A Work of Futuristic Fiction written in 2018.
The total XRP counter read 33,733,332,712.47
Edom watched the numbers flick lower on the side of the building across the loop rail as the elevator cartridge fired him upwards to the 147th floor. The speed of the outside world was disorienting against the perfect stillness around him. There was no sense of movement or non-movement within the cartridge. The outside world just stopped moving at the same moment there was an almost inaudible swoosh as the doors opened behind him and he turned around to exit.
Stepping out of the cartridge Edom’s eyes casually glanced at the counter on the wall which now read 33,733,332,697.13. Leftward were triple glass doors which were smoldered with the words Androgynous Esoteric Evolution. Rightward was a single granite door engraved with a triangle shape with a single T in the center. Underneath it read Token Transference Technologies. basketball-size
Moving toward the granite door Edom brushed it lightly with his index finger and it swung open gently to reveal a large and expansive room ringed in black mirrored chairs. Stepping in a voice greeted him and told him to take a seat next to the woman in a yellow dress.
Looking around the room he spotted the women on the far side. Walking directly through the middle he smiled and took the seat next to her. Immediately his retina lens projected the value proposition of the woman in yellow. It turned out her name was Wichita and she was interested in Future Studies and Candy Crush. The past she had prepared on her projection deck was filled with laughter and summers on a lake somewhere in the Northwest.
Edom thought it was odd that her deck was presented as it was because it stood in opposition to her actual token value, which was substantially lower than his. Wichita turned to stare at him at the same moment he turned toward her. The green eyes staring back at him suggested the woman in yellow was similarly considering his own deck projection.
She was beautiful, but his past was littered with such mistakes. Tomorrow he would have to remember to expand the proximity and personal interest parameter settings on his token scanner.
A basketball size sphere appeared in front of his face. In its black mirrored surface he could see his reflection. That gym membership would have to be put to use if he was ever going to lose that extra weight which made his face curve around the edges of the sphere. Carrying around an extra 30 pounds made him feel tired all day and lowered the value of his token. He had to transfer some of the token's value to get the gym membership, so he might as well use it to earn the value back.
Swirling around the circular walls of the room was the XRP counter. It now read 33,733,332,614.88.
The sphere flashed his token value, measured in XRP, and shot around the room before stopping in front of an older gentleman who had come in a minute after Edom. The man attempted to swat it away but the sphere moved in a question mark pattern and stopped again in front of the man's face.
Edom could see a larger sphere making its way around the room. This one was mounted on translucent cables which appeared to mysteriously vanish into the floor like ghosts as it bobbed and weaved from person to person.
Rubbing his sweaty hands on his pants Edom shifted in the hard seat and noticed the woman next to him pull her yellow dress up on her thigh while smiling at him. Grinning he looked away just as the larger sphere stopped in front of Wichita. He could see the black mirrored surface spin faster and faster as flashes of the woman’s life became a blur to everyone in the room but her. The sphere was synced with her unique token identifier and the woman looked as if she was in a trance.
As quick as it started the larger sphere stopped spinning before bobbing and weaving towards another person just rightward from Edom. Wichita got up and walked towards the granite door. She brushed her index finger against its surface and before exiting she looked back and flashed Edom a knowing smile. He sat there for a while thinking about that smile and the reasons he was here.
Why was he here? Here. This here. Here and now.
It was always now.
The small sphere whizzed past his head as the large one stopped bobbing in front of him. It started spinning and he could see flashes of his digital past in its dark glassy surface. Pirated Napster songs popped in and out of focus, while his first Yahoo email account fragmented, shooting letters and the @ symbol off into the digital void.
These were followed by pornographic images and videos which cracked and shattered. Each piece was vaporized and forever removed from his token. Mean text messages and dumb emails were sucked into the center mass of the sphere and all the times he searched for degenerate material was whipped clean. Specific chat forum exchanges and his Facebook profile followed.
The sphere began to slow its spin as Edom’s Token value depreciated in value. He watched as the fractional amounts of XRP were reduced. It felt like it would never stop. Just how much would this whip cost him, he thought. The numbers slowed and stopped before flicking upward by one. The black sphere bobbed in front of him and weaved off leftward.
Edom stood and walked toward the granite door, exited the room, and walked toward the elevator cartridge. Descending he could see the XRP total on the outside surface of the building across the loop rail again. It now read 33,733,332,578.54.
At ground level, he stepped from the cartridge and walked rightward toward the building's exit. Once outside he was greeted with a brisk wind which gave him a slight chill. Running towards the loop rail his token dinged on the side of the horizontal carriage as he skipped over the entrance edge and landed on a seat just inside.
In the seat next to him was a woman in a business dress who was looking at him with curiosity through blurred over pupils. He ignored her token projection and starred at the back of the seat in front of him. On the screen rolled the value of XRP instead of the total amount of reducing XRP. The value was moving upward just as fast as the amount was being reduced.
The value said $291,334.32.
“When do you think it will hit zero?”
“Excuse me,” responded Edom as he turned toward the woman next to him.
“XRP,” she said. “How long do you think it will be before it hits zero supply?”
The woman was well-spoken, had an English accent, and her dark hair was cropped short. The loop carriage swooshed forward.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “It does seem to be picking up these last few months.”
“Yes, I had noticed as well. With billions of tokens in the world belonging to both people and products, and XRP servicing all transactions between those tokens, it's only a matter of time. The number of tokens just keeps increasing with no end in sight.”
Edom leaned forward. “Is there a difference between people and products anymore? It’s all just tokens now.”
“Hahaha, I guess there isn’t.”
“It’s funny,” she continued. “In the past world, the problem was the expansion of debt. Now it is the expansion of tokens.”
Edom frowned and leaned back in the seat. The XRP value now read $291,338.78.
The outside world was a blur as the loop carriage made its way from Dallas to San Diego. On the back of the seat further up Edom could see that the amount of XRP now stood at 33,733,332,534.13.
Glancing at his own token value he noticed that it had increased by a few fractions of XRP.
Perhaps it was worth it. - JC