It’s Time to Choose
I was standing there, in the middle of the subway train. The man in the dark suit was in front of me, and gestured his hand between the exit of the car and the seat behind me. Either I get out, and accept his offer to work for him and the government, or I stay in the sub, and it sends me God knows where…
“You call that a choice?” I said to myself.
Crime pays they tell you. Until the tax collector comes in, and sets the record straight. That’s what happened to me. It started with a small online scam akin to the Nigerian prince’s wangle, but it targeted banking and insurance companies. It was working so well, it drew multinationals and trust funds lured by easy money to soothe their hungry short-sighted shareholders. It got out of control, when politicians got mixed in to fund their political campaign, and started asking for more.
It was either finding more money, or risk an investigation by the feds, because those rats had more connections than organized crime. The more the system grew, the more it looked like a ponzy scheme. More and more money to search, divert and clean at the same time. My crafty little program couldn’t handle so much information for so long, and finally collapsed, revealing the whole plot. Time to cash in and depart for somewhere sunny, I thought to myself, knowing ahead of time when my software was going to give in.
However even the best programmer can’t predict a systemic failure and a resonance cascade, when the program is targeted by another malware. Was it the feds or another hacker wanting a piece of the action? I’ll never know. So my only option was to flee in a hurry, and pray for the governments IT techs to be lazy and/or incompetent. Better still, that the bureaucracy would slow the investigation with red tape long enough to give me time to execute my plan, and retire the way they do in movies, on the beach with a lovely local woman.
Alas, while I was on my way to grab my ticket for the airport and get a taste of freedom, this government figure caught me. He knew my name, he knew who I was and what I did. Right then I knew that my former life was over, this G-man gave me the shortest grand speech of my existence. And a choice. Go down as a lapdog for the powers that be or disappear into oblivion, oblivion being one of those prisons that don’t exist, because they’re incompatible with our democracy and human rights.
I was at a fork in the road, figuratively and literally, as the rails ahead of the tram pointed out to two different directions. Downtown or Terminus…