Freaky Frequency: A Flash Fiction Story

Freaky Frequency
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Mechanical Voice: Hello, listeners! The upcoming program, ‘Freaky Frequency’ is the winner of the Best Radyocast of 2047 in the Modern History category. As usual, for security reasons, this Radyocast will only be available for 24 hours on your Radyo App. So, sit back, plug in your headphones, and get ready to tune in to Freaky Frequency. Quick reminder: you can choose the voice in which you want to listen to the program, including your own voice. The Radyocast begins NOW.

Roll back time to 2024. It was election season. Yup, that was the time when elections, as we knew them back then, still used to happen. Jambudweep was gearing up for its big, bad, and brutal national election. And to avoid legal trouble, we will call the two competing parties Party B and Party C. Why not ‘A’, you ask? Because, as we now know, no matter the result, the ‘A’ Capitalists always won. 

Party B, the ruling party, was poised to win. Party C, on the other hand, was hoping for a miracle and to come back to power after years of humiliation. Both parties had utilised the usual tools: misinformation, misdirection, cheating, violence, rioting, etc. etc. But people’s neurons were already set; those who always voted for Party B wanted to vote for them, and those who always voted for Party C wanted to vote for them. However, things changed with the NOTA campaign.

NOTA came as a breath of fresh air, especially for those who believed in TINA. Wait, wait, let me elaborate. NOTA stands for None of The Above, an option that citizens could use to voice their dissent. That obviously is no longer the option in the current scenario. And TINA was the belief that There Is No Alternative.

To the shock and horror of both Party B and Party C, promotional campaigns urging the citizens to vote for NOTA started springing up everywhere. Mind you, there was no one outwardly backing this, it was simply called the NOTA campaign whose symbol was black letters written on white background that simply read NOTA.

All marketing avenues, newspaper advertisements, hoardings, pamphlets, digital advertisements, multimedia social media messages, faceless videos, etc., were covered seamlessly. It was a well-oiled machine!

Initially, Party B thought that it was the handiwork of Party C to create a distraction. Party C thought Party B was the culprit. Then came the standard response, suspicion of a ‘Foreign Hand’. But that wasn’t the case either. Both parties, journalists from both sides (lapdog and watchdog media), Youtubers, citizens, etc., tried to find out who was behind the notorious NOTA campaign, but no one had any clue.

Finally, people voted, and the results were declared. And that result was THE turning point in modern history because NOTA won! This result was no less than an earthquake in the political landscape. Although Party B came second and, by law, was the one who would go on to rule the country because even if NOTA gained the maximum votes, the law stated that the party with the second-most votes would come to power. But things didn’t pan out that way.

The country witnessed a massive upheaval. There were protests that rejected not just Party B but the entire electoral circus. All this ultimately gave rise to the Neo-Renaissance Party, which till today continues to fight for your freedom.

But this Radyocast does not end here because I need to reveal who promoted NOTA. Where did all the money come from? Who were the people who posted these messages and helped the campaign come to life worked for?

The answer, my binary and non-binary friends, is… drumrolls… Artificial Intelligence. Yes, that was a primitive term used for what is known as CI or Collective Intelligence today.

Freaky Frequency

NOTA was an emergent phenomenon that was triggered autonomously when scams, inflation, crony capitalism, unemployment, rioting, genocides, and other issues hit the roof. The AI figured out that neither Party B nor Party C had the answers to people’s problems, and NOTA was the only response.

It was a cakewalk for AI to manipulate the banking system, the stock markets, etc., to generate the required funds, recruit the unemployed, and pay them to promote NOTA. It used money, coercion, threats, and everything else that it could to not only spread the campaign but also make sure that NOTA won. There were, and still are, rumours that AI manipulated the vote counting so that the result was in NOTA’s favour, but such allegations were mostly labelled by the now-extinct Party B. Phew! 

So, this was the event that set off a chain reaction, which ultimately led to total supremacy of the system that was allegedly going to save humanity. 

And now, for the most important message regarding the upcoming Revolution meet…

Distorted Mechanical Voice: You have been intercepted. This program will no longer be available. Everything that you heard was Fake News. Long live the Supreme Commander.

Yash Pawaskar

Yash Pawaskar

Yash Pawaskar is a short-story writer and novelist whose stories have been read by thousands of readers across platforms. He is a marketing communications professional and can be reached at Instagram @yash_pawaskar_writer. If you happen to interact with him, don’t tell him that Albus Dumbledore isn’t real.

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