Benjay couldn’t remember the last time when he had a good time. Not a riotous, rollicking, booze filled, mind-bending time some labelled as good. Just a time for normal conversation, the pleasant company of men and women, good food, drinks and relaxation. Looking back it seemed it had never happened, but if he thought hard enough, at the time he had them (frequently too) he thought he was bored and did everything he could to get out of them. A pity that hindsight often revealed chronic stupidity and gave no way to correct it!
Stuck in the cubicle that had become his life he could only do as he was told. No initiative or working alone either, heavy supervision and doing as he was told was the order of the day. Not conforming to the new scheme of things endangered this new existence he had been given. Being virtually brain dead brought this on one and all hindsight could show him were the little signs he had missed along the path.
There were many like him and he got to see them when he got to use the facilities at the plant. Each worked out of the same colourless, padded, mini cubicle like him. Communication and interaction amongst the drones was frowned upon. Some that had been discovered were removed and never seen or heard from again, their former spaces cleaned out with new occupants the next day. Despite the severe restrictions Drones still found a way to pass messages, share ideas and do things that the Higher Ups didn’t know about. This included ‘sabotaging’ the central computer system with a virus. This made it difficult and virtually impossible for HUs to actually track them all at the same time. Real time no longer existed at the plant but a twilight zone that favoured the Drones.
With this development, Drones could now plan how to further subvert the new laws. How in the world were they to survive if they were unable to eat at the wheel? Everybody knew that life into and around the greater facility was controlled by the Grand Line. The Smaller Lines fed into it and getting on and off was something that entire units spent a greater part of their time doing. Any incident along the GL affected the SLs and created a domino effect. So eating, reading, sleeping and other essential things were transacted on the GL and the many SLs. The new laws had out rightly banned these activities and Drones had to find a way around them.
Using the GL was not automatic and there was a time the HUs made it easier. The rules had changed, especially in the Onibaje sector. Tests, schools, instructors and the like were now required to ascertain sanity and competence in order to be able to use it. A Drone that found a way to obtain the certification from another sector e.g. Abe-rock had it seized. It was deemed invalid and the Drone had to mandatorily commence the cycle for obtaining one from the Onibaje sector.
With the central system, any sector certification should be valid but alas this was not so! An unending constant cycle of verification and intimidation were experienced by Drones. There were more reports of Drones doing more erratic things. Model Drones that hitherto went largely undetected and complied with the system now ‘acted up’ and the HUs only brought out more restrictive regulations.
Benjay had not had a good time in a while and since the state of the greater sector was in jeopardy…he did not expect the situation to change anytime soon. Some said things had to get worse before they got better after all.