It was in the late 21st Century when SkyPad first experimented with modular airborne housing. Done at the time as a response to overcrowding in parts of Asia, the early lightweight rectangular living modules were a great success. Despite some early issues associated with waste disposal, once SkyPad adapted processes for such things exploiting technology used by space travelers, this approach to dealing with overpopulated parts of the planet became mainstream.
For years however, all pods were identical rectangular units that could be fitted together to form a floating district. Each unit however could rapidly and selectively be disconnected from the whole for maintenance or refurbishment.
A recent collaboration between SkyPad and Duplo has finally broken the architectural mould for floating districts. People can now purchase living pods in a full range of colours and shapes. This means that not everyone now needs to live in an airpod with regularly shaped rooms. The Psychological Directorate for Healthy Living has applauded this change as a major step towards addressing a range of personality disorders linked to airpod sickness that can be associated with the bland regularity of traditional airpods.
The Inspector and his colleagues’ Joosthava and Krokus Joe, and of course Cat, defeated the Mud Lizard threat to AccEvolve using the Endurance Zygote Crystal, in 2224. To do this though, Cat had to AccEvolve himself into a Giant Cat to dispense with the two Mud Lizards Yakh and Ulth and free the Inspector, Joosthava and Krokus.
On their return to Earth, the Inspector found out that Cat was now back on Planet X with the Endurance Zygote Crystal with the other GoGLEs. Cat, or Giant Cat as he now was, sent a message back to Tax HQ to warn Earth that other aliens were coming from deep space to attack Earth in the near future.
He recommended that Tax HQ should form a small group, that wound up being known as ‘The MoATaRS’ (Monitoring of Alien Threats and Response Squad) and comprised the Inspector, Krokus Joe and Joosthava. In addition, Cat sent back to Earth one of his children, a young black robot kitten, to grow up with the Inspector and become his new protective companion and the 4th member of the new group.
Mergers are now officially the most popular form of recognised union between two people. In 2222, mergers made up 57% of all formal multiple-person relationships, with marriage and civil partnerships making up the balance.
In a merger, none of the partners undertakes to remain faithful to the other or others, though any key inter-dependencies like children, property, and possessions are guaranteed defined proportional support from each partner for either 5, 15 or 25 years depending upon the nature of the merger. Facilitated and managed by AdulterUS, mergers are strictly enforced. The social thought network element of AdulterUS actively supports individuals in arranging extra-merger relationships with full disclosure to all formally connected partners.
97% of couples in mergers rate their quality of life as high and consider themselves happy and fulfilled. Half of the remaining 3% are serving life sentences in state renovation centres.
Calot Prouff had something of a chequered early career in the armed forces of the 22nd Century. Starting out, after completing at Space Cadet School, as aide-de-camp to Admiral Phiasco the Head of the Space Patrol Corp, Calot, unfortunately, found himself in a situation where he felt he needed to take a decision.
Decision making was generally frowned upon at Space Patrol Corp Headquarters. Sadly not only did Calot take a decision, he took the wrong decision. Whilst trying to quell a riot on a space station, Calot inadvertently issued a command from his desk, that led to the force sent to deal with the riot firing missiles at itself. Several troopers were blown to bits as a consequence.
Phiasco covered up the mistake to save his own skin, but Calot cracked under the pressure and was locked up for several years in a mental refurbishment utility. He was only released several years later in order to take part in a pre-planned suicide mission put together by his former boss and the Head of EarthLand Security, as part of a bigger plan to depose the then President of Earth.
Incredibly, and mainly due to the unparalleled incompetence of Calot as a military leader, the mission turned out to be a success for him. He not only saved Earth’s President but also managed to blow up his former boss. The President duly made Calot an Admiral and gave him the safest of desk jobs, leading a special battalion monitoring emissions of waste and debris from orbiting space stations.
Calot went on to merge with Valundra G’Laksey-Spryte, a member of the elite G’Laksey dynasty. He Fathered with her, Thomas Nigel G’Laksey-Prouff, now recognised as Earth’s most successful Intergalactic Tax Inspector.
In recent decades it has become even easier for people to work without moving at any time from their home. This has led, despite various smart foods, drinks, and home fitness kits, to worrying levels of obesity.
Since the 2150s, of course, it has been compulsory for all adults over 25 to walk at least 15,000 steps a day and at least 30,000 steps per week in the open air. To support this in recent times, Earth’s Government started a programme to build green open-air spaces for the ‘Walk a Long Life (WaLL) programme.
The WaLL programme has proven most successful in getting people walking again. With tax incentives associated with having an approved health profile, there has clearly been a marked decline in home-based obesity.
However as ever, with a benefit, one can often experience a disadvantage. In this case, recent studies have shown that the net effect of driving a largely sedentary population to the WaLL has been a steep rise in other health issues. Too many people it seems, over many decades, have simply forgotten how to walk properly and we are now witnessing a sharp rise in musculoskeletal problems.
Dinosaur Skyland is the very latest in Artificial Reality and CE (Consumer Edutainment). Orbiting around 100 miles above sea level, Skyland is basically a place to take the family back in time for a luxury holiday, to the Jurassic period when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Holiday makers can get close up and personal with the widest range of creatures from that period. If learning is your thing then Skyland provides a range of options to study the animals, including to actually become part of their daily routine. If thrills are why you are there then you can joust with the most fearsome of dinosaurs, from the Slasharapter to Megasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex.
The World famous T. rex experience includes such optional fun extras as ‘Watch your Granny get Swallowed Whole’ and ‘Feed the kids to the Rapter’. There is also a ‘break it off with your partner’ service mediated by a pair of suitably empathetic Velocirapters that has proven very popular since Skyland opened its clouds to visitors.
It was at Dinosaur Skyland that Cat almost got bitten in half by a T. rex.
When I went into space for the first time (that was to Planet Pzzxamix to investigate Trebor Snosrap) I was nervous about the whole toilet thing. Extra anxious and shy about such matters, I had envisaged I would spend most flights with all relevant sphincters tightly clenched until the journey ended and I could find a proper toilet.
How relieved I was (in more ways than one) to discover the Space SaniDroid. A sort of auto-loo that allowed you to go in total privacy even with someone else effectively standing right beside you. Shielding you from all potentially embarrassing noises and odours (whether the producer of such or recipient) the SaniDroid was every nervous ‘toileter’s’ relief station.
Of course, everything happens so much more naturally on a spaceship in the 23rd Century where artificial gravity has removed the weightlessness problems associated with excretion. So the SaniDroid has no need to worry about airflows, essential for early space travelers to ‘go’ safely.
The only possible problem with a SaniDroid is linked to unlikely power failure. That has happened to me once. All the lights went out and the body permeable door to the SaniDroid disappeared leaving me potentially visible to everyone whilst engaged in duties on my throne. All would have been ok though as with the lights out my modesty was preserved until Cat showed up with a massive torch……
In the early 23rd Century Earth is a relatively peaceful place. Since the 4th and 5th World Wars of the 22nd Century, Earth relies on its Grand Council, headed up by the President of the Earth, to coordinate the still separate 44 countries that are spread across the 4 Concatanates (Cadabra, G-Soft, Malachite, and Sino-Soviatek) that divide Earth’s population.
The Grand Council came into being as both of the World Wars really ended in stalemate and at a time when it began to be clear that the people of Earth were not alone in the galaxy. This realisation made some coordination of the 4 Concatanates, essential.
The existence of a President of the Earth is however largely symbolic and the President and Council are really only significant when there is an alien incursion or war that needs to be dealt with or when the constant ‘skullduggery’ of the 4 Concatanates sails too close to the edge of armed conflict on Earth.