Category Archives: 08 – Into the Retrofuture

Into the Retrofuture – Epilogue: Atlanta Cares

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mUdWMwz.png

It’s another morning at the Peach Towers branch of the Atlanta Cares Bank. Another morning where Mr. Larkins is ranting about something or another in front of all the employees, in front of all the customers. 

“It’s rigged, I tell you! The draft is rigged for the Fowlers!”

I never knew Mr. Larkins was a basketball fan until today, and now I’m never gonna forget it. Our very own Atlantic Steamers have gotten all of the worst picks on the planet, it turns out, and now the Forsyth Fowlers will win their third straight championship because they paid the basketball people the most. That’s what I am gathering, at least.

I sigh.

It’s not a sad sigh, or even an exasperated sigh. Just a sigh sigh. If you had to call it something, I might even suggest it’s happy.

Normalcy. I really think normalcy is something we don’t promote quite enough these days. Or maybe ever. When things get back to normal, that’s when the story ends. When things are normal, the news ignores it. The lack of drama bores people.

And I think that’s the point.

After the first six months of this year being the craziest thing this side of the Civil War, I think normalcy is all I ever needed. I’ve been getting sleep. I caught up on some books I’d been putting off. And I’m actually going to work every day.

Crazy, isn’t it?

I wouldn’t trade this for the world.


No, that’s not true.

For every awful thing that’s happened this year, from the horrific Columbus trip disaster to everything with the Ascendants, there’s been just as many good things.

I mean, think of it. A corrupt, failing mayor got removed from office, and the mayoral election cycle started all over again. An evil Cybermancer was shown the error of his ways, and his son got away from a life of crime. My best friend from my childhood showed up with a technological curse, but he’s already rejoining the world the best he can. A cute artist robot got to explore its neighborhood and paint some pictures. The secrets of Magitek Soda were exposed, and a depressed teenage girl learned to start forgiving herself. A homeless transgender teenager made some friends and learned the power of optimism. Okay, I’ll admit that last one was a stretch.

But it doesn’t matter what problems I’ve faced, we’ve faced, up to now. What matters is what we’ve accomplished. And I’m pretty proud of that.

THAT’S what I wouldn’t trade for the world.

So as I continue to listen to Mr. Larkins rant and lose us a few customers who didn’t expect to be hearing vulgarities be spewn when they just wanted to set up a savings account, I decide that I’m going to be happy. Because I deserve it.

For now, at least.


Next: The Dial-Up Demon ==>

Next: Season 1 Endcap ==>

<Previous Story | <== Previous Chapter

Into the Retrofuture – Chapter 21: That Corny Airport Thing

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mUdWMwz.png

“It happens in, like,  every movie,” Karina says. “They get to the airport, they stand in front of the security checkpoint, and then all those dramatic moments happen. People win Oscars with airport scenes. That’s all they’re there for, really.”

“Why are you telling me this?” I, the suitcase mule, ask. Karina has a backpack and duffel bag, sure, but why am I the one lugging around three suitcases?

Continue reading

Into the Retrofuture – Chapter 18: Survival of the Fittest

“R8PR!” I shout. “Can you help me defeat this guy?”

“Not yet,” he replies, separated from by a distance of about ten armed guards. “This body’s too clunky. Let me gather some supplies first.” At the same time, he picks up a spare Magitek wand taser and blasts it at a guy in front of him.

“Got it.”

Continue reading

Into the Retrofuture – Chapter 17: Cybernetically Enhanced Individuals

This may seem like an off-topic tangent, but I have to say that I actually kinda resent the term “cyborg.” the first thing you think of is some half-machine, half-human with a computer for a brain and occasional only-late-at-night thoughts about starting the robot singularity. Donald Blyth here in front of me would be the prime example of such a cyborg… you would think. But it’s so much more simple than that. 

Continue reading

Into the Retrofuture – Chapter 14: Barging In, Guns Ablazing

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mUdWMwz.png

We don’t actually go in guns ablazing. Something like that would have ruined the mission in the first thirty seconds.

Those shooting games you can play in the holo-booths like to exaggerate the fun of stealthy infiltrations, where you swoop in and K.O. all the guards with expert moves, and then after you get spotted you just take out your dual-wielding AR-15s and plug away at everything that moves.

Here, and maybe this is because I’m not part of any of the three strike forces going on ahead and securing the first floor, this is turning out to be not much more than keeping my guard up and following Yuri Motokawa around. 

Continue reading