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Domicile 4 5

2Gerald objected "St Annea prestigious instituttence otraditional methods is hardly a mark of underdevelopmentfar frea consciousheto promote self-reliance and encourage us to remember how blessed we areYes, father, Timmy said obligingjust dont understand why we can't use theot like theythingGerald shook his head ruefully But eyeing the pile hishad made he acknowledgedthat he had a point Spouipment madeastIc mIas cumbersome and awkward, especially when accompanied by paper tomes that were encasedellulose bindy certaIod at ked dusawayIt was all food for thought as Martha plugged a vacuum line into the rooms main feednd began running it over their son and his dirty possessions Within seconds, tiny nanomitesoured out of the hose and began filtering through his clothes, hair and pores to comb awaoutside intruders Dust, dirt, molds, spores, and infections that they had programmed the housesmain directional computer to recognize and target Unrecognized nanomites(hostiles, perhapswere also targeted and neutralized using tiny shocks of EM radiation to their central cores,knocking out their power supplies and then carried back like dead drones to the house'Seedob was complete, the unit dinged and Margaret withdrew it to its holead she read the indicator on the line she would have notict Timmy was now clean basedon household specifications While all families knew the importance of allowing their childrento be exposed to some degree of filth in exchange for the benefits it held for their immuneat thewn discredecide how much ofed in theirhouse The wilkinsons were a rustic family by most standards, choosing to program theirnanomites to filter out harmful E Coli, Tetanus and other such things, but keeping just enoughcold and flu bacteria in the air to keep themselves strong

What was the occasional runny noseo long as their white cells continued to function?Learn anything new and exciting? "Gerald asked once they wereated at the diningroom table and eating their food Timmy shrugged, looking up from Rufus, who needed to beshooed away from begging at his feMiss Tomlin spent the whole morning telling us about the breakup of the old nationstate system I didnt get it much, seemed stupid to meSon, studying the past is important, " Gerald said "It is how we got to theYeah, but why did people ever live like that? She said they used paper to simulatecurrency, paid a central government to take care of them, even though everyone complainedabout it, and went to war over flagsPeople still go to war, son Remember the nanocaustsYes, father, " Timmy nodded ""But why fight over a strip of cloth? Why pay a bunch ofpeople you never even met to take care of you?a diffetime his father reminded him "They hadrealizedthings were obsolete, or they would have abandoned them For that to happen, they needed themeans The nanoindustrial revolution changed not only the way people think, but the way theyived and did thingsay,” Timmy said,pokih“Shed they cut down trees a lot usedpaper for ever

Also true, " Gerald said proudly "Paper was used for currency back then, and it wasonsidered a replacemetrecious metals which used to be used to stBut why use money like that? Couldnt people just stealGerald had just finished puttipiece ogg on top insmiled as he chewed quickly, makinasticate and swallowbefoThey could, he said, coughing to clear a crumb from his throat And they often didwhich was one of the reasons why they began to rely on the credit system But it was some timebefore they switched completely, and people still relied on physicalimmy poked at his foodk“ But thats stupidon, keep in mind people enjoy having physical things they can touch They are muchre tangible Besides, we still use wood and paper when it suits us Sple even preferto use the kind that' s made by hand in an old fashioned pressYes, those who don' t mind throwing their money away, " Martha said with alaugh Gerald gave her a look and then went right back to eating his brunchThe point, my

son, is that we' ve come a long way and it's important to remember thatpeople in the past didnt always havesy But chances are, they did things the way theydid for a reason, and it's not really fair to judge them for itYeah

Timmy said, staring off into space and poking his food some more Were hisather watching him, he would see that the boy had more burning questions, he just wasn't surehow to go about asking them It wasnt long before the one he wanted answered most slippedIs it true they once used paperBoth his parents looked at him Timmy shrugged and began motOh Timmed Marthaopriate!d his father aseconds passed befoarthas composure had returned and he could answer furthedifferent back then tooYeah Timmy said, finally put food onto his fork "She said we'd talk about thatduring the next class toominutes, until Martha thought the time was ripe to bring up the piece of gossip she had heardyesterday As with all things, it was important to get the timing rightGerald, I was wondering if maybeHer husband looked up at her with sudden disquiet, Upgrade? But why? Didn't we justdo that?Three months agoeard that the masons areTid me yesterday that Bert got a tipcturers' warrens that a newReally? "Gerald said incredulously "They just cameRumor has it the four point five is even betterWhen can we access it

Martha linked her fingers together triumphantI was told theythem we already know, they might give us the specsGerald sighed "Nothing ever stays secret in this community He thought it over for asecond, though Martha could tell he had already made upind," Alright what's a few moredDo I get to miss school? "Timmy asked excitedlyyaneythe hotel and book a few nights Lookintheirhe addedI suggest you packed byimagination, but Martha though shethe edges of the house folding and coming down Ad theanomites were busy at work decompiling entireatom for atom, sending it to the seed where it would be reprocessed and sent back along the feednes to wherever it was needed Every section that was to be upgraded would slowly bereplaced this way, regrown over a matter of days until it looked new When they returned, theyould find thera new house Not radically different but better and morecient Those areas of the house that were no longer up-to-date would be combed out andreplaced with new, healthy tissues, nanoware that was current and top of the lineMartha hadn't read the specifications, she preferred to bengineering background, just had to devour the manual He knew exactly what the layout wouldal understandisS energy it would needto consume to do many of the same tasks as their old house Plus they could look forwardew planters out the back, a gondola, and a new swing set for Timmy

Perhaps they would takethe opportunity to add another child to their flock, a little girl perhapsPickintheir bags, the familface the drpart of thehouse that was under control of the seed and its feed lines He sigheds head out then The house wont finish as long as were watching itMartha and Timmy tittered That was such an old joke! And with little Rufus barkingand running circles around them, they began to walk to the edge of the property, the Pedi cabwaiting for them, its engine cold and quietThere are yodustani man in a flawlessEnglish accenTo the hotel by baywater Inne, my dear man, said Gerald, handing him his credit slipVery goodhe said puttingst of tes in the rear and heading to thefrontuickly waved the slip over the cab's remote sensor and smiled happily when itchimed and turned green He turned to hand the slip back and looked on them with smilingreen eyesTaking a little vacation are we?Just a little time away while the house upgrades, said GeraldAh, you too, he observed ""Seems to be a common thing in this communityMartha looked to Gerald worryingly He knew that look well enough It was thethat wondered if they were gettinthis development just a little laterwanted He could imagine her embarrassment if they walked into the Inne and found ever