The ad of course never mentioned anything about losing every bit of your social life. It didn’t warn you that all your friends would eventually turn their back on you. And it didn’t say that you would become a social pariah. But I should’ve known better.
The ad said:
“Get front row seats for all the major events in the world.“
Since joining the program, I have indeed got from one colorful event to the next. I went to NBA games in Chicago. I attended legendary concerts in Rio de Janeiro. I was there for grand store openings in Dubai.
I also got invited to demonstrations in Paris. I took part in peace talks in the Middle-East. I sat through the hearings of rape victims. I saw mass graves in Syria. I attended Nazi rallies in Germany. But I should have guessed "major events" was not only meant positively.
The ad continued:
“Meet the celebrities of the Globe.”
During my 2nd appointment, I stood meters away from former President Barrack Obama. In my 13th, I was close enough to count the drops of sweat running down Pope Francis’s forehead in Rome. On my 27th, I tailed coach Ellis, before her team won the World Cup.
For my 42nd, I sat next to generals leading children soldiers in Yemen. On my 59th, I dined with the CEOs of companies spilling oil along the coasts of the world. I lost count of those people between two transatlantic flights... or maybe it was on the Bullet Train in Japan.
The ad didn't lie when it said:
“Live the grand life. Hotels, restaurants, and private jets.”
Since I joined, I haven't touched the steering wheel of a car. I haven't done grocery shopping. Somebody chooses, buys, and cleans my clothes for me. Having lunch or dinner is part of my appointments, or I eat food on my way there.
Since I joined, I have not set foot home even once. I should have listened to the office and sold the place and all my belongings before it all started. I should have done it, and severed all my social contacts and friendships at the same time.
The ad also claimed:
“All expenses covered.”
The last time I took money out of my pocket was a week after joining the program. I bought an apple at a farmer’s market. And I almost lost my job because of it. I don't have to buy anything. I can't buy anything, it's against the rules.
I must refuse every gift. I can't choose what to wear. My schedule, my life, is not mine anymore. Not even my free time. I must remain impartial, incorruptible. One single suspicion of favoritism would be the end of all of us.
The ad's final claim wasn't a lie either:
“Let your voice be heard and make history."
My voice is making history. I travel to events. I confirm and refute statements. When I speak in public, thousands hang onto every word I say. Every word we say. There are more of us now. But when I started, everybody knew us by name.
Trust is our weapon. My moves are observed by drones. Every words weighted against their recordings. I haven't lied for years. Not even a small white lie. How could I? This is my reason to live now. I am the truth. And therefore I am trusted.
When the first fake videos appeared, and when AIs started to write believable texts faster than we could fact-check them, our societies, our democracies almost went down the drain. Until the "Truth Foundation" was created. I am a soldier of truth. I am the last shield to protect us against fake news. I attend events, record, and confirm the truth.
My word is trusted. I am a Witness!