Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
In a space station in Earth orbit, Janatone Waldenpond, a refugee from Europa, is trying to return to Earth. She meets a long-lost cousin, Fred Looseman. Meanwhile, Jenny Appleseed, the president of the Cosmitix Corporation, holds a conference to plan interstellar expeditions.
Chapter 6: Far Away, on a Mediciean Moon
The sun is already high over the dark horizon, so far away and small that it is little more than a bright star. On the other side of this moon, Jupiter lends its color to the night, a grand sky of melted wax coiled in on itself. The managerial yurt gently turns above the fractured ice, not unlike a white sugar bun in a cotton candy vendor's pot.
In the central hall, Jenny Appleseed is about to address the Executive Committee of Cosmitics Europa. Her stimuli shield is conducting the meeting. It drives her body. It talks by her mouth. It would love to be called Millicent, but this is something no one knows.
Jenny Appleseed is the founder, the main stakeholder and the President of Cosmitics Corporation. She stands at the place of honor, for the first time in years. She is dressed simply with a spatial skin and a Cosmitics quantic, mesh-woven vulvar loincloth, without any of her usual prostheses, except, perhaps, a mysterious retractile penis. No stilts, no trunks, and no claws. No gem inclusions, nor any electromagnetic fur. No antenna. Her distracted eyes roll insanely, with no relationship to the terse speech that flows out of her mouth.
This day on the moon is an extraordinary one. Jenny Appleseed has come in person to attend the meeting of the Executive Committee. In order to validate the crisis planning session, as protocol requires, she has accepted to leave the palace where she dwells permanently with her court.
The directors are nervous; they had to come before the beginning of the ceremony, and the briefing made them feel uneasy. Now, Jenny Appleseed is here!
In the external circles, the sub-directors and the middle managers in the top hundred who have been admitted do not try to conceal their emotion. The little cyber-palotins, some of whom have never yet seen the company president, are filled with a sacred terror. They hurry to fill the room. They have brought with them their spouses, robots and their friends' avatars. Jenny Appleseed is here!
The communication assistants dart and buzz in the six directions of space, very satisfied with the keynote speaker's presentation, which is just coming to an end. They have done a good job. They are relieved not to be punished and understand that they will get credit for their work, including their most critical indicators. Some even believe they won't be sent back to sleep or that they will get what is needed to rent a gendered-life alveolus.
The mystery Thought Leader is none other than Lord Juan de la Luna, the greatest organ designer of all time. Out of loyalty to the Cosmitics president, to whom he owes so much and for some tens of millions of zouzim, Juan de la Luna has agreed to return to Europa for the conference.
The task has been considerable. “You do not quite realize, Zezetop!” the event assistant tells the young go-fer. “The organizers have had to negotiate with the Earthling colony on Io, where the artist has been dwelling since the beginning of the crisis. They had to give mutual guarantees, charter an unclassified luxury shuttle and staff it with an elite crew capable of satisfying his long list of demands!”
The images are broadcast in a loop throughout the web; one cannot escape them. One sees the personal welcomes and then long extracts from the speech. Jenny Appleseed greets the “great artist who owes her so much.” She is escorted by her CosmiGirls: Militrissa, Red, Blue, Yellow, Winaretta and the little Glabulie.
With her natural hair and her white teeth, she looks like her legend: a stalwart, self-made girl from Earth who has succeeded beyond all she could imagine. The great designer presses his black, wet muzzle on the president's cheek for a long moment.
The pictures cannot show the vivid signals that the MUQOMM-56 mucosa is transmitting upon contact with the handsome president's smart skin, especially since Juan is still keeping this industrial secret to himself. Is he only doing all this out of fidelity to the early days, when he was still working with her?
Jenny’s cheekbones turn pink when he tells her by one nostril, “Let's get the hell outta here, Jenny, now, with me. [Untranslatable mix of enriched stereospecific markers: vital danger love bull black glowing space arena dust, heavily loaded urine, we rush, charge, smash, small debris scorches defense, raining stars lysergic acid winds. Here is some you-me” ?]”
She strokes his ear with a perfunctory gesture. They know each other so intimately. Why such coldness, then? The image freezes. Nothing, neither war nor Jenny's strayed eyes can stop this snapshot from being broadcast all around the Solar System!
Afterwards, a small, bald humanoid comes in turn to hug the bio-stylist. That's the COO, keen to congratulate De la Luna for his speech. He is a great thinker of management, he says, and what a rapture to hear him. With what depth of thought and simplicity he talks about his trade! Such a universal reach he gives to his thoughts! And such generosity in aligning them with the development objectives, both his own and the company's!
While they all congratulate themselves, superposed presentation extracts come to the fore and occupy the picture in depth.
[Thought leadership sequence begins.]
Here is Juan de la Luna in a close-up. In his laboratory, spherical dogs and cats are conceived for weightlessness and are evolving. They propel themselves by neutrally olfactory farts.
And here is Juan de la Luna! A humble smile unveils the immaculate enamel of his human teeth. His curled muzzle evokes a very sympathetic toon; frequent eyebrow flashes emit long compassion waves from his immense eye. Creamy, synthetic coats of music pour down on the scene.
He speaks, and his words are addressed to all, thanks to the multi-grade translation. He tells how he has conducted the study of the detached intestine, and then of the collective intestine. He can do this now that everyone has forgotten the dreadful Martian episode.
He makes gestures to show how a vision came to him by dint of contemplation and perception. He mimics the discovery of the a-gastric belly lines and the design of the new body freed from the human digestive system. He mimics the curve of the breasts, the contour of the sucker foot. He brings forth a hologram displaying the constraints with which he has to deal: economic constraints, but also mechanical, biological, aesthetic ones.
He accepts this system; he takes ownership of it. And this is the key to his success. One can see him as he confidently enters the hologram. One can also see him thinking in a greenhouse in Io's best resort. One can see him drawing by hand in his library, like Leonardo da Vinci. On can see him inside the hologram, approaching a solution.
How does he do it? It is simple: he only looks at the positive side of things. The camera-palotin gets a little closer, and Juan de la Luna delivers to him the lessons of his experience. He says, “Connect to a positive vision. Concentrate on opportunities, not on scarcity. Believe that solutions exist.”
The translation generously carries his speech across the web. Everyone can hear him, even those who have no ears, from the accounting controller to the most elementary maintenance palotin. The great designer’s wisdom is deep, simple and truly universal in scope. He can make each individual being, at last, fully aware of his achievements.
Amazed, ecstatic, he talks about his videoconferences with the aborigines on Earth's reservations. What is this one thinking about when he carves his penis sheath so gracefully? And that one, who is painting a canvas so meticulously?
Without ever having heard of the great philosopher Gilbert Montaigne, these savages answered, “When I knit, I knit,” or “When I paint, I paint.”
One does not want to believe that these lines appear in any handbook for reservation staff nor that these handsomely paid indigenous people may want to get rid of the intruder. What a revelation, then! What an excuse it would be for an accounting comptroller performing an audit. And what a solace it would be for the corner-sweeping specialist: “When I sweep, I sweep.”
What else is he doing? Here is the only thought his circuits could decode: It is made for him, and see how good it is! Juan de la Luna smiles; this wisdom is his offering to the world.
[Thought leadership sequence ends.]
The meeting has begun. The crowd has dispatched itself to the various productive entertainment workshops included in the program. The members of the Exec Committee are listening in silence to the stimuli shield. It's officially the president who is addressing them, but they know very well that the implant alone is animating her body.
Meanwhile, Jenny is concentrating on coming into contact with the point in space and time that is holding them together. She is having a hard time reaching it. The process is getting more and more difficult because her attention to life is not the same anymore. Commerce with human beings exacts such a large effort of accommodation from her that she cannot deal with others without the help of auxiliary systems.
The CosmiGirls are surfing the fringes of expanded awareness. They claim that Jenny's ways are not human ways anymore. Legend has it that her soul escaped once, when she was a child, about two hundred and twenty years ago, under a plane tree, during recreation time.
Jenny contemplated whatever it was she was contemplating, and then she came back. The process may not have had any true duration. Upon returning to play with the other children, Jenny knew the incomplete and contingent nature of her incarnation. From that day on, she has refused death. She would eternally grow up in beauty and freedom, whatever that may mean.
One nice summer evening she thought, Go for yourself. As a child, she took her blue motorbike and left her country, her kindred and her father's house.
She had a mechanical breakdown before reaching the highway and had to unclog the carburetor by blowing heavily into the pipe in order to expel the impurities of the mixture. She remembers the taste of gas and the fragrance of pine trees conversing with angels under the tent of the sky. They were angels of resin and tar, angels of sand and leprechauns.
She remembers the feathers, the road, and the constellations in the cold night. She remembers everything so well that the whole place often serves as a theater to her thoughts.
Today, she is the most beautiful woman in the Solar System and the most powerful, too. She has made the Cosmitics group the greatest commercial venture in history. She invented the two-zouzim beauty graft and bio-management as it is taught in business schools.
She possesses immense personal riches: billions of billions in financial assets and millions of acres of land on Earth. She founded the Academy of Europa, famous for its works of neo-Platonic inspiration. Some of the best minds are initiated to the advanced labs' mysteries, the secret of which is kept with quasi-religious care.
She commands her ancillary bodies, she commands her multitudinous personnel as well as the Jupiter moons' puppet prefectures. But her orders have been obscure for a long time now; they don't lend themselves to reading. Jenny's will manifests itself only to the stimuli shield and sometimes to the girls, when her awareness is full.
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac