The key slid into the lock, bittings perfectly in place. The bittings moved the wafers, aligning them perfectly with the shear line. The cylinder rotated with his hand, matching his movements perfectly. And the door to his luxury condo gently opened inward, stopping perfectly parallel to wall, only inches from it. A perfect, functioning system. Not a piece, not a step, not a movement out of line, out of place.
That's how it has to be, after all. In order for something to work properly, it must work perfectly. Every piece must fit, every step must flow, every movement must be used to the utmost. There cannot be another way. If something doesn't work as it should, the system itself will not work, and therefore it must be replaced, either with a new system or a new part. The new piece will resume function and the faulty piece will be cast aside, and forgotten. For it does not work as it should. That is the way of things. The way it always has been, and the way it always must be. For if it is not, then...
Travis sighed. Then
what? Time will stop? The world will fall to pieces? Stop waxing philosophical, it doesn't do anything.
Polished hardwood floor met polished designer loafers as Travis stepped into his home, briefcase in hand. Yes, his home. Apartment 151, Liberty Luxe. Hardwood floors, fully stocked kitchen, designer furniture, master bed and bath, study, living room equipped with all the amenities, and a patio overlooking the city. The best condo money could buy here in Manhattan, the best home. And yet it was no home to him. Merely an extension of his work. How many did he still have to call? Twenty? Thirty? It didn't really matter. Come sunrise the next morning, they'd be done. One way or another.
He sat down on his couch and turned on the news, stretching after a long day's work. A day that still wasn't done, he reminded himself. Straightening himself out, he carefully placed the briefcase on the living room table and jabbed at the combo lock. It clicked and the briefcase sprung open, bearing its contents. It was names. Names and numbers. Of some of the most wealthy and influential men in the state, in the region even. And he had been appointed, by his father no less, to be the one to call them and ask for their political and financial support in the upcoming election. An important task, certainly. Which made him a very important piece.
He stared at the paper before him. How easy
it would be for him to cock this up. How easy
it would be to be that faulty piece. He wouldn't even have to do anything. Just stop working. Stop working. Stop being just another piece. Another gear that orbited his father, spinning as he spun. If he just stopped working, he could be free. He could be thrown away, forgotten, like any other faulty piece. Like any other faulty piece. A faulty piece... thrown away
He sighed, and picked up his phone.
More on that later, but first, an update on our top story.
What? Oh, right. The news. He had turned that on, hadn't he? Oh well, he could spare a minute. Let's hear this "top story".
Just this morning, a pillar of white light that could be seen from almost anywhere in the world lit up. The light, originally so bright as to be hard to look at, has now dimmed to the point where it cannot be seen clearly in broad daylight. Its position has been tracked to a remote location in Peru, South America, but local geographers have been unable to identify exactly where. Speculation among historians has linked it to the ancient Incan myth of the Heart of Desire. Because of this, numerous individuals from across the world have already announced expeditions to locate the source of the light. We now turn you over to a live report from Tara Nudn.
The Heart of Desire? Where had he heard that before? It sounded familiar. Wasn't that an old myth about some jewel? Yeah, a jewel called the Heart of Desire, so named for how it made its owner's greatest desire reality. It was an old myth, one that not many knew anymore. But still, that's all it was. A myth. And this light, just a mass hallucination. Collective obsessional behavior. And then Travis looked outside, and saw for himself the truth of things. There it was, unbelievably, undeniably. A bright pillar of light, stretching down to Earth like God Himself had sent it. Or maybe cast it out.
Incredible... How had he not seen it until now? It was absolutely amazing. Not that it matters, he thought, shaking his head. Whatever this was, myths were still myths. Fantasies to comfort the hearts of men. And what a comfort this one was. A jewel that granted your heart's desire? Get real. He picked up the phone again, and began to dial. He looked at his calendar. Then again, even if it was a myth, it wouldn't hurt to go see it. Maybe get some pictures of whatever it was. Would make a great story. He might even be able to fit it into the campaign. And he did have a few weeks of vacation stored up that he needed to use before the campaign went into full swing.
Travis picked up the list of names, and added one more at the bottom. The name of his travel agent. He'd give her a call after he'd finished with all this. Book himself a flight to South America, for a much-deserved vacation. But before all that, he thought, shuffling the papers back in order, he had some calls to make. Better get started.
edited 2nd Jan '12 12:47:05 AM by KSPAM