Archive for Job

Charles’s Job Part I

Posted in Rhetoric, Risk & Fear with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by Conor

Charles’s eyes fluttered open. He lay on his cot, the lights slowly rising as the sensors in the cot’s frame detected his increased heart rate and breathing. Sleeping in wasn’t an option. He sat up, groaning, and swung his spindly legs round, placing his feet on the cold concrete. Shuffling into the ablutions chamber, he mumbled “Eucalyptus” into the Uni-Port in the wall and listened to the glockenspiel’s clear notes ringing in the chamber. Leaning his head against the wall, mist spraying all over his brittle and spotted skin, Charles thought about his dreams.

Fragments swirled through his head, half memory half the ineffable motivation of the unconscious. He remembered the summit, the meeting where mankind was supposed to save itself. He remembered Dr. Daniel’s speech to the summit, and the world who, where there was still electricity, sat around their computers streaming the talks and waiting for the promise of sanctuary from the poisoned air that attacked them and the droughts that starved them and the tainted water that made them sick. Charles had been briefed on her speech before she made it, had the matter explained to him, its reasoning and necessity.

She had developed the first colony of the air-scrubbing bacteria that fed off the poisons in the air, cleaning it before it entered peoples homes. She had resurrected the idea of the home as a safe haven, as the family castle that was safe to sleep in. The world loved her. They loved her like Christians loved Jesus because she was their savior, their shining star in the quickly darkening sky. And she, Dr. Daniel, was about to tell the people of the world that they were going to die.

Because they were. She was the one chosen to make the announcement because the world would believe her. The PIC wanted as much widespread acceptance as possible. Her job was to destroy their hope, to crush it, and to facilitate their passing. She described the various government programs designed to kill gently and with a small measure of dignity, while the people began the global wailing.