A billowing white fog fills the room as a naked person with a face slightly too small for their head exits the cryogenic pod, they stand in a room that somehow seamlessly combines the aesthetics of a clinical hospital room and a McDonalds play area.
It's the future, specifically the year Xthousand Xhundred and Xty X, and things have changed a lot since nowadays.
"I understand you must be bewildered", said a doctor who was augmented with a hovering suit of armor with no points of articulation, looking like a kind of metal human kite drifting around the room.
"This is Smart World. MENSA is the government, and IQ points are the currency. Your new assigned name is Blim Plimsoll"
Blim Plimsoll punched themself in the face.
"Smart World? it can't be! I have so many questions! Do you use smart phones in the smart world?"
"No. In Smart World we only talk to each other face to face, because it stimulates the brain. We don't have "phones" anymore."
Later that night in the hospital, Blim lay awake, thinking about everything. "Smart world?" they thought to themself. "What could that mean for a tremendous dipshit like me?"
After falling asleep eventually, Blim had a dream where they fell down a mineshaft and got their dick caught in a pile of ore, which didn't have anything to do with their current situation and offered no comfort at all.
As Blim checked out of the hospital the next day, they looked behind them, seeing that the exterior of the hospital was bright purple, with an organic wrinkled texture.
Many buildings look like this in the Smart World, while others are more like big computers you can go inside.
"MENSA accidently discovered that heaven is real one day and they took control of it." exposited a passerby with no prompt whist solving a rubiks cube.
"Now they rule the world with their army of bio-angels."
MENSA's space tower looms over the city on the horizon, illuminated against the cloudy dark red sky. Maybe the answer to what's going on lies there?
"I just told you what's going on" interjected the passerby once more, their voice now sounding more like wind whistling through an alleyway than normal human speech.
"You'd better get your wits about you, or you won't last one day here!"
Blim looked at the indentification card they were handed at the hospital. The IQ number next to their name changed from 106 to 102.
This world is ruthless, and Blim had to figure out how to adapt and survive
"I'm feeling pretty hungry, I guess I'd better get some brain food!" Blim chuckled to themself. Their IQ card rolled down to 101.
Stumbling hither and tither through the streets, Blim was amazed and frightened by everything they saw.
In Smart World, people control their cars with their minds, by pressing their face into a kind of wet memory foam slab where the steering wheel normally is.
A child who is so smart her swolen head makes her look like one of those funko pops, happily floating through the air suspended inside a semi-transparent chrome egg.
And the sudoku puzzles in the newspaper are even more difficult than before.
"Oh, this establishment seems like a fine place of business to obtain some delicious comestibles!" tutted Blim in a performative smart guy voice, standing at the entrance of a restaurant called "The Golden Cerebrum"
The door required operating a complex sensory mechanism to open, which Blim approached with all the tact of an ape trying to crack open a coconut, it just won't give.
At that moment, a married couple of disembodied brains exit the building, looking down dissapointingly at a frustrated curled up Blim, who stared back up at them like a guilty dog.
"Sorry..." muttered Blim as they got off the floor, dusting themselves off.
"I was just checking out the menu..."
As Mr.and Mr. Brain drifted away for an evening of incomprehensible neural sex, Blim snuck into the restaurant just before the doors closed.
"That door was soooo easy to open!" hooted out Blim at the top of their voice. Nobody payed any attention.
The restaurant was dimly lit but elegant, the walls looked like slabs of raw chicken, with red bioluminescant veins threaded throughout.
Blim sat at a table, staring blankly at the menu as if focusing on it long enough would change the items on it.
Now, Blim is a notoriously picky eater, they don't even like their ketchup and chips to touch on the plate because they prefer to eat them separately, but this is a restaurant for the smartest people in Smart World, and they eat using their minds here.
To their left, a man whose head is encased in a metal dome is sat alone, feeding a salad leaf into a slot in his forehead.
To their right, a party of identical businesswomen and men are bathing in an aura of purple electricity and gaining nourishment from it.
A loud voice suddenly booms into the room: "Congratulations to Lord Drimble, who has become the smartest person on earth, with an IQ of 100,000,000,000!"
Everyone bows their heads and hums in unison, Blim doesn't really know what's going on, so they just throw a fork across the room.
It's clear by now that Blim doesn't fit into this frightening new world, perhaphs by design.
Soon enough, a waiter with the emotional versatility of a wooden spoon creaks over to Blims table, and asks to take their order.
Blim audiably hesitates to keep the waiters attention just in-case they get bored and leave, as they peruse the menu for anything not made of energy or gas.
"Um, Uh, Do you have anything solid here?" asked Blim.
"Like just something you can physically eat?"
The waiter responds in a droning deep voice, hanging on each syllable as if he gets physical pleasure from it.
"MMMMMay I inspect your... Identification card?"
"Why, certainly!" says Blim.
Oh dear. IQ: 75. It seems Blims shameful display outside took away a lot of points.
The waiter slinks off into the kitchen, which seems to be an endless black void from which no forms can be discerned.
The other patrons of the restaurant have shifted from indifference towards Blim, to purposely ignoring Blim, which has the same end result, but the energy in the room is totally different now, and not just because the group of businesspeople finished their course.
The chef, who has a legless rounded lower body but otherwise looks unremarkable, wobbles out into the dining area, the waiters face peering out from the darkness of the kitchen, looking at what's about to go down.
"I don't know what you're doing here but you must leave at once.", demanded the chef. "This isn't a place for a muttering simpleton such as yourself."
"I'm not leaving until I get something to shove down my hungry mouth!" replied Blim sternly.
The chef left to converse with the waiter.
"What are we going to do about this bozo?"
"MMMmmmm....I say we give them the old.... telekinetic bum's rush"
"We don't want to disturb the guests. I think we need to just give them what they want so they leave."
The chef and the waiter arrive once more at Blims table, wheeling with them a large plastic trough full of spaghetti.
"We're terribly sorry about earlier" said the chef, "This is for you, on the house."
"Oh boy, all this for me? what's the catch?"
"Oh, You have to eat it outside in the alleyway. Come along"
Blim didn't especially care where they ate it.
As they always say, hunger, as well as thousands of years of sleeping in a pod and having nutrient paste pumped into your stomach through a tube, is the best spice.
As they fed from their trough, shoveling spaghetti into their mouth with their bare hands with the tenacity of a beast on the verge of winter, two men, who both looked like shiny big toes peeping out of silver suits, looked down the alleyway and laughed to each other.
"Hup hup I say! What an embarrassment!"
"Hem hem! Truly smart world is going to the dogs!"
The two men then carried on their path, tutting and shrugging the whole way,
eventually boarding an organic monorail, suspended from the sky by infinite inflamed tendons.
"You disgusting simpering clown!" said a friendly stranger. "you're a pitiful wreck of a person"
Blim looked up at him, their face stuffed full of spaghetti and their hands covered in sauce.
"You dull fool, there's no place for creatures like you in Smart World. Heed my advice; do some learning, or get a move on. You're unsightly"
Out of pity, the nice stranger drops some Knowledge Tokens on the floor, which Blim hurriedly gathers into their arms.
As they look around them, opportunistic shadowy figures sink back behind dumpsters and steam.
Blim looked at their ID card. IQ: 140. They didn't feel any smarter than before, but then, they didn't feel any less smart when it decreased earlier.
What is IQ anyway?
"Intelligence is money! if you're smart, you'll know how to get rich!" was something they saw on a magazine cover back at the hospital.
The higher echelons of Smart World simply amass intelligence with no purpose. Lord Drimble, the smartest man in the universe, will certainly never share his knowledge with anyone else. The people in the restaurant seem to just congratulate themselves endlessly. You can't even enter a building here without jumping through mental hoops, what's so smart about that?
That night, Blim slept in a tent shaped like a big dunce cap.