Matthew Harris: Senior Surveillance Officer. AKA, the Neighbourhood Ear. Charged with gathering details re the perpetrators and supporters of Noise and passing said info to Operations. It is a demanding but rewarding job and is paid accordingly, with fringe benefits.
MQE is tough on noise, tough on the causes of noise. We contend with producers and consumers alike, without fear or favour and in accordance with our robust equal opportunities policies. We have the powers; we have the knowledge; we have the skills. We serve the public interest 24/7/365. We are the Quiet Coach. Silentium est Aurum.
We target rogue producers, off-shore noise manufacturers, illicit pirate stations, unlicensed bands. We identify resistors listening at midnight in attic rooms; activists scrawling graffiti on walls: Music Be the Food of Love, etc, or wiring up boom boxes to speed cameras and traffic lights.
We equip whistleblowers with hidden receivers, tap clandestine studios, infiltrate garage bands. We clip microphones to party walls, slip listening devices behind china cabinets, secrete receptors inside microwaves, hide bugs under the bonnets of cars. We pay good money. We get good results.
We fight noise with fire. Our payback teams build bonfires. Saxophones melt. Guitars flare. Crowds cheer. We fight noise with noise. Mouths taped, our chain-gangs wield sledgehammers, smash sound systems, break records. We ruin producers; we close clubs. We ban bands; we burst drums. We break hands; we slit tongues. Our noise is final.
My loyalty is unquestioned. But sometimes the songs of my childhood dance into my head. Sometimes I open my office window and I hear singing in the hills. Sometimes I imagine the screams of the silenced and my heart trembles. I close my ears and consider my pension.