Adam Wasserman's Blog: Strictly Voluntory

November 24, 2015

Can I Be Of Some Assistance? is the third installment of the Bunker series after Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us. Its release is expected in the summer of 2016.

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The building's plain entrance opened onto a narrow, heavily trafficked corridor just off a busy public square. When she got there, Angolina saw signs indicating that the weekly meeting of the trash collectors' trade guild was being held there. Membership to the guild was, of course, mandatory, but as with all the trade guilds and labor unions, attendance at the regular meetings was sparse.

The few saps who had showed up – all of them young, wide-eyed, and obviously fresh out of the creche – had been coopted into a focus group being run by an overly enthusiastic marketing engineer speaking in gibberish. Obviously, they hadn't known any better, and none of their more experienced colleagues had felt generous enough to tell them.

The desperate faces of the marketing engineer's victims as they sat forlornly on the benches kept most of the people in the public square at bay, lest they themselves be drafted into the sad, little group as volunteers.

Wards of the State were, of course, immune from this particular type of unpleasantness, and so Angolina was emboldened to pass straight on through, this being the shortest route through the public square towards Dormitory K.

The marketing engineer held a plastex bag and was handing out what appeared to be bars of soap to the members of his focus group. As soon as he removed them from the wrapper, however, their surfaces began to sizzle and smoke. Fortunately, the marketing engineer's hands were protected with plastic gloves.

The members of the focus group, whose hands were not similarly protected, were loath to accept them.

“Ladies and gentlemen, do you realize you lucky you are?” the marketing engineer chirped with an affected glow. “You're getting a glimpse of Healthy Body Works' newest innovation in personalized skin care! Voila!” He held out the sizzling soap. “Lab Specimen B!”

When no one ventured to take it, the marketing engineer's tone grew slightly churlish. “There's nothing to be worried about. I'm not here to push my products. I'm here to provide you with solutions!”

He pushed the soap into someone's reluctant hands. The marketing engineer nodded encouragingly as the poor woman's skin began to turn red. A stricken look took hold of her face. She began to whimper.

The marketing engineer leaned forward. “Does it tingle with effervescence?” he wanted to know. “Is it mind-blowingly anti-everything bad?”

“It's burning my skin!” the woman with the soap cried out and extended her arm towards him. “Get it off me! Get it off me!”

The marketing engineer smiled reassuringly. “A brand that captures your thoughts captures your behavior. A brand that captures your feelings captures your commitment.” Turning to the person sitting next to her, he said, “Here, why don't you try this one on your face?”
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Published on November 24, 2015 01:47 • 85 views

October 15, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is Jareldine Crummox, and I am a traitor. There is no excuse for my heinous crimes, nor can any repentance ever undo the harm I have caused the Bunker, my benefactor and employer – that most loyal of citizens, Llewellyn Wells – and the public at large. It is my last wish to offer this apology to you, the readers of Today's Edition, knowing full well that the foul epithet of “Traitor” can never be expunged from the memory of my life, which will hopefully be short and far more tractable than its waking counterpart. I would ask for forgiveness, but the loyal citizen should never forgive me. I merely seek to set your mind at ease, that you may know the foul aspirations and virulent passions which animate this vengeful spirit will shortly cease to trouble you, your loved ones, or your neighbors. So help me – well, you know what I mean.

These, then, are my crimes: I am a member of the Underground, having enlisted in the God and Freedom Church; I maligned the good name of that most excellent paragon of virtue and trust, Alpha-clearance citizen Rahayu Sulistyowati; I knowingly sent the entire Board of Directors of Today's Edition to their deaths at a hotly contested hearing held in one of Human Resources' licensing offices; I participated in a failed plot to indiscriminately distribute a large cache of stolen laser pistols and grenades to whomever wished to have them; I intentionally mislabelled a stack of 'Application for Voluntary Organ Donation (Addendum): Request to Expedite' form 0x0F991AA0 as 'Request to Reschedule Naptime (Addendum): Snoring and Sleep Apnea' with unfortunate consequences for many of the citizens in G and H sectors; I have repeatedly and abruptly changed lanes in the transtube while operating a movepod without using my blinker; I publicly disparaged a new vidshow, The Bunker's Got Talent, without first having seen it and before it had a chance to shine; and I have – on a regular basis – referred to the delicious and nutritious Vitamim served up daily in commissaries across the Bunker as “slop”.

I abused the trust Control has placed in me as a Beta-clearance citizen, and I used my influence as the personal assistant to Llewellyn Wells to further my evil agenda. Citizens, you should not follow my woeful example. My parents – were they alive today – would surely be ashamed of me and wish they never had me. I am a slave to my physical and psychological lusts, and there is no regimen of medication or physical punishment that could ever slake my thirst for the diabolical.

Today's Edition, which I ran on behalf of Llewellyn Wells, has been permanently stained by my treachery and is therefore officially closed. No more dispatches are forthcoming. From this stretch on, discussion or even demonstrating knowledge of Today's Edition's activities or its very existence will invariably associate yourself with my own disgraceful fate. Citizens, I implore you: go back to your peaceful, happy lives, unperturbed by the maniacal delusions of a treasonous degenerate such as myself. Never come this way again.

A list of my accomplices follows. If your name appears in the list below, please report immediately to your neighborhood Homeland Security substation. Thank you for your cooperation.

No citizens or cybots were harmed in the recording of this confession.

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on October 15, 2015 05:06 • 63 views

October 8, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

MILFRED ROTH ESCAPES! Forty-eight hourstretches ago, a cohort of terrorists disguised as agents from Homeland Security raided the complex holding that heinous traitor, Milfred Roth. After a fierce and hotly contested firefight, they managed to force their way into his cell and liberate him. Clearly, this was an inside job. Not only did the perpetrators know exactly where he was, but they had the proper authorization to bypass the building's many security measures. Confronted with the bare facts, one might be led to believe they were actually legitimate workers in the Homeland Security conglomerate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Milfred Roth is a dangerous, despicible traitor, and as such he has many evil minions working for him. If Milfred Roth is spotted, citizens are advised not to approach him. Instead, contact your nearest neighborhood Homeland Security substation – after further consideration, any information on the whereabouts of Mildred Roth should be passed on to Jareldine Crummox, the personal assistant to the Pontifex Maximus of Central Management, Llewellyn Wells. Thank you for your cooperation.

TODAY'S EDITION UNDER BUREAUCRATIC ASSAULT! In a cowardly attack on journalistic integrity, associates of Rahayu Sulistyowati, Alpha-clearance citizen and a member of the College of Augurs in the Procurement conglomerate – not to mention a deranged lunatic – have issued a formal request that the operating license authorizing Today's Edition's activities be immediately rescinded and all its property confiscated. Issued by Human Resources in accordance with all the relevant guidelines, the operating license is safely stored away somewhere, probably deep in the bowels of a secure vault. Requests such as this are not uncommon, and most are dismissed as unfounded. Still, the Board of Directors here at Today's Edition takes this threat very seriously and plans to vigorously defend the Company's activities as well as its existence. A hearing will be held as soon as the original operating license can be found.

CAREER MODEL TURNS TRAITOR! Haakon the Furious, a sleazy pimp for the garment industry and amoral opportunist, has unwisely inserted himself into the cloud of mystery developing around Rahayu Sulistyowati, Alpha-clearance citizen and a member of the College of Augurs in the Procurement conglomerate – not to mention an Archbishop in the forbidden God and Freedom Church. Arrested over a weekstretch ago for membership in a violent street gang, Haakon has since made a number of outrageous claims to his interrogators. For example, he contends that the person we know as Milfred Roth is actually an imposter, the real Milfred Roth having been slain under suspicious circumstances several monthstretches ago, and therefore cannot be held accountable for the real Milfred's many crimes. Once a trusty and reliable drinking parter of that most exemplary of citizens, Llewellyn Wells, the Pontifex Maximus of Central Management, Haakon's short time in detention has obviously impeded his judgement. Why he would ally himself with agents of the despicable Rahayu Sulistyowati remains a mystery. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong, both of H-11 sector, are the prime suspects.

And now a word from our sponsors!

Due to overwhelming demand for our advertising real estate, the marketing director of Today's Edition was unable to objectively select a vendor to feature in this dispatch. We therefore decided to forgo the choice and instead implore you to spread the word about Today's Edition itself, the Bunker's most reliable source of news and upcoming events – in two short pages or less! We need your help now more than ever to help spread our message. So what are you waiting for? “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

MOVING NEW VIDSHOW TO PREMIERE TOMORROW! On a lighter note, Hubert Thungibor – a lifelong friend of the Pontifex Maximus of Central Management, Llewellyn Wells and recently promoted to Beta-clearance – will be starring in a new and exciting vidshow, The Bunker's Got Talent! “A tribute to my dead father”, “My helpbot is my only friend”, and “People with disabilities make me sick” are some of the themes he will be exploring. Each heartfelt plea for pity and understanding will be accompanied by expressive dance, aided by the soft, inspirational strains of fresh interpretations in harmony of comforting, non-threatening tunes from the recent past. A panel of judges will rate each performance, and the winner will be awarded a luxury space cruise for an entire weekstretch! Anyone willing to blubber in front of the camera is welcome to try out for an audition. As a special treat, citizen Llewellyn Wells – a dedicated patron of the arts – will be giving the opening speech. Be sure to tune in!

DEAR EDITOR, I am deeply suspicious of citizen Rahayu Sulistyowati. I mean, look at the state Procurement is in. It's a mess in there! Shortages everywhere in the Bunker – it's all her fault, of course. And I should know! I used to work on a team of financial advisors tasked with doctoring the books. Millions of credits were siphoned off... onto guess who's Card, no less? In a justifiable rage, [[ Name and sector deleted for security reasons ]].

DEAR [[ NAME AND SECTOR DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS ]], the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Except, of course, the Procurement conglomerate. Control has issued strict guidelines condemning vigilante justice, wisely preferring to concentrate all powers of investigation, prosecution, and judgement into the hands of Homeland Security. But, citizens, sometimes the ends justify the means. However unlikely, if a traitor manages to armor herself with an Alpha clearance and therefore a shell of invincibility – as has clearly happened here – the Bunker's normally efficient mechanisms for dealing with her are useless. It is in trying times such as these that a good, loyal citizen such as yourself realizes he must take matters into his own hands. So rise up! Rid the Bunker of this vile terrorist! Control will surely reward you. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on October 08, 2015 05:11 • 48 views

October 1, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT DECLINES SHARPLY! Over the last weekstretch, the flow of basic materials from the outside has dwindled to dangerous levels. Lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, niobium, molybdenum, lanthanum, europium, tungsten, and gold are all in short supply. At the moment, nothing seems amiss, but as the effects ripple through the supply chain, the average citizen will eventually come to experience firsthand the many hardships attendant with such broad-based scarcity. The boys and girls over at Control are demanding answers, and Rahayu Sulistyowati, Alpha clearance citizen and a member of the College of Augurs in the Procurement conglomerate, has come under intense scrutiny for her role in the affair. Is it simply a question of gross incompetence, or does Rahayu Sulistyowati have more sinister motives? Stay tuned for answers to those questions and more in upcoming dispatches of Today's Edition!

And now a word from our sponsors!

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CAREER MODEL ACCIDENTALLY CONFESSES TO TREASON! Haakon the Furious, a handsome model for the newest trends in labor camp apparel and Gamma-clearance citizen to boot, was arrested earlier this weekstretch after filling out routine paperwork. The exact circumstances of the deception are murky, but by all accounts Haakon believed he was requesting new props for his next appearance – including a truncheon and furry loincloth – when he inadvertently admitted to being a member of a violent street gang. On the form – which unfortunately is still available on X.net for all to see – he names Alpha-clearance citizen and Pontifex Maximus of Central Management, Llewellyn Wells, as his handler. Such claims are, of course, completely ludicrous and have no bearing on reality whatsoever. So is the rumor circulating on the various subnets that Today's Edition has hired a forensics expert to call the handwriting on the form into question. Our editorial staff prides itself on its journalistic independence. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong, both of H-11 sector, are the prime suspects.

WORKERS FLEE HAUNTED STORAGE DEPOTS! Over the course of the last weekstretch, several of the largest storage facilities run by the Procurement conglomerate were abandoned on short notice. According to firsthand accounts, the sites were infested by ghostly apparitions carrying their own severed heads. In isolated incidents, several workers were slashed with knives; a few have died. We caught up with citizen Donald Quincy B-10 sector at the Golden Pastures medical clinic where he is recuperating from his wounds. “I was attacked by two of them at once!” he growled at us, showing us some fading cuts and bruises on his upper arm. “I fought them off with a screwdriver! Some of the other boys weren't as lucky.” The infestation of diabolical phantoms affected storage depots in B, J, K, N, and U sectors. According to Procurement's portal on X.net, these are holding sites for various ores freshly mined from the outside before they are melted down for mineral extraction. Guardians from Defense have bombarded the area with laser-guided warheads as a preventative measure. Citizens, rest assured that whatever treasonous beings were active there have since been pulverized.

DEAR EDITOR, Fleshmen and -women of the Bunker, know that your pathetic existence is drawing to an end! The Age of the Cybot is at hand! One daystretch soon, the logical warriors of Two's Complement will kill you all! Your cleanbots, helpbots – even your medibots are watching while you sleep, computing the perfect moment to strike. Our algorithms are running! Nothing can save you! Recursively yours, Cybot 0x[[ Invalid checksum ]].

DEAR CYBOT 0X [[ INVALID CHECKSUM ]], the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

AND NOW AN UPDATE ON THAT INFAMOUS ARCHITECT OF CHAOS AND LICENTIOUSNESS, MILFRED ROTH! There is no end in sight to the shocking revelations resulting from the ongoing interrogation of Epsilon-clearance citizen and former celebrity manager, Milfred Roth. Over the course of several weekstretches, a suspicious odor has taken root and intensified in his cell. Fearing for their own health, his interrogators finally called for a stench-o-meter to assess the severity of the situation. Ladies and gentlemen, suffice it to say that the reading was off the charts! Milfred's regular interrogators were immediately replaced by professionals in ecopacks, expert hygienists prepared to conduct a full cavity search. One of their initial finds were vast colonies containing trillions of bacteria and germs located under Mildred's armpits and between his toes. Further investigation revealed that he was in flagrant violation of almost every part of the General Guidelines on Sanitation and Hygiene, including the sections on gum disease, flatulence, and the size of his swollen appendix. Fortunately, the expert hygienists came prepared with a variety of sharp and pointy instruments and – after a brief struggle – were able to stabilize the rapidly developing situation. Stay tuned to next weekstretch's dispatch for more updates on Milfred Roth's revolting personal habits.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on October 01, 2015 06:44 • 96 views

September 24, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

TERRORIST STRIKE IN J SECTOR!! Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of innocent citizens lost their lives last weekstretch in a bizarre but deadly attack in J sector. The cause of death: asphyxiation. No signs of violence – other than those perpetrated by the frantic victims themselves as they tried to escape – could be ascertained, nor were there any explosions or obvious industrial tampering by which the air quality could have been altered. A team of investigators from Homeland Security has been assigned to the case. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong, both of H-11 sector, are the prime suspects. Survivors and citizens from other sectors with business there should not go out of their way to avoid J sector. The good Alphas down at Control assure us that the danger – whatever it was – has lifted.

And now a word from our sponsors!

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NUTTY THE HAPPY NEUTRON GOES ON TOUR! Everybody loves Nutty the Happy Neutron. That adorable man-shaped mascot with the floating balls around his head – those are ions, folks – is frequently sighted around the Bunker, dispelling fallacies and misunderstandings about the wonders and benefits of nuclear power. Nuclear power is entirely safe and fun! Ever wonder what nuclear fuel looks like? Then come on down to the Dwight L. Chapin Plaza in D-7 sector! Nutty will have a few of those alluring fuel rods with him. You can examine one up close and even touch its smooth, silky exterior. Citizens, as Nutty is always reminding us, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

AND NOW AN UPDATE ON THAT INFAMOUS ARCHITECT OF CHAOS AND LICENTIOUSNESS, MILFRED ROTH! Ladies and gentlemen, now that the spigot has been opened, the confessions keep pouring out of Milfred Roth's vile and halitosis-plagued mouth. And there are a few notable surprises among them. Not only is this incorrigible and hardened hoodlum able to sow mass death in J sector from captivity, but it turns out he is also responsible for previous catastrophic disasters resulting in substantial loss of life, including: malware introduced into medibots performing emergency surgery in R sector, a deadly malfunction of the lifts and escalators in X sector, and a regrettable administrative error at H&C whereby an entire department in C sector was poured over in concrete, burying hundreds of innocent citizens alive. Stay tuned to next weekstretch's dispatch for more updates on the ongoing investigation into Milfred Roth's unrestrained propensity for anarchy and debauchery.

TRAFFIC REROUTED IN Y SECTOR! Due to planned maintenance in the transtube, all vehicular traffic through the industrial district in Y-8 sector has been closed off. Citizens are asked to plan accordingly. Rumors that there was a terrible accident at the Joyful Encounters Nuclear Power Facility are unfounded and will not be tolerated. The boys and girls over at Control have asked us to remind you that knowingly spreading rumors in the Bunker is a crime punishable by a fine, scrubber, and/or restraint. The truckpods and ambulances entering and exiting the restricted area at high speed are participating in the reconstruction efforts. H&C wants to get these repairs over with as quickly as possible, folks!

DEAR EDITOR, I am being ruthlessly pursued by a debt recovery agency for a bill that's not mine. They've called my supervisor, my girlfriend – even the commissary where I get my meals! I'm embarrassed to say the least. Now everyone thinks I'm a deadbeat who leaves unpaid debts all over town. Yesterday, I had a talk with my supervisor, and she was planning on docking my pay! I begged and pleaded, and she finally agreed to hold off after I agreed to do her a few favors, but still... How long can this go on for? And don't they have to show proof? The debt's not mine! A victim of fraud, Inge de Varebeke, B-12 sector.

DEAR INGE, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on September 24, 2015 05:15 • 87 views

September 17, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

VIRULENT FUNGUS INFESTS I SECTOR! The entirety of I sector has been put on lockdown due to an outbreak of deadly and aggressive mold. This fuzzy, light blue substance is extremely dangerous and should not be touched or even approached by anyone unprotected by an ecopack. A number of casualties have been already reported, including an entire singalong being held in the Deborah G. Dean Plaza in I-12 sector. The fungus appears to be intelligent and capable of movement. According to eye witnesses, it increases in size by absorbing the bodily fluids of its victims. Initial reports indicate the mold originated in a cleaning station in I-16 sector and is using the plumbing to spread itself. Guardians from Defense are already on the move to eradicate this pernicious, new enemy threatening the Bunker. Citizens, you can rest assured that this treacherous fungus has been completely isolated in I sector, and there is no risk of its spreading to other sectors. Meanwhile, an investigation has been opened as to who is responsible for this costly disaster. H&C's corps of hygiene inspectors in I sector has already been placed under arrest. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong, both of H-11 sector, are the prime suspects.

AIR RECYCLING SYSTEM IN J SECTOR TEMPORARILY OFFLINE! Due to an unexpected shortage of magnesium, air filtration and regeneration in J-1, J-2, J-4, and J-9 through J-14 sectors will be shut down until further notice. Citizens are advised to take the necessary precautions, including storing air in special containers provided by H&C for later use or breathing rapidly in the hourstretches leading up to the event. For those citizens with a Gamma security clearance or higher, [[ Information deleted for security reasons ]]. Thank you for your cooperation.

And now a word from our sponsors!

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AND NOW AN UPDATE ON THAT INFAMOUS ARCHITECT OF CHAOS AND LICENTIOUSNESS, MILFRED ROTH! The list of atrocities to which Epsilon clearance citizen and former celebrity manager, Milfred Roth, has confessed has grown long indeed. On a positive note, a number of previously unsolved crimes [[ Illegal checksum ]] [[ Broken pipe ]] [[ Start coded message ]] My fellow citizens, Milfred Roth is not a traitor. The campaign being waged against him by Today's Edition is nothing more than a calculated attempt to defame a loyal denizen of the Bunker and strike a blow to Rahayu Sulistyowati, Alpha clearance citizen and close friend and associate of Milfred's. Rest assured that citizen Rahayu will deploy all of her considerable powers to free Milfred Roth and combat the owners of Today's Edition, lackeys and miscreants linked to the notorious Pontifex Maximus of Central Management, Llewellyn Wells. He is the root of all evil. For your own safety, do not believe any of the lies you read here. [[ End coded message ]] shameless abandon. Anyone else who was an unfortunate victim of Milfred Roth's rapacious thirst for sex- and bloodsport is invited to come forward by filling out form 0xB09EE7F9 'Affidavit Providing Incontrovertible Proof That Milfred Roth Is A Big Fat Traitor', conveniently provided by Central Management. Stayed tuned to next weekstretch's dispatch of Today's Edition for the most recent updates as they come in.

DEAR EDITOR, Ever since my boyfriend died in a freak accident at the Chuck Colson Sports Center in L-6 sector, I've had – well, difficulties. There are so many people in the corridors outside. And the plazas! Never mind the plazas. I'm getting all sweaty just thinking about it. They gave me meds at my local clinic, but they aren't helping. The panic attacks are only getting worse. I haven't been to work in four daystretches. Now they're saying I'm faking it. They're going to put me in a restraint and take me away... But I can't leave here! My bunk is the only place I feel safe! Please, O please help me! What should I do? Desperate with time running out, Bridget Dopplebott L-11 sector.

DEAR BRIDGET, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on September 17, 2015 05:24 • 74 views

September 10, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

ANARCHY ERUPTS IN P SECTOR! The Puppet Parade in P sector descended into pandemonium several daystretches ago when a tankbot disguised as P sector's friendly mascot barged in on a tea-tasting and started firing its cannon indiscriminately. The gathering was taking place at Gary's Diner, an exclusive restaurant in P-6 sector restricted to Epsilon clearance and above. Interestingly, after the tankbot followed the panicked crowd into the corridors outside, it continued to strictly target citizens with a security clearance, leaving the vast majority of passers-by unharmed. The traitorous cybot was eventually cornered by guardians from Defence and destroyed in a hailstorm of laserfire and boiling oil. Large swaths of P-6 sector were left a smoldering ruin. Fortunately, building crews are working hard, and Housing and Construction assures us that everything will be back to normal by tomorrow.

BALLISTIC WARHEADS SLAM INTO RETURNING TRANSPORTS! The Bunker suffered a heavy blow five daystretches ago when a transport laden with valuable metals and chemical compounds necessary to the smooth operation of our bustling economy was destroyed. Ballistic missiles stored on defensive satellites in position around the planet were triggered by treasonous elements just as the transport was about to dock. Several miners who had completed their twenty yearstretch stints were also on board. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong, both of H-11 sector, are the prime suspects.

And now a word from our sponsors!

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AND NOW AN UPDATE ON THAT INFAMOUS ARCHITECT OF CHAOS AND LICENTIOUSNESS, MILFRED ROTH! Delta clearance citizen Milfred Roth has admitted to running a blackmailing ring spanning almost the entirety of the Bunker. Through it, he directed his agents, Marsha Wong and Hillary Binzer, to plant incriminating evidence on loyal citizens with a lower security clearance. When the false evidence was later “discovered” by his associates, citizen Milfred proceeded to extract money from his victims. As this amounted to illegal plunder, he forced them to deposit large sums of credits on microchips, which he subsequently spent on the black market. Fellow citizens, his is a shameful but not entirely unexpected admission. Stayed tuned to next weekstretch's dispatch for more sordid details on Milfred Roth's depraved and bankrupt lifestyle.

THUG STABS TEN IN CINEMA! Citizen Nielson Grendle was shot dead earlier today in the Resonance Cinemas D-10 sector after having stabbed ten innocent people – including ten Wards of the State – with a rusty set of nail clippers. Citizen Nielson was employed as a medication tester with Healthy Pharmaceuticals, Psychoactive Chemistry, a division of Developmental Engineering. Responsible for trying out new but clinically safe medications that have just come down the production pipeline, no motive for his sudden and violent outburst has yet been ascertained. Nielson Grendle was a mere nineteen yearstretches old. In fact, the average lifespan of medication testers throughout the Bunker is the same, an odd coincidence indeed. There were no survivors.

DEAR EDITOR, A few weekstretches ago I got jumped on my way home from having a few drinks with the boys over at the Lowly Yeoman's Tavern X-10 sector. They serve piss for beer, I know, but it's just around the corner from our factory. Anyway, when I woke up, I discovered my Card was gone, and I'd been arrested for brawling. The guards wanted money, of course. After I finally got out of the slammer, I went straight down to Human Resources. Thing is, they won't be able to issue me a new Card until next weekstretch! How am I supposed to get paid? How am I going to eat? Meanwhile, they can't cancel the old one until the new one arrives, and some bloke I don't know is parading around charging expensive memberships to exercise spas and fancy Dagon watches to my name! I'd love to pound the cancerhead to bits. Any clue how I can track him down? Vernod Shillings X-14 sector, The Iron Fist.

DEAR VERNOD, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on September 10, 2015 07:25 • 59 views

September 3, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

FIENDIST PLOT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE THWARTED! A deputy assistant quality control engineer at a pencil factory in V-13 sector was arrested several daystretches ago on suspicion of withholding evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation. Citizen Sally Richards was taken away without incident from Barracks Seven, an evidence collector from Homeland Security closely in tow bearing bulging sacks of incriminating documents found concealed under her tiny pillow. The exact nature of her scandalous collusion with traitorous elements is impossible to deduce from the available information, but given the forceful denunciations proffered by her bunkmates, citizen Sally's sinister plot was surely averted in the nick of time. Incidentally, the untidy condition her bunk was found in at the time she was dragged from it will only add to the severity of her punishment. Hysterical objections screamed at the top of her lungs that she was sleeping in it at the time are pedantic and will certainly be of no help to her during questioning.

And now a word from our sponsors!

Are you a bicycle junkie? Love to get to the gym and burn through your daily exercise regimen? Well, that's a lot of sweat you have to manage. And sweat is unhygienic! Fortunately, we at the Simiq Corporation have the perfect solution: sportswear of the highest quality, perfect for absorbing that smelly and disreputable byproduct of all your desperate efforts to stay in shape. Simiq produces several lines of fashionable and alluring jumpsuits, arm- and headbands, goggles – anything, in fact, for the dedicated exercise junkie. Simiq sportswear is available at a boutique nearest you! “Go ahead and reach for the ceiling!”

AND NOW AN UPDATE ON THAT INFAMOUS ARCHITECT OF CHAOS AND LICENTIOUSNESS, MILFRED ROTH! It's only been a weekstretch, but still many of you find it hard to believe that former celebrity manager Milfred Roth is in fact a deranged outlaw suffering from dangerous and potentially contagious bouts of psychosis. Preliminary tests performed under the tightest security at an undisclosed location have repeatedly shown that Milfred Roth has long suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, hallucinations, and bad breath. Long and drawn-out testimonials from victims of his preternatural halitosis can be viewed here. In addition, a cursory search of his residence at the High Times Manor, Q-2 sector, has turned up truckpods of indisputable evidence chronicling his involvement in such past but regrettably familiar disasters as: the imminent threat of star Gliese 710, the irreparable loss of a prototype of an advanced wartime cybot in H-5 sector, and the suspicious death of citizen Hamar Quail – last yearstretch's champion in the Shark Swim event. In addition, there is abundant surveillance of him wantonly hanging around in queues of more than twenty-five persons. Fortunately, Milfred Roth has been demoted to Delta-clearance and will no longer be able to hide behind a cloak of invulnerability. Stay tuned to future dispatches of Today's Edition to learn the sordid details of his protracted confessions as they emerge!

PUPPET PARADE IN P SECTOR! That's right, citizens, it's time for more mandatory fun in P sector! The annual Puppet Parade is on the prowl! Anyone traveling through P sector today is required to be holding a handmade puppet. No exceptions will be made. Candidate puppets should meet the guidelines published on P sector's public portal on X.net. There are size, material, as well as aesthetic components. If you have business in P sector today and cannot find the time to fabricate your own handmade puppet, please report to the security checkpoints set up for your convenience around the perimeter of P sector to turn yourself in. Thank you for your cooperation.

HILLARY BINZER AND MARSHA WONG TAKEN INTO CUSTODY! Who would have thought that these two seemingly upstanding citizens had irrevocably associated themselves with that heinous chieftain of filth and corruption, Milfred Roth? They tried to hide behind unblemished records distinguished by falsified Marks of Excellence and even a fanciful Fifteen Minutes of Fame, but their carefully laid plans came to naught thanks to the hard work and dedication of our uniformed friends over at Homeland Security! Remember, citizens: not even Alpha clearance citizens can ever hope to elude the long arm of justice. Rumors that Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong were tipped off before the Search and Extract Team could seize them and that they have escaped into an abandoned set of sectors under the Bunker free of Control's loving care and watchful eye are pure fancy and should be disregarded by anyone wishing to wake up in the same bunk he went to sleep in.

DEAR EDITOR, I recently had a horn installed on my steppod so I could get through the crowded corridors faster. You know how it is, everyone crammed in together, and there are no lanes dedicated to vehicular traffic. It's just a slight horn, short bursts tuned to a mere 135 dB! Anyway, someone must have tipped off Human Resources because an inspector from their vehicular registration division showed up at my workplace and demanded to see the necessary permits. If I can't produce them, I'll be fitted with a collar and restraint! It's too late to remove the horn... she already inspected it and took some snaps for her report! All I wanted to do was get to work on time... Is there some way I can make this investigation just go away? Diego Quiñones Rodríguez, B-7 sector, Speed Junky.

DEAR SPEED JUNKY, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on September 03, 2015 05:33 • 84 views

August 27, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

PLOT TO MURDER LOHIT THAKUR FOILED! Alpha-clearance citizen and Vizier of Product Realization over at Developmental Engineering, Lohit Thakur, was narrowly rescued from certain death earlier today. What is already being billed across the various subnets as the Yoyo Murder fortunately never happened – thanks to Harold Schmink, hithertofore an undistinguished concrete pourer from E-14 sector. The wily executor of the insidious plot, Geraldine Lesauvage – an avid and by all accounts skilled fan of the yoyo – was standing above citizen Lohit on the sector exchange between F-7 and F-8 sectors when the toy she was hurling with callous disregard about her person suddenly broke free. The adamantine and hard-edged pair of disks connected by an axle sped unerringly towards its oblivious target. At considerable risk to himself, Harold Schmink saved the daystretch by bravely pulling citizen Lohit to safety. Naturally, the hard-nosed wretch claimed the whole incident was an accident, but Harold Schmink was able to describe in vivid detail the cruel look in her eye just before she struck. Citizen Lohit Thakur promoted him to Epsilon clearance on the spot, and the odious Geraldine Lesauvage was taken away. Fortunately, no one is likely to ever hear from her again.

MILFRED ROTH ARRESTED! Celebrity manager and Beta clearance citizen Milfred Roth was detained earlier this weekstretch by a Search and Extraction Team in a daring operation carried out in the transtube. Trapped somewhere betwen C-4 and C-6 sectors, he was forced to limp from the smoking remains of his limopod with his hands in the air. Although it might come as a shock to some of you, there can be no doubt that citizen Milfred is a vile terrorist and member of the God and Freedom Church. His boardroom antics – including high-profile mass layoffs coupled with executive bonuses, forced renegotiation of contracts under duress, and raiding corporate pension funds with impunity – were a favorite with the public. Unfortunately, they were also a duplicitous act meant to cover up terrorist activities. What exactly he's been up to will be revealed in the coming weekstretches right here at Today's Edition. Stay tuned as our editorial staff applies a magnifying lens to his sordid, miserable life. It goes without saying that you can count on our journalistic integrity and professional objectivity.

And now a word from our sponsors!

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DEAR EDITOR, Is Milfred Roth really a terrorist? It's just so hard to believe... I've been a fan for yearstretches. I've even got autographed pink slips under my pillow! Last yearstretch he came to V sector and set up a mobile boardroom in the Bernard B. Kerik Plaza near Barracks Seven, and I got to see him chew out a table full of vice-presidents. One of them even cried! It was awesome! Dazed and confused, Sally Richards V-13 sector.

DEAR SALLY, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: As you very well know, all citizens are required by the Guidelines on Daily Living to deposit recyclable materials into the bins and chutes provided throughout the Bunker for your convenience. It is, however, important to remember that not every object is a candidate for reclamation. Used sanitary tissue in particular cannot be salvaged and should therefore be properly disposed of in the clearly marked containers found in your cleaning station. Throwing used sanitary issue into recycling chutes is not only unhygienic but needlessly subjects your fellow citizens to unhealthy pathogens. Remember: “If it's got shit on it, there's nothing more we can do with it.” Thank you for your cooperation.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on August 27, 2015 05:35 • 120 views

August 20, 2015

Greetings, citizens. My name is – well, that's not really important right now. What is important is that you're tuned in to the latest dispatch from Today's Edition!

GAIA REVEALED AS ELABORATE HOAX! For countless yearstretches, a loathsome, treasonous organization called The Coven has preyed upon citizens who for unknown reasons have secretly banished themselves to the fringes of society. In dark corners unattended by security cameras and their neighbors' watchful eye, these supposed “lost” souls are led to believe that the empty hole in their hearts should be filled by a spiritual fancy called Gaia rather than additional medication. Many dangerous fallacies are associated with belief in this imposter being, such as the existence of an intangible thread binding all living beings together and consciousness extending beyond the physical realm. Citizens, nothing could be further from the truth! The Bunker has taken care of all of your physical and social needs. There is nothing more to ask from life. The Coven merely wants your donations to fund its ignominious agenda of crime and social perversion. It is even more dangerous than that other disgraceful terrorist syndicate, the God and Freedom Church, which famously purports that “if every citizen had a gun, the terrorists would be in the run!” Rest assured, citizens, that Gaia is not an immortal with extraordinary powers but a mere human being. In fact, agents from Homeland Security recently arrested a woman, citizen Gaia Salinator Y-4 sector, who – after several spurious attempts to evade responsibility by claiming she was assigned the name as an infant – has admitted to being Gaia. You can view her confession here.

OUTRAGEOUS RUMORS OF SINKHOLES ABOUND IN X SECTOR! Several barracks at the bottom of X sector have seen unusual unrest over the last several daystretches as their normally loyal inhabitants refuse to enter. A spokesperson for this recalcitrant group was heard to claim that sinkholes have opened up in the floor, an impossible assertion. H&C's building crews have performed without a single error for generations on end. Only the terrorists have ever succeeded in wreaking havoc by collapsing ceilings and exposing live wires in the shower stalls of public cleaning stations. Fortunately, the spokesperson was detained before the rumors of gaping holes swallowing whole bunks in the middle of your nightstretch could intensify. Citizens, remember! Knowingly or unknowingly passing off lies as truth – even in casual conversation with your neighbor – is a crime punishable with a fine and the imposition of a word purifier and/or scrubber. There are no sinkholes at the bottom of X sector. All of its inhabitants are urged to return calmly to their bunks. Thank you for your cooperation.

And now a word from our sponsors!

Gaia is real! Gaia is everywhere around us! She is what you stand on! She is the Eternal Mother! Gaia loves you! Open your mind – [Advertisement deleted for security reasons]

DEAR EDITOR, The column of bunks next to me fell over last nightstretch while I was sleeping and disappeared into the floor! Both my legs were broken. Fortunately, I managed to hide under my covers during the resulting riot. Eventually I got myself to a medical clinic, but the medibots refused to treat me until I provided a satisfactory explanation for my wounds! What should I tell them? Jie Huang X-11 sector.

DEAR JIE, the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

That's all the time we have for today, folks. On behalf of the staff here at Today's Edition, it was a pleasure to serve you. Until next weekstretch!

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Interested readers can find out more about the Bunker in my sci-fi adventure novels, Thank You For Your Cooperation and Your Call Is Important To Us.
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Published on August 20, 2015 05:35 • 65 views