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When the World Stopped Turning
Five… Four… Three… Two… One… Sparks fly and cables hiss. Entire server rooms darken, filling the air with the heavy scent of smoke.
The Creativity Machine has broken. It had been working continuously since 2024, the year when creativity was first manufactured for the world population.. Before then was a time of disparity, there were those who had Creativity and those who didn’t, it wasn’t something that could be procured or developed, until the Machine went live. Only a select few could be authors or artists, scientists or CEOs, but now anyone could thanks to the Creativity Machine.
An invisible wave swept over the world, as if the planet had inhaled, taking all the innovation and exclusivity with it. People stop in their tracks, and the inherent buzz of society stilled.
An artist’s paintbrush halts just before the bristles hit the canvas. The artist stares at their half finished work, the gradient of colors atop the white canvas swirling and mixing together in heavy strokes. He sets down the brush, turning his gaze away towards the palette in his hands then back to the canvas. He picks it up, holding it away at arm’s length. It really was quite nice, the parts that were finished that is. Even with the sketches showing where he had intended to take his art, he had lost all direction.
A student stares blankly at their math homework. They had the textbook in front of them, but it meant little. The problem was words and numbers, the examples were just clean, defined variables and numbers. They hadn’t done anything like this in class for sure, and the numbers seemed to spin on the page the longer they stared. Eh, it’ll get done tomorrow morning.
A scientist stops, looking at the notepad in front of them covered in barely legible scribble. Machines whirred around them, and their notepad was covered in scrawls outlining their next experiment. Investigating things that have yet to be explained are better left to the machines, they think as they abandon the notepad and leave the lab.
Across the globe, in the dark, late hours of the night, a businesswoman stares with weary eyes at documents outlining a merger between two companies. She had been working for months to come to a compromise and make the deal go through, but neither party was willing to yield. She closes the folder, leaving her desk to trudge towards her inviting bed.
Weeks pass and the Creative Machine still hasn’t been fixed. Concert halls silence, movie filmings are halted, and labs sit ready for their next experiment. World leaders call for the return of the Machine.
A red faced supervisor storms down a hallway, throwing open a door to a conference room. Inside, mechanics, programmers, and engineers are seated at a long table with papers and books spread the entire length.
“It hasn’t come online yet.” The supervisor snaps. “Are you any closer to getting it fixed?”
“We’re trying.” One of the programmers huff. “It’s not an easy process.”
“There’s no precedent for this. It’ll take time.” A mechanic agrees.
The supervisor looks around the room, glancing at the tired faces at the table.
“Keep looking. There must be something in the manual.” The supervisor sighs.