Condemned to Repeat It

by Mike Combs
Copyright © 1996

More roughly than what was probably required, the Bailiff pushed the shackled defendant into the courtroom. The RV-Prosecutor was already seated, as was the Court-Astrologer.

The Psychic-Stenographer entered next, and sat down at her tiny desk. She looked disapprovingly at the older-style manual stenograph machine which sat in replacement of her computerized one. They had dug this relic out of storage when her well-used electronic machine had finally stopped working.

The repairman had done everything he could to fix her original machine before he hauled it away, including Therapeutic Touch and crystal healing. The Psychic-Stenographer wasn't terribly surprised when the TT didn't bring a response (computers had never struck her as the type to respond to warm, human contact), but she had really held out hopes for the crystal amulet to do the trick. She seemed to remember reading long ago that something like a quartz crystal was the heart and guts of these ancient machines. Surely there would be some kind of simpatico. But nothing.

She had asked if they couldn't fix it the same way people fixed computers when they used to build them.

"No one has the knowledge to fix these old computerized systems like that anymore."

"Didn't they publish repair manuals at they same time they built these machines?" she had asked. "Surely at least a few of those manuals are still around."

"They are," was the reply. "But understanding them requires a very linear, reductionist mode of thinking. A mind-set far removed from our more modern, holistic means of understanding the universe."

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