iZone 2022

iZone 2022

2022; the year in which Smartphones and social media reached a popularity beyond our imagination. Social media is everything . . . and everything is social media. Planet Earth has become one big zone, fascinated by devices.

This is intended for the Quibblo story contest, and if you think this story should be one of the winners (it's a long shot, but if you do, thanks a bunch!), please do rate! (: I appreciate any constructive criticism. Enjoy!

Chapter 5

Sydney, 2022.

Neill O’Reilly checked the digital numbers imbedded under his skin and moved the rapports, glancing around the long table impatiently. Many people disapproved of the technology he was about to market—electronic chips—but he didn’t care. The majority of the population on Earth was so greedy and foolhardy that they’d get themselves inserted just to be up-to-date. With some good fortune, his stocks would rise within this very week; possibly building up to billions.

The last of his major customers—some stork-like woman from company called Lectro (which, frankly, sounded like they fabricated stockings to Neill)—barreled in, her eyes darting around the room. She sat down without a word and crossed her thin legs, giving everyone who dared to even glance at her an ill-tempered look.

Neill scraped his throat to draw the attention back to himself and snapped his fingers. Behind him, the screen flashed to life and in it, a small form began to rotate. As his possible purchasers shared an interested glance, he began his speech by one simple word: “Chips.”

It immediately caused his clients to murmur disdainfully, but he gestured at his own tanned arm. “Nearly invisible. Light. Undetectable; the ultimate solution to our daily problems. Have you ever,”—here he paused and stared at the Lectro woman meaningfully, who was fumbling in her purse for what was presumably a E-minipad,”—felt as if you needed to hire several people to carry your files? Have you ever looked at your watch and wondered why you carried around something so heavy; situated so clumsily on your wrist? Were you ever,”—his husky voice grew louder,”—forced to search for your remote because you forgot were you put it, and found it covered in crumbs and hairs? Have you ever, people, wished for a simple answer to these obnoxious problems?” Neill dropped his hands, which had been raised questioningly. “I know I have.

"And that,” he continued, “is why we are gathered here today. We—Nanotech—have found the answer. Microchips, inserted in your wrist, will not only be able to store files; they can make calls, activate almost any electronic device and tell you the time.” Neill flashed a smile at the others, knowing he was close to the finish line. All it takes is one last leap. . . . “The Nanotech microchip will not only resolve your dilemmas; it will change the course of history as we know it.”

His hands were moist with sweat as the room remained utterly silent. For a brief moment, Neill O’Reilly wondered if he’d gone too far after all; inserting chips into humans may very well prove to be dangerous, even if he thought it wasn’t; even though he had volunteered as a guinea pig.

Then, just when he thought he wouldn’t be able to stand it any longer, the stork from Lectro started clapping and stood up. Her mouth was stretched into a wide, hideous smile. The others followed her lead and soon, the whole room was filled with the noise of flesh slapping against flesh; voices congratulating Neill and assuring him of his success. It took a number of minutes before the businessmen trickled out of the room, and even then Neill’s ears rushed.

The triumphant entrepreneur sat down in one of his chairs, pressed lightly against the chip in his arm and ordered a coffee. Normally, he would have had lunch with the other company owners, babbling about the newest gadgets, thingamabobs and other foolish nonsense, but today he wanted a moment for himself; so that he could enjoy his victory in a manner similar to rolling good wine through your mouth. Bittersweet victory. . . .

He was going to be a billionaire. Maybe he’d corrupted the world a minute ago by introducing the chip; maybe he had endangered his own species; maybe he would be the cause of misery. But he, Neill O’Reilly, would be a billionaire . . .
even if the cost was humanity’s sensibility.

*


All right! That's the last chapter. I hope you enjoyed this short story, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to read, comment and (or!) vote. I am honestly baffled! I also want to wish all the other contestants good luck, and I hope they all have a good time writing—like I did with iZone 2022.

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