Playing around with dystopian/sci-fi themes in Writers Group recently. This was the result. A little rough, in need of a heavy edit and unfinished – but fun to write. I love sci-fi!!
Malleytec walked down the long, dank hall.
Vile, she thought, pressing her thumb hard into her palm. Not the best way to start a new job. In between the mould mounds leeching from what must have once been a grand walk way, she noted the cameras placed in one metre intervals. She wasn’t surprised. Anda Globe was Eartlend’s mightiest corporation.
“Ah, our new recruit! We are most honoured to finally have you here with us Miss XSP4_35,” greeted a man in a tailored suit. He held out his hand. “I am Master Code JNP, you may call me J. We spoke earlier. Please, take a seat.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“I have gathered the crew to observe. They’re just next door.”
“We are a transparent company, young Mallytec – no secrets here and honestly – there were just too many of them to fit in this pokey room. May I call you Mallytec?”
“Yes. Thank you for inviting me today, Sir, though I’m unsure why I have been summonsed.”
“‘Summonsed’? Come now. Don’t look at it so formerly! This is truly a rare opportunity, the type most will never be privy too.”
“Opportunity?” Mallytec raised an eyebrow. She knew Anda Globe’s version of opportunity was grossly flawed for outsiders.
“Destiny, dear girl. To fulfill ones purpose!”
“Purpose? I think there may have been a mistake. I’m just a herder…”
“Let me ask you a question, Mallytec. Do you know how the founding fellowship birthed our name?”
“They entered breath into a primitive search engine. As the former Iceland was one of the last islands to produce clean air and water, breath converted to Anda. Do you know what Anda means?”
Everyone knows what Anda means...”Yes, I…”
“Spirit. And that is what our company thrives on. Spirit of being, of innovating, of captivating. Malleytec, you have that spirit and we believe your ethos aligns intrinsically with the heart of the Anda Globe Corp spirit.”
“We are certainly impressed with your criterium results so far and I must admit, you had sector 3489 alive during your data retrieval scan. It has been a most long age since we’ve seen anything like this.”
“Oh. Have I done something wrong?”
“Quite the contrary, young lady. You and your ancestors have done something many of our staff have never seen in their lifetime. Your HA was utterly astounding.”
“Please forgive my ignorance, Sir, but what exactly is it you found?”
“A clean data bloodline. We have scoured the Portanet for a shred of evidence of typical NTB type behaviour and have found nothing!”
“I am sorry again, Sir, I’m not quite up with the acronyms of the company just yet…”
“Ah, yes of course. NTB – Negative. Trolling. Bullying presence, or instigating forms of hate speech within the Portanet, or “online” as they used to call it. The terminology is primitive, but simple for all generations to comprehend and detect. We had our top Hawkers analyse you and your lineage and the findings truly have been astounding.”
“Crystal is a term reserved for accounts that have been flushed. Yours is the first in history to earn the title before the extraction process.”
“Oh indeed. You can appreciate why we reached out, Malleytec. Quite literally, you were born for this job and I have absolutely no doubt you will be our most triumphant Hawker ever.”
“I am grateful, Sir, it’s just… I am unfamiliar of the role of a Hawker. As I mentioned, I am but a simple herder.”
J smirked, briefly glancing at his reflection. Mallytec noted the muffled sounds of laughter coming beyond the mirrored wall.
“Yes, the “Herding” element. We discovered a few centuries back your line was considered so untainted your family were reassigned. It was the first and last lifetask realignment to ever occur.”
“Really? What were we before we took up the crook?”
“What you are here for. Hawkers. It was an injustice to deny your line its birthright. You’ll be pleased to know we rectified those involved.”
“Yes. Thankfully only three codeliners needed to be walled and not too much trail work was necessary. Though they were discrete, the trail was thoroughly documented and thankfully lead us to you running about the fields in a lifetask you were never designed for.”
Mallytec’s hands shook.
“Now, consider the Hawker a hunter. A crucial protector of our souls and our shells within the portanet and on Earthslide.
“Like a cleaner?”
“Yes! But the most essential cleaner to the planets existence. The ridder of all evils before the manifestation of that evil is possible. We still bear the aftermath of the freedoms afforded those a thousand years ago. Though we salvaged the final fragments of the planet, the toxic trail left behind before their end days still infects our porta-cloud systems.”
“Well yes, now, but they called them “platforms” and any individual could obtain them. Without question or cost. There was no grouping, no screening, no management. Chaos! There can never be a repeat of those times. The delicate ecosystem of our ways could not prevail. As you would know first hand, we’ve run out of chances. That is why Anda Globe was created. To erase the wrongs of the ancients.”
“So I will be doing…”
“You, my dear Mallytec, will be the head of our Hawker department. The eradication of every negative ever recorded. Hell – my confidence in your lineage is so strong, my dear – I foresee you uncovering even insinuated NTB’s.”
“I sense disappointment. Don’t forget we know you, your needs and wants. We want your happiness maintained and that is why we have assigned the specialist who devoured your data. Send him in,” J orders the mirror. “Believe me, there is no one on Earthslide, not even your gene unit who knows you quite like Hawker 795.”
A tall younger man in a much darker suit entered the room. He looked nothing like the male herders of the plains with their long untamed hair and warm skin. Hawker 795 wore a shorter style, the blackest shade Mallytec had ever seen. He was appealing enough, though looked as if he had never felt sunlight beyond Anda Globe windows. The two shook hands, smiled briefly and lowered their eyes accordingly.
“Hawker 795 will be your landlife partner. He will assist you in all arrests and DR assignments.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Forgive me, Mallytec, this is a new phenomenon for us both. We’ve just converted to a rather primitive system and quite surprisingly the methods of basic security have remained unchanged. Four hundred years of AI issues – it was time for a re-haul and a personal presence has deemed far more effective and efficient. Neighbours, bystanders and the like fear human interaction and either delete their contraband or confess on the spot! I can’t believe nobody saw the connection sooner.”
“I see. So, we… Hawker 7..83…”
“795,” the Hawker corrected.
“Sorry. Hawker 798 and I will locate them and then what?”
“You know the treaty creed, Miss Mallytec?” J probed.
“Yes, I am thou, I am thine, I am our, mine bloodline.”
“Well, there are trillions of comments dating back a millenia. You will access files with bloodlines and along with your tracking team unpick every member, categorise the crime, locate, arrest, convict, delete.”
“So, people of today… now, will be responsible for crimes their ancestors committed during a time they were not even crimes?”
H795 shifted his polished shoes a little and Mallytec noted a slight lift in his brow.
“What happens to those arrested?”
“Oh, this is rather intriguing. It’s like you’ve been moon bound with the space elders.
“They are bricked,” the Hawker spoke in a flat monotone.
“Oh. After a trial?”
“Trial? Why, I can barely recall the last recorded trial after the abolishment of courts. Those systems were deemed void when Anda Globe proved the inefficiency of it all. The data never lies.”
“The accused, what if they don’t align to to the accusations? Surely there are circumstances where people have proven the line has evolved, changed?”
An uneasy sound grew louder behind the mirror. J put his hand toward them, instantly muting the murmurs.
“Miss XSP4_35. I understand your unique circumstances have sheltered you from certain fractors of society, but surely you know Earthland law.”
“Yes sir, but…”
“I am my bloodline. I am responsible for my ancestors and that includes their crimes,” J recited more manically. “Could you imagine? The population would be back to the billions if the roles of Anda Globe were defeated by some thing as malleable as empathy.”
“Forgive me, Sir. I meant no disrespect for the creed or of Anda Globe.”
“A minor faux pas and willingly forgiven. Your squeaky clean line cannot be denied, but remember, please do not use your unique lineage to become complacent. Hawker 759 will keep you in check. Now, if that is all…” J motioned to the young Hawker who immediately escorted Mallytec from the room.
Along the bright corridor Mallytec squirmed within his grip.
“Don’t fight me. They’re watching. Wait,” 795 warned through pursed lips. He lead them along several corridor twisting and turning like a maze. Without warning the Hawker wrapped his arm around Mallytec’s waist and pulled her into a dark, dank storeroom.
“What the hell are you doing?” she questioned, her words muffled by 795’s pale slender hand.
“Do not scream. We don’t have much time.”
“Do that again and I’ll relieve you of your fingers.”
The Hawker smirked.
“You have no reason to, but you must trust me. You are in more danger than I suspect you already know you’re in.”
“No shit. This morning I was happily herding and now I am in a closet with you.”
“Your herding heart sabotages your mouth. I can train that out of you so you may survive this. You’ve spent way too much time out there.”
“Clearly you’ve not spent enough and while I may not have any say in my new career path – no one can govern my thoughts.”
“You have no idea what they’re capable of, silly herder girl. I know it’s hard to fathom this right now, but I’m here to help you.”
“What help could you offer me? We’re from different worlds. You know nothing but shiny clothes and mouldy walls.”
With his hand still cradling the girl’s waist, the Hawker unbuttoned the collar of his shirt.
“Pull it back. I promise Mallytec, I will not harm you,” he said. Mallytec noticed the same look of warmth from the mirrored room and slowly pulled back the stiff, white shirt.
A small tattoo of a lone tree on the plains and mountain ranges in the distance. The herder symbol. The home she had walked mere hours before.
“You’re a herder? How have…”
“Someone is coming. Do you trust me?” the Hawker asked, re-buttoning his shirt.
“Good enough. I am Cle.”
“Are we escaping?”
“No. We will do what we’ve been assigned, but you and I will decide these people’s fates. As you said, bloodlines change. No one should be bound to their ancestors mistakes forever. Now hush. We’ll leave once they pass.”