Functionary awoke early the next morning and had already jumped from his plinth and was sitting, daydreaming, when Judith arrive with his breakfast of jellies of a slightly different colour combination from that he had received before. Functionary was intent on ensuring that Judith could not easily leave: “Tell me some more about the ship? How does this welfare thing work.”
Judith looked a little irritated and looked at her electronic board as though there were other tasks she was expected to fulfil. But she obviously felt that she had to deal with the questioning of Functionary: “Well everyone is expected to work and be productive according to their skills and aptitudes but anyone who is sick or injured be it through accident, injury or old age is looked after as much as is necessary and for as long as necessary. I suppose beyond that, the system is also relatively equitably in so far as people are provided for in accordance with their needs rather than in accordance with their worth, skills or powers.”
Interesting, thought Functionary. Judith had obviously been thinking about his questions of the former night or had been asking some questions herself.
“And the democracy thing, how does that work?”
“Well, we have elections and referendums occasionally, and some senior officials are elected and apparently we also get to vote on important issues.”
“Wow” thought Functionary, Judith had been doing some preparation.Clearly, he thought, she has asked someone and had received the standard answers. Nevertheless, it was interesting to hear the official account of how the Hospital Ship was controlled and organised, even if the reality was somewhat different.
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