2024

2024 is an eight part series that I am releasing on my blog. It’s a short story, turned novella and I hope you enjoy it. Follow the journey of Tom and Nova as they discover the secrets of the new world. I will be releasing each part as soon as I have written it up. 

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PART 1: The Gladiator  

The year 2024, TOM.

The audience roared as Tom raised his head. The light shone into his eyes, and he had no way of knowing whether his corrective lenses were working. There was a slight buzzing sensation in his ears, like bees rushing to honey. He knew the audience was thirsty for blood; he could hear it in the deep roar that resonated from the confines of the Coliseum.

Rome was not the friendliest place, where thieves and bandits roamed free, but it sure had great audiences. His opponent, a battered Galactic robot, no doubt from previous pounding and a lack of maintenance reared its head. Still, the thing was a robot and robots were difficult to bring down. This would require all of his focus. Both sides of his brain worked in unison to help make decisions. There was the cyborg side, and the human side. He still considered himself wholly human however. That made him wonder whether robots thought they were human too. By being part cyborg, he felt an affinity to them that most humans did not. For the most part, humanity viewed robots as an enabler, a hunk of metal designed to perform systematic tasks so that humans could engage in higher level thinking and make decisions that required more analysis than a robot was ever thought capable of doing.

At 24, Tom was the result of an experiment by the Galactic hub, a guinea pig if you will. He agreed to the experiment, so there was no force involved. The doctors and scientists wanted to see how the brain would work with a robotic element. And here he was, ready to fight another one of his kind right to the death. There was a certain poetic tragedy to the scene that lay before the Gladiator himself.

The other machine, was a Z330, several basic robots brought together. It had several arms and resembled something of an octopus skulking around the other side of the arena. The battle had barely begun and he could feel the exhaustion from the previous one. Gladiators were allowed to participate in up to seven battles per week; night in, night out. It sure wasn’t a profession for the weak of heart.

He could see the elements of inspiration taken from nature by the maker of Z, (that’s the nickname he would use for her). Z was walking on the walls of the arena, defying gravity and moving quite quickly towards him. He in turn, moved to the center of the arena, raising his arms to the crowd. For being a gladiator was not just about winning; it was so much more than that. It was about showmanship. It was about giving the crowd what they wanted; a big old show.

Z suddenly made a deadly detour to the center of the arena, and smashed into him. He fought not with his brute strength, but with his mind, skulking between the tentacles and using his hands and legs to strike the beast where it would create obstacles; for instance, the eyes. He pulled an eye from its socket, a large chord following it as it came out of the intricately engineered eye socket.

With one eye remaining, the robot was lost in translation.

Tom seized his chance to cause the maximum amount of damage during this moment of disarray. He tackled the robot to the ground, jumping on top of it and smashing its primary circuit. The whole thing shut down without much of a struggle. He wondered if this was indeed proof that he was much smarter than Z. She died in that puddle of her own chords, her sad singular eye staring straight at him.

He held his breath for thirty seconds, and then it came in waves; the applause.

Tom reminded himself that the people loved the carnage her performed for their pleasure, and not him as a person.

The bell rang to signify a win.

He retreated to his quarters, and just as he was leaving the stadium, he met with the most dazzling brown almond eyes. A beautiful woman was staring at him from the front row. Her eyes melted into his gaze, and he wanted to know her immediately. He wanted to be a part of her life. As quickly as she had appeared, she was gone.

He left his quarters as soon as he could; searching for the almond eyed beauty in the streets. He made his way past shops filled with mangled robot parts, baristas, cupcake bakeries and artists with their works all on the street.

His skin was tanned a golden brown from days of training in the sun. His green eyes searching and not finding the woman he saw. He tried to stop thinking about her, but there was no way out. Her distinctive features were imprinted on his brain. Because of the brain implant, his robot side was able to remember everything he saw to the last detail. This meant that he could remember virtually everything he saw, as well as recall it at will. This was often a good thing, for battle tactics, but not for emotional matters. Some things were better left forgotten.

Finally, he spotted the girl outside a dank little book shop up an alleyway close to the stadium. He followed her inside without thinking. Abbey’s bookshop was a hideout right in the centre of the city. She was looking at socialist historians, namely Marx. Perhaps she was a sociology major; his mind trailed off, picturing her in glasses and a pin up sixties dress devouring anything that had the word ‘discourse’ in it. They were all the same, the educated.

They all had that air of superiority about them, like holding knowledge was going to help in a fight against a wild octopus robot. He hated them all, mostly because he wasn’t allowed that privilege. After the experiments on his body, he was rendered obsolete. No college would take him, knowing that he would easily beat the human students, and possibly even Galactics.

A little information on the Galactics: they are a race that had come to Earth first in 2017, and now they had performed countless feats for science and technology, cured world hunger and also built commerce and created large amounts of employment for humans on Earth. They were revered in some countries as Gods, miracles put on this Earth to save us all.

He snorted at the thought. Tom hated any type of authority.

The girl with the almond eyes appeared to be engrossed in a book so he rounded the corner, and entered the same isle as her, feigning interest in a modern history volume, The Twentieth-Century World and Beyond, An international History since 1900. William R. Keylor wrote the book. He picked it up and leafed through its pages until he reached the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. She looked over at what he was reading like a child. Their eyes met and there was no going back.

“Hello,” he said gruffly.

“My name is Tom Wheeler. I saw that you enjoyed my little show earlier today at the arena.”

She gaped at him.

“Tom Wheeler; the Tom Wheeler, the gladiator.”

“Yes, that’s me. ” he beamed at her.

She gave him an affected smile back, looking at the floor like an adolescent. He wondered about her age, placing it at about 22 years.

She was a galactic for sure, that porcelain skin, the pupils of her eyes, it was all too perfect to be human. Galactic women were beautiful, he had been told but he had never seen one to his liking, until now.

“You got a name then?” he asked.

“Nova Stacia” she smiled.

That smile would be his be all and end all.

-To be continued-

 Written by Irveen Kaur, UTS Communications graduate and writer.

The power of forgiveness

When I looked up the definition of forgiveness, Google came up with a lot of things. But what got me most was the use of the word ‘victim’ in the definition. I don’t think that anyone who is willing to forgive another human being for the wrongs they have committed should be classed as a victim.

The word ‘victim’ brings with it negative connotations. I believe the forgiver is a better person than the person that commits the wrong. In my life, there have been incidents where if I did not rise up as the stronger person, I would never have achieved a state of absolute peace and forgiveness.

Plenty of people are wronged every day. And this post isn’t about that. It’s all about the positives associated with forgiveness.

Forgiveness is defined as ” the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.” according to Google.

There are so many different kinds of forgiveness; forgiveness can be sought after from God, from other human beings or from your own self.

Self-love is something that I find crucial as a pillar of forgiveness, a stepping stone if you will. Once you have self-love, it is easier to give others and yourself at times, the benefit of the doubt, so that they no longer take up a large amount of your headspace, and so that you as a person can move on.

“Forgiveness is

taking the knife out of your own back

and not using it

to hurt anyone else

no matter how

they hurt you”

This quote from RAW really sums it up for me, and maybe for you too.

If you think about all the times that a friend has stabbed you in the back and multiply it by the amount of time you’ve spent thinking about it, tossing and turning in your bed and losing valuable sleep, you might just have written a book by now.

I’ve found that meditation can be a great healer, a real path to forgiving another person through the lens of God’s eyes. If we look at someone from the perspective that God sees them, a fellow human being with a beating heart and vices just like we have, our hearts begin to soften and we realise that there is an inkling of good in all souls.

My mother taught me how to see others through God’s eyes. I know it might seem corny to you, but it really works. I find peace in the fact that there is good in everyone, no matter who they are and what crimes they have committed.

I’ve taught my soul and my brain to work together in that sense. My soul forgives and my brain sees that the reason behind forgiveness is achieving peace of mind.

Every single person I know has fought battles, and none of them are even remotely similar. Each person has their own way of dealing with pain and recovering by forgiving the other person, whether its your father, your friend or just a stranger on the street. Keeping that pain locked up inside you isn’t necessary; so let it go and be free of your pain.

Life starts when you forgive.

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Source: Instagram

Written by Irveen Kaur, Graduate of UTS Communications & writer.

2024 – The Competition

After scouring the internet on my break time for competitions for writers, I came across 2024.

This competition encourages writers to envision a positive vision of the future, hence the name 2024. It’s a great stimulus for me and in the upcoming months, I look forward to entering this competition.

If you’re a writer or have ambitions to become published, I’m betting on competitions or trying your hand at journalism. It’s a slow and gruelling process to become recognised but I’m willing to risk it.

http://www.mondeto.com/2024.html

Here’s a site with most Australian writers’ competitions listed:

http://www.austwriters.com/AWRfiles/competitions.htm

So many to enter, and so little time!

Until next time,

Bisous.1984_by_alcook-d4z39dh

Source: Google images

Site Update Alert!

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Just an update for my followers:

I’ve changed the name of the site to empower blog! This decision was not taken lightly. I’d like to start writing about business, authors I admire and anything else related to my personal pursuit of knowledge. I love make-up, and I may well write about new and interesting technologies in the cosmetics industry. There’s so much in the world that I like writing about, so i’m working on organising the site so that I can do that.

Recently, I’ve picked up listening to educational podcasts on the train. One that I listened to today was all about the scalability of SAAS (Software as a service) businesses. You can subscribe to them here: https://www.insightsquared.com/business-analytics-podcast/. To give a little background on the podcast, the host Cara Hogan interviews budding leaders and sales professionals on the importance of data in better business decision-making. It’s great to listen to when you’re tired but want to use the time on the commute home constructively.

I really like the podcast medium; I might experiment with it in the future. Ultimately, I’ve decided to embrace technology as an enabler for my writing. I did study Writing and Cultural Studies as a major for my undergraduate studies. One thing I learnt about being a successful writer during this degree was that it’s important to look at the format in which consumers are most likely to view your work. If my potential reader is sitting on the commute home, tired from a long days’ work, they might find it easier to consume my work in the form of a podcast, rather than reading a long written post.

During my studies in communications, I also learnt that creative displays are important too. Increasingly, I am learning that in any business, the presentation of the product is very influential on the customer’s reception of it. I might have the greatest content ever, but in the most illegible font and that could completely destroy my customer’s willingness to read what I have written.

The world of writing and publishing is always changing and I want to learn as much as possible about where it is at right now, and where it will go in the future.

This seems pretty interesting:

It’s a machine that can print a book in six minutes with minimal human interaction, otherwise known as The Expresso Book Machine . This revolutionary new technology is the kind of thing that I think will change the world of publishing forever. The phenomenon of self-publishing has already caused publishers to change their business models, and continually rethink their marketing strategies to keep up.

Business never stands still, and that’s why I love it. It’s constantly evolving, taking into account major changes not only in technology but also government regulations, new competitors and past lessons.

I have such strong admiration for the successful entrepreneur, who is able to take the changing sales landscape into account and make successful decisions, building new businesses.

And this is where we part, reader. I’m going to be posting up a new blog this weekend, so stay tuned.

Until next time,

Bisous!