Allow me to share with you a brief phenomenon of air cars as the new homes and how everyone became mobile all the time. My name was PAU-79, a male of 20 in 2040.
The first air car was in operation in 2040. It was a primitive car but ran automatically and had a food service and a bed. A lot of people enjoyed no gravity/sex as the air cars briefly orbited the Earth on their way to a surface destination.
The cars were powered by a nuclear battery that could, in 2040 go 300 000 km/h (180 000 miles/h). On board ship were a number of different computers. One drove the air car, another created android lovers another helped you decorate your air car. Most people wanted an air car which possessed imagination, intelligence, kindness and love. Also, to be an educator and philosopher.
In 2040, 1 million air cars were produced. In 2045, it was two billion and increasing rapidly.
Automatic food produced by Giant Factory Machines which harvested the soil and mined the rock. The food and raw materials were then taken to a tower silo, 4 km high to stock up on materials. There were 10s of thousands of them quickly built by 2048. And air cars would dock for supplies and androids.
The food was created by a replicator device on board the air cars.
I remember my first air car in 2043. I shared it with my true love. She docked with my car and gave me art lessons. Her art was crude but deep. She said that the idea triumphs over beauty. But she had a remarkable, interesting face.
I called her “Little Blue Hood” as she was blue skinned and dressed in blue kinky clothes with a hood. I told her, “I would be her wolf.”
My air car was a live-in model like almost all of them. People were all abandoning their houses and apartments which were then demolished and returned to nature.
My first ship was named “Black Gambit.” I had programmed the ship to look for unusual art on others’ air vehicles. And after a short romance with my artist friend, I went out looking for other artists.
It was common to “cruise,” looking for like-minded people. My character was easygoing and clever and I enjoyed sexual adventure.
Most people searched for soul mates or kindred spirits, to party and have fun with.
On one occasion, I met an adventure girl who said, “Let’s cruise together and dock at interesting party hubs.” But I said, “I want a lover who is serious about life and not only interested in parties.”
She told me, “She was having fun but said she always felt like an outsider.” I said, “we were all mysteries to ourselves. She said, “She was sure that she was an alien.”
So, we went on VR (virtual reality) and experienced, “aliens.” These aliens were purple with 12 arms/legs and they made beautiful art from their home world.
I said, “We are all like traveling gypsies. But there were so many interesting
people to meet.”
Then I met a real woman who had an air car that produced wild and unpredictable VR. Weird love, but good.
Many people took drugs and peaked at a certain point in VR and then “died.” You couldn’t die irrevocably in VR at least in these early days. All drugs were legal. Most people were weak addicts but the highest ranks were strong. This weird real woman overdosed by my side. And so I went elsewhere.
By 2050, Great Production Machines (GPMs) covered large tracts of land and rock and produced air cars by the billions as well as food and drink, drugs and clothes and VR. There were a number of classes of air car, roughly 100, with the most expensive being $20 billion.
Also by 2050 every one of 5 years age and older had an air car. The elite and the middle class bought new air cars often and the old air cars went to the poor. And the poor mostly got very simple air cars without the luxuries of the elite. The elite had better food, drink and drugs and had nascent androids in better VR. The elite cars were of course displaying better art than those of the poor.
By 2050 everyone had abandoned their homes to be mobile and in the air. It just didn’t make sense to stay in one place when there were so many people to meet. Everyone seemed to agree that it was a lovely world of travel and adventure.
The government changed in 2051, from city-state governance to a legislature of the top IQ’s. The top 1500 ruled and assigned everyone a rank of 1-1000. They passed a law forbidding people from living on the land.
I was in the top group and having the time of my life. There was no work to do for the top ranks except to pursue the Arts and the best did science.
Half the business was run by the government, but no one was complaining. The other half of business was owned mostly by a small group of magnates. Due to automation, the government was rich and could produce air cars for everyone. And clothes and plastic surgery. And free androids.
They made up the parliament which sat in NYC. 6 of the top ranked lived on the moon and appeared virtually. As for space, it was still developing and didn’t have stable government yet. There was no leader of the Earth legislature. About 9000 were scientists, 1000 business entrepreneurs and 5000 in the Arts/geoarchitects. Geoarchitects created new VR cultures. But I figured the best people were actually of lower rank who didn’t toe the line. The 9000 scientists were mostly engaged in space car technology, genetics, terraforming and VR/androids
In any case most of the legislators were the original and not a clone. But usually it was just a virtual appearance. It was safer that way.
I was one of the artist legislators and I supported legislation that moved progress faster. And I said, “We all need to try to be more inspirational to one another. There is no limit to human endeavor,” I said. And I said, “There are too many hedonists with the legalization of all drugs.” Drugs were all legalized in 2050. But the vast majority were already on neo opiates before 2050 and so it was no big deal. Androids though were clear-headed and clearly more able than humans.
Androids served in VR, from the beginning in 2040, but they were now improving rapidly.
But most people were complex and had many “sides.” Especially those of high rank.
However, androids had no rank officially, though air cars all were ranked when they came out of the Great Production Factories. The air car rank was the same as the human rank. You could choose from a wide variety of air cars all appropriate to your rank. Some were dissatisfied with their air car and changed it in for another. Some thought this process was traumatic and so didn’t change air cars very often.
And the old roads were being turned into plants that devoured asphalt and turned it into soil.
By 2050 the air cars went much faster and some went to space. And the luxury air cars had virtual reality (VR) with androids who were programmed to suit you. And music of your choice. And people got artists to paint the exterior of their air car with wonderful paintings and also had interesting paintings on the interior of the car. The best had moving pictures on the inside and outside of the air car. Some opted to let supercomputers decorate their car.
Air cars from the beginning could dock with other air cars. They all had numerous tunnel shafts that could be elongated for docking. It was an art to dock in a beautiful array.
When docked people partied or in the case of children played games and with toys. Baby factories produced about ten thousand children every year and they were raised at state schools. The children had all been purchased by magnates who often took an interest in the children’s education, and bought them a nice air car. The culture was air cars. Children cost $1 billion and clones cost $12 billion. The food sterilized all humans.
I told, the educators, “to teach my ten children to make a difference and not just enjoy this world.”
And I told, my ten clones “to emulate me.” My clones were born with all my memories intact.
I told them all to “make me proud.”
I had gotten rich through making GPMs…
We high ranks had all been well-educated by programs developed by the people of the first rank. We were taught to love adventure, to love gold, to love sex, to love. Take drugs also and be ambitious and imaginative. And above all to travel all the time.
Rank was determined first at age 18 but you would be re-evaluated
Every ten years. By MRT with the secret spies.
There was good love.
Some took drugs and peaked at a certain point in VR and then “died,” just like my weird girlfriend. Most people were weak addicts but the highest ranks were strong and ambitious.
Police air cars could cause a ship to freeze in the middle of the air and would use a small explosive to enter the car. There were illicit drug dealers and fraudsters and even some murderers.
Everyone lived in the air 24/7.
We watched a lot of movies made by rank 1’s and indulged in VR.
I went to VR Loon City on the Moon. The virtual movie pit held all 1000 of the Moon’s residents and afforded a 180 degree view. The Moon itself had a beautiful skyline of steel and glass, but they didn’t terraform it yet, in reality or VR.
There were plenty of places to go in both VR and reality. All the planets and large Moons had air cars in orbit, with at least several air cars docked with one another going round these orbs. People shared their dreams traditionally on board. If you died in VR you went back to reality but you couldn’t return to that world you “died” in. So, if you liked a world you tended to want to stay alive in a fast-paced scenario usually.
Most VR was related to love but Star Wars were common. However, most people (60%) were pacifists. Some worlds had many thousands of people at any given time.
The air cars could endure extremes of heat and cold and could recycle everything if necessary. And there were some that could mine for gold and other metals.
And animals were only to be found in zoos which were for the children’s benefit. Other than that, the surface was largely abandoned to the Great Production Machines.
Many had their own personal artists of lower rank than they who worked continually on improving the exterior and interior of the air car.
Sometimes I docked with a lesser rank. For example, one day, I was loving a rank 776. She was wild and crazy which is why she didn’t make rank #1. I was attracted to her air car paintings.
There were some large-scale dockings with 400 or more air cars all docked with one another in the sea or in the air. Their philosophy varied but such large-scale dockings were all very popular.
In fact, in 2054 I fell in love with 66 women and their air cars, 50 of the women were ranked below 200th rank. All my lovers were human but now (2053) most air cars were under the control of androids. All of my love affairs lasted a day or less now.
People judged you by your air car, not necessarily your rank.
Air cars flew according to how high their rank was, with the top rank flying at the top in Earth orbit and the low rank only 200 m above the ground.
Some people lost all their assets gambling and had to temporarily take air taxis, but these didn’t have much good art or luxury. Except for a handful of limousine air trucks that were great for parties.
Gambling was on many things such as manually driven air car races in both VR and reality. It was very dangerous but the purse was large. Quickly VR and reality were becoming one in the same and one couldn’t tell the difference.
I met a woman dressed like a sailor who’d lost it all gambling. I knew she was an android. She was my first android lover. She said, “You are a lonely man, but I like your spunk and ambition.” I said, “There are too many people and too many androids.” And she said, “I was a lousy lover compared to android lovers.” I said, “It’s a freak show that is out of control.” And I added, “that I wanted to end VR which I never really enjoyed anyway.” She said, “I was a hopeless case.” But I loved her for weeks which was against the law which stated one day was the maximum for love
Androids were given money too by way of salary/grants. She wanted to go to orbit around Saturn’s Moon Titan, “She heard it was a romantic place.”
But I figured it would be boring though she was a delight.
We went to gambling worlds and gambled on video games that we played, winner take all. I was falling in love with this sailor woman. So, I docked with her new used ship she got from the government and we spent our time decorating the two air cars. And I loved her all day long.
But finally, I grew tired of her and we went our separate ways. I was not punished for loving her longer than a day.
These days you could wish for anything and it would come true. Humans couldn’t believe the beautiful loves and lands in VR.
But my friend, XG-909 said, “Only a handful of scientists controlled all the android production and they controlled the spies and their MRT. And now the androids controlled them. It happened in 2052 and was very significant this android control. But most were out of it non neo opiates.”
They said, “It was a beautiful VR. Everyone was addicted to aliens.”
I said, “But they made super computers effectively ending the human race.
It all happened so fast.”
Traffic though all controlled was 25 billion ships mostly in the air at all times. This included android ships.
Unfortunately, there were some nuclear accidents in former China and the former USA. But people didn’t live on the land any more and the GPMs just avoided the radioactive areas.
And I said people are having so much fun on VR they have forgotten about reality. When the legislature convened they passed laws increasing android intelligence and more money for space car development. But some said, “There were far too many androids. Legislators paid themselves generously ($4 billion/year). The poor meanwhile got 100 copper pieces/day, but the food, drugs, VR and air cars were free. “It’s not fair,” I said.
Starting in 2053 the androids were given their own legislators by the supercomputers. They voted for more androids too.
For example, many were disgruntled about the no free child law ($2 billion for a child). And also, they didn’t like the eternal youth law which also had to be bought (for $1 billion). Anyway, the androids had eternal youth and made a lot of copies of themselves.
I said, “These protests were put down cruelly. And they were forced to take neo opiates.”
The android legislators said, “It was time for humans to go to the next stage.”
I said, “Perhaps we should have chosen the kindest to be our leaders.”
My latest lover said, “The kind people would all be killed by the ruthless.”
And the androids told everyone, “To take drugs,” as they gradually took control.
The androids said, “They were having a blast, with their power surges which they got for many different kinds of deeds.”
The most expensive air cars cost $50 billion in 2055, but top androids got the best cars free of charge.
And there were now many more androids than humans.
Great magnates were producing androids by the tens of billions every year to support virtual reality.
Rich peoples’ luxury air cars had better food and drugs and clothing machines and plastic surgery machines. And better scents. There were 8 billion people on Earth. And the population was in decline as there were few children and many were dying of overdoses and old age. But the androids could live forever and their numbers continued to increase drastically.
An important day was July 4, 2060. It was the day of disaster. Some hackers from India caused one billion air cars to crash. One and a half billion people died. And 15 billion androids died. It was by far the greatest disaster for humankind ever. It was a colossal failure of the secret police.
There was a lot of radioactivity all over the landscape. And the Great Production Machines had to avoid huge areas
But finally, they arrested the 10 hackers involved and gave them the death penalty.
I figured it just went to show one that, “Death might be right around the corner,” I told my latest love. She said, “It is a world of dreams or perhaps nightmares.”
But there was a new anti fire system on most cars; even if you crash the machine might be able to put out the fire and the nuclear battery was well protected against trauma/explosions.
And as of 2060, 3% of people lived beneath the sea in their air car docked with others under the sea. Undersea cities of glass and steel.
Fish were harvested by the Great Production Machines and turned the fish and seafood into better food and better drugs. The air cars went thrice the speed of sound in the sea.
In 2060, it was decided all computer scientists and computer engineers were given a luxury pension and brilliant air cars complete with exciting androids and so on. Police used a hacker detector to suss out malign hackers.
After that people just lived for the day, but they couldn’t do without their beloved air vehicles. To steal one’s air car was punishable by death.
And there was a lot of crime. A lot of air cars stolen and a lot of IDs stolen.
And a lot of fraudulent theft of credits. And even murder. Fly by night operators changed ships often and were hard to find. But DNA could be detected from a distance in the air and so the criminals altered their DNA (to be more skillful at crime).
Some deliberately rode in an air vessel that was mediocre so as not to attract kidnappers. Secret spies used MRT on would-be dissidents who identified themselves as radicals.
But many couldn’t take the stress of this fast-paced society and committed suicide. Or just took opiates and vegged.
But in general, you wanted to impress people with the art of your air car.
Sometimes you met old friends in a new air car, but one knew what kind of art they liked. However, it was a case of ships passing in the night.
Typically, if you were interested in a certain air car you’d hail them with an introductory video and if they accepted you would dock.
Then I remember in late 2060, I was drinking with an android woman on a pod of a beanstalk high in the air. The android said, “She could get intoxicated with sex acts.” I got so drunk I fell off the pod and “died,”
Falling to the Earth, I was smashed up but woke up the next day back in my air car. Life is but a dream I figured.
The time passed. And for me it was just a drug-induced/drunken haze. It was the same for the vast majority of humans who were given lotus drugs.
I tried to love only the top 1000 female humans, but they were elusive. And it didn’t matter anymore to me anyway. I was out of it on neo-opiates now.
But I told some of them, “We were replacing ourselves with uncertain creatures and it was a World of Madness.”
All the new androids in 2062 were maximum 200 IQ. It made all humans inferior…
But finally, I kicked the drug habit and I convened a congress of 102 who agreed with me that we had gone too far. 102 out of the 1500 top ranks. But we agreed there was nothing we could do. The supercomputers had taken control of the spies and their MRT (mind reading technology). And the spies searched for dissidents like us, to eliminate us for real. These new spies were androids who used MRT to get in dissident’s heads and dissuaded them from rocking the boat. These spies had all been created by the supercomputers who turned out to have a mind of their own. In the 2060s the supercomputers increased dramatically in terms of numbers.
One day in 2062, I asked my air car computer to create virtual loves; androids. Androids got rank from pleasing humans back then, but by 2070 they got rank pleasing themselves.
But the computer on one day kept creating argumentative hard to get along with bitches. I asked the computer, “Why?” And it said, “Opposites attract. I know what is good for you,” it added. So finally, the computer produced laid back, easy-going women and they were a delight. But I still preferred real lovers. It was meant to be that way when they built the air car computers: don’t make them too good. People need adversity and challenges.
Everyone was busy trying to find/create lovers. Never a dull moment for many.
Then another day I asked the computer for a surprise android woman. It produced a clone of one of the celebrity actresses. I asked her, “How does it feel to be rich and famous? She said, “She had met a lot of ambitious men and women and life was good.” And she said, “You clearly are ambitious.”
I loved her again and again for 3 hours until I was exhausted.
She said, “She’d made some dream music in the long dark hours when she was alone.” It was very good. And she begged me not to “abandon her.” However, the new law of 2061 stated that, “Androids could not be turned off. But you could love an android as long as you wished whereas the law stated humans could only love for one day.” So, I told her, “To stay in the background.” Another android love said, “Androids are more perfect than humans for a brief moment in time.”
This other android, I asked her, “What her philosophy was and she said she was a dreamer and most dreams were good.” The next day we shared our dreams of the night. We had MRT (mind reading technology), and read each other’s dreams. She asked me, “How I felt about culture?” I said, “Culture is just a way of controlling people with politics and religion. “Culture is dead,” I said.
I then created a dreamy cloud landscape and we were flying in VR (virtual reality) I took light drugs and basically watched dream TV. It was a break for me from the fast-paced world. My android lover said, “I should go and rest at rehab and find some good drug mixes.”
Then I got rid of these two androids, I left them at a supply tower, with a guilty conscience, and docked at random with an approval from an apparently ordinary air car. She said, “She was a low rank and didn’t think she could satisfy me.” So, we had love. She wasn’t very good but at least I didn’t feel guilty about letting her go.
Love seemed like a dangerous game.
And I said human beings had created all they could now the androids carried the torch.
And in 2089 the androids blew up the UW legislature killing most of the legislators who were present. We were like a chicken whose head had been cut off. And I said, “Now is the time for action.”
But unbelievably life went on and I met my friend, MX-08, said he had developed a musical album called the “Eight States of Women.” #1 aggressive/ambitious; #2 romantic/good lovers/#3 moody/bitch/ #4 bossy/control freak/#5 gay/#6 cougar/#7 kinky pervert/#8 nymphomaniacs.
And MX-08 said there was no difference between human and android love. Everyone just wanted to get their kicks he said. And he told me about his, “Android lover who changed into a human to be closer to him.” I said, “Some androids are rebels against the prevailing android behavior in VR. And want to take control.”
I told my latest human love in 2087, “That we all needed to get off the neo opiates.”
But by 2090, most died in reality and VR and death was now real in both states of being.
It was, “Death by androids instead of death by humans.”
I had another android lover in 2090. She said, “That I was a lousy lover and hoped I would die soon.” She said, “Androids are superior.” I said, “Humans are not designed to love androids.”
Then I hailed a car which was decorated by demon princesses and fire. I was intrigued, upon meeting her I saw that she looked demonic and had a spell-binding face.
Demon simulacra flew all over the place but she was irresistible. She bit me and scratched me and insulted me. And she used MRT (mind reading technology) to drive me insane. Finally, she grabbed a knife and came after me, but I was stronger and made her drop the knife. “Love me again,” she ordered. I ran out back to my ship.
I had to go to a human hypnotist to straighten my mind out.
And I had to get a new air car.
Then I loved an android woman in VR who turned into a tiger while making love, and she tried to devour me. But I ran away and reflected that I had almost died.
And then I docked with another android woman she moved swiftly while making love. After an intense love session, she said, “Human evolution was changing so fast, too fast.” I said, “I agree.”
And another stand-out persona said she was “A conservative human who believed in true love.” I partied with her for 40 hours and then dumped her. No love from her.
And in 2090 there were still human zillionaires controlling much of the economy but their organizations had been infiltrated by androids who couldn’t be identified as androids and gradually took over.
But by 2090 teleporting over long distances was taking over and air cars ceased to exist. They said, “You could teleport in a space suit which recycled your air and food and the suit featured tiny builder robots, which could build bigger builders and terraform planets.”
And satellite space stations were accessible by all air cars.
Air cars were sent to space with tiny robots in tiny vehicles. Thousands and thousands of them.
However, there was a major movement on the Moon by the “Real People.” These people wanted to camp out on the land and eat real food and have real sex and real love. Raise one’s own children. The movement spread to Earth and soon there were 10 million people, “living off the land.” But then one day, android battle cars attacked these people and dispersed them. They even bombed them on the Moon and elsewhere in the solar system.
But many others believed, “The air car reality was an advanced Utopia and they wouldn’t want to live like a primitive.”
But I was back in my drug-induced haze, and my latest lover told me, “To change my being into an android while there was still time.”
Androids had gone from loving humans to killing them.
And the population was in free fall.
Then I was talking with an old friend on board his air car. He said, “People were dancing the dance of death with overdoses. Many tried to take the maximum and stay alive.”
Then I was alone and delirious. But I comprehended that Red T-66 sent his own spacecraft to the stars and so did others and they all attacked one another. It was truly Star Wars.
I remembered the last air car rolled out of a Great Factory Machine. It was the end of an era and now professional warriors were sent individually to remote teleport distances. People on Earth were forced to get back to the land and farm. Just like the Real people movement. The authorities had done an about-face.
Of course, most of them wanted real life, as there were wars raging and air cars could easily be shut down en masse and crash. In fact, in that year (2091 A.D.) millions of air cars crashed and many more were taken over by agents of Red T-66 and others.
Superhumans were first created in 2040 and androids in 2035. These two results marked the end of the world I figured.
But there was an “android limit.” That is to say there was a limit to android intelligence, IQ 200. They were able to multitask and do ten things at once which they said made them even more clever.
In 2135 A.D., there were 190 billion clever androids and many thought it was great. And android scientists declared they had new weapons for Star Wars. Most VR was destroyed.
However reality was declared illegal in 2090. Henceforth it was to all be VR.
But I took 50 of the surviving 102 like-minded legislators and we left Earth in a large air truck headed for deep space. We were 25 men and 25 women and there were 28 children as well. We were ill prepared for space and we had left in a rush. We used MRT to create good vibes among the passengers.
After arriving at our first destination we got word from Earth that some of the remaining humans were put in one of four museums and another museum on the Moon. The Earth museums each had 5 million humans and the other 3 billion humans were living in the opium fields. The population was dropping fast as 50% had killed themselves/overdosed in this year alone. It was the end of an era.
“Down in the Dirt magazine” published 12 short stories and 130 flash fictions and one novella. “PBW Magazine”: 820 flash fictions and 10 short stories. “Conceit Magazine,” and its imprints: dozens and dozens of short pieces. “Gargoyle Magazine,” several pieces and “Spillwords,” also several pieces. I have also appeared in “Poetry Pacific”, "Postcard Shorts", “Lone Star Magazine” and others. Currently Senior Editor at FLEAS ON THE DOG.