Panoptica Chapter 9

I’ve been distracted by a short story idea concerning Annunaki, Neanderthals and the ‘replacement of Europeans’. This will not take long and I’ll be back to Panoptica as soon as I have the other story drafted.

As for the news, I’m finding it hard to get worked up about any of it. The Labour leadership contest – meh. I’m not a member of any political party so won’t have a say and frankly, don’t give a damn. The candidate lineup looks like the starting line of a window licking competition. I don’t care which one they pick.

Apparently it’s ‘racism’ to criticise Meghan Markle, or Meghan Windsor as she is now. This is playing a full deck of race cards all at once, and what for? What does it matter if a minor royal decides he doesn’t want to be royal any more? He won’t be the first to abdicate his royalness. There are no examples of racism in any of the criticism I’ve seen and I don’t care enough about another family’s issues to comment myself. This is for Mrs. Queen and Wrinkled Phil to sort out. Not my business.

I’ve given up arguing with global warmers. There’s no point and it’s too late anyway. Climate change has arrived and is killing people in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan because they aren’t used to experiencing that much cold. Countries all over the world are seeing cold records fall every day – and the Church of Climatology focuses on arsonist-set fires in Australia. Even though much of Australia is also recording record low temperatures in what, for them, is summer. When I say ‘low’ I mean low for Australia, so pretty much British summer temperatures. They aren’t under glaciers and probably won’t be. There’s too much sea between Antarctica and the next land for effective glacier formation. The North doesn’t have that buffer. Maybe Australia will eventually have low enough temperatures for normal people to visit without having to wear stillsuits and a Meccano framework of fans and ice.

We have several years’ worth of firewood, we have well water and septic tank sewage. I just need to get a generator, ideally steam powered because the idiots are likely to push fuel prices into daft levels soon. I doubt they exist but I’m sure a petrol one could be modified with maybe an old railway tank engine to drive it. Yes, I am looking for an excuse to get one. Let the warmers keep pretending it’s getting hotter, and that CO2 is the only thing that matters. The game is over. They’re just hiding in that global warming jungle, pretending the war is still going on. I’m happy to leave them there.

Brexit – will it happen? I’m not going to hold my breath. Boris might actually come through on this or he might be a jolly Santa-like version of Jackboots May. We’ll get a better idea on the 31st January but we won’t know for sure until December. Either way, there’s sod all I can do about it so I’m not going to worry about it.

Enough gloom – I’m obviously spending far too much time with Gloom Dog lately – and on with the jolly tale of Panoptica. This’ll cheer you up. Comparatively.

Panoptica: Chapter 9

46110. 46826. 46053. The onesie patterns were unmistakable. 10538 stopped moving when he saw the unit marked as 93224. This rail station was under heavy security. Ghosthunters and a Coalition advisor? Something important must be happening, so what was he doing here? Surely he didn’t merit such a high-ranking sendoff party?

“Something wrong? Why have you stopped?” 18823 nudged him forward.

10538 took hesitant steps. “There are very important units here. A lot of security. What’s that for?”

“Have you ever been to a train station before?” 18823 moved in front of 10538, smiling.

“Well… no. I only ever needed the bus.”

“Trains are for longer journeys. The higher ranks need to get to distant places quickly. They’ll be waiting for trains going to their own destinations.” 18823 took 10538’s arm. “Come on. The train to Pensionville is already here. It has to clear the platform before other trains can arrive.”

10538 looked around. There was a concrete floor, a thing like a little room with a door, the concrete floor seemed to fall away on either side of the little room. Baffled, he turned to 18823. “I don’t know what a train looks like. Is it around here?”

18823 laughed. “Of course. I’ve never ridden in one but I’ve brought others here. So I know how it works. Let me show you.” He led 10538 to the edge of the concrete floor, just beside the little room, “Look down there.”

10538 peered cautiously over the edge. About a metre or so down lay steel bars, linked together at intervals, that ran under the room and off into the distance.

“Those are rails.” 18823 pointed into the distance. “They lead to Pensionville. This—” he indicated the little room “—runs on those rails so it can’t ever take a wrong turn. You sit inside and it will take you to Pensionville safely. That’s all there is to it. You just sit inside and wait. You don’t have to do anything.”

“Just like the bus?” 10538 looked over the little room. It had no visible windows, just the door.

“Even better. Because it’s on rails it can’t go the wrong way. It’s a lot faster too.” 18823 patted 10538’s back. “Come on, let’s get you on board.”

They stood before the door to the little room 18823 had called a ‘train’. There was a hiss and the door moved forwards, then sideways along the side of the train. 10538 was aware of movement around him – the ghosthunters had tensed, the advisor took a step back. He glanced at 18823, whose smile was tight and who appeared to not be breathing.

10538 stepped through the door. Someone sat in there, someone who looked up at him with one raised eyebrow. The onesie identified them as 71556. 10538 raised his hand in greeting to show his designation. 71556 snorted and looked away.

10538 turned to 18823. “Seems I’m not travelling alone.”

“Anyone you know?” 18823 spoke through gritted teeth.

10538 felt a little taken aback. It felt as though there was another overlay to this whole situation but he just could not grasp it. “No,” he said. “Never seen this unit before.”

18823 blew a long breath, as though relieved about something. He raised his hand. “Well, 10538, this is goodbye. I hope to join you in Pensionville one day but until then, be compliant, be comfortable, and conform.”

“I will. Be happy in your important job.” 10538 raised his hand in response until the door hissed closed. Once it had, he took a seat opposite 71556 and wondered if he should start a conversation. It seemed presumptuous to insist on conversation with a higher rank so instead, he stared out of the window.

The empty platform slid away as the train pulled out of the station.

6 thoughts on “Panoptica Chapter 9

  1. I agree on everything. And I no longer care either. In fact I wonder now why I ever did.
    France is great and won’t be kicking me out. I do prefer a Monarchy, but I bet that even The Queen is beginning to wonder.
    We are never going to run out of wood around here as trees get replanted as soon as the old ones are cut down, so I will always be able to cook and heat water.
    The 78 Euros I spent on a cast iron Tea Kettle was a wast of money as the water is always rusty, but fine for hot water bottles if you need one. I just wish I had bought a red kettle. The black one is boring to look at when I need cheering up. This need is constant here where it never stops raining.
    The Food Bank continues to give with great generosity, so that’s all of my basic needs taken care of.
    But I could do with a bit of snow now and again. I love snow.

    PS. I do know how to salt down meat if the freezer no longer works.


    • The hob here runs on bottled gas – but if that fails, we can at least cook on the wood burning stove.
      I’ll have to investigate salting and curing meats. Could be a useful skill to have anyway.


  2. I’ve given up arguing with global warmers.

    I’ve given up arguing with almost everybody. It can’t be helped sometimes, but I have found arguing/educating exhausting and frustrating (especially on Twitter). I think that people are driven by their ego to always appear to be right and so that means they never change their mind, because if they did, it means that they would have been wrong and their ego probably couldn’t handle that.

    I think it’s why there is so much venom from the ‘left’ especially – the cognitive dissonance created by subconsciously or consciously sticking to a narrative which they know doesn’t stand up to reason, logic or facts just makes them go bananas, but they can’t let go of their (for them) comforting delusions.

    As Frank Davis noted recently in a post called. “The Perfect Certainty Of Complete Ignorance,” people who actually have some idea of what they are talking about are cautious with their words because they know that they don’t know it all, while, “The less you know about it, the easier it looks.”

    And of course, if they’ve heard it on the BBC or read it in ‘The Independent’ then it must be true. The dumbed-down mainstream tend to make things sound simple (and undeniable), such as that fires caused by arson (but let’s forget that bit) are the result of climate change and they reinforce the narrative by appealing to the reader’s emotions with reports of animals dying (so do people, but they don’t really matter).

    Enjoying Panoptica. Your short story idea also sounds entertaining. I hope you give the much-maligned Neanderthals souls. Maybe finish Panoptica first? Just suggestions. I don’t want to argue about it…


    • There’s no point banging your head on a brick wall. Took a while to realise it but now I just let them believe what they like. Even when they show photos of themselves protesting global warming in the snow.


  3. The tension is building nicely.
    The description of his confusion over the train dragged a bit, I thought?
    I like the way that nobody seems actually evil yet, even though it’s clearly not going to end well. That makes it very credible.


    • First drafts get a lot of editing 😉
      Bond-style pure-evil villians are fun but in real life, the most dangerous ones are those who believe they are doing it for the greater good.


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