There he sat before the world with much hubris, on the Accounts Receivable Throne. The throne was made of the most precious materials of earth. A throne fashioned like that of a massive scale, the other side completely obscured behind a wall of lead, and the side on which he sat jutted out into the immense hall. Up and down, he slowly moved as if on a teeter totter, and some unknown force placed weights on the hidden side of the gargantuan scale. Before him, and at his feet formed an immense line of humans and machines. Tens of thousands, all with their eyes, faces, and sensors turned upward to him. For all things were measured by him, all things weighed for their value or worth.
Behind him, to his left, and his right, hovered the calculators, each machine efficiently clicking and flashing with additions and subtractions of the petitioner’s value, which stood before him. He would have asked the petitioner to kneel as they addressed him, but Immortal laws forbade such an act of total surrender. Kneeling did not matter to him as much as it did to his Immortal Elder younger brother “The Bossman,” for he had not yet assigned a worth for that action. However, his mind of late had moved to quantify such an action, and in doing so he smiled a broad and greedy smile.
The woman who stood before him mistook his smile as one of possible credit, her life and work may yet yield. Perhaps she would be able to go home and tell her family that today she is still of value, that the world still had use for her and her life, that she would be allowed to continue to work and provide for her family. But the calculators to her left, those that tabulated debt, continued to click and clack with computer efficiency. While those computers to the right, those that accounted for ones worth, had long since stopped calculating. The woman’s eyes cast upward filled with tears of desperate hope. Her thin pink lips trembled at the sound of the debt calculators to the left, and the wicked smile of this very powerful being that sat on the throne.
The occupier of the throne is Barret Blueblood; he is the richest being on earth. To Mr. Blueblood, everything has value until it simply does not. And when the “not” occurs, that human, machine, and now MA Kind, would simply become nothing. They will find no job, for they are found useless to society by Mr. Blueblood’s decree. These poor and unfortunate would be sent to Urynthus, a place where beings and things were turned into energy to power the production of products and things Barret and his calculators had deemed appreciated. Or maybe they would be allowed to serve as a slave to Bossman.
The woman that stood at the front of the line and directly before Mr. Blueblood is Mrs. Wendy Mary Brennor; wife, nurturing mother of five, caring grandmother of sixteen, and loving great-grandmother of two, compassionate middle sister with two siblings, and the “cool” aunt to seven.
The last clicks of the debt calculators to the left slowed to a few clicks every few seconds. When Wendy began to scream, the credit calculator to the right clicked one final time, calculating the worth of the actual scream.
The silence of the calculators, and not Wendy’s screams, brought Mr. Blueblood’s focus back from his calculation of the “worth of kneeling,” to that of Wendy herself, who now stood before him trembling.
“You are a debt,” Blueblood spoke, with quick perfect enunciation.
“Please, Mr. Blueblood, sir. I still have worth!” Wendy screamed.
The debt calculator clicked once again tabulating further debt caused by her statement. Wendy’s sobs caught in her throat for fear of incurring any more debt.
“You are a debt, and only a debt, even in your total liquidation you will still leave a negative balance.” Blueblood spoke, as he looked to his right at the calculator responsible for Wendy’s debt.
“Off with you to collections,” Blueblood said, with eyes of wrath and a pronounced British accent. The floor beneath Wendy’s feet instantly gave way, and Wendy fell screaming through the trap door.
The machines directly behind the precious throne quickly typed a message of liquidation and sent it to Wendy’s family, with a note that Wendy’s husband has now assumed her debt, and that he must appear before the Accounts Receivable Throne to balance that debt in one week.
Mr. Blueblood looked at the debt calculator that allowed the negative debt, and spoke one word that echoed throughout the vast well-lit hall, “Overrun.”
The levitating calculator fell to the ground with a metallic thud cracking the expensive marble floor.
“Deduct that damage to the floor and the repair thereof, from the debt calculator’s manufacturer,” Blueblood spoke, and another debt calculator accurately adjusted the ledger account.
The next in line came forward, a boy of five, gently pushed by his mother.
“We are done for today,” Blueblood spoke.
Without hesitation, the immense crowd quickly shuffled away under the harsh direction of the scheduling machine that ubiquitously updated all with a new report date and time.
Blueblood leaned back on the throne and thought; my calculation of “kneeling worth” could not be successfully accomplished until I have possession of the Albino, the One for whom all would graciously kneel.
His deep-set eyes searched the vacant hall.
“I must find Him.” Barret whispered.
Footnote from the author.
Image description of Barret:
Mr. Blueblood, another Elder Immortal is pictured here, he is rarely seen without his extensive entourage, perhaps this exclusive solo picture is available because he is comfortably at one of his financial institutions. On top of his golden walking stick is the peridot world of "Ep," a tiny mystical place filled with the Epi, creatures with strange appetites.
Visit and vote on the rest of the nine other characters.
Visit Barret in my novel, Origins - Testament of the One.