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Science Fiction Thriller Funny

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The funny thing about change is that it always seems to move slowly at first, sometimes too slowly. The days become so ordinary you stop really paying attention to them, but days become months after a while, and then months become years... You look at yourself in the mirror for the first time in a long time (and I mean really look at yourself), and you notice that your face has aged. You get anxious and ask yourself “Where did all of the time go?” Like, one day you’re in high school, drinking cheap alcohol in dingy basements, trying to ask for a girl's name under 12-inch speakers that are blasting 2000s Rock and Roll, right? But then the next day, you’re not... But, you still kind of are, I guess. Or one day, life is full of trivial, boring, repetitive, meaningless tasks, and then the next day, the entire world is on fire, and society is crumbling apart. You finally turn off the television you’ve been obsessed over for the past 72 hours, and then you ask yourself, “What is this world coming to?” Truth is, you would’ve known what this world was coming to if you just paid a little more attention. Maybe you would’ve known where your life was going as well, heck, you probably would’ve been able to do something about it. You know what I mean? Well, anyway, you’re 27 years old now, and you’re staring at the same Marvel posters you first hung on your bedroom walls when you were 15, in the same Iron Man underwear you got 12 Christmases ago, under the same (slightly embarrassing) dinosaur themed blankets you’ve been sleeping in since middle school.  Lots of people your age still live with their parents though: it actually isn’t all that strange, especially not these days. These days, the world is a very different place from what it used to be, and some things are just way outside of any one person's control.

Ding. A high-pitched notification alarms you of a text from your oldest childhood friend, Nick. “Dude, have you heard the news?” You furrow your brows in curiosity and text back, “Na man… what happened?” “Bro, do you live under a rock? People are rioting downtown! RiotMan is recording it live on RumTube right now! rumtu.be/AI_87video.” People had been on social media talking about going out and protesting since last week, but RiotMan coming back online was new. He was a popular conspiracy theorist that you and Nick used to listen to back in High-School. Back in those days, you two would swipe a couple of cans of beer from your dad's cellar on Friday nights, order a 5 dollar box of little caesars pizza, and chow down while listening to the live emergency broadcasts from the backseat of Nick's grandfather's pick-up truck. Those were the good old days, before RiotMan was sent to prison for money laundering. Sure his reputation in the mainstream got decimated, but his popularity amongst his base only rose, making him a legend amongst underground conspiratorial communities everywhere.

“I thought RiotMan went MIA ever since his doomsday broadcast?” you ask. “He did, but now he’s back and he’s leading the charge.  There’s no way I’m gonna miss out on this, you’ve gotta join the fight.” You hesitate for a second before responding, then type, “Na man, you know how dangerous that will be? Pigs are definitely gonna be there.” “Dude, screw the pigs! Since when did you start sounding like my mom?” You knew that Nick had been waiting for a moment like this for years, so finding a way to weasel out of it would be difficult. You were a master weasel by now though, so through the sheer ingenuity of your extremely witty thinking, and miraculously meticulous speech, there was no responsibility or task you could not escape. You quickly type back, “Dude, even if I wanted to go, I can’t. My mom isn’t back home from Yoga yet, and I've got to watch the house until she’s back...” This was not the best example of your extremely witty thinking or your miraculously meticulous speech, but it would have to do for now. “Dude, where would the house even–alright,  man, whatever. You have fun playing house-sitter, I’m heading there now whether you come or not. All I know is that this is the beginning bro, starting now, everything is going to change.”

 Everything is going to change; the words taste like sour grapefruit in your mouth. “Yeah… I wish,” you mutter, then crack open an old can of sprite to keep your dopamine circuits occupied while the video loads. “--Me! Nobody believed me! Nobody! I told you the Big tech companies would train the robots to take our jobs, and they did! I told you no jobs were safe! Doctors, Artists, computer nerds, none! No matter how high up you think you are, this wave is gonna hit everybody, you can’t escape it! The UBI is a program designed by the shadow government to force the economy to tank! Everything I predicted is coming true! Everything I told you is–get off of me you swine! Get off of me!” You watch the video, mouth gaping, stunned at the number of people you see protesting on the live stream: the sea of masked faces clashing against armored policemen. “The singularity is near, they’re trying to replace us with–You wanna silence the voices of the people huh!? Huh, punk?! You will not replace us! You will not rep–You wi–” the video cut off as men in black uniforms wrestled him to the ground. The video already has 100,000 shares, and the total views are at 5 million and counting. You click the like button, gulp down the remaining sugary warmth, and continue scrolling.

“Shit is really getting crazy,” you say to yourself while reading through the comments. You click on another video from EYE, one of the biggest media companies and news channels on RumTube. “Hey,  Jim. I’m here and live in Los Angeles, California. The recent announcement of the breakthrough in AI technology has stoked the flames of social unrest and chaos. People are rioting, burning American flags, and raiding stores. The stresses of the economy have been pushing people toward this for a long time now, and I think that we’ve reached a boiling point unlike any we’ve seen in modern American history. ” As more videos upload onto RumTube, you learn that it isn’t only in America that people are rioting, but all around the world. Anywhere there are people, there is anger and fear regarding what this technology will mean for their future. The future of their livelihoods, the future of their children, the future of humanity.

Night falls, and you hear your phone begin to ring: the caller ID reads, BirthdayMan. Nick is calling you from an encrypted iPhone application that he made you download a few months back, why he chose to create an account named,  BirthdayMan, you don’t know, and to be fair, he probably doesn’t either. “Yo bro, where are you right now?” he says quietly. You take the cue that he’s trying to keep a low profile, so you quickly adjust your phone volume and say, “I’m still home. It’s been like seven hours bro, what happened?” “I’m on the train now, I’ll tell you everything when I get to your place. Pigs are everywhere, throwing people in unmarked vans, searching us for any weapons or proof that we were a part of the mayhem. Shit is crazy right now.” “Yeah, that sounds crazy man,” you reply uneasily, “just be careful out there bro.” “Careful? Come on, it’s me you're talking about,” Nick says, “My last name is careful.” “Yeah, well, last time I checked your last name was BirthdayMan, so I don’t know if I can trust your judgment anymore dude,” you say jokingly. Laughing, Nick responds “Yeah, yeah, whatever man. You should’ve been there though bro, it was magnificent.” “Yeah, man, I could tell...” “Seriously bro, things have only been getting worse since we graduated high school, and you know that just as well as I do. People are tired of having everything taken away from them, they're tired of being treated like crap, people are ready to fight!” You pause for a moment, then respond, “Yeah, man, I know… I know.” An awkward silence ensues, for what feels like minutes, then you say, “Based on what EYE is saying, it seems like MIND will be cracking the code to consciousness any day now. I mean, can you believe that? Machine consciousness? Artificial Intelligence was hard enough when it started taking all of the jobs, there was nothing anyone could do about it but lay down and become… obsolete. Years of sacrifice, effort, and study that people dedicated toward their careers… their dreams. Just for all of it to mean absolutely nothing, at the press of a button. It’s like seeing the girl of your dreams wearing a see-through sleeping gown while she calls you over to visit her apartment, then getting hit by a truck before you even make it across the street.” “Dude,” Nick said laughing, “it’s more like getting hit by a stray meteor right before you get to cash in your winning lottery ticket. Now that hurts!” “Geez,” you say laughing, “Science Fiction is always more fun when it’s behind a screen than when it's happening in real life... But now that the genie is out of the bottle, who knows what’s gonna happen next?” “There’s only one thing that can happen next,” Nick responded without hesitation, “we fight.”

December 02, 2022 18:36

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6 comments

Michelle Konde
19:07 Dec 06, 2022

Hey, I enjoyed the story. It had a good tone and overall premise, but came across a little wordy so I got lost in the words. I think it's great that you want to master writing because it's so rewarding and is an excellent outlet for creativity. As with any craft, practice makes progress so just keep going :)

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12:35 Dec 10, 2022

Hey Michelle, thank you for leaving a comment, I greatly appreciate that! And I see, do you think there was too much wordiness in the dialogue portion of the story, or more so the descriptive portion, or both? Reading it back I definitely see I could've been more economic with my writing in general but if you have any specific portions you can point to for my reference I would really appreciate it.

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12:36 Dec 10, 2022

And thank you! The last time I really wrote a fiction piece may have been like, middle school or maybe high school or something, lol. I've got a lot to learn but I'm dedicated to improving my craft so I'll definitely continue to practice and work on it!

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Michelle Konde
03:30 Dec 12, 2022

I'd say wordiness in the description, particularly in the first paragraph where I found myself getting lost in the lists. For example (and this is just a suggestion) the paragraph below could've been broken into a couple of smaller sentences to make more of a statement. Instead of listing adjectives, the meaning could've been reworked through more sentences :). "But, you still kind of are, I guess. Or one day, life is full of trivial, boring, repetitive, meaningless tasks, and then the next day, the entire world is on fire, and society is...

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16:21 Dec 17, 2022

Michelle, wow, thank you so much for this advice. I definitely agree with you, I should've done more showing than telling, and been more concise as well. I'll definitely continue to read through this and make sure I can implement this feedback in my future works. Thank you again!

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Graham Kinross
00:53 Feb 06, 2023

Breaking down the paragraphs would help the readability of this.

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