Technopeasants

“Protests continue to engulf the Guiana Space Port in Kourou, where a large group of people have gathered in opposition to what they claim is discrimination against unaugmented humans.” The news report audio feed came into their heads as the United Nations Police Force officers sat in the unmarked freight vehicle on stakeout.

“‘It is sick and wrong for us to have to be collared with identification tags like animals just to go into space,’ said protester Makal Darone, ‘just because we aren’t wired up with silicon in our heads so the UN can track our every movements. People mock us, calling us luddites and technopeasants, but not everyone can afford these implants. Not everyone wants them. But we should have a right to go into space without being treated with suspicion.'”

“What started all this off?” Detective Astrid van Bergen asked, taking a sip from her travel mug of coffee. She was dressed in a worksuit that made no attempt to hide the outline of her servomotor exoframe, and her brown hair was tucked up under a baseball cap.

“Someone with digital paranoia refused to get an armband before heading up into space, wasn’t allowed on board and kicked up a huge stink.” Her partner, Special Officer Ameer Anwar grunted. Dressed similarly, he was loading police equipment into a tool box ready for them to enter the complex.

“I can understand -why- they kick up a fuss,” Astrid mused, “but the simple fact is that trying to get around the lunar cities, let alone a space station, is hard without digital credentials, viewglasses and wearable computers. It’s not like they have to -pay- for the rental of the devices, just a deposit for if they break or sell them.”

“In some places its bad enough getting around even -with- in-vision enhancements.” Ameer chuckled, before looking rather serious. “There’s another side to it too. You might be a bit too young to remember the Akiyama terrorist attack.” Taking her cue to continue, he went on. “In twenty-ninety-four terrorists belonging to the Taiyou Union, radical anti-colonization activists, used security loopholes at the time and their lack of digital credentials to infiltrate Akiyama space station. Their suicide bombing caused a large amount of casualties and damage to the Earth-facing docking ports. The UN Space Agency rapidly increased security measures to prevent a recurrence.”

“In our line of work though, we know there’s forgeries and ways around these things.” His partner stated, gesturing at their own disguises.

“Of course, but they had to be seen to be doing something. Appearance is everything at times, and it helped restore public confidence at a critical point in UNSA’s space habitation campaigns.” He smiled, putting the lid down on the toolbox. “It worked. And as for the people who say they yearn for the good ol’ days before augmentation really took off? Rose-tinted glasses. ” His right arm, a contraption of military grade materials and somewhat old design, twitched a little before he got to itching the metallic casing. “It wasn’t all flowers and bunnies before the ‘digirati’ got their way.”

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3 thoughts on “Technopeasants

    • Taiyou is ‘Sun’ in Japanese. The general idea behind the Taiyou Union is that they’re anti-space colonization, working from among other things twisted Shinto (where the sun goddess, Amaterasu, is one of the major deities of the mythology) concepts and take the stance that human exploitation and proliferation into space desecrates it.

      And yes, I like technopeasant too. It’s Wiktionary’s word of the day today.

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