Frame of Mind


By Nicola Vallera

cover image of Frame of Mind

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In a dystopic and futuristic Seattle, a woman is forced to work in an office 24/7. Previously, her beloved family had been recruited by force as well. An extreme hardworking philosophy is the insane new trend, and the whole of civilization follows the same path. A few mysterious characters control the departments; machines and androids carry on the manual chores in the outer world, and the woman soon understands she is not a clerk but a captive and cannot quit anymore. The job consists of impersonating remote avatars to perform dodgy missions, exterminate people among which. The tasks resemble video games except for the fact that, when she makes mistakes, she gets brutally punished through a sort of electroshocks. The woman attempts to flee unsuccessfully and, as a sentence, they lock her in a room and condemn her to capital death. She manages to escape and smells freedom for a while living alone disguised as a robot. She obtains her food by scavenging in the depositories which only operators are uninterested cyborgs. Next, she discerns that some soldiers are after her. Hence, she highjacks an automated taxi and moves to Vancouver where she gets by. One day, she bumps into a real woman who had had the same kind of experience of hers. The latter suggests the woman kill the local bureau receptionists to take their identity but, after having done it, her fellow gets caught and held. Frantic but determined to rescue her only friend, the woman carries on a successful plan and free her mate. They move to Seattle. Back to freedom, the two friends decide to poison the feedstocks aimed at the bureau where the woman had served previously, but they fail and, after a while, the woman's companion suddenly vanishes. The woman believes the evil characters from the office have kidnapped her friend and writes a threatening message to the department. When she thinks she has made it, she falls into an ambush gets busted...To be continued...

Frame of Mind