Part I: Awakening
"Where am I?” barked MF-2411, “What year is it? Who's the president?!"
The response was laughter. "Who's the president, haha, gets me every time", chuckled one doctor who was naked except for the surgeon's mask on his face. Where there should've been a penis down below, there was nothing at all, sort of like a Ken doll. MF couldn't tell if that was actually the case or if his eyes were playing tricks on him. Everything was fuzzy, even with the goggles they had him wear to diffuse the light a little bit.
"What is that supposed to mean?” shouted MF, “No president?"
"Relax MF-2411," said the voice of one Doctor, reassuring and motherly. "You'll understand everything in due time." When MF looked to see where the voice was coming from, he noticed the Doctor's mouth wasn't moving at all, but was instead coming from the mouth on one of the Doctor's voluptuous tits.
"Am I in Hell?" asked MF, "Just tell me this one thing, please."
The mouth on the tit laughed, as the mouth on the other tit responded, "Far from it, MF. This is the place you've dreamed of your entire life." Then the mouth on the Doctor's face spoke in a voice resoundingly more masculine, "Welcome to Knowtopia."
"No-topia?" asked MF, "As in... Not Utopia?"
"Quite the contrary", responded the Doctor's voice. "Know as in knowledge," said one of the Doc's tits. "This is a Utopia" said the other, "where all knowable knowledge has been attained."
"My God", said MF. "Is it 2411? Like I predicted?"
"No", said the Doctor. "Given our understanding of time now... well, the dating system of your era no longer applies."
MF sprung off the levitating slab he was laid out on. "Show me!" he screamed before falling flat on his face.
"Careful, MF-2411!" said the Doctor, others rushing to help him up.
"I want to see what the world looks like", said MF.
"You haven't used your body in several hundred years. Take it slow. An exoskeleton will be here for you shortly."
"I can't believe it", said MF. "I can't fucking believe it."
Part II: Elevation
Secure within an exoskeleton, MF-2411 was able to walk. The Doctor with the talking tits led him out of the Cryogenics facility into a corridor that led to a series of elevators. Every person that passed them by was nude, and it was only MF who was clothed in a stretchy Fantastic-Four getup.
MF felt like he was the only person dressed for Halloween on a midsummer day at the nudist beach. But he figured any person thawed after several hundred years of cryogenic freezing would have to feel a bit like a sore thumb, no matter what year he or she woke up in, talking tits or not.
"So, uh, what's with the talking tits?" asked MF after a moment's silence in the elevator.
The tits laughed, while the doctor's face-mouth responded, "You'll be happy to know, MF, that full gender fluidity has been achieved. In fact, binary thinking altogether no longer exists, just as you predicted all those years ago."
"That's fantastic! Although, we are talking about a little more than gender fluidity here. We're talking about mouths instead of nipples."
"Haha, yes, yes we are, aren't we?" said the Doctor's tits. "Well, along with gender fluidity, we have achieved absolute physical fluidity. Any person can simply take any shape they so desire, even if said shape is completely fantastical. All one has to do is will it."
"But... how is it so?" asked MF-2411. "Scientifically speaking."
A smile formed on the Doctor's face as well as his tits, all three perfectly in sync, right before the Doctor came apart in front of MF's eyes, dispersing suddenly into a cloud of electric steam and then nothing at all. A moment passed and particles began to take shape behind MF, regathering into steam and drawing closer and closer together, first appearing as floating pink fluid before taking shape of a fleshy human being again.
Sort of. Instead of a nose, the good Doctor now had a flaccid penis on his face.
"I'd shit myself right now if it weren't for the fact it's been a few hundred years since I ate anything", said MF.
"Haha, ancient humor is the best humor", said the Doctor. "Once you understand the science, MF, it'll all make sense. You see, human beings now are one with technology. Literally speaking. We have abandoned our primitive forms of perishable meat and are now entirely made up of a billion little specs of biotech, each carrying the entirety of our consciousness, and each with the ability to spawn -or print if you prefer- more copies of itself."
MF's jaw dangled a little, "Does that mean... you've conquered death?"
"Indeed we have, MF."
MF threw himself at the Doctor, hugging him tightly. The Doctor, taken aback by MF's reaction, pat him on the back while MF burrowed his head deep into the doctor's chest, weeping a little bit.
"There, there", said the Doctor. "I'm surprised you're surprised. You predicted this would happen."
"Yes, I did, didn't I?" said MF, looking up at the Doctor's penis face, realizing it wasn't exactly like he predicted.
"How does it feel?" asked MF, "To be a cloud."
"Hmmm", thought the Doc for a second. "Well previous Cryogenics have described it as 'Godly'."
"Previous Cryogenics?" asked MF. "Have they all given up their old bodies? Every one of them?"
"They had to. After thawing, your meat-sack bods are only good for seven days."
Part III: Observation
"Is the elevator even moving?" asked MF-2411 after realizing they'd been in there for the while.
"Why yes", said the Doctor. "In fact, it's moving very fast, beyond your ability to detect the motion."
"Ah. I take it the Cryogenic facility is incredibly deep underground."
"Quite", responded the doctor, a moment before the elevator doors opened. Exiting the elevator, MF-2411 came to realize they were emerging from a colossal tree trunk in the middle of a soaring forest buzzing with life, both human and non-human alike. People were flying about, some donning wings, and others in cloud form. Some flew around on hovercrafts, and others simply walked. While others whizzed by on bicycle wheels instead of legs, and some even strutted around as centaurs. All this along pathways carved into the thick branches that shot out of tree trunks a good thirty-nine meters above ground.
When MF looked down, he saw this same richness of life continued until the very bottom of the forest as it did above him, the trees reaching for heights he never thought possible. Sprinkled throughout the forest's broad branches were structures more obviously artificial, sleeker in form and more deliberate in construction, yet seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of nature surrounding them.
"Welcome to the city!" declared the Doctor.
"But how?" asked MF-2411, "How is this even possible?"
"It's like you stated in your writing", said the Doctor, before shifting in form and taking on features eerily identical to MF's. "Imagine a world where the dominant culture doesn't stem from a desire to conquer nature, but instead to work with nature. Imagine a world where the Earth's soil is no longer paved in concrete and asphalt. Where world travel is no longer made feasible by gravity-defying thrusters, but instead by vehicles that ride the wind and make use of the sun's eternal radiation. The DNA of our entire culture seems to be based on that of the war tank, when instead it could draw from the bicycle or surfboard."
The Doctor-as-MF poofed back into a cloud before returning to his original form. Well, almost his original form: the penis that was once on his face dangled instead from his lower back like a tail,soft over his buttocks. And his eyes now replaced his nipples, with his face little more than one big mouth.
"The implications of those words", said the Doctor, "had such a profound effect on the society that followed. Several hundred generations later, and voila! This is what you get."
"Fan-fucking-tastic!" screamed MF, "Is that why you brought me back? To lead the new world?!"
The big mouth chuckled hard. "Oh dear, no! Haha! No, not at all! Haha, that's a first, hahaha. No, no, MF, humanity no longer has any use for leaders, not anymore."
"Oh. Ahem, of course, of course. It is after all what I predicted would happen, that all form of hierarchy would be eliminated. Um, right. But how has it been achieved, Doctor?"
As they walked down the intricate pathways through the forest-city of tomorrow, the Doctor tried his best to explain things in lingo that MF would understand. "Well, you could say we operate by a kind of swarm-intelligence. We are all connected, you see? And I don't mean in the primitive cyberspace terms of your generation. I mean, that right now at this moment, I am fully aware of the thoughts, ideas, and feelings of every single one of the two billion people living on this planet."
"Did you just say two billion?"
"Correct. And it will stay that way, save for the few thousand newcomers we're bringing out of Cryo."
"How did the population ever go down to two billion?"
"You'll know in due time”, said the Doctor, “once you're upgraded and connected to the rest of us."
"Y'know, to a 'cloud' as you put it."
"Ah right, of course."
The duo arrived at one of the entrances to a long structure that seemed to loop around a handful of colossal branches. Doors slid open for them and inside was a dining hall. A very, very large dining hall. It felt like a million people were inside, all having dinner at once. Some tables brought closer together for big groups to converse, and others situated in more secluded corners for those who desired a little “privacy”. Every once in a while, a cloud would poof out of nowhere and take the form of a dish in front of one the diners. And sometimes leftovers and dirty dishes would poof into a cloud and disappear once they were no longer needed.
"Come come, have a seat", said the Doctor, gesturing at nothing but air right before it became an intimate table and two chairs. "You haven't eaten in years, you must be hungry."
"Now that you mention it, I'm pretty famished", said MF, taking a seat. "Is there a, uh, a menu?"
"The menu, MF, is your imagination."
"My imagination? So I could have absolutely anything I want."
"Anything you want."
"Hmmm, okay then. How about... an 8-ounce Japanese Wagyu filet mignon paired with Australian Lobster. Poached and then seared. A side of Persian saffron rice should do, along with a salad of cherry tomatoes and arugula, Egyptian. Let's top it with Ukrainian Sunflower seeds, Himalayan pink salt, Malaysian black pepper, Palestinian olive oil and 100-year-aged balsamic vinegar."
"Well, nation states have long since been abolished, but I get the gist of your request, no problem. A drink and appetizer to start with?"
"Ah, of course. White truffles and a variety of your very best cheeses please. And how about a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon rose' between the both of us?"
The Doctor nodded, and the white truffles and cheese appeared on the table along with two empty glasses and a bottle of rose' without the label.
"Branding is also an obsolete concept, but the palette of this rose' should match exactly what you have in mind. Or rather, as far as my mind can fathom what may be on your mind."
"So you can just will whatever you want into existence, huh?"
The Doctor willed the bottle open,and grabbed it. "Precisely. May I?" he asked before pouring any in MF's glass.
"Please", said MF. The sound of the rose' exiting the bottle and filling his glass was music to his ears, and made him far more comfortable in his own skin than he was a minute prior. MF didn't take a whiff out of the glass, not intentionally, but the wine's leisurely scent did make its way up his nose and tickled him somewhere deep in the crevices of his brain before he took his first sip. When he did, it went down smoothly and made him very, very happy.
Seeing this made the Doctor happy. "As soon as you're upgraded, you'll be able to will your heart's desire, MF, and it will be far more accurate than anything anyone else could possibly conjure up on your behalf, because only you really know precisely what it is you want."
MF took a slice of mozzarella and topped it with a piece of truffle. The minute it went into his mouth, he felt his brain melt in his skull. "Mmmmmm, goodness gracious, I... can't... even. I'm sorry forgive me, aren't you going to have any?" he asked the Doctor.
"No no, we don't actually need to eat anymore. Some of us do, as you can see," said the Doctor gesturing at the diners throughout the food hall, "just for the pleasure of the act, but it is no longer necessary for our day to day functionality. You see, the air is filled with all the nutrients we need."
"Oh. I see," said MF enjoying the last bits of sharp aftertaste that lingered in his throat. "Y'know... in my younger years, I used to fast. Once every year for the month of Ramadan. I wouldn't eat or drink anything at all from dawn till dusk, and the first bite I took, no matter what it was, always felt like the best thing I'd ever tasted in my life."
“Tell me more”, said the Doctor.
"I can't imagine one would be able to taste anything at all" continued MF, "if you weren't at least a little bit hungry."
"I suppose you're right”, said the Doctor. “Perhaps not tasting anything at all is a bit of an exaggeration though. After all, the signals are all there."
"Ah, the signals", said MF sipping his wine. "Is that all this is?" he asked, gesturing at the food.
"Not quite. The air is filled with nano-biotech, not entirely different from the stuff we're made of. And all of us are practically connected to it, all two billion of us. It is in fact, what connects us together. It is also the stuff that provides us with our material needs, with nothing but a thought required to make it happen."
MF took another piece of truffle, examined it, admired it, before popping it in his mouth and letting its juices run all over his taste-buds.
"So given that everyone can acquire what they wish, I take it there's no such thing as crime or discrimination?"
"None whatsoever. All extinct."
"Well hey" said MF, "if there's anything worth losing your sense of taste for, then that is it right fucking there. Cheers!"
"Haha, I will drink to that" said the Doctor, pouring himself a glass before toasting with MF.
"Oh, forgive me, MF, it slipped my mind that you would likely prefer the company of a typical woman after such a long time without human contact."
Before MF could respond, the Doctor's physique had shifted and taken shape of a slender blond woman in a tight red dress. She smiled, and took a sip of her wine.
"Uhh... I, thank you. I don’t know about you, but I think I'm ready for the main course now."
Part IV: Contemplation
MF woke up the next morning in an apartment they had designed to approximate the aesthetics of the time he came from. Of course, the time he came from boasted a vast mix of styles, but they knew enough about him to hone in on something he'd find comfortable. They knew he was a futurist, for example, as well as a minimalist. The bed he lay on was firm and levitated in mid air. A night table floated right next to the bed, on it a sci-fi paperback just like he preferred. Although he never had any time to flip through it, not last night when he was awfully tipsy and the Doctor was with him. The Doctor who for a minute was a blond woman in a red dress before MF told her that blonds weren't his type at all and that he in fact preferred Latina trans-women.
MF got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. He approached the mirror positioned precisely where he could see a headshot of himself reflected back at him, and proceeded to touch his face, studying the physicality of it, feeling the fuzziness of his stubble and the softness of his lips.
The wall below the mirror suddenly took the form of a sink in that seamless blobitechture style he was so fond of. The faucet, equipped with an invisible sensor, felt his hands come close and filled his palms with cool water which he enjoyed splashing on his face. Looking back up at the mirror again, intricate mechanisms seemed to manifest out of thin air and proceeded to lather his face and give him a shave.
It was only mid shave that MF realized that someone else must've been present in the room with him, because only they had the power to conjure stuff up. He stepped away from the floating shaving apparatus and its sharp razors, and turned around. After a moment's thought he figured that no one had to be present at all actually, not if they were connected to everything everywhere, including the air itself. They could make things manifest thousands of miles away probably.
He could smell coffee, and so made his way out of the bathroom, and then out of the bedroom, across the living room with the Indian columns (his tastes were contradictory like that) towards the kitchen, where the three olive-skinned trans-women he bedded last night awaited him with fresh coffee.
"Coffee?" all three asked at once.
"Yes please", he said.
One of them handed him a mugful of coffee, caramel-colored just the way he took it. He sipped, enjoyed it in his mouth before he swallowed. It was strong but smooth like velvet. Creamy with a slightly sweet tang of very fresh goat's milk. Perfect.
All three women were watching him. They had their own cups of coffee, but it was almost as if they took more pleasure in seeing him take pleasure rather than experience the pleasure themselves.
"Can I... speak to the Doctor please?"
"We are the Doctor," they all said at once.
"Right," said MF. "Can I speak to just one of you then? This is a little weird."
Two women poofed into thin air, and only one was left. "What's up?" she asked.
MF was quiet for a minute, not sure what to say. Another sip of coffee first.
"The arugula last night. Wasn't very good."
"Oh," said the Doctor. "What wasn't very good about it?"
"A little bland. It was missing a... Egyptian arugula tends to have a strong aftertaste. A little sour... like... no, that's not the right word. It's like this strong life-giving punch in the rib."
"Interesting," responded the Doctor. "Well, once you're upgraded, you'll be able to get exactly what you demand. With every itty bit of nuance."
"Right," said MF taking a sip of coffee. "About that. I'm good. I think I'm ready to die."
The Doctor's coffee dropped to the floor, the mug shattering into several pieces, with a shard flying extremely close to MF's bare foot. "What? You can't die now!"
"No, I'm good. I'm ready."
"I don't think you understand, MF-2411. You'll be missing out on some key experiences. On feeling connected to every human being on the planet. On being connected to the very air we breathe, on being what you want whenever you want."
"Listen, I like to work. I like to work knowing that my work might make the world a better place. This place you've got here is... great, it's perfect, but I really don't have a place here."
"You can still work!"
"Anything you want."
"You don't understand", said MF. "I'm good. I had a nice meal last night, good conversation, great sex, I've got my morning coffee, I know humanity is living happily ever after, I'm good and ready to die now, okay?"
"MF-2411! We need you!"
"We may not have been entirely honest with you," confessed the Doctor. "This is not yet a full Knowtopia. If it were, we would've gotten that arugula right, for example."
"I see", said MF.
"We're waking up Cryogenics like yourself because there are things inside you we need to know. Knowledge isn't just textbooks and databases. It's experiences, personal experiences. Your experiences will fuel us, all two billion of us. All it takes is for you to join us, to become one of us. To upgrade. That's all you need to do."
"I see", said MF nodding. "If I choose to die after I upgrade, can I?"
"In a sense" said the Doctor. "I mean, you could drift off into the air, never choosing to re-condensate ever again."
"But that's not the same as not being, is it, Doctor?"
"Well, no" said the Doctor, "But not being is a myth! Once a traditional human body withers away it is absorbed by the soil and air and maggots and trees and birds and --"
"But does a human being's consciousness continue to live on in all those things?"
"It's... it's possible. We actually don't know."
MF-2411 took another sip of coffee, his very last without making much of a big deal of it. He ran his hand across his face, realizing it was only half-shaven.
"I better go take care of this", he said putting his coffee down on the kitchen table. "I'll be right back."
He walked away from the broken shards on the floor, past the Indian columns in the living room, towards the bedroom to get to the bathroom where sharp razors and bad intentions were ready for him.
Authored October 2018
in Denver (CO)
Words & Pictures: Ganzeer
Editor: Dan Hill
Copyright © 2018 by Ganzeer, Inc.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License
in Denver (CO)
Words & Pictures: Ganzeer
Editor: Dan Hill
Copyright © 2018 by Ganzeer, Inc.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License