Viewing posts tagged wage labour

35

Lytton and Griffiths are wandering across a quarry.  It actually is a quarry.  Something is being dug up or mined there, by slaves watched over by Cybermen.

Lytton has a device that detects Cybermen.

"There are two very close," he says.

"That's right!" shouts a very human voice from behind him.

Bates and Stratton - two escapees from the Cybermen's labour gangs - disarm and frisk Lytton and Griffiths.

Lytton has been looking for them, and they've been looking for him.

"Are they Cybermen?" asks the perplexed Griffiths.

"Almost," says Lytton, amused.

"This is what the Cybermen do to you..." sneers Bates, removing his glove and sleeve to reveal a cybernetic arm, a chilly construct of steel and pulleys.  His metal hand closes on Griffiths' fleshy one and squeezes.  Bates watched Griffiths' pain with dead eyes.

"How much of you?"

"Arms and legs."

Bates and Stratton are rejects from the Cyber-conversion process.  The Cybermen turn their rejects - the ones that cannot be entirely consumed - into labourers in their quarry.

So... the Cybermen start with the arms and legs.  The legs that give locomotion.  The arms and hands that lift and move and ...

36

The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are brought in to see the Master of the Land of Fiction.  He has dossiers on them.  He is, as Zoe says, very well organised.

"We have to be," he says, "The running of this place requires enormous attention to detail. It's a responsible position, but very rewarding"

A 'responsible position'.  So it's a job.

"Responsible to who?" asks the Doctor.

Not to a person, says the Master, to "another power. Higher than you could begin to imagine."

A system, an inhuman hegemon.

He congratulates them on the way they handled their tests.  They have passed the job interview.

It transpires that the Master is a writer.

"Did you ever hear of the Adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway?" he asks.

"No, I can't say that I... wait a minute, a serial in a boys' magazine?"

"The Ensign!  For twenty-five years, I delivered five thousand words every week!"

"Twenty-five years, five thousand words a week..." Zoe adds it up... "that's well over half a million words!"

"That's why I was selected to work here," says the Master.  He got headhunted.

He spent his life working ...

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