so they could continue absolute control. God/No More God saw that this power was part advanced technology, part something else, something acquired from the new planets, something like the ‘magic’ of stories from Latter-Day-Gaia. God/No More God saw all of this and saw that it was bad. Then God/No More God became aware of the immensity of their power and the lack of his own, and God/No More God realized no one remembered him anymore. So he called himself Promethius, like the Titan who gave fire to man in Greek legend, and slunk away to face his punishment in the shadows.

Part 1: Dido
That was 204 years ago. Now it is the year 800 A.G. (after Gaia), 800th anniversary of the Olympians’ rise to power, 100th anniversary of the Chip, 50th anniversary of the teleportation pin, 10th anniversary of the AgePack, and 1st anniversary of my half-sister’s birth. Ever since the AgePack came out, nobody ever sees old people... or not that they can tell. AgePacks allow you to look as young as you want. It’s not reversible, so you have to be careful how young you go, and it doesn’t make you any younger, but everybody loves it. Especially my dad. That’s why he got married to a real 20-year-old four years ago, even though he’s at least 50. She doesn’t know that, though. All she knows is that his oldest kid’s 12, and even that’s a life because I’m actually 16. I didn’t want to use an AgePack, but my dad bought one for me and wanted me to use it. “Of course, dear father,” I responded according to my programming, but inside I was fuming. I hadn’t been thrilled at the idea, but I was finally ready to kiss my first boy. Now I positively could not. Not just because I looked four years too young, but dad also changed the data on my card to say I am 12. Normally your card shows all your information correctly, not matter how many AgePacks you’ve used, but dad works at an Industry and knows how they’re made. Robots and computers do a lot of the physical work in these ages, but the Olympians don’t allow them to do anything that makes them think. That’s ‘cause they’re afraid of anything being smarter than them. Ha. Normal people would get zapped just thinking about that stuff, but I’m not normal. After Dad got married to Medea I learned how to remove my chip. When a baby’s born, it is immediately injected with a liquid that settles together right next to your brain, forming a hard chip, a computer chip. They keep everyone in control, keep them just like they’re supposed to be. Parents can program their kids to the personality they’ve chosen. And if you do, say, and maybe even think something wrong, GCP sends an electric wave to shock you. The more offensive the crime, the bigger the shock. A real big one kills a person; that’s why there are no prisons anymore. Since the chip is right next to your brain, the only way to remove it would be skull operation. But how could you, when anything you did would activate it against you? Simple. I didn’t. Not to the Chip’s level, anyhow. It takes a strong emotion, a strong brain wave, to alert the Chip. I made my plans deep inside my consciousness, until the time was right. Then I acted quicker than it: I plunged the Creeper right into my skull, screamed bloody Hades, and yanked it back out. The Creeper is a surgical device that I found handy since my step-mom is a Doctor. It’s purported purpose is for moving stuff around inside without having to cut open the skin, but it has an ulterior purpose: the Olympians created it to detect Chips. Y’see, they aren’t the only ones stickin’ pieces of metal into people. The Aesir, the rebellion, put chips in their members’ bodies to detect them, contact them, and kill them in case of torture. Yeah, the Aesir and the Olympians don’t ‘xactly get along. The Creeper has a special command that seeks out chips and grabs them. It only works in a small range, of course, or it would just alert anyone it entered. The Olympians fear the Aesir deeply, going to extreme measures to capture members of the rebellion. They never expected anyone to be crazy enough to stick the damn thing into their own head. Any why would anybody want to? The Chips keep us peaceful, safe, tranquil, at one with the Self.... Now there’s something that’s a no-no. Religious tolerance isn’t a big thing here. The Olympians want people to worship them, and them alone. It doesn’t matter they were once human, they’re gods now. But I don’t worship them. I don’t like them. I almost killed myself removing that chip, but I’m glad I did, I never realized how caged I was with it. Now? I can do, say, think whatever I want. As long as I have my card, the Olympians will never know, never bother to check if I have my chip. The Chip, by the way, I conveniently dropped in the way of something very heavy. It blew something up when it choked, but it’s gone now. I wish I could’ve saved my two half-brothers, but I couldn’t risk their fuzzy heads. My other step-brother and -sister are goody-goody students who could turn me in at the slightest scent, like my step-mom and Dad would. Well, maybe not Dad, he’s never followed the rules, but he’d never endanger himself if he didn’t have to. My step-sister, though, she I saved. I’m still mentally trapped in the boundary of our ‘tranquil’ society; what would it be like to grow up entirely free with thought? I stopped the needle entering her head when she left he womb. It was scary, the whole thing: convincing the right people to let me be present during the birth, re-programming the lights to flicker at the right moment, putting the doll in the way of the needle, poking a plain needle into her head to create a prick, all without being caught, all without hurting Célé. But I did it. My step-mom programmed her to be a quiet, sweet, coo-coo baby. She is, but it’s of her own violation. I take care of her most of the time, so I’m the only one who hears her scream. I treasure every one of those ear-piercing trills, because it means she’s free. My siblings and half-sibs were all programmed not to have tantrums, not to scream, not to object, not to think a thought of their own. I wasn’t. Mom programmed me to be rebellious. She didn’t tell Dad, and he made me obedient. Obedient stuck in the programming and is what’s said on my Card, but the layer covered up was the rebellious one. I wondered why Mom programmed me to be that way, and I found out when she was killed in a riot. She had been an Aesir, unknown to my father, and wanted me to be the same. Thanks, Mom, but you’d have been more help if you’d been a bit more rebellious yourself. It doesn’t seem the Aesir have found out about the Creeper yet, or how to use it to their advantage. Well, that’s not surprising. They aren’t very bright. Then again... no one is supposed to be. The Olympians want stupid subjects to rule over, subjects that won’t give them trouble. But it’s too late. There’ve been problems lately with the Chip. Lots of problems. That’s led me to believe there’ve been problems all along concealed by the Olympians that they can’t conceal now. The Chip was invented 100 years ago, and has been injected into every new-born baby’s head since. It can only work on new-borns, on anyone else it causes brain damage, so during the first decades not many people had it. Now 75% of people do. Humans typically live up to 120 years, and there are a few 200 years old now, which means there are people who don’t have chips, who never had to go through that. But they are vastly outnumbered by those with chips. I don’t just mean the 650,000 of us in this city, I mean everyone in this world and hundreds of others. Because of the problems popping up with the Chip, people are getting a little unhappy... and people aren’t unhappy in this age, it’s just not done. Neither is anger, exasperation, despair, annoyance — or, consequently, excitement, interest, concern, happiness, or love.
My name is Dido GreekChild NV2447 — I hate the Olympians, despair of the Aesir, am enthralled by computers, and I love my baby sister Célé. That’s why I’m going to become the greatest hacker known to mankind to get her back.

They take babies sometimes. No one knows why. They don’t leave Changelings like the Fair Folk of old. They never return the child. The parents never worry and often don’t care. Why do the all-powerful Olympians take the babies? Is it to show their power, to show they control our lives? Or do they need the children? For new colonies? For experiments? For themselves? No one knows but the Olympians themselves. For that reason I must find the Olympians, and I will. Wherever the Olympians are, I will find them. Computers are everywhere.

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