“I can’t believe it’s the year 2087” said Cheng Shakespeare, in a state of disbelief. Behind him a man with a cybernetic eye fed some bitcoins into a levitating vending drone.
Cheng watched a Skybus glide vertically upwards and zoom off above the towering skyscrapers of this moribund synthetic metropolis, making a noise like a synthesiser with an ‘insect’ setting. It was night time, and also really smoggy and raining hard and generally quite depressing in a brutalist post-industrial kind of way but with hover cars.
No-one seemed to have gardens any more. The rampant clamour for dwellings had gobbled up green space as human populations exploded like a protracted number bomb. Since the early twentieth century humanity had been breeding at an unsustainably exponential rate, without so much as a telepathically transferred thought for where it was going to bloody well put itself. A telepathically transferred thought humanity could have had, thanks to Amstrad’s patent Brain-to-Brain Interface of 2019.
“You what?!” returned Quasar O’Doherty, somewhat incredulously. Behind him a holographic prostitute was doing her darndest to solicit the custom of a silver-skinned man with self-tailoring clothes.
“What do you mean ‘what?!’?!” Cheng fired back. But before the two men could resolve their frankly aimless exchange, a thunderous bang shook the Lower Twelfth Precinct, which quickly filled with billowing clouds of debris and smoke. The unmistakable sight of two AI Militia materialised from the swirling grey haze, their machine-like gait and USBs-for-bollocks the only subtle signs betraying the inorganic identities of these cybernetic simulcras.
“Shit! Download the Police!” Quasar bellowed, reaching for his iPenis. After just a few seconds of frenzied tapping on his wi-fi enabled nob module, a bank of lasers shot out from the Police headquarters several miles away and 3D-printed a Lawbot on the street in front of the insurgents.
Shakespeare and Quasar flagged down a hovercab which whisked them up through the neon-lit troposphere to a cruising altitude of 4 clicks, and away from danger. From up here civilisation was little more than an ugly inorganic sprawl, neon-lit, rain-soaked and with lots of steam rising from it (at night).
Safely back at Residential Quarter #7569, the two companions took the stairs to the anti-gravity roof restaurant. Quasar ordered the pulled-thylacine sandwich, whilst Chang opted for the banoffee pie via neural upload. Both men had electromagnetic coffee delivered through foot plates underneath the table.
“Well, can you believe it’s the year 2087 now, Cheng Shakespeare?’ Quasar enquired sardonically.
“Yes. Yes I can, Quasar O’Doherty. What with everything that’s just happened, I damn fucking well can”. Both men laughed heartily, before retiring to sit in a dark room for several hours, since the imperative for sleep had been neuro-engineered away, yet people still liked to observe the now antiquated tradition of doing fuck all over night from about 11 until about seven or eightish in the morning.