SUMMARY: Adelle's thoughts on the world she helped create

NOTES: For the lj user="angst_bingo" prompt 'dystopian' and the 100_tales prompt #067 Destruction


Until it happened, Adelle had never really thought much about the end of the world, beyond a catastrophe millions of years in the future that would wipe out the planet. Of course what people meant when they said 'the end of the world' was 'the end of humankind' or, more specifically, 'the end of what I hold dear, my life, my existence'.

The Rossum Corporation's Dollhouses and the technology employed therein, were meant to improve people's lives – though admittedly only very few people, the sort who had more money than ethics. The technology was supposed to be about pleasure; love not war, as it were.

Of course, all new technologies were first used for two things: combat and porn.

The Dollhouse could oblige on both counts.

Whores and soldiers, that was the Dollhouse had the capacity to create. Mindless obedient servants to cater to every given whim. No, scratch that. Dolls in their blank state were nearly mindless, but they made terrible bed mates or soldiers. Cannon fodder they might be, but they weren't of any real use.

Dolls programmed to be exemplary whores and elite soldiers; now that was something else again. Brains loaded with every skill set the Corporation had been able to lay greedy fingers on. Improved upon, tweaked, personalities that could be downloaded into Doll after Doll. Lose a Doll to friendly fire? No problem, just find a new one and implant the same skill set.

It made people disposable.

Adelle had tried to ignore that aspect of things. She did her best to take care of the people in her care. These were never meant as cannon fodder but were individuals who had – some more willingly than others – signed up for the programme and who would leave the Dollhouse after their term of service.

That could change, she'd always known that. One day it might be a question of forced conscripts turned into warriors and let loose on enemies both foreign and domestic, and anyone who got in their way…

Yet in the end it hadn't been an all out war, Doll-soldiers against Doll-soldiers, while Doll-whore-spies infiltrated the beds of not-Doll commanding officers to steal their secrets. It had been a single terrifying moment of the technology being pushed to its limits that brought about the end of the known world, wiping the minds of almost all humankind, scrambling their personalities, chaos reigning.

The Earth was still here, though cities lay in ruins and mobs prowled the streets. Rossum executives used multiple bodies to live in luxury while the majority of people struggled to even survive. The imprinted fought the unimprinted. Those controlling the technology controlled the world.

Not a post-apocalyptic world, not quite, but a dystopia. And one that Adelle knew she had helped create. That sort of knowledge could drive one into insanity, but Adelle was stronger than that. She had survived this far, she would continue to live, she would work tirelessly to undo – if it could be undone – what she had helped to do.

Not right now, though. Right now, she was drinking the last of the brandy, and looking up at the moon – ever-changing and yet unchanged by the technology, unlike the Earth on which she gazed down upon.

Right now she was wallowing in the knowledge that this situation had happened on her watch. That she, Adelle DeWitt, despite what she'd once insisted she had no intention of doing, had presided over the end of Western Civilization.

It was sort of funny, if you thought about it too long, but Adelle didn't allow herself to laugh, for fear the hysterics would consume her and she'd never be able to stop.