1) Do you swap brand stories by the chemical fires in the glacial waste of Old New England?
2) Has Kanye's uploaded consciousness upstaged his physical form yet?
3) Did you sneakernet listicles across the Atlantic on a corpse raft after the flood of 2029?
4) Android, iPhone, or a radioactive brick?
5) Which fragmented internet city state has the best memes?
6) Have you found hidden meaning in the miles of scrawled twitter handles and tumblr names covering every gas station bathroom from the Houston desert to the Boise toxic plains?
7) Have you taught Taylor Swift to the mockingjays?
8) Does it hurt to get the implant? Can I see it? Can I touch it?
9) How far down through the crust of impacted garbage and downed skyscrapers does your mesh network penetrate?
10) Did that underground warehouse of surplus google glass make for good DIY sunglasses when combined with the shards of gorilla glass that rained down after the Cupertino Bombing of 2051?
11) You see a tortoise struggling to right itself. What do you do?
I am a some kind of cyberpunk agent-for-hire in Pan Asia. The waves have long since covered up the United Kingdom and I have been hired to infiltrate "UK town," a sprawling, walled, hotel-like city founded decades ago by refugees.
There is a wing of the complex dedicated for use as a nursing home. Old british women dress in neo-victorian garb and sit in holographic sun rooms and spend their days writing letters to the "prime minister." They are actually corresponding with an AI who writes back to them of romance, politics, intrigue, and passion.
My employer has determined that one woman in particular is conversing with the actual prime minster of the UK, a shadowy and secretive figure. He is, for some reason, enamored of this old blind woman and she and she alone receives actual honest letters from the politician.
It is my job to get into this woman's room and steal any letters I can find so my employers can use them to pin point who and where the prime minister is (I elect to not find out why).
I wear a long tweed coat and dodge many dressed-up butlers carrying tea trays made of a plasticine silver. I enter the first elevator I see for the nursing home complex and begin pressing the buttons according to some arbitrary protocol. Such arcane annoyances are the law of this place and, as far as I know, I hit all the elevator buttons in the right order and uttered the correct pleasantries to the AI monitoring the car.
Unfortunately an alarm sounds. A cyborg (who looks just like M___ M_K____) with surgically attached sunglasses marches in and informs me that this car is set up for a certain Madame's funeral procession and that I have failed to follow proper funerary protocol. He tells me that I will be "instructed."
He pulls from a thick keyring what looks like a transparent stick of RAM. He shoves it into the slit in my forehead and I am subject to a searing pain throughout my head. A vision starts in my brain of some poorly adapted biblical story about "the funeral of Job" and I am unsure how long it goes on.
When it fades, I come to and see him rip the RAM stick out of my forehead and walk off. I quickly get into a different elevator.
I make it onto the proper floor and find a nurse who is going to visit my target. I convince her that I am a nephew who has come to check on the woman's cat. The nurse lets me into the woman's room.
I quickly find the cat "carriers," giant chocolate-shell easter eggs wrapped in garish green tin foil. I crack the nearest one open and there is an unseeing, switched-off cat robot inside. To placate the nurse I busy myself with plucking an intricate pattern of hairlessness into the cat robot (who looks a lot like my cat U___). Luckily the old woman is blind and lost in a fantasy "outside" in the holographic sun room.
The nurse leaves and I quietly rifle through faux-wooden bureaus and drawers all while listening to the old woman have a conversation with herself about flowers and tea. I find reams of correspondence with the true prime minister and stuff it all into my coat.
I manage to escape the city and go to stash the letters in my locker in a filthy subway only to find that my locker has been wrenched open and looted. I wake up feeling pissed off and cheated.
I am in a meeting on the 18th floor of the Equitable building in downtown atlanta. The meeting is very boring. I am there with A___.
The sound of whistling missiles interrupts us and we see explosions all over downtown. North Korean armies are parachuting (Red Dawn style) all over. A___ and I flee into the men's bathroom and climb up into the ceiling to hide; A___ has a rifle.
We listen as soldiers bust into the 18th floor and begin arresting/shooting everyone. An armored and armed female soldier kicks in the bathroom door and starts checking the stalls. We probably should have stayed hidden but A___ attempts to shoot the soldier through the ceiling. It is a near miss and a terrifying fight ensues. We win.
We prepare to try and work our way through the building via the duct network but I need to urinate. I climb down and use the toilet and several soldiers hear me and burst in. A___ flees as I'm taken into custody (I did not blame him).
I'm marched in front of a high-ranking and wealthy older North Korean couple who are sitting down to a very traditional Korean meal. They're about to decide which labor camp to send me to when I ask if they're eating kimchi and say that it smells delicious. The couple is delighted that I know anything about Korean anything and they tell the guards to leave and invite me to eat with them.
I begin an in depth conversation with the husband about how rad dictatorships are and how awful America has become. We agree that in principle democracy sounds nice but at the end of the day it takes good ol' fascism to keep citizens/countries in line. I become carried away with the act and start going on about how three things ruin every republic: assholes, alcoholics, and stupid people (I was just making shit up at this point).
Suddenly the husband and wife become very quiet. I realize that their son is, in fact, a stupid person (he looks like a teen-age Kim Jong Un and is sitting in the corner playing gameboy with a vacant look). The mother bursts into tears and runs out of the room.
The father slowly begins to tell me about how seriously they take stupidity. That he loves his son even though is is stupid. The mother comes back and offers me dessert but the father says no, it's time to send him to his labor assignment.
I'm marched out of the building and into the streets. They are crumbling and on fire. There are corpses everywhere. I march in a column of prisoners for blocks and blocks, miles and miles. I pass by a little cafe the soldiers set up; A___ is sitting there hidden in a tattered hooded robe sipping coffee keeping and eye on things.
Eventually I'm pushed down into a filthy basement. The floor is covered in wires: USB, ethernet, some exposed copper. There are bare motherboards on every surface and VR rigs scattered about. I'm force-fed a drug that messes with time and makes it appear to go by much faster.
It turns out our "labor" is to strap into the VR rigs and gold-farm in WoW 20 hours/day for the rest of our lives. We are fed through a tube.