Subtle anarchy was the only recourse.

In the Before Times, as Marta liked to think of them, there was little by way of regulation and rules. She’d dictated her own show format, decided the music she wanted to play, and ignored the phone calls for requests. In the Before Times, her fanbase had been just okay in numbers, but incredibly loyal. She knew who would be listening, and knew a lot about their lives. They called in regularly to chat on the topics she presented, sometimes calling just to chat. She hadn’t cared much about being popular, because her content had heart. Her producer had appreciated that, in the Before Times.

Nothing lasts forever, though. The station had been sold. At first, things stayed the same. She’d thought it would go nuclear right off the bat, with mass extermination of jobs, a gutting of the whole organization. It was actually more confusing when nothing at all happened. Of course, just when she’d calmed from constant worrying about being fired, the bomb dropped. Apparently, the new owners had needed time to assess. She was informed that everything about her show would have to change. Or, of course, she could leave.

Marta didn’t feel like she really had an option. She was at the only station in the whole county. Her heart was in radio, and until she could afford to move, she was stuck. Her tentative idea of having a renegade station was obliterated by the threat of jail time if she was found out. She was a lightweight rebel. Willing to defy and piss off, not willing to ruin her life. She grudgingly accepted the proposal, and went through the training on what makes a good segment. Really, she needn’t have bothered, as the new owner had already decided what she would be doing. He walked her through it, step by excruciatingly dull step. Marta was bored just listening to his pitch, and knew she was about to lose all her current listeners.

She was allowed one farewell show, and she pulled out all her best material. Her callers all bemoaned the loss of her, of their beloved few hours of music they loved, so she made sure to record all of their statements, for all the good it would do her. She made promises that she would try to make her show something that her favorites could stomach at the very least. At the end, she felt as if she’d done her best, that she’d given one hell of an audio party. Which was really all she could hope for.

It did give her an idea, though. An act of subtle anarchy that fit in with the level of defiance she was willing to exhibit, one that she executed every single day. At least once a shift, usually more, Marta would play a song from her old show’s format, touting it as a new sound, hoping to introduce the new bland world to her greatest musical loves. One day, she knew she might get in trouble for it, but until they called her on it, she would continue.


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