NAME: Kevin Griffin
COURSE: English and Film
MODULE: Science Fiction
ASSIGNMENT TITLE: Communication Breakdown
Derek Mooney takes his seat onboard the strategic-work shuttle, a grey behemoth of an armoured bus for exclusive use by TeleNet workers at the EH3 site on Edinburgh’s old Lothian Road. It is 5:05pm and already dark on a miserable Friday evening in late October. Y did they nt abolish daylite savin after T-Day NEway? Nobody farms NEmore. The rain-soaked streets squirm by as the shuttle navigates its way through several roadblocks and checkpoints on its way to residential zone Meadow. Nobody talks during the journey; physical conversation is an archaic mode of communication seldom employed anymore. Everyone alights at the securistop; everyone on the shuttle lives at Meadow, an area of tenement blocks sealed off from the surrounding area by a 15 foot, double-reinforced fence, crowned with a razor wire tiara.
Drenched after a 50 yard dash in the wet, Derek lethargically climbs the 63 steps to his 3rd floor flat. Once inside he yanks off his soaking work uniform, slumps sloth-like onto his sofa and fishes for his old FM radio, a relic from more liberal times. Lets c if The Raconteur is broadcastin rite now. As Derek scans the airwaves for his preferred pirate radio station a dialogue box appears in his frame of vision. The Internal Communications Chip (ICC) is advising him to uplink his temporal lobe to enable him to initiate an e-chat with work colleague, neighbour and sporadic sexual acquaintance, Evelina. Fat fingertips of rain thud against the window as he ponders whether or not to answer. Pretty hard 2 ignore when the call is wired direct 2 ur brain!
Two hours later he struts down to the securistop. The rain has eased off and the panther black sky shimmers across the Firth of Forth. Evelina is already waiting for him but the glazed look in her eyes tells him she is deep in e-conversation with one of her many cyber friends. Good, I h8 interactin these days. When did life Bcome so detached? He imparts a slight nod in her direction and receives the same in return. The shuttle service to the Friday Ball is due at 8:45pm but could be early or late as is often the case, the resultant effect of Ember raids or attacks. Tonight it arrives on time, perhaps the Embers have satiated their bloodlust for the week, or maybe it’s the calm before the storm. He follows Evelina, who is still engrossed in her e-chat, onboard. They sit down together and the shuttle departs. Not once during the entire journey do they utter a single word to one another.