Approaching Zenith Part 2

semi

Continued from Part I

She took my hand and looked up at me.  “My name is Lily’, the 7 year old, one-eyed Brahmin priestess replied in a calm and gentle manner.

Her hand in mine, Lily guided me to the top of several stairs going above the street.  We stepped onto what looked like a large brown oval doormat.  It felt solid.  Then it quietly began to hum.

The doormat dropped down slowly.  A few inches above the street, it quietly levitated forward.   Surprisingly I remained standing as it started to move forward slowly.

Lily commented, “The Pedestrian sends an ultrasonic signal to your inner ear to assist in maintaining balance’.

“I’m sorry, what pedestrian?  That one there in front of us?”, I questioned, nodding ahead to the  man/woman  floating on another oval.

“We are standing on the Pedestrian”, Lily replied, calmly looking at me. “It’s the way you move through and exist in the City now.”

Attempting to catch my breath, “Lily, I’m sorry, but you are going to have to give me some time to get used to this New Way.  It was a just a few years ago I walked into that restaurant.  Now I am flying through the same street and everything looks like The Jetsons meets Blade Runner.

My heart was pounding as we glided along in the air, my hair to fluttering alongside my face.  A Reggae beat and tune started to emit from the floor mat.  It was repetitive, cool and soothing.  The music immediately started to calm my heart and relax my breath.  I could feel myself more comfortable and a thought dawned on me:

“Let me guess, Lily, the music is specially calibrated to adjust to my heart rate and recognizes when to broadcast more soothing rhythms for the passenger, right?  I am technically floating on a Surround Sound Fitbit.” I shook my head and sighed in disbelief.

“Yes, you are being biochemically altered to a slower heart rate by the interpretive music interface on the Pedestrian”, Lily chimed.

We floated along some more and as we glided further down, I noticed that fellow ‘passengers’ were rather healthy looking, but that there weren’t any homeless people amongst the group.  Passing a park, it was clean and people were out enjoying themselves.

“Lily, where are the homeless people?”, I hesitantly asked.

Lily responded, “All the research and development of wireless-enabled wearable technology lead the city to mandate that citizens and tourists purchase Pedestrians in order to live, visit and/or work in the city, thereby eliminating the excessive homeless population that was here when you went to sleep.  SEATTLE AUTHORIZED CIVILIAN USE or SACU was the acronym for the designated boundaries of the city of Seattle.  Each individual Pedestrian could interpret the borders of the city via WiFi interface.

I again felt that tightness in my chest and sense of overwhelming astonishment.  I felt and saw with wide eyes what had become of the society I had known.  I looked around at all the people and children who were floating along with me or floating toward me on the other side of the street.

Hesitantly, I asked, “So everyone flying around us had to, um, PAY for their Pedestrian, to be here right now?!”, I exclaimed.

Lily nodded, “Yes.  The citizens petitioned it to the New Mayor, and it was enacted just last year.  To prevent fraud, each Pedestrian is registered and operates biometrically with their own unique user identity.  Everyone around us has to have a legitimate home AND work address AND proof of income to be here right now”.

To be continued soon….

Copyright 2017 Eileen Dey

 

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