“Oh will you relax.” He said releasing her arm. “Please take a seat.”
“Relax. Relax he says. Doctor Death takes you into a locked room and he wants you to relax”
Dr Fielding laughed.
“I’m sorry about the room and the fact I had to lead you here.” He said. “But you can’t talk about the Sponsors out there. They will hear you.”
“So, I don’t care. It is the law to have a brand but I’m not in bed with them like you are.” Danielle said slouching down on a brown leather sofa that appeared far too big for what was essentially a box room.
“I told you. I’m not like them.” The doctor replied picking up a dog eared book from the desk in the corner of the room and tossing it to Danielle. “Take a look at this.”
“What’s this?” Danielle said rubbing her fingers over it in a swiping motion. “It won’t unlock.”
“Open it. It’s a book. It’s from Earth BF”
“Oooh something from Before Franchise. Contraband!” She said now holding it like it was hot potato. “Maybe you aren’t the corporate shill I thought.”
“See I told you.” The doctor said perching on the sofa next to her. “Open it.”
Danielle opened up the book and flicked through the pages. She began to read aloud.
“Earth Incorporated: The Price of the Sponsors by Jodie Fielding.” She stopped reading. “Any relation?”
“My great great grandmother. They killed her.”
“I’m sorry. Did she not have a scenario.”
“No, no-one did back when the Sponsors took over. They lived, freely. Properly, it’s all in the book. They wrote what they wanted back then, before the sponsors took control. They were gentle at first, rewarding those that complied and reflected their will in exchange for wealth or fame. Then they realised they could buy a person outright.”
“And people thought that was OK?”
“Not everyone, that’s why one Jodie Fielding wrote the book.” Said the doctor, stretching. “But most people went with it. Easy money and quick too. Lots didn’t even read the terms of the contract. There is a whole chapter in there about Mr Nathan Coca-Cola. He lived very well in the beginning for five years he sold more Coke than anyone before, just by being a poster child. Then he went to the beach.”
“Sponsored Sand Grains?”
“No plain sand, Mr Coca-Cola died because he was thirsty.”
“That’s some extreme thirst there.” Danielle smirked.
“He got hot, and went to buy a drink. They had run out of Coke. He drunk a Pepsi.”
“Another brand of Cola. There was more than just one back then. There is a picture of it somewhere.” explained the Doctor taking the book. “See there.”
“The Coca-Cola corporation looked through his personal security recording. They killed him. Other sponsors owned the courts by then so they were acquitted. That started the great backlash. Millions of people tried to get out of their contracts.”
“What happened to them?” Danielle asked captivated by the real history she was learning. It differed greatly from the Sponsors story of events.
“They were killed, breach of contract.” Fielding said solemnly. “Secretly of course”
“Millions of people killed and no-one notices? What how on Earth?”
Fielding took a deep breath.
“This is where the scenarios were first developed. To protect the people.”
“Protect them! I was right. You are as bad as all the rest. You hid the mass murder of half the population.”
“I didn’t. The company did. They had no choice, they had to produce scenarios otherwise the remaining people on this planet would have rebelled against the Sponsors. They would have wiped out the entire population. After this company saved the majority of Demographic the sponsors saw how valuable a scenario could be. After all if everyone was dead there would be no-one to sell to.”
“I see” Danielle said. “Money is king.”
“It’s been that way for a long time now. Anyway most people want their own scenarios now. Thats why you came to me today.”
“Only because of this damn voucher. ‘Choose now or have a scenario chosen for you.’ It says. I thought I was taking control.”
“Have you read your contract? I don’t think there is much control for anyone. So much as a word off ‘Brand” and you are in trouble”
They sat silently for a moment. Danielle ran the contents of the book through her head. The rumours of the sponsors all proven to be true. Danielle broke the silence.
“They can still kill the people who breech contract. With no-one knowing.”
“Yes not even the people involved. Until the simulation finishes, then there is nothing.”