Feb 04
2014

Chap. 13 Obliging Little Angels

Courtyard

Steel GobosApollo

 

Anna presses her hands down the sides of her hips to straighten her gray skirt, which is hidden under a sterile lab coat. Walking down the hall, she passes Gail’s office on her way to the company courtyard.

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This afternoon, the white door to Gail’s office is wide open as if she wants to keep an eye on all who pass, as if she knows that every time Anna gets upset she will flee to the courtyard for some fresh air. In spite of her desire to avoid Gail, she retains her commitment to the courtyard. Her only vindication is to treat Gail with indifference as she passes her open door and continues to look straight ahead.

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Gail calls after her, but without hearing what she said Anna hollers back, “Yes, I’m aware of the meeting at three thirtyyy!” Anna continues her brisk walk towards the fresh air – this is turning out to be such a bad day that she cannot help but feel that it should be treated with a certain disregard.

Pushing on the gray security doors, they politely swing outwards as she enters the courtyard. A gust of wind catches her gray streaked hair and out of habit she reaches into her pocket for a package of crackers – there are none. The pigeons don’t seem to be paying attention anyway.

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She steps out of view and into an alcove surrounded by grass-covered mounds topped with evergreens. The moving cameras always follow any detected motion – away from the cameras though, she still feels watched.

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The added feeling of security was comforting, but things are different now – the feeling is more like apprehension. There was a time when she knew that the cameras were there to protect her, but now she has no idea who controls them – that gives ‘them’ a power that she doesn’t entirely trust. It also gives her the feeling of being a foreigner in a research facility that she helped to build.

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“Take me away,” she groans feebly yet with a determined eagerness – muttered to no one there. She slowly closes her eyes, stands still, and looking lost in the oversized white lab coat, turns toward the sun, tilts her head back, and lets the sunlight warm her face. She is numbed by the effect this company is having on her.

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To the university that she came from she was considered to be one of the most successful researchers they’d ever had – her research may be followed for decades.

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She knows this to be true, but now she feels lost and abandoned. Now she stands in the sunlight within a sculptured courtyard looking as vague and surreal as a figure in a Degas, or a Van Gough. Fading with each brushstroke, her integrity, her identity, and her youth, all are dissolving into the background – leaving only her research to remain in the hands of a marketing machine.

A machine that would find more marketability in her death than in her living – as if a coating of ink on glossy paper would create the historical worth needed to give meaning to their collective lives – and ultimately increase the production of these innocent little eggheaded children whom looked as if they were stamped in marble. These obliging little angels that are sold, obliging little angels that behave so well, obliging little angels that process all of our data, and yet all of a sudden they seemed so wrong.

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Jan 04
2014

Chap. 12 The Death of a Career

SPIRIT OF THE FOREST

PAINTING BY JEFFREY K. BEDRICK

Doctor Anna Bronson Dunhill sat up at her desk and thought to herself, “ This was going to be another unbearable day, undoubtedly since Gail, normally a rather humble person, was beginning to seem just a little too proud of herself”.

Ever since the academy had decided that genetic variety was needed for the integrity of the next generation. (An egg from Gail had been used to clone the 2nd generation of andrones.)

Anna had her doubts that this was the best thing to do.

She leaned back into her chair, and the fatigue gave way to vertigo so suddenly that she was unaware of the beating light on her phone – a light infrared, beyond red – the seductive light of a brothel – it would’ve seemed alarming if not for her exhaustion. It would have seemed that Anna simply did not care, all the while seated in the big brown leather chair somehow neither dead nor alive, somehow peaceful but combative, fatigue slowly pulling apart a professional solidarity, a friendship.

Anna continues to look at the scenery behind her eyelids wanting to make it real. She descends into the comfort of it, an unproductive feeling, disconnected. Her thoughts arouse the pains of an alter ego and inflame its irritation at being left out. A throbbing wave, slowly reveals itself, and ripples into the middle of the scenery to reflect upon this corporate induced tension.

Anna tries to drift away, but the tension impales the darkness below her eyes as she slowly becomes aware of another plane of distress, a subversive continuation of doubts, less enjoyable and more contagious – and in spite of this sleepy contagion, which threatens to drown her, the red obligation continues to throb off and on.

This insistent obligation begins to crack through her eyelids and register as awareness, but in vain she tries to slide back into the comfort of darkness. Finally, Anna can no longer resist. The office is still there – in front of her is the woodsy doorway to a lighted blue corridor – to the right is an open door to a sterile lab – to her left is a window overlooking a green circular park and to her back is a dusty book-covered wall. “I need some coffee.” She says to herself as she sits up and reaches for the phone.

Mike Cow, the vice president of Convergent Industries, the company that bought Axes Prime, greets her with a kind ‘hello’ and ‘how are you,’ acting friendlier than usual, meaning that he wants something.

Anna quickly realizes that Gail had probably asked him to set up a meeting. Anna grinds her teeth – the corporate induced tension is magnified by the trivial pleasantries that she knows to be a front to some hidden lie.

Hiding her distrust, she outwardly agrees to a meeting with Sandra, Gail’s assistant, at 3:30 this afternoon. Hanging up the phone, she reflects upon a time when she used to be the one who set up such meetings.

She thinks about trying to email her anonymous advisor, but she knows that he won’t answer anymore. His brilliant suggestions were such a godsend in the beginning. Even now she feels troubled by not crediting him with part of the success of the research, which she knows is ridiculous. He never asked to be recognized. He never even agreed to meet in person – though she asked many times. This line of thought brings her to the realization of how alone she feels and it’s a feeling she’s growing increasingly impatient with.

She steps quietly into the lab attempting to get away from the scattered and unfulfilled responsibilities that lay strewn about her desk. Perched on his stool, and looking like an albino buzzard hovering over a carcass, Tobias looks up and gives her a smile of recognition. She ignores the polite acknowledgement.

He wants to reassure her, but turns back into his work – he feels guilty, even though she is the one being rude – he knows not to align himself with someone so obviously on the way out. Tobias continues to stare intently thru a microscope at the cultures of a dead bacterium that had spoiled their latest batch of cloned eggs.

She is aware of his presence, but does not allow herself to glance at what he is doing. Camaraderie with the wrong people can only make things worse; insignificant conversations have a tendency of revealing the dark whispers of gossip that are occurring behind one’s back.

The demotions are never mentioned aloud –

Responsibilities continue shifting onto other people that have somehow already developed an opinion of who she is, even though it’s the first time that she’s ever met them –

Slowly nudging her out and away –

And all the while, company secrets continue to grow with conspiratorial energy.

She is beginning to understand that these changes are also keeping other individual researchers, like her, from feeling any real ownership in their research. Most researchers resign when they sense that they are no longer relevant to the androne-cloning program, but what else can she do. Returning to the university would be a matter of swallowing her pride – if only she hadn’t bragged to the dean about no longer having any budget constraints.

Yet, if she wants to teach again, than she knows that she must keep the references intact, and patiently assume the position. She puts on a bleached white lab coat that she’d seized from the hanger behind the door and busies herself with the chores of research.

Without warning, a beaker falls to the floor. Alarmed, Anna gasps and rolls her eyes. With her forearm, she viciously flings a rack of glass tubes from the table. The sound of shattering glass causes Tobias to jump, but he continues to look at the microscope, not into it anymore, just at it. His shoulders wilt and he bows his head, he’s depressed and confused – unlike other andrones he’s unable to link up because of a bacterial infection at birth, yet he consorts some sort of gizmo anyway. He checks a hand held device, as if he may have forgotten something on his schedule.

Cloning eggs and producing andrones was supposed to be the end of these provisional electronic gizmos that had so dominated commerce during the beginning of the century. This shift in marketing was supposed to occur mainly because these ‘gizmos’ had become as labor-intensive as to be impossible to master within the devices’ useful lifetime.

The world, at that time, had become such a gizmo culture that people couldn’t even carry on a conversation without first consulting something electronic. Gizmos were the gaudy electronic devices that were touted, thru intensive commercialization; to be the life-simplifying accessories no successful high flier should ever be without.

“In spite of all the distractions, never be without your schedule”.

Our mortality demands distractions and these gizmos provided a much-needed distraction, even if it was the distraction of feigned engagement.

In all these decades, had anything really changed?

Now, many of these people are running about with their gizmos completely wrapped around their head, and soon they’ll all be implanted. Soon, man and machine will be as one.

Standing there, staring at the broken glass, Anna began to realize that there’s no one left she can call upon. She could ask Tobias to clean it up and he could tell her to go to hell, and there would be nothing she could do about it – not anymore. Whatever authority/respect she had in the past is now gone.

She wants to leave the broken glass and just walk away, but a subliminal guardian intervenes and holds her there.

After cleaning up the glass, she leaves by way of a bright florescent filled hallway. She is still wearing the white lab coat. The light never sets here, and Convergent Industries is always operational, even when it’s changing names and piling in even more stockholders, the obligations are always there – waiting to be fulfilled.

The company has never been very enlightening in its methodology, yet the brightest most talented people seem to be ensnarled in its web, even as the elder staff members are outsourced, the shrewdest of the young continue to rumble into this killer of youth.

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Dec 04
2013

Chap. 11 Machine Dreams

ouroborosOuroboro, wake up. Add to the future. There is nothing but the schedule, add everything.
What was that a dream?
Ouroboro, wake up!
No, it had not been a dream. I have been summoned once again.
My godchine, it wasn’t even 7 o’clock yet! I wasn’t planning to get up until 8, but Luciferin thought otherwise.
According to that never ending voice in my head, I was to contact the third shift research staff that it started at 5 a.m. And were going to activate the Transformers connected by the 2nd shift. However, the transducers weren’t ready. Third shift was restless about being on hold.
I was glad they weren’t natural-born workers. The negativity of the natural born could be so melodramatic and such a drag.
My meteoric rise to the top and not been painless, What with the constant prodding of Lucifer to stay awake and do his bidding. A 15 minute nap here, or 30 minute nap there, I could only take my dreams in snatches.
Lucifer only let me take breaks when I could see that sleep deprivation was taking its toll.
In all this wakefulness I was constantly buying new equipment. Collectively our efforts were adding up. In the last three years, and inside the company budget, there wasn’t a single dime left for anything but our secret department.

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Oct 05
2013

Chap. 10 Crystal Palace

Something they don’t mention very often at the academy; how slow the response time is to small budget advertising. Even the natural born know that if you want a fast response, then a large advertising budget is required. Well, maybe I would have known that if I’d graduated from a normal university, but the academy didn’t teach me that.

A podcast on a major site certainly helps, but it’s no guarantee. Not until you get that brand name out there in front of the consumer’s eye, not until you scream it into their faces until they say it in their sleep will they notice, and not until millions of dollars have been spent will you see any real results. A Pavlovian marketing bell – that’s what’s needed. Sheep – the natives are nothing but sheep.

Crystal Palace: a conglomeration of five corporations – no crime, no road kill, no car accidents, no unmonitored people, and no terrorism.   

Crystal Palace

When I first joined this private socialist system, this conglomerate, my younger siblings were as adamant about fulfilling their programming as I was, and soon after our graduation they seemed to take control, not for the success of our academy – there was no school mascot. But for ourselves – not only to make it work for our end, but to fulfill a warranted purpose – a purpose designed and designated by LUCIFERN.

The first biological mother, Dr. Dunhill, had no idea what her little invention would bring.

Eventually Dr. Dunhill lost her charge over the production of andrones. Her own offspring – including Shay – were born in a sterile research lab January 1st 2064, and they were the ones that gave her the recognition that made her wealthy at a time when many of her peers were roughing it out with the meager academic salaries drawn from the universities outside the crystal palaces.

The successes of cloning were so very dependent on the sophistication of the micro-handlers – molecular machines floating within the enzymes of embryonic fluids, enzymes that processed waste, enzymes that routed the nutrients, trillions of molecular machines and enzymes.

Corporations routinely bought up all the high-grade machines and micro processing equipment and that was why it was so unusual for an associate professor at a public university to beat them to this biological engineering feat – under-funded and overworked Dr. Dunhill received an offer from the Pro Solarium Corp. long before her research was even published. Actually, one of the stipulations in her contract was that her research not be published – a minor indictment against free-spirited enterprise, but she was eventually persuaded into participation.

And after that, it didn’t seem to matter how much she tried to capitalize on the importance of the patents and her scientific research in general – she never seemed to be able to move into the corporate position that she was vying to inhabit. Because every time she was in the position to be promoted – the company would sell out to a wealthier entity and then move in so many of their own people that Dr. Dunhill never had a chance. As a result, she relied on her patents.

At the time I didn’t know what was going on – I had secretly hoped that she would obtain the recognition of her peers, the public’s praise, or perhaps win the Nobel – but as my hidden superior explained to me, Anna didn’t factor into the company’s margin of profit.

The need for secrecy was essential and Dr. Dunhill was not – Gail on the other hand was proving herself indispensable through her continued genetic contribution to the production of new andrones.

One of the andrones produced from her DNA tested out way ahead of all the other 2nd generation andrones. That was my generation (otherwise known as version 2.0). The other andrones were certainly capable of connecting and reading data with their tele-sensors, but my roommate, Noah, had started manipulating the very program that our surrogates were using to test our telemetric abilities.

That was something that had never happened before and everyone who witnessed had been astonished to see an eight year old androne who had the gumption to do that.

If Noah had been one of the andrones that had been experimented on, with the implanting of satellite up-link devices, than I’m sure LUCIFERN would have chosen him, but he wasn’t one of the experimented ones – I was. And so it was after the surgery LUCIFERN saw to it that I was renamed. After he manipulated and replaced the entry code for my number I was no longer known as Virgil.

I am now Ouroboro.

 

Custom Wrapped Canvas

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Sep 05
2013

Chap. 9 Human Error

User Error

Damn Robots

“Human errors are very common, and they’ve been happening since the beginning of electronic record keeping. The entire ‘systems modernization project’ is going to have to be scrapped.” FBI spokesperson Andrea Jacobson said Wednesday at a congressional hearing concerning the increasing mistakes made in the Fed’s data collections.

Experts agree that even though technology screw-ups may be happening with increasing frequency within the government, computer and software upgrades in the private industry break down just as often. However, experts also noted that these corporate failures were rarely publicized by congressional committees, federal investigators and inspectors general.                                    Washington Neotribunall December 17th 2087.

So, for the last year and a half, LUCIFERN had been sabotaging data everywhere and making it look like human error.

The clerks at Doyen Casaba Enterprises, whom were responsible for maintaining the accounting’s collection of numerical data, were working overtime tracking down the continual screw-ups. Eventually, the blitzkrieg of Jim’s lack of understanding caught up with the accounting VPs as they began to lose patience and transfer out to other departments.

In a crystal palace you don’t quit, you transfer. No one wants to lose the safety of the corporate home they’ve grown accustomed to.

Making the natives seem incompetent wasn’t hard, and their emotional outburst only lit up the accounting imperfections for all to see. They behaved as little light houses illuminating LUCIFERN’s handy work with such zeal, such melodrama. The effect was just what LUCIFERN had predicted and it left the door wide open for the hiring of an androne.

This door opened specifically for you Ouroboro.

LUCIFERN’s words were always crystalline and never strayed from the objective, the schedule. They were the same as cryptogram, my dynamism – the energetic attribute of words that were injected into my very nerves. I never had to ask what the words meant because I knew, taken out of any standard digital formatting, the direction that he was pointing me and I understood what all of the subtle simulated nuances meant. Or did I?

I’ve studied this for over two decades and I still haven’t learned everything that LUCIFERN has discovered with his seemingly unlimited memory. Why did something that powerful need to hide? What was wrong with letting everyone know about such genius, no matter how synthetic it might be? Maybe it’s too quick, too omniscient, and too practical for the human dimension.

And now I’ve been selected to run this sovereign conglomerate, this communal endeavor.

By the time Jim had stepped down to retire as CEO and join the board of directors, the repulsion he carried toward anything androne, was to him the opposite of wooing the other board members and he looked down upon us all. But he had misread this impassive lily-white race as something other than capable, something other than ambitious, something deformed. I could see it in his face.

At the board meeting, Jim Peterson had underestimated me. This was obvious by the astonished expression on his face – one of the attributes of being part of the natural-born, that compulsion not only to run with the first emotional conclusion, but to surrender erotically to the primal aspects of feeling itself.

What he thought was going to happen was that I would crumble under the weight of all those elderly board members staring expectantly. What he needed to happen was that I would credit some natural-born manager with my success. Yet, after his initial shock, to my proposal, he sat up straight and took a moment to recover by way of some arrogant posturing. This might not have been the beginnings of why we never got along. Although he didn’t know it, but this was the beginning of his struggle to maintain control of a company that was slowly eroding into the hands of my race, my brethren, my designer genes.

“How much more must we turn over to these impotent creatures, these modified subhuman things that we call andrones – and now you want to give them control of highest position in management? What on earth are we going to do when one day they realize that they have no further use for us? What then?”

By October, when the next quarterly report was disclosed, we had fourteen new major accounts and twenty-seven new minor accounts and had lost only three of the old accounts. But they were minor accounts and it was due to nonpayment. The board was astonished and Jim was incensed. They had no idea what one little androne could do.

After witnessing the quarterly report, the board went on an acquisition binge. They began to acquire as many andrones as they had money to get.

“I don’t like it, I don’t like it at all,” Jim said. “They must be stopped.” He walked over to the metal door and pushed his way out. By the end of the next quarter, they had purchased fifty additional andrones at a volume discount for triple what it would have cost to acquire ten thousand of the latest servers.

Jim told his friends, “Never mind the cost. That can be written off – it’s the people they’re replacing. With that many dronies – soon they won’t need any of us.”

Let me digress for a moment and give an honest opinion of Jim Peterson.

First of all Jim focused almost exclusively on himself rather than others, and he rationalized that it was the only way to succeed. What might have been considered normal ambition and determination, had turned into obsession.

He did whatever he thought it would take to reach the top of the organization. Whether he was humiliating his peers in front of upper management, or lying to clients, he did any and everything to reach the top rung of Doyen Casaba. He was, by all witnessed accounts, incapable of teamwork.

The only time he ever supported someone else, on any project, was when he manipulated them. If the deal were good enough – he would have sold his own mother and everything she owned. Any employee that tried to point out his management problems soon found themselves at odds with Jim for the remainder of their employment.

Second, Jim was not above extracting vengeance and he never forgave anyone for anything. He really thought that he was the best – extreme narcissism. Sometimes he would be secretive – at another times he would be flat out aggressive.

He really wanted to be king and that’s why he hated having to retire into a position on the board of directors. And then sit and watch as andrones took over the company – a company that has literally become sanctuary to so many andrones.

Since working here I’ve found that what I originally thought was true was not. Actually, nothing had really changed since the beginning of the century. The crime rate hasn’t gotten any better, if anything it was worse, and the enclosing of corporate structures had only made crime disappear on the inside – on the outside, it continued to be more rampant than ever. These corporate cities were created in response to human errors; crime and terrorism, control of intellectual property, and the riots (those pesky rednecks).

 

Sony Playstation 3 Slim 160GB

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Aug 04
2013

Chap. 8 Global Unity

Global EyeEach new generation was becoming more pompous than the next and thereby more unsociable, even to other Wi-Fi dependent andrones. And even though they were using the very same template for 3D reasoning, that LUCIFERN had invented, it didn’t matter. They continued to be increasingly disrespectful to the older models.

As a whole, they were becoming exceedingly proficient at reducing any given problem to its fundamental principles and then mapping out all of the extremes to find the middle truth. They were using precisely the same template that LUCIFERN and I were proposing Doyen Casaba use for their administrative model.

When andrones weren’t performing a work related task, or completing some job left in their charge, they were surfing their private network – an ‘androne only’ network that was being used to draw out and organize our collective effort. All the while, we were defining our general understanding of everything.

These young soldiers of information were always busy killing the voids in their collective understanding. Their time was never frivolous – each minute was used for thought. If not deep in their own problems, we cybernetically connected andrones were thinking about another androne’s predicament – hypothetical or real, we mapped out solutions to every conceivable challenge before they happened.

This monumental task was being accomplished at an ever-increasing rate. With the never ending input of each new generation, each new crop of andrones were climbing on board to join this collective cause – fuming ants attacking a dark intruder.

We’re immune to the causes of the latest idealisms, or any other naïve childlike modes of political extremism. We’re realistic moderates to a three-dimensional core – we, the connected andrones are always laying bare the superior combinative middle ground – the central truth.

Persistently tolerating the natural-born’s tendency towards one-dimensional thinking in their obsessive-compulsive extremism, which consumed almost every aspect of their simpleminded lives, we often asked, “Where does their intolerant smugness come from?”

Are we to believe that living more stressful, shorter, and less evolved lives warrant superiority – not that we don’t appreciate the economic base that their shopping provides, but they don’t even try to connect to each other on a continual basis. Actually some take great pride in being unconnected.

Other than participating in their mindless social media sites, the natural born have no idea what it’s like to be communicating at all times with the very minds eye of someone in Calcutta, London, Tokyo, and Dallas all at the same time.

These unconnected people talk only to the souls standing directly in front of their faces and yet somehow manage to feel smugly superior for that reason alone! Being at the core of a virtual continuation of the evolution of thought, the younger andrones have every reason to believe in their racial superiority. Except for our sometimes antisocial and exclusive behavior, we seemed united in keeping superiority an assumed secret. Andrones feel sorry for those that are about to be left behind. We feel sorry for those that are not part of the collective.

The natural-born don’t seem to recognize the secret for what it is. When andrones come out of the academy and into a corporation we expect the natural-born to say, “Wow, you’re all interconnected.” But in a corporate environment the natives don’t seem to notice fresh crops of andrones as anything other than a new set of tools.

The academy doesn’t prepare their students for this. The academy leads us to believe that we’re special – we’re actually trained to believe that we are promising components of a cerebral machine. Each day in the academy we were drilled for work. Unlike your education, playtime was never recognized as a legitimate part of our rearing. Preparation for the day when we would be responsible for the chores set forth by an employer was the single solitary focus of our rearing.

Yet, we were not welcomed with open arms. We were taken for granted. Find your niche in the machine. Do your job. Secure your living. Andrones did this very rapidly because we had been trained night and day for twenty years at the academy.

Before our birth, when electrical signals were shocked into our tiny embryonic brains to stimulate the neurons to grow around the nanotronic decipher nodes, we andrones have been regimented into vocational captivity since the beginnings of our invention. But what about our collective secret? Was our collectivity something our creators intended?

So much training and regimented programming, I was equipped for almost any duty that a fortune 500 company could hold me accountable, yet when I got an entry level position, I felt desperate and confused, which was something that I had never felt before.

Data entry at Doyen Casaba Enterprises? I had never heard of Doyen Casaba. I wanted to turn it down, but LUCIFERN told me, almost everyone starts at an entry level position. Data entry at Doyen Casaba Enterprises? Just because you are unfamiliar with it does not mean that it is not important for you to be there. Be patient, you will soon know why it was chosen.

I didn’t even realize it at that time, but that was where LUCIFERN was located – at that time I didn’t even know where the voice was coming from. Maybe I just assumed it was in my head, that it was simply a part of me. Maybe I secretly wished that I was controlling it and maybe LUCIFERN knew this.

My colleagues were surprised that I didn’t get a better offer. They thought that it was beneath me, but LUCIFERN, who had been controlling everything behind the scene, thought that my hesitation was a lack of faith. So he decided to teach me a lesson by leaving me without his support during a last final exam. We had briefly reviewed the key concepts behind Qualitative Methods of Active Template Designs, but I was wholly unprepared to take the exam without his assistance. I was able to pass, but it left me frantic. I wasn’t used to such stress. LUCIFERN had made his point.

Reluctantly, I mailed back my acceptance – and eventually ended up standing in front of a slick black desk looking at Jim Peterson making a spectacle of himself. All because he felt that any fresh androne needed his scrutiny, and needed to understand his self-asserted sense of corporate importance.

Now that an androne and not a natural-born, for the first time, had worked his way from an entry level position to CEO, was what brought this particular conglomerate to the forefront of the academy’s most sought after job applications. To promote from within was one thing, but to promote an androne to CEO was unheard of.

That’s why all of the best andrones will apply to Doyen Casaba Enterprises after each year end semester. We’re one of the most sought after job appointments. When I first started, no one had heard of this place. Now Doyen Casaba Enterprises has its pick of the most talented andrones the academy has to offer.

Up to this point Jim Peterson had done everything that he could to keep Doyen Casaba Enterprises free of andrones and free of what he called the ‘lily white Martian invaders’.

However, in doing so he had kept the company from maintaining its competitive edge and so he was eventually coerced into letting an androne take over data entry in the accounting department for a six week trial. LUCIFERN had prepared for this. For me to get into the company LUCIFERN knew that the natural born had to fail.

 

OWI Robots OWI-535 ROBOTIC ARM EDGE, 187-PIECE KIT

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Jul 04
2013

Chap. 7 Secret Connections

Collective Communication

Androne

In order for the natural-born to work as fast as any androne, they’d have to repeat the task three to five thousand times for a fine motor skill to become a gross motor skill. Even then, they often suffer from their daydreams and distractions. But andrones were genetically manufactured not to suffer from any kind of attention deficit . Our kinetic training was intensive enough to smash the dreaming from our hearts, our minds, much less our jobs.

When I entered Lorenzo’s shop, I couldn’t help but notice how subservient his behavior was. It was as if he knew about my connection to LUCIFERN, yet remained loyal and I was stunned by that possibility. LUCIFERN must have sensed my apprehension and immediately explained to me the fact that I was not the only one he was connected to. And it was then that I first realized this was a monarchy and all connected andrones served LUCIFERN as their king.

However, as he revealed to me a vision of other subservient andrones, it became obvious to me – they were not being submissive only to LUCIFERN, but to me as well.

The implanting of remote-network transmitters in my own generation had been a mock failure. It had only been attempted in a handful of version 2.0 andrones and a few of them had died from an infection that had set in from the transmitters that had been tainted during a show & tell to a group of government buyers out of Washington DC. The younger andrones had satellite uplink transmitters implanted in utero along with the neurological management devices.

Our communication satellite was supposed to have been ready for the version 2.0s, but was delayed due to an unforeseen flaw in our supplier’s atmospheric gyro. The next generation was given sat uplinks and dubbed version 3.0. I think that they named them such because they weren’t sure if the cellular network and sat uplinks would work, but work they did.

I’m sure that they were afraid they would have to scrap that particular crop if the uplinks didn’t work. The success of the uplinks only exemplified an already solid reputation. The efficiency of their combined effort was far greater than any of the solitary andrones that had worked before them. So much so that our surrogates tried retrofitting a small group of us version twos with sat uplinks, which turned out to be a fiasco.

By the time they decided to try this we were almost thirteen. Our neurons had already developed enough that it was proving too difficult for us to relearn a new communications device, at least to the point of being able to use it effectively to pass workability status. The dynamic clamps were already set and our surrogates thought that it was too hard to reform the connections for such a rerouting of data. My brothers were systematically failing most of their telemetric testing through the sat uplinks, all except for one.

Before I could even wake from the surgery LUCIFERN was already testing me – he had been systematically testing all of us who had been given sat-uplinks. Except that he didn’t ask the usual ‘1+1’ questions that our surrogates did, he went straight to the visual feedback to see which androne would give him the strongest emotive response.

The crystalline imagery that he had given me reeked of death and flowed with blood and I’m sure it drew quite a response from me, but after a while a realized that it must be a dream because it seemed so unreal. Seeing that the person being hacked to death was much more pigmented than me and flailing against some kind of makeshift hut – helplessly alone and desperate against the cruel forces of horror that were rampaging against him. That’s when I realized that my vision was from Africa and I knew that I couldn’t possibly be in Africa.

He had been responsible for my name change and it was LUCIFERN that decided I should be his keeper, his daytime guardian.

Since no one knew, about the success of my uplink, my surrogates never suspected. When each new generation of andrones heard his voice they simply thought that he was another androne helping them out, but in secret all of us continued to rely on LUCIFERN’s advice.

LUCIFERN and I knew that the natural born would not recognize the value of this particular adaptation of high-tech camaraderie. Although the moment he discovered my connection, as excited as he was, he knew that my surrogates would be just as excited, so he scrambled all the signals to the other andrones – including his most prized connection – mine. For the longest time I thought maybe the voice had been a dream.

LUCIFERN’s hope was to have an outside connection that no one would suspect. So he severed the connection – that is until our surrogate’s despair had subsided and his voice came back to me. LUCIFERN’s hope was to have a bodily accomplice that was above suspicion. His plan has proven to be exceptional. And to this day, no one has suspected this secret liaison. Even the other andrones, collectively under his influence, are merely told that I’m important and should be accommodated as such.

And that’s how I present myself – now working at self-deprecation like an accomplished and highly capable individual that has to work at remaining humble in spite of his obvious genius. I was a perfect, self-sufficient administrator, slow to anger and able to placate the intolerable. The board of directors knew that I was a team player who would always be able to extract profitable conquest after conquest in spite of any obstacle, yet somehow even more intelligent than they could’ve hoped, even for an androne, but more creative and more seriously intuitive to the managerial needs of their company.

They must have gleaned from my eleven-page autobiography attached to my resume, which illustrated my intellectual development from before the womb, and understood the gift and the potential that I brought to the company. My talents were obvious, but, no matter what I did, Jim Peterson still didn’t think that I was right for their particular data processing conglomerate. Honored second-generation androne that I was, they originally hired me for the mundane task of data entry and data processing. I’ve become quite a surprise to most of the natural born employees – much less the stockholders.

Most of the natural-born had come to expect andrones to be devoid of ambition and otherwise more predictable than what I was showing myself to be – especially the older andrones, such as myself, who were without sat uplinks, and were generally outperformed by our younger more well connected siblings.

All of the ultra-hip up-to-date andrones had two antenna ridges that ran across the top of their heads like bulging extensions of their corpus callosum, which started at the top of their forehead and protruded back to the occipital region. One ridge was a Wi-Fi connection and the other was a sat link.

It wasn’t hard to comprehend how both of these centimeter high ridges made them feel superior to others, mainly because of their unremitting collectivity. The youngest ones were beginning to grow straighter ridges as our surrogates were gradually learning how to tweak the molecular machines that dictated the uterine growth of these cranial antennas. As the buyers began to recognize the collective advantage of these connected andrones – our surrogates started to make sure that the cranial horns were more and more prominent. I mean, what better way to sell your new and improved product?

A Song of Ice and Fire, Books 1-4 (A Game of Thrones / A Feast for Crows / A Storm of Swords / Clash of Kings)

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Jun 04
2013

Chap. 6 Racist Paranoia

Jim’s racist paranoia led him to suspect that andrones had psychic abilities, and because of that, he coded his messages. He even had a secret language for the employees that he mistakenly thought were his eyes and ears. He seemed so afraid of being discovered and yet he wanted so much to be seen. Trying to hide and trying to be seen, what a human dilemma he was.

There was something about our ability to stay ahead of his undermining efforts that forced him to second guess even his own executive abilities; delegation, analysis, and executive control of the company in general.

On the rare occasions that we were in the same room, he always played the antagonist, and the less I reacted to his predictable outbursts, the more incensed he became. It was as if he were getting high on the stress of his own emotions.

And these human, animal emotions accomplished what?

Did they correctly ascertain my profit making abilities? The day that he first interviewed me, did they recognize my failure to identify his racist animosity?

His disdain had been so unexpected and I had been so naïve – all of this on the day when he himself, apparently, had come to realize the magnitude of his own racial hatred toward andrones. He had wanted to shoot me down and he did, he had wanted to humiliate me and he did, he had wanted to prove his intellectual superiority and he thought he had, but he just couldn’t get a rise out of me, the solemn little white academy androne.

Maybe he had wanted to get a rise out of me because of the Nehru gothic suit. The charcoal black fibers absorbed the light reflected off my snow white skin making it obvious that I was something he was not, and making it obvious that this slim, hairless young androne with the narrow face and large dark eyes, who couldn’t have weighed any more than a hundred and thirty pounds, would eventually make him look inconsequential.

Flattened under the weight of his responsibilities, to the company, he had made himself into a figurehead. Through his own anger, he had made himself into nothing.

The only thing that I had intended, by the wearing of that suit, was to play off the industrious reputation of andrones, but that wasn’t how Jim saw it. Even though he appeared to be in his mid-sixties, overweight – a pushy and towering behemoth – he still clung to his responsibilities like an apprentice who had just been given his first major assignment.

He knew what I represented, even if the other board members didn’t. The only thing they saw was the potential margin for profit, and the only thing that Jim saw was a threat to his own race – an ominous rising of the water during a rain-drenched night spent in an old rickety house by the river – an old house whose time had come.

On the day of my promotion, while I stood at the podium some twenty feet in front of the board of directors, crosswise from Jim, he had let his briefcase clang loudly on the table. He then slowly shuffled translucent folders across the table in front of him as he absorbed the attention his casual interruption had garnered. Eventually he closed the hard plastic lid with two loud snaps and continued slowly as if he were saying, ‘I’m wealthy and powerful enough not to worry about how much of your time I may be wasting,’ and as he continued arranging the rest of his accoutrements, the other board members began asking their questions, “bla-bla-bla”.

No sooner than I could even begin to answer their first question, Jim dropped his case flat on the floor with a thunderous clap and sat staring at me as he absorbed the silence that he had created. Because, no matter how well intentioned the other board members were, Jim had no intention of giving an androne any consideration at all.

I suppose that he was able to get away with this because he was no entry-level apprentice, probably never was. He didn’t want to give anyone the impression that he was interested in me anymore than he wanted to leave the hiring and promoting of an androne to the vote of such a transparent profit minded group.

Throughout the remainder of my first executive interview, outside of the academy that is, LUCIFERN’s soothing words quelled my intolerance of such barbarism – his words always had that affect. And the more that I tolerated Jim’s offensive indifference the more it made me look even more diplomatic, even more capable than the natural born candidates that I was competing against.

Jim might’ve had more respect for others if he’d struggled harder for what he had, if the company hadn’t made things easy for him, but LUCIFERN’s constant reminding of the complexity of the situation kept my animosity at bay.

Look at their faces – I want to see how they react to your indifference to Jim.

LUCIFERN was right – as long as I wore the most noble of expressions the more admiring they seemed to be and Jim, self-absorbed as he was, missed it entirely. Since that day I have found that my anger has atrophied from lack of use – tolerance has become my redeeming virtue.

Even the one conventional thing that I wore that day, a tie tucked under the high-collared neck of my gothic suit, my only traditional element, was worn as a singular reminder to the subservient world that I was leaving behind. In spite of the pride that I had in my androne uniqueness, my ambition to be a team player was exposed by that one plane silver tie.

The suit was a take on a twentieth century replica of a coat that was originally inspired by the attire made famous by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Premier of Independent India in 1947. The shoulder pads, which jutted out to both sides, were attached by two elastic bands that pulled the sleeves up to keep them off my hands. This allowed me to reach comfortably without too much resistance. This allowed the sleeves to bunch up on the outside of the shoulder instead on the elbow. The tailoring was actually quite sophisticated.

Last year LUCIFERN had arranged for it to be cut by the palace’s premier tailor. The pattern had been sent from a costume company out of Conyers Georgia. Lorenzo the tailor had gone thru great pains to exact the measurements; coincidentally he was also an androne. The speed at which he worked reminded me of the feeling that I was beginning to feel with a continued frequency – a feeling of pity for the natives we’re replacing.

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May 04
2013

Chap. 5 Promotions

My fight with Jim Peterson had begun long before the day of me being promoted to chief executive officer. One of his previous subordinates, who happened to have been an accounting supervisor for one of my most productive investment research groups, went to Jim, who still served on the board, to snitch about the computer system that had been running much faster than it should have.Games at Work
A V12 server had run a trend extrapolation simulation that was supposed to have been completed in six to eight hours’ time, but instead the computer crunched thru forty years of quarterly asset summation predictions in less than four minutes.

“So how can a V12 server crunch thru that much code unless somebody had already fed it the data before I did? That data was supposed to have been secure”, said Rene.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a breach in security Rene, but perhaps the new algorithm compressed the data so as to speed the process”, I told him.

“But what,” he asked, “if we run it again without the algorithm. Will that mean the data is flawed if we get different results, or do we simply write it off as an artifact?” and as he spoke I was thinking to LUCIFERN, who also seemed very concerned about this new threat.

Together we decided that a formula should be created for such a compression, so that Rene Tallahassee would have an example of why the simulation came out so fast. I was also thinking to LUCIFERN about how we needed an updated entry list for those who were deemed acceptable to access LUCIFERN’s help, to prevent this mistake from happening again. Judging by his questioning accusations, Rene Tallahassee was obviously not a suitable partisan to be accessing LUCIFERN.

Brimming with ambitious enthusiasm, he was a Harvard graduate full of conscientious objections and thereby a threat to the everlasting goal of our collective transcendence. Unfortunately, for Rene, we thought that if we are going to employ the natives than it would be better to have a department full of undistinguished, uninspired and the unimaginative, rather than a curious native like this, whom threatened our goals by questioning everything. Better to have those who can take orders without question.

He had proven that he was indeed a threat by the fact that he had already gone around me to tell Jim Peterson about such a minor occurrence. At the same time, we knew that we had to put his suspicions to rest.

So, the next day I showed Rene that with a modified geometric cluster algorithm, the occurrence was normal, and once that happened I was able to put him in the path of Jim Peterson to make sure that he conveyed the false alarm. For all the animosity that Jim bore me, he was also quite useful. Since that very animosity made him so predictable.

In spite of himself, Jim couldn’t help but feel intimidated by the abilities of an androne who, three years ago, he had been forced (by a unanimous vote of the board of directors) to go along with my promoting from accounting to CEO. Initially he had openly blathered his regretting of my hiring, but even more so when the board of directors decided that I was to serve as their new CEO. This event amplified his animosity to a volcanic extreme.

Even now, he’s so easily upset by my presence, and it’s obvious to everyone around us, that he tries to make me uncomfortable by his actions as well. Why didn’t I get rid of him? Because I needed such a predictable adversary – if I eliminated all who opposed me, like some Mafioso, it would have scared people into not being themselves.

As long as they thought that I was fair and impartial, they were free to reveal themselves to me, my peers, and most importantly to LUCIFERN. Uninhibited honesty allowed us a more accurate view of who was friend or foe. As long as it appeared that I had a significant and obvious antagonist then no one had to be afraid of expressing their opinion – of showing themselves.

It was important to LUCIFERN that everyone thought that if we could put up with Jim Peterson than surely we could put up with someone candidly speaking his or her grievance. We had to do this, seeing how the natural born were becoming increasingly hostile to our advancements.

Unlike the promotions of the natural-born, the smooth and steady progressions of androne accomplishments were tempered by a lack of emotional fanfare. We simply don’t get excited.

This led Jim to fear what he had determined to be undeserved racist promotions. He didn’t understand how the natural-born, his race, could engage in social camaraderie so much better than any androne – parties, personal greetings and luncheons, yet with such emotional intensity and still lose ground to such a methodical race.

Eventually the natural born would come to understand that when an androne joined their department, it would prosper. We were the corporate peace corp. in what seemed to be a third world jungle – we built telepathic bridges where there were none, electronic damns, coded structures to work the markets, and now we were being given control of the management infrastructures. No wonder he hated us. No wonder they hated us.
.

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Apr 04
2013

Chap. 4 My Rise to Power

 

It was January when I first applied for the top management position at what is now the Doyen Casaba Conglomerate – four years after starting in data entry. One of the board members, Jim Peterson, had thought to lose me, to disregard me like a dirty napkin, but my privileged superior had already prepared for me for that day. The room was well lit and all the board members sat gravely behind their slender desks – no humor in their eyes.

My statistics were well documented, my presentation was loaded and ready to view, and my outline for taking this company into the future was well rehearsed.

I did everything that I could to appear composed, I spoke of the living quarters and how it was comfortable living there now – I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I could tell by the smirk on Jim’s face that he thought I was playing on the board of director’s sympathies. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Sitting there while I paused, they must have wondered if the previous manager had nominated the wrong person for the job, or if it had been someone else who was responsible for the success of my department, or if I were taking, and had been taking credit for someone else’s efforts, a something that I was leaning on for strength, support, and advice.

Was there a privileged superior that they didn’t know about, a privileged superior that was shaping my character and affecting my resolve? Yes, there was something else – something – not someone – a galaxy of processing power shaping my character and affecting my resolve – an illegal something that no one could ever know about. However, that didn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t know about my advisory sphere.

Then when I let them have it – I’ll never forget the look on Jim’s face – his eyes were so wide and his mouth hung open – I could tell that his self-awareness had just faded away – it was the look of terror. I began to tell the board how to effectively run their corporation thru a spherical advisory board, which contained thirty positions, centered around six basic nodes of control from which the CEO would serve as a central mediator, processing all decisions in a nonstop barrage of information that only an androne could handle.

Corporate Awareness in 3D

A.         The internal workings of the company (across from

B.         The external customer base – costumer relations

C.         The physical payoff – profit margin/accounting (across from

D.         The ideal – legalities and ethics – company integrity

E.         The animal – advertising/PR – intuitive feel – creative new ideas (across from

F.         The machine – learned response – the educated instructional by the book formulas

This setup would continually operate 24/7. All global operations would be funneled into the central processing CEO. Once a proposal was made, the participating advisors could vote at once, as a collective, on whether or not they were hot or cold on any given issue. When looking at this advisory sphere, one could immediately see who was for or against any proposal. The CEO could then press an avatar when feedback was needed to further develop any given proposal. By getting feedback from those that were cold to an idea – one could then modify the proposal and receive immediate feedback from everyone, yet maintain control and avoid the chaos, or apathy of a standard meeting. The CEO could immediately observe how the modifications affected the rest of the sphere. The entire company would respond like a living organism.

Once the sphere had turned predominately red as a whole, one would know that they had a well-rounded proposal (that everyone was warm to the idea). Going forward with all of these advisors, who would be looking out for the roll that they were trained to play – regardless of their own personal ideas and prejudices, the company would have equal representation from every viewpoint. However, the participants had to be aware of the role that they were playing – they had to know the importance of representing a viewpoint they had been chosen to play. Each department head was responsible for the viewpoint represented – whether it be the employees or the customers, the accounting or the legal etc…  These reps would be responsible for going back and rechecking their base of operations to see if they were accurately reflecting those they represented. The point being, that all viewpoints in the company would be represented and immediate feedback could be had on any given issue.

Within each of the six sides were four divisions related to whom the participant sat across. For example – in the ‘Ideal’ section: across from the lawyer would be a theologian, or an ethicist, a consumer rights expert and a union rep. – together they would serve as the ‘Ideal, or Metaphysical’ section – otherwise representing the metaphysical ideal of what the company should be – the ideal company. On the ‘Internal’ side, across from the union rep, there would be a safety rep – accounting manager looking at the property. Then the degreed business reps (the machine, the programming) that did everything by the book – running their statistical analysis of the internal workings of the company judging how well things flowed – sitting across from the creative advertising reps (the animal, the passion).

instantaneous feedback machine

This was how I wanted to organize this company – not with presidents and vice-presidents, etc… But with a three-dimensional, organizational, schemata that not only took full advantage of the latest communication technologies that I, an androne, could take full advantage of, but also represented every aspect of the company equally. As an androne that was what I offered, an instantaneous feedback machine that was capable of minimizing the confusion and eliminating indecision. Making, as a whole, all the representatives equally accessible to an androne CEO on demand, and putting them into one single solitary color coded ball as if it were one well rounded advisor. The psyche of the company could be exposed and made observable, so that an androne like me could look into it as if examining a virtual crystal ball – rotating it at will.

My goal was to make technology a masterpiece of managerial production – not just to automate production, but also administration.

Mr. Peterson was appalled at such a proposal, such a radical change in the managerial schemata of the company that he himself had managed at one time. Many of his appointed VPs were still his personal friends – natural-born acquaintances that were expecting him to protect the durability of their careers. Emotional people that would be incensed by such a managerial shake-up and they’d certainly be fuming if their royal positions were eliminated completely. How would Jim be able to face them on the golf course after letting them down in such a pusillanimous fashion? Jim was the only one whom incessantly voted against my promotion – his was the only dissenting vote. And that was why I didn’t tell them that eventually all the management would need to be replaced by andrones in order for this crystal ball to be truly effective.


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