The sky is blue. It rains, but it is hard to see the clouds anymore. The DynaCore satellites move through the sky, translucent and beautiful as they are touched by the sun and touch the world in turn. There was a slight misting of rain just before dawn, and it will be warm the rest of the day. I don’t need to look at any interface to know this – it has been that way longer than our child has been alive.
“Is it going to snow for Christmas?” That’s all our child asks behind me, soft and hard at once.
“I believe so. Your father always liked snow at Christmas, and most of the neighbours would like it as well.”
They pause. I have always been good with weather; I find I am good with the moods of people, later than I would have liked to learn this skill. The pause is sharp and hard, a sudden updraft. “And that’s it, mom? A week of snow perhaps, and then this –?” They wave a hand to compass the sky, the growing fields, the sun.
I master anger. It gets harder with every season, with every year. In the face of hatred I do not understand. But I do it. “You have seen pictures of me and your father. Why DynaCorp was built. You have not had to worry about acid rains burning off your skin, weirding storms tearing apart homes and lands, the resource wars that shattered nations and continents,” I snap, louder than I intended to.
“I know that, mom,” they say, as if they do. As if virtual games substitute for experience. “But the weather is gone, and you don’t get that. You’ve never got that, because you don’t talk about small things. Little things. All the conversations that are simple common ground everyone can discuss to fill holes in a conversation. And now the weather isn’t one of those at all, and you don’t – none of you understand what you took from us.”
“There are,” I say as patiently as I can, “many topics of conversation, child.”
They bristle at the child; I don’t think I would have, as a child, but the world has changed. “And weather was one of the levellers, the ones everyone could talk about. Weather was safe, and now you’ve made it bland, mom. You and this company, and everything you’ve done!”
“We made the world safe; if that is the price, it is one people should be glad to pay.”
“And if we’re not?”
I say nothing to that at all. There have been attempts to take down the DynaCorp system, often fronted by religionists, but this is something else altogether. Almost, almost I am tempted to use override codes and let them know what the world was truly like, let them see the truth they don’t understand.
But I master the anger and go back inside.
Tomorrow will be another beautiful day.