fiction short by Gabrielle B-G
There was once a little girl who had awesome powers. Her destiny was to be an outcast of the Technocratic New Foundations, and so she lives in hiding. In this new system, we’ve been made slaves to their murderous industry. These machines have carried out feats no human could nor would want to and have brought false peace to the world. We thrive behind the machinery; we are no longer casualties, but we are their accessories. The scientists who create our machines lead our industries.
The Great Foundation was the ambition of a powerful ideologue, Herbert Herald’s dream of the future. He wanted to rewrite history and re-shape the minds of everybody. The crazed religious suicides, anarchist violent anger, and overall dissent spark a cataclysmic dividend. The Great Foundation was supposed to be so many things. Instead of a golden age, the great awakening turned into endless tyranny and eventually silence.
In not too long, the God-chosen would wage war on the vulnerable. Believing it was their time to reign with their belief systems, they would deal an unforgotten blow to this dissent in the name of fighting terror, and pave their golden paradise with the death of the millions of resistors.Those chosen few went unscathed, and yet all would soon turn and beg for their salvation as this mass epidemic covered the planet and turned us toward extinction. And so the earth was remade. When the survivors couldn’t take it anymore, they begged on their knees to the Royal Elect to be saved. Then taken in to the remaining hospitals to be brainwashed, conditioned, and “cured.”
“The only price for truth is our happiness, and to get happiness we pay for perfection,” said the leader of a League of Dreamers. I could go on for decades about how we became so corrupt, but I must continue my story.
It was nearly four years after my brother was kidnapped from Meridia, that we learned of the threat.
The kidnappers were coming to “save us” and we needed to flee as far as we could in hopes of getting away from what the citizens seemed to want: a perfect life. All the roads that make up the highways are intended for “upper class travel” only. Much too expensive for us outcasts to afford. They are for the factory owners and military police. The rest of us? Well, if you’re bound through RFID INK, you are allowed to participate in some of society. Though, you cannot travel without a Lead who has Clearance.
Even worse, if you are not legally bound through RFID INK. you cannot get a job, and are not allowed anywhere in society because you are an outlaw. This is how the new system works and if you are not wanted in the system or unable to enforce it, you are an outcast. It is out of their mercy that they won’t kill us. Of course, we don’t want to be citizens anyways. That’s why my mother moved to Meridia. Outcasts here had joined together and formed a free society away from The Great Foundation’s. Instead of using money, we use the old method of trading one resource for another.
And so began our journey to the very place we feared and hated. My mother bought us tickets to board a large boat which would carry us across the water to AMERA. We were very scared that once we got to AMERA, they would send us back home. We were leaving, alone. Two young girls, outcasts, with no idea of where we were going.
There was always a hope that the “One” was still striving within me.
How could these horrible men be coming again? This time in search of not just little boys, but young girls to fight their wars.
“They’re stealing our little girls!” I had overheard my mother exclaiming over Tap-Voice. And then she read me the article in the Logi-zine.
“Men and women are once again equal in the eyes of the military.”
This was the big headline all over the news. It had been a law for years that because it was only a woman who could have children, women had to take up their responsibilities and leave the worker life to take care of children.
After the boys were well taught, “the disciplined youth” would be sent off to work and their mothers would spend the rest of their lives finding a suitable home for their sons to come home to. The wife would then take care of the kids and so on and so on. The problem was that most men in those days were finding it too inconvenient to settle down, they were always on call or traveling. So now since fewer women were having children, fewer soldiers were out on the battlefields protecting profit and defending the future. That was when a genius thought up a solution to this little glitch.
“It is brilliance, pure brilliance, if I do say so myself!” said The Great Foundation’s Step Lord Roth, “Now, I’m going to give you all a great Bible Lesson, though some of you have heard it many times before. In the beginning, God created two separate bodies to live together in the Garden of Eden.”
“They were called Adam and Eve and they lived in ultimate perfection and, it was through the great fruit of knowledge that we learned to think for ourselves. Some have said that God told us not to eat the fruit as a test. Well it was! It was a test of human strength! The strength to know the importance of sacrifice for happiness. The fruit was our creation, and the fruit was also our initiation,”
“Remember that all our greatest wars were fought because we knew that our right to freedom outweighed everything else. We knew that if we could win against Satan, as we all know it is the enemy of progress, that we would have our Garden of Eden. Well, my friends, where does all my talk fit in? Well, today marks our first step towards getting back to the Garden of Eden. It has been a very long time that men have forgotten to share the fruit of our knowledge with the female kind.”
“We declare that from this day onward, all females will have all the rights of men! Every single law shall be amended for young females and boys. No longer will a man be forced to leave his loved ones for battle or leave his children forever. Together we will march, side by side, man and female; fathers and sons will be armed with love for the females will join in our great victory. When the evil enemy has died, our bonds will not be broken. United we are one. We are one! Now I invite our female sisters to come taste of the fruit and rejoice in salvation.”
Molly was clinging to the sink. She forced her hand onto the button. Then the sink splashed her face with a cool liquid. Slowly, she removed the suit. Quickly drying her hands and face, she stole a glance at the reflected image. Nineteen year old Molly stared back at her; hair cropped short and black, that awful washed out skin, and the hazel eyes of her father. “I never break down.” She said to the image. “I never lose my cool like this,” Molly said to herself.
“Where’s Molly?” The voice screamed and a bolt of electric pain shot into the back of her head. “I think she must be in the restroom washing up.” “Well, why doesn’t she just come down here? They’re waiting for her. We need Molly to be ready…”
“She will be,” Aaron said through the swirling hum of the air conditioner. It usually went this way, just before a big presentation, this wave of anxiety left Molly with heightened awareness of her surroundings. She brushed it off as natural intuition, but would not reveal it to anyone. Not after what happened. Just then, another searing bolt of pain shot through her spine. She fell to her knees, naked and scared as the memories began to return her to Meridia.
“Molly…” her mother soon whispered through the window. It was a cage. “Molly. Mommy wants you to grow up big and strong. Don’t let them tell you what you are.” Molly watched as her mother sat down on the padded floor, beneath the towering windows. Her mother stared up into them as if she might never see them again, and then she looked to the floor. Molly’s mom folded her arms to her chest and sobbed. Looking in through those glass windows, Molly wondered if this was what it meant to feel cared for. This was not what she had asked for. Nothing was how it had been planned. Then Molly’s mother started laughing hysterically. The nurse guided eight year old Molly away to her new room in The Treatment Place.
Her small hands reached up and pointed at a moth that was fluttering as if an intrepid traveler beyond time. Victoria lifted the book up with one hand, and scolded Molly, then again attempted to teach her about the core of a solar star. “It’s time to listen,” Victoria said to little Molly. “It’s time for you to be quiet and learn from your teacher.” The tiles stretched out before them across the Pavilion. Large bulb-shaped lamps shined brightly against a dark black night.
Victoria was in love, at twenty-five, with a man named Chester. He’d been working at The Treatment Center for three years now. They both favored the little orphan girl. Molly loved to stare at the lamps to contemplate the light which beamed outward; she felt like it carried some secret. When she stared at the light, she had visions. They were images of people who were doing things in the past, present, and future time.
Molly’s father had flown away on a plane one day, he was recruited to the war. She had never seen him, and her mother? Her mother was kept locked up inside The Meridian Center; and when a normal child would be socializing and having fun, Molly was with the only family she knew. Her mother could not care for her. Molly grew up inside this institution because she had nowhere else to go. She was cared for by the people inside. The people there understood that she was too little to understand her place in the world. They knew she should be given a chance.
The master architects have designed a beautiful and imperishable paradise. They created virtual lesson plans for schools so that children could learn without teachers. Any child could play along, and any who refused to advance was disciplined and stabilized. Yet we are passive slaves, drugging ourselves into child-like complacency, to dance on the edge of defeat. The anti-revolution or golden era. It was an industrial dream turned nightmare, turned to mental hysteria. Machines began to dictate all; our information would be moderated by The Foundation.
As each opportunity has slipped away, we’ve learned to sacrifice our consciences for our sociopathic economy. As every minute escapes, a selfless mouth swallows another placebo. The world has lost all love and bliss. And so we prostrate ourselves to billboards and worship technological madness. That is how we have traded our souls for an empire of greed. That is how we have made a prison for paradise.
My name is Sarah and I’m fourteen. I was born away from Amera and the world foundations to the city on the sea. Merida is an island sea-port city built upon the ruins of the old republic after it collapsed at the dawn of the 21st century. Meridia is a weapon-based plutocracy that had collapsed after fascism spread to the West. It was once a safe zone for weapons and technology that were manufactured for all wars. These sprawling metallic mezzanines are all that I know as home. You could say I’m living a post-apocalyptic reality. Certainly nothing could have stopped the elites from taking over.
This is a different place. Here we are hidden from the outside. Workers are carried by the hovering plates across the water, as we toil endlessly on her architecture. What’s left of the human dream? They move us from place to place across the vast city on the water. Life in Meridia although isolated and depressed, was nothing short of the cruel existence on the soil of the past; nothing compared to life on the territory of a broken fallen nation. For many years, Meridia was the only place where people like us were left alone. My mother told me that life before the wars was much different, and that it was too hard to explain to a young fourteen year old girl. Somehow everything once beautiful had been stripped away just like lady liberty was stripped from America. Once revolutionaries, now dissenting heroes to a fascist regime of political oppression.
Mother emulated our government. It was the last and only government left outside the Foundation’s iron lies. In this unwanted realm of constant flooding and ghetto technology, we were the most free. And yes, there was always something innately calling to me. I was an anti-establishment rebel by nature — it was in our nature to crave freedom. It was in my nature to crave revolution. I remember how I would sit in my bedroom and stare out into the rolling waves. I felt a sort of dependency there. Perhaps it was even more-so a longing caused by ebb and flow of the tides. Every so often when I traveled across the water, I could feel a secret rage rise within me. I had a good family: my sister Molly, my brother Bobby, and my Mara my mother who loved and took care of us children. Of course, my father had left to join the militia the day after he witnessed Bobby’s birth so my mother has said. All families; even the higher class are forbidden to dodge the drafting imposed by the World Foundation.
This is one of the dreams I had as a little girl. I am standing on the edge of a high stone cliff, overlooking a vast blue ocean. A warm breeze tousles my hair, and suddenly a voice rises within me. It is as if the voice is breathing, singing, and crying all at once. The voice whispers, “Goddess of destiny…come back to the Stars.” A rush of calm settles over me. At once I fall to my knees, and tears start streaming down. The tears are everywhere, and they’re falling from the sky, forming light. The truth is, the word Goddess was never in my vocabulary. I did not know any feminine form of God existed. The Elect forbid the study of any religion aside from the science of God.
For many years, Meridia has been the only place where people like us are free. My mother taught me many things about life after the war. She spoke of a radical government called The League of Dreams, that still fought The Elect. But, we had never talked about religion and we never brought up my father much less did I know his name or location. In this unwanted realm of constant flooding and ghetto technology, I was free. Yet, there was always something innately calling to me. I would rebel — it was the star buried deep down to the core of the world, calling me to my destiny. Bobby grew to be taller than Molly, even though he’d be the youngest in the family. He also liked the color blue like the ocean. Mara was beautiful to me. My name is Sarah and I am the oldest of three.
The story I am about to tell you is one of searching for meaning in the past and the future of this world. This is the story of how I came to find out what my freedom really means to me. It is a story that only outcasts and dreamers and revolutionaries will ever understand. It begins on a beautiful day in the City of Meridia. Mara had prepared a feast for the three of us children. We were just getting ready to sit down to eat when suddenly Molly pointed toward the window. She pointed a small finger to where the water pull was.
“The water is bubbling!” Molly said then asked innocently, “Why is it doing that, Momma?”
Before our mother could answer, we saw a dark metal machine rise up out of the small gap in the platform. There was printing on the machine that read: peacekeepers
Through the machine’s window we saw men in dark suits with flashing armbands and helmets.
“No no no,” Mara yelled in panic, “The peacekeepers are here!”
I remember these unfamiliar men as they piled out and barged onto the platform toward the house. They smashed through the glass door and threw stuff on the floor. Then they handcuffed Bobby like a criminal. Then they turned to our mother and started interrogating her about a card that was to be pledged to, the growing economy, and about her failure to participate in the financial future of AMERA. They threatened to take us all if she would not comply…then…
I remember there was a cry and suddenly it was all chaos around me. My sister was screaming as cups were being shattered across the floor. I couldn’t see anyone anymore. The room was consumed by dark clouds. I remember a sudden black smoke before I passed out. My brother was gone when I regained consciousness. Molly was in laying in heap beside broken glass, and Mara was outside staring at the pool of water where the machine had disappeared. They took Bobby away from us. I knew we would never see him again because we had failed to participate in the future of AMERA. I knew that the war was all the mattered. It was all the treasures for the rich consumer highways. I knew that even though I’d never seen one; that the giant spider machines and super planes were also were part of the scheme.
I saw it all in my head. Spiders, planes, monsters swallowing up the ocean. In nightmares I saw my brother. He was standing in the wreckage of a machine in the ruins of a tall tower. White crosses and rubble marked the graves of all that remained of the people there. He would sit in one of these giant machines, and he would watch another free society go up in flames. Flames for dollars: burning dollars and burning futures.