alternative futures: the carriers - part 1 (DRAFT)

this is the beginning of another alternative futures story draft.

as julian packed up his bag, his sense began going off. the two-day board meeting was long and he was ready to go home. but now that he’d sensed something, he knew he wasn’t sure when he’d be home.

he looked up and saw the new administrative assistant for the board walking towards him.

“hi! i’m matias, nice to meet you!” the young man said cheerily.

“julian,” he responded, wearily extending his arm for a handshake.

“i saw on your netmap profile that you know curtis goned! i love curtis! he’s one of my favorite people in the world! he trained me a few years ago in reading networks and it totally changed my life!”

netmap was the hottest, latest social media platform. it used dna and other social media profiles to create a visualization of everyone a single person is connected to. julian had just signed up over the weekend and it was astonishing to him that someone he didn’t know had already seen his profile. the previous generation of carriers had to be trained for years in sensing. now the younger generation could just do it with some keyboard strokes and a few mouse clicks.

julian noticed two of the other board members side-eyeing his conversation with matias. it was time to go.

“yes, curtis is quite the person. can we step outside for a minute?”

julian led matias out of the conference room’s large oak double doors and down the hallway to the elevator. thankfully, the other board members were either already downstairs or still in the board room.

the boy just went on and on about curtis’ work until julian raise his hand and cut him off.

the elevator door closed in front of them as julian asked, “how old are you matias?”

“i just turned 23 yesterday!”

julian dropped his briefcase and slammed matias up against the elevator wall. matias yelped.

julian whispered intensely, “do you know what you are?”

“i…i…i… i don’t know wh…wh…what you’re t…t…t…talking about.”

“listen kid, you’ve got a lot to learn and a little time to do it. lesson one: shut the fuck up in public. lesson two: you need to get caught up on the canon. fast.”

the elevator was halfway down the 80 floors and there were only a few seconds left before the door opened. julian rattled off the titles of five books and asked matias which of the books he’d read.

“i’ve only read three of those, s…s…sir. and only w…wh…wh…when i was younger.” julian took his shoulder out of matias’ chest and reached down into his bag, grabbing two slim books.

“that’s good. it’s pretty common for us to stumble on the canon without being guided externally. but you need to read all five in order to begin your training.”

“my what?”

the elevator door slid open as julian smoothed out his suit and shirt.

“just read the books and get in touch when you’re finished. you have my contact info.”

julian picked up his briefcase and walked off the elevator.

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