Cameraman 1

He flickered the red light of the retinal reader over his left eye and downloaded the photographs for the day, plugged the tiny jack in behind his ear and downloaded both the aural records and the data from his speech centres: both sides of the conversation. A few more minutes and he would go and rest in the alcove and get his mind defragged.

Tonight it was a high society do — all the moneyed in the city crammed into one room to smile fake smiles and bullshit with each other in the hopes of forging alliances that would result in more money being pulled upwards from the less affluent. He was a plant, a mole — whatever kind of notional carbuncle you might find an adequate metaphor for shit floating in fresh water that it should have been flushed from. This wasn’t the first time he had engaged in gigs like this one and he always found them satisfying. He walked amongst these idiots and they were unaware of what he was intending to do to them. Every single secret that came his way had a price tag on it and he could blackmail the owner or use it to sink them. He preferred the long con so he usually used these titbits of information to initiate a plan that might take years to come to fruition. He had never played chess but he would have been able to think a considerable number of moves ahead of any opponent he was sure.

He had some people lined up for some of the information already; the rest wouldn’t take long to sell. Yeah, there wasn’t a single secret being flung around this place that shouldn’t have been kept under lock and key. It was arrogance that did it — the sheer belief in the idea that the people they thought they were controlling were just too damned stupid to ever wake up to what was really going on. They thought of the masses as being herd-like — a degree enough above retardation that they could carry out simple manual labour but that was about it. To bring their world crashing down around their ears would be a blissful thing to do.

He had done that already in a few small significant ways. He had exposed the paedophile ring that seemed to represent the police force’s backbone and half of the low level government officials in the city. He had led the press to the racism which proliferated in the security forces charged with looking after prisoners. Photographic evidence was the key to it all. He could get in anywhere and get the pictures that were required. Why? Because he was unassuming. No one noticed someone who moved politely and quietly through society — they always said it was the quiet ones you had to watch but most people were easily distracted by fireworks. A whisper in the right ear was his philosophy and it worked.

The doors swung open on his alcove. He sat down, placed his hands on the activation pads, and waited to be cleansed. Then he could rest.

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Else City: Building Tension Extract 0

The suicides were on the top tier so they could jump off the roof if they needed to fulfil their need to re-enact their un-life’s defining moment.

The patricides shared rooms with the tulpas of their fathers so they might kill them again if they so desired. The floor they were on was known as the Oedipus Complex.

Matricides lived in the Norman Bates Complex, where their dead mothers voices blasted out of amplified speakers. There were a perhaps unsurprisingly high number of psychopaths on this floor.

Infanticides lived on the ground floor which had cruelly been dubbed The Crib. They cried like the babies they had sent to early graves.

The whole place was staffed by John Does — the unsolved murders that littered the culture like used condoms. They always looked puzzled, more like ghosts than anyone else.

He was to be booked in under suicide but he tried to tell them he had been murdered. The staff were not too bothered about John Does and where they went which was strange considering their prevalence amongst the staff.

He just put it down to red tape and from what he had heard it bound things tighter here in Else City than it did anywhere. He had come here to work on the police force to start solving crimes that others said had no solution. This building was the start of it all: his first case.