His fur and leather crushed the frigid crust giving way to the powdery frost underneath. As the VTOL leveraged hesitantly, the high lord felt no discomfort. The frozen peak was a sanctuary to be cherished. Doors glided apart welcoming the grizzled aristocrat, as the transport whizzed further and further along increasingly distant peaks. The boots jacket and hood were retired as VanHooklum grounding himself, curling his toes and soaking in the warmth of the granite tile. The grand window displaying the wistful beauty of the desolate expanse called, and he answered, each step as deliberate as his own pallbearers would one day be.
The city was gone, a world for others that had no strings to his soul any longer. This peace was fleeting though. This arctic citadel was both a sanctuary and a testament to the industry that afforded the brooding magnate such luxurious freedom.
It was the flash of light in the corner of his eye that brought VanHooklum’s serenity to a close. The HoloMon invited itself into the moment pouring the disease of data into his eyeline.
”Pulowski reporting: fatigue modification ready for approval.”
With an irreverent wave of the hand, hundreds of thousands of assets were updated, their taskmasters and the grand cathedrals of production began to adjust. Dye shipments were frozen and returned, to be replaced with new contracts of supply, the ancient machines of assembly creaked and strained under the weight of their infinite responsibilities. But, most importantly to our perspective, VanHooklums human assets steeled themselves for the harsh period of transition to come. Assets are investments and investments must make a return. To fail in the duty was to fail to exist. We may pity these single-minded peons living only as data, but High City believed it had evolved far past such primitive ideas of valued life. Industry was value.
of course VanHooklum knew the weight of such decisions, but such was his place to make them, and in failing that, he too would fail to exist.ns220.127.116.11da2