TOMORROW'S WORLD by Andrew Walker
Once again we have found a nice novelette to publish in this
issue of ST NEWS. Next time, the last novelette will be
published. This one's called "Tomorrow's World", written by
Andrew Walker. ©1984 by Business Press International, Ltd.
De Crecy watched Madame Zsa-Zsa's ample bosom heaving after
their exertions. Only a true patriot could make l'amour so
passionately; she could not be an English spy.
Suddenly the door burst open and the macho Don Sebastian,
Ambassador to King Philip of Spain, strode in holding his weapon.
"French whore," the Spaniard declared. "This is how you keep
faith with me."
His rapier rested upon De Crecy's nipple.
"Prepare to die, you cur."
Fearlessly, the brave De Crecy awaited the final thrust.
"Oh shit," said Lord Seymore.
A monocle fell from his eye.
"Ouch," said the gold-rimmed monocle as it hit the floor.
The trappings of his ancient peerage surrounded him in the
library of the family's medieval mansion: Bookshelves piled high
with fusty books; deathwatch beetle tap, tap, tapping overhead;
dust collecting on the disc drives, keyboard, and VDU, and even
on Seymore himself. Dirty sunbeams oozed through dirty window
panes, staining the floor with anaemic light.
Seymore had struggled all day dictating another best-seller into
his word processor, but the story had gone. His second Nobel
prize would have to wait: He could not afford to buy another one
at the moment.
He glanced outside at the police storming the gates.
"Shit," he repeated. He slammed the microphone on to the desk.
"Ouch," said the microphone.
"Oooh," squealed the masochistic desk with pleasure.
Seymore muttered something under his breath about "goddamn
"Curtains," he commanded, and the curtains drew across the
window just as one of the policemen mounted the fence and was
fried in a laser beam.
"Three-D TV," Seymore commanded, swivelling in his chair to face
The picture was fuzzy. He had had to repair it himself, because
the rental company was reluctant to lose any more staff. They
were still suing him over the last five repair men, who had been
disintegrated by his over-zealous bodyguards.
The President was speaking.
"Furthermore," she said, projecting her voice across the
country, "it is my view - and the view of the American people -
that this man should not escape punishment lightly, that his
advantaged position should not afford him the slightest clemency.
Therefore, in accordance with the powers vested in me, I decree
that he should spend no less than 25 years in the state
penitentiary for the crime of attempting to pervert the course of
justice." She paused to allow her audience to stand up and clap
and pick each other's pockets.
It was election year and the man she was sentencing was a
senator on her own staff. He was the vote-saving sacrificial
goat. He had originally been convicted of underbribing a public
official and sentenced to 50 lashes. Being 93 years old he had
died of exposure the moment his shirt was ripped from his back.
The public cry of outrage had shaken the foundations of the
White House. A presidential aide had gone unpunished: Had his
money tipped the scales of justice? Had the President bent the
law to suit her own ends? Had his lawyers found a new loophole in
the penal system? Rumour abounded.
Defeat had previously been inconceivable. She had risen to power
with a landslide victory: Mount Rushmore had mysteriously
crumbled and her opponent was crushed in the rubble of
Washington's left nostril. She was the idol of the American
minorities. Her biography showed her to be black, Roman Catholic
and of Chinese and Puerto Rican descent, which gave her the
backing of 75 precent of the people.
Despite this, her position has been threatened by the moral
indignation surrounding the senator's indiscretions. The senator
was also disliked by her biographer, the influential chief
programmer for Robo-of-America, who had designed and still
Mad Dan the gardener walked rudely between Seymore and the
television carrying his blood-stained axe. Tall and gaunt, he
spoke to no one but carried out his duties while whistling a
He swiped at a fly as he left the room. The fly dodged.
"Missed me you old..." Its curse was cut short as it flew into
It picked itself up, dusted itself off, and followed Dan from
the room into the large cobweb-ridden hallway. There it ignored
Dan and made for the nearest of the mousetraps that littered the
floor. The cheese looked good but a mouse beat him to it and
pounced. The trap snapped shut.
"Ouch," cried the mousetrap.
"Aaaagh," screamed the mouse, which otherwise kept its trap
The cook rushed from the ktichen, her heart set on the fresh ex-
"Mouseburger and chips for His Lordship's lunch," she chortled,
licking her lips enviously.
The fly, grateful to her for opening the door, flew into the
kitchen. A slab of steaming red meat lay on the window sill,
playground for a gang of bluebottles and a million bacteria.
"Lord Seymore - enemy of the people!" An instinct that had been
burned into his memory flashed before him. His mission: To
assassinate Lord Seymore by contaminating his food.
The American Nationalist Army of liberation had plotted the mass
murder of all imperialist oppressors for 10 years. They had
designed the super bluebottle at a cost of several billions, and
each one was individually programmed for a specific target.
The creature's eyes lit up when he glanced into the corner where
the potatoes lay in a pile. A soft, warm pile of doggy-droppings.
As he made the approach run his senses were raised to new
heights. The excrement's aroma grew, his lust became insatiable,
a tidal wave of desire washed over him.
With a swipe of contempt he brushed aside his logic chips and
He could not move. With all his might he tried to lift his feet
but not one of them would bulge. Panic seized him, a subconscious
awareness of danger. He looked around to cry for help...his
friends on the sill. He called out. They did not hear.
A fast-rising horizon blotted them from view. This mass that
once promised heaven now threatened hell. It swelled before him,
putrefying as it did so.
And then it was a mountain, towering above him, engulfing him,
burying him in an insecticidal tomb.
"My God, these fiendish humans," was his final thought.
"And now a word from our sponsors," the TV blasted.
Ted Teeth, smiling adman, was earning another million plugging
the latest microproducts.
"Yes, folks, take it from me - it really fools all known
insects. Remember the name: Crap-a-Fly, the world's first fly-
catching dog turd. Made by Turdomatic Inc., a subsidiary of
tonight's sponsors, Robo-of-America."
So now what? Should he return to De Crecy's predicament? He
shook his head: Not in the mood. What about the children's story
he was dabbling with? What was it called? He searched his memory,
drumming his fingers on the desk top, sending its insatiable
sensors into electro-orgasm.
"Susan the Dragon and the Robot Gang-bang," he recalled aloud.
It had a certain ring to it.
Queen Henry was executing orphans for not writing games programs
on their micro computers. Prince Peregrine was playing Dungeons
and Dragons with the real thing, while King Twit III was
molesting sheep on the croquet lawn.
It was rubbish, Seymore knew, but that was what the kids wanted.
He just could not conjure up any enthusiasm for it, though.
"I'm not waiting all day," thought the microphone. and switched
He considered setting the machine on auto. His agent had
insisted that he had his brain profile saved on disc.
Brain profiles were all the rage. Every cell was copied - the
sum total of his thoughts for the rest of his life. The computer
could use the disc to generate new ideas, working in parallel on
up to four novels, writing in hours what would have taken Seymore
Many rejected the whole thing as inhuman, claiming that
literature was the last bastion of natural creativity and that it
should be defended against the invading automaton hordes. Most
writers set them to work and retired to live off the 10 best-
sellers a year that they produced. Unscrupulous publishers killed
their authors, taking the profit from the obedient, prolific
"It'll guarantee this year's Nobel," Seymore pointed out. But he
shook his head. It was too impersonal. He preferred the human
Daylight flooded the room, and before Seymore's admiring eyes
lay the scene of Death Valley. It was all there: The Tower of
London, Buckingham Palace, Ben Nevis, Blackpool's Golden Mine:
Most of Britain had been shipped to the States, leaving only
Scunthorpe and bits of Manchester behind.
Mad Dan walked across the garden cutting grass, short and black
as it was. All the time he looked at the sky. The flowers were in
midsummer bloom with charred petals on withered stems. The
goldfish were sunbathing, or so Seymore thought. Actually they
had died from radiation poisoning, which caused them to glow in
the dark, a phenomenon that had always puzzled him.
Albert was watching the fish: He had nothing better to do. Being
Lord Seymore's favourite gnome was no fun; being his only gnome
made it unbearable. The others had run off because of the
conditions and poor wages. They had gone to work on the Paris
Underground, getting jobs as Metrognomes.
Albert rolled his trousers down and began defecating flowers. A
duck-billed-chicken-rabbit hopped across the garden, its fluffy
feathers ruffled by the hot nuclear breeze. It was one of the few
Nubreeds still permitted to roam wild.
Amateur Genetic Engineering had taken off a big way until the
world's governments had banned the disastrous experiments of the
less ethically minded participants. The last straw was the
nesting of elephant-sparrows, and the terror of the red-admiral-
piranha still lived in the memories of the survivors.
Seymore himself had built up a large safari park of these quirks
of science. His rinocerhorse, resembling the unicorn of legend,
had been a great crowd-puller, while around thanksgiving the
delicious octopus-turkey sold well to large families who all
wanted a leg.
"Quack," said the lion-giraffe-duck. Despite government orders,
Seymore refused to destroy all his creatures. It bit Albert's
"Ouch," cried Albert's head, the cry echoing down the long
throat as he slid slowly along. His body squatted above the
flowers, nonplussed, wondering where his head had gone.
A laser flash caught Seymore's eye. The security team was
defending his freedom again. Police Commissioner Macdonald had
been converted to a heap of cinders as he dropped over the fence,
shotgun in hand.
Seymore tut-tutted. All the money in bribes and this was how the
likes of Macdonald repaid him.
"Damned enemployed scroungers", he cursed.
Ever since he had been replaced by Commissioner Macrobot,
Macdonald and his men had lain siege to the Seymore estate.
Seymore had never understood people's rejection of phased
leisure progression. Why work when the government was willing to
let you retire and have a machine do your job? He shook his head
The police no longer had to face day-to-day dangers: No more
homicidal maniacs, no more shootouts with liquor-store robbers.
Anyway, most of the big-time crooks had robots of their own built
to do the jobs for them.
Who else was out there? Seymore panned the camera. It was hard
to recognize anyone, charred and bloodied as they were from the
pounding they were taking fronm the Cybercops.
The media where there in force with their autofocus, remote-
control cameras, relaying live television pictures and their
image-translators that turned the pictures into the written word
for the newspapers. Vultures gorged on the carrion of the day's
crises. The auto-reporters paid particular attention to the old
journalist, who with the ex-cops and others were trying to tear
down the fences.
Le Blanc was there, the physicist famous for perfecting hand-
held laser weapons. Wilson and Tate, the science-fiction writers,
had reached the inner perimeter but had fallen into the clutches
of the voracious doberman-cockroaches and were quickly being
devoured by the seven-feet-wide genetic abominations. The members
of the Computer Programmers Union had long since perished in the
The defences were gradually being overwhelmed as more of the
rioters climbed over the wires, pushing the Cybercops back step
by step, drowning them in numbers.
The drone of engines caught everyone's attention. The fighting
stopped, all eyes cast to the sky. Mad Dan burst into aimless,
The aeroplane came out of the sun, unmarked and mysterious. As
it passed overhead, a single parachute began to descend. a
deathly silence fell over the valley. Rioter and Cybercop stood
side by side. The chilling thought ran through all minds: "Was it
the enemy's super-bacteria? Was this the end of the world?"
Lives flashed before eyes. Who would remember them when tomorrow
had come? The insignificance of their existence hit them like a
slap in the face. How could they start again, afresh? Images of
what could have been, what still could be, reflected in the tear-
stained mirrors of their eyes, shining through the dim myopia of
reality. But it was too late.
The package cradled beneath the parachure landed with a thud.
Mad Dan ran forward through the concentrated gaze of the
onlookers, ripping it open to reveal the coffin-like box within.
He prised the lid up and stopped, wide-eyed.
She was beautiful: An Amazon. He pulled her from the container
and stood her up to admire her full glory. "I'm gonna turn you
on, baby," he promised learfully. His hand strayed nervously to
her left breast, and with a hasty jab of his finger he flicked
the bright red switch on the nipple.
She simmered into life, stretching felinely, displaying every
elegant sensuous curve. "Hello Big Boy," she oozed, letting rip
with a slow, deliberate wink. "Robo-of-America made me yesterday.
You can make me today." She was barely able to keep her feet as
Dan dragged her home.
A wave of relief washed over the rioters. It had not been the
super-bacteria after all. When tomorrow came they would still be
there. They could build a new tomorrow.
Le Blanc started it. He lashed out at the nearest robot with a
length of broken gatepost. The victim crumbled to the ground and
pandemonium broke out all around. As the blood poured from the
shattered skull Le Blanc realised that he had made a mistake.
"Ouch," cried the fence as it fell down under the weight of the
Artists Against Robots society. Le Blanc's head skimmed across
the grass, severed from its shoulders by the slash of a razor-
sharp laser, and landed at the feet of a guard-roach.
"Gulp. Jummy," said the doberman-cockroach as it licked its
The Nuke Warning light suddenly flashed red. Lightning instincts
crashed Seymore's fist on the alert button.
"Ouch," screamed the button.
Sirens wailed, blast-proof shutters clamped down on doors and
windows. The Cybercops stopped beating the invaders and retreated
to the sasfety of the fallout shelters. The guard-roaches
withdrew into the woodwork. The rioters simply stopped, looking
for something to fight.
Seymore was livid: This was an unscheduled attack and a blatant
infringement of the right to riot.
Silence fell on the rioters, then death.
Through heavily filtered screens Seymore watched the flash of
the bomb. Then the crowd outside melted away.
"Unemployment Down," cried the headlines.
Albert ran blindly for his own shelter, but without a head he
bumped into trees, ricocheting like a pinball ubntil at last he
fell into the pond. Seymore sadly watched his last gnome turning
into jelly in the intense heat.
Quite a strange story, don't you think? Next time, we will
publish "Ram Space", the last novelette to be published by us.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.