quite amazing how much we do without realising we do it.
need to have to think about walking unless of course you are
balancing on top of a log that has just been cut down in a
There is of course no real need to think about, or
consciously think about being hungry, unless of course you have
pre-set the oven to cook exactly at 7pm when you know you will be.
suppose for some thinking becomes a way of life and for some they
move away from their thoughts.
Too scared of irrational fears that
hound them over and over, like dark clouds seeping in through their
They shy away and let the matter inside their head take
These people are the masses, or the farmed.
others they have mastered the matter inside their head to work in
These are the influencers, and they control the
No pun intended.
up! Wake up peter!"
"For Christ's sake!"
lying unconscious on the school hall floor, where his house prefect
was trying to wake him.
Peter would often fall and hit his head,
meaning he had to wear a padded helmet.
This of course meant that
he was a target at boarding school for bullies. Often many trying to
box his head of spar with him.
Christ's sake peter, get up!"
Peter knew that at some
point his school days would be over, but for now he had to
concentrate on staying awake.
Over the past few years he had
managed to train his mind to not sleep like it wanted to, although
attacks were still frequent.
His mind therapy that he went to was
a new age mind class mixed with old school electrolysis.
starting everything with a bang and rethinking ways of staying awake
in reality seemed to be working.
Sometimes though he was
unaware if he was awake, asleep or unconscious.
All he did know
was the constant repetition was starting to fuse his mind in
different ways. He had noticed things...
Peter had a special
watch that recorded when he was horizontal, thereby telling him when
he was truly awake.
So far today it was 11am and his sleep time
was 15 mins on the school hall floor.
His morning alarm was always
8am so in fairness he had got away this time.
The record was 2
days, although a few years ago now.
Peters worst fear was the
battery running out on his watch or the Watch being incorporated into
his dream. He like telling people that this was his worst nightmare,
as a geeky joke for those who enjoyed the pun.
waiting in the middle of a busy coffee shop, Peter resisted the
temptation to look at his phone.
Instead he sat there facing the
direction of the front door...waiting for his friend.
that he looked somewhat lonesome and unoccupied he began to feel the
pressure of those around him.
The phone quickly came out and
suddenly society had accepted him as normal.
He felt he was no
longer a target of interest for those who like to look around. He
thought of those people as watchers...always aware of their
surroundings. Listening or hearing
...they knew exactly what was
happening around them, even if they were appeared to be reading the
Peter didn't mind being early for
appointments. In fact, it gave him time to role play the interaction
that was about to happen. He would often think about subjects that
would be raised and which ones to avoid. He liked imagining the
future much more
than remembering the past.
The past was
difficult to piece together as he found it hard to distinguish
between his dreams and reality.
In no way could peter predict
the future though, he just made sure the future was more
had changed quite a bit since peter had last been there.
new tube lines were in operation, and several stations had popped up
in and around the city. Like seeds in the soil, they had broken out
from under the ground, hustling for space amongst the other giant
The new trains were very functional. Like a large
steel tubes being forced through a tunnel. None had seats
The farmed were literally like cattle in a pen about to
be sold at the market.
Influencers would often boast how many
farmed they had control over.
Since the government had
brought in zonal working, people were no longer travelling from one
end of the line to the other.
The farmed were quite happy to obey
this new scheme as mortgages were subsidised if you worked within a
10 mile radius of home.
were also now no longer allowed to bring large bags or items onto the
tube. Instead you would have to opt for a drone pick up to deliver it
to your destination.
These drones that littered the sky, formed
large air motorways above major city roads.
Due to restrictions,
Nobody was allowed to own a drone, you had to pay a one off fee or
yearly subscription which some thought was ridiculous as they were
always slow and not very accurate at safely depositing your
Due to the serious overcrowding and unreliable drone
service, many worked at home.
Peter worked for a company that
helped set people up for work at home, essentially allowing home
users to communicate with Work servers.
There was a real boom for
this type of work and he found it pretty satisfying.
exciting part of his job was seeing how others lived.
He had seen
it all, from luxury apartments to squalid flats.
property he was off to was in Fulham about 45 minutes away from where
he was now.
Many hands may be found on it (4)
peter felt like he had no idea what he was doing. He felt that he was
drifting in amongst the whirlpool of society.
As each day came
about with the rise of the new sun he imagined all the people rising
and those going to bed in darkness.
Peter didn't really
think about the long ball game, he lived in the moment.
was a different feeling or experience, but not to be confused with
constantly wanting change.
He liked his life, but wondered
about the farmed who seemed to need the constant need to want
Life had become a moment of recognition. He had evolved
or grown out of his infancy.
Social connection made his reality,
through positive interaction he met likeminded people and whilst like
a magnet he was so far different.
Positive attracting positive
in his life.
Just like the north and South Pole are far away,
they are not really the polar opposite.
They're just very
Somewhere in the middle was where peter wanted to be ,
although being average and going unnoticed was not the current trait
of an influencer.
That was for the farmed, unknowingly passing
through life each day thinking they were unique.
That was the key
in keeping them at bay.
Peter had started to get bored of his
thinking and watching the farmed operate in such a way they were
His government contract of setting the farmed up at
home was coming to an end. He was thinking of drifting. He wanted to
just comply and drift.
Ignorance was bliss right?
become frustrated with the crossword now.
Many hands may be found
on it (4) was
It had pissed him off that he had
been playing the crossword and that had come up.
He knew an
influencer had written it, for all their folk and the watchers, it
was a deliberate dig at the farmed.
So much, yet so little.
sense of accomplishment. Can't beat it!
an exam or getting married. The wholesome feeling of completing
something you have been waiting for.
course, the next objective must be met.
a full cycle of events or an infinite amount of events peter had
fully realised that life was finite.
a timeline, he had started to plot on a4 paper a line of significant
objectives that he had met.
at birth in 1988 the line went to the edge of the page. He presumed
that the end was death which weirded him out momentarily.
wasn't ready for that. He had objectives to meet.
reviewing the line, he struggled to see what was so significant.
wasn't until then he realised, he was just like the farmed.
number, insignificant, a cog in the chain.
was fine with this, although he knew that knowing this was going to
had not fulfilled his influencer potential.
7 - Recognition
had been asked to speak at the local community centre next Thursday
on the topic of remote working.
As part of the new zonal
working laws, the government were particularly keen for people to
work at home.
Local businesses in his area regularly met up to
share workloads and contracts.
Of course peter was honoured that
he could speak in front of them. He couldn't wait to increase his
Social levelling had started in the Far East
during the 2020s but Western Europe had really refined it.
and slicing mega data, the state had a finished article.
Air stat was a newly launched social recognition
platform that earnt users social credits.
Social credits where
excepted unlocked many different opportunities.
From discounts on
master degrees, lower rate bank loans, even lesser charges in
It was the ultimate and final fully evolved social
If you didn't have Air stat, it was now not
possible to register for a bank.
The state even uploaded birth
certificates onto the platform, ensuring a smooth transition to the
Pre air stat, many refused to sign up.
people were in limbo, whilst those who did not have birth
certificates were also outcasted.
These people were known as
Air stat gave users the ability to instantly
trade details of each other via a handshake, bump of the fist, or
simply by asking each other.
The tiny chip essentially stored all
the vitals of the user.
If you committed a speeding offence for
example it would be added to your air stat driving license.
were though three core principles that upheld the platform and that
everyone adhered to.
Honour was for helping the nation. These were very hard
to achieve and only a few credits had been gifted by the state since
air stat conception.
Honesty was perceived to be achievable by
perception of others. It was not a score necessarily if you lied but
also if you did not tell the truth in the right way.
sometimes hurts people's feelings and should be held back or
These credits were aided by the air stat chip, reading
the metrics of brain signals. Kind of like a lie detector
Ethic was based on did you make the right moral
Did you avoid taking a pram up a flight of stairs, or
did your act of kindness spur others to do the same?
known as a multiplier ethic effect, or halo...which boosted your
credits per accumulation of act.
Credits were simple.
more you had for each category the better you were perceived by air
stat users and reporters.
The credits were not judged by volume
but also by weight.
You would receive a higher weighted credit for
saving a life, than picking up litter. Yet none the same still a
credit a piece.
Get into minus credits and the shadowlurks may
take you in, or it's generally prison.
was exactly three years ago today that the insomnia had stopped.
mixture of self-medicating has proven to Murayama that avoiding his
dreams was not the answer.
Looking out of his 6th floor window,
lights were still on at 4:30 am.
These were other city dwellers
still awake or maybe that slept with the light on.
bin men cleaned rubbish that had been left by the party goers, whilst
one man rummaged through a bin to find something worthwhile.
his back on the lights outside, his hotel room was an utter
Books, papers and empty bottles of Zinken littered the
Zinken was a strong quick fix to his sleep problems.
mixture of painkillers and sedatives ensured that he could shut his
eyes and rest, yet not dream.
Slowly Murayama lay down and closed
Where may you be travelling today
The check in assistant took the flight details and
Very nice, make sure to check out
That's where time was invented right?
"I have no care for time sir,
Just trying to find
"Well I guess to find the end you must know the
"But what about infinity. Where time
never ends. Like that ring you have, which I must say really suits
"Why thank you Mr......Jones."
From our records
here I can see you fly with us frequently, so on behalf of global air
please accept an upgrade today."
"Thank you! I'll make
sure to leave a good review."
"Enjoy your flight Mr Jones,
the new beds are great! You may rest well."
"No need to
worry about that, I don't sleep."
The clock chimes once,
and then twice.
Jenxy has been working on the passenger
boat now for 15 years.
His father got him the job at the dock when
the company had just started.
He looked like a typical dock
worker. Stocky, with well-trimmed hair, and could throw a rope on a
The journey like every other 3pm departure was
Westminster to Greenwich.
Looking at his watch Jenxy had
managed to get a everyone on board within 6 minutes.
His watch was his grandfathers passed down to him
when he got the job at the dock.
He loved it dearly and often had
it serviced at Greenwich for a good price.
No matter how many
times he had taken it there though, the watch would stop me very year
on the 19th of June.
He could bet that it would happen with his
15 years, the 19th of June. The watch would stop.
Murayama opened his eyes.
In 3 hours his
flight to London would take off.
Stretching and sliding out of bed
he slipped on his trousers, jacket, picked up his pre packed suitcase
and walked out the down the corridor.
Outside a taxi driver
rushed to take his bag, opened the door where Murayama simply sat
down in the back.
The drive was straight forward on the road
above, specially designed for airport traffic.
Getting to the
terminal with plenty of time Murayama sat and drank Zinken.
was going to London to see a sleep professional.
renowned Dr Bengozi.
Dr Bengozi claimed that he could stop
people from dreaming, cure insomnia, and if unsuccessful they would
get their money back.
Murayama sipped the last of the Zinken
and boarded the plane.
Row 19 window seat.
window hatch and putting on classical music he sat back and stared at
the seat in front.
Mr Jones, where are you?
trying to contact you now for over a month.
Your claim has
Jones put the phone down and walked to his office
Jones worked out that if something was really
important a letter would be sent.
No voicemail, txt, or call could
persuade him otherwise.
With his eye mask covering his face
and topped up on Zinken, Murayama was at ease 30,000 feet in the
The flight from japan to London was only 2 hours in.
was making its way down the aisle and a strong smell of beef
resonates throughout the cabin.
Wafting up Murayama's nose, his
right leg twitched, banged the seat tray above and woke him from his
Instinctively Murayama touched his nose with his hand
even though his eyes were still shut under the mask.
He thought it
was strange that he had done so, but marvelled in the fact that he
knew where to touch even though he could not see.
It was almost
another sense he thought!
Just like he had been woken up by the
sense of smell from dinner, he wondered how many more senses were out
The sense of time passing for instance was strong
whilst awake, yet when sleeping then waking, he had no idea how much
time had aged.
He did know that beef dinner was served and
that they usually did this about 2 hours into the flight.