An Office Romance

Psychic Terror and Authoritarian Love

This piece of writing felt good coming out of his hands but he knew it would not last the week because it was lies. There're not many other options when your boss asks you to spy on your friends at work.

That's right. If you love them you make shit up.

It would be detected by the system as a lie though. It always did. He'd yet to find a way to beat the system but felt he was getting close.

It had something to do with his hackneyed understanding of Buddhist ontology - that man and everything else lacked essence. Conner convinced himself that it was from this lack of essence, this void, ultimately, that he could produce a truth which was just as false as all the other content of phenomena (or at least how it is perceived by human cognition). After all, the AI truth detecting system had been manufactured precisely on the grounds of a philosophical error concerning the nature of being and consciousness - or so Conner was convinced enough to let events play out to affirm his conviction.

However, as he reached down to tie the red laces of his gray tennis shoes (a choice odd for the office he was not in a position to admit to himself until that moment), his elbow bumped the plastic hour-glass shape of a chocolate milk he normally wouldn't have bought, the yawning, torn plastic coating on the side facing him a sad reminder of his lack of will in the face of sweets.

Milk spilled all over his shoes.

But normally his will was not lacking. His propensity to value action before thought (for a number of reasons we won't get into here) expressed itself in such a way that his thoughts habitually turned into actions where thoughts which were not coextensive with actions were not cut out all together. We're taking longer to describe it than it happened but the reflexivity of his thought was such that he was overwhelmed by a notion which he didn't care to distinguish as imagination, a phantom of paranoia or of logical deduction.

This is precisely the mental reflex which had caused his friends to accuse him of being high time preference, but it is also the reflex that saved him on many occasions from psychic interlopers.

He came to the quick realization that even were he to satisfactorily trick the AI truth detection system, there was little he could do in the way of dodging psychic power from God knew what entity under the employ or just phenomenally adjacent to his boss - if only in another dimension.

The layers of deception were too much. The changing formula was too much, and the attendant open ended questions he would have to armor his mind against in order to fool the psychic audit.

'Davrys: How often does he masturbate in the single person bathroom?' was a question.

Leaving aside the fact that Conner was actually supposed to gather some kind of intel on this in some empirical or testable way, Conner didn't much like Davrys and found himself saying something like 'No less than 7 no more than 10 times per day,' on the report. And this is precisely what fucked him up every time.

His fat Samoan, female supervisor called his Hibernian ass into the office and huffed through her nose, ruffling through a stack of papers and said, 'Do you see yourself working here in 6 months?'

Conner let vocal fry issue from his lips before saying, 'I'm under contract for 2 more years.'

'My husband's gay,' she said and leaned close to him. 'You know what that means?'

'Does it mean you're going to break contract?' Conner asked.

'No,’ she said. 'It means he never shuts up about Parsifal.'

'Are you sure that's because he's...'

'You gaslighting me mutha fucka?'

'No.'

'You neg like a white boy. I'll tell you what, red,' she leaned in closer to him. 'You look like you could get outta this office. Whachu say you buy me a cone-yack.'

'Uh-'

'Company dime. Don't be a little bitch.'

'I like to keep uh... pleasure and work separate.'

'I'm work, baby. Do I look like anything but?'

Conner felt himself sweating.

A gunshot from the main work area.

His supervisor’s eyes widened. As she scrambled to hide, she fell over in her chair. Before Conner could even move, he noticed that two of the chair’s legs were broken on the ground as she lay in a partial puddle of human flesh and ill-fitted business suit on the ground.

It was time for conner to fall to the ground.

He crawled toward the door, stood to open it, and went into the main work area.

The workers were running and screaming.

Sitting in his chair at his desk, it appeared that Davrys’ head was no longer there. In its place, a bloody neck issuing a red waterfall all over the floor. Bits of brain matter and skull were spread out all over the cubicles and walls behind where he sat.

‘Did he take his own life?’ Conner asked into the air.

People were in shock and no one seemed prepared to answer.

‘Did he take his own life?’ he asked a second time, more sternly. He checked himself and realized that there probably wasn’t much reason to be so demanding of people in such an emotional state.

His supervisor, somewhat short of breath, came out of her office and yelled, ‘All right everyone, show’s over! Back to work!’

A gawky man with thick framed glasses rubbed his shoulder as if to comfort himself and said, ‘Don’t you want to know if it was suicide or murder?’

‘Mutha fucka, do I look like the police? You ever heard of a quota? I better see you makin calls.’

He sat down shyly.

She turned to Conner and smiled.

Behind her, a few janitors were dragging Davrys’ headless body away, making disgusted faces as the blood continued to pour all over the ground and their rubber work shoes.

Conner’s supervisor had a sticky note in her hand which she stuck in Conner’s breast pocket and gave it a little pat. ‘Personal cell,’ she said. ‘Call me later.’

He knew he didn’t have a choice.

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