1a – A Mother’s Dilemma

Red-faced and angry, Arin jerked the door open so fast she almost slapped herself in the head with it. She wouldn’t have even opened the door, but she knew her mother wouldn’t stop the tap, tap, tapping. “Another mother-daughter talk that will get us nowhere.” She thought frowning. 

Arin wondered what her mother could possibly say to her. The last time they “talked” her mother tried to explain how she had helped Arin by not having her implanted with the Enhanced Computer Chip right after she was born. The last time they “talked” her mother, in her own scientific way, tried to explain how she had helped Arin by not having her implanted with the Computer Brain Chip right after she was born. How could that be an improvement to be less than everyone else? How did she even get by with it? It was the law! Every child had an implant to enhance their senses and abilities. 

Her mother started in on her as soon as she walked into Arin’s room, “It was an important meeting and you got there late. I thought you were coming to support me, but you just slouched in the corner. You need to stand taller, look more confident, don’t be so obvious about touching the walls to keep track of where you are going. Showing you are different will cause problems for all of us.” 

“All you care about is yourself! You were embarrassed when I was late. It wasn’t that much and really didn’t hurt anything. I’m 17 and you treat me like I’m 10 years old.” Scowled Arin.

“You’re acting like you are 10. I am just trying to protect you. I’ve always wanted what is best for you. Hanging around with Asher isn’t helping you.” Clara said.

“I always have to look right, not late, and not have any friends. Is that what you are saying?” Accused Arin.

“I’m just telling you how to fit in and not stand out. Getting close to other people is dangerous. We talked about that. I thought you understood.” Said her mother.

“I understand alright. I know I’m different. Don’t lecture me on how to behave. You’ve been controlling me all my life. You chose where I went to school, you want to choose my friends, and I’m sure you know who I should marry. You try to manage everyone. I’m not doing it anymore!” Said Arin.

“You are scaring me. We will need to plan for your leaving the City soon to keep you safe.” Said her mother sincerely.

“Great! I’m ready. There’s nothing I would rather do than get away from this family.” Said Arin as she opened the door.

The science:

“The robotic exosuits they’re developing are based on what they call neuro-embodied design, which bridges the gap between the human nervous system and devices allowing for far more harmony.” Human Exoskeletons Could Be Just Around the Corner.

“Exosuits show much promise as a method for augmenting the body with lightweight, portable, and compliant wearable systems. We envision that such systems can be further refined so that they can be sufficiently low profile to fit under a wearer's existing clothing.” Ieeexplore Document

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From the author: This story is completely fiction with occasional hints of reality. For example, my mother wanted me to look normal and never show that I had a visual challenge due to a hereditary condition as she did. Parent’s good intentions to protect their children can sometimes go too far as we will see in the story.

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