Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Corporate World

Growing Up In The Corporation . . .


Friday and another in my growing collection of Behind The Scenes posts.

If you’re new to the blog, I reserve Fridays for special posts that sometimes explain and sometimes reveal more of the story in my short novel Notes from An Alien.

It’s been for sale since May of 2011 but it’s also been available for no cost.

These Behind the Scenes posts often have spoilers so, if you’d rather not be exposed to them, grab a free copy of the novel and read this post later (not much later, though, since the book is only 96 pages :-)

And, I encourage you to ask me Any questions (about the book or these Behind The Scenes revelations) in the Comments of Any of these Friday posts.

Two weeks ago, I wrote new material not in the published edition—scenes about a boy on the Corporate World of the Angi Star System.

Notes from An Alien isn’t quite science fiction—the similarities of life in the Angi System and life on Earth are sometimes disturbingly close

Also, even if these scenes were taken from some kind of “transcript”, the words would still have to be translated into our language and idiom.

Last week, I published new scenes about a boy growing up on the Religious World of Anla.

Today, we’re back on the Corporate World of Anga.

However, the boy in today’s scenes doesn’t break free of Corporate control

Well, he does, but

Read on :-)

~~~~~~~~~

He was born just before sunrise. The last of eight children.

His parents were the kind of folks who did what the Corporation told them, including the things they didn’t know they were being told—no resistance from these people against subliminal stimuli

It took a certain waywardness of individuality to resist the Corporation—took risks—promised rewards bought at too high a price for most.

So he grew up with both parents having time to nurture him, parents who worked the normal twelve-hour-day—devoting three full hours to be with their son, every day of the week.

The only rough part of his upbringing was that incident with the man named Movar

He’d been the boy’s Caretaker for a year before his parents noticed the nasty streak of independence Saltre was developing.

Saltre himself was relieved when his father picked him up that day and told Movar, in harsh language, he’d better be careful.

Being independent was a problem the boy really didn’t want. It sort of felt like what girls could do to him and he really just wanted to study the Corporate lessons and please his parents and stay calm

~~~

When he was twelve, he wrote a composition that got him a Reward from the Corporation. The end of it said:

“I love my parents and I think they’ll understand when I say I love the Corporation more.

“Not really more in feeling but more because one day my parents will die, as we all will, and then what will I have to support me?

“The Corporation will always support me if I dedicate myself to its Standards, its Procedures, and its Guardianship.

“You may think I’m being too passionate but I must say, the Corporation loves us, in an expert, controlled way.

“We owe It our lives. We owe it all we can do for It.”

~~~

When the boy reached his seventeenth birthday, the present he appreciated most was the Notification of Apprenticeship.

His mother had wrapped the log-in code-chip in pretty paper and smiled strangely as she handed him the parcel.

After he opened it, he said:

“Mom! Apprenticeship!! Holy Space!!!”

“Saltre, let’s not use such loose language, ok?”

“Oh, Mom, everyone uses that, even my Instructors in Stakeholding.”

“Well, I guess I’m not up to speed, Dear

“Oh, Mom, you’re just fine and—”

His abrupt stop made his mother nervous. She’d tried to hide it from him.

“Mom, I’m sure they’ll find a way to stop it

“Perhaps, Saltre

She’d been diagnosed with Iteration Syndrome—repeating simple actions beyond usefulness. It wasn’t blatant yet and she could still, most often, control it.

Still, Iteration Syndrome could lead to a charge of Unsuitability, with the bleak prospect of becoming a Candidate for Advanced Corporate Experimentation.

“Saltre, if I must go away some day Please know that whatever happens I’ll still be of some use to the Corporation and you’ll have a lot more Credits in your account.”

Her smile collapsed when Saltre said:

“Dying would be easier

“Nonsense, Dear. I’d still see you sometimes. Your Father would be able to spend even more time with you. And—”

Saltre interrupted, with obvious despair in his voice:

“And, you’d be helping further the Corporation’s Grand Goals.”

He couldn’t stop the tears

~~~

“So, I’m thirty years old

“You’ve done so much, Saltre.”

“I’ve done what I had to do, Gorma

“But, being a Supervisor already, that’s amazing!”

“Easy. You know it.”

“I’m Well, I just don’t like that much Simulated Recreation

“It’s the only way to be sure you can stand the effort necessary to succeed.”

“I know but isn’t a walk in the park a way to relax from being Undesirable?”

“Obviously not, Gorma. You’re right at the edge. You’ve had two miserable Evaluations.”

“Well, maybe all I’m good for is becoming a Candidate for Advanced Corporate Experim—”

“Shut up!”

“Saltre I’m sorry I didn’t mean—”

“Shut the fuck up!!”

~~~

When he was thirty-one, all hell broke loose.

He’d known about the loss of ShipOne—the treacherous actions of the Captain—the apparent defection of most of the crew

He’d been working in the Department of Space Assembly—overseeing part of the early phase of ShipTwo’s hull construction.

He’d been struggling with how to get the workers to extend their shift-time—too many were dying on him.

His last Evaluation had recommended, if performance was not improved, Special Intervention—loss of his position as Supervisor and only rumors about the medical procedures

He tried talking more with his workers.

They were the worst of the lot—barely above Undesirable, but he struggled to encourage them.

Word reached his Superiors and he was called in for another Evaluation.

~~~

“Have a seat, Saltre.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Having problems?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Talking to your workers?”

“Well, sir—”

“Hold!”

Saltre knew the command—shut up ’cause you just screwed up.

“You think you know better than the Corporation?”

“No, sir.”

“Then, why the excess interaction? Why not just use the approved hand signals and the Plasma-Prods?”

“Sir, I think maybe the Plasma-Prods are part of the reason the workers are dying off so fast.”

“You think so?”

“Maybe

“Raw Speculation. Dangerous, Saltre.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I see you’re down for a possible Special Intervention

“Yes, sir.”

“What can we do to help you?”

“Anything you recommend, sir.”

“Very good.”

~~~

Advanced Corporate Experimentation really wasn’t all that bad.

He got to sleep late, the food was very good, and he didn’t mind the sex, though he wished they didn’t change the women so often.

He didn’t see anyone else but the women and they didn’t stay long after the act

The Simulated Recreation was especially good.

After a few months, he began to confuse Simulated Recreation with life in the living space.

His interactions with the Experimenters, through the Plasma Communication Console, was becoming challenging.

He couldn’t seem to please them

They kept telling him he was doing just fine but he didn’t feel like he was doing all that well.

The extra drugs made him sick but that would vanish during Simulated Recreation.

It happened nine months after the Experimentation began.

Just after a particularly bad injection of multiple drugs, his Simulated Recreation began to change.

He felt like he was a child again

He began to relive episodes with his mother

He’d lost connection with any form of reality—heard his mother say, “Nonsense, Dear. I’d still see you sometimes. Your Father would be able to spend even more time with you. And—“

He ripped the cord from the Plasma Console and strangled himself.

~~~

Report to The Advanced Experimentation Oversight Office

At 09:38:64, Saltre Mesurn terminated self. Experimentation yielded valuable data. Full results being collated.
~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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The Corporate Education of Children


Here we are at Friday and another in the continuing series of posts with Behind The Scenes information about my short novel Notes from An Alien.

This post does have some spoilers in it so, if you hate spoilers, just grab a free copy of the book and take the time to read its 96 pages

If you don’t mind spoilers, read the scenes below (they’re not in the original novel) and see if they intrigue you enough to get a copy :-)

The novel has a World called Anga that’s completely Corporate and another World, Anla, that’s completely Religious.

The scenes below show a child growing up on the Corporate World.

Next Friday, I’ll write some new scenes about a child growing up on the Religious World ( many thanks to Jane Watson for suggesting next week’s post :-).

Don’t forget, you can ask questions or make suggestions about Any part of the book in Any of the Comments of these Friday posts

~~~~~~~~~

He was born just before sunrise.

His parents were mid-level managers of the Corporation—Mom in the Clothing Sector, Dad in the Food Sector.

They hadn’t really wanted a child.

They wanted to position themselves for higher levels of Service to the Corporation.

They were completely unaware that the Simulated Recreation provided by the Corporation had stimulated their endocrine systems to increase the likelihood they would procreate.

~~~

By the time the boy had reached the age of five, he’d become an even greater burden to his parents—taking yet more time away from their pursuit of Corporate Positions with his incessant questions

They wished the Corporate Directives for Simulated Recreation had already been extended to children his age but that was still a proposal undecided by the Corporate Leadership.

One of their Friend-Couples knew of an inexpensive Caretaker Service approved of by the Corporation.

They didn’t know the very low cost was because the Caretaker was one of the Harian religious folk. There were all sorts of inexpensive helpers and the Corporation was all for low wage professionals.

~~~

By the time the boy had reached the age of ten, his parents had achieved a level increase in their Corporate Positions.

The boy had been learning techniques from the Harian Caretaker that helped him resist the deep suggestions implanted in the Simulated Recreation he’d been taking for three years

~~~

At the boy’s twelfth birthday celebration, shared with only the Caretaker, this conversation was not heard by the Corporation’s listening devices:

“Sevra, your parents don’t know about the methods I’m using to keep this conversation between just you and me and I think you know enough to not tell them.”

“Sure, Movar, I respect your decisions and my parents don’t care about what I do as long as it doesn’t bother them.”

“How are you doing with handling the impact of your Simulated Recreation?”

“Some days it’s very hard to resist but it does seem to be getting easier

“Just realize your progress is completely dependent on your desire to be a free agent, to make your own God-blessed decisions. I abhor the need for you and I to pretend we’re being affected by the suggestions in the Recreation but this is the way things are just now. You know I don’t expect you to believe what I do about the Arrival of the New Prophet. But I pray, when he does arrive, you are wise enough to follow His Teachings and aid His Cause.”

“Movar, I do believe there’s a Creator or Essence or Power, I don’t know, a Something that makes the World happen Tell me again, why your religious beliefs are so—rational?”

“Like I’ve said before, religion without rationality is superstition. And, God didn’t give us minds just so we’d use them in ways that trap us into delusions. I will ask you one more time, Sevra, with more seriousness then ever before, do you want to continue your education in resisting the efforts of the Corporation to control you?”

“Of course.”

“Be sure, Sevra, be very sure in your deepest self, because the demands of resistance are severe. You haven’t had to face some of the kinds of Simulated Recreation someone of my age must endure. You don’t know how hard it can be, even with Faith, to persist on the path of Individual Justice

“Movar, I know enough to know I don’t want to be like the other kids. I may not be able to make a clear decision about your Prophet but I can know I absolutely won’t worship the Corporation.”

~~~

By the time Sevra was seventeen, he had become Class Leader in the Corporation’s local school.

He’d lost weight but gained will power. He’d lost friends but gained valuable information on the Corporation’s tactics. He’d lost all contact with his parents but gained a wise companion in Movar.

He only wished he could see Movar again

Perhaps he could if he could get the Corporation to brand him a criminal so he could be on the space ship being planned for a journey to the World of Anla.

Movar was in Detention. Movar was a “religiously unbalanced” criminal now. Movar was dangerous to the Corporation.

Sevra had to do something to become a “mentally unstable” criminal—as the official Pronouncement had it, “A person with a pernicious streak of wild inventiveness that refused to conform to the wishes of the Corporation.”.

The criminals were being rounded up and given intense Simulated Recreation to make them into weapons—time-released problems for the priests on Anla—tools for a takeover of the Religious World

Sevra knew Movar would not succumb to the conditioning.

And, if Sevra could use the wisdom Movar had helped him gain, he could be on the ship that would carry Movar to a World even stranger than this Corporate one………
~~~~~~~~~
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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The “Bad” People in “Notes from An Alien”


More revelations in this Friday Special, Behind The Scenes of Notes from An Alien.

There are some Spoilers this time so, if you don’t want advance information before you read the book, just grab a Free Copy—it is a short novel and you just might be able to finish it before I write the next Friday post :-)

And, don’t forget, you can ask me Any questions about the book in the Comments of Any of these Friday Specials

Let’s get down to it.

The Corporate World, Anga, created two classes of undesirables and the first chapter gives this explanation:

~~~

   ShipOne continued its light-powered flight toward Anla surrounded by the aurora of electromagnetic interaction with Anga’s plasma tail.

The passengers continued to speculate on their future.

Most could only feel doom. These were the “mentally unstable” among Anga’s criminals.

The rest, the “religiously unbalanced”, had mixed feelings.

Mentally unstable to the Angan leadership meant an unwillingness to adhere to norms—a pernicious streak of wild inventiveness that refused to conform to the wishes of the Corporation. Their ideas were often used but never attributed to them. They feared being shipped to a World reported to be completely organized according to various religious standards.

Most of the religious criminals were of the Harian persuasion, followers of Akla. The rest were truly lost souls, hoping for salvation from their new masters on Anla.

~~~

Fairly obvious here—these folks are “bad” because the Corporate leaders decree it.

Anga is the logical extreme of the brand of corporatism that is ravaging most of the Earth now.

It’s a good thing Notes from An Alien is fiction because it was quite painful crafting some of the scenes that deal with Anga’s woes

One thing I did try to show was that, no matter how long a specifically greedy corporatism can maintain power, eventually it strangles itself—it just isn’t in line with reality.

I want to expand on the part that says, “The rest were truly lost souls, hoping for salvation from their new masters on Anla.”

Even though the Corporate leaders are bad, the priests on Anla are worse—though I have referred to both sets of leaders as Fundamentalists

There is one religion on Anla that isn’t quite so bad but none of them are of the sterling character of the Aklans.

If the Corporate leaders are bad in a Cold way, the priests are bad in a viciously Hot way.

Now on to chapter eight, after the groundwork for a Worlds’ Government is established.

Since this governing has no enduring moral fiber—is still merely political—a desperate response to the War’s end; and, even though it has jurisdiction on two separate Worlds, the improvements in daily life that order has evoked are soon to be attacked

Here is the introductory scene for the other bad folks:

~~~

Chirzt and Laiy were meeting with the twenty-six people who had been recruited for their cause. Nineteen were Independents—those who wanted to influence the Worlds’ Council toward more liberal attitudes—attitudes that included measures that fostered more control by individuals over the flow of goods and the practice of services. Seven of the recruits were Dissatisfieds—those who could be used to foment various forms of insurrection to support the desires of the Independents.

~~~

It should be fairly obvious that the Independents are holdovers from the days of Corporate Anga.

The Dissatisfieds are tools—perhaps the most lost souls in the book

I used my six decades of suffering through our materialistic culture to fashion the Corporate World.

The Religious World was necessary for three reasons:

— as a foil for the Corporate World

— as a representation of what can happen when religion is the thrall of dogma

— because both my parents were ministersGod love ’em

... do, please, feel free to ask me any questions about any part of the book in the Comments
~~~~~~~~~
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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