The following is a small portion of chapter 1 from the sci-fi adventure novel: World-Plex
The Room – Chapter 1
Two small newborns, Sandra and William, rocked and swayed from side to side in their beds. The room they occupied was white from floor to ceiling and void of any fixtures. A mechanical arm reached down holding a bottle and fed each in turn. Somewhere off in the distance voices could be heard conversing in the kind of topics one would normally hear on a radio.
Time went on and by the age of two, the children were transported to a playpen in a nearby room. Here, they had various toys that kept them amused. A short time later the two children were introduced to a screen that displayed real and animated visuals accompanied by various sounds and voices. Most commonly, objects were shown in the centre of the screen and were usually surrounded by a black or white backdrop. It wasn’t long before the children began to speak short sentences: mimicking the voices they heard.
Soon after, ‘Grey’, entered into their lives.
Grey was a ‘voice’ that spoke to them personally and could be heard from the screen and hidden speakers placed around the room.
This voice became their virtual father. As the children grew, they came to know him not only as their father but also as their teacher and companion.
Years passed and during this time Grey nurtured and fostered their intellectual faculties through virtual games and conversation.
The two children turned into young adults and from this time they began to experience events which turned their lives upside down.
Sandra and William lived in a small home made up of five rooms. This place, their home, was the only place that they had ever known. They did not have any knowledge of what was outside the walls that surrounded them.
As frightening as that might sound to the ordinary person, this was not a phenomenal fact in two adolescent’s eyes lives. William and Sandra grew up surrounded by only white walls, however, they were not frightened by what they did not know.
Their home was quite large and it gave the pair a lot of room to
move around. The structure contained a sleeping quarters, a dining room, a hygiene area where they bathed and washed, and various study areas. The structure also provided them with food, water, reading materials and stationary, all of which were shuttled to wall compartments via pipes in the walls.
The kitchen contained an open steel wall compartment to which food was delivered throughout the day. Whenever a delivery was made the pair were alerted by the sound of Grey’s voice. Just as items were shuttled into the structure, disposables were also shuttled out via a suction pipe located outside the pantry to the left.
Entertainment and study activities were conducted via a large screen located in each room. Never a dull moment went by due to the endless pictographs, illustrations and descriptive dialogues given by Grey. It was from these screens via ‘Grey’ that they learnt speaking, reading, writing and listening skills along with other subjects such as maths and chemistry. The pair also had access to a hand-held screen and a pen which they could write on and erase. Study was their favourite pastime because of the challenging tasks they were able to engage in as part of their formal education.
‘Grey’ which they only knew as a ‘voice’, spoke to them via speakers built into the walls. This was their main point of contact and communicative stimulus.
The following is a small portion of chapter 2 from the sci-fi adventure novel: World-Plex
The Waste Disposal – Chapter 2
The sun shone down hard in the waste disposal site of east-central Australia where Roger was working. He was sitting in his new recycling vehicle with his communications headset on.
His vehicle resembled a huge insect with a disproportionate body shape consisting of a large backside and a smaller frontend. Two massive wheels protruded outwards from the tail end and two smaller wheels were located at the front section. The body of the car was a wide rounded capsule-like shape that had a glass covering.
Roger was not alone, however. Stephen who was a co-worker sat across from Roger in a similar vehicle. He was a technician who was sent out with Roger to help him understand the World-Plex technology, and how it was integrated with the council’s new recycling scheme. Using their vehicle’s communications application, they could speak to each other and give each other feedback.
Stephen was in his mid-20’s and in the prime of his life. He was youthful, strong, energetic, and most of all, intelligent. Regardless of everything in favour, Stephen was a troubled young man. He knew what his purpose was in life, but he often questioned himself out loud: though never in public and especially when his mic was on.
‘What am I doing here?’ he often asked himself. It was one of those age old mysteries that no one could answer, not even approximate. Perhaps he was out here by chance: a trickle of atoms that fell in all the right places, or perhaps, in the wrong places.
‘Wow! This is great!’ Roger exclaimed.
‘What’s Great? Your new toy or these mountains of Rubbish?’
‘Not this rubbish, stupid,’ Roger retorted.
The waste around them was mainly a combination of faded grey and white. More than 200 years of consumer junk left to rot. The giant mountains of useless broken and unwanted goods were somewhat of a reminder of the throwaway society the world had become.
‘This toy is great because it will get rid of all this rubbish’ Roger said, as he was smiling from his vehicle.
Roger was 19 and energetic, but he hadn’t nearly as much experience or knowledge as Stephen about the work that they were doing.
‘There were a lot of things they could have done before it got to this point.’ Stephen commented while shaking his head, looking around at the crushed cubes of garbage that surrounded them, along with the trails of makeshift roads.
‘You are happy because you have a new toy. Now all you need to do is learn how to use it. Just remember you’re not here to play. You’re here to work.’
‘I know,’ Roger replied. ‘And I will. I just want to make the best out of this new assignment. After all, Waste Management isn’t exactly the best job someone could have.
‘What do you mean?’ Stephen looked around in his vehicle smiling. ‘You’re outdoors, and you’re cleaning up the environment. Soon none of this will be here.’ Stephen chuckled. ‘What more could you ask for?’ Although Stephens’s words signalled enthusiasm his tone was stagnant with sarcasm.
‘You’re right. I’m lucky, and not just because of this new toy!’ The both of them laughed at that and began moving their vehicles.
The following is a small portion of chapter 2 from the sci-fi adventure novel: World-Plex
Slab City – Chapter 3
A grid of cement slabs sparkled in the crisp sunlight along a roaring ocean of dead water. Men and woman laid on their individual concrete resting places and their children who mainly wore old ripped t-shirts and shorts could be seen
crouching next to their mothers.
The concrete living spaces were rectangular and rested longwise against the ocean. Each slab was the same length and width regardless of the size of the person allotted to it and all who were granted a slab were allowed to lie in the hot sun until their last days.
This settlement of poor was often visited by council charity workers who would walk around attending to those in desperate need of food. Some were visited by ordinary people, who wanted to help, but their good will was often not enough as most were not expected to survive longer than a few years.
The once sandy paradise, now a cement shore, was often met with poisonous dead fish from the polluted water which surrounded it. This was the new, and perhaps the last, welfare scheme introduced for the disadvantaged.
Unlike the days of bath towels and umbrellas, today the concrete slabs were home to thousands of unfortunates who could barely gather the strength to stand. These were known as the ‘slabbers’ who occupied ‘slab city’, a new name, given to an old beach.
‘Do you know what day it is?’ A tall gangly looking fellow asked a slabber lying on a slab of concrete. Gary was 6ft tall and wore a plain green shirt and black jeans. His nose was long and pointed and he always seemed to hold a constant grin. This was no doubt helped along by his thin wide lips and high cheek bones
Borgus accompanied him. He was of a stocky build and stood at 5ft and 8 inches. He had a short black beard and moustache and his eyes were blue. Borgus was wearing his typical government attire, which was a grey button up shirt and black tie, grey trousers and black shoes. Unlike Gary, ‘Borgus’ tried to maintain a professional look wherever he went.
The two walked through the grid of cement, stepping around people, being mindful not to disturb those who were sleeping.
Borgus looked down at a frail man sitting with his head between his knees on a sunbathed concrete slab. The man’s hair was long and grey and had a moustache which was brown and curly and poked from the sides. His skin was wrinkled, and his eyes were closed.
‘Borgus,’ Gary said with a strained voice. ‘They refuse to communicate with us.’
‘Of course, you idiot’ Borgus said calmly. ‘Wouldn’t you find it hard to talk if you were starving and in their condition?’
‘I suppose I would,’ Gary replied soberly.
Borgus put his hand into one pocket and returned with what looked like a dispenser of some sort. He pressed the top of it and from it he retrieved a large grey pill.
‘Here,’ Borgus said to the man crouched in front of him. He bent down and lifted the man’s head up by his grey hair and pulled his head back.
‘Open your mouth,’ Borgus ordered. The man’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, and his jaw fell open. Borgus threw the pill down his throat and rubbed the man’s throat like an animal forced to take medicine.
‘Now, what?’ Gary snickered.