The Show

Stories and poems.
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Shizouka
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The Show

Post by Shizouka » 01/26/19

The buzzing sensation picked up another octave.

In the back of her head she was sitting down in a simple chair, watching the show from a small room. A large picture window showed her body on the podium, dancing like some loa possessed woman in a cheap Haitian tourist bar. The glowing leads leading down the stage and up her back, plugged into the back of her head shone like great silver threads.

It was always a surreal experience to sing on stage in The Show. Many thousands of minds felt every exertion her muscles made, the thundering base from the speaker stacks, the acrid smell from the pyrotechnic effects going on around her. Their presence was like the rushing water beneath a surfboard, foaming just inches from you, constantly lapping at your feet and hitting you with the spray. You balanced on that edge of your awareness and tried not to fall in.

Plenty had tried to imitate her, but too often the musicians would get bored, let their AIs perform it, or worse yet, ran though programmed routines. They usually ended up as flashes in the pan and burned out fast. The public demanded more.

She still had her control, it was definitely her singing there, pouring every ounce of her soul into it. That's what they craved. The real sensations. Her heart pounded in her chest, and her adrenal glands fired off every few minutes. But she also liked to take a little time to sit back and just... watch the show. You could divide your awareness right if you got good at it. A dozen little backbrain programs ticked away to handle all the unimportant things, but a solid fluid performance was something you can't write into code, not if a hundred thousand people were all there feeling it with you.

The band had come all the way from Munich, they played beautifully and had provided a good edge to this tour. The keyboardist was hammering away at the keys in his solo, she had liked how he kept his performance live, no memory tracks or AI programs getting its hands all muddy through it. She had insisted on it that way.

In the small room she stood up from the small chair, the next sequence would require more attention than she was comfortable dividing. The large picture window slowly expanded and filled her vision. The room faded away as she began the crescendo of the performance.

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Shizouka
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Re: The Show

Post by Shizouka » 01/26/19

The jet's engines surged louder. Their whine increased in pitch furiously as the the chartered air jet lurched ahead in the mad rush to get into the sky.

The concert had been over a few hours, everything broken down and packed away. The band was traveling with her a few seats down, chatting mostly with themselves and with the flight crew. She was taking the down time to read up on the news of the day and alter the next performance a little.

Each one should be different she had told herself long ago. She had gotten some of her inspiration from watching old reels of Native American Navajo sand paintings, of all things. She wanted every one to be a different, changing entity, almost like a living being. The basic theme changed constantly: One stop it was the femmebot brass accompaniment, another the whole band wore nothing but holographic blobs of water, and last night was the excessive pyrotechnics sequence that even after a good shower still had a hint of metal in the air around her.

That isn't to say she was gimmicky.

The music changed and shifted too. Mostly to suit and compliment whatever idea they were implementing. One night when she had chosen to play with everyone half encased in Dura-ice for the first half of the show, they worked the mix and the songs to match the cold lonely feeling the had portrayed. The last few songs changed the tempo with the crescendo having them exploding out of their icy prisons.

There were two more stops on the north American tour, Toronto, and then back home to San Francisco. Toronto would be easy, Canadians were a very welcoming bunch and the press there was still giving her great reviews. It would be a sold out performance if she was lucky, the winter months were coming up soon and she was looking forward to getting some rest.

The plane dipped suddenly, passing through an air pocket and her stylus skidded half away, sending the jumble of shapes on her tablet dancing about. A look of light annoyance fluttered across her face for an instant, but she was used to the disruption. A few quick strokes and everything in the design for the next performance drifted back together. That would be quite the mix: hockey and a music performance, with the music shifting about as the players played beneath them. A smile crept across her soft features she wondered why no one had tried it before up here, and if folk would try it again.

Though the core of the performance was her, rather the live feed into her whole nervous system, and that of the rest of the band. You could watch and listen to songs all you wanted, though getting inside the musician as they perform up on stage was something else altogether. “seating” or how it was called is always limited to the gear they had and that of her own squishy neural tissue. They could see, hear, feel, taste, and touch everything she could. Part of each observer was drawn into her, and she partly into each one of them. With so many people in her head it was impossible to pick any one out of it, but you got a general consensus of all those emotions. It was an amazing feeling, and mildly erotic.

Similar technology was used in more adult themed entertainment, but rarely artists would emerge that would challenge the preconceptions of the field and transcend it into a form of art. Most would get so mired into the stream that they turned inwards, becoming major consumers of the product they create. That kind of show was out of the question for her, the Emotion-flux surge and feedback from that many people would drag her under quickly, possibly damage her psyche.

The captain's voice came back on the intercom, signaling cruising altitude and a flight duration somewhere in the range of 2 hours. She slipped the portable pad back into her backpack and lowered back her seat to get some rest. That slight tickle from a few nights ago was still there, the mind doc could get another look at her when she landed and rested.

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Shizouka
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Re: The Show

Post by Shizouka » 01/26/19

Beat.

She clicked the leads into the dataport In the back of her neck.

Beat.

The base synchronization signal filled the back of her mind.

Beat.

Tiny programs started setting up a lattice framework in her brain. Spaces there started to open up.

Beat.

A warm sensation started to flow into the spaces in her hindbrain. The programs started to arrange the threads into the latticework in her mind like little ushers seating guests.

Beat.

The band had already started its intro. The hum of the synth and drums slowly started in. A buzz like a thousand bees slowly started to enter her mind.

Beat.

The set doors opened up and the stage lights flared to life, momentarily blinding her. It was only her real eyes though, a tiny program in the back of her head gave her a dozen eyes across the stage in more detail than any human eye could hope for.

She took a deep breath, body tensing up and her training taking over as she launched into the intro. The feeling in the back of her head surged in response, more minds responding and connecting in quickly now. It was like a curling wave, just starting its rise as she rode its edge.

Programs ran in the back of her head and kept the minds surging into her head from invading her consciousness. This was not a cold steel box, those viewing and feeling the performance with her were welcomed warmly, cradled into her feelings and senses. It was really quite enjoyable, one reason there was a waiting list for these exclusive seats.

Flares shot up over everyone's heads, red and white to form a giant maple leaf in the air. The whole stadium lit up from the great stage lights, the music thundered around the band, vibrating the floor underneath her as the crowd roared.

The two teams of players skated out onto the ice beneath them while she and her musical accompaniment played a welcoming setup, each little bar of music promising more. She gave the welcoming speech she had written earlier on the way to the hotel, thanking everyone and pumping up the crowd for both the music and the game beneath their feet. There was a tense moment once both teams were set up, and then they hit hard as the puck was released and the players jumped into action.

The band and her worked through the first and second song, a status daemon keeping track of everyone, making sure they were on time. She moved on the stage as red and white jerseys battled beneath. Suddenly she led the band in a wild surge in the music as the puck shot home. The crowd leaping to their feet mid song.

Inside her head a hot bubbly feeling suffused her senses. It was like every pore of her being was suffused with energy. The minds watching through her surged in emotion, them feeding off her high, and she feeding off theirs. Inwardly she smiled, this all felt right.

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