Buer speaks and tells me about the nature of his work. All these computers, these printers, every piece of information is his, and that’s what he feeds on. The demon knows every secret of every person in the country, for he has more facilities just like this one, underground dens full of secrets both dirty and clean. It gives him power not only in the sense that it keeps him alive, but in the sense of what gives him the means to control human behavior through blackmail and the sale of information to corporations and governments.
The demon told me every single eye, ear and mouth in Longcord that feeds him such information comes to be from the bodies in the slabs, all those half-alive people with the wires going through their eye sockets to their brains. The people attached to these wires give Buer not just every facet of their own secrets and pieces they know of others, but have also infiltrated the vast population of technology in the US. They intertwined themselves to the deepest layers of the internet, to every programmed function in every machine. They weave themselves into the flow of public and private gossip on social media, they wait on flash drives to whisk information away to Buer the next time the drive is plugged into a computer, they worm their way into Cloud services where vast caches of information lie. They are the fake users, the trolls, the overzealous ideologues of all beliefs and views which exist on computer screens as only a username, spewing forth hatred to stir the ire of visitors. And that’s what Buer loves most of all, he tells me, that he can incite people to such hatred and mistrust and to such a degree of misanthropy which creates a society of people too mistrustful of each other to communicate with basic kindness. They are paranoid, they are primed to hurt and be hurt, they are malleable. They are, Buer says with a grin full of scalpel-sharp teeth, willing to embrace the safe sterility of systematized life, of sterilized thoughts scraped free of emotion, a mundane malaise without problems and without pleasure.
This, the demon continued, was why Amduscias was going to parish to the dust in his prison out in the lonesome woods. His method of absorbing and controlling the madness and pain of the human race takes place too much on an individual level and moves too slow for him to gain the fuel needed to rise back to his full power. While Amdusicas takes a day to craft a musical piece for every individual soul, Buer gathers hundreds in his teeth with every passing day.
Buer knows I’m petrified. He just smiles and narrows his eyes.
“But now that I’ve Amduscias’ errand boy here, what will I do with him?”
From behind me I hear the heavy clomping of boots, and the motor of a carving knife come to life.
The process had pain, but was necessary to upgrade the entire system. Information Manager Buer directed the wired man to disassemble me and reassign my parts so they could be used to optimum efficiency. Both hands currently process information at a nearby terminal at 300 words per minute. They have been fitted with specialized electronics to make them double their typing rate.
My torso’s lipid and muscle tissue have been converted to a new power source which enables the operation of six new terminals. My legs act as pistons in a well-designed pump to increase the flow of cool air to all computer systems.
My head rests on a pedestal with the maximum amount of wires running out of all orifices to improve data transfer and computation. My teeth have been removed in order to increase wire density, and thereby increase information input and output. Information Manager Buer has directed my brain toward more strenuous information gathering tasks because of its exposure to the influence of Amduscias. In data gathering activities, I occasionally receive messages from Amdusicas which may be filed under subject headings “Hunger,” “Diminishing,” “Dying,” and “Anger.” I am directed to disregard and delete these messages. I am getting an input directing me to begin operations in Europe and Asia. Will initiate new tasks in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1.