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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1) - Verdict

Submitted: February 17, 2019

Reads: 21

Comments: 1

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Submitted: February 17, 2019



It's pointless bandying words, but what diversions compete for my attention?

“You can win for a while, but you're doomed in the end,” I say. “Either the workers will eventually lose their endless patience and turf you all out, or automation will collapse your system. The very AI you’re putting so much faith in will destroy you. No working class, no capitalism.”

The major looks at me with interest.

“I'm not an idiot,” he says mildly, “My dissertation was on the economic theories of Herr Doktor Marx. A profound thinker and a perceptive European. His weakness was in psychology, all men are created equal or something like that."

I cringe at this illiteracy.

"But that's not true," he continues, "Some people are very docile and eager to please, don't you find? The next generation of the working class - across Europe - are going to be very contented with their place in society.”

He means that the non-docile ones are going to end up like me.

“So you feel despair now, and rightly so, but not for too much longer. You're the kind of smart guy we can well do without.”

He watches my reaction with mock surprise.

“What? You thought that our re-education camps were all about talking to people? Self-criticism sessions like the Maoists?

He laughs, shakes his head.

“We can do so much better than that. Can't keep the intelligence though I'm afraid."

What does he mean?

"When you leave here you'll be set for a lifetime of low-grade manual labour. Don't worry, you'll love every minute of it.”

He pauses, “You may be interested in this, by the way.”

And in his hand is a picture of Céline, looking very beautiful in the black dress uniform of the DPSD, the military security service.

“Enjoy the view while you can. Perhaps that could be your final coherent thought.”

He waves vaguely at the battery of lasers on their robot arms, already weaving a pattern, preparing to cook my prefrontal cortex.

“In the old days, this was such a messy procedure, waggling a scalpel side to side through a slit in the forehead. But now it’s totally non-invasive. A slight headache perhaps, but afterwards .. .”

He smiles, "Nothing to worry about. Seriously."

 The major stands up, nods to me, “Goodbye, then.”

He walks unhurriedly to the door.

My immobilisation is complete, the process will be entirely automated.

As the purring machines begin to deploy, extending from the walls, I totter on the brink of sanity, feeling sick, dizzy, my stomach tumbling in agony. I face my very last decision - what thoughts will accompany my descent into oblivion?

And so I will choose .. I choose that night .. when I first met her, my Céline .. her dancing .. dancing just for me.

 --- End  ---

© Copyright 2019 AdamCarlton. All rights reserved.


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