The world was very different now. True to its founder’s promise, Glaztek had made the world a better place for the absolute fattest members of society while simultaneously making it easier than ever for someone to reach those lofty goals.
The protein resequencing refrigerator they had launched five years prior had been relaunched over and over with spiralling variations—bottomless vending machines, infinite soda fountains and public protein resequencers had sprung into existence and disseminated around the planet, filling restaurants and street corners alike.
The bracelets eventually saw public release a year after the refrigerator, ample time enough for the private beta testers to locate any edge cases and quietly fill themselves out quite nicely. They were rewarded with a second bracelet for their service; all had since procured more.
Since then much of Glaztek’s research division had been dedicated to, ironically, mobility. The company had begun to outreach into the public-personal transportation sector. They’d found that even with the bracelets’ mass-negating abilities, many customers were choosing to flaunt their flab rather than hiding it away, and that meant they needed to move. Nothing had yet reached the market, but there were some pretty advanced prototypes waiting at the lab. They just needed the world to be ready…
All of this had, of course, made Glaz and his compatriots obscenely rich. He and Alex individually had bigger net worths than entire countries—money they had poured almost entirely into their own hedonistic desire to be bigger than entire countries. Alex’s weight measured somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of tons; Glaz somewhere over a million. Both had needed to acquire additional bracelets over the years but none ever came off, Alex was genuinely scared of the physics involved if they were ever to do so.
Alex hummed to himself as the travelator carried him through Glaztek headquarters. The place had been renovated over the years, rooms and corridors widened and reorganised to accommodate an increasingly obese staff. No one working there weighed less than 500 pounds by now. Some of the more experienced staff, like Alex’s current outward appearance, had guts that dragged across the ground and thighs individually larger than their skinnier colleagues. They’d probably be promoted to their first bracelets soon.
Arriving at the R&D lab, Alex nodded greetings to his staff (some of them looking fairly hefty even with a bracelet on, he noted) and headed to his office. This room—like the others—had been expanded in recent years, although with the advent of the bracelets it served little purpose. He sat himself down on the generously-sized ultra-strong couch (a Glaztek-patented product, though one not yet available to the public), pulled an integrated food hose to his mouth (another patent—the Suction Operated Feeder Tube, essentially a high-speed, high-volume protein resequencer due for release “soon”) and figured he should probably do some work while he ate second brunch.
His inbox was mostly cruft. Status reports on mobility projects, all-staff emails about today’s canteen menu, the usual. Most interestingly he had an email from Glaz, marked with the little red “important” exclamation and a subject line simply reading “Next steps.” He opened the email, the luscious taste of sausage, potatoes and gravy filling his maw—just as the menu had described.
Meet at Unit W13. Today 1pm.
Have idea for future of Glaztek.
He hummed at the bluntness of the message. It seemed weird to talk of new ideas and next steps when their mobility division was still so young. Still, Glaz was the boss, and it must be pretty important if he wants a face-to-face meeting. Alex checked the time quickly, he had a few more hours yet; he could probably just sit here and eat for a bit longer…
Glaz was already waiting when Alex’s company truck pulled in and backed up to the loading bay so he wouldn’t be seen by any random onlookers. They were in a grotty part of town compared to their headquarters, but the land was cheap and Glaztek needed lots of it.
The obese fox nodded his head in welcome, “Care ta unband a lil’?”
Alex nodded back. Glaz grinned as they each deactivated two of their bracelets, watching each other’s image distort and swell; smoothly tweening from the extremely obese to the exceedingly blobby as their bubbles expanded and grew into each other. Unbanding was a wholly self-indulgent act—within their bubbles of warped spacetime they always experienced life at their true sizes—this just let them see each other as they wanted to be seen—as titans who, at even a fraction of their true size, could fill this once spacious warehouse to capacity. Pleased grumbles emanated from the newly exposed blobs, both of them appearing in the hundreds of tons, utterly buried within themselves, any semblance of their old selves long since lost to their lust for largeness.
“Down ter business, then,” a voice rang clearly from the shapeless green hill. “Ah didn’t want ter message yer cuz this is top secret, right?”
“Sure,” the brownish-grey blob rumbled back.
“Th’ goggles are doin’ great. Th’ fridge too. People’re gettin’ fatter and fatter by th’ day!
“But, th’ probl’m is, it’s just th’ folks who have th’ goggles that’re doin’ it. An’ eventually other folks’re gonna twig that the goggles are what’s doin’ it,”
Alex hummed in acknowledgement.
“What we need t’start doin’s makin’ customers not jus’ love bein’ fat, but love makin’ t’other people fat too. Then they start evangelisin’ and pushin’ people t’buy th’ goggles,
“We kept th’ nanite injectors in, din’t we? We should use ‘em ter hit ‘em right in th’ noggin, fill ‘em with endorphins when they see th’ mate gettin’ HUGE! Give ‘em a free appetite increase when they refer some’n. Ya know?”
“You mean like… mind control?”
Glaz tutted, “I prefer ta think of it as gamifyin’ gainin’ weight. Rewardin’ ‘em fer doin’ th’ right thing. We ain’t controllin’ th’ minds, we’re jus’ givin’ ‘em a li’l nudge in th’ right direction,”
Alex stayed quiet for a moment. Glaz could tell he was on the fence about this. He expected him to be.
“Remember what ah said ‘bout buses an’ such, way back? ‘Bout ‘ow Glaztek can make a world we can live in no matter ‘ow big we get? We need t’stop bein’ th’ minority, an’ this is ‘ow we do that,”
Alex hummed a while longer, trying to process the thousands of different universes this one decision could spawn.
“Okay,” he finally said. “Little nudges,”
The nanite control system is done. It doesn’t look very good and is convoluted as hell to control—it’s basically all menus hidden within menus—but it works and it’s already been hooked into the company cloud. In a few moments I could change just about anything with anyone who’s been “upgraded”. It’s a weird feeling.
Glaz didn’t provide much of a specification for what this should do, so I basically made it able to do anything that like, won’t totally fuck someone up. Most of the same things I already have. Appetite, metabolism, fur sleekness, craving for fondue… it’s all there, tweakable to the tiniest micro degree.
As for testing, well, this is a classified project. Glaz—and my—eyes only. I can’t exactly pull in volunteers, and testing on myself isn’t an option this time.
Soooooo… I got reacquainted with the company cafeteria. It’s amazing what a little bit of administrative access to your employees can do. A little upgrade here, a little turn of the knob there, and they’re soon going back for extra helpings. And, like, I’ve got to stress test it so… I’ve kinda made a game out of it.
Each day I find the skinniest employee in there and turn their metabolism way down and their appetite way up, see how much they end up eating. The other day this little guy—barely even 500 pounds—was already piling up his plate before I got to him, and he still ended up going back for a ninth helping! He probably gained another hundred just in the lunch break alone! Total glutton, I love it.
It’s turning out surprisingly fun to nudge people just a little bit more than I did before.
Okay so, more testing. One of Glaz’s goals is to not only get people gaining, but to get them to love it. That requires a more gentle touch, I thought, so I…
Uh, well, I tested on my own staff.
Which I know is totally against company rules and I’m very sorry but, like, if I’m gonna be making slow, subtle changes I need to be able to observe them over a long period of time! And I see my staff most every day, so it makes sense, right?
I mean, that’s the theory anyway. I only just started fiddling their sliders few days ago and, well… it seems my staff aren’t particularly inhibited. Doing my other tests in the cafeteria today and I saw them all stuffing their faces. And each other’s faces. And unbuttoning their lab coats to give each other belly rubs.
And then they came over to me and asked if they could feed me and squeeze my blubber and—I quote—“experience all that the bracelets hide”. I politely said no… for science, of course. And because I could probably smother all of Glaztek if I turned all of these off at once.
Fortnightly update happened. Gave Glaz test results. Thinnest test subject before is now nearly half a ton. R&D productivity has nosedived, stuff’s getting done still, but you can tell that they’d rather be stuffing their faces. It’s like they can’t think of anything for more than ten minutes at a time except for getting fatter.
Glaz loves it. He’s expedited everything. Manufacturing is working overtime to build a surplus of mobility devices and put the Feeder Tube system into mass production. If we’re going to make the world into whales, we need the infrastructure to keep them fed, and I think Glaz is looking to do that even sooner than before.
He also got hold of the program finally. He was pleased. Very pleased… So pleased he loaned me his feeding team for a few days and insisted I do nothing but gain some more. I mean, I couldn’t say no, not with my hunger and gluttony sliders turned up so high…
By the time that Alex returned to work following his management-mandated vacation, the bat had been transformed into a lumbering mountain of lard. Granted, he was already a mountain of lard and his exterior form was a projection mapped onto a condensed bubble of space time generated by the bracelets, but even the bracelets could only shrink his appearance by so much. Despite all their efforts in hiding his extraordinary weight his incomprehensible immensity was starting to overcome what eight bracelets could handle. He’d have to acquire another one soon.
In his absence, Glaztek’s work ethic seemed to have undergone a paradigm shift. Alex caught a glimpse of a crowded canteen as the travelator trundled him along, the company staff no doubt hard at work on satisfying the new growth targets enforced by the boss. Those staff who weren’t in the canteen were milling around the offices and corridors, occupied with admiring their coworkers and their soft, jiggling mass.
Things weren’t much different in the R&D lab. Alex arrived there to see several of his staff hooked into the Feeder Tube machine prototypes they still had around, and were a few hundred pounds into “verifying that they worked as intended”. Others (who had evidently already eaten their share) were employing mobility prototypes from out of storage to stop their engorged bellies from dragging along the floor.
He hadn’t even squeezed himself into the lab fully before people were launching themselves at him; half came to fawn over and grope his oversized body, others to beg for permission to go to storage and break out the “good stuff”. He practically had to peel people off of him as he waddled to the privacy of his office as quickly as he could manage.
“Glaz, what did you do?!” Alex shouted as soon as the door had closed behind him. The fox on the other end of the video call was grinning widely.
“It’s great, ain’ it?” He chuckled, “All anywun cares about is eatin’ an’ gettin’ fatter than ever!”
“Th’ program. Wonderful bit a kit yer made ‘ere, Alex, so good ah think we outta release it worldwide, t’day,” Alex’s went to retort but was quickly cut off, “Now now, this is ‘xactly what we agreed ter. This is why we made Glaztek. We’re gunna make t’world fit fer us an’ t’other people like us, an’ makin’ more people be like us is th’ best way ter do it.
“A coupl’a years ago yer needed drones ter move an’ yer were barely two tons. Now yer as big as a mount’in an’ can go anywhere yer like, eat near constantly and have folks fawnin’ over yer girth all day long. W’solved world hunger! Everythin’ is better fer everyone and we’re only jus’ gettin’ started!”
Alex huffed quietly, “I can’t argue with that, it has been… pretty good,”
The fox squinted at him.
“Okay, fine, it’s been great. Amazing even! I’m probably the size of a small country under these bracelets and it takes so much effort to think of anything except for getting fatter, and the best part is that it’s completely realistic that I’ll be twice as fat this time next year, or even fatter than that! Just thinking about being able to eat a lifetime supply of food for each and every meal, it’s just… wonderful…”
Glaz’s grin came back, wider than before, “Ahm takin’ tha’ as approval of me plan, then,”
The call ended before Alex could respond. It was only a second more before Glaz’s grinning face re-appeared in on the goggles, filling his vision with the fox’s immense visage.
“‘Ello, Glaztek customers! It’s me, Glaz, though ah might be-a tad bit bigger than when yer last saw me.
“We got big news! Th’ new Glaztek vending machines’re launchin’ t’day, in ev’ry town an’ city around t’globe. An’ ter thank you all fer stickin’ with us, they’ll be free ter use for all Glaztek customers, ferever,”
Glaz grinned a wide, toothy smile. “Ah encourage yer ter try ‘em out, forget yer worries, and indulge a li’l in thuh Glaztek lifestyle!”
The message ended, but not before Alex could feel a familiar pang flare up in the pit of his stomach. Hunger. A persistent, stubborn, needful hunger. Glaz had done it. He had shifted the sliders and flicked the switches of an entire swathe of the population, devoting to them to a life of potent, enchanting indulgence.
Alex hurried over to the couch in the corner of his office, dropping onto it and grasping for the Suction Operated Feeder Tube, plugging it into his maw before the hunger pains could intensify too much; a wide smile growing on his face as a wave of bliss gently washed over him.
Glaz had not been wrong, that much he could appreciate. Ten years ago Glaztek solved world hunger with the self-stocking refrigerator; then they removed any ceiling to being too fat with the bracelets and mobility devices; and five years ago, Glaz managed to “convince” the world that the only things that mattered were being fat and getting fatter.
Overnight, Glaztek went from being a hip “fitness technology company” to revealing their real motive: to make everyone as fat as possible. Glaztek vending machines and Feeder Tubes dotted every corner that wasn’t already occupied by a branch of Fatway, with customers goggles constantly reminding them of their nearest food source and the generous rewards that brand loyalty granted them. The entire brand’s marketing shifted to celebrating weight, indulgence and gluttony in all its forms.
For the brainwashed masses it was a dream come true. Their customer base ballooned (both figuratively and literally) over a few short days. Sales of bracelets and mobility devices exploded as people’s waistlines exploded outwards in all directions. Telemetry from food protein resequencers—public and private—showed near constant usage for the days following Glaz’s proclamation.
Society saw a seismic shift as half of the population turned to food-obsessed anarchy overnight. For those gluttonous hoards, the economy stopped mattering, work stopped mattering, the arts stopped mattering. Those who had managed to avoid falling under Glaztek’s spell over the last decade found themselves a minority, surrounded by people who were contented to stuff themselves to the gills to the detriment of everything else and increasingly alone as culture changed to serve the ways of gourmands who insisted their peers put on a healthy bit of weight.
Glaztek continued to operate through all this, of course. An increasingly automated outfit, what few staff remained were there for their ingenuity and thinking rather than productive ability. Too much productivity was, if anything, frowned upon. It meant you weren’t taking enough breaks.
A few new products trickled out over the years. The bracelet technology was adapted into a range of compression clothing that could tuck the weight away enough to allow for a slow waddle on smaller customers. The headquarter’s travelators were rolled out elsewhere, taking back streets from the now too small cars, shifting the populace who didn’t have mobility pads around the place. Some tweaks were made to the goggles and bracelets, but for the most part there was little they needed to do but keep up production; and with the population growing as it was, they’d need a supply of bracelets for some time yet.
For most of the world, this was just life now. Food and pleasure. Food and pleasure. Eat, watch, listen, play, eat more. The world passing them by as they travelated from food source to food source perpetually on the verge of a food coma, dutifully doing as was demanded by their goggles, filling the rest of their time rubbing and groping at the similarly overfilled blubberballs around them.
For Glaz and Alex, time had been very good. After the initial rush and some contingency time, it had become clear that everything was unfolding to plan. Glaztek was operating self-sufficiently, only needing the lightest directional touch every now and again, something normally achievable with a quick phone call or, if really necessary, the nudging of a virtual slider or two.
With their work done, they had turned to their (and now, most others) foremost passion—gaining as much beautiful blubber as they could. And they did. Despite all they had created to help themselves move and live in the larger world, there was suddenly no reason for them to move, live, or do anything but gorge. As architects of this glorious revolution it was their right to be immobile mountains, their right to be the largest and fattest beings on Earth. Millions of tons of fat, doing nothing but submitting themselves to perpetual indulgence fuelled Feeder Tube resequencers that could funnel any foodstuff they desired down their throats at an industrial pace.
Retired to a quiet place in the country, they were happy to become landmarks in their own right. Undisturbed but for the occasional passer-by who might offer a pat or a rub along their titanic masses. When the sun hung low in the sky their shadows fell for miles to the east; as it finally set, and darkness fell, the dim glow of hundreds of bracelets would become visible to the naked eye. A constellation of light that held back the flood of fat within, saving the planet from the true wrath of the titans.
I’ve not done one of these for a while. A few years maybe? Hard to keep track of time when all I’ve done is Netflix and glut. The only things I’ve been researching and developing lately are ways to expand my waistline—and my waistline. Heh.
We shipped the forty billionth bracelet today. Went to a fella living only a couple hundred miles from here who already had six of them. He must be like a hundred-forty kilotons under all those bracelets. On the flip side, goggle production has wound down to a simmer. Virtually everyone has one by now. Believe me—the number of blips I see on the control panel—it’s like Christmas; and it’s especially delightful to give them a little nudge on the ol’ appetite slider and see the telemetry for all the resequencers light up too.
Also, Glaz has worked out our business plan for the next five years and—guess what—it’s all in home automation. Resequencers and Feeding Tubes in every room; robotic appendages to rub, feed, and knead; that kinda jazz. We already developed the robotics tech for our production lines, we can probably get it to feed people cheeseburgers! People are already loving their size and always warning more, so now we’re gonna let ‘em run wild with it. No need to lift a single finger.
Oh it’s gonna be the future soon, and the world’s gonna be a very different place.