The Winter Solstice celebrations start in a couple of days. Some people still call it Christmas, but it’s often considered intolerant to call it that. Most people have accepted that the organised religions were revealed to be elaborate scams to keep us meek and obedient. They were all dissolved along with the old financial institutions when their accounts were made public.
I may have mentioned this before, but the term ‘banker’ has become an insult used to describe anyone that exploited the old money system to make themselves richer. It usually involved exploiting and manipulating the people too, so it extends to anyone who’s being selfish and manipulative, like Psy-Man. Now we all get to pick what gamework we do and how much we do, but the only way to earn more Arpies is to work for it.
There are some who still try to play the system. Like the people who buy avatar upgrades or official game mods that they have no intention of using themselves, just because they’re discounted. They then wait for the prices to go up and then sell them at almost full price. Personally I think that the people that buy and sell mods, and the people who discount them, are both crooked bankers.
As I was saying though, their are very few who still call the solstice Christmas. There are some that still practice a belief in gods, but there’s no longer a church telling them how, or what, to worship. The N•Viron system has eliminated the need for the mind to produce ‘visions’ or hallucinations that we used to interpret as divine visitations. Not only can we understand anything we choose to. All the information we would ever need is publically available and accessible. We can also view the world however we wish it to be.
As a result of being able to control everything from making it look bright as the day at 3am, to colour coding items to make them more organised, mental illness of all kinds has virtually disappeared. Except in Discons of course. Likewise this empowerment makes the gods unnecessary. Despite all this I find myself feeling lonely. In need of companionship so much that I almost wish that there was an invisible guiding father-figure after all.
I like the gamework aboard Hermes. That’s why I’m here full-time, and won’t be able to spend time with my family this solstice. It’s frustrating that my requests to change shift keep getting denied. I would prefer not to see Psy-Man’s creepy smirk and Lena’s condescending indifference everyday. However, hanging out with Barb everyday has it’s perks.
I usually have everything done in the first half of my shift, keeping busy to avoid Lena, who is also usually busy. Presumably catching up on work she didn’t do while Psy-Man was on board. Anyway, this gives me time to chat with Barb, who’s always so happy to see me and talk while she works her magic on the plants in the arboretum. Those plants flourish under her care.
She’s already invited me to join her family for the solstice festivities. I’d like to go but I have a feeling it would be very awkward. I already know that her husband is an unapologetic banker, using poor Barb for her work ethic and her Arpies while he does nothing but spend them. Then there’s the fact that she clearly likes me and it’s a recipe for disaster. The alternative though, is doing nothing. We’ll see.