The Australian Department of Finance assists the Government on matters of financial policy. They are a crucial element in our nation’s budget and financial reporting, as well as being involved in commercial and government services.

What is really important, however, is the parallels between “The Department” and The Ministry of Truth, Aperture Science and Equilibrium’s Grammaton Clerics. How do we know? Because they seem pretty hellbent on telling us that in their latest recruitment video.

The video begins with a slow crawl across The Department’s offices, a lone fortress surrounded by artificial greenery. Most of humanity has been banished to the underground cities, with only party members allowed above. A lone computer screen flickers. It speaks to no one.

Soon, two of The Department’s graduate employees emerge from behind a glass door that is mounted between glass windows. They step along a walkway with glass railings. We see other workers in the distance, as we see everything. The Department practices complete transparency. The Department sees all.

“I’m so stoked for our presentation to the executives this afternoon,” says one employee, who we’ll call ‘Preston’.

“It’s been a massive challenge, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.” He takes a risk by revealing the torture he has endured. He wonders if his comrade understands him. As Preston sees a party member approach, he fears his subterfuge may have cost him.

“I’m just heading downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread,” says the party member. Paleo pear and banana bread is The Department’s only sanctioned meal. “Would you like to join me?” she finishes, her arm stretching out mechanically.

Preston realises she is one of the new synthetic auditors. He knows he is doomed. His friend leaves him. She knows his fate.

“So how are you finding the program?” he asks the robotic assassin. He must keep his composure. Even in the face of death. Such is The Department’s conditioning.

Later, two party leaders discuss the new graduates. “They’ve certainly hit the ground running, or actually I should say sprinting!” says one, referencing the physical elimination challenges. They smile at each other. Remembering the screams.

“Don’t you love The Department, Preston? We all love The Department.”

Another graduate, who we’ll call ‘Winston’, sees someone he recognizes from his reconditioning at The Ministry of Love. “Hey buddy,” Winston drawls. “Sorry, I gotta do that every time. It’s because we’re in the buddy program.” Winston never wants to be reconditioned again.

Teena, a party member checks in on two synthetic graduates. “So are you finalising your presentation?” she asks, deciding whether to report them to the blade runners.

“Yep, nearly there,” they respond. Teena will spare them.

Later, our heroes sit together in a large board room. The nuclear wasteland outside is obscured by a simulation forest that fills the windows.

The Department’s Secretary enters. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback about your work across the different projects. From my first look, I see you’ve built many of the skills that I know will stand you in good stead  for future opportunities. Whether here in Finance or elsewhere in [REDACTED].”

“Many of the ideas you’ve come up with are real game changers. With that in mind, we, the board, are looking forward to seeing your detailed presentations.”

The feed ends. We do not know what becomes of the graduates. We just hope they took their sense suppressors.

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