written by Robert Spary-Smith
It boots up. I didn’t think it stood a chance. How I managed to clean the innards of this archaic beast I’ll never know. My tent neighbour traded me his almost worn to a spike toothbrush and some white spirit. I’ll miss my lighter…
It seems almost fitting that the boot up occurred almost exactly 100 years to the day, since it was first released. I only know that from the first screen that pops up with something called a ‘copyright’ and a date next to it.
This world exists as a rotten shell around a vast and plentiful historic yolk. Inside are stories, legacies, industries. A wealth of information and knowledge that we can scour via the settlement’s Pad. It is loaded up with a news app. It stops of course, at July 2nd 2084. You go past there and all that exists, is the rot ridden flesh and stank of modern day history and information, all rolled up into one carcass that won’t even let out a posthumous fart of information.
Basically - the past is a lot more enticing.
People walk around with vintage Jewellery made out of visions, pocket pads, wrist pads. The original owner of the Pad, wore it on her chest. She entered the settlement as a messiah. She touted obscure information. We relished it. For it was of a positive age, where machine’s moved earth, moved people across the earth, moved people off the earth and into the stars.
Being left behind, when the ‘off switch’ was flipped. I can only imagine what that must have felt like. I only know from my aunt, who isn’t really my aunt. She says that she knew my mum. I don’t know that as fact. She says it felt like a metaphorical chord of electricity had been yanked out of her body. Truth is, she says, is that that is kind of what actually happened. People were suddenly disconnected, ‘logged off’, corrupted. The dial tone goes silent. People begin to shout. They scream. The promise was that you won’t be forgotten. The connection won’t die. It died alright. It gone and went ‘boom’ overnight.
I like to try and get the oldest device working again. Up until now the oldest device I got working again was a PS5. So getting this up and running again is like jump starting a corpse! The Pad has a film trailer on it for a film called Iron Man 3. It looks ok, but it is the inventor I liked! He can do anything! He takes things apart and then manages to get them going again! Oh and he can fly!I would like to get a job in our settlement as the fixer! Come to me and I’ll get it working again! No device is too big, no problem too small to consider!
We are set up around a small lake. The builders have begun work on a large hall made out of cement. I’ve never seen a cement truck actually working. With the technology breakdown so did the infrastructure of industry. So no supplies have ever existed. Not in my lifetime. We don’t have any solid buildings you see - we live in the wilderness, the cities are now overgrown and wild with animals.
A flip. My Aunt says that animals lived in the woods and we in the villages, the towns and cities. Now we live in the stars, the cosmos and the forest. I wouldn’t trade the trees, the smells, the views for Galaxy living. I wouldn’t swap a perfect place for here. Why would I? There wouldn’t be anything that needed fixing. I’d be out of a job. What fun would that be?
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