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Cameramen (standard:science fiction, 3275 words)
Author: Robin WyersAdded: Sep 28 2001Views/Reads: 2148/1432Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An apocalyptic vision of a future world where surveillance is used to uphold the status quo of a monopolistic regime. The story follows two young activists in their attempt to intercept one of the 'cameramen'. Bleak satire of contemporary society.


“Are we doing the right thing? What if she’s human? What if we’re taking
an innocent girl’s life?” my moral side pondered anxiously. “Do we have 
to start this stupid conversation again? She’s not human, she’s one of 
them - we’ve been watching her for months! Listen mate – at one stage 
we’re going to have to go that extra distance, it’s for the sake of 
humanity! Forget the individual drone, we’re saving them all! Yes 
there’s risk involved, but you’ll always have that - you seen it for 
yourself, all she gives are these standard zombie replies – to be 
honest isn’t she asking for it?” Paul joked, but was obviously 

I smiled at his wry attempt at humour in such serious circumstances, but
didn’t find it necessary to laugh. Perhaps I was wondering how we could 
even dream of destroying such beauty, perhaps I was still contemplating 
his previous joke that, “the country’s so full of zombies nowadays, how 
could you possibly know? Everyone could be one of them for all I know?” 
For wasn’t this casual remark precisely the point? How could I even be 
sure that Paul wasn’t one, and he vice-versa? How could we say for 
certain that an even more intelligent and thus virtually untraceable 
version of cameramen, (as we had dubbed AHRD’s) had now been developed, 
now sitting across from us, inputting our every move into the vast 
database? Could we even trust ourselves? Yes, perhaps my questions were 
there out of want of experience, Paul had been there before and I was 
the rookie. I too could kill something without second thought, once I 
had gathered the practice, or so I was told 

Nevertheless for me doubt persisted. Even once we were proved right the
risk factor remained, we couldn’t even say for sure whether the tape 
would continue rolling, after her eyes shut for the last time. In that 
instance, wouldn’t our recorded actions quickly circulate to main base, 
resulting in our arrest and subsequent execution? But was there 
anything we were sure about whatsoever? For a start, the government 
continue to deny that AHRD’s have ever existed, ‘the figment of a 
schizophrenic’s imagination’, in their words.  While the general public 
have largely been sceptical of this casual dismissal, we of Phoenix 
appear to be the only ones who are aiming to ensure that the 
anti-surveillance laws are upheld. Surely someone else cares, but it’s 
certainly not evident. 

She was approaching.  Perhaps Paul was right, there was no good in
worrying about trivial moral dilemmas – perhaps we were the last chance 
that the ordinary man had, even if that ordinary man was unwilling to 
take that extra step to stand up for itself. I can’t condone violence, 
but can freedom be achieved through any other method - especially when 
we are in such a minority? I suppose you can’t even term it ‘violence’ 
when it is only directed at one of them. “But she’s so beautiful – so 
perfect”, my other side uttered in awe. “Too perfect”, and she was. The 
early Autumn wind caught her jet black hair, exaggerating the curls as 
her tall, wafer-thin body moved briskly down the rain soaked street. 
Her captively large bust (what is real nowadays) might have caused men 
of any era to lull into their most primitive cravings, but once the 
sunglasses were lowered on her pale complexion, a man’s eyes could only 
be firmly transfixed on two more elevated objects, hers. So cold, so 
malicious, so tempting! Like a cruising laser defence mechanism her 
green eyes oozed power and could almost sense weakness. But such 
weapons contained warmth, she was ice itself! Entranced by those eyes 
life seemed to become a selection of perfectly grasped moments, idyllic 
flashes. I could sense something behind them, something robotic but 
sensual, unnatural but indulging. Yes, regrettably, she was one of them 
and I had to kill her. “If only our prototype had been someone else!” I 
sighed to myself. She passed us at 18:32pm, as expected... 

“Go over to her then – if it has to be done – it has to be done. Just
nod when you want me to strike”, I said hurriedly. He casually moved 
from the alleyway and he passed her, brushed against her, stopped her 
and asked, “Excuse me lady, but you wouldn’t have the time on you, 
would you?” “I’m sorry but I’m in a bit of a rush”, was her expected 
reply. “It’d only take a second of your precious time,” he stuttered. 
“Good-day,” again expected.  One quick nod of the head and it was my 
turn to shine. It was so brief and sharp, I barely realised what I had 
done – I still don’t! It was like I just pointed it at the back of her 
head and she fell! Then it dawned on me again, I was a killer! That 
brief shock to the head had taken her life, I was responsible for that. 

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