I had only been working at the Ministry of Information for a few days, and was still finding my feet, so to speak. As the newbie I was given the trivial jobs to do, the drudgery, the crap that the more important guys couldn't be bothered with.
My task for today was debugging the Fs, trawling through the F files searching out typos and such, I skim read as fast as I could, not absorbing any of the data that was scrolling past my eyes, assessing the threat level of any individual was someone else's job, I wasn't qualified to process any of it anyway.
Then there she was, right there on my screen... FIELDSTONE. ALICIA.
I sat there a little shocked, Alicia lived only three doors away from me, a very pretty woman, twenty four years old according to the file, and single. I had seen her several times, we exchanged occasional smiles on the street, truth be known I was more than a little interested in asking her to go on a date with me.
And here she was, on file in the M of I.
I began reading the file, hungry to know what kind of super-terrorist or criminal had been living in the same street as me for the last two years.
The file proceeded to lay her life bare across the screen.
Every school she had attended, and links to the files of every pupil and teacher there. Her work history, friends, family, acquaintances. And again links to every one of these, and their acquaintances, and so on, like an ever widening spider web.
The file delved deeper and deeper into her life.
Her taste in clothes, make up, art, books, food, television.
Even the minutest details were not overlooked.
How thickly she spread the butter on her toast, which direction she stirred her coffee.
And into the very intimate side of her life.
Her preferred sexual positions. When she experienced her first orgasm, and who with. The links were there to every man she had dated, or slept with, and their acquaintances etc.
It even listed the brand of sanitary towels she used.
There was not one single shred of her life that the file didn't cover, even down to how many times she visited the toilet each day.
When the M of I targeted the bad guys, they certainly did a thorough job of it.
Jeez, I'm just glad that I never got up the courage to ask her out.
I kept reading, looking for the bombshell, for the list of criminal activities either past, present, or suspected for the future, but found nothing, not even a late library return.
To all intents and purposes Alicia was as clean and pure as the driven snow.
I must be missing something.
I leaned backwards in my chair and called over my shoulder.
“Hey Bill, this file I'm looking at, there's nothing incriminating in here that I can see, but she's some kind of terrorist or criminal, right?”
Bill leant across and glanced at my screen.
“Oh hell no, that's just a basic info file, we have those files on absolutely everyone.”
The cold tendrils of fear began creeping along my spine as my mind wandered to the skeletons in my own closet.
©2012 Stephen. J. Green.