Welcome to TranquiGage

You've got mail, citizen-employee.

Congratulations, citizen-employee!

Your district, District 153B, has been approved for fifteen publicly accessible TranquiGage© Disengagement Tanks™. We know that life gets hard, and we are honored to support you, your family, and your entire district in the vital agricultural/plant operations work that you perform. When you need a break, take it with TranquiGage©.

Disengagement Tanks™ are NOT sensory deprivation devices. They utilize state-of-the-art UranImage 237™ cores to offer the next level of fully immersive entertainment: high-quality simulations of anything you desire. Take a load off with high-octane puzzle gaming, guided lily blossom meditation, or virtual opposite-sex romantic encounters. There are millions of options!

All residents of District 153B have been approved for daily one-hour sessions. Your Disengagement Area is located at on the corner of Walnut and 22nd Ave. For maximum convenience, your SSN has been assigned as your personal access code. If you are eligible for additional time dispensation, a personal note will follow. Welcome to TranquiGage©.

Dear citizen-employee,

Our data indicates that one of our recently installed assets, Disengagement Tanknumber thirteen, is temporarily out of service. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience. At TranquiGage© we take our obligation to the community seriously and we are doing everything in our power to make it right.

The repair window is currently pending.

Dear Malcolm,

I’m Tracy, your Fulfillment Coordinator. These are secure and private communications, so please feel free to reply with honest feedback.

I hope you are satisfied with the deployment of our Disengagement Tanks™ in your area. Studies have shown that productivity increases by as much as twenty-two percent in people who disengage for their breaks; we’re here to help you achieve your goals, both personal and professional. Please remember to submit all time away with your district manager for approval.

Here at TranquiGage© we believe that the harder you work, the harder you need to play. I am excited to inform you that the factors listed below make you eligible for (an) additional time allotment(s) in the amount of 1.05 hours per day. Good job!

Transportation: Manual Ambulation (+0.15 hours). Every day you walk to the plant down Walnut Street. Data shows that there is a higher-than-average incidence of both casual and aggravated street crime in this area.

Exposure: Environmental Decay (+0.10 hours). You spend most of your time in the vicinity of Walnut Street. Data shows that approximately eighty-six percent of historically pleasant foliage in this area has expired.

Exposure: Radiation (+0.50 hours). Your employment in plant operations puts you at regular, increased levels of exposure to radioactive materials, which some governments and corporations know to be harmful to physical health and mental well-being.

Bereavement: Accidental Death (+0.30 hours). Your family at TranquiGage© is profoundly sorry to hear about your loss. Ginger was an important and unique individual.

So take that extra time on us! You deserve it! And remember, we’re here to support you along every step of the way. Enjoy!

Thanks for using TranquiGage!
Tracy M.
Senior Fulfillment Coordinator, TranquiGage

Hey Malcolm,

It’s Tracy. I’m supposed to reach out about your tank usage, so here it is: We’ve noticed that you’ve logged zero hours in simulations since our deployment in your area. There are millions of high-quality games, sensory simulations, et cetera.

Now that’s out of the way—you are using the tanks, aren’t you? I have your login records, and you’ve been in number thirteen every day. So, maybe you haven’t realized that it’s out of order. Maybe you need some alone time. Or maybe you’re fiddling around with the nuclear core.

District 153B Special Prosecutors cleared District 153B Plant Operations of any wrongdoing in an official trial for which you stood witness. You believe that you have many enemies, but I am not one of them. We’re here to provide the tools that you need to thrive, and you might be surprised if you gave us them a chance. You are not alone in your pain.

Thanks for using TranquiGage!
Tracy M.
Senior Fulfillment Coordinator, TranquiGage

Dear citizen-employee,

We hope to find you well. While disengagement is our passion here at TranquiGage©, engagement is also important. Studies have found that individuals who respond to at least 35% of their Sponsored Communications report increased productivity and higher levels of overall life satisfaction. According to our records, you have responded to 0 percent of your Sponsored Communications.

It’s easy! Try saying something simple, such as I understand, thank you.

Or my favorite food is macaroni.

We’ll reply with helpful lifestyle tips. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


I know you see this message. I know you’re in thirteen right now, and I know what you’re doing.

A technician visited the tank last night. We’re impressed by your handiwork, but it was slow progress, doing it alone, wasn’t it?

The only thing we can’t figure out is how you’re going to deliver the payload.

We want to help. We can move the tank discreetly, and we know the vulnerabilities of the company complex better even than its most devoted employees. It will all be in your name, of course, but first you have to trust. You have to reply to this message.

Or you can go it alone. The choice is yours.

Thank you for destroying TranquiGage.


Share "Welcome to TranquiGage" with your friends!

About The Author

Support indie publishing

We couldn't be here without you.

The Dread Machine is run by passionate volunteers and funded by donations. We don’t have sponsors, and we don’t sell ads. Our community makes our work here possible. If you enjoy our stories, please consider joining our Patreon. Every penny we receive pays a writer and expands our library of content.


$1 / month

Most popular

$3 / month

$2 / month



$25 / year

Quarterly electronic issues delivered in epub and pdf.


$40 / year

Quarterly issues delivered in print, epub, and pdf.




Featured In

Issue 2.4 Paperback

Find a piece of the sky, make friends with some dogs, read a prisoner of war’s Christmas list, dance with the spiders, befriend a dead girl, and spontaneously combust in your drug dealer’s apartment.

Escape the real world with a dying friend, get immortalized in plastic, break the multiverse, and experience a day in the life of a chair.

Whatever you do, protect the children, and make sure you kill all of the fascists.


More from 2.4


The life of a corporate mercenary is one long boring wait, punctuated by brief, bright red bouts of violence.

A Piece of the Sky

With all due respect, sir, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Teacher’s Game

You run an illegal school for illegal children in an illegal township. You fight for a future your own child will never know.



A woman and her illegal child attempt to make it past Border Enforcement.

Welcome to TranquiGage

You've got mail, citizen-employee.

Share "Welcome to TranquiGage" with your friends!

What's the password?

Login to your account

Stay informed