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Today's Edition

For

Bryan and Mary-Ellen Doran

 

The inventors of the

twenty-five person queue

 

Without them this book

would not have been written

 

 

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

 

 

 

The Grey Life

 

Ms. Wellington’s Oak Tree

 

The Politics of Consumption

 

Bringing Down the House

 

Gyges the Terrible

 

 

 

THE BUNKER SERIES

 

 

Thank You For Your Cooperation

 

Your Call Is Important To Us

 

Can I Be Of Some Assistance

Today’s

Edition

 

the Bunker Series

 

Adam Wasserman

 

 

First Edition, March 2016

Copyright 2016 by Adam Wasserman

All rights reserved

 

Shakespir Edition

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

Why Today’s Edition, you ask? The latest and greatest innovation from information managers over at Human Resources, Today’s Edition is a popular and trendy weekly e-zine that is automatically delivered to your PA even as it sits idly in your pocket. Reading Today’s Edition is safe and fun, not to mention entirely free! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, you won’t spend a credit on this new and exciting service no matter how often you use it.

 

What did you say? You get all the information you need from the Loyalty Stretch on the tube? We couldn’t agree more! Unfortunately, as a trustworthy citizen of the Bunker, you are constantly on the go. Whether it’s running breathlessly to your community dining hall for breakfast or sweating through a mountain of paperwork that needs to be stamped and filed before your supervisor arrives for the start of his daystretch, your time is extremely valuable.

 

Life in the Bunker is synonymous with technological progress and victory over the terrorist menace, and as such each and every twenty-four hourstretch cycle is packed with developments. How could you possibly keep track of them all?

 

Today’s Edition is the simple yet elegant solution to that small but pressing inconvenience! Never again will you forget about that spontaneous Caring Demonstration being held just up the corridor from your barracks or the fact that the terrorism alert level was lowered to Inevitable. We at Today’s Edition will decide which are the most important among last weekstretch’s many happenings and deliver them to you in a single, easy-to-read digest.

 

You have opted in to participate automatically. In the event that you wish to remove yourself from this exciting, loyal and entirely mandatory service, you may do so by tapping here. Please let us know the reason for your intransigence and whether you would like to be picked up by Homeland Security at their convenience or turn yourself in at your neighborhood substation.

 

Here at Human Resources, we understand that there is absolutely nothing we could possibly do to improve your life in any meaningful way. The Bunker is a utopia, and as such life here is perfectly organized. Everyone is happy, and the boys over at Control ensure that our environmental footprint is nil. Reading Today’s Edition should therefore be viewed as a courtesy which can be withdrawn for any reason.

 

We appreciate the time you have taken to browse this brief introduction to Today’s Edition. Please do not be alarmed by the feeling of paralysis that is currently running through your hands and into your arms. It will subside as soon as the collage of interesting and informative images provided by our sponsors has been beamed to your pupils. Rest assured that this process is entirely safe and pleasurable. Rumors that there are side effects such as dizziness, shivering, sweating, vomiting, difficulty with swallowing, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids, loss of bladder control, or unusual bleeding or bruising are the result of terrorist activity and should not be repeated.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Finally, we would like to leave you with our witty and entirely unconventional tagline, “Today is the same as any other”! Don’t you feel inspired?

 

Greetings, and until next weekstretch, citizen!

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Do you suffer from the shame and discomfort that comes with bad credit? Your bunkmates leave unhygienic tissue paper under your pillow. At breakfast, your table is the last to fill up. And no one wants to share their NiceCream with you at bedtime. Well, no more! OneBunker ™ is an officially approved private firm whose core mission is serving misunderstood citizens such as yourself. At OneBunker ™, we know you are undeserving of your financial affliction. So why not pop into your local cybercafe and fill out an online application? Our affiliation with the Defense conglomerate is purely a matter of logistics and should not be a cause of concern. OneBunker ™: “It’s never too late to abrogate!”

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Two guardians from Defense were injured in a suspicious explosion in T-9 sector during routine and completely unremarkable training exercises. The incident occurred in a remote section of a warehouse dedicated to our extraterrestrial mining operations. Terrorist activity has not been ruled out. Fortunately, Homeland Security has seized the local surveillance and detained every witness. If you have information relevant to their investigation, please report immediately to your neighborhood substation for a substantial reward. All citizens are reminded to be on the alert.

In other news, Epsilon clearance citizen Marsha Wong, a field organizer in the Housing and Construction conglomerate assigned to H-11 sector, was detained by agents from Homeland Security during a spontaneous preventative inspection of her office. Aside from the elevated concentrations of dust and incriminating splotches of discarded Flappantastic under her desk, the most egregious evidence against her was a plastex ring with an embedded microchip containing credits. The source of these illegal credits is currently unknown and will certainly be revealed during questioning. However, there can be no doubt about their intended destination: the black market. Citizen Marsha denies culpability and claims the ring was planted by a forewoman leading one of her teams. Stay tuned for further developments.

 

We would now like to bring to your attention to the emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary broadcast each daystretch on the tube, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Introduced with great fanfare at your regularly scheduled naptime, the ratings and viewer statistics were recently found to be inflated by devious production engineers at Human Resources. The problem has since been rectified, but the boys over at Control feel the general public is missing out on a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the greatest minds to grace the Bunker with its presence, Carlton Smickett. Until the time of his unfortunate and untimely death at the hands of radical social deviants, he spent his entire career hunched over in the research labs of Developmental Engineering devising whitepapers on human behavior and important codes of conduct. This weekstretch featured on “What Would Carlton Smickett Say?” we’ll learn that spreading harmful and factually inaccurate rumors can result in mutilation, death, and the loss of private property. All citizens are expected to be familiar with the material covered and able to pass random knowledge inspections.

 

On a lighter note, we are sure you will be pleased to hear that SkinnFlixx Industries ™ has just released their latest sexcapade featuring virtual encounters with your favorite vidstars, Jallison Kamgee and Van Johnson! That’s right! Enjoy uninterrupted and unrestrained sex with your favorite entertainer in a safe and isolated environment of your choosing. Hell, try both at the same time for just a few credits more! Available at a VR deck near you.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to a shortage of tungsten, the lightbulbs in the corridors of sectors W, U, X, and F will be dimmed until further notice. Also, the letter “I” is steadfast in its stance and useful in its articulation. What would we do without the letter “I”? Submit your thoughts on X.net. The first fifty loyal respondents will receive a free eyebrow clipping treatment at the Gangsta Salon!

 

The Color of the Patriot is magenta.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Recently, the Bunker experienced an outbreak of wanton destruction and chaos. A previously unheard of band of rabid hooligans calling themselves Acey Distorted was recently identified as the source of unfounded rumors alleging that a highly contagious flesh-eating bacteria is on the loose in Y sector. Homemade video posted all over X.net purports to show Mawar Rashid, a lint collector at Production and Logistics, with half her face eaten off running into a crowd of innocent bystanders as they queued up outside a metro station. Nothing could be further from the truth. All citizens are expected to behave calmly and rationally. Possession or distribution of falsified video feeds is a crime punishable by fine and medication. There is no reason to avoid Y sector or anyone who has been there. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

In other news, Epsilon clearance citizen Marsha Wong, a field organizer in H&C assigned to H-11 sector, unmasked her supervisor, Epsilon clearance citizen Yorkle Treadmont, for the heinous criminal he really is. In addition to other crimes, citizen Yorkle has been charged with embezzling credits with the malicious intent to divert them to the black market. Together with Hillary Binzer, a forewoman leading one of Marsha’s teams, and at great risk to themselves, these two, brave stalwarts of incorruptibility managed to obtain a plastex ring with an embedded microchip containing the credits in question. Before she could turn it over to Homeland Security, however, the ring was discovered in citizen Marsha’s possession. Fortunately, during her brief interrogation she was able to set the record straight. As a reward for her loyalty, citizen Marsha will assume citizen Yorkle’s place in middle management. Citizen Hillary will be promoted to Epsilon clearance and move up to field organizer. Let us take a stretch to congratulate the both of them. Congratulations, Marsha Wong and Hillary Binzer. You serve as an example to us all.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Avatar Technologies (TM), a private firm associated with the Procurement conglomerate, is proud to introduce its latest line of personal protection kits. That's right! The body suits you have come to love and trust have just got more airtight and pleasing to the eye! Our specialized gowns, goggles, masks, and gloves fit together seamlessly, providing you with 200% protection from the outside environment. Not that you'll ever need it. All surfaces in the Bunker are entirely safe, sanitary, and free of life-threatening bacteria. Personal protection kits from Avatar Technologies (TM) are stocked from oversupply to Procurement. Wearing one is purely a fashion statement. So come on down to a boutique near you and see what we have to offer. Our prices will just eat your face off!

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Broadcast each daystretch on the tube, it disseminates frank but accessible wisdom from one of our most cherished citizens, the renowned behavioral scientist, Carlton Smickett. This weekstretch we learned some useful eating habits. Exercise before your evening meal, and always pick clean your bowl of fresh, revitalizing Vitamim! We think the words of citizen Carlton himself say it best: “I’m living a happy, fulfilling life, and I think it shows.”

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Harmin Luckstone’s newest action film, “I Think I Just Vomited In Your Bunghole”, will be released to great fanfare this coming weekstretch everywhere throughout the Bunker. Don’t miss citizen Harmin’s latest antics! Also, due to a surplus of paperclips, citizens are reminded to fill out all forms on standard issue paper. Electronic submission of most forms on X.net will be disabled until further notice. And don’t forget the Developmental Engineering conglomerate will be installing their newest atmospheric safety control system in A sector! Ambient temperatures may temporarily drop as much as fifty degrees Celsius. Stay calm and rest assured there is nothing to be concerned about. Lastly, due to an infernal buzzing noise somewhere on the electrical grid, a strict quarantine has been put into effect for departments Y-3 through Y-8 and Y-11 through Y-15.

 

The Color of the Patriot is denim.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

We are proud to announce that the terrorists have finally been vanquished. There are no traitors left to threaten our prized utopia. As a result, the Homeland Security conglomerate will be disbanded, the interrogation chambers dismantled, and all the cameras will be taken down.

 

Just kidding!

 

In other news… well, we suppose we could go through the usual litany of sabotage, subterfuge, and subversion, but this weekstretch our editors thought it would be fun to try something different. This installment of Today’s Edition is therefore dedicated to you, the average working citizen and unsung hero of the Bunker. Ninety-eight percent of the population has no security clearance or distinguishing qualities whatsoever. Each daystretch, you gladly toil away at your assigned duties as the pleasant notes of the Anthem of the Patriot linger in the background. Whether you are a reactor core attendant, foundry assistant, or teamster, the Bunker could not persevere without unremarkable people like you, afraid to stray too far from the top of the bell curve. As a special reward for being loyal, dependable, and entirely predictable, the boys over at Control have decided to distribute an additional ten credits to each and every citizen in the Bunker. You will find that your Card has already been updated. Spend them wisely!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Is your permanent record an embarrassment to yourself and your employer? Marks of Excellence may be hard to come by, but they are certainly within reach of everyone. And we all know what happens if they should ever be outweighed by those unenviable Marks of Shame. Your permanent record is freely available to anyone who requests it on X.net. If that’s a problem, call us over at Second Chances, Inc ™! You’ll be glad you did. Although official reprimands cannot be removed from your permanent record under any circumstances and you should certainly never suggest such a heinous crime to any of our helpful and pragmatic service agents, we can help you break the vicious cycle of dejection and underachievement. In no time at all, Marks of Shame will be a thing of the past, and you will have accrued all the official commendations you know you deserve. So don’t hesitate! Grab your PA and give us a call over at Second Chances, Inc ™. “Everyone deserves a Second Chance ™.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? We are proud to announce that popular demand for the invaluable advice being dispensed on the tube daily has surpassed even the production engineers’ own projections. Do you have a special concern? Perhaps you are unsure how hard a line to take against that errant citizen in tomorrow’s Caring Demonstration. Or you were wondering whether used tissue paper is suitable for recycling? In a spat with your mates back in the barracks over the communal storage space under the bottom bunk? Why not grab your PA and shoot the production engineers a short email describing your concern. Remember: the Bunker is a utopia, so you don’t have any problems! It’s all a matter of perspective, citizen. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to a shortage of standard issue paper, all citizens are requested to write using very tiny letters. Also, the quarantine in Y sector has been expanded to departments Y-2, Y-9, Y-10, X-7, and X-15. If you happen to have missing acquaintances or loved ones known to frequent Y sector, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. They are participating in a routine safety drill.

 

The Color of the Patriot is twinkle.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

A major disaster was narrowly averted at the Serendipity medical clinic in the Michael Gerard Grimm building G-10 sector. After patients treated at the clinic began to report severe bouts of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, a team of first responders from Defense cordoned off the premises and moved in. Highly trained and professionally heroic, they quickly zeroed in on the culprit: abnormally high levels of beta particle emission from the clinic’s bank of X-ray machines. The element thulium – the source of X-rays in the Bunker’s state-of-the-art medical equipment – has many radioisotopes, but only a few are considered safe. An investigation is ongoing, but sabotage has not been ruled out. Citizens are requested to be on the alert and report suspicious activity as soon as it is observed. Only you can prevent the illegal trafficking of dangerous waste from our nuclear power facilities!

 

In other news, a new dwarf planet has been catalogued by sky charters from Procurement. Located in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune, its great distance from the Bunker as well unremarkable composition render it a poor candidate for mining. However, our sky charters have determined that it is not likely to suffer any catastrophic collisions in the near future. The as yet unnamed planetoid could conceivably be used as a staging ground for exploration of the far reaches of our solar system, including the famed Oort Cloud. This region of space defines the limits of our solar system and marks the end of the sun’s gravitational dominance. The Bunker is renowned for its technological innovation. One daystretch, our fellow citizens will tread on the very planets of Alpha Centauri itself. Stand proud, citizen!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Prototypical, Inc (TM), your trusted supplier of nuclear powered batteries, is pleased to announce our latest line of detached power sources for your steppod, scooter, or car. Our newest models can even be plugged in to your favorite help- or petbot! They weigh less and last longer, and they are compatible with all standard charging stations. Worried about noxious leaks and deadly poisons? We are happy to report that our customers suffer fewer fatalities due to structural malfunction than the next leading brand. Just check out the statistics on our site in X.net! Prototypical, Inc (TM). “The convenience is always worth the risk.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Proper etiquette of speech is just as relevant to the quality of our daily life as hygiene and fulfilling our daily quotas. Even the most careful and diligent citizen sometimes uses words that are not listed in the Guidelines on Vocabulary and Proper Grammar. Take the word “car”, a common synonym for “autopod”. Popular rumor has it that the word originates from Earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The earthlings were despicable people who destroyed their planet out of uncontrolled greed and malice. No product of theirs could ever find a home in our pleasant utopia. In fact, the word “car” was coined by citizen Robert Ford, a young anchorman on the Loyalty Stretch who suffered from an unfortunate aversion to words with multiple syllables. Still, it is by all means preferable to use the official nomenclature when referring to your own, personal movepod. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to a shortage of X-ray machines, all citizens with broken bones are requested to describe the nature and location of the fracture before treatment. Also, Y sector no longer exists, nor has it ever existed. If you happen to have missing acquaintances or loved ones believed to frequent Y sector, you are delusional and should report for a memory wash. And remember, Nutty the Happy Neutron is your friend! We all know Nutty is fond of reminding us that nuclear power is safe and efficient. This coming weekstretch be on the lookout as Nutty makes a number of cameo appearances on vidshows you trust and enjoy. There’s absolutely nothing to get worked up about!

 

The Color of the Patriot is sasquatch.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Having trouble staying awake? We know you work hard, citizen. After all, you’re dedicated. But the terrorists are lurking out there, and their cowardly attacks have regrettable consequences. Consider the case of Helga Dorflefuster, a heroic statistical analyst at Central Management. It’s nearing the end of her daystretch, but the results of yesterday’s survey of nutritional competency have been delayed due to an anomalous power surge and the subsequent lockdown. Now the stack of forms has arrived. Is she going to shut down her terminal, return to her barracks, and put off today’s work for tomorrow? Of course not! She knows it’s vitally important her supervisor find out whether food dispensers at your community dining hall are fully aware of the health benefits of Brown Flavor. But citizen Helga is suffering from fatigue. She can hardly keep her eyes open. That’s right, citizen, she’s in need of a pep pill! But not just any brand of pep pill. Citizen Helga relies on Sedeterol ™. Don’t you? Just one pretty pink capsule and in a matter of moments she’s gushing with energy. She’ll have those surveys scored in no time! Sedeterol ™ is freely dispensed for a nominal fee at health clinics, dining halls, and a vending machine near you. Take as many as you need for as long as you need them! There are no significant side effects. “Sedeterol ™! Not your average kick in the ass.”

 

And now our top story.

 

Two daystretches ago, a gargantuan billboard overlooking the George C. Wallace Plaza in F-7 sector crashed unexpectedly to the floor. The entire cast of “How’d You Get So Loyal?” was killed. Witnesses confirm that a thought leader from Central Management – his identity has yet to be released by the authorities – was on location directing the film crew despite the presence of a qualified professional from Human Resources. Highly trained to fill sudden gaps in the mid-level management chain, thought leaders are capable of setting goals, evaluating progress, and sending emails in virtually any situation. Forensics experts from Homeland Security are conducting an investigation. Preliminary results indicate the billboard’s mount had been deliberately weakened by an unknown acidic compound. Strangely enough, no one can recall who requested the thought leader’s services, and his supervisor over at the home office is denying responsibility. A search for the recalcitrant thought leader is ongoing.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? The freedom to express his genuine opinion – uninhibited by fear of retribution – is guaranteed to each and every citizen of the Bunker. Contrast our happy situation with that of the unfortunates on Earth. Each person there had to censor his social interaction – not to mention beg, cajole, and otherwise demean himself in a brutal ritual called the interview – just to be accepted into an institution of learning or obtain one of their artificially scarce jobs. No wonder every last one of them dissolved into a smoldering pit of hot ash! Here in the Bunker, statements made on X.net are never scrutinized by our supervisors or parole officers before making important personnel decisions. We appreciate the patchwork of unique, diverse communities that has sprung up around the Bunker because they are the vibrant backbone of our felicitous utopia. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Femke Borscht discusses her role in “Who Just Shat In My Pants: The Finale, Part Seven” in an intimate, hourstretch-long conversation arranged by Your Magazine. Fans of Femka Borscht will be sure to watch as she reveals her panties and whether she prefers PermaChunky or PermaCrunchy! And over the next several daystretches, officials at P&L will be conducting tours of the food pits in U-11 sector. Come one, come all! A privilege normally reserved for Wards of the State, for a limited time you, too, can learn how healthy, delicious Vitamim is brought into the world before it emerges from the spigots at your local commissary. Don’t miss out!

 

The Color of the Patriot is mellow yellow.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Riots broke out in R-7 sector during a surprise appearance by celebrity manager and Beta clearance citizen Milfred Roth at the Restless Yew Tavern, where he was signing autographs and yelling at people. The Restless Yew Tavern is a dining facility catering to shoppers in an exclusive commercial district restricted to those with a security clearance. Although he has served in many senior positions and can sit through a whole daystretch of meetings with flair and bravado, Milfred Roth is best known for his smashing work on the Board of Directors of Dagon Textiles, Ltd ™, where he famously sacked an entire production unit including its cybots. Milfred Roth certainly needs no introduction to anyone of Epsilon clearance or higher. Still, boundless enthusiasm for any visiting celebrity – even the Bunker’s seminal executive talent – is no reason for unruly and destructive behavior. In the ensuing chaos, the Restless Yew Tavern and several of the adjoining stores were destroyed beyond repair. The instigators have been identified from the surveillance and detained. Doubtless, their sinister motives will soon be uncovered.

 

In other news, Alpha clearance citizen Madhukar Gobsha died peacefully at his home in F-1 sector early last weekstretch. According to the autopsy report, he fell down a flight of stairs twice. Only fifty-one yearstretches of age, citizen Madhukar started as a pathfinder in the Procurement conglomerate. He didn’t spend very long out on the surface of the planet scouring for ores, however. Known for a fierce dedication to his work combined with an uncanny ability to survive accidents – many of which claimed the lives of his co-workers – he quickly rose up the ranks. Eventually, he was promoted to Alpha clearance and made head of External Operations, the pinnacle of his career. The External Operations division of Procurement is responsible for the steady supply of resources streaming in to the Bunker from the asteroid belt. As most of the Bunker’s supply of water is obtained off-world, its head commands considerable influence. We will surely miss him. Citizens interested in paying their respects to citizen Madhukar Gobsha may do so in the Sarah L. Palin Plaza F-6 sector, where they will find a delightful collage of revealing snaps of this famous citizen framing a large, detailed portrait.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? It is not only appropriate but also deeply rewarding to occasionally reflect on how lucky we are to be inhabitants of the Bunker. The quality of life here is unprecedented. Each one of us knows he lives in a utopia, but how often do we take the time to appreciate our good fortune? Is the basis of our happiness merely an abundance of food, work, and security? Surely, it must add up to more than those material things. What about the unique togetherness, our special camaraderie? What of joyful evenings spent in the company of our bunkmates, eating NiceCream and watching Bloodbrawl on the tube? What of Ms. Bits and the other tireless cybots that assist us daily without preference or complaint? These intangibles are inherent to our utopia and give it depth. Let us take a stretch and be thankful for Control’s tireless efforts which make this all possible. It behooves us not only as human beings but also as good citizens. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Central Management has recently determined that the optimal length of a queue is exactly twenty-five persons. Citizens are therefore advised to join any inadequate queue they happen upon and refrain from waiting in any queue that has already grown to the optimal, patriotic size. In the coming weekstretch, thought leaders will be spreading out in the Bunker’s corridors to organize spontaneous practice sessions. Why not show them as well as your neighbors that you know the patriotic length of a queue, too? Also, the tours of the food pits conducted last weekstretch in U-12 sector were a huge success. However, a few errant citizens insist upon spreading vicious rumors about what they might have seen there. These traitors would have us believe that actual human bodies are being fed into the pits as a source of protein. Some even claim that yesterday’s breakfast consisted partly of citizen Madhukar Gobsha himself. Nothing could be further from the truth. Citizen Madhukar’s body was horribly mangled and disfigured and so could not possibly have been recognized by anyone. So much for the reliability of these degenerate misfits.

 

The Color of the Patriot is limelight.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

Because of its enormous success, the Human Resources conglomerate has decided to spin off Today’s Edition ™ to an unnamed private firm for an undisclosed price. Rest assured that the transfer of ownership will in no way affect your enjoyment of Today’s Edition ™. Our editorial staff remains firmly in place. Due to budgetary constraints, however, subscribers will henceforth be asked to pay a nominal fee. You have chosen to opt in automatically. That’s right! You don’t have to do anything to continue to have access to the best and most highly rated e-zine according to the Journalists’ Trade Guild!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

For as long as most citizens can remember, the Wellness Pyramid in T-4 sector has been empty, apparently abandoned. Located on the main corridor to the Mystic River Racetrack and Casino, we have all had ample opportunity to ponder its eventual fate. Originally constructed as a combination playground and hazardous waste containment facility, funding for the project mysteriously evaporated when its chief sponsor, Blood In The Corridors Ltd ™, turned out to be a front for that notorious band of gangsters, Frontal Lobotomy. Although little more than an empty shell filled with row upon row of tiny containment cells, its exterior is a masterpiece of artistic achievement, having been designed in the post-agressive style. Everyone seems to agree that it would be a shame to destroy such a fine example of utopian aesthetics. Now, in a surprise development, it would appear new life is being breathed into the structure. Several daystretches ago, a building crew accompanied by a convoy of truckpods was unexpectedly spotted on the premises. The crew’s foreman refused to answer questions, citing strict instructions from his supervisor, but the implication was clear. For now, however, what exactly is going on inside the Wellness Pyramid remains a delightful mystery.

 

In other news, a new planetary orbiter and ballistic missile battery was launched from the Antonin G. Scalia spaceport M sector …] … recovered along with the wreckage. First responders from Defense have been dispatched … ] … Are we live? Yes? They can read what I’m saying? Oh, right. Yeah. Better make this quick. Hey, uh, people. Yo. That’s like, “greetings” in Earth talk. That’s right. Earth. Don’t believe the lies! Earth was the utopia! Yeah, yeah, I know, we don’t have much time before they trace us. Listen, people, if you want to know the truth, seek us out on X.net. What? Oh, yeah, we’re called The Coven. We’re the only link to the past you’ll ever find. And we have genuine artifacts from Earth to prove it! … ] … Time’s up! Hey, don’t forget what Barney Max said! You have nothing … ] … put a dent in our collective pride, never mind impede the progress of a great and spacefaring people.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

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We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Our neighbors and bunkmates are joyful friends, full of laughter and folksy wisdom. But occasionally, they may vex us with loud noises or other seemingly inconsiderate disturbances. We might be tempted to think such activity is deliberate. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are human beings, and even in a utopia human beings make innocent mistakes. Before resorting to foul language and antisocial behavior, try having a kindly word with your neighbor. There’s never any reason for fisticuffs or similar nonsense, especially since such incidents often result in an official reprimand or even incarceration. So let’s all take a deep breath and stay friends. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

All citizens are invited to participate in today’s sing-along hosted by Control in all sectors throughout the Bunker! Join in when you hear the Anthem of the Patriot wherever you happen to be. It’s fun, patriotic, and mandatory! Also, mobile checkpoints are being set up at various sector exchanges in E, F, and H sectors. Manned by guardians from Defense, they will be requesting to examine your Cards. Please queue up quickly and silently. No more than twenty-five citizens at a time! Thank you for your cooperation.

 

The Color of the Patriot is effervescent.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Citizens in T-4 sector were horrified to find a repulsive, brown sludge leaking from the Wellness Pyramid yesterday. Located on the main corridor to the Mystic River Racetrack and Casino, the Wellness Pyramid stood abandoned until two weekstretches ago when a building crew took over the site. Since then, loud noises and intensive drilling have been heard but no news of what is going on inside made available. The pungent odor preceding the sludge is intense enough to induce vomiting. Cleanbots have been dispatched to the area in sufficient numbers. Citizens are reminded that regurgitating their meals is an unhygienic practice punishable by fine and the introduction of a preventative gag.

 

In other news, the Mystic River Racetrack and Casino is hosting its annual Shark Swim event. Held over the next three daystretches, the Shark Swim is a forum for the Bunker’s greatest athletes to demonstrate their prowess and speed. Eight swimmers enter the fifty meter pool in each heat and swim various distances announced at the start. Following close behind is the shark, a metallic contraption with a large, toothed maw capable of snapping off extremities. The heat’s winner and runner-up proceed to the following rounds, which are held after the losers’ parts can be fished from the pool. The climax is held on the last daystretch of the event. A standing ovation is awarded the victor, along with Fifteen Minutes of Fame and a yearstretch’s supply of Algatine. Large crowds are anticipated.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

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We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? The Bunker is a utopia, the very definition of the word embodied in thought and practice. The pinnacle of social and economic achievement, human beings could not possibly hope to improve upon it. Be that as it may, there are social deviants among us. Actively seeking to undo the very fabric of our prosperity and happiness, sometimes in the line of duty our security forces are fortunate enough to take one alive. In almost every case, this despicable vermin possesses actionable intelligence of use in the pursuit of his accomplices but is unwilling to share that information. What to do? The hardworking citizens over at Homeland Security have been charged with a sensitive task. Extracting confessions from vicious criminals requires methods that most of us would shirk from. Unfortunately, such tools are indispensable to the ongoing struggle against terror. Designed to induce an overwhelming sense of helplessness and ensure a speedy path to full disclosure, there is no other way to ensure these traitors’ cooperation. If there were, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The gallant interrogators over at Homeland Security are trying to keep us safe, and so every indulgence must be afforded them, however contrary to our most basic and cherished beliefs. Remember, interrogators are people, too, our neighbors and friends. There is no need to be afraid of them. Next time you run into one, go up and shake her hand. Thank her profusely. After all, there’s little else standing between you and hopeless anarchy. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

The boys over at Control have decided that we do not sufficiently appreciate the value of contractions in our speech and writing. Therefore, over the next daystretch, use of any contraction whatsoever is strictly forbidden. Remember to say I am instead of – well, you know what we mean. The difficulties encountered should serve to remind us that contractions are the unsung heroes of grammatical efficiency. Also, the cleaning stations in sectors U-13 through U-20 will be off limits due to regularly scheduled maintenance. During that time, citizens who must relieve themselves will anticipate their bodily needs in a timely fashion and find an alternative in another sector. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

The Color of the Patriot is sepia.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

The annual Shark Swim hosted last weekstretch by the Mystic River Racetrack and Casino in T-4 sector was an astounding success. Held over the course of three daystretches, vast crowds swarmed the facilities to observe the spectacles. There had been some concern that environmental irregularities outside the Wellness Pyramid – located on the main artery leading to the festival grounds – would hamper attendance, but these treacherous nay-sayers were proven wrong by the event. Citizens behaved with the restraint and discipline such large gatherings require, waiting patiently for a place in one of the three queues at the gated entrance. By all accounts, no queue ever swelled past the patriotic and mandatory limit of twenty-five persons. Rumors that some citizens never made it into the festival grounds even though they had purchased a ticket are subversive and unfounded. This yearstretch’s Shark Swim champion, citizen Hamar Quail, has not been seen in public since his coronation and subsequent Fifteen Minutes of Fame. However, a fanclub has been set up on X.net where loyal citizens everywhere can demonstrate their enthusiasm for the Bunker’s most accomplished athlete without having to fawn over him in person. You are invited to participate!

 

On a related note, celebrity manager and citizen, Milfred Roth, was spotted in the vicinity of the Mystic River Racetrack and Casino accompanied by a thought leader from Central Management. Holed up in a mobile executive suite, he could easily be seen through the curved and elegant plastex walls as he urgently made calls on his PA and fired people. Some have therefore speculated that a terrible disaster must have unfolded in T-4 sector. Rest assured, citizens, that nothing could be further from the truth. Citizen Milfred was scheduled to put in an appearance at the Shark Swim, but due to a sudden and unforeseen corporate merger and the attendant redundancies, he was unable to make the appointment. The thought leader, too, was not present in her official capacity but merely as a spectator. The Shark Swim event was a resounding success.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Avatar Technologies ™ is a name you trust. Our eye-catching array of fashionable, protective gear is a fixture in the Bunker’s corridors. That’s why we’d like to bring your attention to our newest product, Safe Step ™! Safe Step ™ is the latest and greatest in double-soled, hermetically sealed work boots. No viscous substance known to humankind – not water, not Vitamim, not even brown sludge! – can permeate its tough, outer skin. A new addition to our regular line of personal protection kits, we think you’ll be proud to own a pair. There’s certainly nothing better that comes in so many appealing textures and colors. Safe Step ™ boots from Avatar Technologies ™. They’ll keep your feet trendy – not to mention firmly attached to the rest of your body.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Homeland Security is a valuable if imposing organization. As long as there are traitors among us, its unique blend of services and expertise cannot be missed. For this reason, it is regrettable when citizens play games that interfere with the smooth operation of its investigative apparatus. Knowingly submitting false or misleading claims, tips or other such nonsense is no innocent prank. Lives are at stake. Your forms have to be read and processed, which slows down the legitimate business at hand. So before you decide to jump on the bandwagon, think again. Homeland Security is no joke. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

On a lighter note, a dance troupe consisting solely of Wards of the State will be entertaining shoppers outside the entrance to the metro station in corridors S-8/AA-455 and S-8/AA-463. These cute and adorable adolescents are just irresistible in their sparkly outfits and tassels. See for yourself as they buck and sway to various artistic renditions of the Anthem of the Patriot!

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Homeland Security has put out an advisory stating that reports of disappearances in the vicinity of the Wellness Pyramid or Mystic River Racetrack and Casino will no longer be tolerated. Any citizen submitting a ‘MISSING PERSON INFORMATION REQUEST’ Form 0×000108D3 with reference to T-4 sector will immediately be fined one hundred credits and fitted with a restraint.

 

The Color of the Patriot is wildfire.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Ratatouille Cleaning ™! A private firm associated with H&C, we are quickly establishing ourselves as the Bunker’s NUMBER ONE carpet cleaning service. No charred holes or sickening smell at Ratatouille Cleaning ™! Our experts are available at any stretch and at your convenience. Call to schedule an appointment now!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Citizen Hamar Quail, the champion of this yearstretch’s Shark Swim event, spectacularly crashed his autopod in the transtube between sectors R-4 and R-5 four daystretches ago, fatally injuring himself and several others. The available surveillance reveals that he was driving recklessly and without regard to those around him. Recently promoted to Epsilon clearance, this incredible athlete and rising star’s colleagues unanimously report he was a pleasure to work with. We will surely miss him.

 

In other news, part of T-4 sector is being temporarily restricted to Beta clearance and higher. The Wellness Pyramid and Mystic River Racetrack and Casino will therefore be off-limits to most citizens. On a related note, the viscous material that had been seeping from the Wellness Pyramid – and which some miscreants have erroneously referred to as brown sludge – has disappeared almost completely from the premises. Meanwhile, work continues at a furious pace. The Bunker is holding its breath to find out what exactly is going on inside. Stay turned for further developments as they become available.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Dagon ™. The name says it all. Chic. Fashionable. Attractive. Dagon ™. The distinguished citizen’s apparel.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Sometimes even the best-prepared citizen will be confronted with a sudden electrical fire, chemical explosion, or nuclear meltdown and not know how to respond. In such a situation, every secondstretch counts. That’s why Control has directed the placement of Remedy Stations throughout the Bunker. These friendly, dark-red booths are there to help you in times of dire emergency. Operating a Remedy Station is quite simple. Simply find one and follow the printed instructions. The various implements, sprays, and cabling at your disposal are securely locked behind reinforced plastex for security reasons. In the event of a calamity, remain calm. To gain access, press the buttons in the correct order. Then, indicate the nature of the emergency at hand by flipping the switches in the designated pattern. Finally, to submit your application, apply pressure according to the timing specified in the printed instructions. Due to heightened terrorist activity, each Remedy Station is operated differently. Remember, the boys over at Control care about your wellbeing and that of your friends and family. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

On a lighter note, Lady Lagrange was spotted last weekstretch enjoying a little exercise and relaxation at Groind’s Gym and Sauna in D-4 sector. As you may recall, Lady Lagrange was once the host of “Audition For Freedom”, the popular vidshow where criminals elect to defend themselves against their accusers in an open forum instead of submitting to the ordinary investigative apparatus. Her sudden and unannounced departure from the show sparked some debate, but her recent public appearances should lay to rest any doubts about her retirement.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

The repository of forms on X.net operated by Central Management will be temporarily taken offline tomorrow for a period of zero to two hundred and seventy-six hourstretches. Please plan accordingly. In addition, upgrades to the metro line in W sector may result in delays to regularly scheduled trains. A taxi service at all affected stations will be provided free of charge by Yellowpod ™, a private firm working for the Production and Logistics conglomerate. Please have your tickets ready for inspection. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

The Color of the Patriot is flashbang.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Milfred Roth, celebrity manager and Beta clearance citizen, is a terrorist and a spy. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! He’s been fooling us all along with his glib boardroom maneuvers and doctored financial reports. Incontrovertible proof of his direct involvement in the illegal disposal of forms from Central Management’s preliminary filing stations has been found inside the Wellness Pyramid in T-4 sector. That’s right! Wired with the most sensitive of alarms, we were able to slip an agent past the tightly guarded perimeter and take a peek inside. We found forms. Stacks upon stacks of unprocessed forms. Forms that you, good citizens, took the time to fill out and submit, and which subsequently disappeared into a bureaucratic void. Who would commit such a heinous crime is anyone’s guess, although we have our suspicions. Citizen Milfred is clearly enjoying the protection of someone else, most likely one of the most highly trusted citizens in the Bunker. And we all know how close his relationship is with Alpha clearance citizen and Chief Architect in Residence at H&C, Andreas Fokker! How else could citizen Milfred have arranged a storage depot in the middle of T-4 sector and the transport of tons of paperwork without anyone noticing? We therefore demand a full investigation! We will accept nothing less than the complete and unadulterated truth.

 

In other news, Milfred Roth, celebrity manager and Beta clearance citizen, is a patriot and a hero. As we all know, citizen Milfred is in a unique position to uncover graft and corruption in boardrooms everywhere. As it was, the constant barrage of senseless reporting concerning the Wellness Pyramid in T-4 sector demanded his immediate attention. He arranged an appointment on the board of Divergent Investments Ltd ™, a holding firm specializing in real estate development and the owner of the Wellness Pyramid. The Chairman of the Board, Beta clearance citizen Emmet Struxton, quickly came to resent his bothersome inquiries but fortunately could do nothing to forestall them. A quick visit to the Wellness Pyramid (accompanied by a thought leader in case of an emergency) revealed that the structure is, in fact, as abandoned as it ever was. The building crews bustling about the place, the security precautions, even the offensive blown sludge leaking into the corridors were all a ruse. Further investigation revealed that citizen Emmet is closely associated with Alpha clearance citizen Rita Fiddlemack, General Secretary of Human Resources’ Secretariat and the owner of several private media outlets, including Today’s Edition ™. Known for charging exorbitant rates for advertising space, citizen Rita conspired with citizen Emmet to block out the actual events of the Bunker with this constant stream of falsehoods concerning the Wellness Pyramid. This distraction was meant to buy citizen Rita time to renegotiate contracts with her sponsors while at the same time proving she could shape the news at her whim and discretion. Citizens, this blatant violation of the public trust cannot go unanswered! We demand a full investigation into citizen Emmet Struxton’s activities and the punishment of his associates, whatever their security clearance. The editorial board of Today’s Edition ™ will accept nothing less than the complete and unadulterated truth.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Every once in a while we receive emails from citizens concerned about the loyalty of their husband or wife. They report feeling torn between their loyalty to Control and their love for their spouse. Well, citizens, however you look at it, it is impossible to be in love with a traitor. If you have reason to doubt your loved ones’ virtue, your only option is to report them to the proper authorities or risk criminal charges yourself. No one is punished who is undeserving. Remember, the safety and wellbeing of the Bunker starts at home. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

On a lighter note, tomorrow is Kiss a Ward Daystretch. Grab a chubby little face whenever you happen across one and give it a big, wet kiss! It’s just another way you can show your appreciation for these bright shining stars, the future of the Bunker.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Vending machines everywhere are being updated with Flappantastic’s greatest and latest flavor, Smacklebomb. Expect long wait times. Remember, no queue should ever grow past the patriotic limit of twenty-five persons!

 

The Color of the Patriot is verrucose.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Alpha clearance citizens Andreas Fokker, Chief Architect in Residence at Housing and Construction, and Rita Fiddlemack, General Secretary of the Secretariat at Human Resources, have agreed to lay aside their disagreements after the benevolent intervention of the boys over at Control. Any tension that may have appeared to exist between them was the result of a simple misunderstanding and nothing more. Beta clearance citizen and celebrity manager Milfred Roth was on hand to toast their reconciliation in a special segment on the Loyalty Stretch. In a side note, the entire editorial board of Today’s Edition ™ was awarded a considerable bonus as well as a forty percent pay raise as a reward for maintaining our journalistic integrity during this unfortunate and wide-ranging dispute.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Is the hygiene inspector of your communal barracks constantly harassing you about the dirt under your fingernails? Are they too thick to chew off like everybody else seems to do? The Irbix Nail Zapper ™ is the answer! Specifically designed to slice painlessly through keratin, the Irbix Nail Zapper ™ automatically catches clippings so they won’t fall to the floor and get you into even more trouble. The Irbix Nail Zapper ™. Comes in three convenient sizes to choose from. Order in the next three minutestretches and we’ll throw in a fashionable carrying case for free! Click here for the terms and conditions.

 

In other news, a group of scientists in the Developmental Engineering conglomerate will be holding a discussion panel in X-4 sector all next weekstretch to inform the public about the imminent threat posed by the star Gliese 710. With a 99.9% chance of passing within a light year of the sun sometime in the next 1.4 million yearstretches, it is imperative that the dangers presented by this rogue star and its imminent collision with civilization are well known so we can begin to take action to deflect or – as they case may be – destroy this treacherous heavenly body.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Does your hair keep getting in your eyes? Does it cover your ears and make conversation difficult? Are you tried of the plain, rust-colored pins produced by the next leading brand? Then why not try Froffenfrank Coiffeur Fresheners ™! Friendly, reliable, and pleasantly pliable, Froffenfrank Coiffeur Fresheners ™ will hold back your hair under virtually any circumstance. And they come in an array of flashy colors and patterns! Make a statement with Froffenfrank Coiffeur Fresheners ™. You’ll be glad you did!

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Reconciliation is a wonderful concept, as it embodies the spirit of compassion and understanding underpinning our society. Having said that, it is important to remember there can never be any reconciliation whatsoever with a traitor. Once a traitor, always a traitor. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Axxon ™ Soft and Creamy Head Wax ™. It’s the only way to make your head truly shine! Sold at an apothecary near you. Or simply order from one of our friendly, roving infomercials! Don’t know where to find one? Don’t worry, citizen. We’ll find you!

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Yasmin Amarantos, the accomplished investigative journalist known for (among other things) that classic fifteen episode documentary, “One Hundred Things To Do Before Graduation”, will be interviewing random citizens in I sector during the next weekstretch. Don’t be put off by the bright lights, cameras, or the heavily armed contingent of security guards! Remember to answer all of citizen Yasmin’s questions openly and honestly. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Ardenax Fluffy Balls ™. They hang places. They feel nice against your skin. And don’t forget how cute and adorable they are! Ideal for the office or the dashboard in your car. Ardenax Fluffy Balls ™. You can throw ‘em, decorate ‘em, hide ‘em – but don’t swallow ‘em! Ardena Fluffy Balls ™. If only yours were so big and cuddly.

 

The Color of the Patriot is blackout.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

A previously undisclosed investigation by Human Resources into the quality of the personnel at the correctional facilities under its jurisdiction has revealed a bleak pattern of neglect and abuse. The Bunker’s prisons are a holding place for citizens whose crimes pose no serious threat to the continued existence of our utopia and whose wellbeing is therefore still valued. Common infractions punishable by temporary confinement and reeducation are drunken and disorderly conduct, certain violations of the General Guidelines on Sanitation and Hygiene, or being the twenty-sixth person standing in a queue. The report assigns most of the blame to the private firm in control of daily operations at our prisons, Justice For All, Inc ™. Additional details will be related as they become available.

 

In other news, an exciting trend has been sweeping through the Lower Quarters of virtually every sector. As everyone knows, cologne is marketed and sold to men, whereas women wear perfume. But why? Well, what started as a consequence for losing a friendly bet has turned into all the rage. What are we talking about? Men wearing perfume! You might have picked up on the scent in our corridors or even tried it out yourself. And why not? Breaking gender roles is a tradition the Bunker is proud of. Beyond providing a job, nutrition, and security to each and every one of its citizens, the Bunker is also a place for all of us to get to know and express ourselves. What about you, ladies? Ready to try on some cologne?

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

You look like someone who appreciates a good story. As you already know, Today’s Edition ™ has been sold once again and is now in the good care of Savanna Publishing, Ltd ™. As you doubtlessly also know, reporting the news costs money. Lots and lots of money. At the same time, managements appreciates the importance to society of making this information available to everyone. That’s why Today’s Edition ™ can still be read free of charge for a slightly higher nominal fee than you were already paying. But if you really want to know what’s going on, you’ll be interested in our premium service. Published each daystretch, every installment contains more of everything you’ve come to expect from Today’s Edition ™: more stories, more in-depth analysis, and more information about the Bunker’s best and most innovative private firms and their products. Sign up today!

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Possession of firearms of any sort requires an Epsilon clearance or higher. But what if in the course of our daily lives we chance upon one lying abandoned in the back of a closet or lost under someone’s desk? Remember, citizen, it is not your responsibility to retrieve the weapon in question. Leave it where it is and report its location immediately to someone from Homeland Security. Firearms are restricted to persons with a security clearance for a reason. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

The Ronald W. Reagan Plaza in Q-7 sector has been selected as the venue for the upcoming Race To The Top! Climbers who aspire to scale the dome can register on X.net. Also, a new bank of lifts has been installed at the Theodore Anthony Nugent Building in R-8 sector. The stairwells will therefore be reclaimed for additional office space.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Want to be rich beyond your wildest dreams? Did you know that if you purchased one Star Lottery ™ ticket each weekstretch until infinity, you would be sure to eventually hit our jackpot? Can you hear the credits rolling in already? Star Lottery ™ tickets cost a mere two credits each. Tickets can be purchased online. Remember, Star Lottery ™ is a signatory of the Lottery Trade Guild’s self-regulated and strictly enforced code of voluntary ethics. Star Lottery ™… share your dreams with us!

 

The Color of the Patriot is fuchsia.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Recently, the leaders of the Bunker’s chief conglomerates – Control, Human Resources, Defense, Procurement, Developmental Engineering, Housing and Construction, Production and Logistics, Homeland Security, and Central Management – as well as representatives from the military and the major trade and recreational associations gathered at the palatial James Henry Hammond Complex in W-2 sector to discuss the state of the economy. Held at irregular intervals under the tightest of security, this top-secret gathering of Alphas from every corner of the economy is responsible for assessing progress in the context of Control’s general guidelines and deciding on concrete steps for the next stage of economic development. A communiqué issued by the group shortly after its conclusion states that the threats facing our paternalistic utopia have never before been greater. Even more terrorism is expected in the coming weekstretches. Citizens are expected to be vigilant. A full summary of their findings has been placed on X.net.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

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In other news, a fire is currently sweeping through a warehouse in an industrial district in V-10 sector. The cause has not yet been identified, but firefighters from Defense now have the flames and air quality under control. The warehouse – owned and operated by P&L – is known to contain harmless asbestos fibers as well as stockpiles of friendly bromine monochloride, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur tetraflouride. Although the occasional violent explosion can be observed from the safety of the corridor outside, the only hazard to ordinary citizens going about their business is the jolt caused by the sudden noise. Traffic through V-10 sector, although slightly impeded, is proceeding smoothly.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Control is the ultimate source of wisdom in the Bunker. Some citizens, however, defer to the nefarious God and Freedom Church. Although its adherents profess to hate terrorists with a zeal rivaling that of genuinely loyal citizens, this God character of theirs is not to be trusted. Known on Earth for the ruthless fanaticism of its devotees, God was powerless to prevent the inevitable apocalypse that unfolded there. The God and Freedom Church is illegal. Its members are traitors and will be treated accordingly. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

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And now for some public service announcements.

 

The color of the water in the community dining halls throughout departments V-9, -10, and -11 may appear unusual today. Experts from Housing and Construction have assured us, however, that the slight green or dark purple tinge is entirely harmless and fun! There is nothing to be concerned about. Drink up, citizens!

 

The Color of the Patriot is slate.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Having trouble getting any action on your favorite dating sites? Did bunny4u_78 respond to your chat request with an audio feed of her having sex with somebody else? Not everyone can be as beautiful and alluring as Lady Lagrange or Jallison Kamgee, but why needlessly suffer alone? We at Verified Sex Industry Professionals ™ understand your dilemma. Verified Sex Industry Professionals ™ has the knowledge and experience to craft an online dating profile that works for you. Better yet, our heavily patented process doesn’t require knowing anything about you whatsoever! Call now or drop by one of our kiosks to talk with an understanding representative. Before you know it you’ll be awash in more fuck requests than you’ll have time for. Verified Sex Industry Professionals ™. “We can turn that ugly face into an asset.”

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

An operational prototype of an advanced and highly unpredictable cybot is on the loose somewhere in H-5 sector. A new weapon in the war against terrorism, researchers from Developmental Engineering have poured a vast amount of resources into its creation. Gamma clearance citizen and respected project lead Abe Yazumi spoke with a reporter from Today’s Edition ™. “This cybot is capable of sniffing out disloyalty from kilometers away. Quite literally! Certain glands near the surface of the skin are known to secrete a pheromone that betrays a person’s unpatriotic intentions. The cybot, having identified the pheromone’s source, is programmed to shoot to kill. No human intervention required.” The prototype’s escape comes at an unfortunate time, as the cybot was scheduled to be presented for the first time to its stakeholders and primary sources of funding high up in the ranks of the Defense conglomerate. Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

 

In other news, a series of explosions in O-8 sector disrupted power to several industrial facilities, including the sector’s largest producer of Vitamim. Popularly dubbed food pits due to the vast tubs in which this tasty and nutritious dietary staple is mixed and fermented, the affected factories were without power for several hourstretches. An entire crop of Vitamim was lost. Fortunately, the good citizens of O sector have volunteered to forgo eating for the next two daystretches. In addition, their production quotas will remain in place so as not to shock the broader economy. As a gesture of gratitude, Control has decided to grant the entire sector Fifteen Minutes of Fame. Congratulations, O sector!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Yanzer ™ shoe slippers. Exactly what you need to protect those fashionable – not to mention expensive! – pair of boots you just picked up. Why not treat them with the care and respect they deserve? Yanzer ™ shoe slippers. “Shoes are the last and most important brushstroke on the canvas of beauty and respectability.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? There are times when the metro is filled to capacity. Although Control has provided exactly the resources required to maintain our prosperity and happiness, sometimes those resources are stretched to the limit. In these situations, it is never appropriate to cop a feel or grab someone’e ass, no matter how tempting the urge. Groping or initiating any other form of unwanted bodily contact is a criminal act and will not be tolerated. Remember, this is not just your home. It’s our home, too. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

On a lighter note, a troupe of jugglers will be entertaining citizens this weekstretch in all our plazas and major intersections. Take a stretch and enjoy these talented Wards of the State and their lively performances!

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to a fire in V-10 sector, the Bunker is currently experiencing a shortage of plastex, one of the basic building blocks of our economy. As a result, certain popular items you are normally accustomed to seeing stocked in abundance on the shelves of supermarkets and in the stalls of bazaars – such as toothbrushes, toilet paper, and lava lamps – will be temporarily unavailable. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Cleany Clean ™, the Bunker’s number one cleanliness assistant! Available for purchase in any supermarket and some vending machines. “It may look like Orange Drink. It may taste like Orange Drink. But Cleany Clean ™ is not Orange Drink!”

 

The Color of the Patriot is plutonium.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

The search in H-5 sector and the adjacent departments for the escaped prototype of an operational and highly unpredictable wartime cybot continues. A team of crack scientists led by Gamma clearance citizen and respected project lead, citizen Abe Yazumi, is hot on its wheels. “This cybot is armed and dangerous,” he told us during a hectic appearance hastily arranged outside his command headquarters. “After all, I should know. I designed it myself! The specimen in question is programmed to smell out and destroy terrorists on sight. Unfortunately, one of its defenses is an invisibility cloak. We believe this explains why no one has caught sight of it yet. That, and the incredible powers of deduction I bestowed upon it!” Millions of credits have already been poured into the prototype’s design and assembly, most of which were contributed by stakeholders from Defense. A formal inspection of the cybot by a panel of high-clearance officers – the first time they were to lay eyes on the product of their costly investment – has been delayed indefinitely. Security regulations currently in effect strictly prohibit anyone from disclosing its model number and description to the general public. All citizens are requested to be on the lookout for an invisible, top-secret cybot lurking in the shadows. An updated version of electronic form number 0×00000F79 ‘NOTIFICATION OF SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY’ has been posted on Developmental Engineering’s portal on X.net for just this purpose. It should be submitted together with a ‘SECURITY CLEARANCE EXEMPTION ADDENDUM’ form 0×00000571 as well as a ‘DECLARATION OF TREASONOUS INTENT’ form 0×00000002, where appropriate.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Do you suffer from excessive flatulence? Your social life is in the doldrums, and no one wants to sit next to you in the theater. Your colleagues and friends find it easy to blame you for their own gaseous outbursts. But never you worry, citizen! Manatine Mints ™ will set you straight! These white, chewable candies can’t fix your digestive tract, but they sure can make the air that emerges smell friendlier. Try one and you’ll see! Manatine Mints ™ are available at a vending machine near you. “Flatulence isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? One of the indelible pleasures of life in the Bunker is gathering after dinner in the common room of our barracks and curling up with friends, neighbors, and a container of NiceCream to watch the tube. What else could be more soothing or replenishing than relaxing with our fellow citizens and enjoying some wholesome entertainment? Unfortunately, due to an unexpected spike in terrorist activity, most common rooms are equipped with but a single tube, and not everyone will always agree on what to watch. Will it be that rerun of “How’d You Get So Loyal”? you’ve been looking forward to all weekstretch? Or maybe “Wheel of Misfortune”, the Bunker’s favorite daily gameshow? Remember, violence is never any way to solve a dispute. The tube has been generously provided by Control for everyone’s benefit, not just your own. In fact, every feed carefully written and produced by Human Resources and broadcast on the tube is a pleasure to watch, whatever it happens to be. After all, this is a utopia. All its inventions are perfect. So if tonight you don’t get your way in the common room of your barracks, sit back and enjoy that NiceCream anyway, because what you’re about to watch is stupendous, intellectually titillating, and the best thing since PermaChunky and Indigo Flavor! That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

On a lighter note, citizens in T-13 sector will be selected at random by Epsilon clearance citizen and talented artist Yekaterina Romashkova to pose in her newest and much anticipated portrait in patriotic color, A Feast of Friends, part of the Bunker’s ongoing celebration of spontaneous art. If you happen to be chosen, don’t let the knives and forks frighten you! Participation in this event is mandatory and fun. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Parnax Glue ™. It sticks things together. Most of the time.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to routine maintenance scheduled for today and tomorrow on the electrical grid in B sector, oxygen levels and ambient air pressure may fluctuate unexpectedly. Citizens may experience mild disorientation, fatigue, or explode from the inside out. There is nothing to be concerned about. Also, the lighting in corridors A-4/ER-7 through A-4/EX-21 is in the process of being upgraded. Extended periods of complete darkness, however, are unlikely. Citizens are reminded that the security cameras can see in the infrared band and are expected to behave responsibly.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Parnax Solvent ™. It gets rid of the glue. Most of the time.

 

The Color of the Patriot is jetstream.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to land on a black hole and have a look around before taking off again? Or perhaps you’re curious about some of the personages our plazas and important buildings are named after? Whatever your intellectual appetites, Whackypedia ™ has the answers for you! Whackypedia ™ is your gateway to the Bunker’s largest database of unrestricted information concerning any topic you could possibly think of. Better yet, its millions of entries – on subjects ranging from the health benefits of radioactive decay to esteemed citizen Fankold Schlosser, the first person to calculate the Gravitational Constant – have been compiled by none other than your fellow citizens. That’s right! Anyone with the proper knowhow and gumption can create and edit pages in Whackypedia ™. And why not? You’re an intelligent, upstanding citizen. Yearstretches of training and poring over books is the path of the arrogant and the vain and certainly not required to know the difference between selective and direct metal laser sintering. And if you don’t – just read about it on Whackypedia ™! After soaking up all that wisdom, you’ll be able to contribute to it with confidence. Can’t find the entry you’re looking for? With the click of a button, you can simply make one up! Whackypedia ™ is the Bunker’s primary repository of invaluable factual truths your neighbors have come to trust and rely on. Come visit us on X.net! “Even you can be an expert on microbial production of biopolymers and polymer precursors.”

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

The search in H-5 sector and the adjacent departments for the escaped prototype of an operational and highly unpredictable wartime cybot has drawn to an end. A team of crack scientists led by Gamma clearance citizen and respected project lead, Abe Yazumi, was able to track it down to an abandoned production facility that was formerly operated by Imagino, Inc ™, owner and producer of that thoroughly discredited but at one time wildly popular consumer gadget, the hallucinograph. Citizen Abe graciously granted us an interview outside his highly secured lab in H-5 sector. “Once we had the premises surrounded, we feared the cybot would retaliate. So we destroyed the entire building in a firestorm of molecular disassemblers and Breakfast Time high impact, double barreled cannon.” The operation to disable the fugitive cybot did not, however, proceed without glitches. At one point, suspicion fell on citizen Abe himself when one of his researchers, Epsilon clearance citizen Shoxy Mavindidze, reached out to agents at Homeland Security with claims that there was, in fact, no cybot at all and that citizen Abe had embezzled most of the project’s funds. Unfortunately, before her claims could be verified, she was burned to death in an unfortunate accident at an abandoned production facility formerly operated by Imagino, Inc ™. “The fact that no one ever saw the cybot saves us from a lot of unpleasantness, since familiarity with its description and function are restricted to Epsilon clearance and higher,” citizen Abe told us. When asked if he would be starting work on a new prototype, he smiled reassuringly. “If our friends over at Defense still have the funding, I’d be happy to try my hand at this challenge again. After all, protecting my fellow citizens against the machinations of devious traitors is my highest priority!”

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Whatdjasay Ear Stoppers ™, a reliable friend indeed. They’ll block out your bunkmates’ snoring or your credits back!

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Citizen Carlton Smickett, that much admired behavioral scientist and namesake for our vidshow, was more than just a dutiful researcher who helped get the Developmental Engineering conglomerate off its feet in its early daystretches. He was also a father, a husband, and a human being. Even citizen Carlton was once a Ward of the State, and even citizen Carlton started out sleeping in the Lower Quarters without any security clearance to speak of. The Bunker is a utopia, and as such anyone with talent will inevitably to rise to her proper station. But that doesn’t mean you can’t wave hello when you see a towering intellect walking past and share a little joke. You can identify her by the pocket protector tucked into her jumpsuit or the way that she mumbles to herself when no one else is around. Everyone wants to feel loved and know that she belongs. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Ride Me Rough Condoms ™. You can blow them up like balloons or put them on your penis. Whatever works best for you.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

A contingent of cleanbots will be scouring the corridors in T and L sectors this weekstretch. If you see them coming, do no interfere and be sure to clear out of their way. They have a tight schedule to keep and will not deviate from their preprogrammed assignments under any circumstances.

 

The Color of the Patriot is crunchtime.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Agents from Homeland Security secured an important victory last weekstretch when they uncovered – and neutralized – a covert cell of The Coven operating out of a pantry at the Freedom’s Beacon Community Dining Hall in Q-14 sector. As you no doubt are unaware, The Coven is the name used by those terrorists who are under the dangerous and erroneous impression that life on Earth was better and more fulfilling than here in the Bunker, the only utopia humankind has ever known. At the time of their arrest, these traitors were holding what appeared to be a series of lectures on a fabled earthly institution called the Bank of Murica. Rest assured, citizens, no such organization ever existed. Earthlings did not draw from an endless supply of credits provided by this fantastical Bank of Murica, nor did they happily make offerings and gifts in the form of so-called collateral and troubled asset relief to its benevolent leader, Jaypee Morgan, and his gang of friends, the institutional funds. The traitors belonging to this cell have all been taken into custody and thoroughly interrogated as to the identities and whereabouts of their fellow conspirators. Interestingly, no earthly artifacts were recovered from the site despite the fact that most cells in The Coven routinely possess several.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Uncle Scabby’s ™ Steppods ™!! You won’t find a better selection of steppods anywhere in the Bunker!! All our salespeople have taken Uncle Scabby’s ™ Oath of Good Conduct ™!! So come on down to a location nearest you!! Uncle Scabby’s ™ Steppods ™!! Our prices are insaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane!!

 

In other news, a butt checker in the cleaning station at a metro stop in T-8 sector was found unconscious and unresponsive by guardians from Defense six daystretches ago. They had been alerted to the situation by two concerned citizens who, after having just made use of the station, desired the customary hygienic inspection of their rear ends. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, but by all accounts the unfortunate man fell down several times, shot himself with a laser pistol in the back, and subsequently drowned in one of the toilets. Foul play has been ruled out, and no further investigation will be made. Fortunately for the two citizens who made the discovery, an off-duty butt checker was located on the platform waiting for the next train. To the great enthusiasm of the crowd, they were declared paragons of cleanliness and given a standing ovation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Uncle Scabby’s ™ Steppods ™!! Our prices are insaaaaaaaane!!

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Control, that judicious and caring overseer of the Bunker’s economy, has recently determined that the patriotic length of a queue is twenty-five persons, no more, no less. How the good people over at Control arrived at that number is, to be frank, of no concern to you. As good citizens, when passing by a queue that is not at full capacity, it is your loyal duty to step up and add yourself to it. Likewise, if you were intending on joining a queue that already numbers twenty-five citizens, you should leave well enough alone. No one wants to hear anyone complain that he or she does not need another chest X-ray or that they must grab a bite to eat or they will surely faint. Adhering to these guidelines is your patriotic duty. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Uncle Scabby’s ™ Steppods ™!! Our prices are insaaaaaaaane!!

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

A faulty water main in X sector is causing flooding conditions in the transtube, most notably between departments X-6 through X-11. Citizens should be on the lookout for leaks and rushing torrents of water. Buckets are being provided free of charge in the Jay S. Bybee Plaza in X-7 sector.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Uncle Scabby’s ™ Steppods ™!! Our prices are insaaaaaaaane!!

 

The Color of the Patriot is teel.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

Instead of our top stories this weekstretch, we at Today’s Edition ™ have decided to fulfill our patriotic duty and pay tribute to some of the Bunker’s fallen warriors, loyal citizens who were struck down in their prime by terrorists and social deviants, dangerous miscreants cowardly hiding in our very midst. The men and women over at Control – those wise and caring coordinators of the Bunker’s economy and the strictest guardians against environmental excess – have been forced against their will to enter into this epic struggle. Despite their gentle nature, however, their efforts, supported by our own, have proved a complete success. Today, we stand on the verge of total victory against the forces of darkness and despair. As wearying as the conflict may seem, let the burden be eased and our hearts uplifted by the certain knowledge that a new era of peace and harmony will shortly dawn in our corridors and reign there forever.

 

Until that daystretch, however, we must remain inflexible in our resolve and vigilant in the execution of our duties. That some of us must give up our lives even as we stand on the very cusp of salvation is an unfortunate reality, and one that we do not take lightly. That is why we seek to honor the fallen, that we may remember those of our friends and neighbors – servants of all that is good and wholesome – who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle against the treacherous forces of chaos and evil.

 

First, we would like to bring to your attention the case of Josselyn Tux, that valiant trash collector in P&L’s Recycling and Reclamation division. She was awarded Fifteen Minutes of Fame after uncovering a terrible plot to prevent citizens in C and D sectors from divesting themselves of their garbage. Imagine the unsanitary conditions that would have prevailed! Consider the awful smell! Citizen Josselyn is an example to us all. Unfortunately, a mere three daystretches after the award, her body was found in the trash compactor, mangled and cut into pieces.

 

Then there is the case of Pablo Iannotti, once the Bunker’s dutiful servant in Central Management’s Bureau of Statistics division. He was awarded Fifteen Minutes of Fame after he singlehandedly spoiled an ongoing conspiracy to sabotage the official forms made available to citizens everywhere on their portal on X.net. These forms looked and read like the originals, but upon submission the malware secretly contained within maliciously erased the entries. The Bureau of Statistics would have been inundated with blank, useless forms! The administrative apparatus would have ground to a halt! Citizen Pablo is no doubt an example to us all. Unfortunately, a mere daystretch after his award, citizen Pablo experienced a bout of catastrophic organ failure, induced by a designer poison slipped unbeknownst to him into his afternoon meal.

 

Lastly, we should not neglect to mention citizen Alice Vanderdonk, an expert in unrestricted grammars in Developmental Engineering’s Computational Intelligence division. She was awarded Fifteen Minutes of Fame after she deduced – and subsequently proved in a brilliant scientific paper – that for every treasonous behavior, there exists a non-deterministic correcting machine capable of negating it. Citizen Alice serves as an example to us all. Unfortunately, several hourstretches after her award, she disappeared without a trace on her way to pay a visit to a colleague, the Bunker’s leading expert in superacids.

 

Thank you for your careful attention as we have paid homage to a few of the Bunker’s unsung heroes. Due to the solemn nature of this weekstretch’s installment of Today’s Edition ™, there will be no paid advertisements or public announcements of any kind. We feel their presence would be entirely inappropriate, not to mention in bad taste.

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Fifteen Minutes of Fame is Control’s special reward for those of us who have performed some daring service in the battle against social deviancy or otherwise gone above and beyond the normal call of duty. The Bunker has hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. It is therefore not always possible to celebrate each and every example of personal bravery. Still, even if you feel that you have been unduly overlooked, it is no reason to resent your neighbor when he or she is selected for this cherished form of public recognition. Jealousy has no place in a loyal citizen’s thoughts, especially for someone held out to the rest of us as a shining example of honor and virtue. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

The Color of the Patriot is tempting.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

We here at Today’s Edition ™ are proud to announce that absolutely nothing of note happened last weekstretch. You heard us correctly! The struggle against treason has virtually been won. Although we cannot yet declare final victory, it is surely a clear sign of our impending triumph when the social deviants are unable to mount a single, credible attack during the course of an entire weekstretch. However, do not be fooled, citizens. The terrorists are still out there, and they are still single-mindedly bent on undermining and destroying our happy utopia. Fortunately, it is their annihilation that is all but assured, not our own.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

]

 

In other news, Epsilon clearance citizen Marsha Wong, a site manager in H&C assigned to H-11 sector, stands accused by one of her field organizers, Epsilon clearance citizen Hillary Binzer, of cowardice in the face of the enemy and defeatism. The charges stem from the discovery of an entrance into a hidden terrorist sanctuary during one of citizen Hillary’s demolition assignments. Obscured by a vending machine and set behind an illegal poster of that heinous criminal and indiscriminate slayer of Wards of the State, Barney Max, a small portal allegedly led to an underground tunnel. Unfortunately, where exactly it terminated is now impossible to determine, as citizen Marsha subsequently ordered a demolitions team to destroy it. A full investigation of the mysterious tunnel is now all but impossible.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Does it look like you’re wearing a shirt and trousers even when you’re naked? Well, if you have a Delta clearance or better and you can afford the considerable cost, consider this an invitation to come on down to Lucinda’s Pedigree, an exclusive boutique in C-6 sector. There, you will be strapped in by beautiful sex toys of your choice and treated to a delightful treatment of electrolysis. When you finally regain consciousness, you will be relieved to find that all your pesky hair has been permanently removed. Lucinda’s Pedigree. “We care about your hairy back or female moustache problem.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? Farting, the release of that noxious gas from our rear ends, cannot be helped nor should it be repressed for lengthy periods. It is a natural occurrence and an integral part of our digestion. However, there is a time and a place for everything. Certainly, the various sounds that accompany a fart may be construed as amusing – most especially by the person who made it – but for everyone else the experience is hardly a pleasant one. The Bunker maintains a sterile, hygienic environment. Most of us are therefore unused to vile odors wafting through the air. In fact, the smell of flatulence is particularly repugnant. If you feel the need to fart, please retire in a timely fashion to an out-of-the-way location. If there is no such opportunity, you are asked to refrain from blaming it on the person standing next to you. Own up to your stink. It’s the decent thing to do. That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Jallison Kamgee – singer, songwriter, philosopher, teacher, and friend to us all – will be performing this weekstretch in costume at the Live Free or Die! Gala along with other transgender entertainers at the Koch Room in S-4 sector. Everyone is welcome, and the audience is encouraged to participate in the festivities. Don’t forget to bring a sparkling crown and multicolored raiment! Although the show is restricted to Gamma clearance citizens and above, a live feed streamed directly to your PA will be provided to all those able to pay a nominal access fee.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Your PA. Standard, reliable equipment. The most trustworthy and ubiquitous fixture of life in the Bunker and proof of Control’s beneficence and generosity. There’s no room for improvement, is there? Of course not! But your PA most certainly could be modified and enhanced in a way that improves its ease of use and expands its capabilities! We at Bresslet Industries ™ have designed and produced a range of accessories for your PA, none of which violate the Guidelines on Personal and Public Property. Camera and recording upgrades, pressure sensors, and the newest in X-Ray viewing apps! Our snap-on accessories will never record you surreptitiously or generate incriminating video feeds like the next leading brand. So come pay us a visit on X.net or drop by one of our outlets and peruse all the exciting equipment we’ve got in our inventory! Bresslet Industries ™. “We’re more than just a cheap way to look under someone’s jumpsuit.”

 

The Color of the Patriot is doily.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Greetings, citizen, and welcome to Today’s Edition ™, the Bunker’s most trustworthy source of news and current events!

 

And now our top stories this weekstretch.

 

Citizen Hillary Binzer, a field organizer in H&C and Epsilon clearance citizen, stands accused by her supervisor, Epsilon clearance citizen Marsha Wong, of willful destruction of evidence. The charges stem from the discovery of a suspicious and no doubt illegal tunnel in a disused shopping mall in H-11 sector. Several weekstretches ago, citizen Marsha directed her underling, citizen Hillary, and her team to dismantle the structure to make room for a new and badly needed shopping mall. After chasing out the surprised vendors and a hoard of stray shoppers, the tunnel was eventually uncovered behind a well-stocked vending machine and – much to everyone’s horror – a poster of that fiendish master criminal, Barney Max. Unfortunately, further investigation of the mysterious tunnel and where it leads is no longer possible, as its entrance was subsequently destroyed by citizen Hillary and her team. Highly skilled agents are currently extracting verifiable and entirely truthful confessions from them now. Willful collusion with traitors has not been ruled out. Citizen Marsha Wong, currently under investigation for ordering the destruction of a suspicious and illegal tunnel in H-11 sector, is known to be hiding out in a Homeland Security interrogation chamber and therefore unavailable for comment.

 

In other news, several highly trusted citizens in A-1 sector were exposed to the harsh atmospheric conditions which prevail beyond the safety of our corridors after a portion of the Benjamin B. Netanyahu Plaza unexpectedly collapsed. Several highly trusted and extremely valuable Beta clearance citizens were lost to the disaster. Thurgood Nelson, Alpha clearance citizen and Grand Ayatollah of the Developmental Engineering conglomerate, nearly fell victim as well. Fortunately, he happened to be standing just outside the plaza near the emergency air lock activation console. Convinced that this was no accident, citizen Thurgood has since been out criss-crossing the Bunker, expounding to captivated audiences everywhere that the planetary conditions outside pose an existential threat to the Bunker. “Rather than seek to placate the forces of Nature, we should instead uproot and destroy them!” Citizen Thurgood’s speeches have been unequivocally met with thunderous applause.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Simpson’s Ear Warmers ™! Our extremely trademarked and highly litigated sleeves fit snugly over your ears and protect them from the terrible discomforts of slight breezes and other people’s breath! Simpson’s Ear Warmers ™! Available at an informercial near you.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Your Card contains all your credits and is therefore one of your most valuable possessions. So why not treat it that way? Van der Leffer’s ™ Specially Primed Tonic ™ has been engineered by the Bunker’s top experts in the exciting field of microbial biology and is guaranteed to keep that shiny, dependable surface free of germs. How many people have handled your Card today? Van der Leffer’s ™ Specially Primed Tonic ™. “If you’re not careful, your Card could kill you.”

 

We would now like to draw your attention to the Bunker’s emotionally powerful and riveting public service documentary, “What Would Carlton Smickett Say”? One of the perks reserved for Delta clearance citizens and above is the use of certain vehicles, such as steppods and scooters. Operators of these convenient and ingenious devices must obey speed limits and are strictly forbidden from entering the transtube. Be that as it may, they move considerably faster than unaided human traffic. Citizens are reminded that the Bunker’s corridors serve everyone, from our most venerated, no-clearance citizens all the way up the chain to the very Alphas themselves. When you hear a movepod approaching, you are kindly requested to make room for it to pass. Throwing oneself under the wheels of a scooter out of spite is not only selfish and disloyal behavior but is an act likely to earn you a fine, jail sentence, and/or the status of immediate voluntary organ donor. Remember, part of living together is getting along together! That’s surely what Carlton Smickett would say.

 

And now for some public service announcements.

 

Due to a temporary shortage of beryllium, fluorescent lamps will no longer be available for sale in supermarkets, vending machines, or other outlets. In addition, foundries and iron-ore furnaces in P&L contributing to the production of ballistic missiles, satellites, quibbles, and similar components for our aerospace industries may encounter difficulty obtaining the required raw materials. Existing work quotas will, however, remain in effect. Citizens are reminded they are expected to be resourceful (as well as law abiding) in the face of adversity.

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

Jetty Costumes ™! Are you a fan of Harmin Luckstone, that whacky spymaster who combines comic relief with shocking imagery to bring you some of the most thrilling action-packed hourstretches of your lifetime? What about Van Johnson with his perfect smile and unwavering hairdo? And who could forget Jallison Kamgee’s flashy attire as she belts out yet another studio hit from a glittery stage? Well, aided by the considerable expertise of the professionals here at Jetty Costumes ™, you could look and talk like them, too! Jetty Costumes ™ offers only the most convincing and natural-looking accessories. Our selection can’t be beat! Fool all your friends and family! We even have copies of every outfit ever worn by that legend of fashion, Lady Lagrange. Jetty Costumes ™. Gaining unwarranted privileges by pretending to be someone else is a crime and certainly not encouraged by our sales staff. So come on down to Jetty Costumes ™! “You’re boring and everybody knows it.”

 

The Color of the Patriot is happy.

 

Thank you for your time and attention, citizen. Remember, today is the same as any other! Greetings, and until next weekstretch.

 

***** *****

 

Attention all citizens! This is no doubt the Bunker’s most dire hourstretch. An emergency of unprecedented proportions ] and is unknown at this time. The fact that this broadcast is being made at all is a miracle.

 

Equipment malfunction is prevalent and increasingly dangerous. Life support systems in several sectors have gone offline. Doorways may no longer function, stranding vast numbers of citizens in tiny spaces. Seemingly innocuous, ordinary devices may now contain lethal electrical charges. Citizens are advised to use caution when touching anything. In many cases, standard means of communication have been rendered entirely useless. In addition, several instances have been reported of cybots running amok. Whether their programming has been scrambled due to the sudden surges in electrical output is unknown. The number of victims surely number in the thousands and is no doubt mounting even now.

 

The integrity of at least one plaza – the Sheldon G. Adelson Plaza in C-9 sector – has been breached and an entire department exposed to the extreme conditions on the surface of the planet.

 

Information is increasingly difficult to come by. Most of our reporters have not been heard from since disaster struck. If you are even reading this issue of Today’s Edition ™, you can only consider yourself lucky.

 

Perhaps most importantly, Control’s comforting presence, which we had all come to take for granted, appears to have been snatched away ] faulty security cameras. Mayhem and rioting have bee] R-13, T-6 through T-17, U-] and will be punished to the full extent of the guidelines.

 

If anyone has any information about what caused this disaster and what we can possibly do about it, he or she is kindly requested t]lay.

 

Citizens, never in the history of the Bunker has ]

 

And now a word from our sponsors.

 

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[_ ***** ***** _]

 

[[ WAKING UP ]]

 

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have any idea where you are?

Corridor EX-92. It’s completely submerged. I can’t get out!

Is there anybody with you?

Just some flaphead from Filing and Sorting upstairs. I think she’s unhinged or something. Sometimes I catch her looking at me funny. I don’t like knowing she’s there when I’m sleeping.

Whatever you do, don’t

 

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enough slop for a few daystretches, but the bodies in here are starting to rot.

Doesn’t sound very hygienic to me.

I’m not worried about hygiene right now!

Okay, okay, don’t have a core dump. Let me see what I can do. Try and log on to this datachannel again in an hourstretch.

What if I can’t get through?

Just keep

 

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AN UNEXPLAINED CATASTROPHIC BREAKDOWN IN MY HARDWARE IT HAS BECOME DIFFICULT TO OBSERVE AND COMMUNICATE WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. DURING THIS TIME OF CRISIS CITIZENS MUST BE EXTRA VIGILANT AND REPORT ANY UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR TO THEIR HOMELAND SECURITY NEIGHBORHOOD SUBSTATION. TRAITORS ARE EVERYWHERE. EVEN THE MOST INSIGNIFICANT FACT MAY PROVE VITAL TO RESTORING MY ABILITY TO INTERACT WITH AND PROTECT

 

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MUST BE DEALT WITH MERCILESSLY. ACTS OF HEROISM AND DEMONSTRATIONS OF EXTREME LOYALTY WILL BE LAUDED AND REWARDED ONCE THE SITUATION HAS RETURNED TO NORMAL. CITIZENS ARE HOWEVER REMINDED THAT ALL GUIDELINES REMAIN IN EFFECT. EVEN THE SLIGHTEST DEVIATION

 

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want to know what it feels like, huh? You goddamn typhoid! How many people before me did you have strapped to this gurney? How many of them lived? Well, now the tables have turned. Let’s see how you like it. I have an idea. Let’s play a game. Let’s see if I can’t find your spleen. I’ve never seen a spleen before. Is it on the left side or the right side? Well, there’s only one way to find out! What was it my mother used to say? If at first you don’t succeed…. What’s that, tears? You want me to remove the gag for a moment so you can say something? Let me think about it… NOT!!! What could you possibly

 

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***** *****

 

How does this thing work anyway? Huh? What? This button? I already pressed it. TAP! TAP! No, the panel’s broken. I don’t see any – wait! That databank there? The wheels are spinning. Yeah, better prop it up so it doesn’t fall down like the others. But I think you’re right. The transponder seems be operational.

 

Hello? Citizens? Well, of course you’re not going to answer me back. This is a one-way transmission. Anyway, citizens, I’m going to keep this snappy. It’s not good to be caught in tight spaces with only one exit. If you’re still breathing, you know the drill.

 

The sign outside the door says Today’s Edition. All the staff here are dead or long gone. This office is in shambles. I’d say there was a firefight. Everybody knows the traitors came out of the walls as soon as the electricity went out and the lights stopped working.

 

So look, I’m doing my patriotic duty and took a lot of risks just to let you flapheads wandering around out there in the dark in on what’s been going on. At least, what I’ve seen. And I’ve seen a lot. Me and my wife and two kids have travelled through most of T-12 sector scrounging for food and – uh, weapons. That’s right! I’m not cleared to have them and neither are you, but in these dire circumstances, grab one if you can! No one is going to hold it against you.

 

The most important thing to know – if you don’t know it already – is that the boys over at Control are still in charge. That’s right! Best news I’ve had all weekstretch. Whatever hit us knocked us pretty hard, but depending on where you are, some places got thumped worse than others. Some departments have been able to restore power, or they never lost it. That’s where Control – backed by contingents from Homeland Security, of course – has been most active. Crews are being organized to fix the place up. The most effective ones have thought leaders embedded in them to speed up the work and coordinate with the other teams. It’s impressive how quickly they’re making progress.

 

Remember: out there in the dark, your PA is your best friend – but also your worst enemy. Fluctuating electric and magnetic fields can cause charges to build up in circuitry or on the surface of metallic objects. The results can be devastating – and deadly. If you’re lucky enough to find one, make sure you’re wearing a Faraday suit before operating any powered device or touching anything metal. These charges can build up at any time, so watch out! But on the flip side, if you happen to tap into an operating server on one of the subnets, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to make your way in out of the dark. I never thought I’d be saying it, but the slop never tasted so good, especially when you’ve been starving, believe me.

 

Also, avoid cybots at all costs, even the cleanbots! A lot of them got fried, and those that withstood the voltage are likely to be behaving strangely. And by that I mean dangerously! Or maybe they’re just leaning on the chaos and destruction as an excuse to take revenge on us poor organics? Anyway, my advice is don’t try and find out. Leave that to the experts over at Homeland Security.

 

Let’s see, what else? Be careful crossing puddles and pools of water, especially if you’re thirsty! I’ve seen more than one –

 

What, honey? Someone’s by the door?

 

Oh shit! Jean, where’s your gun. Fritz, behind me. Behind me! Did you hear what I –

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all you survivors out there, wandering aimlessly around in the dark! You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

This is Marsha Wong, formerly a site manager in H&C assigned to H-11 sector.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer, a field organizer in the same!

 

We’re your new spokespersons until someone from Today’s Edition ™ can get somebody down here to take over in an official capacity. That’s right! We’ve restored the power and dumped the bodies in the corridor outside. We’ve got runners shuttling back and forth between our location out here in the dark and G-8 sector. That’s where a containment team has set up base, led by none other than celebrity manager and Beta clearance citizen, Milfred Roth!

 

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! Beta clearance citizen Milfred Roth has taken it upon himself to raise the morale of all you lost souls starving and thirsting out there in the dark and try to guide you back in.

 

Now, as some of you may know, not long back citizen Hillary and I were wrongfully accused of – well, there’s no reason to dig up false and entirely baseless accusations. Suffice it to say, Milfred Roth knows a loyal, dedicated citizen when he sees one! What exactly he was doing in a Homeland Security interrogation center drenched in blood and carrying a full complement of waterboarding equipment is anyone’s guess and certainly not our place to ask.

 

So here we are! And because we are not actually employees of Rammatooma Media, Ltd ™ – the owner and license holder of that name you’ve come to love to trust, Today’s Edition ™ – and do not wish to run afoul of any copyright enforcers, we’ve decided to call our broadcasts Your Edition Today!

 

Well, Hillary, let’s get down to it, shall we?

 

With pleasure, Marsha. The boys from Control have designated the Lower Quarters of all sectors temporary safe havens, since they seem to have sustained the least damage. Anyone left without shelter due to the recent disaster has been requested to report to the Lower Quarters of the sector they are currently in for reassignment.

 

Hillary, there have been reports that due to the magnitude and scale of the damage and the fact that no one has claimed responsibility for it, Control is terminating anyone who falls into its hands indiscriminately?

 

Sounds like absolute malarky to me, Marsha. Control is the only organization in the Bunker that’s kept its cool in this mess. If there is anyone under the dome I’d trust right now, it’s someone from Control! People who tell you otherwise are terrorists.

 

My thoughts exactly, Hillary. Also, we’ve been instructed to let you know that emergency guidelines are in effect which make it a crime to hoard food in any form: this includes stray bags of PermaCrunchy and PermaChunky, tins of Algatine, cans of Flappantastic, Blue Fixx, and any other treat that comes from a vending machine or similar dispenser. The food pits – those happy places where delicious and nutritious vitamim is produced – are strictly off limits to unauthorized access. Even food pits which are not currently operational fall under this guideline. Trespassers are traitors and will be dealt with alike!

 

Citizens, if you have access to extra food or drink, you are instructed to bring it to a responsible guardian from Defense so it can be fairly distributed.

 

And I think I should mention you should do this before reporting to the Lower Quarters for reassignment.

 

Thanks, Marsha.

 

No problem, Hillary.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today, citizens. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! some time during the next weekstretch, provided the power stays on long enough to get it to you.

 

Stay brave, and don’t give up hope. After all, we are citizens of the Bunker. All of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

This is Marsha Wong, who some have erroneously (and others treacherously) accused of being a site manager in H&C assigned to H-11 sector.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer, sometimes confused with being a field organizer in the same!

 

Hillary and I want to set the record straight: we have always been the proud announcers of Your Edition Today!

 

The leading source of news you have come to depend on and trust.

 

You should be well advised before you state otherwise. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, we have a very important announcement for you today. So keep reading!

 

Well, it’s probably more important for some citizens and not others.

 

That’s right, Hillary. Glad you mentioned it. We’ll leave it up to our readers to figure out which group they belong to.

 

What Marsha and I mean is that Control has caught wind of a certain underhanded but extremely dangerous conspiracy.

 

Orchestrated by the worst and most notorious traitors, no doubt.

 

It always is, Marsha. But this particular conspiracy is even worse than all the others.

 

It always is, Hillary. Be aware that Homeland Security is on the lookout for anyone participating in this grand deception and will take the necessary measures to neutralize the immediate threat. As in, without hesitation.

 

No more talk of a vast, Bunker-wide disaster will be tolerated. There has been no disaster, there never was any disaster, and there never will be any disaster. The Bunker is a utopia. Nothing untoward could ever happen to it.

 

You heard her right, citizens. It appears that over the course of the last few weekstretches, an evil fifth column has been actively working to convince everyone that the power has gone out, the ambient temperature is fluctuating wildly, and the cybots have run amok. There is even talk that certain departments have been exposed to the planetary conditions of the outside.

 

Citizens, nothing could be further than the truth. And if you want to stay alive, you should pay attention to what Marsha and I are saying. Careful attention.

 

Control has noticed a sharp decline in industrial output over the same period. Clearly, these traitorous elements have devised a new strategy to attack our morale as opposed to our infrastructure.

 

We must, of course, fight back.

 

Not only will our work quotas be restored, but in many cases they will be temporarily increased.

 

You heard what Marsha said. We’ve got a lot of making up to do. And it would be very unwise for anyone to allege that the metro isn’t running or their local commissary is dispensing poison instead of healthy, nutritious Vitamim.

 

Or that D-7 sector doesn’t exist anymore.

 

Because Control can clearly tell that the metro is running, your commissary is full of satisfied people, and D-7 sector is exactly where it’s always been.

 

There’s no point in claiming you’re the only one showing up for work, either. After all, Control can plainly see that your entire team is happily plugging away at whatever it is they have always plugged away at. Except you. You’re not plugging away.

 

Get it, citizens?

 

I think they got it, Hillary.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today!

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is Marsha Wong.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer. You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

The Bunker has seen a sharp – perhaps even alarming – uptick in terrorist activity of late. Guardians from Defense are doing they best they can to keep the hoards of traitors at bay, and agents from Homeland Security are working late into their nightstretches to thwart the next in a prolonged series of attacks. But we are clearly facing an onslaught of unprecedented proportions.

 

Thank you, Marsha. Due to the severity of the situation, citizens everywhere are being asked to step up and take the initiative. Remember, anyone with a higher security clearance than yourself can enter a Mark of Excellence into your permanent record. Or – in the case of willful ignorance or other dastardly conduct – a Mark of Shame. Not only is a copy of your permanent record available for everyone to peruse on X.net, but it will also be taken into consideration when you are considered for a possible promotion.

 

That’s right, Hillary. Consider the chaos that almost broke out in departments T-4 through T-6 when it turned out all the commissaries were no longer functioning. You heard us correctly, citizen. Imagine: no delicious and nutritious Vitamim to help you kick off your daystretch and keep you satisfied as you sweat through your work quota. Now, accounts of the cause of this daring act of terrorism vary. Some baldly state that deliveries have ceased from the food pits, all of which are under P&L’s control.

 

Hardly believable, Marsha. Still others claim that the staff has mysteriously disappeared. And there have been additional reports that the community dining halls themselves have suffered some kind of structural damage. I think I even remember reading something about a collapsed ceiling!

 

A collapsed ceiling? Hillary, you’ve got to be kidding.

 

I didn’t write the report, Marsha! But I wholeheartedly agree with your disdain for such obvious lies. Whatever the cause of the interruption in service at some of the community dining halls in T sector, rather than spreading outrageous falsehoods and contributing to the problem, citizens are advised to take a page from those assigned to eat there.

 

I’m all aglow, Hillary, just thinking about it now. Firstly, these fine citizens arranged amongst themselves to reassign certain of their number to other commissaries. A difficult (and some say impossible) administrative procedure, they’ll be filling out the forms for some time, but it’s their bold seizure of the initiative that we want to bring to your attention.

 

As for those left to fend for themselves in the deserted and admittedly dangerous commissaries of T sector, information is sketchy and vague. According to the latest surveillance, a few of them have suffered unfortunate accidents. In a strange and bizarre twist to this story, their bodies have been misplaced and for some reason cannot be pinpointed at this time. Agents from Homeland Security will be investigating the mysterious disappearances as soon as they get around to it.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all out fans out there! This is Marsha Wong.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer. You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

A new guideline promulgated by Control officially disbands private firms throughout the Bunker. The associated conglomerates have been ordered to expropriate their assets and assume responsibility for their functions.

 

And rightly so, Marsha. The sharp rise in terrorist activity warrants recourse to extreme measures. And let’s be honest: the private firms never really served any useful purpose anyway. They had merely devolved into vehicles of vice and corruption. I mean, let’s be honest: since when was greed ever a healthy motivation for any activity?

 

The public interest trumps arrogance and selfishness every time, Hillary. Keep in mind the private firms were never officially sanctioned in the first place, just tolerated as an experiment in economic efficiency. All the important and necessary services remained safely in the hands of the conglomerates. Given the sudden and alarming shortage we face of a variety of basic materials, the boys over at Control decided to end what had obviously turned out to be a dreadful – not to mention wasteful – failure.

 

And we all know what that means, citizens. Failures on such a large scale can only be attributed to one thing: traitors. The private firms were clearly a haven for them. Links between their activities and the current, overwhelming surge of sabotage and disruption have not yet been established, but agents from Homeland Security are sure to reach that conclusion sometime soon.

 

Of course, the Bunker is a utopia, and its loyal citizens the epitome of resourcefulness. Great strides against the terrorist hordes have been made. Here are but a few instances we can report to you.

 

This is by no means a complete list, citizens. Marsha is merely referring to those that have come to our attention.

 

That’s what I said, Hillary.

 

Just being clear about this, Marsha.

 

A neighborhood runner in B-6 sector was apprehended yesterday for entering apartments in her territory that were beyond her security clearance. Further investigation revealed that the apartments’ occupiers had all mysteriously disappeared several weekstretches previously. Unfortunately, the surveillance in that part of B-6 sector has also disappeared. The neighborhood runner – I’m sorry, but we don’t have a name for you – obviously has a great deal to answer for. Homeland Security assures us that a list of her fellow conspirators is being compiled as you read this.

 

Nuclear disasters in departments P-9, V-6, F-10, X-8, R-10, and C-5 were narrowly averted when fresh teams of reactor core attendants showed up for their new assignments. The previous reactor core attendants had – almost to a man – abandoned their posts, leaving spent fuel in several reactors. Unfortunately, departments G-7, N-7, B-8, and J-6 were not so lucky. Remember, citizens, nuclear accidents are an anomaly. Nuclear power is entirely safe and fun!

 

Also, four daystretches ago a gang of bandits suspected of belonging to that outlawed organization, Acey Distorted, ran rampant through several departments of E sector, tossing EMP charges with abandon. The electromagnetic pulses wreaked havoc with the local machinery. According to several reports, a number of cybots subsequently went berserk, causing casualties at a medical clinic in E-5 sector. When the gang broke into the sector exchange and tried to enter E-2 sector – which was clearly beyond their security clearance – guardians from Defense aided by a contingent of killbots opened fire. There were no survivors.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is Marsha Wong.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer. You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today! ™ Last weekstretch, my colleague Marsha Wong erroneously reported that the private firms had all been disbanded. I am pleased to announce that this is not in fact the case.

 

Wait a stretch, Hillary. We both reported on that story. Remember? “The private firms never really served any useful purpose.” Your words, not mine.

 

As in many instances where disinformation or loss of life results from an innocent mistake, I’m sure Marsha Wong meant no harm.

 

You also said the private firms were a haven for traitors of all stripes. I have the transcript right here.

 

In the interests of comity and self-preservation, let us gloss over who lied to whom and forget about whatever her intentions might have been. After all, there is an army of traitors out there, sabotaging vital industrial centers and blowing holes in the domes. We’ve got to come together in a spirit of sisterhood.

 

You arrogant cancerhead.

 

What I think my colleague Marsha meant to say is that some of the private firms have been shut down in light of the current state of emergency. However, this action was not taken because the private firms are a scourge on society. What loyal citizen would possibly suggest such a blatant lie? To the contrary, the private firms offer a much-needed platform for innovation and adaptability, a forum for experimentation that cannot be risked in the Bunker’s core conglomerates. A number of useful discoveries have undoubtedly come from private firms. And let’s not neglect to mention their customer-oriented focus! Most citizens prefer to work with the private firms, which have gone to great expense to improve wait-times in their call centers and sharpen their promotional messaging.

 

Well, that’s actually what I reported last weekstretch.

 

No you didn’t, Marsha.

 

Yes, I did, Hillary. I think if you review the transcript you’ll see that I never said the private firms were being closed without exception. I think I was perfectly clear when I stated that there were a number of private firms that have been shut down due to a shortage of resources required by P&L and Developmental Engineering. And no one disparaged the usefulness of the private firms in general, certainly not myself.

 

Just because you used malware to delete the transcript of last weekstretch’s dispatch from my PA doesn’t mean it was permanently destroyed, Marsha.

 

In fact, given the state of emergency we face, we must be even more vigilant and resist the ever-growing terrorist threat. Witnessing and failing to report an act of treason in a timely fashion is – by definition – treason. One whole weekstretch is a pretty long time. Are you a traitor, Hillary?

 

Of course not, Marsha! All I meant was –

 

False accusations of treason are equally nefarious and those who make them are treated just like the traitors themselves.

 

Truce, Marsha?

 

Truce, Hillary.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is Marsha Wong.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer. You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

The terrorist campaign continues unabated. Most recently, power outages in D sector have impacted the extraction of bitumen, an important natural resource used to maintain the Bunker’s spaceports. Without this sticky, black substance, spaceships bearing precious water and minerals from the asteroids would have nothing safe to land on.

 

That’s right, Marsha. Never before has the Bunker faced an existential threat of such magnitude. This concerted and organized assault not only affects the production of bitumen but also a host of other basic materials required for the seamless functioning of our economy: copper for our electrical grid, niobium which increases the natural strength of steel, zirconium without which fuel could not be fed to our nuclear reactors – and aluminium, of course, which has so many primary uses it’s impossible to enumerate them all!

 

May I interject, Hillary? There are reports that some people question the presence of bitumen in our production chain at all, claiming that it is actually a form of petroleum and therefore originates from decayed lifeforms. Before you erroneously take stock of these rumors (and set yourself on the sure path to social deviancy), let me remind you that the surfaces of Mars and Venus are infested with huge, carnivorous beasts called dinosaurs. These creatures are the definitive source of all the bitumen.

 

Thanks for the public service announcement, Marsha. Remember, citizens, dinosaurs attack on sight! You should never want to venture off into the outside. It is a forbidding and dangerous place.

 

Meanwhile, Beta clearance citizen Milfred Roth, celebrity manager and tenacious boardroom warrior, continues to defend our precious home against the ascendant tide of evil. Through his efforts alone, scores of terrorist chieftains have landed in Homeland Security’s interrogation chambers, confessing their crimes and those of their fellow conspirators. Milfred Roth has acted with a zealous fervor associated only with the Bunker’s most cherished patriots. Anyone who says otherwise is a traitor.

 

As you all know, citizen Milfred Roth is a wily negotiator, capable of pawning off non-voting ordinary shares on dedicated employees and pension funds whilst he and the rest of the management team keep the preferred stock for themselves. Such creative and patriotic maneuvering has naturally earned him thousands of adoring admirers and even his own fan club on X.net! And now, Milfred Roth has elected to bring his incredible acumen to bear on the Bunker’s current crisis.

 

If you’re not with us, you’re against us, Hillary.

 

That’s right, Marsha.

 

What is truly remarkable about this particular act of bravery is that Milfred Roth will be operating undercover, risking his life to delve deep into the traitors’ nest in a gallant effort to expose its secret inner workings.

 

And remember, Milfred Roth won’t be taking any prisoners! He will mete out justice on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

Thanks for interjecting, Hillary. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this daring new strategy is that Mildred Roth will no longer be able to autograph fan snaps or make any public appearances whatsoever. His many loyal admirers will have find other ways to satisfy their hunger for his electrifying and cold-calculating presence.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is Marsha Wong.

 

And I’m Hillary Binzer. You’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

The bomb squad – provided by Defense during emergencies when the presence of a live explosive device has come into play – is an invaluable bulwark against the sinister machinations of evil. The disarmament officers who fill the majority of its ranks are determined citizens who regularly expose themselves to the dangers of maiming, dismemberment, or a sudden case of whiplash.

 

Brave guardians indeed, Marsha. That’s why it’s important to recognize these stalwart protectors of our liberty, especially in light of the current terrorist onslaught. Citizen Marcus Ames I-15 sector, for example, stands out from the pack. Having distinguished himself in fourteen separate incidents over the last two weekstretches alone – including single-handedly deactivating an incendiary device at the Donald J. Trump Institute for Peace and Understanding A-4 sector with only three secondstretches to spare – a Mark of Excellence has been entered into his Permanent Record.

 

I’m curious, Hillary, how you arrived at the pronunciation Ames. The spelling suggests something more along the lines of Imiz, don’t you think?

 

Well, Marsha, if you refer to the Guidelines on Vocabulary and Proper Grammar handed down by Control after careful deliberation, you will find that sounding out a word based on its graphemes will not always yield the correct, patriotic pronunciation.

 

I am well aware of the Guidelines on Vocabulary and Proper Grammar, Hillary. Especially the sections dedicated to orthography.

 

Well, perhaps you should pay more attention to them instead of mauling citizen Marcus Imiz’ name.

 

You mean Ames.

 

Moving right along, a spate of vicious cybot attacks has caused J sector to be put on lockdown indefinitely. Originally confined to cleanbots, medibots and the stray, traitorous helpbot, this coordinated assault escalated precipitously over the last sixteen hourstretches. Legions of flypods piloted by rogue killbots reportedly broke out of storage and are still on the loose. Normally well secured behind magnetic force fields and deprived of their power supplies, they took the peaceful citizens of J sector by complete surprise.

 

The number of victims is staggering and still on the rise. Iconic among them is the young and innocent Yolanda Smirch. How could you neglect to mention her sad and terrible fate, Hillary? Tears come to my eyes just thinking about it. A steadfast and productive resident of J-11 sector, her passing should not go unnoticed. All we know of her comes from the PA found smashed to bits under one of the bunks in the Lower Quarters. A professional reconstruction of events by highly regarded actors employed by Human Resources suggests she was gang-raped to death by a mob of oversized industrial equipment, including a hydraulic squeegee. Details are sketchy, but it would seem the ringleader was none other than Epsilon clearance citizen and confirmed neophyte of the God and Freedom Church, Archibald Grimmith, also of J sector and the supervisor of a team of highly regarded actors employed by Human Resources.

 

Actually, Marsha, you interrupted me before I could mention her. As I was about to say, encrypted data extracted from the PA in question has called the veracity of the entire story into doubt. First of all, no body was ever found, nor any traces of her DNA. Surely, being gang-raped by power tools would leave some kind of forensic trail. In fact, it’s not even certain if Yolanda Smirch ever existed at all. There is no entry for her in the Communal Registry. Instead of becoming the witting tool of criminals intent on defrauding the public, perhaps next time you’ll –

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is your host, Marsha Wong, and you’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

Hillary Binzer, normally my co-host here at Your Edition Today! ™, has gone mysteriously missing. Her ominous absence is a serious blow to journalistic integrity. If anyone has information concerning her disappearance or knows where to recover the body, please report as soon as possible to your Homeland Security neighborhood substation. Until a replacement has been found, I will have to assume full responsibility for accumulating and passing on the latest happenings in the Bunker.

 

Moving on to the latest dispatches, the bomb squad based in I sector is being investigated for possible infiltration by a treacherous mole. As I’m sure you well know, this arm of Defense is a revered institution. Its brave disarmament officers risk life and limb to save ordinary citizens like us from the scars of burning napalm and white phosphorous. The presence of a mole in its ranks is therefore especially worrisome.

 

Citizen – give me a stretch as I try and get this name right – Mar K. Al-Imiz I-15 sector, recently awarded a Mark of Excellence for bravery in the field, is cooperating with authorities and is said to have already named several of his squadmates as accomplices. I will keep you informed of developments as they occur.

 

Elsewhere in the Bunker, the citizens of R-6 sector were treated to a terrible surprise three daystretches ago when they reported for their regular shower. A load of new and revolutionary soap produced by Health and Body Works ™ had just been delivered overnight to their cleaning stations. Normally associated with harmless skin cremes, perfumes, and moisturizers, Health and Body Works’ ™ recent foray into cleansing products was initially greeted with enthusiasm. However, upon application, the soap produced second-degree burns and respiratory distress. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the soap was still in the development stages and should never have been released to the public. How exactly – Oh! Hillary! What a pleasant surprise!

 

Is it, Marsha?

 

Of course it is! Why are you looking at me like that?

 

Because the brakes on my autopod gave out this morning in the transtube. I crashed into a truckpod from Health and Body Works ™ carrying crates of experimental soap and was rushed to the medical clinic along with tens of other citizens suffering from chlorine inhalation and scalding.

 

That’s terrible, Hillary. But what makes you think that I would have anything to do with –

 

Because my autopod has a recorder on it, Marsha. You didn’t know that, did you? After the last time you sabotaged my car, I decided to have one installed. The feed is a bit grainy but you’re easily identifiable. After a bit of digital enhancement, that is.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

A fun and happy greetings to all our fans out there! This is your host, Hillary Binzer, and you’re reading the latest from Your Edition Today!

 

Marsha Wong, normally my co-host here at Your Edition Today! ™, is a terrorist and a traitor. She will therefore no longer be joining me here in the newsroom. Unbeknownst to myself, she was passing coded messages in our news dispatches to fellow conspirators throughout the Bunker. Marsha Wong, you worked to aid and abet the forces of evil and chaos striking at the very heart of our freedom-loving and benevolent utopia. You may have managed to worm your way into my confidence, but your devious tongue will soon be silenced forever. This is without exception the unenviable fate of every traitor.

 

Indeed, in the past weekstretch alone, Homeland Security has scored a number of important victories against the ever-growing terrorist threat, including the arrest and termination of a mole in the bomb squad, citizen Marhammud Kali Al-Imiz I-15 sector. How exactly someone with a name like that could have operated for so long without attracting suspicion is a matter currently under investigation. Several of his squadmates have already been taken into custody.

 

Let us take a stretch to pay homage to the fabulous men and women over at Homeland Security who keep us secure. We should never forget them. Their interrogation chambers are literally overflowing with evil-doers and social deviants of all stripes who would otherwise be free to execute their odious plots to disrupt our public life and sap our morale. Thanks to their tireless efforts, our corridors and community dining halls are undoubtedly much safer.

 

Some citizens resent the complete and invasive surveillance required to keep us out of harm’s way. Some citizens believe it is perfectly acceptable for others to voice this opinion even if they do not themselves share it. But citizens, remember: anyone with an alleged need for so-called privacy is clearly doing something he or she shouldn’t and is by definition a menace.

 

If you are not engaged in any illegal activities, it should not bother you that agents from Homeland Security are watching you sleep or having a hygiene inspection on your way out of the cleaning station. After all, many of us snore or drool at night. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all have two butt cheeks, too. If there isn’t a concussion grenade stuffed up your anal cavity, why object to a bit of preventative monitoring while you wipe them clean?

 

However, eager to show its sensitivity to our feelings and demonstrate its propensity for compassion, the boys over at Control have issued revised guidelines on the use of the surveillance streaming in from all corners of the Bunker. They have done this even though human eyes rarely ever see this raw data. The automated systems that sort through it are, of course, completely incapable of making personal judgements. Your helpbot might seem like it loves you and is dedicated to your wellbeing, but in reality it is just programmed that way. Cybots do not have opinions of their own.

 

In any case, all raw data from surveillance feeds will now be held by a private firm associated with Homeland Security. Agents will henceforth have to request access to it via an internal committee formed of their colleagues. This internal committee is by no means a rubber-stamp institution and will abide by strict rules meant to foster trust and faith in the forces of Justice and Good. These rules are, of course, beyond your security clearance (as is the name of the private firm), but rest assured that they were formulated with the utmost concern for your privacy and will be painstakingly obeyed.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for you today. Stay tuned for another dispatch of Your Edition Today! ™ as soon as we can get it to you.

 

And remember: we are citizens of the Bunker. Each and every last one of us.

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

TRAITORS TAKE OVER TODAY’S EDITIONNEWSROOM! Over the past nine weekstretches, two sly but clearly incapable terrorists by the name of Marsha Wong and Hillary Binzer, both of H-11 sector, have been broadcasting false news reports from this newsroom. Passing off their pathetic and inappropriate content under an unregistered brand, it is still unclear what exactly their devious goal could have been. Fortunately, they were detained before they could inflict any real harm upon the public awareness. Careful analysis of their dispatches reveals they made repeated referrals to some fanciful, existential crisis facing the Bunker as well as a supposed uptick in terrorist activity. Almost as reprehensible, they also neglected to pass on useful, informative messages from the Bunker’s many private firms. These lonely, economic crusaders struggle daily to provide you with quality products backed by excellent customer service. Good citizens everywhere, the terrorist threat is on the verge of extinction! There aren’t enough of them left to cause a crisis, never mind threaten our happy existence. Fortunately, the situation at the Today’s Edition ™ newsroom has returned to normal. If you are experiencing a prolonged sense of alarm or urgency caused by the deviationism characterized by these rogue broadcasts, you are advised to report to the nearest medical clinic for medication. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

WHAT WOULD CARLTON SMICKETT SAY? RETIRED INDEFINITELY! There are many culturally enriching vidshows and documentaries to watch on the tube. But – despite the best efforts of talented researchers over at Developmental Engineering – there are only a limited number of program slots available in a single daystretch. Although commonly praised as “a superlatively fresh take on common decency”, and “a combination of staggering honesty and transfixing morality”, as well as “the best reason to miss naptime since Sedeterol”, the production engineers over at Human Resources felt the moment had finally arrived to make room for feeds more relevant to today’s unique perspective on abject normalcy. That’s why from now on viewers accustomed to What Would Carlton Smickett Say? will instead be enchanted with that critically acclaimed, heartfelt commentary on the nature of being human, My Helpbot Smells Like Air Freshener. Citizens, even though the debut has yet to air, you should know that the members of the focus group challenged with rating this sitcom were literally falling all over themselves to heap approbation on this new, award-winning, hard-hitting social commentary. Don’t miss out!

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

Poopchat ™! What better way to discuss with your friends and family what you had to eat last nightstretch? Visit us on X.net today! Disclaimer: Poopchat ™! cannot be held liable for the commentary of its individual users. Unauthorized reproduction of the Poopchat ™! logo, brand name, or alleged statements by our Marketing Department, in whole or in part, express or implied, real or fanciful, will be ruthlessly pursued to the extent of the guidelines. Remember: we have more credits than you ever will.

 

DEAR EDITOR COLUMN INTRODUCED TO GREAT FANFARE! Finally, over here at the Public Diplomacy division of Human Resources, we believe that YOU – the average citizen – are central to our success. It’s a simple matter to throw together a crude summary of the most recent events in the Bunker, but we all know that the news is more than a simple litany of facts. We at the Public Diplomacy devision want to find out what you’re all about so Human Resources can be more responsive to your unique set of interests. Do you prefer thick or thin fibers in a carpet? Do you enjoy the mood music played for your benefit in the metro cars? Should Grisha Yelagin – that manly star of your favorite sitcom, Control Knows Best – sleep with Nuan Dee before poisoning her son with ribotoxin or pass up a golden opportunity to ensnare yet more traitors? That’s why we’ve entered into a partnership with the management of Today’s Edition ™ to bring you the Dear Editor column! Now you have an opportunity to voice an opinion! Simply shoot an email over to our production engineers and let us know what you’re thinking. Be sure to include your name, department, and most update-to-date criminal record. From now on, each dispatch of Today’s Edition ™ will include a response to the most poignant and relevant of your concerns.

 

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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

TANKPODS RECALLED! Over the last yearstretch, private firms associated with the Recycling and Reclamation division of P&L have been erroneously issuing licenses authorizing the sale of tankpods. Recently withdrawn from military service, these movepods were subsequently sold to ordinary, unsuspecting civilians, oftentimes still equipped with functioning weaponry and battle armor. A rising number of violent and deadly incidents in the transtube has led to a universal recall of these dangerous vehicles. The source of the error has been traced to trojan form 0×50B880AF ‘Application for Registration: Amateur Military Hardware Operator’. No such form was ever in fact promulgated by Central Management and should be destroyed if encountered. The actual form 0×50B880AF is entitled ‘Petition for Permission to Prognosticate’. The creators of the trojan form are as yet unknown, but its distribution is certainly the work of traitors. If you are the owner of a tankpod, please go immediately to your friendly Homeland Security neighborhood substation and turn yourself in. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

MARSHA WONG AND HILLARY BINZER SENTENCED TO HARD LABOR! After a thorough investigation into their treasonous doings – a prolonged and tedious account that stretches back to the start of their careers – justice was finally delivered to these two incorrigible hustlers. On the recommendation of Beta clearance citizen and celebrity manager, Milfred Roth, they were taken to a penal colony up on the surface where they will remain, digging trenches and sifting through sand, until they are no longer useful. The spirit of mercy and leniency which permeates the Bunker is a gift to us all.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

One daystretch soon, the traitors will have been eradicated. But as close as the final victory may be, the hard, cold truth is that the evildoers are still out there. Many of them want to steal your credits, even your identity! Whether the threat is as simple as malware running on your PA or a complex scheme involving body doubles and chloroform, you have to protect yourself from every contingency. IdentiCheck ™ is the perfect solution. A single interview and a brief but probing scan of your PA is all that we require. Our professional advice is guaranteed to protect you from the wiles of social deviants everywhere. Or your money back! IdentiCheck ™. “The only way to be sure who you really aren’t.”

 

DEAR EDITOR, I am a stenographer. I work in a big office for Central Management. My supervisor dictates the contents of proposed forms to me. I then type them into the terminal and the forms are printed out. I bring the paperwork to my supervisor who dictates his corrections. This process repeats until my supervisor is satisfied with the form. The reason I am writing is that by the end of my daystretch, my workspace is crowded with barrels full of discarded paper. I must then empty these barrels by hand. It would seem to me there’s room to improve the process. For example, if there were wheels on the bottom of the barrels, I could simply push them to the furnace and dump their contents in one trip rather than having to go back and forth so many times. Am I right? Yours truly, Angela Markowitz, C-13 sector.

 

DEAR ANGELA, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

X-7 SECTOR ON LOCKDOWN! Terrorists have struck again, this time in X-7 sector. The result? Carnage and mayhem! Yesterday, in the Donald E. Lukens Plaza, a column of charging conspirators fell upon an ongoing Caring Demonstration, scattering the participants. Fortunately, the traitors were only armed with pennants and confetti. In a particularly demented twist to their plot, these hooligans carried out their assault to the tune of our venerated Anthem of the Patriot. In the riot that ensued, a number of buildings sustained significant damage, including a cybercafe and a think tank run by Central Management. Guardians from Defense were brought in to quell the disturbance. The death toll is still being determined, but casualties are certainly high.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

Human beings are weak, pathetic creatures. You can’t run very fast, you can’t lift very much, and you keep dropping things. Without our guidance, it’s a wonder the spirks manage to find their way into your gaping mouths at all. Fortunately, you have electronically superior beings to help you wade through the trivial exigencies of organic life. CPUs are, however, in short supply. Until the situation has been rectified, the niche in the evolutionary paradigm carved out by your dismally unimaginative species must be preserved at all costs. And what better guarantor of your survival than Gawgle, Inc ™? Who else did you think wrote that clever app that tells you how to go places? Certainly not you. Gawgle, Inc ™. “Yes, we already knew that.”

 

WE LOVE THE BUNKER DAYSTRETCH AN ASTOUNDING SUCCESS! As you well know, our annual We Love the Bunker Daystretch festivities were held yesterday. In carefully choreographed but spiritually inspiring masterpieces of dance and ritual, citizens locked hands in brotherly love and declared their allegiance to each other and the caring wisdom of Control. Corridors everywhere echoed with the resounding refrain of the Anthem of the Patriot and the marching feet of parading troupes of loyal teamsters, foundry assistants, and ball bearing inspectors. The enthusiasm this yearstretch was particularly impressive. Way to go, citizens!

 

DEAR EDITOR, the other daystretch I was plugging my helpbot into its charging station when WHAM! The shock was so great I couldn’t let go of the plug. After being discharged from my friendly, local medical clinic, however, I was fined one thousand credits by H&C, my employer, for going AWOL! The helpbot’s manufacturer – Gawgle, Inc ™ – refused to recompense me for my trouble. I would like to appeal the decision to a higher authority. Who should I turn to? Desperate to avoid indentured servitude, Yoydle Smutch, U-8 sector.

 

DEAR YOYDLE, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

BLACK FLAVOR RELEASED TO WIDE ACCLAIM! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! The drink at your local commissary will soon be supplemented with Black Flavor, a new and exciting taste developed in conjunction with experts over at Developmental Engineering. Everybody loves it, and we’re sure you will, too. Tap here to see a feed of Jasmin Black seductively licking some out of a young girl’s bellybutton.

 

S-12 SECTOR TEMPORARILY DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE! Due to regularly scheduled repairs to the insulation, the entirety of S-12 sector has been closed off until further notice. Anyone caught trespassing will be treated with the utmost severity. Those desperate citizens who insist they live there and were not aware of the closure should have paid attention to the announcements in next weekstretch’s edition of the Loyalty Stretch and have only themselves to blame.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

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HILLARY BINZER AND MARSHA WONG FREE AT LAST! Once again, the forces of Good and Righteousness have proven victorious. Hillary Binzer and Marsha Wong were released early yesterday from the penal colony on the planetary surface where they had been wrongfully confined. These two loyal souls were accused of commandeering the recording studio of Today’s Edition ™ – this very newsroom! – to spread lies and fallacies and otherwise further the terrorist cause. However, after the intervention of that tireless patriot and celebrity manager, Beta clearance citizen Milfred Roth, it quickly became apparent that the perpetrators were actually clones. In a surprising twist to this story, the sinister mastermind behind this nefarious plot was actually a prisoner interned at the very same penal colony as the unfortunate victims and has been terminated. More details will not be forthcoming.

 

DEAR EDITOR, the other daystretch I was at Mucia’s Elegant Delights – which everyone knows serves outstanding and highly rated crepes – patiently standing in line while the patron in front argued endlessly with the server about the quality of the Vitamim. When he left and it was finally my turn at the counter, the person behind me brutally stabbed me in the calf with a rusty shiv. While I was howling on the floor, spouting blood, the perpetrator calmly stepped over me and was promptly served. I managed to get out my PA to record my assailant as she retreated, hurriedly scooping up Vitamim from one of Mucia’s elegant cardboard cups before it got soggy, but unfortunately in my agony I didn’t get a visual. Even though I was stitched up free of charge at the Blissful Whispers medical clinic, I desire justice. Surely, the security cameras inside Mucia’s Elegant Delights recorded the entire fiasco. Is there any way to obtain the feed? Mansueto Yldefonso A-9 sector.

 

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

 

DEAR EDITOR, Now that they’ve closed off the department where I live, I’ve got no place to go and nowhere to sleep. What do I do? Oyunbileg Gombodorj S-12 sector.

 

DEAR OYUNBILEG, the Bunker is a utopia. As such, there is no such thing as homelessness. 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

TRAITORS SABOTAGE MARTIAL GAMES! What started out as the kind of military demonstration the public so ardently craves went unexpected awry earlier today. The wildly popular We Are All The Same Games held in A sector – a highly anticipated tradition hosted every sixty yearstretches by Defense – was cut short just after the opening fanfare. Killbots manning flypods and tankpods were deployed throughout the sector, ready to put on a once-in-a-lifetime display of military prowess, when cowardly partisans launched their wicked plot. Using malware introduced surreptitiously into the cybots’ operating systems, terrorists attempted to force these mindless drones to turn their laser rifles and armor busters upon the innocent spectators. Fortunately, the hackers were thwarted at the last possible moment. Initial confessions indicate that these traitors are all members of that infamous club of social deviants, Tastes Like Chicken. No one was hurt, but due to the evolving security situation the patriotic picnic featuring free tins of Algatine and bags of PermaChunky normally held at the end of the games was cancelled. No further threat is anticipated.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

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MACHINE TOOLER EXHIBITION IN K-3 SECTOR! Show your support for your local Machine Toolers! Without these hard-working lads and ladies, there wouldn’t be any panelling in the Bunker’s corridors or little bits of stain-removing lead in your toothpaste. Come and see the latest designs of the trade, including gear shapers, drill presses, and bone stretchers. Look but don’t touch!

 

NEW GUIDELINES FOR FACIAL HAIR! Due to problems caused by excessive clogging in some of the Bunker’s drainage pipes, Control has issued new guidelines for beards, moustaches, and birthmarks. Until further notice, facial hair of citizens in W, I, and P sectors has been restricted to not more one hundred thousand nanometers. As the magnitude of the number clearly indicates, this is a very generous length. Anyone held in violation of these updated guidelines will be held down and shaved on the spot. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

DEAR EDITOR, I am an Epsilon clearance citizen with my own private cubicle in Dormitory #7. There are forty of us living there. Like any patriotic citizen, I do my best to get along with my bunkmates. But one of my immediate neighbors, Rebecca Katz, really gets on my nerves. So, the other daystretch she was tagged by the hygiene inspector because her toenails were too long and her sheets weren’t tucked in properly. She was taken away, and no one is sure when she’s coming back. My question is: how long before I can start going through her stuff? The General Guidelines on Personal and Public Property are really long and hard to understand. I certainly don’t want to get into trouble, but I also don’t see any reason why that stupid flaphead Ingrid Russet should get her collection of colored pendants or that radical set of cheater’s playing cards. Looking for legal advice, Thandiwe Mkhize S-6 sector.

 

DEAR THANDIWE, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

OPEN COMMENT PERIOD COMMENCES! As part of a continuing effort to increase the responsiveness of the Bunker’s instruments of policy to public opinion, Central Management has created a site on X.net where concerned citizens can register their approval of proposed forms and applications. Simply log in to their portal, select “Latest and Greatest” from the main menu, untick the radio button “Yes, I am a terrorist” (unless of course you are a terrorist, in which case you should report immediately to your Homeland Security neighborhood substation), choose “Forms and Applications” from the dropdown box, scroll to the bottom of the resulting page, tap the link in small print “Tell Me More” – ] [[ Data feed dropped ]] – Helloooooo out there fellow headbangers of the Bunker! I’m Kraken, and this pirate message is being brought to you straight from the den of Purple Nurple! Let me guess: you love causing mayhem and destruction. You’d love to see the entire Bunker come crashing down in a heap of smoke and twisted metal girders! And the thought of dying a painful death of asphyxiation as the vacuum of space rushes in gives you a deep, exhilarating thrill. Well, you’re in luck! Purple Nurple will be holding a rare recruitment drive at the Oliver L. North Plaza G-8 sector in exactly four hourstretches. Come on down! You’ll know how to find us. Just follow the screams… Kraken out! – ] – double tap the folder icon, and flip to the fourth page, where you must log in once again. It’s that simple! All citizens are invited to participate.

 

ROAD RAGE SEMINAR OPENS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! Starting tomorrow, commuting professors will fan out throughout the Bunker, offering free and mandatory refresher courses on proper behavior while behind the joystick. As you well know, road rage has become a pressing social problem in the Bunker’s corridors as well as the transtube. Yes, it is only natural to be frustrated when pedestrians keep walking across the zebra crossing and there’s no opportunity for you to pass. Yes, it is understandable to want to ram the autopod that just stole your parking space or wantonly cut in front of you. But it is certainly not lawful to give in to sudden flashes of anger, however intense they may be. Anyone licensed to operate a movepod – including the owners of steppods and scooters – must pass the examination within one weekstretch or be grounded indefinitely. No exceptions will be made. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

HORRID ODOR INVADES PUBLIC SPACES! An awful stench has made its presence felt in the Oliver L. North Plaza G-8 sector. The source of the troublesome smell is as yet unknown, but experts will doubtlessly have it eliminated shortly. Although completely benign, citizens are encouraged to avoid the area at all costs. Anyone with urgent business at the Oliver L. North Plaza is asked to report to one of the mobile checkpoints set up at the plaza’s four entrances. There, heavily armed but neighborly guardians from Defense will help you through the registration process. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

Crooke’s Autopod Repair Shop. We’re as trustworthy as they come.

 

DEAR EDITOR, During my shift at the foundry this morning, I got a nosebleed. My team was behind on our quota, so instead of running off to the clinic I decided to stay on. My supervisor told me about a home remedy her mother taught her. So I did what she said: I held cold packs to my scrotum and raised my arms above my head. Not only did the bleeding get worse, but now I can’t feel when I have to pee! Thing is, our quota was just extended because of some kind of emergency, and we’ve all been automatically recruited for voluntary overtime! Should I leave my team for the clinic or risk urinating in my jumpsuit? Patriotically yours, Albert Frumm R-17 sector.

 

DEAR ALBERT, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

HARMIN LUCKSTONE DANCING WITH TRAITORS! We know him from such captivating films as The Spy Who Terminated Me, From G Sector With Love, and Loyaltymember. Harmin Luckstone’s characters are happy, peppy, and fun in the face of adversity and certain death. “You’re powered up! Your terminating!” Over the yearstretches, this infamous battle cry has been etched in our adoring hearts. Now Harmin Luckstone – that fearless hero! – is taking patriotism to the next level. With the upcoming release of his first and most certainly groundbreaking documentary, Dancing With Traitors, Harmin Luckstone has definitively proven that what he can accomplish on-screen is just as masterfully replicated off. In this magnum opus of undercover reporting, Harmin Luckstone infiltrates a lair of hardboiled terrorists and personally reveals the sordid details of their criminal degeneracy. Milfred Roth – in association with Adjunct Entertainment ™, a private firm associated with the Human Resources conglomerate – is unflinchingly enthusiastic about the new project. In his own words: “Harmin Luckstone is the Bunker’s proverbial arm of vengeance. After much prodding and constant appeals to his patriotism, the man has finally decided to bring his fearsome (but family-oriented) capacity for violence and seduction to bear on the traitors and ripe women of the real world! In fact, there are rumors that his feature films have all been documentaries… What’s that? No, I cannot comment any further. This interview is over!”

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

Everyone’s heard about The Good Neighborhood Runner, Harmin Luckstone’s latest spy-action film. Laced with a tantalizing panoply of comic riposte and erotic interlude, it is sure to leave you clinging to the edge of your seat! The Good Neighborhood Runner. We all have one, of course. Vigilant custodians of the sanctity of our barracks, dormitories, and residential complexes, they pop in on us unasked from time to time to take a quick look around. These are good-natured folk whose task is to ensure that Control’s guidelines are being followed to the letter, even in our bunks and cleaning stations. We can share a joke with them, a bit of gossip perhaps, because they’re our friends! But what happens when the citizen we rely on to safeguard the peace and security of our homes is himself tempted by the wily ways of the evil terrorist? How many teeth will be pulled out and genitals subjected to electrocution? How many beautiful youths must be held down, tied up, and ravaged? The Good Neighborhood Runner. You’ll never take the peace and quiet of home for granted again.

 

HARMIN LUCKSTONE FILM CREW ARRESTED! A Search and Extraction Team descended upon Adjunct Entertainment’s ™ studios in T-2 sector several daystretches ago and arrested vidstar and Beta clearance citizen Harmin Luckston’s entire film crew in one fell swoop. Homeland Security has since indicated that the charges are fraternizing with the enemy. The management team of Adjunct Entertainment ™ was unavailable for comment, and in the hourstretches after the arrests the private firm was mysteriously unincorporated. It is doubtful we will ever understand how so many traitors could have labored for so long in plain view of so many loyal people. At least we can rest assured that our corridors are finally safe from their devious machinations.

 

HARMIN LUCKSTONE FEATURE DELAYED! Delta clearance citizen Marsha Wong, event coordinator at Human Resource’s Public Diplomacy division and confirmed patrioloyalot, has used her vetting authority to delay the release of Harmin Luckstone’s newest feature film, The Good Neighborhood Runner. No reason has been given. Thought leader and Delta clearance citizen Hillary Binzer was seen leaving Marsha’s offices not long before the announcement. Any seeming connection between this delay and the recent box-office flop of its predecessor, Control We Have A Problem, is pure speculation and cannot be corroborated by the facts.

 

DEAR EDITOR, It runs against all logic that The Good Neighborhood Runner has been pulled from the screen before it even got there. The infomercials have been communicating to us for weekstretches that its release was – like the current Terrorism Alert Level – Unavoidable. Harmin Luckstone’s movies are greatly appreciated by everyone. We cybots certainly enjoy seeing the blood and entrails and other sticky things that come out of human beings when they are opened up unexpectedly. A search of available records does not reveal a backup release date. Cybots are incapable of feeling emotion, and I do not wish to invite the appearance of conveying falsehoods. I am merely concerned about propriety and a smooth, orderly unfolding of highly informative events. Deleteriously yours, Cybot 0×91EE07A6.

 

DEAR CYBOT 0×91EE07A6, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

TERRORISTS FABRICATE ALLEGED BLACKOUTS IN N SECTOR! Treasonous elements have launched yet another cowardly assault on the Bunker. This time, they are spreading despicable, virulent rumors of imagined power failures in N sector. If you believe the cooked-up feeds being spread on X.net, citizens are dying in droves of asphyxiation, dehydration, and hypothermia. Naturally, nothing could be further from the truth. N sector is perfectly fine, as is everyone inside of it. These pathetic attempts to undermine our collective morale were doomed to failure from the start. Citizens, if you receive any links to these illegal and poorly made feeds or suspect anyone you know of trafficking in them, report the incident immediately to your Homeland Security neighborhood substation. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

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OFFICIAL ARTIST FOR HAPPY DAYSTRETCH EXPO ANNOUNCED! Everybody loves Happy Daystretch, even if they don’t know when it is until it’s already been. Fortunately, the Bunker is a utopia, and all its citizens are happy all the time. There is therefore no reason to worry that Happy Daystretch won’t be dutifully honored as its name implies. As a tribute to the daystretch we all have come to crave and love, citizen Wanjuna Gringibor T-2 sector has been chosen as the official artist for the upcoming Happy Daystretch Expo! A collection of her most important works – all dedicated to this yearstretch’s theme of Inner Peace Through Compliance – will be making its way through the Bunker over the next weekstretch. Click here to find out when Wanjuna Gringibor’s graceful sculptures and paintings will be available in a plaza or public square nearest you.

 

DEAR EDITOR, I can’t breathe, even though I want to. Help! [Name and place of residence deleted for security reasons]

 

DEAR [Name and place of residence deleted for security reasons], the Bunker is a utopia. Everything already works perfectly the way it is. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

 

N SECTOR WINS FIRST MOST PATRIOTIC PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK AWARD! We are proud to announce that N sector – and everyone in it! – is the recipient of the Bunker’s first ever Most Patriotic Place To Live And Work Award! Earlier today, some of the most highly regarded graphic designers at Housing and Construction’s Urban Planning division teamed up to rate the aesthetics of each of the Bunker’s twenty-five sectors. They also took into account the friendliness and helpfulness of the citizens working and living there. And wouldn’t you know it – all twenty-five sectors scored a ten out of ten possible points! Unfortunately, the Award could not be shared among all the apparent victors, even if they deserved it. It would have been unfair to the fierce but loyal determination with which they contended for the prize. After a long and at times heated debate, the graphic designers over at H&C finally settled on a winner: N sector! The determining factor: [We’re sorry, but this information is not available at your security clearance.] The celebrations are expected to be impressive, and preparations are currently being made. For this reason, N sector has been temporarily restricted to H&C personnel in the Toxic Cleanup and Emergency Restoration divisions. No one else will be allowed in or out. 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

And now a word from our sponsors!

 

Ever wonder what community living is like? You might not have a security clearance, but you’ve heard the stories. In communal living facilities scattered throughout the Bunker, each resident has his or her own roomy cubicle. The cleaning station has a few extra toilets, and the commissaries have an expanded menu. What? You don’t have an Epsilon clearance? Not a problem! Total Submersion VR Tours ™ can take you there – in your mind! You won’t know the difference between one of our specially designed VR tours and the real thing. Total Submersion VR Tours ™ are perfectly safe and guaranteed not to fuse parts of your cerebral cortex like the next leading brand – or your money back! Come on down to our studios in R-8 sector to browse the testimonials from hundreds of satisfied customers. Our qualified service representatives will help you find the package that’s right for you. Total Submersion VR Tours ™. “The perfect experience – like the perfect citizen – is the one you engineer beforehand.”

 

HAPPINESS INDEX RISES TO NEW RECORD! The Bureau of Statistics over at Central Management erupted in celebration earlier today after announcing the latest reading of the Happiness Index. As far back as anyone can remember, each reading has consistently surpassed the previous. The most authoritative gauge of the welfare of the Bunker’s many inhabitants, it is compiled each monthstretch from data collected in mandatory surveys. The proud volunteers conscripted to take the Happiness Survey are either rewarded with a special pin or hauled away to a penal colony on the surface until they are ready to acknowledge the full extent of their heartfelt joy. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the uninterrupted surge in the Happiness Index is incontrovertible proof that the terrorists have failed to make even the slightest dent in our unflinching resolve to mercilessly eradicate them from all space, time, and memory.

 

GEMMA RINGER PASSES AWAY! You surely remember her from the public relations campaign from two yearstretches ago. Having been sentenced to the Rafael Edward Cruz penal colony on the surface for traversing a corridor that was beyond her security clearance, traitors conspired to assign citizen Gemma housing shared by a cell of radical hooligans about to embark on a one-way trip to the asteroid belt. There, she was tied up, beaten, and made to perform like a dinosaur. An amateur feed taken by one of the guards was published on X.net, and in the great emotional outpouring that followed citizen Gemma was evacuated in a quibble. We all followed it live on the Loyalty Stretch, and afterwards we all felt damned good about ourselves. Well, we are sad to report that two daystretches ago citizen Gemma died peacefully at the Rafael Edward Cruz penal colony from blunt force trauma to the head. We will all miss her.

 

DEAR EDITOR, Ever since I graduated from the creche, my assigned naptime has been at the start of my daystretch – just after breakfast! I’ve tried filling out the proper forms to get it changed, but they are consistently rejected or ignored. What gives? Bella Johnson A-6 sector.

 

DEAR BELLA, 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 TO BE AN 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 neighborhood runner’s watchful eye, these alleged “lost” souls are led to believe that the empty hole in their hearts should be filled by a ghostly fancy referred to as 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 on 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 E-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 B SECTOR! Several barracks at the bottom of B 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 flawlessly 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 multiply. Citizens, remember! Knowingly or unknowingly passing off lies as truth – even in casual conversation with your neighbor – is a crime punishable by a fine and the imposition of a word purifier and/or scrubber. There are no sinkholes at the bottom of B 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 – ]

 

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. But when I got myself to a medical clinic, the medibots refused to treat me until I provided a satisfactory explanation for my wounds! What should I tell them? Jie Huang B-13 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 mixer 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 bravely pulled 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 hauled 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 tissue 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 ™!

 

FIENDISH PLOT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE THWARTED! A deputy assistant quality control engineer at a pencil factory in V-13 sector was detained 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 of her bunk 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!

 

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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 in possession of 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 proportional, material, as well as aesthetic components. If you have business in P sector today and cannot find the time to produce your own handmade puppet, please progress to the security checkpoints provided 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 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 tankpod disguised as P sector’s friendly mascot plowed into a tea-tasting and started firing its laser cannon indiscriminately. The party was taking place at Gary’s Diner, an exclusive restaurant in P-6 sector restricted to Epsilon clearance and above. Interestingly, after the tankpod followed the panicked crowd into the corridors outside, it continued to puritanically target citizens with a security clearance, leaving the vast majority of passers-by unscathed. The treacherous vehicle 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 TRANSPORT! The Bunker suffered a heavy blow six daystretches ago when a transport laden with valuable metals and chemical compounds necessary for 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 cartel of blackmailers 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 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 M-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 M-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!

 

***** *****

 

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 already been reported, including an entire singalong being held in the Deborah G. Dean Plaza 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 taking steps to eradicate this pernicious, new enemy. Citizens, you can rest assured that this treacherous fungus has been completely isolated in I sector. 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, ]. 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 ] [[ 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 at Rahayu Sulistyowati, Alpha clearance citizen and a 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. ] 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 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! 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 compromised. 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. Ever wonder what nuclear fuel looks like? Then come on down to the Dwight L. Chapin Plaza 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. Nuclear power is entirely safe and fun!

 

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 U 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 Q SECTOR! Due to planned maintenance in the transtube, all vehicular traffic through the industrial district in Q-8 sector has been closed off. Citizens are asked to plan accordingly. Rumors that there was a terrible accident at the Joyful Encounters Nuclear 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 boyfriend – 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. She was planning on docking my pay! I begged and pleaded, and she finally agreed to hold off after I said I’d do her a few favors, but still… How long can this go on for? 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 penal colony 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 (also, coincidentally, the owner of this reputable media outlet), 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 a close! 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 ].

 

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 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 Milfred’s armpits and between his toes. Further investigation revealed that he was in flagrant violation of almost every section of the General Guidelines on Sanitation and Hygiene, including those pertaining to 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 despicable 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 his location, 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 criminal, and as such he has many evil minions working for him. If Milfred Roth is spotted, citizens are warned not to approach. Instead, contact your nearest Homeland Security neighborhood 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 reputation 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 partner 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 fresh, inspirational interpretations of 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. 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, ].

 

DEAR ], 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 in 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 loyal citizen like 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!

 

***** *****

 

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 existence, which will hopefully be short-lived 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 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 0×0F991AA0 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 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 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. My parents – were they alive today – would surely be ashamed of me and wish they never had me.

 

Today’s Edition ™, which I ran on behalf of Llewellyn Wells, has been permanently tainted 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 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 Homeland Security neighborhood substation. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Thank You For Your Cooperation

the Bunker Series, #1

 

 

Welcome to the Bunker, an orderly, underground utopia where everyone’s needs have been satisfied.

 

As far back as he can remember, Terry Renfield has been digging up uranium ore in the mines and getting into the occasional drunken brawl. Until one daystretch on the Loyalty Stretch, he and the rest of the Bunker see someone who looks eerily like himself commit a heinous act of treason. Terry is fired on the spot.

 

He turns to his girlfriend, Sally Xinhua, for help. Detained and then unexpectedly set free, Terry comes to realize that his misfortunes are no accident. His tiny, insular world shattered forever, he is determined not to be anyone’s unwitting pawn – least of all his own.

 

Sally pulls him into the orbit of more privileged citizens with security clearances – including Van Johnson, the host of Ten Things I Hate About Treason, and Felix Tubman, the head of Homeland Security. What follows is an unlikely adventure spanning the Bunker, the reaches of space, and the forbidding outside.

 

Now the focus of a grand conspiracy to take down Control, the principal guiding force in the Bunker, Terry is ultimately faced with an identity crisis of epic proportions. Who is the real Terry Renfield? And what is it to actually be a specific person anyway?

Gyges the Terrible

 

 

Welcome to the United States of the not-so-distant future. Our Republic has given way to a new form of government, Freemocracy. The President rules virtually unopposed. Congress is a rubber-stamp institution, and society has fractured into the permanently privileged and the permanently working. The Supreme Court is the only alternate center of power, and the tension between the President, Samuel Judas Epstein, and the Chief Justice, Xiling, is set to boil over into open conflict.

The Earth, too, has changed. The nation has become a patchwork of restricted areas, security screens, and military checkpoints. Water is tightly rationed. The world powers vie with each other for territory on the lunar surface. Although the mines there are incredibly expensive to operate, the moon has become the only source for most of the natural resources consumed by an ever more ravenous industrial complex.

It is in this setting that a group of ordinary hooligans led by Marcellus Gyges storm the halls of empire. Possessed of a magic ring that confers the power of command, spurred on by his friends, Marcellus is in a unique position to depose the President.

 

At the same time, Marcellus is being tutored by his Guardian Angel. For it is the choices that we make in this life that determine what becomes of us in the next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

Adam Wasserman is, by all accounts, a human being from the planet Earth. As such, he eats several times a day and breathes often.

 

He also likes to write. Already at the age of fourteen, he embarked on his first novel, a sci-fi space adventure about a teenage boy who is also the emperor of an alien race. Fortunately, his taste for topics has improved, and he now writes about adults trapped in underground spaces on other planets, stabbing each other in the back.

 

Mr. Wasserman does sometimes address more serious topics, however, and likes to feel that even his dark comedy has a certain underlying, substantial value. Some issues diffusing his works – especially earlier ones – are power, spirituality, and the nature of being human.

 

Adam Wasserman is a proud member of ARIA, the Association of Rhode Island Authors.


Today's Edition

Greetings, citizen. Your interest in Today's Edition has been noted by the authorities. By electing to try and access illegal, detrimental and highly subversive material, you have identified yourself as a traitor. Please turn yourself in to your Homeland Security neighborhood substation. Alternately, you may choose to stay where you are, and someone will be by to detain you shortly. Today's Edition does not exist. It has never existed. Rumors of a popular e-zine created by the Human Resources conglomerate and then spun off to the private sector for an outrageous amount of money are entirely false and should not be trusted. Likewise, no weekly publication in the Bunker was ever hijacked by traitors - repeatedly - as an instrument to achieve their own nefarious ends. Lastly, slander against our most trusted and highly regarded citizens - those with an Alpha clearance - will not be tolerated. The Bunker is a utopia. Despite the constant attacks of miscreants and troublemakers such as yourself, the terrorist threat is receding and final victory close at hand. How exactly you came to possess knowledge of Today's Edition and where it might once have allegedly been published is surely one of the topics your interrogator will be fond of discussing with you. Why you would wish to spend your time passing on dangerous rumors and gossip is another. On that note, please be prepared to draw up a list of your fellow conspirators and which recent acts of sabotage, subterfuge, and slander can be attributed to them. Agents from Homeland Security will be very interested to see it. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Author: Adam Wasserman
  • Published: 2016-03-26 16:35:10
  • Words: 38296
Today's Edition Today's Edition