Who are The Children?
"Think of The Children!" "It's all for the sake of The Children.
Imprecations at least a hundred years old -- possibly older than Alpha Complex. But who do they refer to?
Not ordinary Junior Citizens, of course. Nobody cares much about them -- that's why we stuff them into those 'educational' creches until they're strong enough to do heavy lifting. There's a little trouble when someone tries to press Communism or other treason into their putty-like minds, but that's simple enough to deal with if you can catch it in time. After all, it's dead easy to make more.
So who, then?
There have been at least a dozen Secret Society offshoots named some variant of 'The Children of Such-and-Such' over the centuries (most FCCCP or Romantics offshoots, though the robotic Children of Asimov had a brief heyday), but most have been rather short-lived. And the expressions seem to predate them all.
The naming schemes of the offshoots suggest a practice hinted at in the Gatzmann_Archives, where unregulated hormonal activity could in some way result in someone 'having' children -- possibly an early ownership arrangement, or a precursor to the use of robot servants in the days before sophisticated electronics. There need to be further studies on this, but they're not our concern today.
I might have been prone to think this just a linguistic anomaly, a holdover from the bad old days before Official Verbiage Assessments, but for some of the notes found in Ken-U-RON-6's personal effects, from just before his untimely disappearance. (q.v. the entry on Phantom_Sectors.)
From the Files of Ken-U-RON-6:
- V. interesting scrap found among DUL's refuse. Prob. remnant of MOST research he's working on. Should take to secured location for further study. Of note:
Admonishment: Think of The Children and they shall arrive, bearing with them disaster of a most unspeakable minty freshness. The Wall_Will_Fall. Go forth and sin, rend them limb from limb, and thou shalt do it all for the Sake of The Children... Meaning unclear, poss. related to 'Those of
Unspeakable_Treason.' But clearly can link DUL to 'rend limb from limb.' Got that jerk now. Buy PRVX @ 23 1/8, sell in 33 min. Lunch w/Ging?
Barring the personal memos, I think this is pretty clear. 'The Children' are one of the unspeakable and incomprehensible things spoken of in the Manifesto_Out_of_Space_and_Time. Somehow, my predecessor had found out that Drake-U-LAH-1 was working on it, and obtained a copy of certain of his notes, most likely in hopes of securing payback for Drake-U's interrogation of Ging-I-VTS-5. (I make no claims for her guilt or innocence, save to say that her successor clone seems loyal enough.) I can only guess he went to a secure location with these notes... and, sometime after Drake-U went insane, was driven mad by them himself. (Or, worse, perhaps abducted by agents of the League_of_Extraordinary_Dadaists. Or even driven mad then abducted.)
How this mad of a phrasing made its way into the modern Alpha Complex lexicon in such an innocuous form is beyond me, but the evidence is plain. And the middle part strikes me as a possible prophetic relationship to the Toothpaste_Disaster itself -- despite the fact that Koolmint is ranked as INDIGO on the list of Thirty-one_Official_Flavors, 'minty fresh' has been the standard epitome of dental hygiene for at least a century, dating back to the days before Koolmint replaced boring old ordinary Mint on the list.
Whoever these 'The Children' are, somehow, it's been deeply ingrained in every citizen in Alpha that they should be protected and served. This is nasty propaganda that runs deep, friends.
This doesn't necessarily suggest that the League is behind the Disaster itself, or that their mad beliefs are true. But whatever the facts, they may well think they are. Which could be a dangerous thing in and of itself...