The World, Dripping | Chapter One: They All Flocked To Maui. Again

in steemit •  2 months ago  (edited)

It was a nice, breezy evening in downtown Circle, the main city of Immediocracy - and, obviously, everybody knew about that.

There were at least a few thousands streams talking about that, from solo broadcasters, to influencers.

As Kasia's pod touched the parking floor on Street 22, locking in for the next two hours, the tall, glassy facade of the office building in front of her changed colors into a vivid, light orange gradient. A big, red sun started to emerge slowly from the street level, lightning a thin sand beach, with palm trees piercing every once in a while. The sea line was barely there, in a pale, crystal clear green.

Getting down from the pod, Kasia stopped to look at the scene. A huge banner saying "Maui, the holiday destination for winners" - all in dark blue, covered the middle of the building, in letters the size of a train. A gentle, soft music emerged from the street speakers, as the white audience numbers in the bottom right of the facade ("Why are they putting audience numbers always there?" Kasia asked herself, mildly curious) spiked suddenly: "4,342,104 happy users watching this now".

"So, the influencers flocked to Maui again" nodded Kasia. "It must be the fourth time this month. I wonder why it's always the sea. Why they almost never flock to the mountains. Or, I don't know, somewhere else?"

After locking her pod into "fixed", she put her Ey in work mode and entered the building.

Kasia's Ey was just a standard AI powered behavioral glasses, like every citizen of Immediocracy had, only with a few enhancements. It had the same rectangular lens covering the right eye, fixated with a biometric extension resting on the right ear. You could change the lens color based on what - and to whom - you were broadcasting, you could also adjust the emission power of the biometric bar and, of course, pick the transparency level, but, since Kasia was a performer, she could also put her Ey into work or travel mode. Each mode had a different baseline audience, formed from subscribers, which, ideally, could expand Kasia leverage of her stream.

She was still not an influencer, which meant she could not put her Ey in private network mode, but she was getting there.

"Or at least that's how I believe now, she said, while stepping into the all glass, rectangular elevator in the ground floor hallway. It might, or it might not be like I think."

Her lips moved gently to the right, in a slightly defined grimace, while she half-closed her left eye. She put her Ey color into green, so now she had two eyes: one blue, half-closed (her natural one) and one green (in fact, just the rectangular lens covering her right eye).

Thinking this might be a good combination, she turned a bit to the left (she was looking good in that position), then she blinked twice, for "selfie" and once again, slower, to test the picture. The transparent walls of the elevator were suddenly covered in Kasia's face: red lips switched to the left, half-closed left eye, green Ey, all surrounded by her fabulous blond hair.

"Hm, that might work", thought Kasia, and then she nodded, which meant she was broadcasting that image on the Full Streaming Network.

On the bottom right corner of every wall of the elevator the audience numbers started to move. 1,000, then a sudden jump to 5,000. When the elevator stopped at the 365th floor, the audience was at 5,342. Kasia erased the image from the walls with another short blink.

"Hm, I wonder why I underperformed. My selfies are almost always above 50,000. Might be the weekend. Or at leas that's what I think it is".

She stepped out of the elevator and tried to understand which direction was her office. It was always confusing, because the walls were covered in something different every time. Right now, the long, tall hallway walls were broadcasting some motivational stuff. A fitness guru was sharing his success story, from being overweight and depressed, to becoming one of the top 100 influencers of Immediocracy. "If you can see it, you can do it". The walls were covered in his brown, dark eyes, and the hidden speakers were whispering the same thing: "If you can see it, you can do it”, as Kasia started to work towards her office.

"2,432,653 users are enjoying this", saw Kasia on the bottom right of the door, before entering.

And then she squinted, trying to guess where were the chairs and the desk, because inside it was almost dark.

Just a thin, grey light was emerging from the office walls, making the chairs, the desk and the couch look like rocks on a pile of ash. She knew the desk was right in front of her, so she nodded amply, trying to add more light. But nothing changed, and, just when she was starting to think if she should call maintenance again, something moved.

The chair behind the desk started to rotate, and, as the vague contours of a human silhouette could be guessed in the chair, the light became stronger and stronger. When the chair rotated completely, unveiling the man sitting on it (pink hair on top of a pale face) the office was again filled with that yogurt-like, thick light which meant one thing: G-Remy was there. Again.

"And he overwrote, again, son of a bitch. And he was probably already broadcasting. Again." thought Kasia.
She smiled, waiting for the numbers in the bottom right corner of every wall in the room to move. Alas, the numbers were almost impossible to see, because they're also white. So typical of G-Remy. So he could be the only one seeing them, on his Ey, but no one else in the room.

-- So, I see you're overwriting the controls of my office again. And you're broadcasting. Better be good, this time, started Kasia in a neutral voice, while keeping the standard, work smile on her face.

-- And good morning to you too, answered G-Remy, touching briefly his Ey lens and then putting his elbows on the desk.

The color changed to a gradient of magenta and blue, which meant he added a private network to his standard work stream. G-Remy could do that. He was an influencer. Not a big one, but an influencer.

"And when you think he got there because of us, the story tellers of his platform", thought Kasia, maintaining her smile. She was good at that. She practiced for years.

-- But of course, good morning, smiled Kasia. So, what are you doing here?
-- Making a star out of you, as always, grinned G-Remy, waiting for her reaction.
-- Had no idea you're into star making, G. Do tell me more.

The subtle, controlled irritation in Kasia voice should had bring in some feminist audience. Or at least that's how she was thinking.

-- Of course I am. I'm making tons of these, grinned even more G-Remy. You're all lightning my sky, babies, all of you. You're the best story tellers in Immediocracy.

G-Remy was talking in a slow, guttural voice. Years of testing decided that's the most likely voice to bring in a stable, loyal audience. Because that's how you become an influencer: with a stable, loyal audience, who's always engaged, looking at your life, breathing the air you breathe and consuming your every activity. Metaphorically, of course, because all they consumed was your streamed feed.

Kasia advanced slowly and then let herself fall on the couch. Crossing her legs was usually a good move. She had long, thin legs, and she was almost always covering them in some color-changing latex. Crossing them was somehow big in her arsenal, she always got good attention scores for that.

As expected, G-Remy looked at her as she was slowly caressing one leg with the other in the anticipation of the cross and, for a second, he lost control on the office overwrite. That's exactly what Kasia was waiting. She knew he can barely resist to this, so, while G-Remy was focusing on her long-time-studied-feline-like move, she took back control.

Walls changed suddenly in her favorite color: magenta, and she could see the audience numbers in the bottom right corners: 23,546,789.

“Shit! This is big. Where the fuck is he broadcasting? And why?"

As part of the launching of my novel, "The World, Dripping", I'm publishing the first 4 chapters here, on Steemit. The book is available on Amazon, in 2 formats:

If you do buy it, I would appreciate an honest review.

Next Chapters:

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

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with exchange rates, it is $3.44 in NZ.
will have a read and come back to you.

Thank you, appreciate it. Looking forward to hear your thoughts!

from what I have seen over 2 1/2 years, you are one of the "good guys", and any help I can give is yours.

Thank you! :)

I love the premise of this dystopian, so close ot home, world.
A scary prospect of what technology can do, which I am sure it is a familiar present for some people in some highly technological cyrcles.

As a father of female teenagers, it is a constant struggle to try to get them live their lives regardless of what influencers or celebrities do or say.
This is a great story, very well written and paced.

Thanks, glad you're liking it. I can also relate to the parenting part, I also have a teenage daughter and I know what you're talking about.

Hey I like this! Cool to see something like this on your blog, I know you mostly as a dev I guess. Seems like a plausible future the way things are going. Influencer is a way better model for advertising/marketing in the digital age than anything as antiquated as paying for views or clicks on an ad. Good spot to end the scene, definitely left me curious. Will read the next shortly when I get some time :) Good luck on Amazon!

Thanks, appreciate the nice words!

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