The Despotic JinglesJPYoung
Sometime Beyond Tomorrow…Sooner Than You Think…
The Malady had broken out again and the population were dropping like flies.
At the same time the Supreme Authority was warning that flies were not meant to be eaten, only Supreme Authority Officially Approved insects and insect food products were allowed to be consumed. Eating free-range insects not Supreme Authority approved was a Supreme No-No...
Be in the Know! Go with the Flow! Only FOOLS don't obey the rules!
In addition to the high death rate from the current round of The Malady, rumour had it that defective vaccines had caused a larger number of deaths, in addition to the normal ones that destroyed natural immunity systems to turn everyone into an addict of the regimes pharmaceutical industry.
Don't be a rumour consumer...penalties won’t please!
Following a call from a Revival and Resuscitation unit that there were no life symptoms, the Deceased Retrieval and Recycling would arrive and dispose of the remains. Due to the dramatic increase of deaths, the result for Slavko, a DRR operative, was that there were more Terrain Traversers than DRR staff. Hence there would be only one DRR operative per vehicle as opposed to the usual two.
'Come into my office, Slavko.'
It was unusual for Slavko's manager to call someone into her office, for she revelled in humiliating her DRR officers in front of their peers. Such as the time one of them was taken away by a pair of huge Regulators and Moderators to inspire team spirit and increase motivation and productivity.
He stood in front of her large workstation where she sat in front of the sign,
Independence is Evil's Transcendence! Subservience is Primeval Luxuriance!
'Your team leader recommended you for training as a Specials Disposal Officer. Your record is suitable. Due to our staffing shortage, we'll require you to act as an SDO; it will be fine on the job training for you. Report to the Oaths and Affirmation Office for a briefing. That is all.'
The Specials, the nickname of the Special Bureaucracy, were not only those serving the Supremes, the nickname of the Supreme Authority, but both castes were deemed 'necessary' to the planet. It was a punishable offence to refer to them as 'more equal than others'.
Equality is Polity!
There was no suitable rhyme with 'Jingles', so at least he didn't have to view a Supreme Authority Approved Sign about their necessity.
* * *
He began to realise why the job of SDO was kept so hush hush. It was a sinecure.
As his former companions were being worked beyond capacity, he remained idle. He expertly put on a front of being alert and knowing something that no one else did. To further discourage stupid questions and snide remarks, his new SDO vehicle featured signs reading,
To Delay and Demean Specials is Treason! Good Order’s the Reason!
Rhyme was the way of the time, as shaggy doggerel would be easily remembered. Contractions were the Special Bureaucracy’s way of lightening things up and sounding friendly. They were addicted to exclamation marks as no doubt they sounded not merely important, but crucial!
He thought to himself,
A Tyrant's a Poet, They Love to Show It!
As well as,
Do As We Say or We'll Put You Away!
And of course,
Be Absurd with the Herd!
He had thought transfer to the Ministry of Jingles would be fine and divine until he learned what being an SDO was all about; it was better by far. They could force higher Key Performance Indicators by creating more jingles, but they couldn't increase the number of dead Specials or Supremes, who the SDOs also handled.
'Special Disposal Unit One Fourteen! This is Special Disposal Unit Dispatch!'
'Special Disposal Unit One Fourteen!', he answered.
* * *
'Aren't there supposed to be two of you?', one of the R&R officers asked.
'We've double the trouble with half the staff!'
The R&R acted as if his rhyme was flashing a Supreme Authority Warrant Card. No one questioned a jingle with an exclamation mark! He had the trifecta with the contraction.
'Sign here, and we'll let you get to it. We're flat out as well.'
As they left, he examined the body, then placed the remains in a Disposal bag. It was clearly a case of death from a household appliance through one of the recent much too frequent power surges. The surges seemed to balance the frequent power blackouts, at least in the eyes of the Special Bureaucracy as it balanced the figures; accounts of the deaths and discomfort both caused were inadmissible misinformation. The cheap, reliable, efficient renewable energy was anything but, and was only sustainable in costly failures.
If it’s sustainable, it doesn't have to be explainable!
He had never handled the remains of a Special or a Supreme, that the deceased was. He had also never seen anyone that old. Once workers had reached the mandatory retirement age, they were sent to Life Reward Camps. He and other DRRs disposed of their remains upon their gradually dying from unknown causes after arrival; none of them had reached the age of the deceased Supreme. Obviously Specials and Supremes didn't have these restrictions, hence the Confidentiality Oaths.
Equilibrium not Disequilibrium was the motto of the Special Bureaucracy; even their jingles were as trite and as boring as they were...
Sybaylia, the deceased's attractive female servant spoke,
'He was just having his dinner; it will be a shame to waste it. Have you ever had a beef steak before?'
He was shocked, not only because he had been asked a question rather than given an order, but actual meat had been banned in his childhood, then vegetables. Everyone was fed on matter made from insects and hybrid weeds, at least everyone of the All Ordinaries. He would now eat a meal of the previous regime; though facts were constantly suppressed, they remained in people's memories.
To repeat what’s untrue will be disastrous to you!
It was as if his taste buds had been given the rank of Special or Supreme, as she fed him the best meal that he ever had in his life.
She talked of her master's unexpected demise, and how she had the other servants sent on errands without informing them of the death of her Supreme.
His mind was spinning with all the new events, first a temporary, perhaps permanent promotion to handle Specials, now he had handled a Supreme. He had eaten a meal he had only dreamed of and was enjoying the company of a woman who had reached physical perfection and displayed her charms in her clothing.
His mind was about to have the greatest surprise of all.
'Is there another way for a better day?'
He was shocked upon hearing that, for it was a code phrase of the Resistance. He produced his Departmental Identification Medallion that he modified to remove the top showing the Resistance Insignia. She had a similar size identification medallion identifying her as a Supreme Chambermaid. She removed the top to show her own Resistance symbol.
'Can you drive an SAV Terrain Traverser?'
'I can. But only the designated owner can use his identification implant to start the vehicle.'
'We can take him with us.'
‘We can do that, but first I’ll deactivate your destruct feature that is in each control implant. We were trained to do that when some of the implants exploded and injured or killed some of us, so some of us deactivated our own implants. I’ll do the same for you.’
Only the All Ordinaries had destruct mechanisms in the body implant all were given in their childhood.
The destruct mechanism saved work for the RAMs; malcontents and those not displaying suitable amounts of enthusiasm would be euthanised from a distance. DRRs would remove the mess.
After he finished modifying Sybaylia’s implant device he asked,
'Where would we go?'
'There really is such a place? You know where it is?'
'Yes, to both. In addition to being a Supreme Chambermaid I also became a Clandestine Mistress to an Egomaniac who would impress and excite me with the knowledge I would get out of him. I coaxed him to teach me many things, but his ego wouldn’t let him teach me how to drive his vehicle.'
'I never knew Sanctum Sanctorum was real, or how many of them there were. If he knew where it was, why didn't he have the Supreme Authority destroy it?'
'The one nearest us is in a series of caves. Explosives won't work, noxious gases wouldn't work, a ground assault ended in disaster...the Regulators and Moderators are fine for beating, imprisoning and murdering unarmed people, but when they're faced with an enemy who can and will shoot back, they find other more pressing priorities. No RAM leader wants it on his or her record that not only were they unsuccessful, but they also lost a lot of their subordinates.'
* * *
She gave him the instructions of the direction to drive to Sanctum Sanctorum,
Due to the markings of the SAV with its signs reading To Delay and Demean Specials is Treason! Good Order is the Reason! as well as the lack of traffic, due to the All Ordinaries being ordered to remain in their homes lest they come down with what was formerly called a cold, they made fast progress. Special Bureaucracy and other vehicles pulled off the highway to let them pass. He knew they were going the right way when they passed several signs reading,
Do You Know Where You Go? Turn Back to Remain with the Pack!
In the distance they saw an RAM roadblock. They were able to stop without being seen to prepare their vehicle.
They resumed their journey and halted at the roadblock; the deceased Supreme now sat upright in the back seat wearing Sybaylia’s sunglasses and her black protective safety mask of subservience that had LOVE BUNNY written in rhinestones. The RAM sentry requested their identification and authorisation documents, but as they assumed, he only had eyes for Sybaylia’s unbuttoned blouse that accentuated her female charms. The RAM still held his hand in the salute moving his eyes from the deceased to her spectacular cleavage.
‘You’re not returning my salute, sir.’
Slavko sat at the position of attention with his eyes to the front.
‘Can’t you see a Supreme can’t be bothered with a menial RAM? Our business is beyond your paygrade. Open the gate, or he’ll be late…now!’
Slavko turned to their deceased passenger.
‘I’m sorry about him, sir. Please don’t lose your temper and destruct his implant; he means well, he’s merely overzealous.’
Slavko spoke in an angry voice to the sentry,
‘Can’t you see you’re pissing him off??? Open that gate now! Do what we say, or we’ll put you away! Follow my man, or you’ll end up in a can!’
The double death threat jingle had the effect of making the sentry quickly raise the gate and salute again.
The deceased fell over to the floor.
‘Look what you’ve done! You bored him to death! I don’t want to be in your shoes!’
The look on the gate guard’s face was classic…
Slavko accelerated at the maximum level of speed…They heard the sirens of RAM pursuit vehicles.
The whining Terrain Traverser was shooting through the desert wilderness blowing clouds of dust into the atmosphere. With visual identification impossible due to the dust and electronic jamming from their vehicle, their pursuer's weapons, or ‘instantaneous euthanising devices’ kept missing their target.
Sybaylia explained that her late master had a weapons fetish and modified his SAV with defensive devices in case the Resistance finally attacked. She pushed another button on the dashboard of their stolen vehicle whilst holding the arm of the deceased Special’s remains to work the controls.
'What's that button for?'
A video screen illuminated on the dashboard revealing images of their three pursuers.
'Just how did you manage to learn how all these things worked?'
'When my Special took me out into the wilderness for lovemaking, his idea of romantic foreplay was explaining all the functions of his vehicle to impress me.'
Sybaylia had previously demonstrated her expertise of the functions of the Supreme Authority Vehicle by jamming the communications and image screens of the RAM; SAVs were not able to be shut down by RAM vehicles.
The female voice of the control panel of their SAV coldly stated,
'Targets identified...protective weapons locked on...READY!!!'
'Push the red button in the middle of your control wheel.'
He complied with her instructions, three rockets shot out from the rear of their SAV, two went behind to obliterate the two RAM Terrain Traversers, one shot into the air to disintegrate the RAM gyrocopter.
They looked at one of the billboards alongside the highway
Tranquillity's Face is to Know Your Place and Serve Your Race!
'We're almost there...almost to Sanctum Sanctorum...
* * *
Sanctum Sanctorum was nothing like he thought, for no one knew what it was like when they first came. Perhaps because everyone had their own idea of what freedom was.
Some were happy to till the artificially heated and warmed underground soils for agricultural produce. Others had their wandering lusts satisfied by the scouting patrols against any RAM intruders. There were those with a scientific and industrious bent who would reverse engineer and ‘soup up’ the refuse of the other world.
The pair had been more than accepted, they had been wildly welcomed due to Sybaylia’s feminine charms and deviousness, Slavko’s mortuary knowledge and the SAV terrain traverser.
Then there were those who couldn’t handle their freedom in a safe way and ended up in Sanctum Sanctorum’s version of work camps, for like childhood, you could never go back again due to the knowledge you had. Once the Supremes could piece that together, their safety would be ended. Some of them schemed to escape and create their own new Super Sanctum Sanctorum or become bandits. The more things change…the more things stay the same…
He recalled the first meeting he had with members of the Resistance who seemed to come out of the ground and rock walls like ghosts.
'We'll get you in and have your identification implant removed. After that what do you want to do?'
'Sorry, I asked, "What do you want to do?"'
'That's the first time in my life anyone ever said that to me!'
Author Notes: I am the author of three Extra Dimensional/Ultraterrestial military science fiction novels MERCENARY EXOTIQUE, OPERATION CHUPACABRA and WORK IN OTHER WORLDS FROM YOUR OWN HOME! as well as two travel books THE MAN FROM WAUKEGAN and TWO AUSTRALIANS IN SCOTLAND (all from Lulu.com). I live happily ever after with my wife in paradise (coastal Kiama, NSW Australia).
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