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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 129: Takano 51
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Previous chapter: Beam 106
Tommy trudged through the halls half a step behind the taller, longer-legged, better-fit Lauren, feeling something like the child she once was trying to keep up with her mother at the mall. She once thought that each generation would walk faster than their predecessors because of learning to keep up with them as children, but it didnít seem to have worked that way.
She looked around in the dim light at the blank stone walls. Were she walking on a road, or a wilderness path, there would be things to see, things to notice, things to occupy her thoughts. Here there was just blank stone walls. There wasnít even any graffiti.
Graffiti. That was another indication that there werenít people here. Could there be a law against defacing the walls? How could they even enforce it, with all this space? Why would they stop the efforts of artists to decorate the blandness? Indeed, why had the designers not written a decorating program into the code? The computer could easily operate paint machines that could do near perfect copies of everything from The Mona Lisa to The Scream, plus posters from every decade, blowups of photographs, images of the world beyond, the past, the imagined future.
But the computer probably couldnít create new images.
She had read somewhere that someone had programmed a computer to create art. Somehow she had been skeptical at the time. There was something about art that seemed to require more than just computer intelligence. She wasnít sure what it was, but a computer might copy elements and style and formulate a composite that was like the artwork of a master, but it could not really create something new and original, or at least, that was her impression.
So the lack of artwork on the barren walls once more suggested not only that there were no people here, but that there never had been. At least, there hadnít been enough to decorate the walls. Even cavemen decorated their walls.
Even the drawings of cavemen would have provided something interesting to see on these interminable journeys through the caves.
She wished she could draw on the walls. Unfortunately, she didnít have time, and she didnít have any art supplies, and really other than working digitally she had never developed the sort of artistic talent that would support so much as cave drawings. Maybe that was the problem: people, but no artists. Or perhaps it was lack of inspiration, people who had never seen the sky or the mountains or the stars, who had nothing wondrous to draw. People whose dreams were of traveling through dimly lit cavern tunnels and staying in small apartments underground. Maybe the world did not create artists. Maybe it sucked the inspiration out of any who might have given color and life to these dead walls.
Tommy shook herself. It was a depressing image of the world she was imagining. If she had a couple cans of brightly-colored spray paint she would spray a few stripes on the walls as they walked. She wondered whether she could order that when they ordered supper. It would be one more thing to carry, but it might be worth it even if she were the only one who ever saw these splashes of color.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #403: Versers Innovating. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: