Tag Archives: Villager

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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The Prisoner … “Deep Six” … Part Three

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Number Two's residence as it stands today, kno...

“Number Six, report to the Green Dome. Number Six, report to the Green Dome immediatly.”

“Yes, I understand. … Oh, no, I agree totally sir. Yes indeed, it was a mistake. … Everything will be put to right soon, you have my word. … No, regrettably Number Six said nothing. But he is tight-lipped. … Yes, yes I will. … Thank you, sir, thank you very much.” He put down the red phone and exited through the concealed door to the rear of the room, giving the monitor one last glance as he did. Number Two would be back soon and he didn’t need to be here.

The Supervisor smiled to himself. He was glad they had never “offered” the Number Two position to him. He was good at what he did and that was one reason they kept him where he was. Another reason was that he never spoke of what he saw. The man who had just used the red phone? That came as a surprise even to him. The twists and turns never ceased to amaze him. But he never reacted, never spoke to anyone of them. Sometimes he felt as though he knew more about what was going on than Number Two did.

The Butler never moved a facial muscle. The question uppermost in his mind at the moment was: “I wonder how he takes his tea?”

~~~

Number Six tried to look innocent. Surely they hadn’t noticed that he’d spotted the hatch. If they had they wouldn’t have allowed him to return to the spot. Unless of course it was some meaningless hole leading nowhere, which was what he half expected. But it could be a way out and he’d never know unless he checked. Rover floated only a few feet from the boat as he prepared for his last dive. Falling over the side backwards, the water splashing around him, he began his descent.

He swam along the wall of whatever it was. On the other side he could see various forms of marine life. There was a shark moving slowly towards him. At one point it obviously touched the wall and jerked away as though shocked. He made his way towards the hatch. He knew they were watching but he had to try, he had to know. And the Village warders only need slip up once. Perhaps this was that time. At about twenty feet distance from the hatch he made a dash for it. He grasped the wheel of a handle and began turning it. He could see Rover sinking towards him. He pulled. The hatch opened with Rover about fifteen feet away. There was nothing but blackness inside the hatch. Suddenly there was a rushing of water, a pull. He was literally sucked into the hole. The force was so great that it hurled him against the interior head first. That was the last thing he remembered. Until later.

~~~

Three men were standing over him. One yelled at him: “Are you a fool?! The interior mechanism wasn’t turned on! You could’ve flooded the entire level if we hadn’t turned on the emergency valve system!”

One of the other men punched the man speaking on the shoulder. He said, “I don’t think he’s one of the crew. He’s a topper.”

“Well how’d he get here then?”

“Don’t know, but have either of you ever seen him before? Any word that a new crew member was coming on?’

“No”, both of the others muttered.

“Up with you!” The second man grabbed Number Six by the arm, pulling him up roughly. “Come along then. We’ll soon see what you’re about.”

As they escorted a rather groggy Number Six down a rock lined corridor he thought he saw steam rising through what looked to be a vent of some sort. And he thought he could hear music from someplace, he wasn’t sure where. He was stumbling, blood dripping down the side of his head. He wasn’t sure how badly he was hurt.

At last they entered a control room of sorts. He was starting to come around now, a little more at himself. He felt his head.

“You set here then!” And the first man pushed him into a chair. “You,” he spoke to the third man roughly, “Go call topside. Get word to Number Two that we have a possible topper here. He’ll know what to do. Hurry about it!”

~~~

He was fully himself now, but not acting like it. He slumped over a panel of switches, holding his head. And reading labels. Valves, motors, lighting, vent system, flow control. Interesting labels. He seemed to have been there forever.

“Ah, Number Six,” said the familiar voice, “whatever shall we do with you? I give you an inch and you take the proverbial mile. I’ll expect the return of the scuba gear of course.”

“Of course,” Number Six sat up straighter, looking at Number Two.

“And have you satisfied your curiosity?”

“Not quite,” Number Six smiled as he suddenly flipped three of the most promisingly labeled switches.

A number of alarms went off. “Good choice,” he thought to himself.

Number Two went deathly pale. “You fool! You’ll kill us all!”

Number Six could hear shouts. He thought he heard rushing water. Number Two pulled him towards what looked like a glass tube. In a moment they were traveling upward, as though in an elevator. An elevator made for speed.

~~~

“Yes … Yes … I understand … Yes … Yes, at once.” A pallid Number Two set the red phone down.

The Supervisor watched with a sort of perverse satisfaction from the control room.

The Butler walked towards the door, pushing the tea cart before him. Tea time was obviously over.

~~~

The two bottom levels had been flooded. The computer systems were a total loss. It would take days to pump out the sea water, and weeks to install new equipment. Number Six new he’d created a disturbance. He had no idea how much of one. Of the five lower levels of The Village “system”, as the keepers called it, these two were a large part of the nerve center. This was a major victory for Six. Sadly, he would never know how great a victory it had been.

~~~

“Number Six report to the Green Dome. Number Six, please report to the Green Dome immediately.” The public address system seemed a bit out of sync today.

Number Six, paying for his tea, left the cafe and walked leisurely towards Number Two’s office. Knowing that he had done some damage somehow made this visit worthwhile.

~~~

The doors slid open, the Butler waving Number Six in. The globular chair didn’t move. He was at the desk before it slowly began to revolve. The new Number Two smiled slyly. The new Number Two, the old Number Forty One, spoke slowly, deliberately.

“Ah, my dear Number Six. What a wonderfully devious Villager you are. You’ll never know the pains I’ve gone through on your account.”

“Don’t feel obligated.”

“Yes, well I do have a responsibility towards the citizens,” he sighed. “Be glad you’re not being billed for your little escapade. But, after having helped, without knowing it of course, remove a weak cog from our machinery writing off the bill was the least I could do. And I just wanted to let you know that I’m here for you should you ever feel the need to talk.”

~~~

“Yes, things will change, have changed, for the better,” Number Two smiled as he spoke into the red phone. “He wouldn’t confide in me as a fellow Villager, but I guarantee,” his teeth gritted, “he WILL confide in me now. … Oh, no sir, I wouldn’t think of damaging the tissue.”

~ finis ~