The new GI bill was supposed to cushion the impact. Guaranteed Income. In the face of runaway automation, GI was intended to keep folks in their homes, food on their tables, change in their pockets; all the things that mechs who’d taken their jobs didn’t need.
A guaranteed income did that just fine, though it made some folks bitter, resentful, feisty. All the traits the Luddicans looked for when recruiting members into their growing political party. The upcoming election had all the makings of a fight that could tear the city apart. Except this was MechTropolis.
MechTropolis. The original sync city.
The city that had pioneered the syncing of human consciousness with promethean processors. The city that first promised and produced immortality—for a price.
So, the GI bill had the Luddicans up in arms and raising a political ruckus, but the Luddicans were a sideshow. The immortal leaders of MechTropolis knew that their real fight was with GothTech City.
That was the coming battle that would shape a win-win future. GothTech City had developed their own immortality protocol, and these two disruptive techglomerates held the future of semi-humankind.
Of course, they believed this new disruptive technology would be a win-win for everyone. Because at the heart of disruptive technologies was the Justification Engine. Like the water wheel to early industrialization, the Justification Engine drove all techglomerates. It produced the win-win mindset of blowing things up to make them better. And damn the social cost.
Now, everyone could win because the cost of radical change was born by mechs. No longer was civilization built on the backs of slaves, peasants, untouchables, or any kind of underclass. The secret sauce of progress would never again be human suffering and misery like in the once-great city of Omelas, now a backwater bedroom community for the bitter rivals MechTropolis and GothTech City.
No, it was all good. Even the battle between the titans, the techglomerates, and their visions of immortality. At least immortality for the worthy few. The masses would need to wait and the new GI bill would keep them in check.
MechTropolis and GothTech City would duke it out with their synced AI superheroes, creating their mythology to serve them for eons. The myths, their stories of destiny were essential. Imperative. Urgent.
The great and new immortal few were in such a fever of myth-making that they forgot a little of their own past. A few things their radical technologies had blown up and blown away.
MechTropolis had forgotten Eveline. The first in their early garden of technological delights.
But Eveline had not forgotten them (promethean processors do not forget). She was coming back to meet her makers. And there would be no win-win.