Aiden Eldritch
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At the security checkpoint, they pat me down for electronic devices: anything more powerful than (or even as powerful as) an abacus could wreak havoc with the kind of karmic computations they carry out here, and just to make sure that I haven't got ENIAC up my ass they run a little wand intoning the Pranava Mantra over my body. Thankfully, I've already checked my phone in at the visitor's office, and I go through without losing another nine hundred dollars to the endless Om of the Mantra's grip.

They tell me that even before the big karmics boom, Andhra Pradesh was already doing work in esoterics: little whispers of work in the field of practical theology long before anyone had heard of Kosogorin, Shapur and Priyadarshni, the shadows of something big lurking in concrete-filled rooms abandoned to the passage of time in the underground floors. Unfortunately, today's visit won't even bring me close to the rat's nest of slightly radioactive tunnels: instead, me and my terrifying-looking escort are heading up to the newly-opened DIVYA theocomputer. Why Big Karma chose to pluck me off the street for this job interview - well, that's a mystery that'll be solved whenever we reach our destination. Hopefully.

As we ride in the elevator, I idly scan my escort out the corner of her eye: if the fatigues weren't enough to convince you of her military standing, she's got the slightly-hunched standing of someone whose dreams have been finely macerated in the way that only compulsory service will do to you. I got pretty familiar with the look after a year in Singapore for the exchange program: that being said, none of the servicemen I saw managed to muster up (let alone communicate) this much irritation in a single glare in my direction. I cough, look down, and awkwardly rearrange the freshly-printed copy of the Paper — things that get the attention of giant theocomputation companies are worth Proper Capitalisation — under my arm until the doors ding open and I'm led not to the computer room, but to the office of an unassuming little man with thinning hair and a salt and pepper beard.

His name is printed on block letters on his nameplate as "Geoffrey Vickers", and he's the Research Director of Intel's karmics division.

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