What happened to the soundclick players on the posts?

Seems Soundclick has finally disabled the embedded player.

I notice overnight all the music links on this blog are gone. Here is a blog post on how much that affected my hits: https://anttismusic...

Friday, January 18, 2019

SICK SAD WORLD

#SCIFI

SICK SAD WORLD

By Antti Luode

It started as a impossibility. A joke.

Then it became a distant possibility if everyone went insane.

Then, it got on the populist agenda and soon it became a sad possibility.

Then, slowly, it corrupted even the most goodhearted and poisoned the
public bloodstream, until we were not who we used to be.

2073, VANTAA FINLAND. MORNING

I woke up as usual. Feeling like I had not slept a wink.

There was this distinct feeling that I was not sure if I wanted to wake up.

But alas, I had no choice. This was Monday.

As soon as I woke up, I felt the news begin to stream into my consciousness
through my direct cranial transplant that I had no choice to decline. A transplant
that I hated, but I could not turn off.

"The brown party is victorious", the news declared, with the leader of the brown
party beaming at the steps of the house of representatives in the capital of Finland,
Helsinki.

"Today the people have spoken and we will fill all their demands of us", the party
leader Erik Koski was declaring, surrounded by his fellow party members.

As soon as I saw the video end, I began seeing a litany of new party promises that
would happen this year.

They were the usual. "99.999 percent majority, Sick people will be terminated more humanely,
 the last immigrants hiding among us will be hunted down and dealt with and so on.",
there were also the more cheerful, "The brown party leader from the United States is coming
for a visit to Helsinki.".

Unable to turn off the feed, I stumbled to the coffee maker in my concrete bunker of a home
and waited for the coffee to brew. Automatically of-course, this was 2073 after all.
What would the future have been without automatic coffee maker I thought sarcastically,
had my cup of coffee and walked downstairs.

There, a plastic bubble appeared on the front of my old fashioned commie block.
I could see there was a old lady holding a handbag and a overweight man in his thirties
watching like all hope was lost out of the foggy window and as I sat down I could smell the faint
scent of a fart.

"Good morning", I said and crammed myself next to the man. Soon the bubble
began rolling in the snow towards our respective work places.

"Erik Koski had such a good speech.", the overweight man said, without emotion.

"Yes, I agree.", I said, knowing our every word was being recorded. Just
going through the motions.

"I had a really good toast this morning.", the old lady was saying. I could see
her hands were shaking a little bit.

"Oh, that is nice.", I said with a flat voice. Wondering if she had beginning
stages to Parkinson's or just natural tremors. Knowing that if it was Parkinson's,
she would be dealt with soon and I would not see her again.

"I had a nice cup of coffee.", I said. Talking because there was a distinct pressure
to speak, to appear normal. Else we might have been directed to the government agency
where we would have been automatically processed for suspicious silence. Which could
indicate mental sickness.

AGENCY FOR COUNTER COUNTER SPYING

Yes, I worked as a counter counter spy. How I got here, I can not tell. Having worked
in a low position of a drill sergeant in the Finnish military. I guess I was good at not
questioning my orders. Once the brown party came to power. I just did what I was told.

And here I was. A counter, counter spy.

When I arrived to ACCS, I knew all hell was let loose. People were pacing on the floor in a
way that indicated something was not normal. Also, once inside the building, I was able
to tap into the ACCS crypted communications which were not allowed to be transmitted outside
the building.

"Red alert", was blinking in the upper left corner of my vision.

"What is it.", I said, trying to avoid sounding worried or manic as I arrived in
my cubicle surrounded by men and women in brown suits with shoulder toppings.

A aryan looking blonde with a name tag, "Tiina Vilho", came to my cubicle and began to
break it down for me. "So, we have been following this counter spy of ours called
Mikko Lempinen who was assigned to spy on a suspected female agent from North Korea.",
Tiina said and changed her position to indicate this is going to be a long chat.

"Go on", I said and waved her to go on. "Well, there was a suspicious media blackout to his
cranial communicator, something we have never seen before. He went for a walk
with her in the Helsinki central park and suddenly we lost all communications with his
implant."

"Interesting", I said, and looked out of my cubicle at the agents rushing back and forth
on the floor to report on spies who had been planted in the Finnish population.

"So you began to track him immediately with the drones I guess.", I asked, knowing they
would follow the logical steps.

"Yes, we did! A drone immediately began to track them from 1.2 kilometers away. But
something curious happened.", she said. Excited.

"Yes?", I said very shortly like a Finn I was.

"We could not. Not visually, not audio wise.", it was as if they had been surrounded
by some kind of electronic bubble shielding them from any peering eyes.", she concluded,
looking at me for a plan of action.

I was quiet, thinking about what I was taught.

"Where is this Mikko now, I assume we have interrogated him, has he been tortured yet?", I asked
not believing what I was saying, yet saying it completely calmly. I had not been the
same person as I was after the cranial communicator was implanted in me.

"Mikko has disappeared.". She said.

"Where is this, North Korean female spy?", I asked.

"She has disappeared too.", she continued.

"That is impossible. We can see what is happening out there down to a millimeter!", I said
a little bit upset at the impossibility that someone could slip away from the constant
surveillance that was reality in Finland in 2073.

"We have a meeting at 10 a clock where we will gather a team to track them down", Tiina said.

"I think since you were in the army, you might be a top choice to lead the intelligence team.", she continued.

As soon as she said that. I knew my carefully planned steps to stay invincible, were leading me
to places I did not want to walk.

How could I walk the fine line between being a good citizen and risk knowing too much.

Only time would tell.

50 KM NORTH OF HELSINKI, IN A FOREST

The forest was quiet, expect for a few birds doing their spring calls. A lone
squirrel in a tree, looking for spruce tree cones and weird ball like visual distortion
floating above the ground near walking speed, slowing down as it came to a entrance
to a cave. As it entered the cave it slowed down even more.

Then suddenly the visual distortion disappeared and where there had been nothing,
there was two people sitting in a bubble like hovering vehicle, emitting
a slight electric hum, that was extending landing legs on the cave floor.

Inside, we could see a man and a woman, kissing each other.

INSIDE THE BALL.

"I love you Yumi", the dark haired man said to the Asian looking woman.

"I love you too.", she said to Mikko, the counter spy.

"What a sad world we live in.", Mikko said. Crying..

"Cry my dear, that is just a sign the implant is no longer working and dulling
your emotions.", Yuni said, looking at the single tear drop rolling down the cheek
 of Mikko.

Mikko shook his head.

"I can not believe I have lived without emotions for so long. You would think
you would know what is wrong when they implanted me.", he said. touching the
metallic disc in his head, now exposed due to his hair having been freshly shaved
around it.

"It is a incredible piece of technology", Yuni said, shaking her head.

"Thank God our tyrants did not have such a technology.", Yuni said.

"That is why we resisted the nationalism once we gained our freedom.", she
continued. "We knew we had to fight to stay truly free.", she paused. Looking
Mikko with loving eyes. "You had been free for so long, you could not recognize
when your countries fell victim to it. Step by step! One by one! You thought you
were protecting your countries. And once you were implanted, you became just.."
, Yuni said..

"Mindless zombies.", Mikko continued.

"Sadly yes.", Yuni said. Staring at the cave wall..

"North Korea, the last bastion of freedom.", she laughed dryly.

"Who would have believed.", Mikko said, shook his head and Kissed Yuni
deeply.

"God I love my emotions.", he said. And began to smile again.

HUNTING PARTY ALPHA BRAVO CHARLIE

It was ten a clock on the dot.

The auditorium of ACCS was full of men and women watching forward,
no one saying a word. All accessing a common feed for the hunt, until
a man in his sixties in a brown suit and tie opened a door and closed
it with a loud bang.

"MEN, WOMEN.", he said.

"ATTENTION.", a guard standing on the door said loudly.

All the men and women in the auditorium rose like they had gotten a
sudden electric jolt.

I, standing in the front row had all my implants suddenly lose their
feed expect for a red blinking light that said, ALL IMPLANTS OFF,
DUE TO PRESENCE OF MATTI TUOMI, THE HEAD OF NATIONAL
SECURITY.

Matti walked with a brisk walk to the front of the auditorium and
took a place in the center stage, "You may sit.", he said loudly
and began watching at us intently.

"What I am about to tell you, you will not remember once the hunt is over.",
he said.

We had been taught that it was possibility in cases of extreme national
security, but as far as I knew, I had never been through such a case.

"We have a loose North Korean operative somewhere in the Finnish wilderness
accompanied by one of our counter spies.", Matti declared loudly.

"They have access to technology that is not openly talked about, nor does it
publicly exist. Normal citizens who hear about this technology are subject to
 termination. So be extremely careful at what you talk about during this whole hunt.",
he continued.

"They are most likely using a North Korean hovercraft that is equipped with a
electro visual stealth technology, indeed we think that they may also possess
a device that can turn off cranial implants and may be headed towards
the arctic ocean where they will be picked up by a North Korean vessel.", he said
and continued. "Do you have any questions?"

We were looking at him in dismay, yet tranquil.

I was feeling slightly shocked, I had never heard of such technologies,
at least that I knew.

"Sir, we have never heard of these technologies, how do we track them down?",
I said, rising my hand sheepishly.

"We are going to use the military and close off Finland from its most narrow
point.", Matti said. "Next?"

"What if they get through?", Tiina Vilho asked, twirling her hair.

"Then we are going to catch them at the Norwegian border.", Matti said,
certain of himself.

"What if they are not planning on going that route.", nameless man in the crowd
offered.

"Whole of Russia, the whole Europe, all of the world is governed by the brown party.
Where else would they go? Their only hope of escape is on a submarine at the arctic sea.",
Matti said and continued, pointing at the man. "You will go to processing.", at that time,
 the man fell to the ground like electricity had been turned off from his brain.

OPERATION FALLEN SATELLITE

Finland at its narrowest most point from the coastal town of Oulu to its eastern most point is only
two hundred kilometers wide.

Today, that whole area was under large hunt for a fallen satellite.

All of the official news networks were broadcasting about the possible radioactive
contamination of a old soviet era ZEBRA 3 spy satellite that had crashed somewhere
in the Finnish countryside.

There, in the snowy forests, thirty five thousand men were standing in line fifteen meters
between them. All keenly observing the frozen swamps, standing in commandeered farm buildings,
listening to cows desperately mooing in barns. Waiting. Assault rifles full of live bullets,
ready to kill anything that seemed suspicious, carrying devices with something akin to radar
antenna, turning around, scanning, looking for something.

OPERATION FALLEN SATELLITE HEADQUARTERS - OULU - NIGHT

Standing around the table I was looking at the electronic map. Tiina was twirling her hair,
a high ranking military official was talking endlessly, giving commands to the troops on the ground.

I was observing my implant data feeding in, the line of soldiers cutting Finland in two halves portrayed in green.

"Nothing", I said.

"We can wait all year. The army has a infinite budget.", the military commander with colonel stripes
and a name tag "Risto Suomi.", said.

"No way have they gotten through yet. Not even with their visual electro stealth device, it is good
but it is not that good.", he said.

"Are you allowed to know about this kind of technology without memory wipe.", I asked from Risto.

"Yes, anyone with a rank of colonel or above is allowed to memories of these devices, how else could we prepare for them.", he said. "You should not ask such questions by the way.", he continued.

"I am sorry sir.", I said and shifted my gaze back on the electronic screen.

"So not even one distortion in the line.", I asked.

"Not one!", Risto said.

"The devices the soldiers are carrying should see such a distortion up to hundred meters.", he said.

"What about the Russian border?", I asked.

"Russian border is full of soldiers, there is no way they can go through there.", Risto
said, like a man of action he was.

"So what now.", I asked.

"We wait. We wait all year if we need to.", Risto said.

"Wont people get suspicious", Tiina asked.

"And risk termination?", Risto laughed.

"The people will do as we tell them, they will give their all to the troops, you know that!",
Risto said. In a way I had not heard in a long time.

I thought about it briefly. The high ranking people seemed different. I wondered why.

But I just could not comprehend how.

EDGE OF A FIELD, MIDDLE OF FINLAND, NIGHT

A visual distortion field was moving parallel to line of soldiers roughly a kilometer away.

Inside of it Mikko and Yuni were talking to each other in the hover vehicle.

"No way are we getting through that.", Mikko said.

"Well. Not through it.", Yuni said.

"But?", Mikko asked.

"We can fly high above it.", Yuni said and pulled back the steering wheel she was holding,
which coincided with the vehicle taking flight. Higher and higher. Until they reached the clouds.
Breaking through them. Mikko was looking down, he could see the lit line of soldiers far below,
stars shining above.

"How?", he said.

"Anti gravity.", "Our scientists were finally able to discover how to beat gravity.", Yuni said,
looking at Mikko.", wide loving smile on her face, turning to something more passionate. Mikko recognized the gaze. And kissed Yuni.

After the long kiss, Yuni began to lower the vehicle far on the other side of the line.

"Why can not we fly the whole way?", he asked.

"It literally takes half a megawatt to just do this small hop.", she said.

"After this.", "We are out of electricity soon.", she said.

"And then?", Mikko asked.

"We walk.", Yuni said.

OPERATION FALLEN SATELLITE HEADQUARTERS

I found myself from a small puddle of drool as I was jolted awake to a blaring siren
broadcasting RED ALERT.

I looked at the map and saw one of the green dots on the map turn to a slightly lesser
green dot.

"What does that mean.", I said as colonel Risto hurried to the room.

"It means that one of our surveillance devices in that location detected a faint echo of speculated
North Korean anti gravity device.", he said.

"Anti Gravity?", I said.

"Yes". Risto said, looking, what I faintly remembered being a look on the faces of
people who were, what was called, "pissed."

"What now?", I said.

"We are going to mobilize twenty thousand more troops to that location to sweep the area from there
towards the arctic ocean.", Risto said, wiping his hands on his uniform from some greasy substance
that he had been digesting just seconds before in his temporary office.

"You will all follow your orders.", he said.

VILLAGE OF VIINIKOSKI EARLY MORNING

The first armored personnel carrier was followed by endless convoy of military vehicles, around the
forest on to its both directions, tanks driving through the forest, trees falling down like matches,
helicopters buzzing through the air above. Fighter jets flying in patterns above the ground like they
were sweeping it for something.

People had gotten out of their homes. Looking at the soldiers proudly. Accessing the official news-feed according to which the radio active contaminants from the zebra satellite had been stolen
by terrorists who were planning on building a dirty bomb.

The little children were saluting the tanks with smiles, their parents standing behind them. Pointing
at the soldiers with food at hand, just in case if anyone needed a bite.

But soon after doing that, serious looking men in long leather coats came to detain the adults.

"You will come with us.", they were told and directed to black vans, which quickly disappeared to the
the night as the children began to cry.

ABOVE

I was in a attack helicopter with Tiina Vilho, accessing the constant feed of sensor sweeps on the
ground below. It all looked green.

"So what if they have gone to a cave?", I asked.

"The soldiers will be checking all the caves along the way.", Tiina said.

I shook my head.

"I am all out of ideas.", I confessed.

"We will find them.", Tiina said and put her hand on my knee.

It felt good.

10 KILOMETERS NORTH

"So what now.", Mikko said.

"Do you know why I am doing this Mikko?", Yuni asked.

"Because you love me.", Mikko said, thinking it was the truth.

"Well, I do love you. But there is something you do not know.", Yuni said.

Mikko got a unreal feeling. Like things suddenly took a turn for the worse.

"Yes.", Mikko said as a question.

"You do not remember this.", Yuni said.

"Yes?", Mikko said even more curious.

"You designed the cranial implant.", Yuni continued.

"Me?", Mikko said, pointing at himself.

"Yes, you.", Yuni said and continued. "You are a very smart man.", she said.

"Me?", Mikko laughed out loud, "Me? A lowly grunt working as a counter spy in Helsinki and living in a commie block from nineteen sixties?", He said.

"I studied you in the school you know.", Yuni said.

"Studied me?", Mikko said.

"Yes, you were the Einstein of cyber-logy. Not only are you handsome, but you are
a genius, you just do not know it.", she said.

"Lets say that I was..", Mikko started, "What would that have to do with anything.", he said.

"Well, lets just put it this way. You could free the world from the tyranny that you accidentally
started and furthermore.. ", Yuni said.

"Yes?", Mikko said, shaking his head.

"We have a infinite budget.", she said.

"How would that apply here?", Mikko said.

"Ever heard of multiverse theory.", she continued.

"Yes.", Mikko said as behind them a fleet of fighter planes was approaching quickly.

"Lets go to one.", she said, took a red button from her pocket, armed it and pressed a button.

2073 ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE

As soon as she pressed it the hovercraft fell to the ground. Lifeless. Dead.

Mikko was looking around them as the sunlight began to glimmer in the horizon.

The sun was shining on their faces. Wind was blowing quietly through the trees.

A bird began singing.

It was eerily quiet.

They got off the hovercraft.

"Take your backpack with you.", Yuni said.

"And back off from the hovercraft.", she continued.

Mikko did as he was told.

Yuni took off a blue button from her pocket, armed it and pressed a button.

The hovercraft disappeared like a picture on a old cathode ray tv screen.

"What happened.", Mikko asked. Looking scared. The fighter planes
had disappeared.

"We are now in a alternative universe.", she said.

"But we must be careful. Else we may change it.", she said.

"What is this world like.", Mikko asked. Looking all around.

"I do not know. But it is bound to be better than the one we were in.", Yuni said.

"Can we go back?", Mikko asked.

"We must, we can only stay here briefly and we have a lot of distance to cover,
we must head towards the Arctic ocean.", Yuni said.

"I have so many questions!", Mikko pleaded.

"I am certain you do.", Yuni said.

"What happened here?", Mikko asked.

"We have no idea. Something is a little bit different here.", Yuni said.

"I want to know what!", Mikko said as they were walking down the field.

"I do not think we have time to find out.", Yuni said as she was walking towards
the farm house.

"How can we walk this freely here.", Mikko asked.

"Do you know about the Finnish history.", Yuni asked.

"Yes, I was taught that at school.", Mikko said.

"Then you know about the every mans right, how people have freedom
to walk on any land as long as they respect immediate privacy of homes.",
Yuni said.

"This Finland is most likely more like that old Finland.", she said and continued,
"what happened in our universe was one in billions. If you had not been
born, if the brown party had not had such astronomical luck.Our universe would have
been a much better place.", she said.

Mikko got quiet. He seemed insulted as he followed Yuni.

"If I had not been born..", he began to say..

"Yes, you, lovely you. You accidentally unleashed a technology that
has been used for evil, but it is not your fault! You could not help your
genius and your curiosity.", she said as they came close towards edge of a road.

As they got there a old electric tractor came around the bend. Sitting on the tractor was
a black farmer with a wide smile on his face. As he got closer he began slowing
down the tractor and opened the door.

Both Yuni and Mikko seemed scared.

"Hello strangers, welcome to my farm, I want to offer you a breakfast!", he said
with a inviting gesture.

"Where are you from.", he asked.

"I am from Helsinki and she is from..", "Korea", Yuni interrupted Mikko..

Mikko looked at him confused why she interrupted him.

INSIDE THE FARM

The farmer was making them a breakfast as his half black half white kids
were running around. On the wall there was a Finnish flag and what seemed
to be African artwork.

"Finland has been so good to us immigrants.", he said.

"I never regret coming here.", he continued.

"It is nice to see you like it here.", Mikko said.

"So you got yourself a Korean lady.", the farmer pointed at Mikko
with a wink.

"Yes, we are very much in love.", Mikko said and looked at Yuni with
a smile.

15 MINUTES LATER

"Oh this is so good.", Mikko was saying as he was eating the food.

"Yes, it is a mix of Finnish and African traditional foods.", the farmer said.

"So where are you going?", he asked and pointed at their back bags.

"Towards Norway.", Yuni offered.

"Well, since I am going to Oulu today, I could take you to the hyperloop
station there. From there you could travel to Hammerfest in Norway.

"We do not have any money.", Yuni said.

"Money?", the farmer said.

"That is a good one!", he laughed.

"Hey Liisa?", Come here he called..

A petite white woman in her thirties appeared from the next room.

"Yes, what is it dear?", she said, smiling at Mikko and Yuni.

"Yuni said she does not have any money!", the farmer said..

Liisa began to laugh like she had just heard the best joke.

"That is a really god one Yuni!", she said.

"Like we still used money!", she laughed out loud.

"Hyperloop?", Mikko whispered quietly to Yuni's ear as they were laughing.

"I guess Elon Musk did not die in this universe.", Yuni whispered to his ear.

"I guess he did not go to Mars then.", Mikko said.

"Elon? In Mars?", the farmer said, having caught the
last words in their discussion.

"Everyone knows Elon went to Venus, in fact we are planning
a trip there this September, for our anniversary.", the farmer said.

"You guys.", he continued, shaking his head. Still laughing.

"We'll leave in 15 minutes..", he said. "I have to use the facilities",
he continued.

"I guess some things are the same here too.", Mikko said after he left

"Too bad we can not stay.", Yuni said. "I am beginning to love this place."

THAT SAME DAY NEAR OULU

The air was zipping with flying vehicles, with different makes and models
stating antigrav this and antigrav that. Oulu center was proudly displaying half a
mile tall skyscrapers, and far below them was a dome like structure with
holographic words HYPERLOOP STATION hanging above it.

"It was really nice to see you guys, please do send us your contact info
once you get that all sorted out.", the farmer said as his Volvo
antigrav 10 XE began to descend towards landing pad that had a constant
stream of antigrav vehicles landing and taking off.

"We will!", Mikko promised, looking a bit forlorn because he knew that
this would be the first and last time he would ever see these people.

These wonderful nice people he thought.

LATER THAT SAME DAY

The hyperloop train was zipping in a transparent pipe over the Finnish
Lapland at what seemed supersonic speeds, every now and then
diving to a tunnel that pierced through the shallow hills.

On the wall there was a display that was showing coming stops and time
estimations when the train would be there.

The speed indicator said 1600 km/h.

Yuni and Mikko were nodding on each other in comfortable seats.

"So what is the plan?", Mikko said.

"The plan is to get as close to the arctic ocean as we can. Then
the rest of the way we walk towards the coastal wall.", she said.

"Lets say we get to the submarine. What then?", Mikko said. "What
guarantees do we have that they wont kill us.", Mikko said.

"They wont find us once we are in the submarine.", Yuni said. "It is
equipped with the same stealth technology as our hovercraft, but better
and it has near infinite power supply.", she said.

"God it is beautiful in this world.", Mikko said.

Shaking his head.

"How did we mess up our own world so bad.", he asked.

Yuni rubbed her cheek on his. "It is just as beautiful my love,
it is just that, we have to fix it.", she paused, "It is the only
one we got.", she paused, "We can not stay here.", she ended.

"But God I wish we could.", Mikko said.

ATTACK HELICOPTER OVER FINNISH LAPLAND


"What do you mean they disappeared?", colonel Risto Suomi was screaming on the
screen, piped through my implant, his face red.

I had not seen a man so angry after cranial implants were given to all.
I did not even know it was possible to be so angry on them.

"The fighter planes saw them. Then the next moment they were not there any more. ",
I said. Calmly.

"What did you do?", Risto continued shaking his head.

"We had troops come from all sides. Walking hand in hand in a circle.",
I paused. "And there was nothing.", I said.

"Did you dig?", he asked.

"Yes we did. We brought in bulldozers until we hit granite", I said.

"What about antigrav signals.", Risto asked.

"None.", I said.

"Ill be dad-gummed.", Risto said, shaking his head furiously and continued, "If those bastards did not have hydrogen bombs..", he screamed.

"There is nothing we can do sir.", I said.

"Well. That is that then.", he said.

"It is up to the Norwegians now.", he continued.

AFTER MEMORY WIPE

I was in a helicopter. Last I remembered I had been walking towards the auditorium for
a top secret meeting. I knew my memory had been wiped. I knew not to ask questions.

I looked around me.

Everyone else had that look about them.

"Situation normal. Return home", my implants were telling me.

"Well, that was that.", I said.

"Lets go home.", Tiina said and put her hand on my knee.

I liked the way it felt.

"Lets.", I said and put mine on hers.

NORTHERN WALL

The coast of Norway is 28 000 kilometers long due to its endless fjords and is nearly impossible to
police. But the brown party headquarters made a decision a long time ago to build a wall
around it, like it has done all around the world.

No expense was saved building the wall.

But due to the length, 28 000 kilometers, large proportions of it have fallen to disrepair since it was built 30 years ago.

In reality the wall was never needed due to the cranial implants, and brown party taking
over most of the world, but still it stood.

Due to its length, and nigh impossibility to secure, the Norwegian brown party had the soldiers
standing in guard on the Finnish Norwegian border instead of the wall. Thinking that the
terrorists coming their way would be easier to capture that way.

Little did they know that Yuni and Mikko were not travelling in this universe.

ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE LATE NIGHT

Mikko and Yuni had gotten off the hyperloop train in Hammerfest and were walking towards
the coast on the side of the road.

The snow blanketed coastline was full of moonlit fishing cottages. Above them antigrav
vehicles were flying, stars blinking above them.

Old fish drying racks were standing in silence like a throwback from past. But still
 being taken care of, implying they were still in use.

Fishing boats were anchored offshore. Children were sledding towards the arctic sea.
Their boisterous laughter echoing all around.

Yuni was checking her watch.

"We are here.", she said. Sad look on her face.

They both took a deep sigh.

Suddenly the scene was replaced by a ugly concrete wall blocking the view to the sea.

"Do not approach", signs paced every 200 meters.

There was no fishing cottages.

There were no fish drying racks.

You could not see the sea.

There were no people.

Watching at the wall, Mikko asked.

"How do we get over that?"

Yuni walked to the side of the road and took off a camouflaged tarp covering a shiny,
brand new telescoping ladder.

"We use this.", she said.

THE END

EPILOGUE

This story seemed to come out of nowhere, I sat down on the computer
 and wrote for like 5 hours straight. Just when I thought I ran out of the idea,
 I wrote some more. I knew the ending. But the steps leading to that point.
 Seemed to come out of nowhere.

I wrote until my fingers hurt.

Now reading the story I know it did not come out of nowhere. I was dealing
 with my epilepsy. (the person falling down to the ground like electricity
had been turned off his brain, people losing their memory after the hunt.)
The emotions controlled by the cranial implants (medicines I have to take
mess with my emotions).

 I was dealing with the unreal feelings I have had to live with these
past 8 years. .

Sure it seemed like a old scifi cliche. But to me, that is my real life.
That is how it feels to live with epilepsy.

Also, as I have gotten sicker and sicker.. I have barely been reading
 the news because they have made me anxious. So now that I am medicated
 and reading the news more for the first time in 8 years. I realize that the
 world has changed while I got sick. And I do not think it is changing
for the better.

Turning 46 this year, I was a kid when the Berlin wall fell. I thought that
soon the world would all be united. We were finally all democratic and
ready to work together. WRONG. We are just as divided as ever. If not more so.

The alternative universe was that place that I dreamed of as a kid. Where
 borders fell, where divisions were bridged and finally closed, where
mankind stood united.

The ending of course was a cliche. But I just had to write that in. For
 all the scifi technologies that Mikko and Yuni used, the final one was
ancient. A ladder.

But here we are. 2019. In a world that is headed to the surveillance
 society from the book 1984 (Well, we are there already, but it is getting
worse by the day)..

And I am not liking it one bit.

Antti

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