Author Topic: The World Machine  (Read 1803 times)

davidleejones13

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The World Machine
« on: May 09, 2008, 01:24:20 AM »

The World Machine.

You go to work five days out of the week and you toil away as an employee number on this planet trying to eek out a meager existence. The government knows you as a social security number. Their data banks are full of these numbers and their behaviors but they are not human, just numbers. The numbers are demographics. You are a collection of zeros and ones, along with the rest of the population.

To your bank they know you as an account number. The management at the apartment complex know you as a unit number. No one really knows your name anymore outside of the odd collection of people around you looking for their own distraction from the world machine.

The only time your name is put into print it is the result of a computer program matching the numbers you are identified by to an array of information that stores your name as, you guessed it, a series of numbers. This is usually the result of you owing money, or some company wanting you to spend money.

The modern world has dehumanized us to the point we are zombies working towards a walking death sleeping our way through this mundane structured life. Nice, clean and orderly. No mess.

We, as human beings, crave to forget just how unimportant we really are. That is why many of us distract ourselves on the weekend trying to recapture our humanity in this short space of time. The world calls us and puts us back into our place on monday morning.  Nice, clean and orderly. No mess.

Take the case of Jared Chrism for example. He is employee number 228716 at the National World Bank over on highway 6. His work is numbers. It always has been numbers for as long as he can remember. He molded and shaped them as if they were clay and worked them into artful perfect reports. The masterpiece symphony he composed exists as twenty one years of flawlessly filed data all delivered well within their deadlines. But the cost was that the numbers had sapped his life energy away, stealing it's magic for the World Machine. As a result Jerad's number was matched to an array of information within the company's data base and was presented with an Employee of the Month certificate for each of the twenty one years of his service to the bank.

Employee 228716 was the perfect employee, until today.

Insanity had lurked in every corner of Jared's drab life, and today it would pounce upon him. This very morning it had taken on the form of a malfunctioning alarm clock. The very fact he overslept by twenty minutes derailed his whole day.

Upon going to the dryer, insanity met with 228716 once again. This time in the form of wet clothes. Somehow, during the night, the dryer had managed to cut itself off. So, with wet socks and underwear Jared grabbed a doughnut, it was stale, insanity, and headed to the car.

Insanity struck again within Jared's garage when a failed alternator prevented employee 228716 from starting his conservative 2002 honda sedan. Anger began to boil in his gut and cause his fingers to tingle. This day was not starting out routinely.

He hurried down the lane, untucked and briefcase in hand. The bus stop was just at the end of his road. As he rushed down the sidewalk he stepped into a pile of insanity and its stench did not take long to reach his nostrils.

"Damn dog owners," he cursed wiping his dress shoe on the wet grass. "Haven't they ever heard of a pooper scooper?"

It was then he noticed a bit more insanity. He was wearing two different colored socks. As black  and brown mockingly laughed up at him, he heard the city bus rounding the corner. He stepped back onto the sidewalk and, as a result of his wet shoe he had just wiped across the grass, he slipped and fell onto the hard cement sidewalk ripping a gash of insanity in his damp dress pants.

228716 barely caught the bus and he felt a bit of relief something had gone right. Then, Insanity hit him hard spilling him against the window and cutting open his forehead on the broken glass. A traffic light malfunction allowed a car into the intersection right in front of the transit bus, causing the driver to slam on his breaks.

"Sorry folks," the bus driver called out over his shoulder, "we just blew a tire. Everyone off the bus." Just as they exited the bus insanity conjured up a sudden thunderstorm above 228716's head. As he pulled his umbrella out and unfolded it a gust of wind blew up and jerked it form his grip sending it tumbling down the street.

By the time he got to his office building on highway 6 he was a wet, worn out, stressed out, bad smelling and bleeding. He was an hour and ten minutes late. 228716 hit the revolving door at a run only to have insanity in the guise of a delivery person try the door in the opposite direction on the other side.

Once again he was punched in the nose and his briefcase ejected all of his papers within his tiny section of the revolving door.

"Why can't this just be a normal mundane Monday morning?" He cried out the query as he shuffled papers haphazardly into his briefcase. Insanity would answer in the form of employee number 232117 tapping on the glass of the revolving door and pointing to his watch.

232117 was Jared's trainee five years previous. Now this young upstart was trying to take over 228716 position of top employee. He was a real ass kisser.

"The Boss wants you in his office pronto mister," he said in a nondescript gender tone. "So I suggest you get those bloody wet buns moving."

228716 mumbled as he passed the young upstart.

"Oh, by the way," 232117 said with a sneer, "your report is due in ten minutes."

As Jared entered the elevator he got stares from the occupants within. Then, upon smelling the odor, the elevator promptly emptied. As the door silently slid closed Jared idly stared at the buttons. His finger hovered over the twenty first floor button, his boss' floor. Then, without a thought, he pushed the button labeled 'roof' instead.

Insanity sped the elevator car to the top of the building with unusual speed. Seven minutes later 228716 stood at the edge of the precipice staring down at the city below. He saw the traffic moving in perfect tandem, not too fast and not too slow. In the distance he saw the steady stream of airliners taking off from the airport and marveled at how evenly space this process was. Like clockwork.

"The World Machine is well oiled indeed." Jared said as he stepped off the ledge and 12.2 seconds later insanity slapped him in the face.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Down stairs in the basement the boss was talking to the new computer technician going over the details of the company's newly installed super computer database.

"Sir," the young tech continued excitedly after spewing forth over ten minutes of geek talk, "this thing is tied into every system upon the planet that can affect the financial well being of the bank and our company. We are talking everything!  From the array of wheather satellites above, to the transportation system on and underneath our streets. We can track storms, monitor traffic and keep tabs on our employees."

"Damn, where is 228716," the boss said, "I need him to hear this before I give him that promotion."

"No problem sir," The tech sat down at a keyboard and monitor station, "we can punch him up right here and find out where he is."

The technician punched up 228716 on the screen and the program matched the numbers with the information and flashed the information on the screen.

The Boss and the Tech both looked at the screen dumbfounded.

"228716..................INACTIVE" Flashed before their eyes.

"That is funny," the tech mumbled, "that is the message reserved for employees that have been terminated."

"Well if he doesn't get his ass down here right now," the Boss said irately, "he is going to find him self in a world of hurt when I do just that."

"As I was saying," the tech continued with his presentation, "this new system is so tied into everything and can do so much it is mind boggling at how much we can achieve with it."

"We have even come up with a cute nick name for it," The young computer geek chuckled.

"Oh, yeah," The Boss said looking at his watch destractively, "and what would that be?"

"We call it INSANITY.

Offline Ninny

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Re: The World Machine
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 06:47:13 PM »
Mahahahaw.. Brilliant!  What was interesting about this one was that..well, you know that film 'Falling Down' with Michael Douglas?  Well, that film in a way, lost it's impact because the guy had been a nut for some time..   In 'The World Machine' the story delivers more of a punch because up till now the character 'Jared' had been a model employee up to the last day.  You could actually rework this into a full length novel..  It's a great story Lee.  In fact I would say 'Oops, you did it again! ;D

Ps We're all dying to see your crits..everyones talking about it!!!   C'm on...  Start critting  ::)

Cap'm Ninny ;D

domenic

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Re: The World Machine
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 07:10:22 PM »
David; the writing is good, and I like the plot...But, ve haf za rules in za world. It starts out good. Then, it gets to sound preachy.
Golden rule; Never preach to the reader. Write it as info from the government or something, but not from you the story teller.
It's a good story and well written....But ve have za rules. All the we, our and us; means the writer is making a statment...that is preaching. I would suggest those be changed/but/ I could be wrong.

The World Machine.

You go to work five days out of the week and you toil away as an employee number on this planet trying to eek out a meager existence. The government knows you as a social security number. Their data banks are full of these numbers and their behaviors but they are not human, just numbers. The numbers are demographics. You are a collection of zeros and ones, along with the rest of the population.

To your bank they know you as an account number. The management at the apartment complex know you as a unit number. No one really knows your name anymore outside of the odd collection of people around you looking for their own distraction from the world machine.

The only time your name is put into print it is the result of a computer program matching the numbers you are identified by to an array of information that stores your name as, you guessed it, a series of numbers. This is usually the result of you owing money, or some company wanting you to spend money.

The modern world has dehumanized us to the point we are zombies working towards a walking death sleeping our way through this mundane structured life. Nice, clean and orderly. No mess.

We, as human beings, crave to forget just how unimportant we really are. That is why many of us distract ourselves on the weekend trying to recapture our humanity in this short space of time. The world calls us and puts us back into our place on monday morning.  Nice, clean and orderly. No mess.

davidleejones13

  • Guest
Re: The World Machine
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 10:19:58 AM »
Domenic,
Thanks for the suggestions. I am sort of on hiatus at the moment, edtiting a manuscript I am about to submit. When I come back from my sabaticle I will get right on this. I did not intend to be so preachy...you were right. ;D

Lee