From the park bench, Miranda watched the ducks bobbing on the surface of the pond. People smiled at her as they passed. This is all an illusion, Miranda thought, as she stood and walked along the perfectly paved path, through the perfectly kept flower beds, taking the route she always took to her comfortable home in the peaceful suburbs. Yesterday Miranda hadn’t questioned her safe and orderly world.
An impulsive decision had led to a chance discovery: Miranda was not in control of her destiny. Now, despair clawed at her insides as she struggled to maintain a normal appearance. Everything was the same, but she was not. She was trapped, and she had no idea how to escape.
The city surveillance cameras tracked Miranda’s progress on her homeward journey. With electron speed her personality profile data was reviewed, her social networks mapped, her consumer and behaviour patterns analysed. The super-computer completed its calculations and made its predictions. An anomaly had occurred. A citizen had deviated from normal parameters. The electronic brain of the global network formulated its conclusions: Divergent behaviours must not be allowed to threaten the order of society. Measures must be taken to neutralise the threat.