Village Residents: “Surveilance”

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Drawing of a CCTV Camera (MS Paint)

A watchful eye is one thing. Taking joy in your work is another.

Different personality types are best suited for one job or another. We like to believe, and regrettably it may be wishful thinking, that everybody is good at something. We’ve all seen people promoted in their field until finally they reach a position that they will never be promoted from because they’ve reached the end of their capabilities and now do a mediocre job at best. And so we appreciate those few individuals who, having reached their own “top”, excel at the job they do and stay put. Its reassuring to know they’re in control of the situation, that the job is held in capable hands. Unless …

~

It had been years now. He had acclimatized to life in the Village rather quickly and, having seen what he considered advantages, made a useful niche for himself. He wasn’t irreplaceable, he knew that. But he was good at what he did, no, he was excellent at it and they knew it. From the top down they all knew it.

~

Number Six was playing chess with a fellow Villager, one that he was sure was a warder. The conversation seemed civil, benign. But body language, voice inflection, facial expression, these gave away information even when the tongue was restrained. And Six was most observant. So were the Village security cameras and microphones.

~

At first he had wondered. It was clear enough why they had brought him to the Village. As a high-ranking executive with a major corporation holding government contracts with three of the worlds super powers he had access to information that was sensitive to say the least. His first few days in the Village had been filled with anger and a desire to strike back. In certain ways he had been much like Number Six. In some ways. Unlike Number Six he had given up on the idea of escape almost immediately. He was an executive, not a government agent. He knew well his area of expertise and his limitations. One encounter with Rover was all of the convincing he had required.

~

Some of the information he gathered had been somewhat disturbing. But, armed with such knowledge, he was better equipped to deal with certain elements in the Village. The more Number Six knew about them and the less they could get from him all worked to his advantage. He was, overall, pleased. It had been a very enlightening chess match. And every move had been recorded.

~

It was when he realized that by giving them the information they so longed for that he could ruin one of his rivals in the corporate world that he pitched in with full vigor. It was all the encouragement he needed. In an instant the anger had been redirected and his term as prisoner ended. He would be a warder supreme. And he was.

~

Number Six was dressing for bed, humming to himself. He would hum, he would be himself even here, in spite of them. Some of these things, like the humming, he did to let them know he was still an individual, still himself and no number. Every day, every moment, every activity was a chance for him to show them they weren’t winning and never would. He made use of every opportunity. And they saw, they saw it all.

~

This job had been nothing less than a stroke of luck. He had been in the right place at the right time. His “promotion” had been within three weeks of his arrival. He found out later, while doing his job, that putting him in that position had at first been a ruse. Place him in a job they were certain he’d fail at and, given his personality type, use the resultant stress to break him further and gain yet more information. But he had done a perfect job and willingly, freely gave them all they asked for. They had underestimated his sadistic bent. He had very much enjoyed the ruining of his rival. Now? He could make the ruin of others a daily occurrence. It mattered to him not one iota that they were strangers to him and innocent. His job was now his passion. He had found his true purpose in life. And he could re-run the tapes any time he pleased.

~

“Supervisor,” Number Two called out.

“Yes.”

“Put recent videos of Number Six playing chess with Number Thirty Seven on screen three please.”

“Certainly,” the Supervisor replied. “And I can re-run the tapes any time I please.”

“Yes,” Number Two replied dryly. “So I’m told.”

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