Stuff wasn’t right.
That’s how I’d put it anyway, and it’d be a damn trick for
you or anyone else to convince me otherwise.
Now, I know it was good for some people out there. For them
it was a real sweet deal, and I don’t hold it against them for a minute. For
all the rest of them, though it was rotten and that’s why it wasn’t right.
Looking back, it makes me mad that it worked out that way too,
because we all saw it comin’ and didn’t do anything about it.
Not until it was too late.
“Yea, but what are the
odds of that happening again,” she said, responding to the news of a line-level
employee’s destitute death.
Leaning back in her chair, waiting for her tern to respond
Alexandra clenched her teeth.
“Don’t get me wrong, it sucks. But what could we change?
Aren’t all of the other things we do more important, bigger even, than one poor
employee?” finished Samantha, the President of Loop industries.
“No. No, you’re right, but here’s the thing,” started
Alexandra. “We aren’t going to have a logical dialogue with these people.”
“Because they won’t hear it,” finished Alex.
And if you think that part of the conversation was fucked
up, you should’ve seen the rest of it.
I wasn’t there, but trust me I saw the video.
Because, what those two didn’t know was that they were being
recorded for public viewing.
Well, no that’s not entirely true either.
They knew they were being recorded, that’s what Loop did, among
other things anyway. And well, that one was a real winner, one they should
never have let out from their stingy clutch.
Regardless, the brain trust at Loop didn’t catch it, until
it was all over the place.
“Double down, that’s what they did.” He said, describing the
series of blunders the Loop Corporation made following the leaked video.
He said this as part of a short monologue he made, walking through the vacant regional office in Denver. The outline of the ubiquitous logo
could still be seen on the wall, from where it was removed last week.
Cameras were rolling, now as they were then during that
recorded meeting in this very same office not more than eleven months ago.
“They played right into the anger, the outrage, and would up
on the wrong side of history.”
But that shuttered office in Denver was merely a start, just a
small crack in the intimidating blue and orange façade of the Loop Corporation.
A long standing, and heavy handed multinational technology
firm headquartered out of the small Bay Area town, Burlingame, Loop represented
the problem. It was, in the eyes of most, a vivid and lively internet company
that they saw everywhere.
Like most stuff coming out of that region in California, it
was ostensibly a liberal entity, geared towards helping the people.
Some people understood this to be a farce, and they had finally
found their catalyst.
“Have you ever watched something perfect die?” she asked, as
they stood by one the turrets on top of the old fort.
“Maybe, I’m not really sure though,” he replied.
The waves were crashing below, as the red lattice iron silently
“You know, like witnessing the end of a dynasty, or the
fading of a powerful storm. That sort of thing,” she said.
“Oh, yea. Sometimes it’s tough to watch, but the change is
worth it,” he said, looking north towards the south tower.
“What if you’re not actually seeing its death? But something more sinister,” she finished.
And like that powerful storm, the Loop Corporation began to
fade from the public eye.
At once a major figure in technology equations, something
ubiquitous with permanence and clean modern business, it was now second tier.
And it wasn’t the life of that one destitute employee which changed things, but
more the reaction of the company itself.
The blue and orange storm that was Loop was fading, the ship
was taking on water.
But counter to sea stories, the rats weren’t the first to
leave. No, it was the solid members of the team, the ones who worked on
On the morning of the
end of the world, I was sitting there quietly watching the ocean and sky from
I had beaten my
alarm, and the sun that day.
At the time, I didn’t
know the world was about to end, because for me there were no outward signs of
impending doom. The ships were still sailing into the bay, the cars were still
buzzing down highway one and planes still roared overhead. To me these were the
signs of life for our world.
And at that moment,
all of these things, the signs, were still there.
“Where did that get them?” she asked, looking at the monitor
across the room.
“Welp, it got a lot of attention from people. That’s for
sure.” Replied Alexandra, as they discussed the poor political choices being
made in the Capital.
In what seemed like hours, everything had descended into
chaos. And these two were the benevolent masterminds behind it all.
“Yea, they are probably already regretting the decision to
televise this process.” Said Samantha, smiling.
“That’s for sure, but hopefully we don’t regret it too.”
The two continued to watch as it all kept slipping further
“The Protestors didn’t even have time to organize before it
was already too late.” He said, looking his friend in the crowd.
“Yea, probably didn’t help that their phones weren’t working
though.” She replied, smiling.
They were on the fringe of the scene, keeping just to the
left of the disorganized mob.
“What do they do next?” he asked, looking for a genuine
answer. He was concerned; this was something he had never seen before.
“To be honest, I’m not sure.” She said. “But, I’m thinking
we should be trying to stay ahead of them. Regardless of what they do.”
I’d say it was all planned, organized and rehearsed, if that
hadn’t already been said.
But as I’ve already pointed out, I was sitting on my deck
the morning of the end of the world and didn’t even see it coming.
First it was the mad jockeying by the people in the Capital
to get it together.
Then it was the disorganized protests, which really didn’t
amount to much. Hard to be effective when your favorite tool is taken away.
After that it was the silence, and that for me was the
The waiting once everything stopped moving.
“Of course they aren’t going to help us,” she said bluntly.
“What’s their incentive to help us?”
The two sat there in the car, stranded in the middle of
everyone and unable to move through the traffic for the roadblock. Car horns
and angry yelling was everywhere around, none of it having any effect on the
“True, so what do you suggest?” he asked.
“Well, if they have no incentive to help us, our only hope
is that they don’t have any incentive to stop us either.” She replied, looking
for an opening along the perimeter of the place.
They were already in the air before the first real evidence of public discontent
was aired, before some idiot decided to put that session on television.
Aside from the simple
brick and mortar office they kept open on the shores of the bay, Loop had
another location that would be as far from the chaos as a person could get.
“So do we step in at
some point?” Asked Alexandra.
“I don’t really think
so,” replied Samantha, as she now watched the videos of the non-protests around
Burlingame, what happens to them?”
“Nothing good, I’m
It was a pretty
crippling blow, and I’m sure they broke a lot of laws making it happen.
But, what’s the value
in clean business when you’re operating in such murky waters anyway?
I didn’t really
believe it when I first read the stories, but I had to ask my self what would
motivate them to do it. It didn’t seem like they’d be getting anything out of
it, so it had to be true.
For me it was a
question of what wasn’t being said, what wasn’t obvious.
That’s what quickly
convinced me that they had to be true.
“Where the hell is this place anyway?” asked Alexandra as
the plane continued over countless miles of empty ocean.
“About 300 nautical miles southeast of the middle of
nowhere,” replied Samantha as she tried to get some sleep.
“What’s it like?”
“It’s small, that’s for sure. But, we’ve made some good
additions to the place, you’ll like it.” She said, realizing that the
conversation wasn’t going to end so easily. “If you want to know, it’s called Pitcarin
Island and I’d say to Google it, but I’m sure that site isn’t working just
“No, I’ll wait to see it.”
Walking briskly along a less crowded side street, they were
headed as quickly as they could towards Fulton. Expecting the park to be pretty
busy, they figured the border street might be a good thoroughfare to the edge
of the city.
“How far is it from here?” he asked.
“Can’t be too much farther, but we need to keep moving.” She
“Well, for as quiet as it is here now, I don’t want to be
here when all of these assholes get back to their houses. They probably aren’t
going to be too happy.”
That morning, as I quietly sat on my deck while the world
was ending a much distressed Congress was assembled far to the east.
See, I knew that this crazy consolidation of everything into
just a few very big organizations was scary.
I’ve been saying that shit for years, but hell it’s the free market
Well, these clowns that have been enabling this
consolidation apparently didn’t see this coming at all. Sure they control the
government, but all of the material stuff that it runs on is provided by the
few conglomerations they now dealing with.
So, now what?
The flight to Pitcarin was long, but relatively uneventful.
“We couldn’t have picked a better day to kick this off,
could we?” asked Alexandra as they gathered their things to disembark the
“I guess, I mean what makes this a good day?” asked
“That landing.” She replied, smiling. “Seriously, I’ve flown
in here a few times during the construction and it was always terrible.”
“Yea, there’s typically a steady wind blowing right across
this runway and it makes for some rough landings.”
“Fair enough.” Said Samantha as they walked across the
tarmac and towards the low building.
It was with little notice that several well compensated,
Loop employees continued to show up every day at a nondescript building in
“Are you sure this is the place?” asked one of the quietly
stalking people at the corner.
“Yup, positive.” Replied another.
“But they don’t even have a sign, that seems odd.”
Smiling as he started recording with his phone. “Would you
have a sign if you were them?”
The group continued walking towards the front of the
building, recording the surrounding as they broadcasted onto the Internet.
It was a poor quality recording, but that didn’t matter.
With a steady southeast wind blowing across the island, the
group watched the coverage of things from back on the mainland.
“Well, it’s not exactly what I had figured would happen, but
really the difference between planned and actual is just a matter of semantics
at this point.” Alexandra said, with several in the group nodding in agreement.
“What’s next?” Asked Samantha, leaning against the window at
the edge of the room.
“It’s lame, but we are just going to have to wait it out
from here.” Replied Alexandra. “What we did was pretty well documented, we can’t
The grainy footage of the narrow hallway was unforgettable
from the moment it hit the internet.
It was a vicious looking attack, in a flash we all saw an
unassuming figure walking towards the camera, and then he was down on the
ground. Being pummeled by a fast moving assailant.
I saw the video, everyone did.
The blue and orange logo on the upper right chest of the jacket
showed is a Loop employee, and that’s how this all started.
First the footage of the attack went viral.
Then the footage of the callous executives talking about it went
“That was awful, why does shit like that still happen?” he
asked, as they sat in the dark room watching the video over and over again.
“It’s just how people are, always been like that too.” She
“Already people are starting to get really upset over the
murder, “he said. “It was just so brutal and sudden.”
“Yea, the company really should make a statement about it.
But, I’m not going to hold my breath.”
“Mostly, I don’t think it would matter except for how
obvious it was that he worked for them.”
“Yea a statement would be nice.”
Within hours of the initial meeting being released to the
public, it was already obvious that everyone was reacting exactly how they were
supposed to react.
“That’s just ridiculous, how everyone just bought the cover.”
Samantha said, looking at Alexandra.
“Well, millions of data points and expert analysis should be
good for something.” Replied Alexandra.
“True enough, and we’ve definitely capitalized on this whole
thing.” Said Samantha.
The two continued to watch as their plan unfolded with the slightest
of effort. They said exactly the right thing, and at exactly the right time.
All they needed to do was wait.
“It is with great regret that I am announcing the closure of
all of our fixed locations.” Said the somber spokesperson, as he stood at the
podium in the conference room.
“The public has spoken, and at the present time it is just
not feasible to maintain our brick and mortar operations. After careful
consideration the Loop Corporation has decided to permanently close facilities
across the nation, and instead invest in a strictly online presence.” He
finished, waiting for questions from the crowd.
Although most of us watched from of our homes, a group of
journalists were in the audience.
Now, what most people didn’t know, and probably still don’t,
is that the Loop Corporation was already starting to close it’s brick and
mortar operation before what appeared to be the murder of one of it’s
But, I pay attention to that stuff. The sort of things you
find when you look into the company that purchased the company you just bought
a fruit drink from. And I was already looking at that stuff when I discovered
the shopping spree that the Loop Corporation was going on after closing its
Sure they were closing part of the operation.
“Maybe this is going to sound absurd, but what if they meant
to do it?” he asked.
“What do you mean, meant to do it?” she asked, in reply.
“Well, look at it. They closed all of their locations, but
did that really hurt them?”
“I guess not.” She said.
“Okay, and think about it. Does a company that good make a
stupid mistake like leaking that video?” He said, smiling.
“Honestly, I hadn’t thought of it. But no, probably not.”
She said. “Thing is though, what do they get out of all the chaos they’ve
“I’m not sure.”
“Alright, so if it was on purpose, what do we do?” she
“Well, I’m certain that we aren’t the only ones to have put
this together.” He said.
The more they reasoned the more they felt compelled to let
people know about what they had realized.
“But why aren’t they talking about it then?” he said,
“Really, they are probably too distracted to see the big
picture.” She paused, “if this was all orchestrated, that changes things.”
“Yea, it does, but what do we have to state, besides
conjecture?” He asked.
“Good point, lets find some stuff first.”
Personally, I knew
what was going on. Or at least had a pretty good idea about it, but did it
No, with something on
this scale only the actual results mattered.
The how was
But, you can’t really
tell that to people caught up in it because a lot of them are going to need
something significant to put it on. Some sort of meaning, and something to
blame, that’s what people need.
For me, it didn’t
matter though, because the public was going to find something to blame anyway.
I suppose Loop was a good target.
For me, it didn’t
matter though, because the public was going to find something to blame anyway.
I suppose Loop was a good target.
“But what if it’s not as bad as everyone is saying it is?”
he asked, as they drove east towards the high desert.
“Maybe it’ll be worse, who knows.” She replied.
It was the middle of the day and the road was devoid of
traffic, as they sped past valley towns.
“That’s true, and I’m not suggesting. . .” he started,
before being cut off.
“I get it, and honestly you’re probably right, but this
could be fun anyway.” She said, cutting in.
The wind rushing over the front of the car, they continued
east towards the mountains.
It had all happened pretty quickly, the end of the world.
No, I’m not talking about the events leading up to that,
because that took several millennia to come about.
I’m just talking about the actual event.
Fortunately I had a good front row seat as I stood there on
my deck watching the waves crash into the ocean. I was just over the hills from
the lone Loop building and the epicenter of it all and I could see it, the
chaos, spread like wildfire across the streets and houses below.
It’s a pretty impressive thing to watch too.