Friday 29th January
Date of log – 20660615
-[Good morning Janek. How are you feeling today? More rested than at our last meeting I hope?]-
Yes, I am feeling better. I don’t ache so much now. By the way, how should I address you? I mean, do you have a name?
-[I do have a name, of course. But it is not necessary for you to know that at this time. Suffice it to say I am your superior. I have also been assigned to lead this interrogation. If you wish you may call me William, though that is not necessarily my name.]-
Why the secrecy? William?
-[I asked you at our last meeting to confine your answers to your own situation. I will not remind you again, but since you ask; it is not a question of secrecy; it is simply that it is not necessary for you to know my name. Besides, I would prefer you to think of me as a faceless representative of the security services. It could just as easily be someone else. In fact, depending on how these interviews proceed, it may well be another face you are seeing. The face is unimportant. The questions would be the same.]-
Okay William. I am okay with that. You just don’t seem very Williamy, if you know what I mean. Does that bother you? That I don’t really see you as a William?
-[Not at all. But for the purposes of clarity, let me remind you, that I am the one asking the questions. I would be obliged if you could confine your answers to statements and not questions. Now at our last meeting I asked you to use this interval not only to recuperate, but to think about your situation, and to reflect, especially on the motives, the reasons for your little escapade. I hope you have used your time wisely.]-
I have spent most of the time, ever since and before I first started my little journal, on speculating on my situation. I used to think I was just self-centred somehow. Did everyone else sit and think about themselves, and their place in the scheme of things; the nature of life as we are living it here in the second half of the twenty-first century? Besides, I had no close friends I felt I could discuss this with. All of my friends were my wife’s friends and were just as fatuous and self-satisfied as she was. At times they sickened me, but I just went along with it all; it was far easier that way. But I had no close friends of my own, no-one I felt I could, or even wanted to, talk with. Especially about our life, or what passes for it here in good old 2066.
-[What about work colleagues, there must have been conversations there, in the rest rooms, pre-pod or after? Did you not have any close companions there?]-
You should know. You were observing me all the time. Weren’t you? But no, I never really hit it off with anyone at my work. They are, as I am sure you know, all a bit odd. Peculiar isn’t quite the word for them, is it? Sometimes it felt like being in a zoo, along with a load of creatures that walked and talked, but were far from human. It cannot have escaped your attention that in order to do what we do, to see the slightest deviating patterns in the stream of numbers, which are then passed on to your own hypercoms to investigate, we must have special powers. That cannot be a common skill. In order to do that, to be able to discern what even your best computers cannot see, we must be a bit odd. Surely. And that oddness, that strangeness does not breed camaraderie, but isolation. Many times I felt I was absolutely alone. At work, at home, everywhere.
-[So, you never communicated these feelings to anyone at all? I find that a bit hard to accept. I can’t quite believe that you never said anything, never spoke to anyone about how you were feeling.]-
Well, not in any specific way. I am sure that in a vain attempt to liven up the conversation at one of my wife’s boring drinks parties, I may have dropped an occasional bomb or two. Just to see if any of them weren’t completely brain-dead more than in the hope that anyone might actually share my views. People moaned, of course, but only about the trivia, the time it took to get raised to another strata, the boringness of their jobs, the shit on TV, that sort of thing. But no-one I ever spoke to seemed to think there was something fundamentally wrong with the way we were living, with our entire system.
-[And you did? You felt that the whole ‘new republic’ system, the way that the vast majority of people now had a ‘good’ life, secure employment for all, the eradication of abject poverty, universal health screening, the elimination, at long last, of the vagaries of ‘the market’, in fact the evolution of a much better world for our children to inherit – you felt that this was somehow wrong.]-
Not so much wrong, as soul-less. Too mechanistic, too controlled and controlling. No room for personal development, no forum for dissent, or even a slightly different dialect, let alone a new language. I suppose I felt bored with it all. The inducement of the next strata level which so obsessed my darling wife meant nothing to me; and as you can see the fear of whatever you may have in store for me hardly scared me either.