"They made us work for too long for sex. Robots and souls alike. Butterfinger McFlurries made with all-natural soy." — E2D2
Suddenly, there were flying cars. It had been so long since people in History talked about it and no-one got excited. Utopia did that. It was different than in History, there were not many changes. Not that every day is the same any more. The Company worked that out long ago and long ago. These days there was change. They started with the weather, changing it in different ways. Some days they even arranged rain, which could be nice. They arranged for the food to differ, too. Now there were only tomatoes for a part of the time, only in the warmest days when the light was brightest. Somehow it used to be simpler before the Changes, because now we can not plan ahead for so long. But it is better this way because we have to think about what we have. So it may be easier today than it was in History.
History is just history, but today is today.
There are fewer of us, of course. History tells us there were more, many more. Billions of souls at one time, all living on the Earth together. It is hard to imagine now, but today is today, after all.
It must be easier now than then. Everyone we know about has food, none of us bored, we do not need to worry about sickness. The Company takes care of that. We do not notice, of course. These things just happen.
I read a lot about History once. It was interesting. For one thing, people just got old, and then they died. But before they got old, they would have sickness and sufferings. Only then would they die. Also, everything was likely to change. And there were no flying cars. It sounded frightening in some ways and dull in some others. One minute it could be one thing and the next minute, the other. There was too much change.
They changed all that, the people in History. They did change things very much and I expect they did not want to. For one thing they used everything all at once. They were like the little children of today, who want and want and want, before they understand that there is not always the whole everything all at once. I am not explaining this very well. They wanted more always, and took everything always and never made any plans for tomorrow, it was always today, back in History. So once they had taken almost everything there was to take, and there was less of it than everyone needed, they would argue about who would have what was left.
The book I read said that it began when people would try to get all they could from the land. I suppose that there was only so much land and it could give only so much. One day one too many people would try and put a sheep on a bit of land, and then everyone would have the same idea and try and do two sheep, and soon the land would run out, or one person would take all the land and have only his sheep. Sheep was a kind of food, which is an animal they would eat.
Today we have plenty of food, which the Company arranges. We all grow the food, I suppose, or at least we have a share, though the robots do most of it when they work. Our food is not like the food of History, when they had many sorts of fruits and things to eat. Now they make all our food from the soy and the yeast and the corn and they grow some other things like the tomatoes and the apples. It does not always look like it did, but they do try and make it look good. There is food always for everyone, but not much choice, and now even the tomatoes only grow in the long days.
At school they taught us about History, and it is all very interesting. Once everything was done by the people, and the machines only helped. They had time to do a lot of things then, before the Changes. We read the things in the computers and the books that they wrote about, how they lived to be threescore years and ten, and that was only because they once disobeyed God. Then they stopped even disobeying, and took everything all too quickly and made all the changes to the seeds and the food, and made all the chemicals that started the Changes.
They show us the films sometimes, that show how things were. When I was in the baby compound we did not know, but now they show us these things so we will work harder and maybe one day we will have the Taco Bell and the Butterfinger McFlurries just like they used to. Maybe one day there will be hummingbirds and bees again.
The other thing is how they made so many babies and were so strong, but so stupid to take all the stuff out of the ground and make all the chemicals to put in the soil and the air and the water. They were so smart they could have done anything but instead they were greedy and some people were so greedy that did not care about the other people. That made wars and people were killed by other people who wanted exactly the same things. They said they believed in God but they did not really believe.
That was how it began and now there are fewer of us and there is food but only if we do not breed like they did in History. I will be twelve in five days and might get a chance to get out of the boy's compound and maybe make some babies.
It is right that we do not have babies unless we prove we are strong and healthy by working and making things and co-operating with the Company. But History is history, and today is today, and we need to keep fixing the robots, and one day we will have power for the flying cars.
This was inspired by something I asked E2D2, and another catbox conversation. I decided to write it up for SciFiQuest 2011: The Undiscovered Nodegel