"You run a good show Mr. Hobbes, and I'm glad to contribute to it."
"Where have you been in the past few months? We haven't had an interview in a while."
"I've been heading North a bit, wanted to see around the border before winter set in much, then go in the opposite direction. Motorcycles and unmaintained icy roads don't mix all that well."
"I had a brother that learned that the hard way. Took a whole week for the stain to get him up and going, but he insisted on getting another bike anyway."
"Its great stuff, isn't it. A few more years and surgeons like you would be out of a job."
"It can't deliver babies, so OBs, like me will probably be the only ones who stay employed."
"Not if the people in Tesla have a say, they go for iron wombs and cloning in a big way! I stopped there on my journey over here."
"We've heard all sort of rumors about that place, but haven't gotten anyone to come and visit. What's it like?"
"It doesn't look like much from the outside, and on the inside they do everything they can to freak out visitors. People less open minded than I should probably keep away."
"So the rumors that they'll actually - in public?"
"Yes. I only loosely followed the who transhumanism debate, but they go well beyond anything... well, lets hold on if you don't mind me monologuing for a few minuets, they should get a fair description before we dive into racy details.
To began - Tesla was started in 2030 or there about as a San Paulo style arcology. It was supposed to be all recycled materials and green living and one with the environment in a way the exact opposite of a NEST. Everything began blended with the land and rounded, rather than a hundred eight story brick, it even went in the opposite direction, and is mostly underground. Its a fairly non nondescript hill as first approach, though there are various entrances and sky lights sticking out, a few buildings, and a giant tesla coil at the apex, though thats a modern addition, as is the surrounding wall and moat. Mount Suribachi or one of those hidden elf villages from fantasy novels comes to mind for aesthetics -its mostly grass a nice four hundred foot tall hill or so. There are out buildings, including three- no, four large round geodesic domes that serve as green houses and "outside" space as it were.
If the outside is elves, the inside is definitely an old role playing dwarf dungeon. The passageways tend to slope up and down, rather than run completely level with stairs, an there is a grand spiral too it, with main areas like the mess hall or meeting rooms being direct offshoots of the main way, and rooms for individuals small and central. In theory there is a holistic way to determine where you are at any moment - different light fixtures, the colors used, a certain style of furniture - but for all practical purposes I just plugged floor numbers into my virtual overlay and didn't play their game. The floor is all bamboo matting or some fancy type of carpeting, and there are plasticized screens everywhere, so acoustics are a lot more private than you'd expect in a giant cave - but they aren't too big on doors.
I'm pretty sure the place has everything it needs for self-sufficiency though I'm not going to declare its inhabitants first generation morlocks just yet. Obviously, they didn't show an outsider the internal workings, but I seem to recall some news broadcasts about installing their water purification from years ago.
"Do you recall when it opened for habitation?"
"Sometime in the 40's. There was a big deal made about how it was a lot cheaper, done quicker, and with less government help than the NESTs or any other arco, which began to raise a big stink in the political sector. If an arco is a planned community, then shouldn't it be planed by its community and keep big gov out of it... In retrospect, it seems a lot of people wanted these things to be independent city-states, even before it became an actual necessity."
"I remember some pretty violent demonstrations."
"I wasn't in a position to attend them at the time, and try to keep away from large groups of police but thats neither hear nor there."
"So did they explain how the current mind set came about?"
"Who explains how a car works, every time you let a new passenger in? Nah, they just kind of give the impression its always been a home of free love and tech."
"You know you're not going to get through an interview without explaining that."
"Of course, of course. One of the weirder aspects of their society is that they believe in "Radical Transparency." As it was explained to me "If my body is a work of god, then there is nothing sinful I can do with it, if it is a secular organic machine, then then it is built the same just as all the others." If something must be private, its encrypted, or there are personal storage areas, but otherwise you can't have theft if nothing is owned, and everyone is entrusted to be part of the police due to personal recording tech. Exchanging privacy keys for software is a sacred bond to these people, while marriage is a an old relic of times when you traded goats. That said, they do understand personal space and the old social mores and the rumors and occasional public act are more about teasing outsiders than standard practice. If anything, its to point out how silly we are about making such a big deal about it."
"So us having this conversation is just playing into their hands."
[Really boss? Really? For a surgeon you can be so immature.
"Thats not what I meant Diego, get your mind out of the gutter"
"Am I allowed to play with the mute and private buttons too?
"I didn't realize there was one on that side of the console - did you Diego?}"I'd guess so, but its not like they're trying to take over the world like New Birmingham. Stay independent of the government forces to their South certainly, but they didn't strike me as expansionist. More live and let live."
"Care to expand in another interview?"
"Its not like I've got anywhere else to be?"
"Well thank you again for joining us, this has been Thomas Hobbes interviewing KC Kats on 104.3 WJMK up next is our 80s at eight rock block."
"And we're good. We actually finished an interview without interruption. I'll go get the champaign."
"We're not that bad!"
"I have to agree with your sound technician - how many separate interviews did you have with those aliens?"
"Somewhere between too many and not enough considering the boss agreed to another one on Friday."
"Diego, just start the program and get the booze."