W^VES (short fiction sample)

It is the future. Humanity has fully transitioned into a digital world, leaving physical forms behind. Every person has a presence and voice, but exists only as a frequency on the spectrum.

When each new being is born, they start at the top of the spectrum, a high frequency. As they grow, learn, work, and build, their tone grows in strength as it drops in frequency. They get stronger and more powerful. Many people eventually reach the middle spectrum. A select “lucky” few reach the powerful lower spectrum.

Each day the system hums along, all frequencies playing their part, everyone having a voice. The system is balanced, or so they say.

There are disturbances in the spectrum. There are many supposed explanations for these disturbances — some insist they are merely system disruptions (we call these “bad weather”) — but sometimes voices go missing, lost in the noise of the disruption. The voices don’t always come back.

The system has never been quiet, but each day it seems to grow louder and louder, and it gets harder for anyone outside of the low spectrum to be heard. More and more frequently system disruptions occur in the middle and upper spectrum. Sometimes these disruptions last for just a few hours, but sometimes they last for days, weeks, or months. Those in the affected band can still hear each other, but no one outside of that band can hear them.

The system has been growing ever-unstable, which again, many claim is just bad weather, but that doesn’t seem to explain everything.

Some beings are pretty clever, and have found ways to manipulate (hack) the system in small but important ways. They are the disruptors (rebels) of the system. We only hear about them periodically, usually we hear that they’ve broken a parameter (system law) and had to be disconnected. We can’t have people tampering with the system they say, it could make the storms even worse. They’re causing the disconnections of innocent civilians they say.

But sometimes I wonder if there’s more to it than that. Maybe those disruptors know something we don’t. Why else would you risk disconnection to play outside your designated frequency?

I don’t know, I’m just 1500Hz.