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The following dialogue was uploaded from a terminal at a New Bavarian factory in the Neighborhood of Darkness. The content in the compilation below was entered directly into terminals by a Prole. The entries and other articles displayed below were archived by Jane Ceora, who was on-site researching the ethicality of the workplaces in the New Bavarian industrial district.


I am a member of the city of New Bavaria. I have lived here for as long as I remember, working at the local factory. All my life, I have worked diligently for the betterment of the city. When my orders come in on the terminal every day, I follow them to the tee. I always press the right buttons at the right time. I have never given in to distractions such as recreational conversation or typing entries into a terminal detailing my personal existence.

However, something has fumbled my typical routine. During my last segment walking from the industrial sector to the residential sector, I was interrupted by a chaotic lunatic. His voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard; it was sickeningly expressive. Regardless of who he was—or who he believed himself to be—he spoke something of the sky. He proclaimed that the stars above were merely an array of fluorescent lights.

Following this absurd speech, he went on to attack me with a blunt object, rendering me unconscious.

Since regaining consciousness, I have been feeling different. Words are flooding my head, like they have been held behind a dam for years. I feel a strange sense of sapience, as if I am now more awake than I ever was before. More concerningly, the fact that I feel at all. This is troubling to me, as I believe it may affect my work ethic and efficiency. Nevertheless, I will continue to put my best effort into my work and save digital journaling for my rest segments only.


Today is even stranger than the last. I can feel even more, and I despise it. My limbs are sluggish, my stomach aches with hunger, and my head occasionally pains from my encounter the other day. I never recall feeling this before, but I will not let it hinder my work. New Bavaria needs me just as I need it.

I wonder if there is any way to get more filling rations during my next food segment. Perhaps I can restore my body to its normal state if I can sate my hunger. Then I can continue working fatigue-free. Thankfully, I work in a less physically-demanding position in the factory. If I were working on the lower floors, with all the machinery, my body would be destroyed.

The most intense feeling that I get—which I just discovered—is when an Elite is watching. I can feel their eyes on my neck…it burns. They don’t like when I use the terminal for non-laborious purposes. I can feel it. It seems wrong to hide my journaling, but I have an unusual urge to tell this all to someone, and the Elites are not an option, lest I be terminated from the company.


Lately, I have pondered the possibility of what that strange man said before he attacked me. Could the stars in the sky actually be some mock-up? I never really paid attention to the stars. To think that every one of the millions of lights, far above my head, could just be part of some colossal circuit. How would it even be powered? What would hold it up? For what purpose would it even exist?

At the same time, it is very grounding to think there could be a megastructure of steel beams and fluorescent bulbs floating miles above my head. It makes me feel something different; small—insignificant. It makes me wonder about the world outside of New Bavaria. What is the world like, again?

• • •

I got called to a meeting with the Elites. No time to keep typing. Must act normal. Goodbye for n



The meeting yesterday is still scrambling my mind. The Elites told me that they would be doubling my rations. They said I am a valuable asset to the factory, but that my progress is starting to decline, and that consuming more would fix that. Standing before the Elites sparked several questions in my mind, too. Questions that I wouldn’t dare ask, but that I had never considered until now. What do I even do for the company? Sure, I press buttons when I am told, but what do those buttons do? What is my significance? Even further, how long have I been working here? Where did I even come from?

Who am I?

I don’t even know who I am. I can’t remember anything other than working at this factory. I can’t name a city or even a country outside of New Bavaria. I can’t name myself.

Fortunately for me, a woman showed up at the factory earlier calling herself an “Archivist”. I don’t know what that means, but I think I can get answers from her. Even the Elites seem cautious around her, like she poses a threat to them.


During my last rest segment, I did not rest much. I fear that the Elites may be waiting to dispose of me at any moment. While I was pacing around my flat, I tried to speak for the first time. While there has never been a need for me to speak, I will have to do it if I want to get converse with that archivist woman. It hurt my throat, and my mouth wasn’t used to contorting itself to form words, so I only produced groans and blabbering.

I discovered something that prompted a feeling of disgust in me during my food break segment. Something that I was not supposed to know, and that I will have to pretend I never unraveled. The rations given to me and to my coworkers are laced with a drug. It’s a sedative that numbs the brain activity of its consumer. I know because since I’ve stopped eating my rations, I have been able to feel even more, and remember things from a past I never knew I had.

I still don’t remember my name, but I’m starting to get little glimpses of memories. I remember a bright blue sky without any stars (or floating lights) and one giant star instead. I remember a city far larger and more compact than New Bavaria. I don’t recall much, but it’s something. Unfortunately, I need to find a new source of nutrition, now. Something aside from what the Elites are feeding me.


Damn it, damn it all! They know I have been refusing to eat, and now they are using other methods to subdue my mind. While I was working at the terminal just now, the screen shut off and was replaced with footage of a checkered board with small figurines on it. I don’t understand what it was, but it made me forget the memories that were coming back to me. Even now as I read back over my entry from the other day, I can’t decipher what I was talking about.

I found a new terminal to journal on, in a supply closet. It looks just like my old one, so I replaced it at my workstation. Hopefully, the Elites won’t be able to use this one to sedate me again. Hopefully, my memory can come back and I can get answers as to why I am here. In the meantime, I need to get back to work. I must stay inconspicuous. If I act like I am back to my influenced state, the Elites will leave me alone. Then I can show the archivist woman my digital journals, and maybe try to converse with her.


I completely skipped my last rest segment. I’ve never defied the cycle in the past, but I wanted to observe the array of lights in the sky. Yes, I am starting to believe what that man had said many segments ago. It seems very characteristic of the city to want us to believe in fake stars, just like we believe in our fake jobs. I am a tool to New Bavaria, just like everyone else working under the hand of the Elites.

On another topic, my body is starting to suffer the consequences of a lack of sleep and sustenance. My eyelids bear the weight of a cinderblock, and my stomach occasionally pangs with starvation. Not to mention I constantly have to watch my back; the feeling of the Elites observing me is chronic. Every twitch in my jittery body is scrutinized by them. They know I am no longer under their control, it’s only a matter of time until they snap me like a twig. What am I going to do? I still haven’t been able to speak in more than a few words at a time. That archivist is my only shot at liberation and safety, and I don’t know how much longer she will be here.

Or how much longer I will be here.


Another rest segment skipped; another food segment refusing to eat. I need to act. I passed out for mere seconds during the first work segment, and woke up to an Elite breathing down my neck. They didn’t even say anything whe

Update: the archivist is in the room. I have a plan.

• • •

I have dethroned my terminal from its place at my workstation and taken the archivist into the supply room. The door is barricaded, but the Elites are attempting to break it down. It’s so loud. There is little time. The archivist says she can “upload my entries to a database”. She says it will help more people like her learn about New Bavaria.



fig 1.0 Encrypted chess footage used to sedate Proles.


“When we were barricaded in the supply room of that New Bavarian factory, footage of a chess game suddenly flashed across the terminal screen. I had fortunately uploaded the journal entries to the archives already, and the encrypted footage seemed to have no effect on me. However, it appeared to erase some of the Prole’s memory. He began asking me what was going on and inquired that he heard something weird about the stars “last segment”.

Soon after, the Elites forced their way in and removed us from the room. I don’t know what became of the poor guy. I just played the victim and got out of there as soon as possible.”

— Jane Ceora, Archivist

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