FICTION: Vertical Service Codes by Joseph Aguilar
*57: Malicious caller identification
If you receive a distressing landline call, perhaps someone trying to bully you for lies about the beloved, mark the call as malicious and trace data will be recorded. Trace data can only be accessed by law enforcement. Before activating malicious caller identification, consider whether the call merits police involvement. Since the incident in question appears to have resulted in a death, try to keep the police in mind.
*61: Priority call
The beloved needs you lately. Choose a unique ring for the beloved so you can quickly filter communication from the beloved from communication not from the beloved. Try a ring that signals “the beloved” and “high priority.” Think cheerful, hot, and urgent. Think plain and sharp. Think soft and sweetly painful.
*66: Continuous redial
Recently it has been difficult to connect with the beloved. The beloved’s line floods with calls from friends, relatives, parents, neighbors, angry anonymous locals, and small-time reporters posing as big-time reporters. Conserve your emotional energy by automating redial until your connection goes through. Hello? Hello! Hi.
*69: Last incoming call return
Remember that evening? The phone was ringing as you unlocked the door. You reached the phone right as it quit ringing. You later learned too late that the beloved had tried to call you to ask for assistance in extraction from the situation preceding the incident that led to the present dilemma. If you had known enough about vertical service codes, you could have reconnected with the beloved in time to help prevent the beloved’s proximity to the incident.
*77: Anonymous call rejection
Hidden callers cannot connect with you if you initiate anonymous call rejection. The anonymous caller hears a polite, crisp female voice say that the party the caller has dialed does not accept calls from blocked numbers and to please hang up and try again with Caller I.D. unblocked. Harassment will cease.
*100: Call erasure
The call erasure feature can retroactively expunge the last call received from your memory. You can choose, for example, not to have heard the mother of the beloved tell you tests have shown the blood from the body fits evidence taken from the beloved. You can select not to have heard the father of the beloved share with you that questioning of the beloved and witness testimony led to the search and seizure of the beloved’s property and the arrest and confinement of the beloved. You can decide not to have leveled invective at your delicate aging father for scolding you about your several years of involvement with the beloved despite your father’s many fatherly warnings that have finally proved prescient.
*105: Called party mouthpiece disabling
Your called party’s mouthpiece is rendered mute. You have a silent audience as long as the call stays active. You can tell the jailed beloved everything without interruption. You might reveal to the beloved that you are glad you were not able to extract the beloved from the situation preceding the incident that led up to the present dilemma because it appears the present dilemma would have inevitably arisen. You can declare to the beloved that you hope the beloved stays confined for the full term assigned. You can say you feel irrevocably betrayed by the beloved. You may reveal that you have seen that the beloved is no longer the beloved but the accursed. The accursed cannot respond. The accursed can only listen or hang up the telephone, and the accursed is lonely for you.
*120: Silent telephones
The calling party’s telephone’s earpiece and mouthpiece are rendered mute. The called party’s telephone’s earpiece and mouthpiece are rendered mute. The telephone empties of its power. You hold the shell to your ear.