Social Code, Chapter 1 — The Addetti

They removed the support structure, and gravity did the rest. The bottom fell out of everything, just as they had planned. Law, order, and morality lost their familiarity, and new leaders, foolish men and women with egos big enough to think they could save us from everything, smelled the meat, crept up to it, sniffed it, and bit down just as the trap door slammed behind them. They were caught, and they were powerless. Now the Addetti controlled it all.

I became nov019 and got lost, which is what the Addetti would have wanted. But I was far from done with them. I disappeared from them completely shortly after I met a sympathizer who, get this, cried in front me — a total stranger — after revealing what he knew. We stood out on the end of a pier that juts out from the city. Filthy, brown, foamy scum splashed up against the pilings beneath us as he told me that right before the whole thing went down his father had been suicided for knowing too much. He told me everything his father had told him.

Within days, we were cranking through pain meds and playing gruesome video games from parts of the dark web on his family’s flat-screen television late at night when his mom and kid sister were sleeping. Because, Jesus, anything was better than staying unaltered and alone inside your head trying to reconcile something like this.

He told me his father had taken on extra work at night for double-time pay drilling the cavities that held the explosives. The Addetti had shut the buildings down totally on those nights, cutting all power and communications, and he and his team had to use some kind of military-grade night vision devices to make it easier to work quickly floor to floor while no one saw any lights from the outside. He had signed some kind of non-disclosure form that threatened federal prison time if he mentioned this work to anyone. But he made sure his son knew, and his son had to talk to someone about it, which is why he ran off at the mouth to me.

And I suspect he blabbed to others as well because the drugs and the horrid video games didn’t last long. My new friend killed himself, so they say, along with his mom and his kid sister in their apartment one night. I found them when the blood was still warm and dripping. The door swung open when I knocked, and I saw the gun loose in his hand, his index finger stuck in the trigger guard. I left their building through the laundry on the first floor. I never even went back to my apartment. I had my knapsack with me, which has everything I need. Like I said, I got lost.

In the bigger scheme, the building implosions were tiny, like a tiny dot, a period typed in the middle of sheet of paper. Terror wasn’t the problem, or even emblematic of the problem, though the world believed it was. This tiny dot on a sheet of paper was the Addetti’s first step toward their solution to what they saw as the real problem, which was unfathomable by comparison.

Do this: Compare the size of the period to the size of the sheet of paper itself. The sheet of paper is the world’s oil supply. The Addetti knew Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar Field was post-peak, which is to say it was running dry, the biggest sign yet the world was running out of oil. The Saudis wouldn’t admit it, but their woes were obvious to the Addetti, who knew they’d been drilling offshore for quite some time. You don’t go to the expense of drilling offshore if you’re Saudi Arabia and you’re sitting on top of the world’s largest reserves. So the Addetti put some super-secret energy task force on a freak-out mission to find out exactly where all the remaining oil around the world existed and how to claim it.

So I tried to imagine the Addetti thinking oil was a problem severe enough to do what they did, to rip the bottom out of a decently functioning society as a casus belli. But it doesn’t add up. The problem has to be bigger than oil.

So do this. Take the sheet of paper with the period typed in the middle and put it in the center of a football stadium. That’s the proper comparison to the real problem. A period on a sheet of paper compared to a football stadium. If you can see the entire stadium, you can’t even see the period. And so the period, that tiny dot — the buildings, the planes, all that death and destruction — is insignificant by comparison. The real problem is incomprehensible to almost anyone, but the Addetti has finally grasped it. This is why they went to extremes. The Addetti knows the problem well, and they’re in complete control of the solution.