The Story of Arfie
Written by White Shade
Hi! My name is Arfie. Wait! Before you laugh (which I know is inevitable), the name 'Arfie' is perfectly normal in the year 2017. I'm 12 years old, and a computer whiz. I don't act nerdy, stupid or anything like that. I'm just a normal kid in my time.
The Earth has been environmentally cleaned, and cloning let us re-introduce extinct species of animal or plants. We have colonized the Solar System, and we can get to Jupiter for $100 in 36 hours! Matter-Transport beams have eliminated the need for cars, except in certain areas. Our city is a metropolis with 2 million people in it. The name is REALLY Stupid, so I won't tell you what it is. Oh, all right. It's called "New York Mk. II".
My family and I are on our way to a party which one of my parent's friends invited us to. We had to go down to the transport-out room on the first floor of the apartment building.
"Ya'll ready for transport?" asked the transport person.
"Yup!" I said, as my parents said the same.
"Ok, here goes!" the Transport Person said as he pressed the Transport button.
"Mulch!" I laughed as I dematerialized.
Just so you 1999'ers know what we mean, "Mulch" is the 2017 equivalent to your "Cool". "Cool" now is hardly ever used, except in the old movies.
During transport I wondered what the party was going to be like, and what type of food would be there. Suddenly I felt the pins-and-needles effect of materialization.
I looked around and cried out "Hey! This isn't the party! Where am I? Where's my parents? I'm alone!!!"
"How did I get here? Why am I here?" I asked to anybody (nobody) in the room.
The room was grey with a bluish carpet and no windows. A sign on the door said, "Dull". Really, it did. I went out into the hallway. I walked to the end of the hall, and looked at the fake-gold sign. "Floor 700 of 700 in the Living Tower."
"The living tower? I wonder what that is. Oh well, obviously I have to get out of here, so I guess I'll just take the elevator at the other end of the hall," I thought.
That's when I realized it. The only noise was the air conditioner. I haven't seen or heard anything or anyone except for me. This must be a deserted floor I surmised.
I walked over to the elevator and pressed the "Down" button. A second later the door opened. I stepped forward and screamed "AAUGH! The elevator's not there!" I quickly jumped back before I fell down the 7000 foot drop.
Two feet away on the floor was a paper notice that said "Danger! Elevator not installed. Please take stairs to next floor for elevator."
So, I took the stairs down into another hallway that was grey with a blue floor. I walked over to the elevator and pressed the button. The door opened, and there was a nice elevator car. I jumped in. There were 700 buttons, but they were organized into convenient groups of 20. Each group was labeled something. One group was "Lavatories", another was "Mountain Floors".
"Wait a minute! Mountain Floors? What's a mountain floor?" I yelled. I pressed one of the Mountain floor buttons, and down the elevator went.
I might as well tell you about the first time I went through a Matter Transport beam. I was maybe 3 or 4, as any younger than two would be re-materialized as an extremely hairy ape (It has happened before) because of some genetic thing. We went over to the teleport pad, and my mom said, "Place Code 5.443abZ." (5.443abZ is our House Code, so we know where to transport to. It's kind of like your 'Address'). The Teleport-Controller typed in the code, pressed the "teleport" button, and suddenly I felt like I was becoming... not there. Like my body ceased to exist, yet I was still there. It stayed like that for a few seconds. Then I blurrily started seeing our house's teleport landing. It faded in and became clearer as my body became solid again. Then I was at home. I hadn't become an extremely hairy ape, either.
OUTSIDE THE BUILDING.....
"I don't believe the designer overlooked that one stupid little detail." Said one engineer.
"Yeah. All that time and money, and now this whole 700 story Super-Environment Hotel with all its imitated areas of the world needs to be demolished. The designer was one of the best, but he overlooked the fact that the walls need 2 centimeters of strengtho-panel in them, not 2 millimeters," the other engineer chided.
"Well, at least no one got hurt, and the Designer's been ousted and is now on one of the Venus colonies. Demolition charges primed and set for thirty minutes...."
The elevator whirred and stopped. The door opened and Arfie walked into a 4-story high.... Mountain range.
On one corner of the room there was a small hut that said, "Climbing gear, $20 for rental of everything. $50 for family". The mountain was about 40 feet high, but it looked challenging. Each section was different, either in color, difficulty or texture. A tap revealed a hollowish sound.
"So, this really is a 'Mountain floor'", I thought, "I might as well try get to a lower floor."
So, I walked over to the elevator, and pressed the button for floor #20.
A few minutes and 650 floors later, Arfie reached floor 20. The hallway was brightly decorated, with white walls and a neat blue carpet.
The walls weren't decorated, but there were quite a few vid-panels that were probably used for advertisements. (Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, a Vid-Panel is like a mini TV, just a lot thinner and lighter.) Then, it hit him. There on the wall was a sign that said, "Warning! Demolition in 10 minutes."
"DEMOLITION??? AAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!" Screamed Arfie. "I gotta get outa here REALLY fast, before I'm blown up!"
To his shock and dismay, the elevator had stopped working. "Oh great. Twenty floors of stairs. And only nine minutes to go down them."
Six minutes later, Arfie was on floor #4. He violently pushed the elevator button, and FINALLY an elevator car came down. He pressed the Floor #1 button, and the elevator slowly went down. Very very slowly.
Outside, the demolition crew was watching in awe by the building which was going to go up in a really big bang in less than a minute.
Inside, Arfie got out of the elevator, glanced at his watch and ran super-fast out of the lobby. He shoved the door open, and kept on running. A second later, the whole scene flashed white.
The building shuddered. Thousands of tiny cracks formed in all the walls. Arfie ran behind on of the Demolition-Safety bunkers, and watched as a humongous tongue of flame shot out of the top of the building.
All the windows shattered and got sucked inward by the flames. The flames kept on shooting out of the top, and the top few floors started to implode. All the floors ripped apart one at a time. Everything melted as it hit the flames. Four secondary blasts ripped the remaining walls into tiny pieces, and everything began to fall inwards, as the remaining 50 floors shattered and melted. One final explosion vaporized the rest of the building. Flames engulfed the pile of wrecked, steaming and molten remain. After a few minutes the smoke cleared, and everyone was able to see what was left. It wasn't much at all. It was a twenty foot high blackened blob of melted metal, carpet, supports, fake mountain, toilets, mini-malls, vid-panels and demolition- warning signs. If you didn't know that a 700 story building had been there all of seven minutes ago, you'd think that a train full of molten steel had dumped everything on the ground.
"Woah," Arfie said.
"Wait a minute, what were you doing inside that building? Didn't you know that we were demolishing it?" One of the engineers asked as he eyed Arfie.
"Teleport accident. About 3 or 4 hours ago I was mistakenly transported into the very top floor. As you could see, I just barely missed becoming part of that junk-heap over there." Arfie disgustedly asked, "Now, can I get back to the party I was supposed to go to?"
Ten minutes later, Arfie was (correctly) transported to the party. His parents were extremely happy and relieved that he got back safely, and was able to get to the there. The party was exactly as he had hoped. Even though Arfie was extremely late there was still a huge variety of food to choose from. The soda-bar was excellent. Arfie gulped down at least six orange sodas. He played the V-R chambers, and got a new high score on the hardest flight-simulator around.
That night, Arfie fell asleep in about 3 seconds. The next day, Arfie's family filed a 2 million suit against the Teleport company, and the company that was demolishing the building for risk to human life (i.e. Arfie).
Isn't the legal system great?
- White Shade