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Meeting Chuck

I took the shuttle from the moon back to Earth. Two years of lunar farming was not my idea of a vacation. But I got caught with Emprion and my judge was a total dick.
“You should respect yourself more. Filling your body with that poison will cost you your life if you keep this up” he told me before he handed down his sentence. Lying son of a bitch. Sitting up there drinking his Cali Cola acting like god.
And all this for something that can’t hurt me.

Emprion has no side effects. It’s not habit forming. You can’t OD on it. And it is one of those rare substances that actually heals without having to go through all of the chemical manipulation that other medicines go through. And that is a problem.

The shuttle station was crowded with weekend sight seers. Yeah, they go to the moon on the weekends and marvel at the domes and the fruit and veg growing in them. I got there Monday thru Friday and tend to their wonder on my hands and knees. They ooh and ah over the long pristine rows. They didn’t have to put on respirators because fertilizer drones were flying over their heads misting smelly shit everywhere.

The commercial problem with Emprion is that it heals and gets you high in its natural state. And that means that pharma doesn’t get to perform their magic. And without their magic, they can’t charge the kind of prices they are accustomed to getting.

In fact, a long time ago pharma got together and agreed that since they couldn’t make any money from Emprion, it should be banned. Something that used to grow wild everywhere became subject to the largest eradication effort in history. If it hadn’t been for the Bunt Brothers, Emprion would have been lost forever.

A small child that wasn’t watching where she was walking marched straight into my left leg and knocked herself down. I looked down to see the small hands yearning to hold security stretched upwards. I pick the child up for a moment. Then her mother swooped in like a bird guarding a nest. She quickly pulled her daughter from my arms and moved away. But not before she threatened me.
“I’ll report you” she said as she turned her back to me.

It wasn’t the first time. The Bureau of Prisons blue jumpsuit is the most recognizable piece of clothing on Earth. It comes with a big front chest patch and large letters across the back. Below the patch was my name and prisoner number and the quick scan code for anyone that needs to report me. The comms in their pocket will use it to identify me and hold the record until they delete it. Just BOP people within a 15 meter radius are kept in perm memory, the rest fade after 30 days.

My only consolation is that on a Friday night, at this shuttle station, their comms are capturing thousands of records as we make our way back for the weekend. It is my prayer that it will be just enough records to disrupt the constant video as the mindless dolts stream past me, their ear canal speakers set to a moderate volume, their noise canceling set to high, vid pros displaying images one meter in front of them. Visible to them but not others.

They all walk around not quite paying attention to reality. Prisoners of constant content. Add the circles app to the mix and the four quadrants projected in front of them can get confusing. Used to be able to have more than four. As many as you like. But for public safety reasons four became the limit. Things are like that a lot now, everything for public safety.

Holister Bridges. He’s the reason.

Mean son of a bitch started a movement called ‘Personal Power’. He wrote a book explaining how to find every possible instance where you have power over another, and on how to use it in order to control the other person. And in order for you to be completely successful they are required to acknowledge your superiority in the moment.

Holister Bridges also said that selfishness was a good thing, a righteous thing. And a lot of people agreed.

I read his book. Then I threw it away.

Sounded more like personal fascism than personal power to me. And I’d seen it at the RETURNS in a large store last weekend. One of his disciples.

“Excuse me, I said hello to you, how are you doing. And you think its acceptable behavior to ignore me? Yet you want something from me? Hello. Don’t be stupid, OK?”

Wanted to slug the jerk clerk when he said that. But two years is enough time eating strawberries on my knees.

Yeah strawberries. Luckiest thing ever happened in my life, I pull strawberries. I love strawberries. If you put a bowl of every fruit in front of me, I would choose strawberries.

Still, there are a lot of mean son of a bitches thanks to Holister Bridges. And our leaders consider him some sort of genius. So all over the world you can see his disciples berating, yelling at, admonishing, putting the screws to, demanding compliance from other poor slobs. Bridges was behind almost every public loud mouth you ever hear.

‘Optimizing Your Existence’ was his billion seller followup. In it he argued that some people (like him) were above the limits of societal laws and norms. These uber beings should exercise their right to be as mean and selfish as pleases them. The control and the pain they wield should be limited only by their ability to use them. And if you think that was bad, it got worse.

Then they started Tax-free Rewards. Once it became obvious to even the stupid that you could make a bundle by ratting out your friends for anything they do wrong, well there are points of no return for a society and this was clearly one of them.
It’s also how I got busted. Two days after we broke up I got busted for Emprion that was technically hers because I didn’t have any money when Tiny D came by with it. Now I know why she didn’t take it with her.

But enjoy it while you can, all of you assholes.

Speaking of assholes.
Yeah, I shoved them up my butt. Two each Sunday night before the shuttle back. They were controllers. Electronics. Wrapped up in a shit load of plastic wrap.  Shit load, get it?
Gonna be rich for doing it. Well maybe not rich, but at least not poor. That will be good enough for a change. I’d like to take some of the money and go back to college.

I think they are planning something for Sunday, after the last tourist shuttle, before the first set of chains arrive. Can’t do it like last time. That was a mess. Anyway, she told me that we can see it from Earth if the air isn’t too bad.

Yeah, it’s spoiled me up there. All the fresh air. No damned breather on my face all the time.
I signed the petition. Sure I did. Because its true, clean air is a right. We shouldn’t have to buy it from a damned beverage company. It’s air.

The judge brought up my signature during sentencing. I watched him drinking a California Cola without the slightest hint of irony that he was drinking a beverage from the large supplier of air to consumers. And when I pointed it out? That’s when one year became two.

Holister Bridges would have been proud of him.

My mouth has always been my downfall. Pointing out the things that no one wants to be reminded of. But its also been the thing that has got me the farthest, gotten me out of more fights, and into more panties that you can imagine. Its a double ended dildo.

But Chuck has my back. He’ll set me up with some finest. Get the long daze going for the weekend, right after I unplug.

Unplug ain’t quite the right word for it, but its the one everyone uses.
How does it really work?
I run the previous four hour results back into the monitor chip again. Its that simple. Gets me four hours to chill and BOP never even gets a whiff.

You know the real problem with Emprion, don’t you?
It makes people disrespectful.

Normally we would sit there, politely and quietly, while someone with perfect hair and personal power is being an asshole. But when you’re high on Emprior, or maybe just a person that contains a healthy amount of self-respect, you are likely inclined to say ‘fuck this, I’m outta here’.
To which hairspray will reply “You can’t. You must do as I say.”

Back and forth and back and forth, until it’s obvious that the only way happy follicles can get you to comply is to use force. And they do.

Split ends has an entire army of them just waiting for their chance to force you to comply.
My apologies. I am bald and I hate their hair. I could burn it off their heads with my envy.

Chuck will set me up.

She was the only person I had contact with. Told me her name was Bethany, but I didn’t believe her. Kind of cute. A little over weight. But imagine that, a guard that wants to blow up the prison. Pretty different don’t you think? But hey, she was pretty different, in a hot, slutty, sort of way. It didn’t take a lot for me to get into those panties, if you know what I mean. She sort of took the lead in that dimension of our relationship.

Haven’t seen her in the last month or so. Hope she didn’t get snitched out. Emprion is one thing, but they will execute us if they find out what we’re doing. I’m a good looking guy. But I look a lot better if I’m not swinging from the end of a rope on the news.

OK. Time to find Chuck. Supposed to meet me here. Gotta get used to seeing everyone in a breather again.

Hey, there he is. Smart dresser. Nice clothes that blend in.

Shit. Who are those men over there?
Fuck, its the cops.

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