Author : CJ Bergin
Mathius was a watcher. Simply put, he watched; if it happened within the 22nd district of Virginia, he knew about it. Beyond his assigned territory, it was up to the other watchers on Uncle Sam’s payroll. But here, in a godless era, Mathius was God. Lights flared up on the computer screen:
17 Photos tagged of Jessie Ambler, Grace Peterson, and Emily Rothschild from a security camera on Colombia drive.
Mathius’ eyebrow crept upward. The snapping sounds of plastic keys filled the room, while the sound of monitors hummed all around him. He looked down at his keyboard as he typed, away from his cocoon of computer screens. He was surrounded on three sides by dozens of monitors, humming and flashing in rhythm like choreographed fireflies. Behind him stood a single ominous screen connected to a separate keyboard and another similar object with several large buttons on top in the place of traditional keyboard keys. When the humming stopped, Mathius looked up. A picture of a young woman holding a kitten filled the one of the screens.
Relationship Status: Single
Location: Maryland 54th District
Father: George Ambler
Mother: Mary Ann Ambler, Maiden Name: Ziebarth.
The list continued and contained all of the girl’s information: bank statements, social security number, body weight, and of course, a photo album filled with thousands of photos from her entire life. With the ease of public surveillance and instant face-tagging technology, Uncle Sam kept a complete photo album of all his children.
“Maryland…” he mumbled to himself. That explains a lot. Virginia had recently lowered the legal age for alcohol consumption back down to 18. Of course, purchasing alcohol here wasn’t illegal. Neither was transporting the booze across state borders, thanks to the full faith and credit clause. But the minute she imbibed back in her hometown, she had better be indoors with the lights out. And she had better remain coherent when it was time for her mandatory citizen status update. If her local watcher thought he saw anything suspicious it would lead to a civil servant investigator on her tail, in person. This would most likely lead to a series of state punishments, and a serious black mark on her record.
Of course, Mathius could start such an investigation on her too, if he wanted.
Casually, he turned to the single computer screen behind him. Without any hesitation, he typed out Jessie’s full name and social security number. Then he looked down at the black box of large buttons.
Those beautiful buttons. He had one for every occasion, murder, domestic violence, armed robbery, driving violations, sedition, and of course, drug and alcohol abuse. He hand hovered over the buttons, as a smile crawled onto his face.
Pushing one button up here causes someone’s demise down there. Of course, this divinity did have its limits. America was still free after all. Mathius only had the power to punish the legal indiscretions of man; punishing the social indiscretions was left up to the masses. After all, its not like Mathius had a monopoly on the social network, everyone was logged in, everyone could watch. Mathius was just the government employed whistleblower. Husbands could legally cheat on their wives, but the collective conscious of the masses manifest in the web would discover their infidelity, and the resulting civil unrest would be worse than any government mandated punishment. Of course this was all a product of a civilian achievement. The sheep easily lined up willing to put their lives on display. All Uncle Sam had to do, was log on.