Daily Deals

Aug 12

You wake to a familiar morning chime. It’s the Great Deals chime that every Earnest Citizen awaits. The sound swells in your dreams like peach flavour crystals until your eyes pop wide, bright, and ready for various possibilities. You gaze into the ceiling-mounted Selfscreen and affirm that you are Ready and aware of the possibilities — that you are prepared to ride every opportunity that may present itself today You remind yourself that you are an early riser — and that this gives you an advantage. A flashing message informs you that this is a Challenge Day. If you complete these tasks in sequence and before the meter runs red, you will rise ranks to earn even more advantageous deals tomorrow and everyday henceforth. Today’s deals are tailored to your identified needs and wants.

The Brimco bed launch heaves you into a fresh set of Jampers, prepped for you overnight by the housemind. The automated Thrillertube slides into your mouth and you sip deep and long. Today’s morning sustenance: a sweet, nutritious, berry nectar that pumps new vigor through your every part. Sun streams from the overscreens that surround your cubichome. You are pepped and spiritually prepared even before the launch sequence self-actuates with its blue bright warning light. The walls swing open with a swish. You slide swiftly down the tubual and out onto the travelpath. An affirmation is required in order to actuate the path, so you shout “It’s Wonderous!”

It is.

Your first Deal will take you clear across the city to the Maxiplex Megamart in the Tellerease Quarter. The travelpath brings you to the Intertube Station where a Travelaid is waiting. The doors of the Travelaid slide open and you step inside the brightly lit cartonelle. There are two others in the cartonelle with you, but you haven’t yet received incentive to notice them, so you don’t, preferring instead to maximize this day’s achievement bonus through silent contemplation of the assigned Deals. The intertube accelerates noiselessly and you hurtle smoothly towards your destination.

On the way, you watch the city wheel by. You see new cubichome quarters self-assembling in the distance. You see the beautiful maroon circle of the sun glowing warmly through the clear, ivory-white sky. Quite by accident, you notice the channelslide walkway. It is packed with Otherfolk: the unwilling, unwitting and the unwanted; those of the growing, unsavory congregation who, for some reason or another, refuse outright to participate in all Daily Deals whatsoever. It’s never been clear to you why these souls wear their shameful exile — why they would choose destitution over the shared spoils of industry. These sorry ones need only seek opportunity at the nearest Supplication Station. There they will be issued a late-model Pocket Console (or Pockeconn) and, upon power-up, offered an introductory Deal. This is how the long journey to freedom and virtue begins for every Delegate. It is a journey of joy and limitless promise, as you are well aware. New Delegates need only prove their diligence and propriety by responding to each Deal promptly, and by thoroughly enjoying modern material prizes — generous rewards for good citizenry. But it seems that even as the deals, by the day, grow more frequent and lavish, so too these unwatchable ones grow in number, wedged ever more deeply in their exile.

It occurs to you that these are off-contract thoughts.

You avert gaze and instead look northward, admiring the two great hopes of our age: The wonderous Centre For Outward Expansion, where mighty algorithms guide all citizens of executive rank and higher in preparation for interstellar launch; and the mysterious Institute of Inward Conduition, where the arcane quantumness and interconnectivity of Very Small Things are harnessed for the betterment of all conscious beings and mind-substrates. At these two Centers our fates, singularly and collectively, will be actualized.

And so we follow the guidance of the Overarchitect, seeking Daily Deals — knowing that somehow, almost blindly, we are contributing to the greater purpose. The greatest purpose. Your Pockeconn chimes in approval of your unprompted thoughtfulness. You are awarded an Achievement Bonus.
Riding with you in your cubicar is an elderly, retired Subordinate Princept, and a bright-eyed New Delegate of gender and orientation complimentary to your own.

Your Pockeconn flashes with an enticing new offer. Accepting the deal, you are instructed to praise the young Delegate on the sleek fit of his or her Jamper suit, and then comment on the grandure of the Two Hopeful Centres passing on the horizon. You are to marvel aloud at our wondrous and connective shared future. You do so promptly and earnestly. Your Pockconn chimes pleasantly again. You have been awarded a late-model Virtuset in remuneration. Your device informs you that the Virtuset will be installed and waiting for you at your cubichome upon your return. You look forward to using it during your Hour of Self-Direction this evening.

The young delegate blushes, flattered by your attention, and their personal profile is immediately conjoined with your own. A romantic session is scheduled in three day’s time. A Sensacube has been reserved and will be automatically tailored to your mutual specifications for maximum shared pleasure.

The Tubual whisks to a halt and the opening widens, silently. You exit, wishing the new Delegate well, and carefully avoiding all interaction with the retired Subordinate Princept who has been riding with you — watching you. He looks on longingly, silently judging you as you step off the ramp and onward to the Maxiplex where the next of many astounding Deals await.