[Reading Sample] ONE

The world was already destined to be devastated quicker than expected; but the current world order had not changed at all. Nobody seemed to remember the exact date, but the twenty-first century was when all societies had lost their way. We still loved life but not in the same way; we all still hated the shit system - that was the way of the endless class struggle.

It was easy to sound dystopian – although things can never be simplified as easily as that - but the major problem being that progress remained an illusion; people had merely given up on it for themselves and for future generations. All that was truly on offer was just different forms of endless inter-generational wage-slavery. You could not even peg out early without some new breed of freelance accountant chasing up your undead corpse!

Society was just slowly ceasing to cohesively work; the functionalism of society was getting more primitive. And that meant more brutal. A truly humane society was not possible as capitalism remained the dominant societal structure. It was a primitive capitalism; many bad laws were pointless regardless of wherever you happened to be. What did not aid this global inertia was that the environmental destruction of this once amazing planet was inevitable.

Parts of the world had sunk into the sea and parts of the sea had dried out. This had created deep underground chasms that were warmed by the Earth's core. The world had got a lot smaller thanks to this catastrophic environmental meltdown. In theory, you could walk from Shanghai to London, then on towards what was left of New York - all in one day. It was too late to save too much; the environmental meltdown was all so sudden and gave no government, or organisation, enough time to realistically prepare for such a catastrophe.

There was some doubt whether the planet had truly had enough of humans, or if this was a merely cyclical re-setting of the eco-system as what many predicted. The ozone layer had repaired but there were stranger things happening. Bizarre changes had occurred: People stopped buying things; people did not need to eat as much, and less petrol was used.

The Prime President looked out over the devastated cityscape. The ugly secure wage slave work settlements and scorched earth. The merging global cities had created a strange network of inter-linking bio-domes and underground worker settlements.

St Paul’s Cathedral had been sprayed with fluorescent pink paint and it always glowed brightly, despite those who committed themselves to banditry, they also attempted to start riots within the work settlements. Some workers from the settlements joined these bandit gangs; unsurprisingly very few had the stomach for anarchic out-land living.

The only thing that truly remained was the toxic environment. And most political systems favoured small ‘c’ conservative societal models. As the Chinese discovered to their early advantage that a docile electorate remained easy prey for government apparatus to manipulate and suppress as and when required.

The Prime President shielded his eyes. The sun's solar storms had started to cause random fires to break out. None of this bothered the Prime President as he rarely left his luxurious office apartment. He had a fat face with small tight lips. His pasty pale skin suggested aristocratic ancestry and he had a physique like the Pillsbury Dough-boy.

His strange blonde D.A. –something that had been inspired by Swiss Toni out of ‘The Fast Show’ – had become a global trademark for him. His horse-faced wife was just a P.R. prop. The Political P.R. huckster; a mere anti-ideology salesman in the pay of big corporations. Also, he looked cool in his antique leather boxer shorts; that was one leak he was proud of. This Prime President allowed the corrupt old ways to thrive as usual; that was what he was paid to do: keep the old ways and find new ways to reinforce the old ways, mainly how to saddle future generations with more debt in a climate of constantly rising costs.

The Prime President smiled and pressed his office communicator button that had been clumsily built into his desk. It crackled for a minute before he said: “Send in The Doofer File...And more of that stiffening spray!”

There was an obedient click as his genderless office assistant - wearing a transparent bodysuit - entered the office-apartment and handed him a small stick USB drive. This archaic drive had been repaired numerous times; it was covered in sticky tape and repair labels.

The Prime President smirked at the genderless office assistant. He never bothered to ask their names. They were not even human to him. He felt superior not being a clone; he had the paperwork to prove it. Though he had to accept that clones were the future. His problem was that the State Corporation was running out of real people.

The Prime President tried not to think of all the sexual perversions going through his mind. He always got a dead pig and a zombie in there, too. He stared at the genderless office assistant: the bodysuit was not a deliberate perverted kick, it was actually a well-thought security measure.

The main purpose of transparent bodysuit was that no concealed weapons could enter the personal space of the Prime President. It did not stop chemical weapons, though the Prime President did have a vapour detector; he was up-to -the-minute on most of the ways political leaders got assassinated. Exploding cigars and Y-fronts aside, he was feeling very secure even if there were constant rumours of sudden riots gaining momentum. There had not been a pointless full-on riot since 2011. And all of these genetically modified clone assistants were assigned a non-binary identity. Many did not have names, just serial numbers to reinforce the fact they were not considered true humans, but State-Corporation property.

The Prime President nodded - purred perversely at the cloned nubile flesh of the assistant through their transparent garb - as he slowly inserted the old USB drive into his desk console; the assistant bowed and left the office-apartment. The Prime President had started to resent the living; he got no fun from the living these days; he had a penchant for lifeless flesh. The perks of his office did not stretch this far. Such was his superiority complex, he did not even bother to speak to his office assistant in person, or attempt any old-fashioned banter or so-called flirtatious chat-up lines. He was purely focused upon looking up this odd file. It might just hold the key to the malaise gripping the dying world.

The office assistants had small cubby-holes down the corridor where they lived; and secretly hoped to be promoted at some point this century. Many clones ended up as illegal sex-slaves, or offering what was known as “Personal Services”. It was a harsh existence, but the only reality these clones would ever know: one of continual unquestioning servitude.

Personal service, in one form or other, was all these assistants had been really designed for; they were the perfect corporate workforce – always benign serfs - even though they remained state-company property, they never questioned why they were not technically “free”. It was also still illegal to do this kind of widespread genderless cloning – a form of population manipulation; but many companies and nation states that had merged usually pursued this unethical science. To them the devil was always in the detail.

It was often theorised that there were armies of these clones waiting to be unleashed upon the flash rioters and the anarchic bandit gangs who refused to conform to the old ways. There was more room devoted to intelligence archives and stored information about every known member of the remaining population. Some of the zombies had even been vetted, too.

Some things were inevitable, like menial automation: more machinery – cheaper pointless machinery - that attempted to do things humans found too dull and they always needed to be constantly fixed. That was the double-edged sword of cheap technologies. The dead would also go for an occasional walkabout, but they were harmless.

The comical thing being was that their teeth were the first things to fall out. The eyes rotted away soon after, so most were blind. A zombie couldn’t bite you for shit. They just sucked at the air or at any toxic fruit or plants they found. The zombies did not even have the brains to scratch you; it was as if they just wanted to re-live their past life. The global zombie hysteria was short-lived. Even more so when business leaders and army chiefs started to consider them as a cheap alternative workforce to get around flimsy cloning laws.

That thought made the fat animal-loving Prime President smirk. He loved to see dumb impoverished people vote for him, only for him to find an endless list of excuses and break his campaign promises and professionally mis-lead the public. The Prime President secretly hoped for one thing: he just hoped that what remained of the human populace bought his memoirs when he would be forced to retire after his second term. Technically speaking, the Prime President was the biggest warlord and he had the full use of governmental apparatus at his legal disposal. He was born into privilege and had always got his way. Only privileged people had been allowed to do this well; and to achieve things easily in this life. That was the whole point of being privileged.

The Prime President’s dated world view – and it was stuck in another era – was that everybody else was pretty much fucked and had to fight it out to survive in the brutal new world of constant environmental shit. The daily battle to strive for survival would not get any easier, no matter how much old automation the world still required.

It was a right old free-for-all. He knew the pitch-forks were being sharpened for an endless cycle of riotously ultra-violent revolutions. This would be bad for preservation of the Old Order; and even worse for long-term profit margins. It would certainly make aggressive profit protectionism very challenging in the current climate. Nobody wanted to take a haircut.

Thankfully for the Prime President, the empty rhetoric and catchy media slogans to help “ordinary working people” - or his other favourite “hard-working people” - were just the standard lip-service to the wage slaving masses. You could easily replace the word “people” with “slaves”. The point was that the system always needed more slaves, they needed them for longer and longer.

Although the electorate were not as dumb as he had first thought when he had assumed office by a fluke technicality, he had managed to keep the capitalist con alive. The problem was they were running out of guards and enough of the usual privileged classes who connected and vaguely related to each other to carry on as ministers to preserve the status quo and maintain the necessary standard of inequality. Unfortunately for the Prime President, many of his close ministers and ministerial aides had been violently assassinated by bandit gangs during his first fifty-year term.

The work settlement populations were decreasing quickly through the suicide sickness. Shitland’s worker population was less than fifty thousand people and they kept randomly killing themselves. Nobody could figure it out, not even the few remaining respected medics. That was what made the Prime President think of the person who organised these illegal underground vent parties. Something was being done to help these debt-running workers; it made them all feel better by going to them; they stopped wanting to kill themselves even when they had terminal or hereditary illnesses.

There were loads of re-animated toxic folk wandering about; and there were no kids being born. People stayed the same age until they either got violently killed or decided to kill themselves. Even then if a person decided to commit the ultimate individual selfish act, they still might come back as a slowly decomposing dismembered zombie.

The Prime President hated the genderless clones and cyborgs infiltrating all aspects of this new world; but he had learned to accept them as the sign of the future. Humanity had treated themselves so cheaply for so long; life was so cheap, and all societal models were having to pay the long-term price for years of inter-generational unequal socio-economic warfare.

However, the Prime President had also realised that he was also running out of real human voters. He would have to offer clones the vote at some point during his term of office merely to boots compulsory voting numbers. He moved awkwardly; he had recently purchased Eva Braun’s knickers to wear under his slick antique Savile Row suit. He had to air out his leather boxers, for publicity reasons, so he was in his kinky Frau Braun’s. He smirked to himself, as if laughing at a private in-joke. He had out-bid some desperate prole for them. The desperate menial supervisor wage slaver was willing to get into more debt just to afford them – it was unbelievable, but you know what people are like these days: always spending what they haven't got.

Another major democratic issue bothered him: How else can you promise to keep the world the same for the vested interests of the powerful and over-privileged few? There were no political divisions these days, just workers and masters. It was more like feudalism than communism. But the Prime President was up against an existential crisis: he desperately needed the illusion of a democratic mandate to merely maintain the illusion of individual and societal progression. What a pile of shit, he thought.

“The world’s fucked, isn’t it? Totally fucked. I fucking hate this world and I fucking love it,” lamented the Prime President. A tear rolled down his fat cheek. He looked almost confused as to why he had shed a tear at all. The world was not worth crying over anymore. It was what he could get out of it, that was all that mattered now.

The Prime President was expecting an increase in his campaign coffers from the usual private sources. All those vested interests that wanted favours – the usual connected nepotism and corporate back-slapping reigned on as the environment went to shit. He needed to convince these workers he could offer more security and greater pre-purchased life experiences instead of this constantly austere wage-slavery. But he did not want to change the model too much, even if the world was in the throes of a catastrophic environmental meltdown.



Texte: Herb Skew
Bildmaterialien: Herb Skew
Cover: Herb Skew
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 14.03.2018

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