Periodical Installment 14

Jane 6 and Kim 12's lives post choice went on in the new luxury of SF2222, the unlimited Kangen tap of precious water changing their skin with a new glow of health, the MEAT Kim 12 delivered to Jane 6 changing her musculature from waify to the picture of strength.  She began to buy new colored zippy-kamicks and tighter compression pants with her bitblocks showing off her buttocks to Kim 12's appreciation.  Jane 6 only used her bitblocks on transport to and from Kim 12's and on window/wall design screens reminiscent of what idealized pre-Water Wars life was like.  She was becoming more and more obsessed over grass and cows, trees and cats, birds and flowers.  Could these magical things really have existed, or was this some utopian fantasy of a never-time?


"Jane 6, this is Commander Casphot, can you hear me?"  She accidentally opened the com line with any thoughts.  Nothing was private inside Jane 6 now that she shared her uterus with the 30,000 Utiiud.


"Yes I can hear you, Commander Casphot. I was asking that question to myself, but do you know?"  Jane 6 thought they might.  I mean they WERE and advanced alien race from light years away inhabiting her uterus.  The MUST know something.


"You're right, Jane 6.  We are highly advanced and superior to your race in almost every way, and we know more than just 'something'.  We are familiar with your history and can inform on your world pre-Water Wars.  It was a less complicated time that your people made exceeding complicated. You used to fight each other." The commander squeaked in his tonal expression, and Jane 6 thought he might have heard a chortle.  Jane 6 was almost getting used to his voice and could start to understand nuances in her inhabitants speech.  "The Earth had vast swaths of open land and ocean.  Water pooled in lakes and reservoirs and you even had what should have been thousands of years of plentiful water stored in ice called 'glaciers'.  White fields of frozen water stretching from the ends of your planet into vast bodies of water.  They say it once covered 70% of your world."


"The water? The water covered the planet?"  Jane 6's mind couldn't grasp the dissonance.  There we no oceans now, just buildings, but Jane 6 didn't really know.  She'd never been outside the "TenLawn" towers before her move to the "DeManHeights" or visits to the "MissShawn".  She'd never been outside of SF in 2222, not even across the once-Bay to "Oakbuilding".  She'd downloaded an oak tree on her design wall, but couldn't imagine a time when people used them to build towns. It didn't make sense.


"Kiinda, can you get the images for Jane 6?  Let's use that new program. Jane, we're downloading some old timey images from our records for you." Pictures of a never-time flared in front of Jane 6's closed eyes, and they had used her name singularly. She didn't know which she was more excited about.


"This is a Cable Car, it ran on tracks with underground power.  It's in a thing called the street, a place between buildings where people could breathe outside." 


"But the buildings are so small."  The smallest building's Jane 6 had ever seen were the 200 floor Sexer dorms in the "MissShawn".


"This is the Bay.  It was a water way that separated the cities and connected them with bridges."  The inconceivable landscapes and architecture flashed and Jane 6 didn't know if the Commander was making some colossal joke at her expense. "No Jane, this was real.  I promise you, a idyllic world once existed here, but humans fought each other over resources instead of sharing them as you do now."  Jane 6 continued watching the historical slide show from the Utiiud's collection over the next few hours watching the destruction wrought by the Lupine and the accidental extinction of felines, The aftermath of the Water Wars in 2121, and the building of super structures once the water was gone.  She couldn't believe this was their history and didn't know why it was never taught to Janes, Cindys and Kims. Shouldn't she know where she came from?


"Jane, this information is classified for humans. Only the Controllers have access, and they never wanted you to think.  We want you to think because you keep us alive.  We want you to make good decisions for the future of the Utiiud.  They offered us a model without a cortex, but we refused.  The smarter you are, the longer we both survive.  Without a cortex, you'd never have figured out the solution to our MEAT, and we'd have eaten your body from the uterus lining out weeks ago. Strictly monetarily, that just wouldn't work for us.  We really can't afford to buy a new host once a month."


And here I thought they liked me. Jane 6 thought on purpose and closed the com link flicking the historical pictures off. She drifted to sleep dreaming of oak trees filled with cats and a fantasy world of water and ice.

Pam Benjamin