|||

Fiction by Daniel I. Clark

How I Broke the Quiz

shared by @Jemnai to /getoutofjailfree on 72.3rd/4.59

I’m your typical Farm brat: low ambition, middling intellect, but plenty of patience (or call it stamina, like a cow has stamina where grazing is concerned). Never expected more than clicks for vid and vittles, and it was no surprise when my House sent me down for post grad probation. But this isn’t another sharetext complaining about Factory, so don’t pop the bubble yet!

It was day twenty of probe, I was still new to Factory with five hours to log before close of day, no auto meal plans left, just the self-assembly stuff, plus I wanted to bust before check-in—a busy day, by my standards—and no warning, the Instructions just dropped a Quiz on me, right on top. I can’t see any of my other surfaces, they’re edged out. I didn’t know that’s how it worked, that it could be any time at all, and I hadn’t done any credit recovery gaming, either.

But Instructions have teeth, and they don’t like to wait.

I voiced consent to begin.

Q: What name was given to the popular points package instituted by the Successor Government to ensure the test-data supply?

  • Father-Factory
  • Farm-to-Factory
  • Fair-Firm-Factory
  • Factory First

They always start off easy, but I took my time saying Farm-to-Factory because the Instructions will make the questions harder if you answer them too fast. The next couple were more of the same, basically—who designed the package? the Equal Baylos; and who co-signed the package on behalf of the Farm-born? the Sequal Nec—and so on.

Then came the short responses, which I’ve never done well with.

Q: Why did the Last President try to block Full Factory Employment? Answer in complete sentences.

But OK, actually I remember some of this too. So I say—

A: The Last President was wrong to oppose the plan because everyone deserves a live connection in today’s world.

Not bad, I think, but right away I get feedback.

#: Note that the previous question asks about motives. Do you wish to revise your answer?

I’m a little worried now because what I said was right, I thought, and Instructions can turn mean if you read them wrong. Plus, I was tight that morning. (The latest dosage menu from Medics keeps me coming back. Can’t stop won’t stop, though. Medics are the real innovators, that’s my word.)

So I tried again, a little more cautiously this time—

A: The Last President didn’t want to give the people what they’re owed.

—which was enough to get me to the next question, and ordinarily I’d be happy to string the Quiz along as far as I could and take whatever result I got. I don’t usually lose my temper. But damn if the Instructions don’t just love to rub your face in the dirt. That’s important, for some reason—that you be reminded where you’re from.

Q: How are Farm-born well-suited to Factory work?

I know what it wants, but hell if I’m going to give it up willingly, so I tell the Quiz—

A: ###restricted content, login to read###

—which I thought was an inventive way of putting it. In grad I could sometimes slide with a default fail for obscenity by pressing on the most fashionable soft spots, but this Quiz wasn’t going to drop me now that it had me, and when the Instructions want you to know something, they have ways of making you know. There are word triggers and A/V triggers they can fall back on, things they seeded in the choice architecture so you would pick it up just passing in the halls: planted conversations, delayed-release messages, sight-and-sound sites. Doesn’t feel good when it’s coming on, almost like you have to shit really bad but can’t, except it’s words and it’s your mouth.

Q: What are the Three Threats to Full-Factory Function?

Immediately the words come out—

A: Inferiority, Inversion, Involuntarism.

Q: What are the Three Guarantees of Fair-Firm Government?

Again I spit right away—

A: Demand-Supply, Safe-Choice, and Limitless-ID.

Q: Upon what basis do we put our trust in the Stewardship of Equals?

And again—

A: First to be born, first to serve, according to precept.

And I’m up and running through the whole catechism. Even so, with the Push behind me, I’ve got room left over to be thinking, Why don’t the Farms just turn us out with the right orientations bred in?” which I understand is not an original thought but was hitting me hard in that moment, animal-friends—and that’s when @Trace pings me.

We two go back to the beginning. @Trace is a prize pony now, does code for corporate intellectors and other high-value contracts, but our bimoms knew each other, and we spent a lot of time in the Tombs coming up. At the moment, as kind of a sideline, @Trace is training a mirror-ghost to pull attractive clientele, and I’m attractive clientele, right? (Pic in bio.) To work in the kinks, I mean work out the kinks, we get on a shared surface, I talk dirty and make requests, and I see whether I can tell it’s @Trace or the ghost performing. You know, like a control sample or whatever it’s called.

I was already in that mood, like I told you, and I’d had enough of the Push as a Real Student. So hell, I thought—failing another Quiz, what’s the worst that could happen? I duped the Quiz onto a blank surface burned off a remedial console (one of my tricks back in mid for getting extra time), then I popped the Instructions bubble and got to it.

I told @Trace how I ###restricted content, login to read###.

That always gets @Trace wanting some juice so then I start lying back to show myself a little more, and @Trace ###restricted content, login to read###.

See, I thought the Quiz would pause. When I put it on the blank, it should have. But the speech line was still open, and the Quiz was listening and kept asking me questions—

Q: What is the correct position for the Individual to take etc.

And giving me feedback—

#: Your responses suggest an aptitude for Temple work. Are you interested in learning more about Cadre Classes?

—but I didn’t see any of that, I just kept telling @Trace how I was going to use my ###restricted content, login to read### until finally the Quiz decided to pass me. Took all the honey for zeal, is my theory: not exactly good news and not exactly bad, since now I’m signed up for Cadre Classes (I was quite insistent, according to the transcript), and those come with room and board but require a minimum year’s service after the training is over.

SUMMARY: Not sure anyone will want to follow my example, but you can break the post grad probation Quizzes and free upgrade out of Factory with sexchat.

#

UPDATE #1: I’m humbled that so many of you have opened this—everyone wants to rate, no one wants to read—so thanks and thanks for abselecting! But I’m seeing a lot of newer anonymous comments that I should have known about the random assessments—that the whole point of post grad probation is to give me time to do study review or worksave for augments. The point of what I wrote is that it’s bullshit.

UPDATE #2: I’ve been in the Cadre Classes for about a week, and it isn’t so bad actually. I mean I’m actually learning something useful and it’s like @Trace says, this is my talent so I should use it. Plus they’ve got better snacks than the facility I was in before, better lighting, the signal’s sharper, and my classmates are all fit. Our first posting is only a month away, and I’m looking forward to a new experience, which is the right attitude to have, according to the Cadre Classes, and I think that’s true. We’ll be stationed at a Temple in Pop Silo 4 so if you’re in the neighborhood and want to sample our wares, ask for @Jemnai when you get there. (But you’d better hurry before an Equal with good taste monopolizes me because you know I’m worth it.)

UPDATE #3: I’m not the one putting the fade on all the sexplicit stuff, that’s the site cleaners, which you would know if you were registered. But good news! @Trace is a paid sponsor, and if you cert for full site rights tonight you can get a free trial with @Trace’s ghost, which is out now. Only 15 VU per annum for a value much greater so borrow the cred if you have to and sample the ghost, it’s partly my baby too and I’m very proud.

Daniel I. Clark

Twitter: @danielclark3rd

Up next "Errata" by Noah Rymer Two poems by Owen Paul Edwards
Latest posts NIAGARA by Juliette Sandoval TO MAKE OF THEE A NAME by Andrew Buckner Two poems by Jessica Heron "Grocery Outlet" by Lisa Loop "Gatorbear" by John Biron Interview: Skizz Cyzyk on Baltimore Filmmaking and the Mansion Theater "On Time" by Hanna Webster "Only the Most Neutral Executioners" by GRSTALT Comms Poems for Clara Peller by Ella Wisniewski "I've Got a Fake I.D. from Nevada and No Name" by Max Stone Truth Cult (Last Show) [Anything for a Weird Life] Three poems by Stacy Black "Bob's on Fire" by Alex Tronson Two poems by Alexandra Naughton Reflections on Series Two: How Does He Do It? [Anything for a Weird Life] "A Sadness that Sings" by David Hay "The City" by Ryan Bender-Murphy Three poems by Abigail Sims "The Depth of the Abrasion" by David C. Porter Steve Albini 1962-2024 [Anything for a Weird Life] Some Things are the Same Everywhere [BRUISER Field Report] BRUISER ZINE 005: Foul Black Rookeries by David Simmons "Bilbao" (for Richard Serra) by Damon Hubbs Beyond Periphery by Ada Pelonia Mayday [Anything for a Weird Life] "Drones Drones Drones" by Aaron Roman Review: White Paint Falling Through a Filtered Shaft by Adam Johnson "Buckskin Jacket." by Noam Hessler A User's Guide to Universal Order of Armageddon (Numero 221) [Anything for a Weird Life] "Sepulcherality" by Cora Kircher “Barricade” by Will Marsh