Galactic Guardian: Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

As MAP crossed the Square of the Dancing Cell, close to the building where he was completing his junior internship as a medico, he happened to glance up at one of the cameras. In the early days of the ‘watchers-in-the-streets campaign there’d been that mingling of fear and loathing on the faces of people brought up in the shadow of the prophecy of ‘Big Brother’, but MAP’s look was rather one of affectionate tolerance than hatred. As a deterrent the ‘eyes-in-the-sky’ had worked perfectly; street criminals couldn’t operate beneath them and, after a while, noone even bothered to monitor what they recorded. Consequently, when the Bureau of Pschology wanted to study crowd dynamics, permission was secretly granted for them to view the tapes.

The idea had been around for a long time, but careful analysis had proved that there were certain individuals which society – behaving much in the same way as a living organism defending itself against cancer – persecuted. MAP had been given the task of identifying, locating, and interviewing these pariahs. He smiled as he remembered how one of his first subjects had turned out to be the chief of a sub-department within the Bureau itself; the Music Therapy section. His smile widened as he recalled how, ‘phones tuned in to the newest music-satellite, Leslie Rusher had been totally oblivious of the hostile reactions he’d been getting from the shoppers in what was now, thanks to the success of their work, Micheal Jackson Prospect.


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