Blatant Lies


A twofold alternative: it fulfills the role of both bullets and drugs.

The medium by which a “vibe,” which is both the name of the technology when in use (Broadcasting vibes) and specific forms of the technology itself (A particular vibe, usually titled such as “Rain Came Crashing”), is transmitted to a human recipient. The means of transmission isn’t important to me. Vibes can penetrate solid matter and depending on the broadcasting source are capable of long and wide coverage. Drone-mounted transmitters can project a cone about the size of a city block, and I’ll assume that a very tight point-precision transmission could be achieved over hundreds of meters or more. One could simply chalk the means of conveyance to some pseudoscientific solution like “neutrino particle beams” but I’m not a scientist, nor even a fake scientist. I barely read Wired magazine regularly. I don’t care how they’re transmitted.

Firstly, only the absolute weakest broadcast form of vibes are undetectable by a human being. Any vibe strong enough for a human being to notice even a weak effect causes a subtle to strong physical sensation in the body felt in a specific area. A vast majority of individuals feel it in the diaphragm but it can be felt in a number of places, usually areas of smooth muscle connected to significant nerves or concentrated nerve clusters in the body. The sensation is usually described as a “fluttering,” “flipping” or “tickling” which is uniquely distinct to the experience of being “under a vibe” and is rarely strong enough to cause discomfort. Citizens of areas under heavy constant vibe saturation, such as Union Civic, become so used to the sensation that it becomes as easy to ignore as the feeling of wearing one’s own clothes.

The hardest and most practical form of vibes are formally known as Incapacitants, which are most commonly thought of as “weaponized” forms of vibe but are more often used in medicine. These simply use the transmission medium to influence the human nervous system. The effects range from gentle muscle relaxation and massage to complete loss of motor function. Incapacitants have myriad uses involving medical care recovery, first aid, pain management and physical therapy. Most famously, they’re used by Union Police as a means of disabling any aggressor without causing any bodily harm or pain. The use of incapacitant vibes have no long-lasting effects upon the body, and the only psychological harm done is generally due to the humiliation of being rendered helpless.

The most extensive use of vibe technology, however, are Experiential or “soft” vibes. The transmission medium can be used to stimulate the human brain and endocrine system to generate within the body and mind a particular abstract sensation. These vary as widely as heath and beauty products do today, and each one is unique in some subtle way. Vibes are created like recipes, through experimentation, scientific theory, and testing, to produce more new sensations. Vibes are named in an attempt to either sell their qualities or in an attempt to sum up the texture of their effect in a stylized sense: Rain Came Crashing, Venus Rising, Apex Junction, Savior Of Man, Imperfection Untangling. Some vibes are constructed to deliver a specific sort of emotional experience, therefore less abstract, but also requiring specific calibration to an individual’s biometrics for accurate effect: Home, Introspection, Discovery, Peer Legitimacy, Violent Acceptance, Renewal, Foreshadowing, Heartwork.

"Hard vibes" are the attempted replication of a vibe in chemical form, usually a pill or a dissolving capsule in drink. Hard vibes provide a similar, often severe and legitimately intoxicating, experience. While they’re produced by Union Civic’s Medical Corps for a variety of uses, the vast majority of hard vibes are illegally produced and sold off-FEED for a cheaper, stronger vibe experience.

Vibes are the fabric of the lives of Union Civic citizens, and subversively leak into the lives of every individual within and surrounding Union Civic. The addictive quality of both soft and hard vibes would be undeniable and possibly even worrisome if the whole of Union Civic did not exist in a constant bath of them, without a single thought of ever losing touch with a technology that is as common as electricity itself. Every FEED handheld app contains a vibe broadcasting hardpoint by default.

The complete and utter absence of vibe presence upon an individual who has become life-long acclimated to them would require the absolute removal of FEED itself. The loss of FEED results in context withdrawal.

11 August 2013 Context Withdrawal

The goal of Union Civic, and FEED, within the story is to present to the reader a society that seeks to eliminate all sources of danger while unconsciously sublimating all forms of abuse.

10 August 2013 Context Withdrawal


Short-Sell Premise: An Awakabal tribesman’s brief and violent encounter in the bush with an English counterfeiter fleeing mandatory labor at the newly founded Botany Bay colony foreshadows a generational family rivalry between the two men and subsequently the militarization of the Awakabal which, as transportation carries its course, invokes bloodshed and intrigue over the course of several decades of Georgian political bungling, gross negligence, and a culture of corporal punishment.

Setting: Colonial Australia and Tasmania (“Van Diemen’s Land”) with brief vignettes from elsewhere relevant including Georgian England, France, Indonesia and New Guinea.

10 August 2013

For clarification: Development Blog posts are likely to be in nerd-assed writer gibberish talk since they’re being placed here for easy personal reference and done impromptu.

I have to go to “work” now.

10 August 2013


Posts will be tagged with the working title of the relevant piece in question.

Celebrity impersonation being part of enthusiast culture will have to be added to the story early on, in spite of my reservations. The reasons for this I will now list as they come to me:

  • Themes of identity, and the ways that identity relates to context(s), are the lifeblood of the story. Examples: Pseudopersonalities are a believable imitation of a FEED Infograph and account using doctored biometric data, thus an imitation of a human life. MedCorps adjustment therapy Assumed Role Specialists imitate a particular human being (based on Infograph aggregate), such as when Swayze “meets himself” at the family compound. Subtler examples include the act of feigning social responsibility on the part of the protagonist and his friends to keep their family satisfied, Delay’s spy act, and to a degree Seconds (Seconds match the Firsts within 99.9% accuracy to Infograph and biometric readout, but that 00.1% is still a factor). So, the act of Swayze or any enthusiast imitating (as best they’re able) a 20th or 21st century celebrity for entertainment value can mirror these other acts of imitation seen throughout the story in order to maintain consistency of theme and create a sort of internal mimesis within the narrative.
  • Celebrity imitation is akin to Elvis or James Brown impersonation: an exaggerated version of the long since deceased celebrity as they’re represented in salvaged media. Enthusiasts, in line with their whole deal of perceived authenticity, pride themselves on their ability to imitate a celebrity visually and theatrically without resorting to MedCorps cosmetic surgery or adjustment therapy. This helps solidify the nature and color of the enthusiast community while opening up more room for verb-actions within scenes rather than stale exposition or repetitive description of personal care habits to establish their distinction from Union Civic residents.
  • Adds some meat to the currently thinly plotted start of the story. Potential for humorous conflict between enthusiasts.
  • Visually potent although potentially overly campy. Young future-retro hipsters performing Usher singles at a ruined bowling alley whilst pretending to be Justin Timberlake as a crowd of would-be Janet Jacksons, Billy Ray Cyruses and Madonnas? Is that funny, horrifying, trite, interesting, or just plain stupid? Could I make that more subtle? Will it just seem like half-baked social commentary?
  • Is a character’s primary account also in-line with their preferred celebrity? Would Swayze play Patrick Swayze on-stage, doing a mutant rendition of scenes from his various films set to music from Dirty Dancing? I’m inclined to dial this performance thing down as much as possible, as it seems like it could clash with the narrative’s overall tone.

Putting this in the first third of the story, during the early exposé of Swayze’s lifestyle, feels too thematically potent to pass up. The details will need to be determined by the time the re-write comes about.

9 August 2013 Context Withdrawal

 Our building’s communal hall holds an audience, with chairs in narrow rows perpendicular to the long side of the room. I step in, my eyes adjusting to the gloom, and sidle up against the flaking paint of the back wall, out of sight. At least fourty-nine are in attendance, most of them as young as Lil’ Bro but not all of them familiar. Baby Sister With Neck Scar From a Feral Hound has her head resting on an apple-sized swollen fist and Dad’s detested “Molotov Twins” sit side-by-side, their ears notch-clipped for making sport of throwing stones at mile neighbors. A narrow and tall young man half my age stands tilted with a club foot. He reminds me of a boy that suffered the same, whose infection seemed hopelessly terminal when I left the compound to make the family fortune.

 All eyes in attendance are on me, sitting on a stool beside a FEED hardpoint visualization suite. Me, in a pair of tightly-laced BreatheFriendlies and a plum CoNIKTo track-suit with gilded stripe, is running a PreCompEd FeedSCRIPT refresher lesson. Me, with an exaggerated bouffant hairdo and a printfac gold flat-link dangling from my scrawny neck, has just finished prepping the children for the lesson interactives. Next to me, Swayze, scrolls the Active!Time fluidity feedback graph with JOiPrompt. I, Swayze, [ready] the first scenario for reflexive EmotE: in cascade sequence a crowd of children on projection raise their hands to grab at an skyscape of dangling fresh apples which shine with in cold dew. This is a test with no incorrect response: [desire], [delight], [hunger], [hope], [instinct], [envy], [excitement], [disbelief], and primordial [fascination] from the tiniest ones. EmotE ripples through the classroom’s body language, the hardpoint scan-logging their biometrics and displaying their EmotE accuracy accordingly. I, Swayze, introduce another scenario: the hand closes its fingers around the apple in a grip [need] [satisfaction] [want] [pleasure] [anticipation] and they pass through it, the apple sinking inwards and crumbling to ash [confusion] [horror] [disappointment] which passes between the fingers as a black cloud [loss] [sadness] [despair] [desperation] and the black cloud forms a humanoid shape with one great steely eye glowing in the middle of its simple, domed head. It holds the apple within one cloudy, formless pseudopod [bad] [bad] [hate] [anger] [adversary] [adversary] [adversary]. The hand clenches into a fist [determination] [perseverance] [hope] an unfamiliar girl manages to cognitively achieve the abstract [resurgence] and now the children struggle against the shadow man for the apple. JOiPrompt reads their EmotE and their teamwork rating swells, their individual response-match readouts fill and flood over each other like spilled cups to form a pool of [unity] which glows upon their faces as their mighty projection-fist shatters shadow man into fragments of [defeat] [defeat] [defeat] [defeat] [defeat] [defeat] which melt into a stylized drain upon the floor. The apple falls into the palm and the children, involuntarily, reach skywards to hold it in their hands in an exaggeration of [triumph], which I, Swayze, inform the children is the lesson of the day.

 I, the Ghost in the back with a hand on my solar plexus, press against a bulging tide of stomach acid.

1 August 2013

  The kids are perched all around on stools and chairs while some of them use flat rectangles of plastic to sweep up the shattered mess of the prep table. Most of them are standing around the refrigeration unit in the back. I pull myself inside, completely ignored, and grasp at rolling capsules trying to get one in my hand. My clumsy fist sends them scattering like roaches. Sobbing fills my ears and pulls at my attention. Most of these kids are crying. My fascination is pulled from the vibes by that sound, something even more delicious and real, so I crawl on hand and knee to the edge of a ring they’ve formed around the refrigerators. On the ground I see Rudy and Colebin lying face up with their chests perforated and throats cut, their blood a thick gloss creeping across the dirty tile. On their wide open faces is an expression of strange sublimity, as if death was a pleasant surprise ending to a long tiresome tale. The children aren’t weeping for them. The boy with the glass ting-ting sits atop a stool with a sombre expression looking down upon another body. It’s a girl, aged perhaps five or six, reassembled. Two other girls have finished putting the dismembered pieces of her back together into the shape of a body. Her head has been cut open and her brain crudely dissected, dug around in by the pushers. Slits and holes mark her body where they’d excised her lymphs and glands.

  We’re joined by the rest of the children  who have returned from routing the lower floors of the hospital out into the street. They wipe their ting-ting off on rags and come to join mourning. The children plunge now into deep and choked weeping. This chorus of angry sorrow is guttural, phlegmatic and unmistakably adult; worlds beyond the characteristic infant’s sharp cry for love and feeding, care and affection. The boy barks something difficult to hear in the midst of the crying and Rudy and Colebin are stripped of their garments, which are quickly cut to ribbons and handed around as cloths to wipe away the tears of the mass. The boy begins to cry and I’m overcome by a wave of shame and sadness. My eyes leak and I begin to sob too, caught within the pathos of this ruined girl, this little person-to-be torn into ingredients and stuffed into a cold box. I’m still crying when I realize that the boy is standing in front of me, awestruck. Now the room is a chorus of sniffles and honking as the kids blow the remains of their mourning into their rags. The boy crouches in front of me with his eyes open wide. Now I realize that my blanket been pulled off of my head as I crawled the distance. I don’t know what he sees, who he sees, but his face is determined and his eyes are filled with fire. And in that moment I feel the connection, a tug in the blood, as the fog of context withdrawal melts and I’m overcome with the certainty that this kid is my baby brother.

"Ghost!" he shouts triumphantly. The room claps and shouts with him, all  throaty and wild repetitions of "Ghost! Ghost! Ghost!"

23 May 2013

 My trial went smoothly. I was there, apparently, just vibed out. A playback shows me clearly zonked and smiling calmly in a MedCorps pod while the proceedings transpired over my head. Accountability deemed my direct participation unnecessary due to the relative disproportion of my infograph contextual weight versus the overwhelming amount of various types of evidence they discovered once I was officially taken into custody. [a statement of personal defence] I am played back on the FEEDScript record [would only serve to humiliate all involved]. FEED-verified visual, FEED-verified hormono-olfactory, FEED-verified contact and context-placement with every message I sent pinging my location downtown with a time stamp, FEED-verified eyewitness account signed by many including PORTER.COLE and the front door watch at PYRE. All in all enough weight to balance Pluto on a scale. Proof laid out, the EdCo randomly-selected jury declared me guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. The whole process took less calculations than it’d take for me to carry out a conversation about the weather. Now, HOOVER.B explains to me, I’m facing mandatory MedCorps enrollment and Illuminatherapy to help me discover why I’m so maliciously self-destructive. The therapy is more mandatory than the MedCorps enlistment: post-sentencing Q&A in front of EdCo could potentially reduce my MedCorps service. Illuminatherapy must continue until I find out why I did what I did, and in the process help MedCorps study the life pathway from child of the Limits to violent secessionist.

 [what if i say no] is my question. Well, HOOVER.B explains, your current status is of negligable cost to Civic. They’re willing to allow you to remain in custody, in whatever introspection paradigm of your choosing, until a medical contractor puts up a sufficient bid on your corporeal body for fully licensed use. Then it’s our of the hands of MedCorps. [if you refuse your sentence there’s a fair chance you’ll wind up as essentially software / currently you’re the property of Union Civic as of the moment of your sentencing / i wouldn’t wait too long to decide]. Another question is [who exactly have they sentenced?] HOOVER.B seems confused, so I clarify with [who precisely has been sentenced / me or Swayze]. HOOVER.B responds that Swayze received the sentence. [but the rights to Swayze are public / i released them before i was taken in / i no longer have claims on Swayze]. This gives HOOVER.B a moment of pause. I sit back in my comfortable chair and plan my next step while he runs over the question in BriefCounselor. [sorry but that’s not possible] is his response [your physical body has been legally associated with a permanency clause adjunct to the handle “Swayze” / sentencing eliminates any chance of reassignment even in special interest cases]. He doesn’t get it, so I have to re-explain it to him in simpler terms [i’m not seeking reassignment / i’m revoking my association to Swayze]. He shakes his head [can’t be done / you’ve got to have a handle]. [no] I explain [i am revoking my rights to a handle]. This confuses him even further, and he has to take an even longer pause to review the proceedings in this case. [but then you’ll be expelled from custody and any future treatment] he says [Illuminatherapy and MedCorps training and TYPE reassignment won’t happen]. I [nod] at him [that’s what i’m saying / since Swayze is public you either need to sentence me and every single other user of the license] I stop there. I let him finish my script, which he does seamlessly [or have you released from the FEED ToS / however the ToS only allows a post-signature rejection on justifiable grounds according to EdCo’s Human Rights licensing / which can only apply to Swayze and Swayze is exempt due to the severity of his crime]. Counter-argument [but i’m not Swayze / Swayze and his infograph are legally public property which allows me the right to refuse association with him / the physical body housing the brain you’re speaking with is allowed his human rights as the FEED Human Rights licensing applies to non-Civic citizens as justification for FEED interventionism in outmile conflict / so you either tell MedCorps to stop saving babies from molotovs or you let me go].

 The question hangs in the air, I can feel it stirring in his brains as it stirs in mind: did my physical body blow up PYRE? Did my mind, my autonomous brain, do the job? According to FEED, neither did. According to FEED and the basis for its entire aggregate system, Swayze blew up PYRE. Swayze, his collected infograph, his own personal zeitgeist, blew up PYRE. I watch HOOVER.B’s fat fingers rub his round merry chin and consider that without Swayze I have no name. Without Swayze, I am a body in space. HOOVER.B gives me EdCo visual access and I watch as the issue goes before them. As they bat the question around of whether or not to release me I smile inwardly at the fact they can’t name me. Swayze was I and I was Swayze, now I’m nothing and have no name and no placement. EdCo unanimously agrees that my claim to separation from Swayze is allowed, meaning that if I choose to release myself from any association with him they’ll expel me from MedCorps custody. I see that same confusion that overwhelmed HOOVER.B flood EdCo, the sudden self-awareness that someone has consciously rejected their right to life, and that they unanimously agree that rejection of FEED is equal to death of the self. The vote comes to a close saying that yes, I am allowed to not be Swayze. Yes, I am allowed to never again be a citizen of Union Civic. Yes, my physical body may be dumped out on the street. I am allowed to be a non-factor. I am allowed to lower myself into the oubliette.

 [all right] HOOVER.B [sighs] [just sign here and you can see yourself out]

14 March 2013

 In order to proceed, I have to purchase my own surgery. This is because the FEED ToS indicates that a citizen of Union Civic can’t be forced to accept a TYPE conversion without agreeing to accept the surgery voluntarily. This is just one example of how the FEED criminal rehabilitation system works: nothing that happens to a criminal, short of detainment, is done without their approval. This ensures that the criminal decides their own course of rehab. The options set before you are given as a result of your infograph, already organically tailored to your needs, and you may choose among them or you may abstain. My infograph has me cited as the number one enemy of the state, so my only volunteer option is surgical reassignment preceding enlistment in MedCorps and mandatory therapy sessions.

 So, I abstain. For seventeen cycles I’ve abstained. Each cycle lasts for a certain number of calculations, optimized for each individual within the system for real decision making. During these cycles you remain in custody, where I currently reside. I’m taking a walk right now. The best place for me to consider my options seemed like the beach along the primordial sea, some (year BC). Cracks in the earth hiss steam, the sun is a distinct shade of dull amber and if I didn’t have olfactory turned off I’d be introduced to a variety of early-earth smells. Thick waves lurch across the rocks, smother my toes and recede. I’m naked but I can still put my hands in my pockets. I bend down, stick my hand into the water and feel its strange warmth. Back the wave goes out to sea, leaving my hand covered in a thick goop. There’s nothing on land to speak of: hills, rocks, bumps and crests hissing and glowing with tinsel stains. No birds in the sky, no fish in the sea. It’s very lonely but I seem to want to feel lonesome. A tingling sensation in the back of my head tells me that the cycle is ending and I’m going to have to make a decision. A very long time is spent on the shore: 142010032013 implied milliseconds, perceived by me as “a very long time” during which I reject any attempt to move my criminal case forwards. Like a living memory I understand that my corporeal body rests in MedCorps custody and only has for perhaps a few solar hours.

7 March 2013

She steps aside and cracks him across the temple with a chunk of cinder, knocking him to the ground. She proceeds to kneel on top of him and slam the thing across his face over and over again until the rest of them catch up, drag her off and hold her with her arms behind her back. A searchlight blasts across the road and I can feel the incapacitance vibes from here. Everyone slackens up and there’s an audio announcement to “PLEASE WAIT FOR UNION POLICE ASSISTANCE.” Vibes hold everyone captive. From where I’m lying it’s like they’ve all decided they’re not mad at her any more. Everyone’s just lying on the ground. In the harsh white light I can see their bellies rising and falling slowly. A Unipo carrier is there in a couple of minutes. Police hop out, as the vibes let up they help the party people to their feet and separate everyone up into groups of five for each officer. There’s talking, scripting: Unipo procedure. Everyone gives their statement, they run it by Accountability for review and make a judgement call. A few moments later they’ve separated Delay from the group and they’re leading the partygoers back to their mile, spare the guy Delay hammered with the rock. Delay gets searched, presumably for weapons and the missing pseudo. They script. Smashed Face looks like hell, unrecognizable with blood and ripped skin. They let Smashed Face go and sit with Delay for a few more minutes. She starts crying, sobbing. They comfort her with vibes, fixing her sadness right up, and she looks grateful. The police depart and the drones disperse. Within minutes she’s got me by the collar and is pulling me out of the mess.

"What the fuck was that?" I ask, but she claps her hand over my mouth and we’re back on the forced march. She won’t let us rest until we’re out of the mile. We settle for a rooftop to lie down. She checks the building first, making sure there’s no signs of habitation. I’m barely awake, only curiosity is keeping me up. "They didn’t search the mile for me," I mutter. Her response is "They found you." I don’t remember anything after that except for an image: Delay puffing on her nicotine inhaler and wiping specks of blood off of her face. The next thing we both know we’re roused in the middle of the night by the earth shaking. Recyclers on the move. Delay spots their safety lights a half-mile away through her binoculars. They’re fully operational and headed south.

21 February 2013