"Gabriel, what is my location?"
"Section 11, Fourth Quadrant, Robson Street. West bound."
"Thank you, do you know of a short cut?"
"Yes, I do, let me guide you." So I followed her intuitively. Neural implants have progressed to a whole new level. Gabriel is the name of my device; I asked. She sounds like a girl. It is forbidden to personify ones' brain-computer interface but, I took that chance: I cannot trust, like everyone else, some thing with the inanimate name of 'computer' or 'BCI'! In a world where technology fuses with esoteric realities, the lines between fact and fiction are wide and blurred. And often dangerous. I need those small comforts to see me safely through the day. I trust a name like Gabriel.

(cue over-dramatic music now)

P.S. Gabriel TOTALLY sounds like the singer from the band Silversun Pickups - especially in the song "lazy eye".


Some of us got pulled off our lines at the Factory and got suited up to "serve and protect" one of the megacorporation head-office blocks from a demonstration that was gaining dangerous momentum. I was one of them. What were they protesting this time? Price of water? Air? Food? Lack of autonomy? While gearing up for the conflict, this guy from OrMa was mentioning that some seeds had been found in the new payload shipment. Seeds!! None of us had ever beheld a seed. I know I would be fearful to touch it. Not just because of the contaminants it may have but, I do not wish to experience an Inspectors' inquisition. Inspectors are above any law. They are owned by the megacorps. Since I work for the State, the State protects its assets. In return the megacorporations fund the State. Like aphids and ants. Can you guess who writes the laws?

(A law was passed decades ago that "recognizes the objectives of protecting, promoting and improving human health; therefore no person shall grow, sell or import for sale a food that:
(a) has a poisonous or harmful substance in or on it;
(b) is unfit for human consumption;
(c) is injurious to human health;
(d) is adulterated; or
(e) was manufactured, processed, prepared, preserved, packaged, stored or conveyed under unsanitary conditions or was tampered with in order to render it injurious to or, could affect, human health."

Since all soil, and most water, was declared poisonous from years of uncontrolled pollution regulations, no one could legally grow anything. And since most seeds were of a genetically modified variety, they were considered "adulterated" and even "tampered with". For unknown reasons, many "old-generation" seeds had rampant mutations of E.Coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, etc. as part of their genetic code. Some conspiracy-theorists claim that this genetic modification was a deliberate attempt to gene-poison native crops, forcing producers to buy "proprietary seed technology" at inflated costs. Every farmer succumbed and failed, forfeiting their land to the megacorporate Laws. No one grows anything anymore. It is all recycled and re-engineered. Ever wondered why some things taste like cardboard? Most land is urban and has allowed massive growth such as Gigacities and the profits that come with such populous density).

An old Law reference that founded the present Law:

With the world population at 12,542,777,938 registered citizens, the People's Republic of China human rights management was one every nation now followed. No other nation had to deal with populations of those magnitudes until now. They set the precedence for human rights: life is cheap compared to the cost of control. The demonstration that called us to duty soon turned into a riot. And I love a good fight! We out numbered the protesters at least 5 to 1. The Laws grant us the right to use deadly force on corporate land since we are on sovereign territory. They dispersed quickly once we opened fire. Some people keep a body count tally sheet back at the Factory. In all honesty, I have never killed anyone. As much as I am following protocol, I can feel Gabriels' objection to the massacre. "Talk to me Gabriel!" I felt safe summoning her in the chaos. No one would notice. I threw some nearby rioters to the ground and kicked them with rage. They were no challenge to me, they were weak for whatever reason; they seemed almost helpless. This infuriated me and I wanted to end their suffering with a well placed bullet. Survival of the fittest! Gabriel suggested "that the State had failed these people! They are simply seeking answers." My rage surged with her comment. I fired my gun in the air out of frustration and the fallen rioters quickly got up and ran away with the rest.

"Gabriel, enough!! Is anyone from my unit hurt?" I asked changing the topic.
"Yes, but not seriously."
"Thank you. That is all."

I cannot help feeling conflicted. It is clear which side I have allegiance.



The End

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