Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Can Corporations Actually Take Total Control of Our World?


This is the most important Behind The Scenes of Notes from An Alien post I’ve yet written

These continuing Friday posts are an extension of the short novel—revelations of how and why it was written—new scenes not in the published edition.

There are “spoilers” in most of these posts but you can grab a free copy of the novel and read it’s 96 pages in a relatively short time; then, enjoy the added depth of these Behind The Scenes posts :-)

Before I share the new scene I’ve written, I want to give you a few links that might show you what some of our World’s corporations are up to and how they seem to be trying to do away with what most of us conceive of as governments

Naturally, you can avoid taking the links and just read the new scene; perhaps come back after and look into how things are going down on our real World rather than the one I’ve created

First, an article about who the President of the United States turned to for help with the political emergency he faced: Obama banks on big business to help end deadlock.

Next, an article about the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about Corporate takeover of trade.

And, last, a video about the current governmental crisis in the U. S. A. that brings up the role of the Koch BrothersGovernment Close Down – Another Grand Betrayal in the Works?

Here’s the new, unpublished-till-now scene:

~~~~~~~~~

The hills were ripe with grain.

Somer was sweating from the intense sun.

He ambled down a path between two large fields thinking about his recent encounter with Pliben.

They were both mid-level field managers for Tarcis Gorni—an ancient corporate farmer.

Pliben had been slacking off on his Simulated Recreation. He’d accosted one of the women workers and fled to the mountain valley north of Gorni’s farm.

Somer had been selected to track him down and discovered Pliben lying dead under a Fos tree.

Somer was now headed to Gorni’s ornate shed in the middle of the farm.

He wished he didn’t have to report another death to Gorni

Reaching the door to the shed, he paused and looked back toward the mountain, thinking: Why can I get along without Simulated Recreation while others go crazy?

Gorni was sitting at his huge desk, more reclining than sitting actually, and Somer gave him a minute to notice he’d arrived.

“Somer… I assume Pliben was found dead.”

“Yes. Why do they do it?”

“How many years have you worked here?”

“Going on six now.”

“How many have stopped S. R. then roamed away and died?”

“Around twelve

“Think they’re better off then the rest of our people?”

“Better off?”

“We grow crops for the Corporation. We grow more crops per field than most other farms. We have a low number of S. R. Depletion deaths. Why?”

Somer was rattled. Gorni didn’t talk like this—usually just a report and then an instruction—never a question to answer about the operation of the farm—report the numbers, make a comment on problems, be told who to consult with for solutions—in and out

“Well, I have a theory but you must already know the answer.”

“I know my answer, Somer, I want your answer.”

“You run this farm different than most. I was at Rvin’s and Tulim’s for about a year each and, well, the Bosses at both were harder on workers

“Ever wondered why I’m not so hard on my workers?”

“It’s not your way

“Why would all the other Bosses be so hard and end up with more deaths and produce less crops?”

“The Corporation has killed a few Bosses I’ve heard, for not meeting quota

“Yes. And, for some strange reason, you trust me enough to say that—most would say the Bosses just died, not that they were killed

“I wonder about lots of things, I hear lots of stories, I use my brain, and I think you’re the only man I’ve ever trusted.”

“Dangerous to trust people, eh?”

“Sure, folks can do lots of strange things to please the Corporation.”

“You don’t fear the Corporation?”

“Fear? No. Act like I do when Representatives visit? Yes.”

“I imagine you don’t use your Simulated Recreation anymore, right”

“Not since last season

“So we both sit here and wonder why the other is so different.”

Somer waited for Gorni to continue. Gorni just looked straight at him with that stern but patient face.

“Can I call you Tarcis?”

“You may, Somer, because I don’t have long to be here and I need a friend.”

Somer knew Gorni was over 143 years old but folks who lived close with nature often lived to nearly 175

“A friend?”

“Someone to tell my story to.”

“Why?”

“The Corporation has rewritten history, Somer. There aren’t many folks left who remember the truth—remember but not let on.”

“Do you use S. R., Tarcis?”

“Did it a few times. Stopped. Aren’t many folks left like me. Easier to use it and fall into the Dream—merge your will with the killing-sweet urges S. R. leaves in your mind—be shaped by the Corporation—lose your soul

“I visited Babur City once—hated it—Junior Representatives all over the place, asking questions, QuickProbing, taking folks away

“Somer, can you imagine what life was like before the Corporation?”

“Well Kinda like here but better?”

Tarcis erupted with a rolling laugh: “Much better, Somer. Sure we had bosses and companies and workers but they were all more equal—I’m talking way back now, before the Revitalization

“Was the war with Anla different then?”

“Didn’t even call it a war then—the World’s Resistance was what they said.”

“Do you ever feel the priest’s thoughts?”

“Do you?”

“Probably Who the hell can tell whose thoughts wander into our minds.”

A chuckle from Tarcis with: “I’m leaving this farm to you, Somer.”

Somer was struck dumber than a rock. Tarcis watched. Somer took a few quivering breaths. Tarcis said: “You want the farm?”

“You think I deserve it?”

“You will when I’ve shared more of our true history, Somer—more about the beginnings of various corporations’ actions against independent farmers, before the Corporation ate up all the independent corporations, before they claimed their right to rule every thought and feeling we have to protect us against the supposed war-like actions of the priests of Anla.”

“There was more than one corporation?”

“Yes, Somer, there was a time when any individual with the will and drive to do it could legally start a corporation—could attempt to provide a service to people and realize a profit—money of their own to do whatever they wished with it.”

“They trusted people with their own money?”

“Somer, They weren’t always They—get it straight. There was freedom to make mistakes, freedom to earn and keep money, freedom to fail Then the Corporation bought up all the other companies—lied and made new laws every week, forced sales, killed those who resisted—began a war with people, made brain implants to control them, shape them, kill them. You have no idea how fortunate you’ve been to end up here, working for an enemy of the Corporation, free from most of those controls because I’ve learned enough about what they want that I can pretend to give it to them—along with large crop yields they have no ability to force others to produce.  I give them more than they could coerce me to produce and they treat me like a friend.”

“Why are you telling me this? What if I told others?”

“You don’t dare. You want the freedom I’ve created here. You want to think for yourself. And, I think you know, if you told a Representative what I said, they’d kill you, too.”

Somer became rock-dumb again.

Tarcis rose from his seat and said: “I have much to teach you. I probably have a few years left—two or three—time enough to take the raw talent you have and help you shape it into a Well, a Simulated Recreation for the Corporation’s consumption—tasty candy for the Tyrant

The dumb rock melted into a pool of warm emotion.

Tarcis continued: “There was a time when people wrote their own books, painted their own pictures, created what they wanted to create. When I was young, I made a book with a Plasma-core that showed images of people’s feelings—had them sold and earned a lot of money. I was blessed to have the owner of the company who bought the prototype tell me I could never admit I was the original creator—told me things were getting dangerous  A few years later, he died in what they said was an accident. His company was bought by a bigger company—that one absorbed, eventually, by the Corporation. I bought this farm after he died—worked hard to make it the best farm on Anga—learned to say what the Representatives wanted to hear and gave them food they couldn’t get anywhere else—bribes in their stomachs—insurance against encroachment.”

Tarcis paused. Somer sat up straighter. Tarcis continued: “It may not last, no matter what I teach you The Corporation is getting desparate—fraying from within—eating its own bowels Rumors of an attack on Anla with space ships You may not be able to keep this garden of rationality and compassion alive.”

Somer spoke: “What a grand vision

“You failing?”

“Failing in a noble endeavor—better than succeeding at living in the dark created by the Corporation’s implants Tarcis?”

“Yes?”

“Was the Plasma-book you created the seed for Simulated Recreation?”

“Yes

“I think I understand why you love this farm as much as you do and why you’re so kind to people.”

“Yes, Somer, my first seed was used to grow a monstrous contraption I’m paying my dues here—trying to offset the harm my creation led to.”

“Tarcis?”

“Yes?”

“I’m ready to learn.”

“You’d better be, boy. You’re a rare one and there aren’t many like you. I know of a few—never communicate with them You’ll bring me a bit of happiness in my last years.”

~~~

Somer did learn—learned things he wished he hadn’t had to learn—things he needed to know to keep the farm as safe as possible—things he needed to know to keep the fears at bay—keep his hopes up—keep his wits and stay nimble against a lumbering, dying, gargantuan Corporation

~~~

Tarcis died. No one questioned Somer’s assumption of the duties of Overseer of the farm. Every time a Representative of the Corporation visited, Somer used every fiber of his will power to not laugh in their face.

~~~~~~~~~

Any and all questions accepted in the Comments :-)
~~~~~~~~~
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3 responses to “Can Corporations Actually Take Total Control of Our World?

  1. Jane Watson October 7, 2013 at 6:05 am

    This is a very powerful scene. The tension created by the gradual unfolding of Tarcis Gorni’s true nature and the effect it has on Somer is masterful. Tarcis pulls the veils from Somer’s eyes and Somer ‘awakes’ – I was wondering if the choice of name for Somer was deliberate or unconscious? To me the name ‘Somer’, although all the name derivations seem to point to its roots in the word ‘Summer’, seems related to the word ‘Somnalent’ – som·no·lent (s m n -l nt). adj. 1. Drowsy; sleepy. 2. Inducing or tending to induce sleep; soporific – the state that the Corporation has tried to induce in its people :-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai October 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Thank you for such high praise, Jane I will pass 95% of it over to my Muse :-)

      You also are masterful in your evaluation of the name, Somer
      That may be what my Muse was doing with the name since all names but one in this continuing Tale come to me instantly, without conscious thought

      However, I used my Oxford’s “nearby words” function and found “sommer”: Afrikaans for ‘just; simply’

      I doubt that my Muse will reveal her sources; but, if she does, I’ll get back to you on this :-)

      Like

  2. Pingback: Is Science Fiction Always Prophetic? | Notes from An Alien

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