What did we do before Droids?

In the 23rd Century, every public place has a full range of artificial intelligences (AIs) or ‘Droids’ that collectively perform a wide range of essential service functions. In some cases (e.g. a public MediDroid) the AI acts as a first line, dealing with minor ailments and sending on or transporting anyone with a serious injury or illness, to the nearest major major medical facility.

The busiest type of Droid in a public space is the SaniDroid. This ‘Jack of All ‘Dirty’ Trades’ effectively deals with anything that might make the average human struggle to hold on to their lunch, (assuming they’ve just eaten lunch). So if anyone throws up in a public space or the lavatories malfunction, a SaniDroid will be there in an instant. Able to clean both the facility, and indeed any individuals who for whatever reason may be less pristine than when they left home, the SaniDroid is pretty indispensable in modern life.

Manufactured, as most Droids are, by the AI-rU consortium, it is estimated that SaniDroid sales and service contracts account for over 75% of this major utility company’s income. AI-rU claim that over 90% of whatever a SaniDroid absorbs is recycled and used in the manufacture of a wide range of consumer products, though their spokesperson was reluctant to reveal which products……..

The Silurian Silkworm Affair – Act IV

The Welcome Party and Disembarking

We had indeed surfaced and noises were coming from the main hatch. As that opened, bright sunlight rushed into the flight deck of our lightship. I blinked and walked over carefully to the open hatch. I had something of a track record of falling out of open hatches so was taking no chances, especially as our ship was bobbing about a bit. A hoverboat hummed away just outside the hatch and drew closer just as my head poked out of the hatch. The hoverboat was not Silurian, they had no need for such things, it was manned by staff from Earth’s consulate on Siluria. A very young looking uniformed man smiled at me and said,

“Quite a landing. We were expecting you at the spaceport over there” and he pointed somewhere to the right in the distance.

“Yes” I said, “we had a bit of a problem. Shall we step aboard?”

Cat, who had his own built-in short distance hovering capability, fluttered through the hatch. I stepped up on the lintel of the hatch with my right foot and then reached up, over and out with my left foot, planting it firmly onto the edge of the hovership. Right at that moment, our lightship lurched in the water and the distance between my two feet grew dramatically, as open water appeared between our ship and the hoverboat. Things were starting to get quite painful in the basement department of my body when suddenly I felt myself lifted into the air. I wriggled a little as my legs thankfully came together and, as I looked sideways and up, I realised Cat had grabbed me by the collar of my tunic and was holding me. It felt most undignified and I growled at him,

“Will you please let me down, you wretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were doing this on purpose just to show off.”

“Ok,” said Cat and with that, I plummeted into the water between the two craft. I was, as you might imagine not in the best of moods as, having been fished out of the water by the crew of the hoverboat, we headed for shore with me dripping pools of Silurian seawater onto the hoverboat deck. Fortunately for him, Cat floated just out of reach above my disheveled form.

By the time we reached shore, I’d been below deck, dried by a vanity droid and re-equipped with new clothing. At the dock, as we disembarked, a hovercar was waiting to take us to meet the Silurian Ambassador at his den. I grabbed hold of Cat by his tail, much to his annoyance, and slung him over my shoulder. We’d never quite worked it out but there was something in a hovercar’s electronics that created havoc with Cat’s own sensors and basic navigation. Ordinarily, this resulted in him hanging from the internal roof of a hovercar, once it had started its engines, in a temporary catatonic state. Any hovercar journey then normally ended with me having to prise his claws from the roof before slinging him over my shoulder by his tail to disembark. This time, to pre-empt the inevitable, oh and ok to annoy him, I decided to carry him on tail-first for a change. As he wriggled and squiggled against my back, the hovercar rose up and in that instant, I felt Cat’s body stiffen and go still. I let go of his tail and he tumbled to the floor, bouncing a couple of times before settling in a frozen heap. Well, I thought, at least I had saved the hovercar upholstery from claw marks. I eased my back into my chair and as we moved off, rested my aching feet on the rather handily placed prostate body of Cat.

To be continued……..

RickRock’s Brother now Immersed in Scandal

Speak4U recently launched its advanced Persona service. Providing people with a way to use their time more efficiently, public figures can have their programmable personas represent them at events or interviews. Personas are linked to cerebrum bio-chips implanted into the human they represent.

One of the first exponents of Speak4U personas was Earth’s biggest airstar, Rock Quarrey, the younger brother of Rick Rock. Recently one of Mr. Quarrey’s Personas was accused of improper comments towards an event avatar. Similar accusations were made against RickRock earlier in the year.  Representatives of the Rocks have denied that the Personas thinking is linked to theirs. Whilst investigations continue, Rock’s management team have pulled all Personas from public places. 

This is the second such scandal to hit Speak4U and the Rock entertainment dynasty now teeters on a knife-edge.

The Trees Fight Back

Carbon dioxide levels were at critical levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. Even the US President agreed the problem was real. Deforestation was a major contributing factor.

Genetic engineers had developed a transposon that when introduced into trees markedly reduced the amount of carbon that a dead tree released into the atmosphere.

Application of the gene technology to mature trees meant that deforestation could continue even faster.

But the trees were smarter than we realised. They had their own underground genetic engineers. Pretty soon an unsuspecting human race was being affected by a range of deadly airborne viruses that the trees had generated. Whole cities became de-populated of humans one after the other. The ultimate solution to reducing carbon dioxide generating practices had arrived.

The Silurian Silkworm Affair – Act I

Landing on Siluria

This mission was supposed to be totally routine. That’s what they’d told me at mission control. No slavering Mud Lizards to worry about, no time vaults, no extermatrons, all very straightforward. Well, I can tell you, as our little ship plummeted through the lower clouds on Siluria at breakneck speed, everything felt very much ‘not routine’. I held tightly to the arms of my chair and involuntarily squeezed my upper thighs together, as the urge to set loose my bladder grew with the feeling that very soon, at this speed, we would smack into some very hard ground.

I looked across at my AI, Cat, the Rubanon encased robot who had been my companion on long-haul tax investigations now for several years. To say he was fighting the controls on the flight deck would be a bit of an overstatement as on lightships in 2225, there were only screens to tap away at when piloting. However, it would not be an understatement to say he was tapping away quite furiously with both front paws at the pilot’s control screen in front of him. I couldn’t really at that moment think of anything else to say other than,

“Are we going to crash?”

Cat glanced across at me and said “Yep. Think so.”

My lower jaw and lip scrunched up into my top lip as I squeaked out “Nothing you can do?”

“Nope. Don’t think so,” said Cat.

“Oh that’s just great,” I whined. “Nothing you can do. Well that’s ok for you being made of totally indestructible Rubanon isn’t it? I mean I’m a human right. I’m going to wind up like a jigsaw puzzle for the crash investigators. The worst thing that’s likely to happen to you is that you’ll bounce about for a while after we smack into the ground. Just typical!!”

“Don’t collapse into total cowardice just yet,” said Cat, “I may not be able to stop us crashing but I think I’m going to be able to make the landing effectively soft enough for your scrawny body to survive.”

“Seriously?” I responded as I pulled myself up slightly in my chair before lurching uncontrollably forward with great force, as the ship impacted. I lurched back and then forward and then back again several times as the ship gradually juddered to a slowish downward motion until I was finally able to sit relatively still and upright in my seat. Unfortunately, my focus on the impact, allied to the valiant attempt my upper body had made to stop itself from being shaken about like a mountain in an earthquake, had led to me losing concentration on keeping my bladder under control, with inevitable consequences. I felt the warmth inside my pants spreading and, as the damp patch became obvious at the front of my khaki coloured tunic bottoms, I really wished I hadn’t had that large glass of Baffleberry juice just before our descent started. Especially because it tasted of onions.

As Cat spotted my expanding damp patch he exclaimed “Eeeyuck. Can you not control yourself?”.

“Well I have to some extent,” I said, “My bowels have so far stayed relatively still.”

At that Cat rolled his eyes and said: “Right, we’ll head up now.”

“Up where?” I responded.

“To the surface,” said Cat, “The only way I could see to slow us was by landing in the ocean” he continued. “Now we need to head up, but slowly. Whilst we are ascending I will try to work out what happened to the ship. Lightships don’t just fail like this. It’s very puzzling.”

To be continued………

The Mosquito Virus

In 2175 humans were devastated by the Mosquito virus, a contaminant from outer space. Serendipitously, scientists at Clone-a-Cat discovered that a transposon in the DNA of a genetically engineered cat called Azz-Lex, could neutralise the Amora virus. Implantation of the ‘Azz-Lex transposon’ became the miracle cure that saved humankind.

Treatment did, however, lead to people who periodically chewed grass and vomited or needed to squat on sand to pee. Absolutely everyone wanted to be waited on hand and foot, eat or sleep, so nothing ever got done.

It was much better than dying unless of course, you were a dog.

The Azz-Lex Transposon

After the first major space battle between Earth and the Mud Lizards around 2170, the so-called ‘Mosquito virus’ started to devastate the population of our planet. Essentially a biological weapon, despatched to Earth by the Mud Lizards from Plasmolidium, our foremost research laboratories could find no cure.

cat

It was only after the intervention of the leader of the GoGLES, Azz-Lex, that Earth was saved. This talking cat from Planet X turned up at the home of the owner of ClonaCat, Tjoorbaert Morabitz and injected him with both the Mosquito virus and the so-called Azz-Lex transposon to prove the cure to Tjoorbaert.

The Azz-Lex transposon, a small piece of DNA within Azz-Lex’s DNA, was able to hybridise with the Mosquito virus DNA within the human genome to render the Mosquito virus harmless.

You can read about the Azz-Lex transposon in the Inspector and Cat adventure ‘The Zygote Crystal‘.