ByPaul Grimshaw, writer at
In a system of debt one of the two parties is always the slave @771h5
Paul Grimshaw
Cloud9: Airborne data center moored above Vendor
Cloud9: Airborne data center moored above Vendor


(/ˈkwiːstər/; Latin pronunciation: [ˈkʷajstor])

Excerpt from the graphic novel Quaestor from PGA.

Chapter: Aftermath of the Great War of 2137

Civilisation is entering the third era. Inside the safety of the Rim by 2250 the world is at peace and people are prospering again following the economic and ecological collapse which lead to the Great War of 2137. Outside, nobody dare venture towards the flood lands and into the much feared Unregulated Territories.

Poverty, religion, internet and money have been eradicated in a utopia now governed by Moderation - a digital network which has maintained democracy and the status quo for well over a century and to which the population contribute in an on line manifesto written to an incorruptible public hard drive called the Grid - a site formerly known as Church.

Quaestor: Mankinds fatalistic obsession with data
Quaestor: Mankinds fatalistic obsession with data

Fast forward two hundred years and Quaestor is the worlds most invasive code.

Wikipedia, Blockchain and Cloud are a toxic alliance - moderators are no longer censors but powerful magistrates and curators govern public opinion with the threat of capital punishment.

At birth Moderation requires a child´s name registering along with a Dower balance; a digital monetary value based on a genealogy algorithm scaled on their parents fiscal and social status. Dower has been handed down through generations over hundreds of years and has become known colloquially as “Juice”.

Juice replaced the wage economy with an In Utero digital currency now attributed to every child at birth congenital in SmartDNA, the ultimate wearable technology floating around in your blood and one which broadcasts your social class and wealth.

With citizens no longer needing to work the masses now prosper on the value of their ancestral family name. As a result the workplace has disappeared and how people interact has fundamentally changed.

Cloud9 umbilical uploading 1180 yottabytes of data
Cloud9 umbilical uploading 1180 yottabytes of data

Four powerful families stood at the helm of the transition to Moderation and with peace restored those patriarchs became the founding fathers of the new order and over a century later they are part of folklore, revered and talked about only in myth, referred to as the Wiki.

Wiki are the heroes of humanity, a unique source of information and enlightenment, the nearest thing to God. Their system of law, Moderation, has governed public opinion as long as anyone can remember.

The population act as network magistrates when carrying out digital court duties, their verdict adding to Moderation´s digital ledger alongside births, deaths, marriage licenses, contracts and deeds of ownership. The ledger represents the truth because the mass collaboration algorithm constantly reconciles it.

The need for trust, in the traditional sense, has been replaced by the integrity of Moderation.

Moderation spells freedom, prosperity and peace of mind. Mankind no longer needs to trust, to think for itself or to work.

This seems like a utopia until teenage friends Tommy and Jane set off on a mission to help others by looking for work.

Instead of charity they discover the truth and the price of freedom is Vendor.

WWII style blimps are huge futuristic data centers
WWII style blimps are huge futuristic data centers

Vendor is dystopian AI obsessed Silicon Valley style economy; an interface where decadence meets decay.

The only employment here are the infamous Mind Factories, vast migrant infested Dickensian workhouses choking on the data smog which hangs over Vendor.

Mind Factory: Cloud9 uploads precious data.
Mind Factory: Cloud9 uploads precious data.

Huge airborne wings hovering above the flooded cityscape are actually enormous WWII style data center blimps which populate the skyline to help keep Vendors precious data cool. The largest and most notorious of these data centers is Cloud9.


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