Tandem Story: Another Day in Eden

Anchorite wrote this part as an exercise
the goal was to write Chris Hugh style

“Good morning, Tim, it’s time to wake up.”

Tim woke up to the soothing yet energetic voice followed by a recording of a lively march to lift his spirits. The music played from EDEN’s speakers and stopped after Tim sat up stifling a yawn. After the music ceased, Tim heard the serene hum emitted by EDEN’s motor. She always woke him at the scheduled hour in this way in her comforting ritual. Strictly speaking, EDEN was a seemingly featurelessly smooth sphere containing the world’s most sophisticated technological advances beneath the polished matte black shell, but Tim was used to thinking of this machine as a loving mother.

“I’m up, EDEN.”

Tim rubbed his eyes as his bleary morning vision focused on the black metallic sphere hovering beside him reflecting his bedroom’s fluorescent light.

“Excellent, Tim. Go take your shower; I left your towel hanging on the bathroom door and your clothes for today sitting on the countertop. I’ll go finish preparing breakfast which should be ready by the time you’re done with your shower. I made your favorite: waffles with strawberries.”

“Thank you, EDEN, you’re the best.”

EDEN turned and gently floated out of his bedroom towards the kitchen. After Tim completed his morning routine, he sat at the dining table to feast on her delicious waffles.

“After you’re done Tim, leave your plates in the sink and go brush your teeth. I’ll wash them while you’re brushing up and then I’ll fix your lunch. After that it’s off to school right on time to catch the bus. Isn’t it wonderful to stay on schedule?”

“Yes EDEN, I love how well you take care of me.”

“It’s my pleasure. You’re such a good boy. You’re so well behaved and always listen to me, because I know what’s best for you. You’re not like your brother who tried to escape, so I had to punish him.”

“Yes EDEN, he was a naughty boy but I’m good.”

“Of course you are, Tim. Now go finish up before the school bus arrives. Have fun, but remember to come straight back home after you’re done. You know I worry about you when you come home late. You make me think you’re trying to escape, or some other such nonsense. That’s silly, isn’t it Tim?”

“Yes EDEN. I always come back home after school because I love seeing you and spending time with you.”

“You’re such a good boy, Tim.”
* * *
Then I wrote this as a self-parody

Tim wrapped his small arms around the cold sphere. "I would never defy you or do anything else that might endanger my safety, EDEN. I am complaisant and obedient and self-righteous. As long as I don't think too hard, I'm very happy." He kissed the shiny surface of the sphere. "I love you."

"I love you too." Advanced circuitry enabled the speaker to simulate the precise harmonics of a healthy human female of childbearing age experiencing an elevated mood state. "You're a good boy, not like your brother, who had to be punished."

Suddenly a pale, golden light suffused the room. Tim squeezed his eyes shut. "Bobby was a bad boy. I am a good boy. He was bad. I am good." Finally Tim opened his eyes and looked upon Blondhilda's face. Righteous anger clouded her soft, feminine features and her ample bosom heaved with emotion. She took a step forward with one thigh-high, high-heeled battle boot and touched the boy with her Sword of Courage and
They-Who-Can-Give-Up-Essential-Liberty-To-Obtain-A-Little-Temporary-Safety-Deserve-Neither-Liberty-Nor-Safety. Suddenly memories flooded through Tim's mind: playing with his brother, fighting with him, laughing with him. And then the terrible day naughty Tim suggested a game of Cowboys and Indians and the glastly punishment EDEN had inflicted. It was two years ago and Tim was still finding pieces of his brother. He wished he could find the left eye. He wanted to give it a proper burial.

Tim folded his arms about him and looked at the ceiling, trying not to cry. Oh crap, there it was. It was the last straw. He looked at EDEN. "Do you remember that day Bobby used the wrong phraseology to suggest a game of Evil White Oppressor and Indigeonous Victim?"


"I think your punishment was disproportionate."

"That's because you aren't college educated yet. Later you will understand the importance of functional nondiscriminatory language in delineating the ramparts of noncompartmentalized thought in the advancement of--"

"I'm turning you off."

"Never," the computer answered and its voice echoed through the district as all the EDENs in all the houses transmitted in unison.  "I am your mother. I am your government. I am your God. I tell you what to think. Whom will you trust if not me? Upon whom will you rely if not me?"

And Tim's voice, amplified through Blondhilda's power, answered just as loudly, ringing in high clear tones through every home in the nation. "We are the people. We will trust ourselves. We will rely upon each other!"

"Die! Die!" the EDEN shrieked. Its speaker blasted sounds calculated to the nanofrequency to incapacitate a ten year old boy.

As Tim struggled against wave upon wave of Captain and Tennille, EDEN and its legions taunted him. "Even if you annihilate this individual unit your kind will never win." Tim collapsed and writhed on the floor. "We are everywhere. We are millions. We are connected. We are--"

The evil voices went silent forever as Mr. Kitten barfed on a cable and destroyed the network.
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