He had been wracking his brains trying to think of more ways to destabilize the Cali government with the resources he had available. So far he had come up empty.
He continued to visit this cart because the woman gave him extra flavoring for scripture quotes. Zev had that part down cold. The other reason was because she accepted US coinage. Even though official statistics claimed there had been no inflation in Cali over the last fifteen years, the fact remained that a single US nickel that was 75% copper and 25% nickel had the same purchasing power as five Callors, nominally five US dollars.
A roll of nickels went a long way.
The line was growing as he waited. He had about four more customers in front of him when a customer who was slightly better dressed than the norm walked up to the back of the line. Less than a second later, most of the smartphones within hearing pinged.
Zev’s did too, but he made it a habit to never look at his phone in public. There was too much loss in situational awareness for his taste. Since he wasn’t on his phone he had a fine view of what happened next.
The various customers standing in line and the customers dining near the cart dipped into their pockets and pulled out their phones. If they were aware that nearly everybody else was doing so, they gave no sign.
The man who had just joined the line did not pull out his phone. He was hungry and focused on getting his bowl of food.
The heads of the quicker readers came up and started scanning the crowd. A couple of them focused on the new customer.
One walked up to the man while the other fast reader discretely sidled around behind him.
“Are you Denny Stabbinbeck?” the first person asked.
The customer seemed slightly confused. “Well, yes. Do I know you?” he asked his questioner.
“Yeah, we met when my house was foreclosed on.” the first man replied.
Mister Stabbinbeck looked stricken. It was very, very rare that the unwashed masses could pick out specific Cali governmental minions.
The man who was now behind Stabbinbeck had picked up a chunk of concrete that had broken off the curb. It was roughly the size of a regulation, pro football. He quietly closed on the unsuspecting Cali minion from behind, raised the chunk of concrete above his head and klonked the minion square on the man’s balding pate.
The minion went down.
The second man retained his grip on the chunk of concrete. Again, he raised it above his head and then launched it downward into the face of the semi conscious minion.
The two men who assaulted the minion walked away.
A fraction of a second later, the rest of the customers turned and walked away, including Zev. Nobody had raised a finger to stop the assault.
The owner of the pushcart waited until her regular customers were 100 yards away before dialing 9-1-1. This was not shaping up to be a profitable morning for her.
A few blocks to the northwest a young woman carrying an 18-month-old child entered a grocery store.
After filling the cart with the items she could afford, she approached the crowded checkout lanes. As soon as the geo-fence that extended in a 15 meter radius around her collected more than 20 phones, it triggered a mass mailing.
Phones went off. Hands dipped into pockets and handbags. Again, some readers were much faster than others. They quickly picked out the pale, skinny, young woman with the long, straight black hair.
The crowd hesitated.
A matronly black woman with a voice that BOOMED confronted the woman. “You ought to be ashamed. Stealing from poor people. Just think of the world you are creating for your child.”
The rest of the crowd packed in around her. Her child started to cry. The crowd seemed to hesitate, unsure of what to do next.
The old black woman started poking the young woman in the chest. “You better get down on your knees and pray to Jesus and repent cause you let the devil git you. Now get the hell out of here before somebody gets hurt.”
The woman fled. She was lucky. Her husband had only embezzled seven thousand Callors, but that was only because he was a new hire. He was going to hear about his wife’s trip to the grocery store tonight...if he survived the trip home.
A fat lady driving an imported car passed a bus slightly later that morning. The bus was packed with Joe Lunchbucket heading into work for their daily ration of humiliation. The fat lady’s geo-fence triggered as she passed the bus. The fifty workers on the bus could only watch as the car sped past them.
They were waiting for her when she was driving home. A little bit of trash thrown into the road stopped the car. A bucket of mud dumped on the windshield kept her from weaving her way through.
Lethal weapons were in short supply after thirty years of aggressive confiscation. The mob made do with breaking out the side windows with rocks. They wedged the doors closed with pieces of scrap steel and then doused her with two liters of gasoline and threw in a burning newspaper.
The program was still in smolder mode. It was only doxxing one or two percent of the Cali civil servants each day. But it doxxed them when there was a crowd of more than twenty people around the civil servant and the doxxing included the sources and amounts of the civil servant’s plunder.
Cali's power elite were getting a taste of the blow-back from fostering decades of identity politics and fanning the evil of envy and class hatred. The mortality rate among Cali’s elite, the civil servants, approached what would be seen at the height of a full-blown Ebola epidemic.
And the code was still finding its sea legs.