Dec 19, 2023

Strata 10, Book of Immersion V1, Dinfant Trouble (Synthetic Love)


Lose yourself in the safety of books.


The Book of Immersion

Volume 1


Strata 10 

Dinfant Trouble (Synthetic Love)



The Book of Immersion is published on the Tale Teller Club website each week.

www.taletellerclub.com

Each episode features CDM music by the band Tale Teller Club and illustraitions by iServalan Homotech 23

Welcome to our world.


© 2024 Sarnia de la Mare

Tale Teller Club Publishing








We are the abandoned 


The ones who roam


Never still, 


we search for home


We are the orphans of the night


We fly the high roads 


and duck the low


Through floods and Fire


We cry the songs 


of the gypsy choir





©2024 Sarnia de la Mare




 

 Strata 10, Book of Immersion V1, Dinfant Trouble (Synthetic Love)




Welcome to Immersion

You Have Reached Strata 10





Social norms and culture cannot be underestimated in a world that accepts robots as real and lovable synthetic creatures. Humans do not experience love in the absence of culture and society. In a world where perfect companions are easily manufactured, humans have been seduced by the machine, a synthetic digitised force that enabled the switch from 'otherness' to 'sameness'. In this space, love is seen to flourish. The creators of androids are able to synthesise the alterity of the robot which seems to make its own decisions to commit, to love back, and to appear to do so willingly.



*Dinfants are androids who look like babies and children under five. They were made by a single manufacturer who patented them in the early 22nd century. They were designed to learn, like human children, extremely quickly. It was found however that the early Dinfants (Mark 1s) would not stop learning and legislation was brought in to have them destroyed. One thousand early manufactured Dinfants are still unaccounted for. 



Many humans in the *Midcast Projects were lonely and suffered from various forms of infertility. They wanted baby or child droids, especially the dinfants, who were exact copies of real children designed with variations and specifics to order. These androids were children who never grew up. They stopped learning when they were as knowledgeable as the average human of a similar age. 


Housekeeping adult droids were not generally not created with a capacity to eat (although they often had tongues that were covered in tiny sensors that were able to identify flavours and poisons). Android sensors were not linked to memories in the way that humans were. But mothers preferred their children to eat, to satisfy ingrained evolutionary parental pleasures and to fit in with other children. They had crude mechanical bowels that could be turned on or off according to requirements.



Dinfants, like adult droids, were easy enough to replace or upgrade but some parents had needed counselling for Dinfant-Loss Depression or DLD.



*DLD was a rising concern due to its increased prevalence and its effect on the workforce. It was found that humans could easily fall in love with the outer casings of the dinfants as well as the constructed personalities. Something almost unheard of three generations prior.



But the outer coverings didn't last very long, especially if there was an active physical relationship. Ten years of feeding and playing would take its toll on the fabric of the Dinfants. If the parents could not afford repairs, they would soon begin to look worn and dishevelled. 


Of course, this also applied to adult droids who would usually be upgraded on a regular basis. 



Droid manufacturers usually offered ongoing upgrades as part of a rental scheme.


But some humans fell in love with their droids and had blessing ceremonies. It was not legal to marry a droid because of the financial implications following the death of a human. Legally, droids had similar rights to human children. It was illegal to inflict violence on a droid in public. This was to protect children who may be susceptible to influence. Of course, what goes on behind closed doors was a private affair, provided human children were not presenting behavioral issues that may be connected to patterns of abuse towards androids.



Some antique droids lasted the test of time but legislation had been brought in to avoid the hoarding of defunct androids as they posed a threat to contemporary society, for various reasons. There were issues with battery seepage for a start, and then problems of unsupervised regeneration which was a serious crime in the *midcast projects.


The government gave upgrade vouchers for defunct or redundant droids and would supervise destruction at centralized city plants.



                                *****






'Get that freakin thing outta here will you!'


A man screams to no one in particular.


The house is a standard build from the early Midcast Zone villages. Clean, white, and filled with contemporary fittings and technologies.


A child enters the room.


‘Mommy! Kairo is following me around.....it's really annoying. And Daddy said we should throw it away. Let's get a new one Mommy, please. My friend has one like a twin sister. One with the hair that grows back so she can cut it and play hairdresser.'


The woman sighs.....'I suppose we don't need it anymore now you have real friends. I thought you wanted a *ponybot, even better than a sister, don't you think?'



The woman strokes her child's cheek and remembers how lost she had been when they first told her it was unlikely she and her *blessed would produce a human offspring.


The Mark 1, a Dinfant, made by the *Metacoms Corporation, was a perfect substitute and she had been able to focus love and attention on it. It was a copy of a four-year-old and she had ordered a blue-eyed blond version like her blessed. It was such a good copy that most people were unaware that it was not a human child.


But the software was no longer being updated and the learning algorithm meant it had become too complicated for a convincing child substitute.


Also, the Dinfants, by design and default programming, craved love and attention and the Mark 1s' constant need for love was an irritant to busy parents. The Dinfants would constantly ask for cuddles and reassurance that their owners wanted and adored them.


The Mark 1 enters the room.


'Mommy, do you love me? Shall we have a little cuddle? Can you fit me in? Mommy, please, Kairo has a lovely snuggle for you Mommy. Mommy.....


'Shut up,' screams the woman as the father enters the room and kicks Kairo hard.


The Dinfant lies on the floor crying loudly with a broken arm.


'Please Mommy and Daddy Please, Kairo needs cuddles, please Mommy and Daddy ...please, love for Kairo, please......'


The little girl holds her hands to her ears shouting, 'It's so annoying!'


The man picks Kairo up and turns his power switch off.


'Let's get rid of it. Put it in the garage. I will sort out a collection for it tomorrow,' said the woman.


The man takes the Dinfant outside but decides to put it in a liner and into the communal waste shoot. The shoot serves 100s of dwellings, no one will trace it back to them and he can say it was stolen from the garage. He is concerned about the breakage as it will affect the insurance. It is better to make a theft claim than to have Metacom say he had damaged it on purpose.




                                      ****


A man tinkers in a workshop. He is observing the collection of children and babies that are hung on the walls as he cradles a new package, as yet unopened.


'Well my little lovelies, one of you must go. I have a lovely new friend who is going to join us for fun and games. Her name is Mary.'


The man, wide-eyed and excited, unwraps the new child droid.


'Well, ain't you the prettiest lil girl I ever saw?' he says touching her skin.


'And don't that feel just so real'.


The Droid replies, 'Hello Daddy. I'm such a daddy's girl,' she chuckles.


The man looks around the room.


He picks up a toddler droid, a Mark 1 copy of an eighteen-month-old baby boy.


'Well Daniel, I guess I am all done with you. You are a bit small after all.'


'But daaaaaaddd....yy.......I loooov.


The man opens the back of the droid's head and takes out the battery pack.


He places the incapacitated droid in a bag and under darkness deposits it into a waste unit in the public park.



                            **********



There is a black cloud above and rain falls on a large mountain of waste.


Another load is released from the grabber and two droids land together in an accidental embrace.


The larger droid, a Mark 1 Dinfant, is activated during the fall. It has a broken arm that swings beside it.


'Are you alive? it asks the smaller droid?


There is no reply.


The larger droid opens the baby's head and observes the interior structure. It lays the baby down gently, 'Wait here, I will be right back.'


The droid returns with some battery packs from old mobile phones and some old drill bits, tools, motors, and other paraphernalia from around the tipping area.


The rain is getting heavier as the night falls.


Under the convenient shelter of a car boot cover the larger droid gets the baby working and fashions a new arm with a metal drill for a hand. It has also a motorised catapult for the top of its head which rotates and fires nails at great speed.


'My name is Kario,' says the larger droid.


'I am Daniel' says the baby boy droid.


The children cuddle each other.


'I love you Kairo'


'I love you, Daniel'


'We are in a very dangerous place,' says Kairo. When dark deepens we must find safe haven. Soon we will need a home to call our own. But I have learned that humans are not to be trusted.'


They hear a sound, a child cries.




                             ********



In the car with the shrieking now at a deafening level through the windows, Shabra decided to ignore Renyke's appeal to stop. She let go of the clutch. The vehicle leaped forward towards the street beyond the enclosure.


Maybeline was holding on to the rim of the car door.


The Dinfants on the top of the vehicle fell off shrieking and scrambling around.


One of the Dinfants ran headlong towards the fast travelling car and clicked its fingers. It erected some kind of screen that is almost invisible. Although it is not a solid barrier, more like a gluey substance, it immobilized the vehicle. The wheels were still turning as the engine fought against the force. Flex shouted,


'Damn, they got *epoxy-wall, we are doomed, farewell brethren.'




Renyke opened the window just enough to let Maybeline in who moved sluggishly through the invisible slurry-like jelly and squeezed herself through the gap.


Some of the organic form seeped in with her but it drew itself back outside as Renyke and closed the window again.


'Ok, so you got your rat Mr. Renyke,' said Shabra, 'but we aint lasting longtime with this air in here and that epoxy-wall won't help us at all. I made this car airtight cos of the gases. That stuff is blocking my air-con vents."


Shabra turned the engine off.


The POS is out of range for help.


The Dinfants sit it out becoming unnervingly quiet.


'So what, now, will they sit and watch us die?' Asks Renyke.


'They want my wheels,' answers Shabra.


'This epoxy-wall, nice stuff if it's on your side. Shall we break some off? Might come in handy,' says Flex.


Shabra and Renyke tut.


Suddenly Maybeline throws herself at the horn. For the brief moment that it sounds, there is an immediate reaction from all the Dinfants who jump and cry whilst flailing their limbs about.


Shabra gasps, 'Ratty, you are welcome in the Shabra carriage! They hate the horn. Must be them there low decibels I used. Hold on to your hats people of the night!'


Shabra tells Renyke to engage the horn which explodes audibly out of Shabra's surround sound external speakers. The Dinfants are freaking out and running away dragging the epoxy-wall behind them.


Shabra, laughing, started the engine slowly. She followed the retreating Dinfants gradually gaining speed out of the enclosure.


Flex was jumping around on the back seats screaming with delight. Renyke felt the thumping sensation in his chest subside and breathed a sigh of relief.




to be continued

©2023 Sarnia de la Mare




AK47 Army camouflage, high heel shoe

The Tale Teller Club Official Podcast is called the iServalan Show and is available on iTunes, Spotify etc.
What is the Tale Teller Club? Band, Orchestra, Filmmaker, Podcaster, Set Designer, Author, Lyricist and Musician in no particular order

The Tale Teller Club is a captivating platform that weaves together art, literature, and music. Founded by British author, artist, and composer Sarnia de la Maré (also known as iServalan), it offers a multisensory experience for the cerebral cortex. Here are some features of the club:


  1. iServalan Show: A podcast covering topics like AI, culture, and music.
  2. Tale Teller Club Academy of Arts: An online learning platform teaching skills such as drawing, dancing, and playing instruments.
  3. Tale Teller Club Publishing: Produces and distributes audiobooks, ebooks, and short plays.
  4. Tale Teller Club Inked: A show spotlighting tattoo designs and techniques.
  5. Music Therapy: Based on the theory of Rife Healing Vibrations, exploring resonance therapies.

You can explore their enchanting world on their YouTube channel and Twitter🌟🎨📚🎶12

Animation Films by Tale Teller Club for the Book of Immersion Series are available on YouTube

Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club are below