Just by the way, the whole Snapshots From… started way back when i was making New Albion 1. I knew i wanted the song to be a ton of little vignettes from this strange city. In order to come up with a bunch of vignettes i sat down and stream of consciousness wrote as i drank my morning tea. I put it on the blog, back when the blog was brand new. it worked, i really liked how New Albion 1 turned out, so i’ve done this ever since. It’s just a creative writing exercise to fill the lyrics for a single song.
– New Albion had its very own serial killer. He wanted to be well known, infamous. He had spent years planning out a huge murder spree in which he would kill dozens of sex workers in an elaborate pattern that would confound the police and the viciousness of which would stun the population. Sadly, his kill count ending up being a whopping zero. This is because he thought he would begin by targeting the sex workers who worked in the park.
Our frustrated killer was not the first who thought he could commit heinous crimes in the park after dark. It was something the shanty town residents had worried about in the early days. There was a fair bit of crime in the park at night until some time after the cybertech crew set up shop. Isiah suffered from a bit of anxiety. He had promised his friend Lacy he would take her into the city one evening but he was only using half his meds and when it came time to go he started getting a panic attack, fearing danger. It was Lacy who suggested the idea of seeing in the dark. By the time a plan had been discussed and implemented a few months had passed, it this is what it was:
Lights were up all across the park. A kaleidoscope of lights, especially in the darkest and most dangerous of areas. But the lights were invisible unless you had a tiny implant. If you had the implant, you could turn it on and the park became like a well lit carnival of beautiful color at night. And seeing was no problem.
In order to get the implant you had to be a resident of the shanty town. Exactly how this was determined was a matter of time spent and vote. Someone crashing there for a week wasn’t eligible, but after a month and a vote, it might be yours. Robodog had to approve too.
After a serious discussion, a group of the tattoo artists suggested the implant be given as gift to all of the park’s sex workers. Most of them weren’t shanty town residents, although some became, but certainly if anyone could use the tech, they could. The cyberetch crew agreed. Both crews donated the materials and time necessary to supply enough implants and they approached the sex workers with the gift. Some were skeptical, but the first few who got it raved about both the beauty and the usefulness. Soon most everyone had it, but they agreed that it was never, ever to be discussed with anyone outside the park.
It was about 5 months later that the serial killer showed up at the Paarl, incredibly excited to begin his big spree. He had killed a ton of animals, but this would be his first time exacting pain and death on a hated female, skanks all of them, especially his mother, may she rot in hell. He approached a sex worker, pretended to hire her, then insisted they go to the lost secluded, darkest part of the park. When he got there he took out his knife and was about to begin slashing. She kicked his ass from here to next Tuesday. Not only could she see perfectly while he was literally in the dark, but she had taken up Zander’s offer to install shock pins onto her knuckles.
Although he was a mess, he did get to walk away, and he swore revenge. He returned 2 months later after he healed,tried it again with another girl, who had heard about him from the first. When he pulled out his knife she went further. She pummeled his junk with the shock knuckles until he started puking, at which point she became very freaked out and ran. The would be killer wound up in the hospital where sadly, he died of complications.
After Zander arrived at the park, transhuman experimentation really took off. Zander had an overwhelming passion to experiment in radical body modification but at the college they had been seriously hampered but both faculty, rules and willing participants. In the shanty town, there were punks who were itching to try the craziest stuff imaginable, it just hadn’t been possible. Zander was 10 steps ahead of anyone else in the cyber/bio modification field, although they had only been able to operate theoretically, not practically. Once settled in the park, things took off.
There were two main directions the punks there wanted to go: animal and tech. People either wanted stuff like tails, eyes, claws, fur, etc, or tech bits implanted in themselves. The two directions had never been combined. Zander saw the combination as essential. While in the long game what they wanted was for biology to be absolutely unlimited, all forms functioned reprogrammable at the molecular and dna level, they recognized that that was a distant dream, probably not achievable in their lifetime. Tech was going to be crucial as a stepping stone. As mentioned earlier, you give someone cat eyes, but the brain is not programmed to receive the signals of the new spectrums available. Thus tech could act as the interpreter.
Some of course wanted only cyber modification. They wanted to hear frequencies beyond human. You could have this through implant, or you could have this AND awesome lynx ears to go with it. Isiah handled the creation of the tech bits.
One girl wanted big anime eyes that would also make the world look like an anime cartoon. Zander did it, inspired by this, one punk wanted google eyes that made the world look like an old dieselpunk era cartoon. They got their wish, but started to go insane after a month and had to have it removed.
Some one has asked for eyes that make the world look 8 bit. Others not only black and white, but with old film style effects. Others have asked for sparkly with softening effects. Zander finally just a made a package that could be added to any eye design, it allows 15 different effects and you can switch at will.
Someone wanted fingers that could feel magnetism and allow them to manipulate metal. Another wanted bionic implants that could enable them to run and leap at superhuman levels. All manner of superpowers were asked for. Not everything was possible, but what interested Zander was delivered.
The furry community dropped by constantly to ask about all manner of animal body hybridizations. The same applied. Not everything was possible, but what was and what interested Zander was attempted.
Goliath, a prominent corporation in new Albion approached Zander with a request to implant a device into its employees that could streamline brain processing. There was a certain amount of brain processing that was spent throughout the day on minutia like worrying, humming stupid melodies, recycling old or hypothetical conversations, or various forms of mental looping that were both unproductive and, the company argued, unhealthy.
The company had studied zen theories and determined that an ideal zen state entails the overcoming of such mental debris, usually through years of meditation, which was not productive on a societal or corporate level. Science could be used to deliver just such a desired state of clarity by taking rerouting these small, annoying looping brain noise and using them for a greater, collective corporate task, while still leaving the individual free to think and work. All the surplus brain power would be rerouted into a special robotic employee, made up of these bits of brain power, wh9 could do superhuman mental tasks even a computer couldn’t since it was effectively human in its mental capabilities.
Zander found this utterly fascinating and the ideas this sparked in them would keep them up many a night for years thereafter. They did tell the representatives of Goliath to go… perform erotic acts upon themselves that weren’t actually possibly without bio-enhancements. Goliath was not pleased. At all. And they had the ear of the Mayor and city council.
A few residents like to bring supplies in by drone. They have a chip that allows them to pilot the drone using consciousness. They see through the drone’s camera and love to fly about the city, looking at things and picking up the odd supply. They would actually like to be a drone. Either permanently move their consciousness into a specially made drone, or redesign their bodies to fly, be more compact, and even a little insect like. While Zander agrees that they should have this option, sadly, it is impossible at the current time.
There was a successful revolution in the middle east, where a repressive regime who had been in power for generations, passed down through bloodline was actually overthrown. The details are incredibly complicated and books are being written and published with various authors throwing out their take on how it cam to be. However, one details that is relevant, is that the dismantling of this regime’s firewall was crucial to the effort. Obviously the firewall wasn’t simply dismantled one time, the act of keeping it down was a round the clock effort that went on for weeks. No one knows who did it.
The fact is that it was three girls in the New Albion park. They had been born in this country, separate families, they weren’t sisters, and all of their parents had fled as their lives were in danger. The girls had met in the immigrant community in New Albion and all became top notch hackers, helping each other hone their skills and all vowing to one day help their brothers and sister back in the homeland.
The girls were in touch with a revolution cell and as requested had obliterated the firewall at the agreed upon time. As mentioned keeping it off was a round the clock job. The three of them worked in shifts for the first few days, but as the days went on it did start to become tiring, a several times their fatigue almost botched it.
What happened is that some of the other shanty down hackers started showing up at their shack to take shifts. Eventually there were 10 hackers going at it and three weeks later the revolution was successful. The entire community through a huge party the night of victory. One of the girl, though, was so tired she simply passed out in the park just outside the village where she had gone to clear her head. Robodog lay beside her the entire night.