For many, many years, I’ve been squirreled away writing a thing called The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze, and so in effort to prove to people I’m not just being antisocial, I’ve decided to share the first chapter. Over the next few weeks, I hope to follow it with excerpts from other chapters as they catch my eye.
Please keep in mind it’s a work in progress, it’s far from perfect, and will, I’m sure, completely change by the time I finish the final draft (should such a day arrive).
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy. Feel free to send feedback and comments either via my official Facebook page (link at right), the Contact link above (for email) or, in exactly four words from now, click on the newborn Farlo Breeze Facebook Page link!
The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze
Chapter One: The Irony of Smart-food
30 Years from Next Wednesday
Farlo Breeze stared at the holoscreen and tried to cultivate an air of concentration. He couldn’t do it. He glanced at the floor beside his desk, where someone had left a cardboard box. His employer was RepliTech, world leader in Replication technologies, and his role was that of Demystification Officer, which involved his delicate infiltration of online conversations, steering them towards the company’s merits. Its merits were few, but they paid him well, which went a long way to allaying his judgement. None of that is very important, however. What matters is he’s about to be fired, and in a week will be running for his life.
The holoscreen flickered: ‘Incoming vid-con from internal channel. Do you accept?’
Farlo nodded. ‘Sure.’
‘Initiating…’ Countless seconds passed. ‘You have been placed on hold. RepliTech understands your time is valuable. While you wait, why not initiate a conversation with Brook, our sentient brochure? We’re sure you’ll find her both informative and enticing.’
Farlo cleared his throat. The holoscreen flickered.
‘We notice you haven’t initiated a conversation with Brook, our sentient brochure. Perhaps you’d prefer to chat with Brian, our sentient brochure.’
Farlo blinked a few times. The screen flickered.
‘You are still on hold.’
He sighed and looked at the ceiling. ‘Baby Christ on a-’
The screen flashed, presenting Brad, his simulated hair and sculpted face the more expensive features of his coding. ‘Hi,’ he chimed. ‘I’m Brad, Replitech’s sentient liaison.’
Farlo’s face paled. ‘Oh, Christ, no.’ His wide gaze dropped to the box beside his desk, now basking in its new-found relevance and value.
‘I know what you’re thinking,’ Brad nodded. ‘This couldn’t have come at a worse possible time. But let me assure you there will always be a place for you in the RepliTech family. You could fill out employee satisfaction surveys. Or you can continue to purchase RepliTech’s fine products and fill out customer satisfaction surveys. The possibilities are numerous.’