A matr uv urjensE

The mail-tube went ping! and he opened his eyes, swearing. For a moment he was tempted to let the pneumo-roll lie where it fell, but habit was too strong. He grumbled his way over to the basket and took it out.

The stamp across it jerked his mind to wakefulness. OfiSal, sEkret, fOr adresE OnlE – and a Security seal!

Just finished reading Security by Poul William Anderson (1953). Security recounts a simple tale of a distopian regime. Think it works out as a short story – it’s a few thousand words long, and available to download if you have the Stanza app on the iPhone (and, I daresay, available elsewhere).

Allen Lancaster works as a researcher on a state run Project. The world would be at war if not for the superiority of the State WMDs; but, that doesn’t stop rebels and lesser countries constantly plotting against them. Government agencies redefine history and language to wipe out subversion. The major bodies of Control, Efficiency and Security organise and review the life of each individual, while a solid work ethic, regulations and clearances keep everything in it’s rightful and well defined place. State-driven Projects – akin to R&D – push research forward without enthusiasm or freedom to deviate, at once advancing and stifling science. Traitors disappear to camp, never to return, tortured for information about the underground before suffering an inglorious demise. Loyalty yields little comforts and rewards.

Thoroughly recommended read for PARANOIA players and gamemasters alike.

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