“Place the bag upon your head, child, and you shall know which is the way you must go. And we shall raise you in the way you must go.” So the bag was placed over his head, though he wasn’t a child any longer. The Scottish woman enunciated her words carefully, as though pronouncing a death sentence, the secret of a smile flickering at the corners of her mouth. The policy had initially been developed to help identify workplace bullies early on, with the goal of keeping them as comfortable as possible. But the idea had been, if anything, too successful, and now the bag could be placed on anyone, everyone, at any point, for any taxonomic purpose one wished. It was well known that there were four paths out of there, escape routes if you like, though only a minority of those onto whom the bag was placed knew more than the bare minimum.

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