“What is this job, exactly?”
That was David Morgan. At an ignorant moment in his life. He was twenty-two, and a recent graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was overqualified for the position in question. All they really needed was someone with a college degree, but David had been a little bit of an overachiever. He was, as happens, totally burnt out, now, though. He could stand to sit in a chair and stare blankly off into space for a while.
“We’ll tell you if you get it.”
“Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, it’s just, it’s strange, what with the economy and all to offer a high six-figure salary for something that’s—”
“Look, David, I know it’s weird, we know it’s weird, but really, it’s a top secret program. You’ll have to get security clearance before you hear a word about your responsibilities here, and then you’ll have the keys to one of the, well, weirdest secrets the government has.”
David looked him quizzically, half-paying attention. He stared at David a long time, then cleared his throat.
David gave a terse nod, then felt a brief wisp of anxiety pass through his body, fighting off a shudder. His interviewer, one Agent Stein, a perceptive, hawkish, old veteran of system, noticed the momentary glitch.
“We’ll contact you tomorrow if you’ve been hired.”
“Oh, okay, thank you.”
David stood and casually walked out. The mostly empty corridors didn’t bother him. David wasn’t exactly a people person. He thought the place looked extremely well cared for for its seemingly small staff, though. He stepped out the door into the Colorado sun. The air crisp. Was it colder than it was when he came in? No matter. He jauntily bounded toward his car, trying not to be bothered by the cold.
The facility, completely unmarked as any sort of military or official installation, was exactly thirty miles from his house. Exactly twelve from his girlfriend’s house, the only person he talked to on a regular basis, her and his grocer.
His grocer’s name was Albert Finney, no relation to the actor. He was, however, a fairly well known armchair philosopher. Finn, as he liked to be called, had even written a book. David liked to call him the Kant of Colorado.
“Beauty,” Finn would begin, “is being scared shitless that something is more important or interesting than you.”
David had brought the Amazon e-pub book to one of his MIT philosophy seminars. The professor thought he had potential, but “lacked the discipline that a rigorous philosophy program would have given him.” Finn remarked that that boat had probably sailed by this point, but hoped people would get a kick out of his funny little book anyway.
As David reached his car in the secure, but anonymous lot, a bored technician was hacking into David’s past.
First his email and credit card histories. He found one questionable thing. David bought some grow lights in college. Seems like he grew a little bud in his closet in Baker House. The technician did not flag it. He did however flag that David had purchased all of Phil Collins’ Oeuvre on iTunes. Because no rational person would do that. He did not know that David purchased those albums ironically for an 80s theme party, which, incidentally, was awesome.
Then his school records. David was a flawless student. He graduated magna cum laude at MIT, Valedictorian from Webb Schools, and had been student of the month a record 15 times during three years of junior high. Not so much as a detention. He even received special commendations for citizenship, and perfect attendance.
Then, what the technician hoped would be the juicy bits: his police and court records.
He was crestfallen to find that David had not only never been arrested or charged with a crime, but had been a DARE student mentor, and a junior volunteer police officer.
Boring, boring, boring.
The technician sighed and approved the file. Spotless.
David twisted the key in the ignition and his 64’ Impala sputtered to life. The automatic gate let him out, and he was on the road to Sophie’s place.
The green mountains of Colorado stretched out behind him, the meticulous paint job of his vintage automobile reflecting the countryside as he went.
David remarked on the completely empty roads. Unusual for
this time fa of day. As he pulled into Sophie’s lot, he realized he might be spending every day of his life in an underground bunker for the next five years.
It’d pay off his student loans.
It’d let him sack enough away for a new home.
It’d make him secure.
He felt warm. Comfortable. Content. Satisfied. He knocked on Sophie’s door with a big smile painted across his face. She answered the door sweaty. In a towel.
“Oh shit, I mean, hey Dave.”
A voice from the bedroom rang out: “Who is it babe?”
Seconds before he was imagining a cozy future with Sophie and now he was contemplating how much time as he going to waste cleaning out all his stuff from her apartment. Despite the sudden change in his apparent fortunes, he still felt fine. Serene, perhaps even more so, emboldened by the sudden reversal.
“Cool. Fuck this, then.”
She would call out to him as he stormed back to his car. His soul growing lighter as he went.
Hours later when he got the call from the base’s secretary, he didn’t even hesitate when they asked him if he wanted to live at the base, you know, for his convenience. Or their peace of mind.
Truth be told that wasn’t a civilian in Sophie’s bed.
A day later when Dave had moved into the base, Sophie’s hot piece of ass left for Nevada to continue his tour of duty.
Truth be told, if I want something to happen, I make it happen.
I am Sovereign.
This is how I broke the universe.