Paper Castle by Relato Corto

The sound of mechanical rotors was heard throughout the warehouse. Men controlled the operation of the rollers, while the material traveled through the printing press.

Standing next to a wide window on the second floor of the factory, Otis watched the printer mint the bills. Until the sound of a call brought him back to the present.

“Freedom letters,” he said, after picking up the phone. “Otis to serve you.”

“Otis… Mr. President,” Alberth said, “we have a problem.”

“Easy, Alberth,” said Otis—founding president and owner of the national currency press—Freedom letters. “Come, chat in my office.”

“Right away, Mr. President.”

Otis waited by his office window. Observing the business he created thanks to his effort and dedication. The company that made him admired for his ability to generate resources for the country.

Eventually, Otis heard a knock on his office door.

“Come in.”

“With your permission, Mr. President,” Alberth said as he passed.

“Tell me, what is so important?”

“The citizens of the country have found a way to carry out transactions without the use of our currency.”

“That’s impossible,” Otis said, and walked over to his office bar. “We just have to destroy whoever is printing the new coins.”

“It’s a digital currency,” Alberth said.

“We control the communication networks, right?” Otis said, pouring himself a glass of whiskey. “We can block their servers.”

“The server is distributed among the users,” Alberth said.

“We can institute laws to prohibit their use,” Otis said, and took a sip from his glass.

“It is impossible to know who is using it,” Alberth said. “Anyone with a computer can create an account and start receiving and sending payments.”

“What are you talking about?”

“We have done everything in our power,” Alberth said sincerely. “We even created other digital currencies to decrease its popularity. People continue to find it convenient to use this digital currency for immediate transactions with each other.”

“There must be a way to destroy it,” Otis said, on his way to his desk.

“Unlike us,” Alberth said, “no one can increase the total number of digital coins in circulation.”

“What do the owners of this currency gain?”

“It has no owner,” Alberth said, looking at Otis sitting down on the large chair behind his desk.

“How troublesome do you think it is for us?”

“In the long term, traditional currencies are going to disappear,” Alberth said. “We cannot compete with a currency that does not make a profit from the minting of coins.”

“I think…yes, I have a solution,” Otis said. “We must change the system, make any type of currency lose its value. That way it will be impossible to show that we are devaluing the currency.

“We will have to start using all our resources to manipulate people. Make them see how evil capitalism is. Make them pay more attention to the pollution we are generating; we can stop managing the waste of the country and blame capitalism.

“In a few years we will have them convinced that the only way to survive is by letting the state control the polluting entities. By then, we will have everyone in congress on our payroll.

“Instead of a currency, we will create a point system and only give them to those following our rule. We’ll give everyone what they deserve and take total control of the private sector.

“By the time they realize what we’ve done; a pandemic should keep them busy. It would also be a great way to make the global economy collapse.

“Only those who obey my laws will have a chance to survive after the great reset.

“It might sound impossible, but using the power of our minting press and those from other countries, we can create a totalitarian state and maintain control over the world.”

“What if something goes wrong?” Alberth asked. “If people decide to continue using this digital medium for all their transactions.”

“That would be the end of the traditional financial system,” Otis said, looking down. “The end of our domain… after all we’ve done for them. Ungrateful bastards. I don’t want to imagine a world where people have control over the growth of their money; instead of losing their purchasing power every time we print our fair share.”

“There will be people who are against a totalitarian state,” Alberth said.

“In war and in love anything goes,” said Otis. “I want the press at full capacity. We need to double the current amount of total currency. No one will know what’s happening until it’s too late.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: