Characters in the Cosmos: Meet Centauri
The character known as Centauri was created in the novel Descent of Darkness. The book is currently being edited for possible query in 2018. If you want to know more about him or Benjamin Davis Shelor's other characters and stories you should check out his Website SeeBenWrite and follow him on Twitter @seebenwrite.
Aesthetic props go to Avrin Kelly!
The following is a data breach leaked interview with Centauri which takes place before the events of Spheres of Darkness.
The room was sterile. Cold. Humming with myriad electrical equipment. The citizen did not walk in. His leg muscles were obsolete to his caste. So he was hovered into position on a comfortable throne. A bot the shape of a football jetted down from the ceiling and maneuvered to a comfortable distance. It’s presentation screen was a peaceful blue.
Welcome, citizen. Please state your identicode for the record.
It was a natural voice. Synthetically perfect. So perfect that it could not possibly be human.
State your occupation, PearlVA290765.
“Data miner. But if you call me PearlVA290765 every time you speak I’m going to go insane.”
The robot’s screen turned green. The thinking color.
Processing. Psychiatric evaluation added.
“I mean just call me Centauri. Please.”
Noted. File indicates appropriate citizenship behavior with mod functional health. You have lived thirty-four years, two months. Anticipated date of termination in eleven years, five months.
Any aberrant social behavior to add to your file, Centauri?
“Just the occasional verbal abuse toward my biocaste live-in. But only when she gets lazy.”
Acceptable, if vocabulary within registered list of expletives and non-psychologically harmful derogatories.
Noted. Please describe level of social functionality between yourself and the biocaste assistant.
“She’s usually okay. Pretty nice to look at. Good genetic model. Maybe a little too quiet. But she does what’s needed most of the time. I’m glad to have her. Unless you’re offering an upgrade.”
No upgrade available at the current time. Next question. Please describe level of annually averaged happiness.
Processing. Five does not compute. Rating scale no longer utilized for yearly citizen reviews. You may proceed with a narrative account and your information will be scored according to a revised and detailed standard scale.
“Ah. Okay. Well. I wouldn’t mind a higher social credit rating. My IV meds don’t always do it for me. Also, the latest Regime-approved operating system is glitchy as hell. Who do you have making these updates? Whoever they are could use more user input. Other than that things are stable. Not too many crashes. I have the programs I need for lost data gathering.”
Noted. Score of five issued.
Are you experiencing symptoms requiring medical examination?
“No, just laughing.”
Good. Happiness index increased. Next, please describe your ideal virtual life.
“Obviously I want everything faster. I’d like access to unlimited worlds and powers with crossover ability between all sims. Augmented reality supports such as sensory chamber and things like that would help too. I’m on the waiting list.”
Do you have any desire to navigate the physical world?
Are you sure?
Noted. Next, please express your top three fears.
“Um. I’d have to say … social outcasting, death, and … a power outage.”
In that order?
“No particular order. On second thought, put power outage first.”
Noted. Any social interactions in the physical realm besides your biocaste?
Centauri shifted in his throne.
“Nope. No visitors. No impregnating risk for you guys to keep track of. Not at all interested in a procreation license. All my love is online, baby.”
Noted. Any recent experiences of note, either positive or negative, which should be recorded in your biofeed record?
“Hmm. Somebody stole a chest I mined of old movie data from the nineteen eighties.”
This is not information needed by the Regime at this time. All virtual crimes are to be reported at time of instance. Was this episode reported?
Noted. Then you must look forward positively to its resolution.
“Yeah. I have been for six months.”
Very good. Please continue to look positively to its resolution for the next six months, at which time outlook may be re-evaluated.
“Yeah, okay. So how about you, interview bot? You happy?”
The screen turned green, the glow reflecting on Centauri’s pale, emaciated face.
Question noted and considered to be a serious inquiry. Answer will be programmed for future versions of interaction protocol. Thank you for your cooperation. This interview is marked complete. Welcome to another year of virtual bliss and relative physical comfort.