Chow

algae farms

So a little known fact, or is it a known little fact? A known little fact about Arcanarc Colony is that nothing green ever grows here. If it does then it has a hard time doing so. You see, this colony is a space habitat that is completely manmade. It is designed to last for one thousand and one years, completely unaltered, drifting in outer space indefinitely. It defies the laws of nature. Hell, the Uptowns are totally indifferent to the pull of gravity. These are entire city blocks on the high-end of Arcanarc, miles upon miles and billions of cubic meters of them floating in thin air as though they weighed little more than a feather. Speaking of feathers, a small ecosystem of birds is the most wildlife that this colony can sustain. They are confined to a “nature” reserve so they do not go “extinct”. And we aren’t even talking fancy, high maintenance birds like the peacock, the humming bird, the kingfisher eagle, the peregrine falcon, the red-tailed hawk, the cockatiel or the flamingo. We’re talking brown sparrows here people, common buzzards, owls, crows and vultures. It’s sad, really, if you think about it.

So what do we eat here on Arcanarc seeing as our colony cannot sustain large animals or plants? Like what is our source of nutrients you may be wondering? Not throwing shade or anything, but I hear that on Mainland Earth, shit is so real that they’re eating beef-flavoured cardboard and mud cakes down there. Thankfully, we are more fortunate here on Arcanarc. We eat algae. Coz if there’s one thing that grows in abundance on this manmade, galactic island it is algae. Micro-algae are a plentiful, renewable, natural source of protein, carbohydrates and antioxidants. But all that algae need to thrive are carbon dioxide, water and light energy. There is plenty of carbon dioxide and water produced through our human waste disposal system. Light energy is much harder to come by in outer space where the darkness is infinite. That’s why we have algae farms, pictured above. These dome-shaped, half-sunken structures are made of solar glass that concentrate light emitted from decaying stars, magnifying it thousands of times over.

It doesn’t hurt either that algae is the ultimate super food. It is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and fat free. Since hydrocolloids or food expanding agents are used, just one table spoon of algae can feed an average family of four for a day. I once read a history book that described how you guys in the 21st Century use contraptions called stoves to cook food, from scratch – as in raw meat and vegetables chopped, diced, boiled and grilled into something edible. Never mind that cooking sounds like an awful lot of hard work, what about the health hazards associated with eating animal body parts? I don’t know but I think you’re better off eating cardboard and mud. As for us, we 3D print our meals. Our food printers come equipped with digital menus that are updated weekly by FoodGate, that is the corporation’s print-on-demand food and beverage department. All you have to do is select what you want for dinner from the menu, hit “Send” and the food printer prints your meal in the comfort of your own kitchen. I don’t know the exact science of it because, you know, I just live here, but I understand that FoodGate adds flavourants, vitamins and other supplements to the algae, and because the hydrocolloids are also gelling agents the resulting compound can be printed into the most intricate and delightful culinary designs imaginable – Shrimp Flambé anyone? If you don’t feel like shrimp flambé or anything on the menu for that week, maybe you just want a platter of spicy buffalo wings or something simple like that, you can just quickly run down to the supermarket and grab a food cartridge. Amicus humani generi, my friends!

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Home at Last

resistance kitchen

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I will keep this short because I have a major hangover and it is killing me staring at my computer screen. We – I mean the resistance – have been partying for seven days straight, and I have basically been marinating in Schnapps the whole time. Under normal circumstances I steer clear of alcohol. I am a lightweight, and I know it. It’s unfortunate that everyone else knows it too seeing as they will never let me live it down. According to Araka, I am such a lightweight I could get high sniffing nail polish. Is this the part where I swear that I will never drink again? Because if you’re like me who never remembers what happened the night before, what’s the point? It’s like you were there, but not really there. It’s like taking a rain check on a night out, but getting the hangover the morning after. The worst part is how Araka and Quta – that’s my gal pal – make it sound like I am a demented drunk. Like one moment I am the life of the party and painting the town red, and the next moment I am a fire-breathing demon cussing at everything that moves, and I don’t even cuss in real life. Snippets of the night before slowly start coming back to me as the hangover wears off and the day wears to a close. And of course I only remember the bad and embarrassing parts. It’s fun, until it’s not.

Anyway, I am not sorry. Special occasions call for acting in extraordinary ways. What is this special occasion that is worth death by Schnapps you may ask? We moved into the resistance headquarters! It’s been seven glorious days since we moved in and it does not get better than this. I already described the facility a couple of messages back, but my favourite rooms have got to be the kitchen and bunkers, pictures included above. We spend a lot of time fellowshipping as we print food together or wind down for the day. I would like to be more generous but pictures are tricky to send over celestial frequencies since they contain a lot more bytes than texts do, so bear with me. Amicus humani generi, my friends!

The Corporation’s Generation 8

 

 

corporation logo

The sky is overcast today. How does that happen in outer space where there’s no sun or clouds? The darkness and emptiness stretch across the eternity of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the corporation has a weather machine that controls the environment surrounding the colony. Or maybe it’s got nothing to do with the external conditions. Maybe it’s about what is happening on the inside. Maybe it’s my state of mind that’s making reality seem bleaker than it normally is. It’s a malaise that can be named – demoralization. I am demoralized. When I joined the resistance many years ago I thought that I could really make a difference in this world. You should see Arusha perform. That’s our resistance leader. She’s an excellent motivational speaker. The blind can see when she stands before the gathering in the Great Hall in Arachnida and delivers a rousing speech. But I am seeing with more clarity now, and I am beginning to think that our leader is full of crap. The robots are an actual threat. Our mission is to bring them down. But what are we really doing about it? We are wasting time distributing flyers in subway stations and adorning backstreet alley walls that never see the light of day with inciting graffiti. We’re just a bunch of anarchists, bohemians and daydreamers.

To be fair I should have known better. It’s no secret that the resistance’s mantra is passive, nonviolent protest. “Sensitization and not confrontation”, the higher-ups say. We need to be more proactive than this. No meaningful change is ever effected by treading the fine line between passivity and complacency. Action – that’s exactly what we need right now. I am not saying burn this city down. But if it were up to me we’d be burning down a district or two because shit just got real. The robots may be imitations of women, but they are clearly not human. They are kind of mechanical looking, and their AI is not that great so their basic interpersonal capabilities are rather rudimentary. They are designed to moan and groan in pleasure, laugh, giggle and hum. Besides a handful of words by way of cheerful greeting they really can’t talk at all. However, like my friend Araka aptly pointed out to me the other day, “They are sex robots for goodness sake – not exactly created to make small talk about the weather!” Where they are lacking in interpersonal skills they more than make up for in anatomical interaction if you know what I mean. They are rigged with bio-electro sensors that read physiological signals and stimulus in the process of robot-human intercourse. Inbuilt neural impulse actuators convert these signals into energy that is converted into physical motion, and that’s how come the robots are capable of good sex. Well, so I’ve heard. I personally wouldn’t know what kind of sex robots give. I bet the corporation is very pleased with its macabre creations.

The prospects for the annihilation of humanity don’t get better than robots that give good sex, right? Like I said, shit just got real. News has spread within the resistance that the corporation is developing the 8th Generation of sex robots. Code-named Project Freja, the prototype of this generation is rumoured to be so sophisticated that it is impossible to tell it apart from a real human. These are only unsubstantiated rumours but I say that there is no smoke without fire. Heaven help us all the day that this robot walks among us. Amicus humani generi, my friends!

Friends of Humankind

 

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The One Consciousness Corporation sits in a white tower, turning giant wheels. It’s like a giant spider weaving a giant web that traps little souls. It sinks its fangs into them. But the venom does not kill. Killing something implies that the thing once existed. There is hope that it could transcend to another form of existence. But no, the Corporation erases souls so that they might as well have not existed in the first place. The super city is filled with these walking shells. Whereas your countries are governed by elected governments, we have this insidious corporation to rule us all. Its emblem, or should I say it’s mark, is everywhere, pervading the streets as well as the inner sanctums of our homes. It’s very smart and subliminal to use iconology to reinforce a belief system. The corporation believes that social conformity is in the best interest of the collective because, “Man has a dark inaccessible part to his nature which is filled with the energy reaching from the instincts. It has no organisation, produces no collective will, and only strives to bring about the satisfaction of his instinctual needs for profit and pleasure”. Individuality and self-expression are vices which if left unchecked will proliferate to the ruin of all – the corporation’s words not mine. Maybe I’m not seeing the bigger picture here, but I don’t understand. If we are hell-bent on a course of self-destruction as a species then how could simply dressing the same, acting the same, and looking the same possibly save us from certain doom?

In my humble opinion it’s the corporation’s meddling that will be the undoing of us. Apparently, since we can’t control ourselves, they created these sex robots that we can exploit. We can be as aggressive as we want, do whatever we want to do with them without risking our humanity because they are not human. I always wondered why all the sex robots are female. My friend Araka reckons that male sex robots would hardly be profitable for the corporation. But I disagree with him. I think it’s just another way of desecrating womanhood. The robots are in such high demand that at the alarming rate they are disrupting the social balance human women will wind up right at the bottom rung of the world order within my lifetime. We shall become obsolete. Thank goodness for the resistance. We aren’t the Army for the Restoration of Womanhood for nothing. We are bringing down the robots! We are the friends of humankind. Amicus humani generi, my friends!

Intelligentia

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So it turns out that someone’s listening after all. Thanks ArtisTrophe, for responding to my message. We are not alone. I don’t blame you for being sceptical though. I would be sceptical too if it were the other way round and I was blissfully oblivious, and then someone contacted me saying that they were from the future and another planet. Arcanarc is not a planet, at least not technically. It’s a space habitat, you know, like a colony in outer space. I am a Second Generation Arcanarcian – I hate calling myself that coz’ I really consider myself to be Arachnidite. Anyway, I am a Second Generation Arcanarcian because my grandparents settled here from Mainland Earth. The colony was built back in the early 21st Century as a solution to the shortage of land – abrupt climate change had made most of Mainland Earth uninhabitable. The colony is pretty much this gigantic hunk of technology drifting from asteroid to asteroid, mining precious resources that we export to mainland Earth until they are depleted, and then we move onto the next. Either, it’s ironic, or we are unteachable.

Life on Arcanarc is good. There’s no hunger, no strife, no lawlessness, no individuality, no free thought, no freedom of movement, no freedom of expression. It’s a mecca out here, that’s if you are a brainwashed zombie. Not so fun for those of us who aren’t buying the One Consciousness Corporation and the higher conscience crap they claim to be all about. That’s why I joined the resistance when I was thirteen. We operate underground, literally. Our stronghold is a subterranean city beneath the shiny surface of Super City Arcanarc. We call it Arachnida. It’s a maze of tunnels in the bowels of the earth where there is no sunlight or air. But I have never felt more at home than I do here. Everyone can just be themselves. I’m super excited that the construction of our headquarters is finally complete. Yay! It’s been 5 years in the making. A little bit of patience, faith and resilience goes a long way, folks. Not only is it a fully functioning intelligentia lair, but it also has living quarters equipped with a communal kitchen, common room, courtyard, and sleeping bunkers that can accommodate at least three-quarters of the resistance. I can’t wait to move there. I love my mom and dad to death but they cannot stop me. It’s pointless them worrying that I will get into some sort of trouble. If I had a middle name it would be Trouble. Trouble is my second nature. I was born troubled. I could find trouble baking bread in a convent. And anyway, I am nearly 19 years old. I am an adult now and that means I get to make my own decisions. Amicus humani generi, my friends!

Hollow Tree

arcanarc 18 x 18 cm

 

I am so glad that I actually made contact! Backing up a little – My name is Ananiya Wesu. I am almost 19 years old. But it will be another sixty-four years before I am born in your time. You see, I live on a space habitat called Arcanarc Colony in the year 2100. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. And there’s nothing I can do about the awful truth. It is awful, because I’d rather live in your time, on your planet. Just to be clear, I’m not an alien. But more on that another time! Contrary to popular belief time travel is not possible in 2100. Don’t expect the future “You” to come visit you any time soon. I’ve heard all about those 21st Century science fiction tropes. They were amusing bedtime stories I was told when I was little. I may not be able, physically, to traverse through time but I can send messages back into the past and forward into the future as easily as I can blink. So whoever is out there reading this, I would really like to hear from you. I am obsessed with 21st Century Mainland Earth, and I could learn a lot from you. Is it true that freedom of expression exists there? That the masses can rise up and mobilize, protest against the powers that be and actually effect change? Or are those more bedtime stories? Here in Arcanarc public gatherings of ten people or more is an offense. Everyone looks the same and thinks the same. Who would dare to stage a protest in the City Square? The Corporation has eyes and ears everywhere. It sucks big time living here. And yet it’s a lot better than being on Mainland Earth right now. It seems that civilization on the mother planet had reached its pinnacle at the turn of the 21st Century, and then it was pretty much downhill from there on. Is there anyone out there? Either way, it’s therapeutic sending out this message in a bottle across the Milky Way. It’s like that story of a man who told his secrets to a hollow tree; or in my case, the girl who told her secrets to the stars. Amicus humani generi, my friends!