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A day at the Theater.

copyright 2000 Merle D. Zimmermann
Free for personal use.
Anything else: write me first; I am valeron at pocketmail . com
Charging for copies of this text is NOT ALLOWED under ANY circumstances.

The sun rose slowly over the rim of the City as if nothing special was going to happen this day. However, for Albert Raffelton, this day was no ordinary one. It was finally time for his Vacation.

From the moment that he opened his eyes he was enveloped by a blissful lassitude. After gazing at the plain ceiling of his room for several minutes, he slid out of bed and put on his best clothes. Today he was going to visit the Theater!

He switched on the Visimat and got a breakfast of Whishpy cereal. The gray nodules shone in the dish of plastic like so many stones, but he did not mind, because he was used to it. Almost as an afterthought, he put the bowl back into the Visimat and deposited the plastic for reprocessing.

The City had existed for centuries after being founded in 1997 by a small group of investors. Some scholars believed that the City had existed before then, but there was no real purpose in their endless arguments over the history of their home. Most of them agreed, though, that the evolution of the city had taken more than a score of scores of years before it reached anything like its present state.

Albert opened the door of his room and stepped into the hall. At this late hour, there were few people to contest his passage down the many floors of the building to the railway station. He had no trouble securing an empty carraige, and he readied himself for the long ride down-town to the Theater.

After the population had reached a certain level, the Elders who controlled the City decided that it would be necessary to regulate the actions of their citizens. They had no desire to repeat the disasters that destroyed several of the other gatherings nearby, and they came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to change the general social structure to prevent any mishaps.

The train slowly crept through the stations as it made its way towards the center of the City. Albert yawned as it ground to a halt to let on more passengers. At this rate it would be several hours before he reached his destination.

When Edmond, the Assistant Secritary to the Chief Elder, suggested that the most effective way to make radical changes in the society was by changing the education system, the general consensus was in agreement to his views. However, after Ralf of Engineering mentioned the many books written about other lands where changes in the education system caused serious damage, the Elders were not sure of how to proceed.

As the train began moving again a face appeared in the window of Albert carraige. A raised eyebrow asked for permission to enter. Albert waved at the face, and the door slowly opened, letting a young man into the car.

These revolts that the City Elders were worried about always happened after several days of merriment among the general populous. Obviously, something had to be done. After much deliberation, their decision was to abolish the "week-end". With all of the citizenry occupied with their workday tasks, it would be impossible for anyone to organize an uprising, for the only people available to rise would be the weak and elderly.

The starlight shone down softly upon the Visage. A small crowd had gathered around the statue, and they began lighting candles and arranging them in a curiously lopsided geometric figure around the pedestal.

The train tipped slightly towards the left as it went around a gentle curve. At this new angle the sun shone through the window of the carraige, brightening the room considerably. The youth opposite of Albert yawned, then closed his eyes.

The Elders replaced the customary holiday at the end of the week with a complex series of timetables that allowed the people of the City rest and relaxation for a short period each day. In addition, the Elders decided that each Citizen should have one day every thirty years as a Vacation. On this day, they were not limited to the normal schedules and could proceed as they wished.

The motely group surrounding the Visage began a slow and sad chant that remembered days that had passed long ago.

If anyone wants me to give writing this history down priority over my other projects, please note me or something so that I know that there is some interest in the world of this City.