000. In The Bubble

No such thing as an idea that is too outrageous – that was what they told him on the first day he started work there. He hadn’t believed them, because of course, it sounded too good to be true. It was true though, and he had great fun doing what he wanted to do. He had no second thoughts or regrets about the effect that he had on the public at large. He was getting to write – he had a captive audience, and he was getting to have an effect on people’s lives. All those fantasies he had about being God and being omnipotent got free reign when his script was put out there into the world.

He lived in a bubble for the longest time, and that was how his employers wanted it to be – they didn’t want any of their writing team to have to consider the fact that when it came down to it, what they were doing, was fucking with people. Their editor mollycoddled each and everyone of them; wrapped them in cotton wool and kept them blinded to the facts. What goood would it do for them to know otherwise?

For the small sacrifice of keeping away from all external media in the world, theirs was a life of luxury. They would have been the envy of everyone in the world at large if it had ever been possible for anyone to know of their existence – but it wasn’t. The kind of things that went on in the Fiction Department were never going to be declassified. The only time any data might be sanctioned as leakable was if something leaked about the department itself and they needed to discredit the source and destabilise the informational substrate of the world.

Weston sat down on the bench and took out his cigar – there was no smoking allowed in public spaces for the general populace, but he was not one of the plebs, and any copper stepping into his vicinity would get a warning light flashing on their retinal implant. He liked to smoke, liked to take advantage of the things he could do that others couldn’t. He was smug knowing that he was protected and too valuable for them to allow any harm to come to him. None of this worked any kind of alchemy on him to make him charming or pleasant to be around, rather it set a rot in him, allowed the rust to intrude. To be necessary but unpopular breeds resentment, even amongst those who recognise your worth.