The idea: A state whereby capitalism has become so extreme, the worlds population that can afford “nice” things lives in one huge skyscraper in a place called Brand New York. The opening chapter describes the main protagonist consulting with his “collector”; a person who’s entire being is to track down and collect new releases of everything from branded clothing and shoes to entire properties that come to market. Aim is to capture the population today that owns half of the worlds wealth and how they control the rest of society.
The suns rays only just begun to break through the tall pines in the distance, filling the windswept park with first light, chasing shadows across the dirt and grass until they found sanctuary, cowering behind objects standing alone in the poorly kept grass. From here you could see everything. The man at the window often felt he spent so much time at this exact spot, that should anything be moved, or even slightly misplaced he would notice. A full 180 degree viewpoint in which everything not under protection from the army of trees fell under his scrutiny. His gaze spread across the barren horizon with intent. Looking for something that perhaps, wasn’t there. The small man that arrived moments before, stood in silence, awkwardly within the doorway. It was impossible to know whether the man had noticed him but he knew better than to interrupt during this process of thought. With knowledge there could be as much as 20 minutes between words spoken, he stood, patiently, fingers clasping buttons that lined his one good shirt. The room was large, with huge floor to ceiling panelled windows across the back end of the rectangular space. The section of floor space that ran the length of the panoramic window was raised by a few feet, with a waterfall staircase leading up to the raised viewing platform directly in the middle flowing down and outwards. The lower floor was half filled with luxurious tan leather couches spread in a half circle surrounding a commanding TV set complete with surround sound speakers of black and gold. In comparison only one seat lay upon the upper section. Found in the corner, angled towards both the window and the door in which the man now stood, the seat was black and dictatorial as if it in itself could bark commands.
The man at the window broke the silence.
“Speak to me”
In a cautious tone, the man in the doorway drew a breath..
“I have fresh 12 hourly reports sir, nearly 3,000 new releases in counting sir. Your portfolio wont be complete without them, so with your permission….”
The man at the window swung his body around viscously, malice in his eyes, he interrupted the collectors speech sharply…
“WHY, have i received word that our good friends across the hall have been advised of 4,000 releases this half day whilst we have only 3,000.”
Visibly nervous, the man in the doorway took a deep, husky breath to gather his thoughts. He was no older than 30 but had grey hairs creeping into his unkept beard. He stood slightly hunched, confidence draining out of his figure with every minute that passed. Sweat begun to break upon his pale face, forming beads that sloped his brow, he continued…
“Sir, I’m terribly sorry. Last night was my eldest son’s birthday and i haven’t seen him in nearly three…”
He turned back to those immense panels of translucent glass. By now the sun had risen enough for light to refract through them, causing shapes and reflections to waltz around the room, shining with gold lustre as they went around their morning dance. Brand New York was one of kind they said. Skyscrapers rose like pillars of matte metal darkness against the deep blue backdrop. It was a glorious day in the worlds capital, with a bright sun the only object lurking in the blue abyss.
Only one man could be seen wandering the street below. His steps were quick but cautious as if he expected to stop at any given second. His head worked like a swivel, nervously taking in his surroundings, taking in every detail so that nothing may surprise him. The collector was not an old man, but you wouldn’t, couldn’t tell. Years of stress and anxiety, late nights and early mornings had left the man tired and weary looking. He had just come from Heaven, at least thats what they called it. Where the collector was from it was inversely known as hell. The birthplace of demons. It was not hard to see why. An entire column, no less than 100 stories tall, built for the sole purpose to house the rich and famous, those that could afford to live whilst others worked for them. 90% of the worlds wealth and subsequent power along with it, figuratively living and breathing between four, impregnable walls stretching as high as the eye could see. His master lived on floor 43. This meant he was powerful, but not a god amongst men just yet. His family all lived within the building, his father residing on the 24th floor and his grandfather on the 3rd. He was born into the building and would likely remain for the rest of his life, taking over more and more wealth as his empire expands. It was inevitable.
The collectors position in all this was merely to serve. His position demanded the growth of assets, and if not, he was sacked, left to find work in one of the thousands of factories across the country. Comparably, working as a collector was a blessing in disguise but today didn’t feel like it at all. The trek from the inner city to the outer suburbs where the collectors lived was long, taking as much as two hours to walk. The path snaked through the deserted skyscrapers that no one could afford to reside within anymore. Rot spewed out from buildings and gutters running parallel to the track like