Your Five Empathy Blenders

Human Memory Art Logs: Agnostic Toukantians of Shmalamancastron

A winged being with bright feathers swoops onto a nest perched on a sheer white cliff.

Six large neon-green eggs rest in the nest.

The being hops up and down on the eggs, breaking two.

A smaller winged being with a different bright color pattern dives from above, crashing into the hopper and knocking them both out of the nest.

The beings fall, locked in combat.

The aerial battle is interrupted when they collectively detect incoming human memory art. 

Their ears hear… Bad Karma by Axel Thesleff

Their minds see…

A human speaking into a microphone on a bed.

“I feel like a bein’ who needs sleep livin’ in a bein’ who doesn’t value sleep’s world.”

A being monitoring the conversation changes a 1 to a 0 in the Automation_Acceptance section of the human’s Behavioral Profile.

Adapting to a change in its managed data set, a networked automated system changes a 1 to a 0.

A 1 changes to a 0 in a networked system.

A 1 changes to a 0 in a networked system.

A 1 changes to a 0 in a networked system.

A 1 changes to a 0 in a networked system.

An automated drone orbiting the planet painted in red, white, and blue targets a being with a DF-15.

A being deduces that the target’s low- value is below an acceptable expenditure-threshold, uncovering an inefficiency in the code of the value/expenditure algorithm.

A being is identified for promotion.

The winged beings’ minds are disengaged from the memory waves when they hit the ground.

They expire.

An even smaller winged being with a third bright color pattern lands on their corpses, and begins ripping tendons from the broken bodies.

Similarly colored winged beings join the feast.

After consuming as much as they can hold, a winged being flies back to its nest to deposit the contents of its gizzard into the mouths of its hungry children.

The Aesthetic Acquisition Drone gathering data from orbit notes the color patterns on each feather.

  • Human Memory Art, 2102 C.E.
  • Aesthetic Data Gathering Patrol, 10,436,985 C.E

Your Chapter One.Three

You are monitored by an Automated System.

It Logs:

You, burrowed into your Comfort Chair.

You, filled with an abnormal amalgamation of sensory chemicals.

You, gathering resources for transportation and processing.

The odd sensation evoked by the ethereal noise causes your mind to wander from your delicate maneuvers, and your craft bumps against the top of the tunnel.

Points are deducted from your score. 

Whatever you’d felt is replaced by anger directed at the cacophony. 

The walls of the tunnel fall away, and your light reveals a cavernous hall filled with dozens of rust-colored gaseous forms of all sizes. 

The bodies appear bent at ninety-degree angles, and each emits a single note of the ghostly chorus. 

You thank God for their unfathomable remuneration and direct your drone to open fire. 

In the confined space, with nowhere for your points to flee, you convert the gaseous beings into a windfall in seconds. 

With each being you incinerate, the harmony diminishes, until the only sound you hear is the hum of your drone reverberating off the walls.

Exceeding all expectations, you blaze by level 76, receiving an upgrade to your stabilization thrusters, and find yourself well into level 77, rewarding you with a new particle beam attachment. 

As your Collection Drones filter in to gather husks, you thank God for this bounty, and your score increases even further. 

A ringing in your ears plays the melody of an ancient piece of music called “Ode to Joy,” and you know your investments have gained at least ten percent.

You scan the area to confirm there are no additional points within range. 

Sensing your satisfaction, your Entertainment Device immerses you in your Homestead, leaving the drones, cave system, charred gaseous husks, and rusty planet behind.

You’re standing on a wooden deck overlooking lush, rolling fields filled with dozens of crops, fruiting trees, decorative fencing, quaint paths, and a fascinating array of scarecrows. 

You step off the sturdy covered landing of your rustic cottage into a glorious day, and take an Eterna Sensitivity Enhancement Pill.

Feeling the warmth of the purple sun on your skin, you inhale the earthy air and soak in your moment of triumph; level 77, surging investments, and plenty of resources to upgrade your chicken coop. 

Life is good. 

You thank God for their magnificent virtue.

As you revel, your farmhound, Muttsulini, greets you by slurping your fingers. 

You ruffle the top of the old dog’s head, then stride into the field toward your chickens. 

When you arrive, you register the pungent odor of a dozen fowl pecking around their enclosure. 

You open your UI, select the next upgrade, and hit purchase.

Your coop instantly doubles in size. 

Sticking your head inside to grab a few fresh eggs, you note the enhanced auto-feeding feature advertised in the coop upgrade’s description.

Before heading back to fry up an omelet, you harvest some spinach and stop by your flower garden’s bee hives to retrieve a small serving of honey. 

Supplies in hand, you return to your cottage, where the spouse you selected for your homestead is smiling and waving. 

When you hand her the ingredients, a heart appears over her head and they say, “I’m so happy! Every day is better than the last!”

You respond that you couldn’t agree more, and hug their well-shaped pixels.

“Spinach omelet?” You ask..

“Yes, please! And maybe a walk after?” They respond.

“I upgraded the coop, so I’m heading to Sally’s for some chicks.” You inform them.

“May I come?” They ask.

“No.” You deny.

“I understand.” They say sadly, before switching their facial expression and vocal tone back to jubilation, “You’re so wonderful. I’m so lucky to be with such a wonderful person!”

You chat with your spouse about leveling up as you cook your omelets in the simple 20th-century kitchen your preferences selected for your homestead experience.

“My goodness, what a day! You must be so tired! Won’t you at least let me give you a rub before you go?” They ask.

You agree you could use a nice rub. 

But first, you pray and consume your meal while chatting about the local goings on. 

“Did you know Sam slept outside again last night? What a strange man!” They gossip.

You respond that some people have alternative preferences and we should all be more accepting of people’s differences.

They praise you. “You’re so generous and wise!”

You finish your meal and lay down on your wood poster bed for a rub, which your spouse delivers enthusiastically. 

“In the mood for a little more?” They say with a wink after half an hour.

You aren’t. 

“I know, I know, you’ve got to get to the store before 17:00.” They mourn.

They sigh with longing, and add, “Hurry back!” as you walk out the door.

You leave home satisfied, knowing your spouse will be there whenever you want. 

The bell rings in your head.

On the road to town you spot a patch of blackberries, which you gather for a future salad. 

You also spot some lilacs, checkered lilies, and a pair of bright yellow crocus. 

These you pluck and tie into an artistically arranged bundle with a bit of twine. 

The nearby town is an adorable farming village with beautifully manicured streets and quaint shops stocked with farming supplies, seeds, trinkets, and adventuring equipment. 

The population consists of happy, humble, well-meaning folk, each with their own fascinating story to discover. 

In the center of town is a western-style saloon with a salty owner and lascivious servers of all types. 

You politely greet two of the town’s automated inhabitants, Achara and Bram, but don’t stop to hear their daily dialogue content as you hurry towards your destination.

It’s 16:50 and thankfully Sally’s Shop is still open, so you step into the quaint animal supply store.

You take an Eterna Sensitivity Enhancement Pill.

The room is empty but for a lone cashier, who greets you with a disapproving tut. 

“And here I thought you’d forgotten me.”

“I’d never forget you when I’ve got chicks to buy.” You respond.

Sally smiles, “Sounds like you had a good day.”

“The best, and getting better.” You reply.

“I love mixing business with pleasure. You know when my brother Abdullahh Rahman….”

You opt to skip her daily dialogue content.

“How many do you want?” Sally says in a more automated tone.

“A dozen.”

“Sure you can handle all that?” She says in a less automated tone.

“You know I can.” You say as you sidle up to the counter and hand Sally the flowers you collected on your walk into town.

A heart appears above Sally’s head.

“You do know just what I like.” 

She motions for you to follow her into the back room as she turns off the lights and flicks the auto-lock mechanism for the front door.

In the back room you nuck Sally to the ringing of the bell in your brain. 

You check the hour, then sit up in your Comfort Chair. 

It’s almost time for Socialization. 

You slide onto your Floor, which takes you to your Auto-Wash Room. 

There you take off your gown, throw it in the nearest garbage chute, then deposit yourself inside your Life Corp Auto-Bodywasher. 

After the machine dings, indicating your cleaning is complete, your Floor takes you to your Life Corp Auto-Clothing Selector. 

The device detects your preference and selects a black cloak with purple stripes. 

Washed and dressed, you’re delivered by your Floor to your Socialization Room. 

The room is a large, empty space covered on all sides by sensors. 

As soon as you’re inside, you’re immersed in a ballroom populated by nearly three dozen others.

Nameplates containing a professional title and birth corporation hover over every head. 

More Socializers arrive every minute bearing titles such as “Super-Extra Producer for Experiences Beyond Imagining: Division of Engineered Reality Spaces for Specialty Preferences, Weta Dreams” and “Chief-Big Top Data, Information, and Sewage Distribution Network Rider and Appropriations Facilitator, DTP” and “Vice-Chancellor Aeternum-Z Quadrant of Hole, Tunnel, and Shaft Conceptualization, Manufacturing, and Implementation, DugDuo.” 

Each individual holds a bespoke cocktail in a unique glass.

No two glasses are the same shape or size. 

A few Socializers greet you.


“It’s always good to see you!”

“You’re looking well!”

You smile and respond that everyone is looking well, and you’re happy it’s time for Socialization. 

Everyone who hears this agrees and smiles. 

You Socialize with the nearest Socializer, whose title reads, “District Vice-Chair Uni-Executive for Regional Planning and Management Synchronization and Utilization Operations, MoExp.”

“I upgraded my Blender, Entertainment Device, and Comfort Chair today. Everything is green checks across the board at Work, my investments are way up, and life is good, thank God.” You declare.

“I upgraded my Auto-Environment Cleaner and Workstation. Thank God. My investments are way up, and I think I’m in line for a Promotion to District Vice-Chair Multi-Executive for Regional Planning, Management Synchronization and Utilization Operations!” They respond.

“That’s exciting! MoExp always promotes the best! You deserve it!” You congratulate. 

“Did you hear HapHap is leading the pack this year? They’re proposing a new season of Split Splat Sploot Adventures!” They inquire.

“I hadn’t, but it doesn’t surprise me. The old Adventures are getting stale, though I found a mega-ripe patch on a Zimpydoo Adventure today. I’ve never seen so many point bags in one place! I got over 9,000 in under an hour! God is good.” You boast.

“That’s incredible! I couldn’t be more excited for your success. God rained their prosperity upon you! My record is only 6,500, and I thought that was a good day. I know you’ll get a Promotion! What level are you now? They celebrate.

“77. Just upgraded my chicken coop too. And bought a dozen new chicks. Thank God.” You say.

“Beyond is lucky to have you! You’re one of the best! I bet you’ll get Promoted soon. Thank God.” They announce loud enough for nearby Socializers to hear.

“I know you will too! If I get Promoted to Proto-Czar of Checking Automation and Procedural Substitutions in Tertiary and Orbital Stations in Sub-QRC Sector Districts Grade B156743, I’m going to upgrade my Religionist sub to thank the one and only God, who is good beyond measure.” You declare.

“All praise goes to God. I’ve been with the True Believer package for a year now, and think I’m ready for the next step in my journey towards Godship. How’s the Deep Believer level?” They ask.

“It’s beautiful. God is truly the greatest investment. All praise to God for our prosperity and happiness. I’m loving this new season of worship content, but I always want more!” You shout.

Socializers around you shout “Praise God!” in response,

“You know what they say, you can never have enough!” Your partner concludes.

“We never will!” You concur.

You turn to another Socializer, whose title reads “Semi-Ubermech Tech-Wizard, Order of the Dragon-Lion 3rd Degree, SoftApplet.”

“I upgraded my Blender, Entertainment Device, and Comfort Chair today. Everything is green checks across the board at Work, my investments are way up, and life is good. Thank God.” You declare.

“I couldn’t agree more! My investments are soaring! I upgraded my Meal Producer, my Auto-Waterer, and my Bubblezoomer. This new B-zoo goes even faster than the last! Thank God.” They respond.

“I forgot you got a personal B-zoo for your last Promotion! You get so many perks now! Have you been to the central SoftApplet headquarters yet?” You probe.

All Socializers in the room stop Socializing to look at you with pointed disapproval. 

You blush, “I meant to say, do you use your B-zoo often?” You ask.

The Socializers return to their Socialization.

Your companion replies in a tone containing a hint of stiffness, “Yes, I go to the regional SoftApplet office whenever I want. I love checking in for Work and seeing what the geniuses are cooking up. Praise be to God.”

“SoftApplet really is a brilliant company. Praise God. We’re so lucky to have them. They promote such brilliant people.” You attempt to remain calm.

“I couldn’t be happier.” They respond.

“I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t be happier as well. Thank God.” You attempt.

You change partners again. 

Your new partner, who you find as fast as possible, is the only Socializer without a smile on their projected face.

Their title reads, “Senior Junior Partner Associate of Meal Manifestation and Packaging, MuchoMunch.”

“I upgraded my Blender, Entertainment Device, and Comfort Chair today. Everything is green checks across the board at Work, my investments are way up, and life is good. Thank God.” You declare.

“I upgraded my…actually I didn’t get a chance to upgrade today.” They reply.

 “Oh, then how much did you level up?” You ask.

“I didn’t do that either.” They reply.

“What could you have possibly spent your day doing?” You inquire.

They pause and look at you, their projected eyes emoting 100% sincerity, “I’m…I’m just so nuckin tired.”

The room goes silent. 

The untoward Socializer emotes 80% sheepishness, and 20% something your SoftApplet Emote Scanner doesn’t recognize, then disappears.

The room cheers.

You hurry to your next Socializer. 

Your new partner’s title reads, “Brigadier Captain 3rd Class Swarm Drone Commanding Officer in Charge of Trail Mix Logistics, HapHap.”  

“I upgraded my Blender, Entertainment Device, and Comfort Chair today. Everything is green checks across the board at Work, my investments are way up, and life is good. Thank God.” You declare.

After switching partners ten times, your Socialization concludes and your Floor takes you to your Delivery Room.

Your upgraded Comfort Chair and Entertainment Device are waiting.

You thank God for their fastidiousness, use your Auto-Move Tool to maneuver your new furniture into your Living Environment, and dump the outdated models into your largest garbage chute. 

You feel a bit worn down from the mixed success of the day’s Socialization, so your Floor delivers you to your Health Room.

You take an Eterna Exercise pill, an Eterna Comfort pill, and an Eterna Memory Filter pill. 

You feel better. 

You thank God one more time, pray for the safety and prosperity of the Earth and everyone on it, and settle into your Life Corp Auto-Rest Mattress. 

The machine sprays you with a fine mist to facilitate twelve hours of dreamless, undisturbed sleep, and you drift off, happy and content with all things.

The Automated System logs your activities.

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