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It wasn't the droning hiss of the static on the old Television set that woke Nian Zhen, it was that it stopped, and in it's place was a blue screen that screeched a horrible digital tone. She frantically dug through her blankets for the remote control quickly gouging her fingers at all the buttons until it stopped.
She let out a sigh as the screen went black and she flopped back onto her bed. She didn't know they did that, no one really watched or had a TV anymore. A lady down the street was throwing this one away, her now grown son had left it in her basement along with a collection of early century documentaries and movies. Nian Zhen had spent most of the night watching them after she figured out how to hook the thing up. It used a very old and outdated cable system, which wasn't much of a problem after Nian Zhen looked up and printed what she needed.
When she first turned it on, she was surprised at how low quality the 4k resolution was. It was old after all, which was fine because Nian Zhen collected old vintage gadgets. But it took some getting used to. The colors were vivid and all, but she couldn't believe people used to sit around and watch these and not go blind.
Nian Zhen had enhanced vision though, so she could see much better then the early century population. So maybe to them, this was amazing. To her, it just looked very artificial.
Nian Zhen was awake now and there wasn't much use laying there when she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. She reached over to her beside table for the tiny black case that contained her contacts. She had gotten so used to putting them in now that she didn't need a mirror or to even sit up. She carefully popped one then the other in, blinking a few times to make sure they fit correctly.
She tapped the side of her left temple and and the contacts turned on. There was a blinding flash and Nian Zhen squinted involuntarily, she had forgotten to turn off the low light mode last night. She held the implanted node in her temple and thought a command to change to auto adjust mode.
Her vision dimmed to normal and she checked her messages, and social network feed. Nothing exciting, not many people used this old tech or the internet like this any longer. She had a few friends and older family that did but that was about it. Times had changed, she remembered when everyone would be broadcasting live feed from their ocular implants or whatever tech they used.
Nian Zhen checked her customized news feed and saw headlines about recent advancements in technology, new VR and AR games coming out and of course you couldn't go a day without hearing about mars. The colony was finally Connected to the rest of earth, they had struggled to work together very well until the network buoys were set up. But now things were going better the new headline said.
Nian Zhen was sick of hearing about the Connected, they were weird and unsettling to deal with at times. She was old enough to remember when the Connection happened, she was about 15 at the time and the idea scared her then. Until she learned it was a voluntary procedure.
That was 17 years ago, and in that time, the entire world had changed. A minority of people still clung to the past, like Nian Zhen did. But nothing was how it used to be.