BOOTLICKER

Galatians 5:4

2009-11-10

The sun had beat down on them for little over a month now, their headclothes had dissolved, what remained on their bodies was bleached and threadbare - the smell of the earth permeated through the core of their very minds, Harkoff, Shredig and Foolio trudged blindly into the southern Nelen suburbs of Lesser Jou.

*

“Mister Minister?”

The old man put down some yellowing typewritten papers before grasping the secretary at his office door with a firm gaze. “Yes?”

“I’ve been authorised to inform you that dispatch team -”

“Contact Field-Marshall Sherpie and tell him to contact Ragzin.”

Field-Marshall Sherpie? And… and… Ragzin?”

The Minister squinted at the woman standing in the threshold of his tiny, wall-papered room.

“Sherpie has been promoted, Miss, and he must talk to Ragzin about this matter.”

The woman lingered in the doorway and seemed to study the hunched man, and his single black bowler, unmoving on a hatstand to his left. Does this man really command the future of eighty million people?

“Is there something wrong, Miss? Miss Kost, is it?”

“Sorry sir, nothing’s wrong,” Kost turned away and moved to the nearest speaker tube to fulfil her instructions.

**

For about a century, before the Nelen discovered masses of marble in the deep south of Lesser Jou, architects and engineers were fixated on creating structures with concrete. Concrete was more than just the most functional building component ever developed, it was a tradition, a social expression of progress - for a very long time, it seemed to encapsulate what it meant to be Nelen.

Great square structures issued from the ground in Nela’s east, while it spread closer, and ever more jealously towards Jou. Concrete formed simple prisms that housed people closer and more numerously that ever before. It was both dually and simultaneously¬† speedily dirty, and saturated with new Nelen culture. A new movement carried this espousal of functionalism forward, prioritising not a direct expression of wealth, but the pursual and possession of as much of it as physically possible.

Installation four was a relic of this era. Concrete lift-shafts, concrete access-shafts, concerete hallways. Totally underground, it was another secret government facility that had been converted from office-space to a site for scientific experiements.

[continued, was not going to post but it became enough]