Virtually a senior citizen, the wizened student can be seen off in a corner rummaging through his bag, pulling out his after thought version of lunch. He had a new shot at life, this early millennial, this late gen x-er, who liked to identify himself with the portmanteau, x-ennial. Too embarrassed to carry the mantel of the despised, soft millennial and a smidge too young to be a real gen x-er, he aimed his identifying generation as this weird mix of the toughened gen x-er with the tech savvy Millennial. This new chapter in life saw him shed the skin he had most recently outgrown, that of the technician, and now sees him enter this new chrysalis, that of an academic student. Nervously, not externally mind you, just a creeping internal dread, he pulled from his weathered backpack several fruit, one now too bruised to eat, a can of generic cola, a container of mixed seeds and legumes, and his one source of normalcy, a PB&J.
Horizons 1: Miller's son
When they first came about, they were a primal phoenix rising from the ashes, determined, opposed, fierce. The world that had died to birth them was wondrous, a mix of enlightenment and the vestiges of the tyrannical cruelty that had created it. That world, filled with the purest of intents and the greed of ignorance, collapsed. In its apathy and infinite hunger for more, it ate its own legs, chemo-ed its defences, and ostracized its thinkers. When that world fell it brought down a star field worth lives with it, the earth turned on them. The small things turned on them. They then turned on each other. They cannibalized and raped the remnants while trying to survive off of the hate they knew. Those diseased peoples fell away, and these people, the people that hid in a small community deep in the mountains emerged, healthy, whole, and wary. They embraced the knowledge that had accumulated by the well meaning, but ill advised past. They learned from the triumphs and mistakes carved into history by that dead civilization. They built a library, aptly named Alexandria, then they built a political system that allowed for democratic governance and the enshrinement of professional academics. They called these academics Shamen, a nod to the most ancient of intellectuals and divided their pursuits into specific classes. The Coyotes, who would culminate the social sciences, the Healers who would study and practice medicine, the Caretakers were masters of the life sciences, and the Engineers, those that would apply the physical sciences to the communities needs. There was a fifth society, one of secrecy and protection, they hid as average people with hidden, extraordinary training, an unknown people that were charged with the protection of the society and the civil population.
Quintin sat looking out at his vista feeling bereft as usual. He knew something was missing; however he was at the great disadvantage of not knowing what that something was. He was warm, sated and rested. He wanted for nothing and he felt he had friends as good as anyone. He felt no yearning to procreate nor desire to be desired. Everything was fine, he wanted for nothing. In fact everything in his life was engineered to bring him to a state of optimal contentment. His host of automatons saw to his every need, in most cases anticipating his desires before he had them. In point of fact the vista he was currently staring at was a CG rendering designed to give him the optimal rising experience upon waking.
Kelly put her device face down on the beaten and frayed barista table. The table wavered on its bent legs. One leg had been propped up by a piece of broken plaster, placed in order to maintain some semblance of a level surface as it tried to perform its supportive role just a little longer. The small table, like the rest of the dingy establishment, and the few people in it, were survivors of the never ending civil war that had become so common place in the world now.