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July 24, 2017 | by  | in Music |
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chris††† — social justice whatever

11.1/101

In the distance a fire rages. The smoke has filled the town, making all activity a choking, teary mess. But there’s still mail to be delivered, bills to be paid, work to be done, and so everyone just goes about their day, red eyed and crying.

A man enters the bank. All the employees are from out of town, and he’s never particularly liked it. But since they bounced his last cheque, he’s been furious. He screams at the young teller, who’s unsure how exactly him having no money is her fault, but she takes the abuse anyway, because any attempt to retort will end up with her being fired. As the man leaves, it’s difficult to tell if he’s crying in anger, or if it’s just the smoke.

The burning building was once a burgeoning mattress factory, but since the man from out of town introduced the company to machines, they’ve not been hiring anyone, and in a frenzy to cut costs, they laid off the entire staff. The building had no more human presence, with all the mattresses being produced, marketed, and shipped solely by the network. But still, people remained in the town. This was their home, and they weren’t going to abandon it.

Deep in the town, a computer begins to whirl up. It hadn’t anticipated the factory fire, and was running hundreds of simulations on how much fluoride and free pornography would be needed to ensure the populace didn’t end up rioting. Its best case scenario involved bringing in three more truckloads than usual, and an increased amount of sugar in the food.

Payments are made, and other factories in the town begin to whirl up.

The police chief looks at his daily report. Three aggravated assaults, four armed robberies, and a rape. All in all, good figures, supporting his re-election goal of “20% less crime (and 100% more smiles!).” He was initially unsure about the proposal to replace most of his staff with statistical models, but he certainly couldn’t complain about the results. By sectioning off parts of the city, and loading them onto the neighbouring district, he didn’t even need to do anything to be considered to be doing a good job. Though some citizens did still wonder why the park in the middle of the town belonged to the neighbouring city, they all knew to avoid it anyway, so it didn’t bother them too much.

The fire is still a concern though, and he weighs up letting the factory burn to the ground. He types a few words into his helpful chatbot asking for advice.

$15,000 has been deposited into your account.

The fire engine is called, and they begin the 15 mile journey to the blaze. It’s midday, and the fire started at 4.00am.

A month later, the fire is forgotten, but the smoke never really went away; it simply lingers over the town. The police chief has been demoted after it was determined to be the best course of action for the overall health of the populace, and at his old desk a new terminal whirs quietly. The mattress factory continues to function well, as increased taxes helped both rebuild and replace the failing machinery. The extra fluoride didn’t end up being used, and the town now holds a stockpile. The populace doesn’t know where it came from, but prices have been rising lately, and it might be a nice way to rejuvenate the park.

Everything slowly decays and dies, but nothing ever really changes, and the whole time chris††† plays on a loop.

This is your life now.

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