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Kiko-Lyn's Great Mobile Adventure

By: Wedge Greene

As post-millennials live and work, they will expect everything to be networked, connectivity to be integrated, access to information immediate, and monitoring of activities real time and continuous. International cultures amalgamate in the Internet-driven society. The IoT evolves from artifacts accompanying life to the artifacts of life.1

Academy

When Kiko-Lyn was just a little girl she was sent from her secure and timelessly Japanese urban apartment to the local shogakkou academy.  Kiko-Lyn was told by her parents that this would be a great adventure. She packed up her beloved Fire Tablet, the newest in a string of annual birthday tablets sent by her Aunt Rachael in distant America. She could not leave alone her pet foxes that come and go in the virtual house, always needing to be fed and leaving puzzles and presents for her to click on. Kiko-Lyn dressed herself in the brand new school girl uniform, a pretty red plaid skirt over white tights and a crisp white blouse with puff sleeves.  Around her neck went the school kerchief. Her dad speaking in his warm American accent, relaxed in his Air Force dress uniform, told her to pay attention to the kids around her and mimic their actions before speaking or jumping in. Her mom in proud aristocratic tones said for Kiko-Lyn to remember that hers was a revered and ancient Japanese family, "always beloved of the mountain spirits."

Her mother walked with her to school that first day, past the newly opened cherry blossoms, leaving her at the school gate. Kiko-Lyn was directed to enter past the wall and follow the other girls across the play yard to the main doors where a matron waited on the collection of first form girls. Kiko-Lyn was apprehensive, but charged with excitement. Just like in Anime, like her Radiata posters, she was about to become the emotional hero of a new story. She joined the other girls walking toward the school entrance. Proud and hopeful, she put a welcoming smile on her face. Would they share their bento boxes at lunch? 


But as the day wore on, the whispers of “hafu,” “Konketsuji,” and “ainoko” turned to cat calls from the other girls.  She did not get to share her lunch as none of the girls would sit with the “impure.” No one offered to play with her at the after class Go Club. Kiko-Lyn turned inward and silent.

As the year wore on, Kiko-Lyn’s silence at school crept into her life at home. She stopped talking and never raised her eyes. She did as she was told, but her only friends were in the mobile games of her tablet and its anonymous social networks. Eventually her dad and mother called her to the table for a family conference. Kiko-Lyn dreaded a lecture on how she could act to resolve things, because she didn’t believe there was an answer. Her dad spoke, “Kiko, I know you are not happy here. Your mom and I believe we have a solution for this.  I’ve spoken with my sister, your aunt Rachael in San Francisco, and she wants you to come stay with her and go to school in America.”

“We love you so much Kiko,” says her mom, “and we will Skype every day to see how you are doing.”  Kiko-Lyn loved the video calls and technology presents from her aunt.  But she had little hope.  School was a place of evil spirits masquerading as kids. She was packed and bundled off to her aunt in America.  But what Kiko-Lyn did would not expect this to be a great adventure.  She was being sent into hiding.

San Francisco

Rachael met the little girl at the terminal gate, taking her hand from the stewardess.  She was on line with her sister-in-law, who was watching from the go camera on Rachael’s lapel.  Rachael had agreed to wear the body camera and send real-time encrypted video surveillance to her brother and sister-in-law. As Rachael went to meet their little lost child, her sister-in-law coached Rachael on what to say and do over a Bluetooth ear plug.  Rachael was thankful for this support and managed a smooth entry for Kiko-Lyn into her household.

Over time Kiko-Lyn opened up to Rachael.  She liked the big American condo with its pool.  Her room was three times as big as in Japan and all her special things had arrived by container and been set up in her space.  But Kiko-Lyn only answered when directly queried by her teachers.  She did not make friends with the coarse kids.  They were not mean, but their lives were so different. The Anime they watched was years old, the translations were wrong. And no one followed the popular Manga from home. When she did translate for the few who asked her, they still did not get it. Everything was too foreign.



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