I went and surfed Amazon a bit, to find out who’s a precursor to my own dystopian person aggrandizing organization of spies, assassins, and troopers. I found a long-running series by Kage Baker about “The Company”, which as far as I can tell, travels through the entire freaking timeline to grab agents and items of value for a greedy company that, of late, is being run by a board consisting of candidates for the Best Short-Sighted Power-Corrupt Psycho Award.
The main protagonist is a man in the Company who wants to bring it down. The Company is so powerful, though, so it’s taking quite a while. Meanwhile, the Company is being eaten from within by faction power struggles.
Kage so owns us all. Nobody can be up against a covert organization more greedy or corrupt or extensive than that. It’s just not humanly possible. The Company doesn’t just aim for secret world domination in the future. They do it all through all of history, man. And they have won.
This did not stop The Matrix, though, or any number of dystopian futures.
My reaction is to entirely rethink the motives of my agency, and to come up with further twists a la Gene Wolfe. For instance: the Company owns through time, but not through space. Another example: being more corrupt is not humanly possible. This leaves other kinds of entities. And yet another: the Company has very human motives of power for power’s sake. So that leaves other motives.
The Matrix differs because a) the “Company” is made up of cyborgs and artificial entities, b) their motives are inhuman as a result, and c) because of (b), their motives are limited so far to world domination. They threaten humanity, whereas the Company would simply co-exist more or less benignly.
So I’m thinking, I’m thinking.
In the meanwhile, the belated Arcady and Zene for Friday is coming up.