Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Sadrin

Tad looked out the living room window, up in the sky at the Sadrin which hovered over the neighborhood. He looked up at the bright metal sphere with a bright metal ring running round its equator, which hung up there in the sky, hundreds of yards overhead.

He knew the Sadrin was watching him.

Tad knew the Sadrin was watching and recording everything he did. The metal sphere overhead kept track of when people were eating, when they were sleeping, when they were watching TV and what they were watching. It knew when you were blowing your nose. It eavesdropped on your every conversation and your every stray word. For all Tad knew, the Sadrin was reading and decoding the electrical impulses in his brain, and recording his every thought.

Tad remembered a time before the Sadrin had been placed in the sky above his neighborhood. That was before Los Angeles had been wiped off the map. Now there was a Sadrin hovering above every neighborhood in America, above field and mountain and plain. The Sadrins were useful for apprehending terrorists, and muggers, and vandals, and jaywalkers, and loiterers. Be careful what you do or say, for the Sadrin up in the sky is watching you, and it neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Tad idly cracked his knuckles as he looked up through the window. Cracked his knuckles: the Sadrin would make a record of that.

And Tad thought of how all the data from all the hundreds of thousands of Sadrins across the country was gathered and cross-referenced at the Building of Iron and Gold in Washington. The Building of Iron and Gold: no human any longer walked its halls, no flesh and blood was allowed within a thousand yards of its thick armored walls. There, deep within the bowels of the building, something toiled and reckoned, something of silicon and artificial organics knew every slightest event in the entire country.

They said that the something within the Building of Iron and Gold had awakened, and that it now was growing vastly more intelligent and more capable with each passing day. Like the all-seeing eye of God, it knew your every sneeze, your every salty tear, your every mumbled nightmare cry in the middle of the night. For its Sadrins were watching you.

Tad looked up through the window at the Sadrin that hung in the sky over his neighborhood, the gleaming sphere of metal with a ring running round its equator, and he could not help but shudder.

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