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Today's Story by Darren Callahan

Interlude (a press release)

City of Human Remains – Chapter 23

|| Doll Industries – For Release: Douglaz Doll Biography ||

Douglaz Doll is a man out of time.  He is no ordinary 21st century businessman.  Considered by many to be one of the most brilliant minds in American society, considered by others to be a reckless egomaniac, Mr. Doll acknowledges neither of these opinions.  Instead, he focuses on his own unique path of invention, innovation, and the health of his burgeoning company.

Born on September 23rd, 2047, the son of Cindy Manson Mecurio, a global climate specialist, and Robert Quinn Doll, a businessman, Mr. Doll has not always been as successful as he is today.  His mother and father met in 2044 and married 6 weeks thereafter.  The city of Mr. Doll’s birth was __________, now known as City 27, but he has resided in City 32 since the age of 5.  His mother was transferred to the local television station to work as a staff meteorologist.  Though she never appeared on camera, Cindy Doll was reported to have been very charismatic.

His father’s ambitions were in real estate.  His natural business instincts (passed to his son) soon bore fruit, as Mr. Doll’s father was able to embark on his own Building and Loan firm in January of 2050, helped in part by a city grant for ‘Young Professionals of Ideas.’

Unfortunately, any long-term success was cut short.  Both parents were killed in a late-night single car crash in the spring of 2054.  The cause of the accident is not known.

An architect from Argentina named Tomas Zigon (who would later become famous in his own right) had become close with Mr. Doll’s parents and a bond was formed with young Douglaz.  Mr. Zigon applied for custody of the boy and this was granted, thus saving Mr. Doll from residence in City Orphanage, as he had no surviving grandparents or other close relatives.

In 2068, at the age of 17, Mr. Doll attended Commonwealth School of Economics, but later dropped out due to lack of interest in the field.  In 2069, he briefly considered a career as a lawyer with an eventual eye toward politics, as Mr. Zigon had many friends who were politicians, including the presiding mayor of City 32, John Cumberland, and successor for the popular Jesus Rey (who died while serving his fourth term of office.) Deciding he enjoyed invention more than politics, Mr. Doll instead went into mechanical engineering at the newly formed Innovators School, a special project of Mayor Cumberland.

Mr. Doll was certainly the brightest of the school’s first generation, and by mid-2076 he had graduated, settled into his own offices on Canal Street, and started an invention business, christened Doll Industries.

With a staff of just 16, Mr. Doll slowly secured a set of patents and was able to expand the business to new offices by winter of 2080.  Soon, Doll Industries’ number of employees topped 100 men and women.  Doll’s first products were well received in the market, but not notable beyond their ability to create revenue.

‘I’m successful, I think, because I don’t pay any attention to trends,” Douglaz Doll was quoted as saying in ‘32 Magazine’ in March of ‘81.  ‘In fact, my employees sometimes make a joke of me for being a backwards thinker.  I know modern technology, sure.  But zeros and ones don’t excite me the way gears and levers do.’

Mr. Doll’s skills bridged three key areas: mechanics, technology, and business.  This created a perfect synergy for his ideas.  Whether the latest technological marvel from inner or outer space, or a broken telephone from the last century, Mr. Doll has a depth of understanding that far surpasses the normal American corporate executive.  Even the way in which he dresses and the way he cuts his hair seem from another time, another place.

Mr. Doll’s greatest achievement to date is the Doll Weather System, currently undergoing Pilot Test in City 32.  The first several years of the pilot are considered an unqualified success.  This has created high expectations as Mr. Doll considers taking Doll Industries public for the first time in its history.  I don’t know,’ laments this captain of industry, ‘I’m used to controlling everything.  We have a very entrepreneurial business culture.  I think I could work with a board of directors, but that doesn’t mean I like everyone knowing my business.  I identify with, say, the infamous Howard Hughes, as a recluse, more than the late Bill Gates, as a global personality and philanthropist. ‘

The sponsoring government of City 32 doesn’t agree with Doll’s characterization.  In fact, Mayor Franco Cocanaugher was recently quoted: ‘We look forward to a long partnership with Doll Industries, and particularly its president and founder.  In fact, we’re a lot alike, Douglaz and I – we both have the same tastes.  But there’s one major difference: he’s a genius, whereas I am not.  Our city is lucky to have him.  It’s like Alexander Graham Bell living next door to you.  Everything he’s made has helped this city, particularly the weather system.  We’re grateful. ‘

Now that there is control of the weather, or as Mr. Doll prefers we say, ‘stabilization of the weather,‘ Doll Industries has expanded to a 60-story building in the financial district.   The bottom four floors are the central business offices of Doll Industries; the upper floors are the luxurious living quarters of Mr. Doll and key staff members.  There is also a weather technical resource center near the city docks.  With over 500 field employees and nearly 220 office employees, every element of the system is closely monitored.

As for his personal life, Douglaz Doll has never married and has no children.  ‘I’m a creature of late nights and isolation, and completely focused on the success of the company and my inventions, ‘ he explains, ‘what about that would sound appealing to a woman? ‘

For more information on Douglaz Doll, Doll Industries, or its products, please contact the Media Education Office, Second Floor, The Doll Building, City 32.