Ada Orbum One

1: The Orphan


          Sister Margaret looked at the yard with the girls playing games. Nearly all the girls. One of the new girls sat alone, with her reader. The nun looked sad. She knew the girl as Jana, and she knew the girl was watching a family movie on her reader. The girl was super-smart when it came to calculating and analysing numbers, but on feelings, the child's own feelings, the girl was a mess.

          The year is 2520, and the global warming has change the world.

          In this world, children were no longer born naturally. Or more precisely, most if not all child births were planned. Every female from the age of twelve, got a birth control injection twice a year. The injection lasted more than a year. If you wanted to become pregnant, you sometimes had to take an anti-birth-control injection to be able to carry a child.

          Human females were allowed two childbirths. Each childbirth was controlled. When the female used one of her options for a childbirth, she got a test for defects. If she was cleared, and the male was cleared, then they could start having unprotected sex and make a baby the old way.

          When the egg had been fertilized, the DNA was again scanned, and everything about the child was learned. This was to minimise the mutations that were created because of the unstable Sun. The sun became unstable about a hundred years ago, and would eject corona from time to time. The corona some times hit Earth, producing EMPs.

          Of course, the woman never had to carry the unborn child, if she didn't want to, because there were synthetic wombs that could do that. The wombs were surrounded with care, played classic music, and warm, caring robot arms touched the wombs every day.

          Sister Margaret heard the bell on the front door. It had been a long day at the orphanage. It was really no longer a real orphanage, with all the control of birth, more a place to park your child, if it didn't fit into your perfect life.

          But the name "Sister Orbum's school for orphan girls" had been the same for nearly three hundred years, so why change it. Even before, the city was moved under the mountain and divided into seven okrugs, or districts.

          Each Okrug had its own cavern. Some children were abandoned from their family around the age of three. When the parents discovered all the problems with bringing a child into this world.

          It was fun to have a baby, when they were under the age of three, and then when they got to be around seven or eight. 'We see ourselves as a school for girls age three through ten.' As the old headmistress would say.

          Some of the other nuns said: "Parking lot for kids." Around eight or nine years old, the girls would be adopted, sometimes even by their own parents. Sister Margaret had often thought: 'I am not a psychologist, but being abandoned like that couldn't be nice to a child's psyche.'

          She had spent the last hour trying to talk with a four-year-old who was very anti-social. The kid, Jana, spent all her time looking at movies on her reader. Family movies, and family series. She never spoke with the other kids or nearly never spoke with the adults.

          Brilliant but defected, as the child called herself. I could not tell her the truth, because I had made a vow to her mother. Sister Margaret got up from her chair and went to the door. She opened the old plast-steel door. Another of the things that have lasted for nearly three hundred years. The door creaked a little.

          There was nobody at the door. She looked at the vast cavern where this part of the city laid inside. She was about to close it when she heard a child's cry. A basket with a baby.

          Not a three-year-old child, but a baby. Nobody gave up a baby any more.

It cost too much to become cleared for the birth, and the control around childbirth was perfect. (Should have been perfect.)

          The parents were being checked, each month. Margaret walked into the street to look around. Nothing was moving or making a sound. She felt like something was watching her. She picked up the basket with the baby, and carried it, inside the house.

She got the baby into the medic room. The medic had the night off, but Margaret knew how to use most of the equipment. She normally helped out, wherever the need was. The medic room had white tiles on the floor, and up the lower parts of the walls. The walls and ceiling were hospital white. There was the normal equipment for a small medic room, with a couple of extra things, because this was a kids medic room.

          She turned on the scanner, and looked at the baby. There are no defects or health issues detected, so there was no obvious reason to abort the baby. She took the IR light to the baby's feet. Damn, that light may have been broken. The ID tag on the bottom of the right foot, was not showing up.

          She turned the baby on its side. The ID tag on the torso, under the left arm, was also missing.

          She also checked the left shoulder, for a Synth tag, but this was a child. The baby looked healthy and well fed. She even smiled, as Margaret was scanning her. There was an old bed with a high sides where the baby could sleep tonight.

          Margaret made a note of it in the medic's journal, and laid it on the medic's desk. Sister Margaret laid the baby in the bed in the medic's room and placed a blanket over the baby. Another child not worthy of a real family, abandoned by her mother.

          The next morning, the medic rang up Sister Margaret's room. She got up and answered the phone. The medic, Nurse Vasily, had the note, she wrote. He said: "The baby doesn't have an ID and no implant to show any data. I checked the system and the news, and it said nothing about a baby gone missing."

          Margaret yawned: "Well, she is a baby, with no parents, and we are an orphanage."

          Vasily laughed a little: "Yes. I know that part, but I can't add the baby to the system without an adult code."

Margaret lifted her eyebrows: "Use mine I have never had a baby, and then we can take it from there."

          Vasily hung up and sister Margaret was classified as a 'mum'. Vasily got a friend in the bureau for children to add the name 'Ada Orbum' into the official records, so everything looked correct. Orbum because that was what the orphanage was called, and Ada because Vasily was hot for a dancer named 'Ada'.

          He called in the favour because he from time to time used the Medic room to help the guy when his girlfriend beat him up. Everything went around, and another day started in the underground city of Vorkuta. The city of Vorkuta was originally about twenty kilometres to the north-west of the Ural mountains, but the rising sea made the city move up and into the mountains of the Ural.

          The city was started as a prison/gulag and a mining city before the world started to heat up. Now it was a mining city inside a mountain. The surface mountain sides of the Ural, were used to plant crops. The machines outside were either purely diesel-driven engines, or they had to be stored in a shielded metal house, like a Faraday cage, whenever an EMP was coming.

          Humans and synths could work outside even when an EMP hits, but cyborgs and any cyborg implants in humans would get fried. Cyborgs cost too much to risk being outside in an EMP flare. So the poor humans, without implants and your basic synths, worked the field and drove the machines.


bladerunner, cyberpunk, scifi, harrison ford, art, synthwave, retrowave, cyberpunk art, science fiction,

ridley scott, vaporwave, cinema, neon s, scifi art, new retrowave, philip k dick, digital art

cyberpunk aesthetic, movie aesthetic, film future, sean young, futuristic cinematography, ryan gosling