It Might Save Us

Every day, the same. Our life is a cycle. Meaningless. The day consists of 24 hours. We only sleep eight of those. Our government strictly requires us to work 16 hours per day. Some people have rebelled against the government and were met with strict oppression. We never saw them ever again and an incident like that hasn’t occurred since then. I mean, everyone has seen the news. They did not even censor it. Citizens live in fear now.

We used to wear wristbands but because of what happened, everyone is now required to have a biochip in their hand. It is so the government knows of their whereabouts, who is working and not working. The wristband had only contained the name, age, place of work, and work schedu1e of an individual. The wristband had sent signals to the server which updated every second. The server has everyone on it, including young children and toddlers. There is no requirement for wristbands for children under twelve. Only children ages 12-17 are required to wear a newer and modified wristband. At the age of 18, they will exchange the wristband for a biochip. Kids are sent to school until the age of 14 when they are pulled out of school and set to work. The whole education system begins at the age of two when the learning process begins. It groups children into various categories of jobs. Children will learn about those jobs until the age of 14, when they’re sent into the workforce. Additionally, they’ll learn how we work, why we work, and how it benefits society and us. A few people don’t agree with education and why we must work, like the protesters who rebelled a few years back.

As I said before, the wristbands had known of people and their information and even if it was ever taken off. The rebels had somehow found a way to break off the wristband and were immediately disconnected from the server. Alarms sounded as soon as it was taken off. Headlines were broadcast in every building, home, and in the streets. The faces, names, and places where they worked and even lived were televised across every device. The protestors consisted of a group of 50 people assumed to have worked in the same place. They rioted in the streets while other citizens looked on, afraid of what might happen. The special forces came in armored tanks and trucks, and they wore full-body, bullet-proof armor. The fight went on for about 30 minutes. A group of 50 rebel workers versus 200 soldiers. It was bloody and gruesome. The soldiers massacred them. What’s worse is everyone saw it live. People were shocked and horrified. Time stood still and it was silent until our country’s leader came onto the screens. He said this is how they will enforce action if any more incidents occur in the future. We’re not supposed to talk about what happened, or even write about it. If they find us, they will surely take me away to the Haven. Other citizens who have freely and openly talked about the incident were immediately dragged out of workplaces, homes, and the streets.

The Haven is supposed to be a wellness center where you will stay for many months. Treatment consists of reeducation on how our society works and why people are required to work every day. It is rumored to be a brainwashing facility. Some people usually stay as long as 11 months to 2 years and 11 months. Those who stay longer than three years aren’t ever heard from again. The “now-helped” citizens who have come back don’t remember the people they used to be close to. They seemingly go back to life and continue living like nothing ever went wrong. You want to know how I know? My brother just came back two days ago.

He stood in the doorway looking lifeless and seemed to stare right through me when he saw me. Like I was not even there. We only had each other up until the day when he disappeared without a trace. I tried to greet him with our special handshake. He stood there, not moving an inch. I gave up. He proceeded to head up the stairs to his bedroom and soon fell asleep.  At that moment, I felt like I lost a part of me. I cried myself to sleep and then woke up and headed to work.

I was filled with many mixed emotions the next day and tried to come up with solutions. I told a close friend/coworker of mine, Ryan, and he suggested a bizarre idea. I take out my brother’s and my biochip. The biochip isn’t designed to be broken, so taking it out won’t disable the sensors. He said that after his sister, Mira, came back from the Haven, she also exhibited the same behaviors. Her friend, Lily, who she was close to, tried talking to her but got no reaction as I did with my brother. Frustrated, she grabbed a knife and cut Mira’s hand and she “woke up.” Crying, Mira began telling them what she had been through in treatment, the cruelty she endured. After hearing her talk, Lily cut her own hand and took out her biochip. They suggested Ryan to do the same but in fear of what might happen, he refused to do it. Both Mira and her friend escaped to the outskirts of town and headed into unknown terrain.

Now, I sit here with my brother’s hand. It is bleeding. I take the biochip out. I do the same for myself as well. He is waking up. What do I tell him? Will he tell me the same thing? Will we do the same as Mira and her friend did? What will happen to us? Will everything be okay outside the outskirts? Will we be happier with our lives? He is up.

Eliza Paulson is a student at Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

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