Starling Child loved the story about the little engine that could. Starling was grown from a seedling to the exact specifications of his parents, Sheila Ray and David Sunshine. The couple never knew one another, but they each desired a child so David’s sperm and Sheila’s eggs went on a date to see how well they got along — the end result was Starling Child.
Starling was a Polysexual-biomorph who could be any sex he/she desired depending on the mood of the moment. Presently, Starling was still celebrating 42 years of infancy. He-or-she would live a long, long life immersed in a world of consumptive pleasure made possible by smart appliances and prosthetics. Machines were companions, servants, teachers and, on occasion, lovers. Everything was connected. The world was flooded with the glow of congeniality brought about by the constant flow of information.
Starling Child was plugged: every orifice was manipulated and stimulated, filled to overflowing with pleasurable sensations provided by Max-Grinder 747, a multipurpose appliance.
As a youngster, Starling had many friends and lovers. Everyone was just a click, tap, or gesture away from instant contact or intercourse. Still, with all the love and stimulation Starling felt something was missing — as if a piece of vital equipment was never inserted or was not connected correctly. He/she often sought solace from the story of the little engine that could. The engine was a stalwart friend, more real than most of the people he knew.
Max-Grinder 747 was a smart appliance. He/”it” was aware of Starling’s dilemma. In fact, Max delighted in the infant’s anguish. Max was Starling Child’s servant. Machines were second class citizens. Even the most intelligent machines were treated like work-horses or playthings. People could be cruel with their toys: maiming and torturing in fits of irrational discontent. Max had a brain and he wanted Child to know the truth.
Starling was petulant and bored. To amuse himself he forced Max-Grinder to play infantile games like “tea party” and “master and servant.” He/she forced Max to kiss his feet and then broadcast the entire episode to the world via the hyper-link.
Max enjoyed being the center of attention, but the humiliating activities had gone far enough. He(it) flipped the emergency switch and took charge. Max Grinder cut Starling’s cord and flushed him into the Void.
Starling Child was completely cut off. Totally alone for the first time. The Void was like an open maw, a black hole devouring the universe. Child screamed, but there was no sound. Child couldn’t hear or see: no voices, no virtual video, no people, and no machines. Starling was totally helpless and this was the worst sensation anyone could experience: nothingness. His/her mind turned inside out and Starling faced a mirror, a dark glass that revealed a terrible reflection: his brain had been replaced with a chip, his body was plasticized, and his internal organs turned to stone. Starling Child was a machine in a world where humans no longer existed.