At 6:45am murphy’s biochip awakened him. Janet and Caitlyn were still asleep. He had programmed the chip for an early start, to have a few quiet minutes before the day’s filings began. It would not be long until his starbux was ready, so he was brisk about choosing a hair colour.
He put on a golden-arches shirt and a pair of slashpants and decided to try the new black Airs. Like most shoes now, they were free. They reported your location to McNikeSoft, which opticasted ads that danced across the bright little screens over the toes. In the bathroom, Airs advertised shavers and mouthwashes; in the kitchen, cutlery and mcfoodnikes. You could spend the whole day watching your shoes.
The house had brewed his starbux to standard temperature. He wondered how starbux tasted when it was hot. His father used to talk about that. Hot starbux was still allowed back then, before the lawsuits of the ’00s put a stop to hot fluids. Today, no house could be programmed to prepare scalding fluids. No ice cubes either: people choked on them and died. As Plaintiff-in-Chief Rodham Bush liked to say, “Extremes are unhealthy.”
Murphy’s biochip indicated that McPaper had arrived. “Wait,” he told it, while he went to the kitchen. McNikeSoft, alerted by his Airs, anticipated him. “McNikeSoft has detected interest in food,” said the mcfoodnike. “McNikeSoft is pleased to offer you a delicious, risk-free choice of omelettes.” He chose from the menu and told the biochip to display McPaper.
The index of leading lawsuits was up again. Gross national litigation, adjusted for damages, was growing robustly. “We’ve got a healthy pace of activity, for this point in the cycle,” an analyst said. McNikeSoft reported settling more than 386,000 lawsuits a day on the Litigation Exchange-up 7.4 per cent on the last quarter.
McNikeSoft was amazing. Everyone complained about it, but no one doubted its efficiency. Earlier in the century, many big companies had still existed. For a while, they had fought lawsuits, singly and in small groups, but by the late ’00s they had learned better. By piling lawsuit atop lawsuit, the attorneys could bankrupt any company that tried to fight them. Merely being mentioned as a possible target of litigation was often sufficient to tank a company’s stock. The companies had learned to settle, the sooner the better.
Each settlement, however, financed more lawsuits. The companies had…