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Sunday 30 March 2014

Prismatic Reflection

    ‘It’s Your Funeral!’ Early one morning a young blonde girl, wearing a white cap, dressed in a white and orange jersey and white slacks, tentatively steps as she approaches the cottage ‘6 Private.’ The occupant of which is still in bed. The girl opens the cottage door and enters.
“At last!” says the Supervisor-Number 26.
On the wall screen Number 50 makes her way into the bedroom, and just as she is about to wake the apparently slumbering figure of Number 6, he grabs hold of her wrist and pulls her down onto the bed!
“What are you doing here?” he barks.
“I was just about to wake you up” she tells him.
She has, and donning his dressing gown Number 6 wants to know who she is, and how she got into his cottage. Apparently the door was open, as it always is to them…….isn’t it? Number 50 wants Number 6’s help. He tells her to go to the Town hall, the citizens Council offers help and advice to everyone.
The girl protests!
“Their Citizens Council.”
“As far as I’m concerned, what’s theirs is yours” Number 6 tells her.
Number 50 demands that she is not one of them, but then no-one is, “Go back, tell them I was not interested, that I wouldn’t even listen. What’s the point, they know already. I wont go for it, whatever it is, so you may as well stop trying” Number 6 shouts showing Number 50 the door.
The young woman falls into a dead faint onto the lounge floor. Number 6 attends her with a glass of water as seen on the wall screen in the Control Room by the Supervisor-No.26 and an interim No2, still dressed in pyjamas and dressing gown, sporting thick black rimmed spectacles. Now we shall see how accurately they have timed it. Number 50 was given a drug yesterday, one of the new super strength moprobromates that has been developed. The girl doesn’t know anything about it. The drug remains dormant until triggered by the nervous system, and then releases itself to the desired quantity, to produce instant tranquillity, or temporary oblivion.
Until that point Number 6 was about the throw Number 50 out, now she has become a damsel in distress.
In the Control Room the interim Number 2 isn’t sure about the procedure of having the door left open. That was a last minute improvisation on the part of the Supervisor, because Number 6 doesn’t always answer the door when people come calling. Number 2 is not happy about this, as the
plan is far too important for slapdash improvisation, and takes the Supervisor down a peg.
The young woman comes round and puts the glass of water to her lips, she claims exhaustion, no it was drugs, her pupils are dilated. But Number 50 claims not to take drugs, so it must be forced feeding! Number 6 condescends to listen to Number 50’s story, just as long as what she says doesn’t become too obviously phoney. Number 50 explains about an assignation plot, that against Number 2. Number 6 questions whether she is trying to organise or prevent one, as it so happens to prevent. Number 6 asks her what it is she wants him to do.
“I just told you, I need your help in preventing an assassination” the girl pleads.
“They’ve heard, they are aware, and they don’t need anyone’s help!” shouts Number 6 so to remind the Observers.
The trouble is they don’t believe her, that’s why Number 50 came calling on Number 6 in the first place, and is surprised about so much caution in a man like him, it seems so wrong! The thing is Number 6 has been bitten many times, and is now forever shy. But they are not shy, they love to listen! But Number 6 doesn’t seem to understand. The girl’s name, her number is on a list for jamming, and we’re not talking about domestic science, or music making! Jamming is one of the ways of fighting back, he’ll learn about jamming one of these days, but not just at the moment as the girl storms out of his cottage!
Number 2 is disappointed with the result. Taking off his spectacles and wiping them with his handkerchief “If only I had just a little more time.”
“We’re running late as it is” the Supervisor reminds him.
“I know that!” Number 2 snaps.
A yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone begins to bleep. The Supervisor picks it up “Yes sir at once” and hands the telephone to Number 2.
The interim Number 2 explains the situation to his superior, that it was the girl’s reluctance. She took a long time in making up her mind, and Number 6 flatly refused to have anything to do with her. Number 2 thought that if they could replace Number 6, someone more tractable, less suspicious. But the reason Number 6 was selected was a matter of credibility without which the plan might backfire. But Number 2 has no choice in the matter, he must find a way to make him interested. He orders a daily prognosis report on Number 6 as quickly as possible.
In a computer room technicians work at their stations. Number 8 enters the room and orders a daily prognosis report on Number 6, that Number 2 requires it, and takes the seat at her desk.
Number 6’s daily routine is computed from six-thirty in the morning, exercising with a walk around the Village, to nine-twenty am when Number 6 goes to have his portrait painted by Number 118. This prognosis is then printed off, and sealed in an envelope, and taken to the Green Dome by Number 8.
Meanwhile Number 2 is in conference with his assistant Number 100, and so far he is happy with his progress on Plan Division Q. Number 100 has indoctrinated Number 51, a watchmaker, and father of Number 50, to make a bomb, with which it is intended to assassinate the retiring Number 2. Or rather execute the retiring Number 2, seeing as it’s a plot that has been devised so that innocent people can be blamed for the assassination of a Number 2, then mass reprisals can be carried out. In other words a purge of the Village to rid it of all known malcontents, of which Number 6 happens to be top of the list!
On the lawn of the Old People’s Home Number 6 is sat having his portrait painted by Number 118, who informs Number 6 as to what jammers are, and what it is they do. What they do these jammers is talk. They talk about the plots they’ve been hatching, escapes mostly, but plans and developments for all kinds of mischief. They do it to confuse the Observers. The plots they talk about are always make believe, non existent, but Control cannot know that until they’ve checked them out. Used to run themselves ragged investigating the schemes of jammers. But they don’t do it any more. Now they have a list of all known jammers. Anything that Control picks up from them, they just let ride.
In the Green Dome the pair of steel doors open, and Number 8 walks smartly down the ramp into Number 2’s office. Number 2 sits back in his chair, feet up on his desk, with a cup of tea in his hands. He asks Number 8 how accurate it is, what percentage is right or wrong regarding the daily prognosis of Number 6. Unfortunately Number 8 doesn’t know, because twice they programmed the machines for a percentile appraisal of their own efficiencies. Each time they refused to give the requested information, simply by not returning the data to them!!! They’ll be wanting their own Trade Union next!
Number 8 takes Number 2 through the prognosis report which they follow on the wall screen. It is now ten-nineteen exactly. According to the prognosis, Number 6 is now taking his daily stroll through the Village {what another one?!} At approximately ten-twenty he will go to the kiosk where he will buy at copy of the newspaper, a bar of soap, and a bag of sweets. A bag of sweets, Number 6 never eats candy, its wrong, and it doesn’t appear to work!
Except that Number 6 does buy a bag of sweets, for Number 36 whose credit allowance has all be used up, and who can’t go a whole day without her sweets.
Number 8 continues with the prognosis, it doesn’t matter about the chess matches, and carries on until Number 2 finds what he’s looking for, Number 6’s semi-weekly Kosho practise, and indicates to Number 100 that he knows what he wants.
Number 6 is engaged in his Kosho practice. Two men in Cossack garb, boxing mits, and crash helmets bouncing up and down on a pair of trampolines, the one trying to get the better of his opponent, until either one of them dunks his said opponent into a tank of water. Number 100 goes to Number 6’s locker, and exchanges his watch for an identical one that isn’t working. So that after Number 6 has showered and changed, he returns to his locker to collect his things to find his watch has stopped. Hence his next stop on his way home is the little Watchmakers shop.
The watchmaker is Number 51 father of Monique-Number 50. Entering the shop Number 6 hands the little white haired man his watch saying it’s stopped. The watchmaker goes into his back room and attends to the wrist watch. While he’s gone Number 6 observes a device on a work bench. Picking it up, he presses a button on the device which makes another device on the work bench operate. Number 51 returns saying the watch is working and snatches the device from Number 6’s hands.
“Intriguing, what is it?” Number 6 asks handing the man his credit card.
“It’s nothing, just a toy” the watchmaker says clipping the credit card.
“Good, very good” and slips the credit card into the breast pocket of his blazer and leaves the shop.
Moments after Number 6 has gone, Number 100 emerges from the back room of the shop. Well that all went perfectly well, although it wasn’t very difficult. But Number 51 cannot understand why it was necessary to expose their method like that. To let the enemy know what they are up to. It’s to add to their confusion, that is what they stand to gain. Because they don’t believe anything jammers do, or intend to do, that is why they can carry out their plan.
Outside the shop Number 6 meets with Monique-Number 50. She saw him go in. Number 6 begs her pardon. Number 50 wonders how he found out. She hadn’t told him about the watchmaker. But it was his watch, it had stopped, and that is the only reason Number 6 had gone to see the watchmaker. And that would explain Number 50’s concern. But now Number 6 no longer has that same total
disinterest. Because he doesn’t believe that a device to detonate explosive by radio, is a toy, and neither does Monique’s father!
Observing the scene between Number 6 and Monique on the wall screen in the Green Dome, is Number 2 and a man in a grey blazer, Number 22.
“I suppose it may work.”
“It is working” insists Number 2.
“Whatever you call it, Plan Division Q is still murder.”
Number 2 tells Number 22 that he has specific duties, and to stick to them, the rest he can leave to Number 100. Number 6 hasn’t fallen for it yet, but he will. And afterwards, when it’s all over Number 2 will be showered with congratulations.
“Yes, well after he’s been here to warn me that an assassination is being plotted, and that I’m the intended victim!”
Perhaps this interim Number 2 should be reminded, that any plan involving Number 6 has been prone to failure!
Number 6 and Monique meet at the Café, they talk about the assassination plot, and of her father’s involvement. There is another man involved, but don’t ask her who he is, whose anyone in the Village?
Number 6 and Monique pay a call on her father at his shop.
“It has stopped again?” enquires the watchmaker.
“No, its running fine” Number 6 replies.
Both Monique and Number 6 try to talk Number 50 out of this action he is going to take. It is an insane idea that has got hold of him. But the watchmaker is no mad man. His daughter refuses to understand, that what he is doing is for principle. “We are in this prison for life, all of us. But I have met no-one who has committed a crime.”
There must be some other way, not by murder. And yet Number 50 still sees it as “Assassination!” But the entire Village will be punished! “Maybe that’s what they need to wake them up, to shake them out of their lethargy. To make them angry enough to fight.” There is no shaking the watchmaker form his belief, such is Number 100’s indoctrination of the watchmaker, who must now get on this his work!
Number 6 does indeed pay Number 2 a call to warn him of the intended plot to assassinate him. But unbeknown to Number 6, the meeting is being recorded on both film and audio tape. This in order that both film and audio can be edited so that it shows that Number 6 has made more than one warning of imminent death by violence plots. This so that the Number 2 who is soon to return from a spell of leave {leave, I didn’t know Number 2’s were allowed to go on leave} will not believe Number 6’s warning of an assassination plot. A kind of crying wolf too often! Certainly the interim Number 2 pooh - poohs the idea of a possible assassination. Number 6 informs him that there are some very unhappy people in the Village. Number 2 informs him that he’s seen the list of malcontents, in fact it might interest Number 6 know that he’s top of the bill! {does that mean if the Village carry out their purge of malcontents Number 6 will be among their number?} Number 2 asks Number 6 how they are going to go about it, when, where. Did they show him the gun? No, in fact they are going to blow him up!
After leaving the Green Dome, Number 6 meets up with Monique at the Brass Band concert. He explains to her that Number 2 thinks he’s being used as a communications medium, one more credible that her father, and he wouldn’t know whether to believe him or not. Number 6 has no choice but to go on with it.
Village announcement “Good afternoon everyone, good afternoon. I’ve some exciting news for you. Your citizens Council officially proclaims Thursday, the day after tomorrow as “Appreciation Day.” The day when we pay due honour to those brave and noble men who govern us so wisely. You will be delighted to hear that proceedings will be opened by Number 2 himself, and concluded by the unveiling of our new Appreciation Day monument. They’ll be speeches, thrills and excitement.” And maybe more excitement than planned!
That evening Number 6 and Monique go into the watchmakers shop. On a work bench they find both the plan for, and a replica of, the Great Seal of Office always worn by Number 2 at official ceremonies. Inside the great Seal, it is packed with explosive!
The following morning Number 6 arrives at the Green Dome to see Number 2.
Number Six isn’t it. I’ve been expecting you” says the aged man sitting in the chair behind the desk.
“I want to see Number Two” Number 6 tells the man.
“I am Number Two” the aged man tells him.
This Number 2 doesn’t appear to recognise Number 6, and Number 6 certainly doesn’t know this Number 2. Perhaps they didn’t have much to do with each other!
“You’ve come to tell me there’s a plot against my life, haven’t you? You know my very efficient colleague is very concerned about these imminent death by violence projects you’ve been reporting during my absence.”
“Plots? I’ve reported only one.”
“Not so” begins Number 2 “my very efficient colleague, should I say my heir presumptive, has been collecting
evidence, that every interim Number Two who has served here while I’ve been away on leave, has been cautioned by you, about some improbable conspiracy to murder him.”
Number 2 shows Number 6 surveillance footage of him reporting a plot to assassinate them. Film which has obviously been faked. But to what purpose? Why should they want to convince Number 6 that he’s not well? Perhaps it’s Number 2 they want to convince. And yet tomorrow Number 2 hands over to his successor, he retires. Perhaps then, they are trying to save a pension!
Later, alone in his office, Number 2 listens to a conversation between Number 6 and Monique at the Café. This convinces Number 2 enough to ask his assistant Number 22 to send someone over to the Bureau of Visual Records, as there is a tape he wishes to review. The Subject “Warning of an assassination plot, persons Number 6 and my successor.” But it would be a waste of time, as Number 22 can confirm that there’s no such recording of that description. But Number 22 has no duty functions at the Bureau of Visual records, yet he can say instantly and with total assurance that the records No.2 require are non existent. Number 2 asks Number 22 to explain. But the fact that Number 22 won’t explain, explains everything.
Number 6 and Monique must try and prevent the assassination of Number 2, not only for her father’s sake, but for everyone’s. Number 6 has one final try at convincing Number 2, who left orders with the butler that he wasn’t to be disturbed. But what Number 6 has to say won’t wait. Number 2 knows what it is, that tomorrow he is to be assassinated, but replace that with executed, seeing as it’s his own people who are doing it.
“You don’t mind?” asks Number 6.
“Of course I mind. It’s just I never thought it would happen to me.”
“It never does, to anybody. But it can be prevented.”
“Preventing is only postponing. You’ve never understood us Number Six, we never fail!”
“The ceremony can take place without the seal>“
“The seal is the ceremony.”
“It’s hollowed out, it’s packed with explosives……….”
“And before I hand it over to my successor?”
“It will be detonated by radio!”
“I can think of better ways to die!”
“And better causes to die for!” Number 6 tells him.
In a computer room the interim Number 2 is on the telephone speaking to Number 1, he‘s simply oozing with simpering confidence. “Plan Division Q is all set, it’s working beautifully….dead on time you could say….No sir, no, no, just the way you ordered it…..The people are gathering now,
it will be very spectacular……..No nothing can go wrong now, I’ll stake my future on it……Well thank you sir, I know you will.”
Outside in the Village the good citizens of the Village are parading carrying placards of Number 2, the one about to retire, and that of his successor. Eventually they gather in the central piazza, as the two Number 2’s, along with Top Hats and other members of Administration take up their positions on the balcony of the Gloriette. The Brass band plays and the people cheer. It is a Top Hart Administrator who opens the Appreciation Day proceedings.
“Fellow citizens, no dear friends, for that is what you are, each and everyone of you. We are gathered here on this happy occasion, our annual Appreciation day, to pay homage and to show our gratitude to our glorious leaders.”
The citizens cheer and applaud.
“Now is the time to give thanks to our departing leader, let us pay tribute to the great achievements of our retiring Number Two. The improved Café facilities, the extra Blue Zone in the post, the new flower garden which you admire so much. The golf course, and clock golf. We say thank you Number Two for the plans you have made for us, the new concert hall which is to be built. The beautiful new mural in the library, and the electrification of the clocks. In saying goodbye we salute you for your glorious achievements.”
Blimey! No wonder the out-going Number 2 never had any direct contact with Number 6, he never had time!
While the speeches continue, in the crowd Number 6 and Monique are looking for her father. The radio detonator has a very wide range, he could be anywhere. Then there comes a flash of sun on glass from the top of the Bell Tower. Number 6 and Monique push their way through the crowd and go running off in its direction.
As the Top Hat comes to the end of his speech, the Butler steps forward carrying the Great Seal of Office laid on a crimson velvet cushion, the great seal lifted and placed about the retiring Number 2’s shoulders. His successor takes a step or two back as the retiring Number 2 begins his speech.
Number 6 and Monique have climbed the inside of the Bell Tower and have found her father. “Keep away!”
Number 6 rushes forward, takes the detonator from the Watchmaker, and rushes away, leaving Monique to look after her father.
On the balcony of the Gloriette the retiring Number 2 is coming to the end of his speech, wondering what is going to happen next. Because the anticipated explosion has not
taken place. The heir presumptive in the position of Number 2, orders Number 100 to go and find out what’s gone wrong, and to be quick about it.
Number 6 encounters Number 100 at the base of the Bell Town. Number 100 wants Number 6 to give him the detonator, Number 6 tries to get passed 100, and a fight ensues.
On the balcony its nervous new Number 2 who has the Great Seal of Office hung about his shoulders.
On the lawn by the Bell Tower Number 6 has Number 100 pinned to the ground, and wants a confession out of him. However 100 isn’t quite finished. He manages to break free of Number 6, who is quicker and stronger than 100 and throws a punch knocking 100 to the ground. Leaving 100 sprawled unconscious on a gravelled path, Number 6 with detonator in hand, rushes off to the Gloriette.
The new Number 2 is quickly coming to the end of his rushed speech, “And it is with great pride that I dedicate this magnificent monument which represents our appreciation of this great community.”
Below the balcony it is the butler who unveils the Appreciation day monument “ACHIEVEMENT.”
By this time Number 6 has made his way through the crowd and onto the balcony.
“Take it” he says to the retiring Number 2.
“What for?”
“It’s your passport, no-one will question its authority. The helicopter is waiting.”
“But they will get me eventually.”
“Fly now, pay later!”
“They’ll find me wherever I am.”
“As long as it’s not here, take it and go.”
The Brass band plays, and the Top Hats, and administrative personal are congratulating themselves on the balcony. The ex-Number 2 has his finger on the button of the detonator as he and the new Number 2 stare at each other. Then as the ex-Number 2 makes a dash for it, Number 6 steps forward stopping the new Number 2 from removing the Great Seal of Office from about his shoulders, effectively shaking him by the hands in congratulations.
“And so the great day is nearly over. Went off rather well I thought, better than planned. And now you can look forward to your own retirement and I’m sure they will arrange something equally suitable when the day comes.” {That day may arrive sooner than expected if the fiasco of Appreciation Day is anything to go by!}
Number 6 releases the grip of Number 2’s hand “Be seeing you….won’t I?”
The sound of the helicopter can be heard overhead, as Number 2 putting on his spectacles, looks up at the sky to see the helicopter climbing away from the Village. Then to his utter astonishment, the helicopter hovers for a moment, and turns back towards the Village!

Be seeing you next time, and best of luck with your exams!

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