Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

I had all of the animals in the dome jacked and miked.

I issued an edict. Collect every puppy, kitten, or chick for a small reward. It was popular game with the children. They’d go out ‘hunting’ in the engineered woods in the western pie-slice of our world. It was like Easter year-round for the little ones.

We were a glittering green pimple on the charred face of the world. There were other domes dotting the black and red surface of the planet.

The domes had about ten thousand people each. Technically, they were spheres. The edges of the dome went far underground and met up beneath the city. The soil was kept uncontaminated that way. We had clouds and rain and, necessarily, 100% (or as close as possible) sustainability. Newton, that pesky little scamp, is still showing that entropy creeps into every system but we’re trying out best to keep it at bay.

The domes are like marbles pushed into a rotting desert. Each one is a cage.

Sometimes, one will pop or go black on the map. The satellites are still downloading pictures to us but we’re not in touch with each other. The feeds went down thirty years ago and we can’t go outside to repair them or find out what happened. Only the pictures.

In this dome, my dome, we have a tolerant semi-anarchic society with a focus of tech development.

I figured out that I could implant transmitters into the motor functions of the animals in the ecosystem. I couldn’t control their movement but I could record them.

Right now, I’m jacked into a dog.

I’m running through the underbrush, chasing a rabbit through crackling branches. I can feel the wind on my fur. I’m tremendously excited. There is a riot of smell assaulting my olfactory senses.

My arms and legs twitch in the sensechair. My body looks like a dog having a dream.

Later on, I’ll cast out my mind and take in a flight from one of the birds.

When I need to relax, I get into the mind of a cat and take in the sheer unadulterated bohemian joy of a piece of ground warmed by a shaft of sunlight.

After tonight, I’ll show my chair to the city at a town meeting and hopefully every home will have one by the end of the year.

This kind of distraction is what we need.

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