Thought Crimes Episode 1 – The Recruitment Job

San Francisco is a very different place than it used to be, but not by as much as one might hope. In the near future, corporations have almost complete reign over local, state and national governance, with Silicon Valley used as a testing ground for not only new technologies, but policy born in think tanks and board meetings. In this age defined by tracking numbers, personal identification, and the less-appealing kind of cookies, the mind is the last vestige safe from the prying eyes of corporate interests. At least until all of the kinks are worked out on Project Lachesis.

That said, in an age of neural networks and action-by-committee, there is still room in these corporations for individual contractors to provide a little bit of unsupervised support. However, even in the shadiest, most hidden parts of San Francisco, even for the most illegal, inhuman acts, a resume and job interview are still vital to determining whether a contractor is a good investment.

After all.

It’s Only Business.

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Thought Crimes Episode 2 – Dissonance

When trying for a role in a criminal enterprise, and with the right connections, it doesn’t take much for an outsider to see results. The question is whether the results are the ones you want. Ask the right questions, and exert the right (lower-case-L) leverage, and your life is liable to change very quickly. Sometimes that puts you on a task force to change the world for the better. More often, it puts you in an unmarked hole in the ground.

Sometimes, it puts you and your buddies in charge of a small warehouse, watching your bank account rising faster than normal, while waiting for your life to end faster than normal. That is, unless the bosses above you never stop perceiving you as more valuable than the people below and beside you. We all move in different routes and at different speeds, but save for the lucky few, even in hidden pieces of society, those above see us as tools for the generation of value.

After all.

It’s Only Business.

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Thought Crimes Episode 3 – Underworld

The legalization and proliferation of an commercially-offered implanted brain chip, especially one that interfaced with the notoriously vital hypothalamus, was met with public outcry and legislative difficulty, to the surprise of no one. However, the surprise over the speed with which that public outcry and legislative difficulty drained away was more than enough to fill the void. First came the reports of the surgery’s success rate. Near perfect under robotic surgery, with complications occuring fast enough that the procedure could easily be abandoned. Relatively cheap to produce, even given the billions that went into its design. A high-end and a low-end version, offering options to the destitute as long as they could tolerate the fatigue that the more expensive option eliminated. A bit of political lower-case-L leverage, and workforces were offering free surgeries to new hires. The medical industry briefly soared, and sleep was all but eliminated in the American workforce, with other industrialized countries soon to come. It seems extreme for the worker, but you can’t honestly expect an employer to hire someone willing to sacrifice an entire shift of extra productivity over a bit of personal discomfort, can you?

After all.

It’s Only Business.

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