Strung between calendars and diaries. It was a lie that Reality Engineers had to first craft a mini-universe from a haiku, but they had to be able to full understand what was around them, so that they would notice when things had been changed. Not long after they had been tested for the memories the Subtle Men would move in, and the changes would begin.
Subtle Men were scary – out in the field they were known as Gaslighters, and they had grown out of the Fiction Department back in the day, before the Department For Environmental Programming had snaked its influence into every place they could, and propaganda warped into Domestic Environmental Warfare (DEW) and then morphed into Reality Hacking and then Reality Engineering.
Memory crackled and fractured for some – it was expected that they break. Whether they could crawl out of the throat of their own psychological darkness and build something durable and real and true was the test as to whether or not they were good enough to one day become a true Reality Engineer.
There were Echo-Heads who haunted the place, who spoke in slow looping phrases that were time-mirroring and multi-directional on the quantum level. An insane person with any degree of Reality Engineering training had to be contained.
Ghent headed up the Subtle Men unit. Brewse ran the training grounds. They weren’t exactly friends, but both of them had worked out a lot of what they knew from experiences in the field. It was rumoured that Brewse had saved Ghent when they had been facing down The Null Army. If you survived it was something you could be proud of.
Ghent was watching the crop this year, and he saw that there were some people who had real stamina; he saw that there was some brilliance there, and that those guys didn’t need to endure because they were working their hack-rigs faster than the Subtle Men could twist the world around them. Peck Zubler, and Julie Mangart were ones to watch. When you see a horror spun through a Dali eye become a thing of beauty, you know that you are witnessing greatness. Brewse always knew who he was talking about when he came to him later and let him know who had impressed him.
Was it an easy life? No. Was it worthwhile? Of course.