The Ad-ventures of Landis McClure — Pt. 01
In a world controlled by a nefarious network of computer intelligence constructs, where the Human is secondary and subserving, the only advertising allowed is that which is devised by teams of marketing AI. Whispers of resistance, however, murmur through the night. Guerilla Marketing forces, heroic holdovers of a forgotten time, convene in city shadow and murky mire to plot the redemption of humanity and the overthrow of the bits and bolts which took from them what they held most dear. This is the story of one such hero. This is the story of Landis McClure.
Run, Baby. Run.
“Run, baby. Run. / Ain’t comin’ down / til’ butter pancakes n’ mornin’ sun.
Run, baby. Oh, / run. Baby, run. / Got somethin’ special now They want me gone.”
—Randall Ferrár. New-American Blues Singer. 2029 A.D.
“Drones. They pocked the sky, celestial dome made grackle’s egg all spotted and dashed by the humming, whirring things roaming the city in search of us insurrectionists and for wicked-sick high-angle shots of the skyline that’d be great for, like, the establishing shots of Winderston’s Atuo Traders’ upcoming 3.4% APR Sellapalooza broadcast campaign.”
––Journal Entry. Marvis Stapleskint, Project Manager @ Glenn, Groake & Dagger. June 32nd, 20XX A.D. (015 A.F.)
Ace copywriter and acer detective Landis McClure was in a bad way.
How did he get here? Down here. On his back, dust oatmealing the air, congealing in his nostrils, breaths coming slow, hard. Pain in his side, likely a fractured rib. He’d hold out for bruised. He’d been down before, but this was a new low. A lower low. Church-basement low, or maybe an old schoolhouse. Grain elevator? Shit. Clean’d be his neck (always and proudly 5 o’clock shadowed) and long-rued would be the night, after all these years, he’d let himself get caught—but from the state of things, tonight might just be it; from the scratch of things, he could use a shave.
He’d been on the run. Knew that much, heart still fast they way hearts get when the goo and bone they’re stuck with get marked for dead. Where’d he come to, from? Something canine, dogged, in him itched, flashes of the night like fleas in his skull. He tried to remember his training from Advertising Detective and Anti-Counter Insurrectionist finishing school, after The Fall, before he’d lost Her.
Drink. Blink. Think. The top tenets, one of those cheery mnemonics you couldn’t shake, bullshit you couldn’t help but breathe in sweet; one of the first things they taught you in REBL 162: “Guerilla Adware.” He reached for the wide-mouthed flask at his breast, coming back to him now though still, ether-thin. Shit again. Flask empty, he’d left the last of his scotch sizzling on the pursuant drones cam-eye, weather casing damaged by a slung rock hurled behind him (he’d pitched in the minors, Tulsa Tenspeeds), by sheer luck splashed it clean-on when he’d let it get too close, had been able to fry it’s sight circuits but not evade the thing’s sonic resonators, primitive stethoscopic things but now not so useless to the murderous hunk of tin. Blinks, those proved futile, eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the inkiness enveloping him, just as blind as his sight-fettered and soulless ferreter. All that was left to him was to think.