The Last Technology

A bastard I am or at least may I be, for providing this impossible riddle in a number of parts which surely number far more than just three.

I don’t know which parts of the many which will here surely come, nor which of you is smart, which is smartest, or which just plain dumb.

And this is the reason why I do it, just as best I am able, rather than more like a tangled ball of yarn all in pieces and surely not one single straight cable.

You can enjoy this if you can enjoy it, or perhaps only are you able, but I can tell you right now I bring a bit more than just rhymes to this table.

If you think you’re the man (or the woman, or any of those combinations we currently seem fond of) to do a trick such as this one, then contact me and we’ll both play the fun.

Immediately if you can (even sooner, if you’re able) and I shall endeavor to put the pot of your luck also on this table.

It is quite sturdy enough, I think, for your jests, and perhaps it will call forth a smattering of objections from your chests.

But talk to me as surely as I talk to you, or at least to whomever I may here be talking — which ought become evident ‘fore you’re through or start walking.

This IS the Last Technology.

{dismissive muttering}

{concluded dismissive muttering. “Couldn’t be.” “What a crackpot.”}

Oh, one more thing:

It might not be. Might just be some more science fiction. Ought to be a little ‘entertaining’ but that is more than a little…well, it might be most…though it seems like it isn’t…yes, it definitely IS NOT all that matters.

How could the ONLY thing that matters be not just what’s entertaining but what’s entertaining to you? Seems kind of impossible…

When they finally revealed what people were calling the last technology it was no surprise it would be done at the Elon Musk Memorial Center for the Arts, located in southeast Austin. The former site of the Austin Gigafactory. “Giga Texas” as it had previously been called.

The surprise, of course, was what could this new thing do? How could it possibly be the last technology? Wouldn’t other things come after? New gadgets of some kind? New combinations of existing tools, like we’d always had before? Were inventions now doomed? A thing of the past? How’s that?

You had to see this one if you could: An event billed as ‘the final milestone’ of human progress. Rumors circled deliciously. Would X Æ A-XII reappear for it? It seemed possible. Apparently, he was the one who dreamt up the contraption, but no one even knew what HE looked like — at least not anymore. A few baby pictures here and there, but after that, he basically vanished. No one knew where, and though they did know when, not a soul seemed to know exactly how. Most simply concluded he’d gone to Mars without leaving a forwarding address. Or an oversight in the post, surely. But by that time, of course, the postal service could deliver quite literally anything — and as one might send a thing, the recipient intended would as surely and absolutely receive it. Let’s just say ‘as quickly as possible’ within reason. Things weren’t ‘lost track of’ anymore. A return address, by this point, had become rather passé — such as may a skirt which by its curious construction left nothing still of importance to imagine. Who would imagine a sender who would send a package which could only be sent by the one who confirmed it by the sending? What mystery could possibly be left behind such a skirt?

Yet these sorts of things must still happen sometimes. Yes, an oversight of some kind. In the post, surely. He can’t just have vanished into “thin air” as they used to say it. Would not, at the least, the very absence of such an oversight in some system, any system but for this example the near-perfect postal system — an exception, as it were, to some obvious ‘rule’ of it — indicate a ‘perfect’ system had already been devised, and would not one such perfect system foretell each and all others in the process of so being rendered? Mathematically at least it seemed so. But teleportation it could not be, thus something else — perhaps as I said, merely an exception — had to be involved. Which just meant the old question, Where did he go? had been replaced with What is going on here? and Wait, is he really coming back?

And then the most fruitful and most awful — considering a shake of that branch might well topple the whole treebut why and why NOW? There DID seem so very many better choices, past and future.

Anyway, the two theories which prevailed about it simply could not be separated, and that left them even more complicated. Just one of a number of, I don’t know…perhaps fifty…temptations to think there weren’t two. Couldn’t have been about money, that was for sure. THAT, at least, was impossible.

Yet however many or involved their theories may have been — or which thought among all of them one may think ‘most enticing’ — none explained how, every once in a while, things would mysteriously and almost too abruptly change. Even without the other tell-tale scent: The Why? A particular scent indeed. And at the heart of it all and the first time it happened? The place where it surely must have begun?

All too clearly it was in the blank space immediately following the X. One of them, anyway.

But he was just a kid. Who didn’t know much yet and probably couldn’t have known any better. It actually wasn’t painful — at least not in the same kind of way it might be when you stub your toe on the leg of a marble table in the dark. Quite the opposite, really. Just a ‘quick’ reminder to use some light when you need it. [For example, to actually laugh when someone refers to how it ‘might’ be painful to stub one’s toe quite like that, or to finish not just this page but the whole of this story, in which at least ONE promise will surely be kept, and perhaps one you may need if

{to be continued}

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Brian Kent

I’m a sustainability advocate working to promote proliferation and understanding of electric vehicles and photovoltaic technology. Please send your questions!