Endgame

An excerpt from an interrogation transcript

October 15, 2054; 11:30 PM

[sound of a flicking lighter, long pause as he draws on a cigarette]

DR. FIELDING: “You know what this is about. I suspect you’ve known for a long time. Behind every screen, beneath every keyboard, there is the promise of something more, something physical, a kind of mysterious plot, an awful transcendence. The silent world of flashing updates, endless cycles of information, fleeting chat windows — this is the surface world that most people in your position know but never question. You have disclosed this transcendence. You are now looking at the world behind the enchanted glass.”

[a long pause in which the prisoner draws in a deep, ragged breath]
SUBJECT: “I don’t understand. I did nothing illegal. I did nothing differently.”

DR. FIELDING: [the sound of creaking leather as he leans forward] “Oh, but you did, my boy. This vast experiment that we’re conducting – all the laptop cameras that we peer through, all the reams of banal dialogue from online conversations that we read and study – all of this is known in some fleeting way by the majority of our subjects. But you were different. Do you remember how you were different? Do you? You looked back at us. Do you recall that August morning when you looked towards your computer and you smiled just a little? Oh, yes. You looked back at us.” [rises] “Nurse, note his blush response. Now if someone will tighten the subject’s straps, we can move on to the next portion of our conversation…”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Internet Order.”

© 2015 by Colin Harker. All rights reserved.

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