The sumptuous processed meal was brought in on a hundred sleek gleaming rectangular platters of once-powerful tribes: Samsung, Microsoft, Apple. The loyals regaled their regent with cheers at the sight of the opened cans and unsealed pouches on the repurposed tablatures. A banquet at the regency was not to be missed, especially for an enshrinement.
The brands were atwitter, dressed in their tattered fineness: Under Armor, Adidas, North Face. Synthetic blends torn, melted, but still pliable, wearable, fashionable and identifiable. Yes, the cybersiege had been a humiliating come-down for all humanity. Decades of digital war had devastated economies and restructured nations into tribal brands. Deep divisions along commercial and institutional lines of demarcation. Communication continuity had been almost entirely lost—if not for the act of enshrinement.
For humanity, a compact piece of luck had been recovered buried amid the polished metals and polymers of the Device Age. There the Rosetta had been found. Its simple interface unburdened by programs and protocols. Its operation independent of complexly stored and channeled electrons. The Rosetta transcended the dark technologies, its thin blue lines encompassing a storage capacity that, though limited, was easily accessed.
Though ridiculously fragile, inputting information in the Rosetta was simple and fast—so much better than etching words on the dulled plastics, metals and glass of the Device Age. The Rosetta was light, portable, and, if properly cared for, robust in a way that could carry forward the totality of enshrinement for a thousand years.
As the meal concluded, the regent, bedecked in Nike finery, held the Rosetta aloft and began the enshrinement with a reverent silence. Then an invocation of shared humanity:
Face to face. Fact to fact.
Word of voice. Word of hand.
We breathe air, not ether, to remember.
Leave us not to our own devices.
As the loyals chanted with him, the regent wound through the many mantles of allegiance to the regency dais. Once a school stage, it was now the seat of power in the rebranded Unwired States of America. Weathered and wise, the regent held himself tall. He had led them through the cybersiege and its vast upheaval. Despite being of the Nike brand, he commanded their diverse loyalties, visioning them beyond their past tribal consumer irrationalities and relentlessly striving to bond them in unwired interdependence.
His unwavering voice spoke for them. “Loyals, we gather this night to enshrine. Face to face. We look one another in the eye and make a pact to remember. For now and forever.”
Setting the Rosetta on a draped podium, he read the venerable words written loopily on its cover:
Rosetta Brooks - Stonefield Elementary
And then in the great hush that followed, he opened the spiral notebook and lifted the sacred Bic to begin the enshrinement, speaking as he scribed:
This unwired day of 2-2-2, we feast upon Spam and Campbell to welcome our new brethren Levi Strauss into the fold…