Javamania

Turns out you can have too much of a good thing.  
— Doctor's Diagnosis
  Javamania is a crippling and tragic addiction to Java, or a healthy enthusiasm for the world's best drink, depending on who you ask. Engineered to be addictive and generously laced with rejected combat simulants, Java has its hook in everyone - Javamania is when those hooks get in real deep and rewire the addicts' entire nervous system to accommodate. Some would say that Javamania is the inevitable consequence of consuming Java, and that everyone will end up there sooner or later... And usually, those people are sued to hell by Java Inc for defamation.   Still, there's no escaping it. Without Java, quotas would slip well beneath what is considered acceptable and financial quarters would not be satisfactory. What's a few psychotic and cannibalistic breakdowns compared to that?    

Cause

With a taste this great, who wouldn't want more?  
— Java Inc. PR
  Javamania is caused by a combination of unfortunate genetics and an overly enthusiastic consumption of Java. Almost everyone is addicted to Java, to one degree or another, but Javamania is when that 'positive consumer behavior' becomes a problem. Not right away, as the early stages of the condition lead to a sharp increase in sales without much loss of productivity. The health of the Javamaniac is another matter, but not really of great concern to the corps.  
It isn't helped by various corps constantly tinkering with their brew formula. There are countless variations on Java, so pinning down exactly what cocktail of nootropics at fault is too much of a hassle for anyone to bother.
 

Symptoms

 

Stage 1 - Loyal Consumer

At this stage, Javamania isn't seen as much of a problem but as a virtue. Sure, the worker might be a bit surly, and standing between them and that first cup in the morning isn't a great idea, but they can still function and still file those reports. Long-term health complications include increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and the usual suspects when you're doing something you know isn't healthy.    

Stage 2 - Big Spender

At this point, the Javamaniac drinks Java like water and earns plenty of coupons and other loyalty program benefits for her consumption. While the corporations are grateful for the support, what was once long-term is now more immediate. Javamaniacs are filled with manic energy, which sometimes causes a stroke or brain aneurism.   Stage 2 Javamaniacs have a hair-trigger when it comes to getting their fix at this stage, but since there are no real physical changes, it often goes undiagnosed.    

GimmeJava.gif

by Johny Mnemonic (with slight alterations)

   

Stage 3 - Signs of Trouble

It's around stage 3 when people stop joking about the Javamaniac's drinking habits, right about when the physical mutations begin. The Javamaniacs are prone to episodes of destructive binge-drinking, and god help anyone who gets in the way of their fix. They become twitchy and charged, with the world seeming to move at half-speed. Along with an inability to sit still for more than five seconds and anger at everyone for not keeping up, the Javamaniac can also look forward to hair and/or teeth loss, mild deformities, and worst of all - loss of work performance.  
At this stage, some Javamaniacs drink themselves to death - imbibing so much Java at such a rate that they drown in it.
  At this point, Javamaniacs will go to any length to get their morning brew - even missing the morning stand-up meeting.    

Stage 4 - Uh oh

If an overworked heart or other health problems don't kill them first, the Javamaniac continued to devolve. They become wired, able to perceive and move at incredible speeds - with all the attention span of a goldfish to go with it.   A Stage 4 Javamaniac never stops moving if they can help it, behaving much like a shark, only really slowing down when they're dead. They don't sleep or ever really do much other than prowl for their next cup of Java.   Despite sometimes looking like extras in a horror movie, with pointy teeth and gore-splattered clothing, Javamaniacs can still talk and communicate mainly through complaining about headaches or wanting Java.   It gets even worse after that, though.    

Stage 5 - That's Classified

Sorry, Citizen. You're going to have to come with me.  
— Java Inc PR and Containment Representative
 
ColdCase3
by Timo Peter
 

Treatment

Doctors are slow to diagnose Javamania until the later stages, ruling it as a healthy spending habit and loyal customer behavior until they start gnawing someone's face off. Until then, any treatment used for addiction can be used successfully, but who'd want to be cured of a craving for the smooth, delicious taste of a hot cup of Java - certainly, the corporations selling the stuff doesn't want them to quit.   Once the Javamaniac gets to Stage 4, the treatment becomes much more complicated and unprofitable, so it rarely happens. Many corps just wait for the Javamaniac to commit some crime while hunting for Java, then lock 'em up and go "problem solved!". Like Great White Sharks, Javamaniacs don't do well in captivity and probably eat more people.  
Javbomination.jpg
by This Vessel of Flesh

Still, there's hope for those with robust medical insurance (or corporate knowledge that someone would really like to get to), though the exact procedures are a closely guarded secret.   It's believed to be a combination of gene-therapy and psychosurgery, but corporate doctors assure everyone that "it's no big deal, don't worry about it"

Java, Megacorpolis' Favorite Drink

Ubiquitous across the Megacorpolis, Java is a popular and powerful stimulant to help achievers achieve and corporate drones chained to their desks for another 18-hour shift.   When coffee wasn't cutting it, Java stepped up to the plate with a mixture of nootropics, caffeine, stimulants, and other classified ingredients.    
Java, the brew of the world!
Item | May 10, 2021

Java makes the world go around. Consult your doctor before consuming this delicious caffeinated beverage. Terms and conditions apply.

 
deathwishcoffee.jpg
by Death Wish Coffee
 

Java Inc

Rebranded after its flagship product, Java Inc is the largest producer and distributor of Java. Only a concentrated effort by other Megacorps has prevented them from holding a total monopoly, but more than half of the brands of Java on the market come from Java Inc.   The web of subcontractors and sister-corporations has become such a tangled mess that Java Inc once launched a blistering campaign of attacks on what turned out to be one of their own subsidiaries.    
Shortages of Java have been known to spark violent riots - another reason why every corp is keen to have their own supply. Nobody wants to be at the mercy of a competitor when it comes to Java.
   

Conspiracies and Theories

There are plenty who believe that Java is a tool of various shadowy conspiracies to control the masses through addiction and supply restriction.   It's never explained exactly how that's any different from how the corporations already rule the world, but it gives them something to talk about (probably while sipping on a cup of Java).    
Brain-Box_2
by Phil Tippett
   
A rare few don't drink Java, and they tend to be pretty insufferable about the fact - especially if they are Contrarians.
   

Javabominations

Late-stage Javamaniacs are sometimes called Javabominations and have the role of boogeymen in the Megacity. Heavily mutated and more than a little high-strung, Javabominations are thankfully rare, as most die from any number of horrible things from consuming so much Java long before then.   They reached city-wide fame with the movie "the Javabominables", where the main character slowly succumbs to Javamania in excruciating, profit-shrinking detail. Needless to say, Java Inc is still looking to have words with the corps behind the project.    
Javamaniacs sometimes gather in small groups, united by their brand preference. They lurk in the forgotten parts of Megacorpolis and around the great pipes that carry Java throughout the Megacity.
   

Javamats

Sprinkled all over the Megacity like pox-marks on a plague-victim, Javamats come in a thousand forms but with a singular purpose - to make sure that the flow of Java never stops. They are connected through vast depositories of Java through pipes that criss-cross the city like arteries, each one a tiny little beating heart of constant activity.    
Javamat
Item | Mar 8, 2019

Automated vending machines that dispense Java.

All in all, most people agree that it is a small price to pay for a good, hot cup of Java.


Cover image: by Alex Ferreiro

Comments

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6 Jul, 2020 20:47

This is fantastic. I love the descent into actual physical mutation and terror with this article! I am so glad our actual reality doesn't have this issue with caffeine :D I don't want to have to deal with any Javabominations.

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
7 Jul, 2020 12:38

It's the one thing that might get me to switch to tea, that's for sure. :D   Thank you so much for reading and commenting :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
6 Jul, 2020 21:17

I just *adore* this! ( But granted ... I see there's a new Megacorpolis article and I drop what I'm doing to read it.. ) Just love the stage by stage decent into full on mutated abomination and cover-up ... only to end with this just fantastic line:  

All in all, most people agree that it is a small price to pay for a good, hot cup of Java.
  Having the pic of "Death Wish Coffee"... just wow. Icing on the cake!   Nice job!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
7 Jul, 2020 13:04

That's some amazing praise and I can't tell you how nice it is to hear something like that. Thank you so much <3   I look forward to creating even more Megacorpolis now - maybe even most of Summer Camp will be Megacorpolis! <3


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
6 Jul, 2020 22:17

My favorite part is how the Stage 5 classified has no information on it! I thought the whole article has depth, character, and raises good questions that leave the reader asking more questions about the world. Well done!

7 Jul, 2020 12:41

Of course - it's classified. ;)   I'm very glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the streaming shout-out, and feedback. :D I was editing it as we were live, haha   Thank you so much for reading and commenting :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
6 Jul, 2020 22:28

Always an inspiration. Of course I love it!

7 Jul, 2020 12:39

Thank you so much :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
7 Jul, 2020 07:39

I love this it is amazing and I am loving the humour you put into your articles!

7 Jul, 2020 12:39

I'm really glad to hear that :D Thank you for reading and commenting, it is always such a energy boost!


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
8 Jul, 2020 15:12

Your writing style is just so great to read, Q. It always puts a smile on my face.   'Rejected combat simulants' - yikes!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
9 Jul, 2020 07:20

Megacorpolis is definitely one of my favorite settings to write for, too. It has its own, very distinct voice. :D   Thank you so much for your support <3


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
26 Jul, 2020 18:59

*slurp* I think Java tastes great! Now if only my teeth would stop wiggling...

28 Jul, 2020 10:17

Well, that was mentioned in the EULA, I'm sure. ;D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
17 Nov, 2020 20:17

That was an absolute treat to read, great work Q :D It's always a good sign when the side-effects of a product are labeled as "classified".   Also, does a computer turn into the cybernetical version of a Javabomination if you postpone the Java updates for too long?

Author of Cenorad ; a bleak-dark sandbox of creativity.
18 Nov, 2020 14:52

That's also classified. :|   :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
5 Feb, 2021 20:39

Java Inc. would be *such* an on-brand sponsor for Timepool's APRA. I think I once knew a really grumpy pastor with Javamania...

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
7 Feb, 2021 11:11

I like the association between the RL Java (cup of coffee symbol) brand mark and this article, it looks like a sort of hyperthyroidism push to extreme consequences, but caused by an addiction. I like a lot the top picture too!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
7 Feb, 2021 17:42

Thank you <3 :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
Deity ka_jan
Jan Kaltenecker
15 Apr, 2021 08:00

I feel specifically targeted with Javamania and I love it.  

but who'd want to be cured of a craving for the smooth, delicious taste of a hot cup of Java
  See? Someone gets it!   Love to read this and all the related articles. Great fun!

"Thunder rolled. It got a 6." — Guards, Guards by Sir Terry Pratchett
Island-Inquest awaits!
16 Apr, 2021 13:22

I would gladly take the side-effects for a cup of coffee because I *need* my coffeeeeeeeeeee!   Thank you :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...
3 May, 2021 22:42

Javamania is when that 'positive consumer behavior' becomes a problem. Not right away, as the early stages of the condition lead to a sharp increase in sales without much loss of productivity. The health of the Javamaniac is another matter, but not really of great concern to the corps.
I love the twist of this paragraph.   This whole article is perfection. I'm sorry it took me this long to read it!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
10 May, 2021 08:22

If they're healthy enough to file their reports, that's good enough!   Thank you <3


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: ...