But first some shorthands* from last episode.
Highground - The remaining habitable land after flooding from global warming.
Mealtime - Drone-delivered nutritional meals, two times a day.
Famile - All the people that share the same highground as you.
Peacegarb - Clothing emblazoned with peaceful sayings that would signal strangers that you were peaceful and not at all filled with rage. The clothes were laced with wearable minicomputers that were tracking heart rate, mood and state of mind. The clothes was supposed to alert anyone in proximity when the wearers mood changed from peaceful to threatening. They didn’t always work.
Friendmaker - People who tried to make friends. That is the socially acceptable definition but really Friendmaker was a synonym for thief or kleptomaniac.
Ok, back to the story.
Our main characters look like a dog and a cat but they aren’t exactly. They are q-lifts* (memlift, linglift, physlift, mentlift). Creatures who walk and talk and think like humans or mostly like humans. They still have dog and cat interests like being around people for the dog and not being around people for the cat. They go by Cowboy and Pumkin* and they both really enjoy napping.
When they aren’t sleeping they are out in the world making friends. Don’t forget the state of the world in this story is “not good” (in the words of a famous historical figure*). People are very distrustful of anyone outside their famile.
But that’s not true for our furry, sleepy pals. They roam the world and try to make friends. They travel from highground to highground and introduce themselves. They get to know the different cultures; they get to know their customs and values…and valuables. One other thing about this Cowboy and that Pumkin, they are unforgivable hoarders and kleptomaniacs. Their claim of “just gettin’ to know ya” is met with suspicion when they visit new locations.
Pumkin and Cowboy are well-known and have a reputation for property acquisition. There are a couple different ways people from the highgrounds deal with them. Some scare them off straight away or forbid them from entering the land. This is fine as a short-term solution but it will generally leave the two nosey creatures dissatisfied. They become more curious and more determined to find out what exactly is at the top of that well-protected highground. Don’t try to tell a cat where not to go. It doesn’t work.
A savvier approach is to use these two to your advantage. Since we are talking about a post-scarcity society there is an excessive accumulation of ‘goods’ in the world. Junk piles up quickly around most highgrounds. Here how the second approach works…
Cowboy: You sure this is valuable stuff?
Pumkin: Of course. You know it’s good stuff because it was hidden away.
Cowboy: Is good stuff always so heavy?
These communities have decided to use visits from Cowboy and Pumkin as junk removal service. It’s underhanded but both sides comes away happy.
Finally there are the communities who enjoy the company of two furry, talking animals in their homes. They invite Cowboy and Pumkin up knowing that the cost of a visit from these two is trinket or two.
That’s just the price of good entertainment.
Thanks for reading, more to come soon.
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