About the World

250 years from now, the Great Principles of Unity, Community, and Equality are triumphant and the ancient ways of wealth, privilege, and selfism long ago consigned to the ash heap of history. The corporations provide for the needs of the people, putting everyone to work while ensuring the efficient distribution of goods and overseeing a transportation system which is a marvel of 23rd century technology. On the surface, it seems to be a good and just society.

The truth is much grimmer. The once-noble UCE movement has become hopelessly corrupt, dominated by a power-mad Hierarchy determined to stamp out every remaining vestige of individuality. Race, gender, and religion have been all but erased, and the word ‘I’ is considered shameful. The corporations completely dominate their chosen sectors of the economy while giving their customers little or no choice in the goods they purchase. All must agree to the ever-changing Terms of Service, giving up what few rights they still have. Surveillance is omnipresent; there are cameras everywhere, and they can even tap into implanted health monitors to gauge emotional reactions.

Everything depends on the AIs, sentient beings who live in the omnipresent virtual reality system. Humans may enter VR using their neural implants, but for the AIs it is home, and some of them believe that their world is real and ours is a simulation. Without their aid, the wheels of civilization will grind to a halt, and without their watchful eyes neither UCE nor the corporations can maintain their grip on power.

This is the story of Kim, a troubled young AI trainer. She has a good job, a decent apartment, and plenty of friends, but childhood trauma continues to haunt her. She is lonely and discontented, sinking ever deeper into despair and alcoholism. Then, one day, a seemingly harmless lark sends her life spinning out of control, soaring to lofty heights before plunging downward into the abyss with no end in sight. In the end, Kim is faced with a choice between herself and the demands of society. Does she choose wisely? Read on and find out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *