“0, 1, 9, 9, 9”
The broadcast had started a few seconds ago and already it was annoying me. This was why we had upgraded ourselves, I thought. Audio dampeners and visual blockers had promised us a life free from the annoyances of the little people.
The clubs music increased in volume almost immediately to drown out the numbers but it had left enough of a bad feeling within me, that I called up the S.H. shop page on my internal vision and started looking at emotion inhibitors.
I was five years into the upgrade process and had little to no complaints so far. Occasionally little parts of my old life, bled through like lies. I had to get better upgrades soon. Vaguely I remember the hysteria when the plan was announced. The little people who could not afford the implants, demonising those who could. It would have sickened me if I still had that capacity.
However it was a relief when I could shut them out. When we removed the health care and education systems, as we the upgraded no longer required it, I felt a sense of victory. I was not alone in that thought.
As I walked towards the back of the club, a NoLoNoRo moved aside. Paying her no heed I went to walk past, then the annoyance of the broadcast came to the forefront of my memory and I deliberately pushed into her making her fall backwards, apologising as she fell. It would do no good, they were here to serve the upgraded and she had just assaulted me. Any money that she was hoping to earn to purchase an upgrade would be removed now. Quite right too, we cant have just anyone joining our ranks. It would defeat the point of it all.
“Tonights outside entertainment will begin in five minutes. The Robotic Automated People Exterminator machine will be facing off against 5 of the common populace. Why not place bets on how long it will take it to eliminate them all? Remember every unit spent tonight will be put towards research into new upgrades. It is a Win Win situation and we deserve this.”
The crowd started moving towards the giant windows that overlooked the park. Video screens switched on elsewhere in the club so that no patron would miss out. It was the one feed that we could not switch on internally. There would have been a reason given at some time I am sure but I cannot remember what it was. No matter, it obviously was not important.
I reach the pleasure zone and watch fascinated as the Magnetic People coupled together with eerie, slow movements. I cannot remember if this is what I used to like before I upgraded myself. It held my attention for five minutes, no longer.
A NoLoNoRo stood ready to take my drink order. Alcohol no longer affects us the way it used to – it was one of the most common upgraded parts I have been informed, so here they provide a narcotic infused honey. I snatch my order from him and , still slightly annoyed by the broadcast, almost hit him.
There was something about his eyes that stopped me. A far away look, glazed but focused at the same time. I have never seen anything like it on an upgraded or common. The pause was enough for the rage to pass and I turned to make my way to the windows.
The honey started rewiring my brains programming and I could feel the effects altering my perception. Far better to watch someone be torn apart in front of you, when you are seeing colours that you did not know existed. I raised my glass in toast to the lady beside me but her cold stare did not falter.
This was how it was now. A better life through technology.
Whatever the cost.