GHOST IN THE MACHINE

the idyllic isn't as it




The city of Lamster was sound asleep. A lovely city. There was no stupid dome instead of the sky; it was abandoned early in the calculation. It was easier to control surface weather. Underground, it did not matter anyway.Surface is always close, and on it there are parks, pools and other images of nature. The last riots in the city were forgotten... nobody knows how many years ago, but everyone will stay assured it's written with three digits. City of culture and art, as it says in the cabin when you arrive. In reality, it says so about any other city as well, though they are all full of industry. The industry just doesn't matter anymore - what people do is what counts. Nobody knew anything about industry, anyway; there was just a underground texture of machinery, and it was called "the city", having very little to do with what the word was really supposed to mean.The city of Lamster had really great artists. A few hundred magnificent ones. The city produced more paint for painting than for makeup, although makeup is also an art. No help to that - the makeup artists do it on a canvas first. The model will have a different makeup tomorrow, and the canvas remains (scanned, archived, recycled and forever stored in city's archives, with capacity of about five tera, if (that) may be of concern to someone).

In the city of Lamster there were no criminals, either. Why would they, when they existed nowhere. They were a dying species. It's not only that the money reasons for a crime have mostly vanished, but the crime of passion has also retired, because simply no one can stand the people of the kind. The last collective oblivion therapy was performed... long ago, some may still remember having seen recordings, it was some artefact forger. Once discovered, his deeds were publicly announced on all channels, not stating his name, and he was set free. Next day nobody wanted to know about him, nor wanted to remember. He asked people passing by if they knew him, no, why, well I'm the criminal of yesterday, yes, how interesting, you'll tell me about it some other time, hurrying now. Nobody wanted to hear about him, and three days later nobody knew what it was about. Whole labour of his lay crushed: he became a nobody. No data available. In a similar manner, some other professions also vanished, first of all the jobs assigned to machines: "and what do you say, you managed to get your screen to show picture turned so you watch the news reader's back? Why didn't you order your screen do it, you're just wasting time. Does it have any deeper purpose? You think you'll impress someone? My screen can show infrared, that's something.You'd better write a drama."

Curiously, though, it crossed nobody's mind to revoke the police service, though it had nothing to do. There were always some strong girls and boys who felt well in uniform. Since there were no postmen (who'd send letters, when it was easier to write/speak directly into sweetheart's screen), nor army (at last! the histories say that's the most stupid invention of all times, and that's the only issue where the histories are consensual), the police garment will do.

And so, city was awakening, under the ground the transporters swished, the music elected yesterday as adequate was heard on the streets, three kilotons of coffee and three kilotons of tea was getting cooked. The cops (they like to be called that and they) like to meet at the crack of dawn in the bar on the upper tower terrace for a drink and a coffee, all vaguely hoping they'll look like having just dropped by to "drink and in drink to sink the odious events of last night", which they have, actually, slept over in their beds. They watch from the tower all the same, though not a tenth of the city can be seen from there; even if it could, it's too big. They'd have to rely on the monitors, and that could be done underground as well.



"South sky was black with clouds. Ozone fresh breeze reached us fromthere. Undisturbed blue on the northern sky. On that side, at the end of the roof mall the air was scintillating with heat; the breeze arrived there without any trace of freshness. There was nobody outside, of course. Occasional disturbances of fair weather were always an important part of city's efforts to keep perfection unnoticed."


-Nice piece of writing, almost got me to believe in it. Let me see the print "...perfection unnoticed. Nice piece of...". Come on, when will you get the habit of properly pronouncing the sentence end, so the dictowrite will know when you're done? See, it printed mine too. Second, the heat will come around noon, if sky remains like this at all. Why, do you have any particular reason for describing the city at this very moment? That's what we all do, each one his own way, but why now?

-This is a rare occasion. When was the last time storm opened for south only? It's always same for all.

-If you have noticed now that it's always same adjustment for all, the city has surely noticed it last year, and gives you a change. But is the change worth noting?

-If it were the only one...

-Of course it isn't and it shouldn't be. Got something else in mind?

-You seem to be too quick with the "of course". Cast an eye to the screen.

 
and then, you say, you attached your card...
...just like always, and I know my account's good, when a message washeard "your account is empty, and the orderly income will bring it to normalwithin five and a half months"! please, my income is rather large, quiteunorderly (you know us artists), and, finally, is that a reason to deny me a service in public!
what's your account reporting?
can't be better. sold some works quite well, buyers are also artists,not in my medium but they understand it, and didn't question the price.I don't question theirs, either. I don't get it.
could it be the storm damaged the reader?
on minus third floor?


-Go silence. What do you say? Ha, here comes Chinal. What's new, oldie?

-All the same. I was almost nicely surprised when my kitchen went astray.

-Take care of your feeders... life comes in through the mouth.

-And you're dying to see where it's coming out. Food was good, but what an incredible combination of spice... no, it wasn't bad, on the contrary, I was astonished, the wrong is that it won't repeat it. As if it forgot what I ate before yesterday. I've checked: it remembers what I ate for my first birthday.

-And what was so special you ordered before yesterday?

-I was watching some old recording of a play, and there's a scene where a guy pretends to be quite familiar with the public kitchen equipment, andorders "the speciality of the house". That's what I tried, and it was extraordinary. Didn't have such an appetite for months. Yesterday I said "same as yesterday", and received the inevitable rat burger. I have that for breakfast, too.Won't repeat the dish.

-Get acquainted with your kitchen, and  then come here to brag. Have you seen the north channel few minutes ago?

-Yes, in the elevator. When I think it a bit better, things like that are happening a bit more often than I am used to. Maybe they always were, but now I'm out of my apartment more often, so I see things.

-Why? At least you arranged it to fit your subconsciousness. Everyone confirmed that. Didn't your kitchen drive you out as an ungrateful?

-I don't know. I don't remember having wished sound of drops anytime, and I hear it. You've heard it my place. It annoys me, and psyanalysis stubbornly states that I want it.

-Have you heard of Geran's bankruptcy.

-What is that?

-Decachitis acuta. Account empty. Not a zero, but minus some thirty megs.

-I don't get it.

-What's there to get? Spent too much and that's it.

-How could he? Account is checked before every delivery.

-Well, well... really. Didn't cross my mind at all. As if the miracles aren't that rare to keep deserving the name. What's my communicator drumming? Is it malfunct too?

-Mine's drumming too, so what. Speaking straight, I don't like this bankruptcy stuff, Geran today, and later...

-Don't you say you think it's contagious?

-There were things like that in old books; it begins with isolated cases which get taken seriously by no one, when it spreads later, it's already late. Look, this thing's flashing now. What's the gag now?

-Let me call the manuals. "Drumming in the In-a-gadda-da-vida rhythm denotes a special call from the management". How stupid, they could have put something easier to remember. And what management? I don't remember we had one. Come on, call in and see, I've died of curiosity.


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