New World

A 2-post collection

Challenge #00240: Posting Bills on Jellynet

Subconsciously transmitted soul level personal ads transmitted via peer to peer, human to human internet powered by implants in the brain stem and the strange pairings that emerge from their usage. Base the story in the city you know most intimately.

It was cheap. It had no carrier feeds. It drastically reduced the volume of people who had no way to understand what life was like for other people.

People on Jellynet were almost 100% more likely to be civil, understanding, generous, polite, and just basically nice to their fellow human being.

The right wing hated it instantly.

But even then, instantly was too late. It was everywhere. Anyone could by a wire hat off anyone selling them on just about any corner. You could even get baby models for parents, so they knew exactly what their child found upsetting.

It was easy.

And that should have been the first warning.

Jellynet was a whirlwind of creativity. Like minds fissioned with instant access to each other. Ideas came to fruition in less time than it took via traditional channels.

And then, just as the world was becoming a better place, the adverts came.

They came to the shared dreamscape(you could certainly sleep in the wire hat. It was eminently comfortable), where groups of heroes regularly fought of nightmares and strange structures came and went like mist.

This one was a gigantic tub of washing powder.

Dreamers around it stared at it for a while, and then went elsewhere to have some fun before they awoke.

Melanie thought no more about it. Someone dreamed up bright orange bubble chairs that floated from a fountain and she’d spent most of her night touring the dreamscape in it. She went through her little routine in absolute private, taking off the wire hat to visit the loo and have a shower and pick her face and brush her teeth. All before putting the hat back on.

Some people, she knew, never took the hat off. She’d installed TMI filters, anyway. She didn’t need to know who was jacking off or who was on their period. She didn’t want to know, either.

Breakfast came with a monumental flash of a brand of cornflakes she never liked. Her disgust echoed around five of her neighbours. Weird. She got on with her day.

In realspace, she was just Melanie Tyler, checkout chick. In dreamspace… well, there was another reason she took the hat off. In her afternoons, she was writing a book, inspired by her dreams. She had to stay off Jellyspace, lest her daydreams be suborned by someone else into a new thing. Her Jellynet friends wished her well and that was enough for her.

Brisbane was cleaner, since the Jellynet hit. Even the weeds in the cracks on the pavement were vanishing.

Except dandelions. People liked them.

It wasn’t a long walk between her flats and the Queen Street Mall, nor from there to the shop where she worked. And in the early morning, Brisbane was a quiet place.

It was easy to believe that she was alone in the world, if not for the gentle hum of Jellynet in her head. Distant Americans were ending their days. The New Zealanders were already at work. A pair of hoons were approaching. They were thinking it might be funny to remind her that she was just a girl and girls existed for men.

Except Jellynet informed them in instants that that sort of thing was not nice and made them feel bad about it.

The guy on the passenger side ended up yelling, “You’re looking wonderful! Have a great day!” out his window without ever knowing precisely why.

Melanie grinned and skipped the rest of the way to work. Another day of stocking shelves, asking if the customer had Fly Buys, stuffing bags with purchases and otherwise earning her keep.

She was halfway through first shift when another one struck. It was for an artists she’d never hear, let alone heard of, but the music itself was a persistent and annoying ear-worm.

Then someone started replacing the words. New images rippled around. Someone turned it into a minecraft fid. Someone else turned it into a Star Trek fid.

It was the last time anyone tried putting advertising onto Jellynet.

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Challenge #00226: Wonderlust

The pier at the end of the world

There was no more east left. Somewhere, beyond the sunrise, past an invisible line known only to cartographers, it circled round to being west again.

El stood on the easternmost edge of the easternmost pier, whenever she could do so. She watched the gulls and the ships and the ocean that went all the way around the world while she was stuck in place.

Trapped in Portsmouth Bay. A crowded town huddled in the

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