I started this series for a graphic novel called, “KARAIL DREAMS”.
How will life be in Karail slum five hundred years from now? Will there still be a class struggle? corporate greed? failure of humanity? I tried to see a Bangladesh, in the purest of incorrect imagination, five hundred years from today.
Anyways, a few random drafts from the novel are given below (after the gallery). Enjoy the year 2522 in Karail.
THE FLYING HOUSES AND AN OLD MARRIAGE
The invention of an anti-gravity metal, just like the internet, came to humanity as a blessing and a curse. With any new innovation that is ahead of its time, human beings make mistakes. And from mistakes, they learn. But the learning of humanity leaves behind a trail of victims. These victims are never celebrated, but they pave the way.
It was always a matter of contention between owner K and his wife M about what to name the ship. He wanted to call it Arc. As in Noah’s arc. She wanted to call “Nebuchadnezzar”. Not because of the Babylonian king, but because it was the name of the ship of ‘Neo’, from the Matrix movie. Finally, when the fight went on and the marriage was getting strained they came to terms with it and called it ” NebuArc”, a combination of the proposed two names. Somehow none of them were satisfied.
NebuArc carried about a platoon of high-end apartments with it. Most of Dhaka55 has gone underwater almost two hundred years ago. The ship needs to move on. Even though the United States of Bengal is passing its most glorious times, angst and annoyance are still there among humans. Even the latest software couldn’t get rid of it. K and M were sitting on their balcony, overlooking the downtrodden slums and looking at the skyscrapers far away. M picked up a history book from the shelf. Books are no longer printed. There are no trees to spare. Having a paper book is a rare luxury only rich people like K and M can afford. “Through a hundred-year war between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh all the countries dissolved their borders. All small states became independent. Including Noakhali. The idea of a sovereign country was abolished. The United States of Bengal became the administrative capital. The federation was formed…” She felt tired of reading the boring history. “People were so barbaric two hundred years ago, don’t you think honey? war and all?” She glanced at K. “Well”, K paused for a moment. ” We humans are always barbaric in our own ways. I am sure the people of the 21st century used to think 15th-century humans were barbaric”. He beamed at his newfound philosophy “Uff..” M shrugged ” I can’t take your lectures anymore”. I will go for a fly.
After 123 years of marriage, everything seems a bit annoying to each other. Thought K. Immortally is not as great as they thought it would be. Actually, it is hell. Oh well. What can you do? Nobody said being rich would be easy. M is getting ready with her flying suit. “Do you want to have a fly with me?” she asked. But didn’t wait. It’s a nice dusk today. This omicronic nuclear waste gives out a lovely hue. Let’s see if I can reach Dhaka 23 today. She always wanted to visit Karail. They still give birth and die there. Maybe I don’t come back from there. The thought put a smile on M’s face.
THE LIBRARY AND THE MAN WITH THE ALKHALLA
JALIL was really amazed to see the library. He came to take a book for his master M. The beauty of the place made a few strong resonances in his copotron (robot brain). He didn’t know that libraries still exist.
Libraries were completely abolished by the end of the 23rd century. After a while, nobody saw value in libraries, schools, or universities. A small implant under the ears took care of everything. All knowledge, imaginative and cognitive abilities were instantaneously accessible. No books are published anymore anyways. Paper was a very expensive thing. The publishing press has been melted to make robot parts a long time ago. Only important manuscripts and religious texts were kept in archives and museums. They helped to educate children about the ‘touch of a book’. Besides, the intergalactic council outlawed the use of paper a long time ago. Still, a few million books survived after the third world war (WW3), and they were kept in the archive. After the release of Moogle, 5.0 where Diginiks and Orginiks can exchange information freely, there was no need for books anymore. All information about the world was imprinted and readily accessible by thought concentration. This archaic process of collecting books in a dusty big room became a burden and the world deemed it absolutely unnecessary. This is probably the last standing library in the continent of Gaya.
“So you are JALIL 2562?” asked the man with a long beard. He was wearing a beautiful white turban and a long blue Alkhalla.
“You can call me Joilla, sir”
“No. Everything has a name. Every being should be called by a proper name. You are what you are.”
JALIL was enamored by the philosophy of this wise-looking man. Actually, he is 2568, but he didn’t want to correct him.
“OK. Sir. You can call me what you want” I should have updated my language software he thought.
“No need to call me Sir. We are all beings of the cloud. So, Jalil, if I give you this precious book, you promise to transport it safely to your master?”
“Sir. Yes. Sir”.
Suddenly Jalil thought, maybe this one is also a Roboniks like him. ‘We all came from the same cloud’. What does he mean? These days it is getting really hard to differentiate. Anyways, he thought. I could care less if this wise man is Roboniks or Organiks.
“Ok. Look around the place. Don’t touch anything. This is the last of the standing libraries on this earth. I will be back with your book”.
Maybe the wise man is an avatar of a Diginiks. Who knows. Avatars are everywhere. And they look more and more the same every day. If that is the case, he has to be careful. He has to pretend that he is a dumb Roboniks. He cannot disclose that he is actually an avatar himself… a spy from the cloud and keeping an eye on M.
Don’t touch anything. Pfff…a spy Roboniks must not listen to all the instructions. Jalil picks up a leather bounded book and started reading…
“At this point, it is important to talk about the Roboniks, Diginiks, and Organiks. Roboniks are improved robots with consciousness and a sense of humor. Diginiks are humans inside the computer system and Organiks are post-WW3 human beings who have made significant changes to their old human selves. They are still fifty percent organic, hence they love to call themselves Organiks. Around the 22nd century, MPM (Mofiz er pola Mokhles ) invented conscious streaming. A person’s entire genetic code along with complete memory and consciousness could be digitized and uploaded into a ‘Waiters’ (next generation of Servers). Space is no longer an issue…”
Are all the books so boring? He thought to himself. This must have been a textbook. He looked around. Wow. What a place. Dark age humans used to think Arabic letters are for terrorists. He smiled. Stupid humans. The beautiful calligraphies on the ceiling are giving him a headache, the copotron is buzzing like crazy. His maker should not have made his copotron so sensitive to beauty. If only the 21st-century humans knew how good they had it.
ONLY FOR A BOOK.
Millions of people have died mercilessly for thousands of years for the sake of books. The books are mere pages coming from the bark of a tree with oily ink printed in a press. But what they contain and the faith we put in it makes a simple book not so simple. Some books can reveal the secrets of this universe, and some books can drive humans to absolute madness. Books can be as beautiful and soothing as they can be blood-soaked dangerous. . Ask the families who lost their sons and daughters to crusades and Jihads.
M was waiting impatiently for Jalil for a while. He saw Jalil looking at the book as he flew in. What is a dumb PL3 robot need to look at a book for? He is just a working Robotniks. Anyways, the intense expectation to look at a real paper book overshadowed all other senses of M.
‘What took you so long?’ M asked impatiently.
‘He He sir, I think I took the wrong route. My PL3 copotron is all screwed up. Hehehe sir, don’t mind’
‘we have to check your map update. Anyways, let me see the book’.
M could not bother to sit down. He started from the first chapter:
“A large group of wealthy people was the first ones who wanted to be immortal Diginiks. They chose to be uploaded into the cloud. Unfortunately, the first batch was completely wiped out, not even their bits and bytes survived. Slowly but surely the next generations of Diginiks solved the problems. New homes, cities, and countries were created in the cloud and there are millions of immortals now creating magnificent planets and galaxies for themselves.
Gone were the days of sensitive giant servers. These Waiters3.0 did not need to be kept in air-conditioned rooms or underground in a secure facility. All the data could be organically distributed among the trees. Around the 22nd century, just before the great third world war (#WW3) humans were reaching the Omni point of science and invented how to keep data in nature. They could finally communicate with the trees and other unknown beings. The ‘cloud system’ that ‘after-dark-age’ humans invented during the 21st century were really in the cloud now. Anyways, so human beings could now upload the entire amount of human knowledge in a single leaf or inside a single drop of water. Since data storage became infinite; the possibility became infinite as well. Humans no longer need stable earth with libraries, boats, and trees. They created a multiverse inside this over-polluted earth. The old idea of Beheste was finally here. Diginiks can have seventy million Hur pori every day before breakfast. They can each have their own planet with billions of their same clone.”
M knows all these, but it is great to read these from a book. Probably the only book in existence on this subject.
M wonders why more people don’t ask the question. Why some still choose to live in the nuclear wasteland? For reason beyond CDC’s calculation, why do millions choose to live in post-world war three radioactive worlds? The demand for energy is decreasing day by day. Actually, Cumilla EPZ does not need to produce anything anymore. The millions of Roboniks are just working for the work’s sake. The world does not need any more production of nimes.
Besides, the amount o suicide is alarmingly increasing among Organiks. More and more of them are opting to become Diginiks. The world there is so much better to live in. It is truly a behest in every sense.
But M knows… the Diginiks will not survive if all the Organiks fade away. If they don’t keep the back archive alive entire multiverse will collapse in a split second. At the beginning of the century, there were 342 Organiks who knew how to sustain the archive chain Now it’s only M and K. The Diginiks are really living in their eternal illusion.
“Sir, tea make I for you?” M didn’t notice when Jalil came over.
“No it’s Ok, thank you. You can turn off your switch for the night. I won’t be needing you”.
“Sir. Yes sir. You great to me sir. Good sir Good night”.
Jalil’s language software really needs an update. M thought
© Fawaz Rob. MMXXIII. All rights reserved.
No portion of this story or images can be copied, reproduced or shared in any form without the consent of the author.
This story and images are part of an upcoming graphic novel called “KARAIL DREAMS”.
Created on 23rd August 2022 at ALEF studio, Dhaka, Bangladesh
A DAY IN KARAIL.
The year 2522 was particularly bad for humanity. Especially for the United States of Asia (USA). The virus from alpha Centauri killed half the population, the moon bases didn’t have enough cryo, and Phobos and Demos both ran out of metri. Humanity suffered a low supply of sun rays. Our people in Karail slum didn’t suffer much. They are always prepared for disaster. They are born with it, grow up with it, and deal with it every day. When mind upload was a big fad during the 2500s, a lot of KSlummers uploaded their minds to Behest 3.0. The first few versions had some bugs but Beheste 3.0 was marvelous software. It had all the things mentioned in humanity’s description of heaven. Every fantasy known to men and women was there in that program. Infinite world and infinite Hurs resided on the server. Once the mind was uploaded, the KSlummers could have had the pleasure for eternity. They just had to have enough elty credit.
But they were quickly bored. Within just 1000 years (few minutes in human time), they started tearing the program apart, there was a mass suicide, few hackers from the slum deleted data and shut down the program. They downloaded back. Not everyone survived. Humanity knew all along, but KARAIL realized, they cannot live without chaos, without uncertainty, without the struggle of everyday life.
Karail shines bright.
KARAIL IN THE SKY
In the not-so-distant future, humankind has invented anti-gravity matters and houses can be built in the sky.
But at the height of scientific advancement, do humans become more just? more sympathetic towards the have-nots? Does it become a society without poor and misery?
Probably not. In the last one hundred thousand years, our sensibility as collective humanity has not improved more than a caveman. In times of oxygen shortage, everyone is left to fend for themselves. There is little chance that humanity will change anytime in the next thousand years. Dystopia is not the nuclear holocaust, it is a state to realize, in the height of our civilization, we are genetically incapable of being empathetic beyond our own tribes.
Hence, the Karail slum will be there, in the sky, thousand years from now…stacked up and cramped up. But her fate of social injustice will not be so different than today.
KARAIL AT NIGHT
In the year 2521, humanity discovered free electricity. They call it elty now. All big words have been banned beyond two syllables. Lights are free and there is no wire. But there is a tax on lumens (a measure of brightness), so the poor slums in the sky can only afford dimmed lights. Slums are no longer allowed to occupy terra. They can only be built on water or in the sky. They try to find happiness in this cramped dark place and dream of living in a bright city far away. Far away.
A CHURCH FOR THE ROBOTS
In the year 2521, humans don’t kill humans anymore in KARAIL. Everything is digitized and archived. Every human is monitored and recorded. Lawyer, judges, court, legal process all have been obsolete. In the three hundred years that a human lives, every single second is recorded through their eye pupil. Their brain wavelengths are recorded and analyzed instantly. If anyone ever commits a crime, it is automatically reported and the AI takes over. It swiftly punishes the individual within minutes. No one bothers to hide anything anymore. Everything they see and everything they hear is monitored by an AI. Of course, these are only for poor people. Rich are exempt from such a system. They have their secrets and perversions. The richer you are, the more privacy you have.
But even without a single crime, depression does not leave the citizens of KARAIL. Especially, when the citizens become 200, they go into deep melancholy. So, AI has created some ‘Love Robots’. These are robots deployed to give KARAIL citizens company, sex, cuddling, hug, sometimes even a shoulder to cry on. These robots look exactly like beautiful humans and can read thought waves. They know if a human is going to cry or commit a crime before they know it themselves.
But after a while, these Love Robots also accumulate a lot of ‘Karma junk’ in their system. They need to go to a place for solace. Serving humanity has never been easy for anyone. So AI has created A CHURCH FOR THE ROBOTS. The Love Robots plug them in and stay there for a long time to cleanse their karmic junk. They need the church to show them hope, love, and compassion.
The Love Robots dream of becoming humans one day.
THE MIDTOWN. (Year 2521)
Not so far from Karail, the place between the poor and the rich is called Midtown. Every thing is in the middle here. Thoughts are restricted to middle. No great discovery, radical idea, or ruthless evilness can be expected from this place. No high or no low. Aspirations of life is in the middle.
As long as these residents get their 1000 units per month, they are happy. When they come home from work they can use their units and plug their brains to FB. Fantasy box (FB) was invented around 2500s. Once pluged in, one can enter a world inside a computer program, where touch, smell, taste are all real. It is as real as being alive.
FB never had a big impact on Karail. They could never afford to buy it. It never had any impact on super riches in Uptown. They had much better life in reality. but it changed everything for middle people. Crime rate was drastically reduced and it helped the powerful ones to reach consent. Anything is possible inside FB…they all become pornstars, generals, actresses and celebrity chefs. Some of them become hunters. They hunt in Africa.
K JOLIL SAGA
At this point of the story, we introduce you to K-JOLIL-52. He is a humanoid clone hired to keep an eye on the residence of Karail. Last year, the intergalactic conglomerate B-dhara inc. has bought up the entire Karail. And since then, they are making some changes to how the place is run. There have already been three major revolutions in Karail in the last hundred years, but all of them failed. A huge loss of lives was recorded in the central database. The new owners would like to avoid that. Especially the B-Dhara Inc owner’s son SSA is particularly interested to maximize profit. He has been given the right of ownership. This means he can take any girls or terminate any life of KARAIL resident as he sees necessary. He is very close to the intergalactic government officials.
SSA has sent the army of K-JOLIL to track and monitor every single house. K-JOLILs have been programmed to only send and receive binary data. They are uploaded with the software Mastaan 3.0. These bots are not intelligent. They don’t have much else to do but to fly around and kill if given instruction. But our protagonist K-JOLIL-52 is different. He earlier worked for a professor, who did some changes to his copotron. He has self-awareness. When the professor passed away, he was out of a job, so took this gig to get enough sun rays. It’s better than being stuck in dark storage. Other K-JOLILs don’t bother him. B-Dhara Inc. has no idea that a self-aware humanoid is among their army.
The sun is going down. Pretty soon KARAIL will descend into low lumen darkness. K JOLIL 52 silently waits to see overworked and underfed residents returning to their homes.
(to be continued…)
THE K-JOLIL SAGA.
In the year 3000 AD, human beings are a genetically mutated hybrid. Five hundred years ago around 2500AD, humans were about to go extinct for a lack of food and resources. The catastrophic galaxy-wide shortage was killing millions. There was no other choice., so they started mutating themselves with trees and machines. Of course, the first few experiments went wrong and millions died, but like any scientific mutating process, it slowly caught on.
Now it is UTOPIA. After five hundred years of mutating variation, humans have arrived in a place where they are functionally perfect. They no longer need conventional food to survive. All their energies come from solar power. They no longer have hate, greed, vanity, sloth or jealousy in their system. A software, which they regularly plug in to get updates, eliminates all negative emotions. Nobody kills anyone. There is a museum where humans go to see what ‘poverty’ and ‘war’ once were. They laugh at their primitive ancestors. Humans are in a perpetual state of euphoria and happiness.
Some humans still self-destruct themselves. They cannot sustain a constant state of happiness. This word has lost all meanings as the concept is now five hundred years old. The facial expression no longer matches the internal state of mind. “Happiness concept” was taken from the old religious textbooks. Every sense of tingling feeling of joy has been programmed and fed into the internal software. There is no death to modern humans. There is no procreation in primitive ways. The population of the galaxy is constant, The cities are all built as a machine.
Our protagonist K-Jolil wakes up one evening and unplugs himself. He wants to live without the software update. He wants to have some greed and jealousy. He does not like constant happiness anymore. I was going to kill myself anyways. Let’s see how long I can last being imperfect. He starts to wonder…
(to be continued…)
THE ORGANIKS (HUMANS) OF KORAIL SLUM: