Imagine if you were immortal. Imagine if you could obtain this immortality just by drinking from a special cup. Now imagine if the world's leaders had this cup in their possession. Imagine what kind of world that would create. I don't have to imagine. I live in such a world.
The year is 2030. The cup, more commonly referred to as the Holy Grail, was found in 2019. All the world's leaders are immortal. In Britain, parliament has been abolished and the current Prime Minister lives in Buckingham palace, under the title Lord Tobias Fitzgerald. Where are the royal family living now? Well, most of them aren't. Prince Philip died two years before the Holy Grail was found. The Queen and Prince Charles were murdered on live TV after Lord Fitzgerald rose to power. Harry and William were sent to work in the diamond mines in Africa and there are never any survivors from those mines. Kate is imprisoned in the Tower of London and the remaining members of the royal family are slowly being picked off one by one. The last we heard of Prince George; he was crying in a boat down the river Thames. No one knows what happened to him. George vanished, along with the boat.
London is no longer the proud city it used to be. Tower Bridge hosts hangings every weekend for the countries worst criminals. Westminster was burned to the ground the eve Lord Fitzgerald moved into Buckingham palace. The London Eye fell into the Thames and got stuck on one of the bridges, all smashed to pieces. The Thames has dried up and now there's only a small polluted trickle of water that winds its way down the empty river bed. The Shard still stands tall, but there's no glass in it now; the glass is on the streets, glistening like silver. There's no traffic in the streets. Instead, they're full of the homeless and rioters. Sirens and alarms wail all day and night. The sky is filled with black smoke which glows orange at night with the constantly raging fires across the city. London tower is now a fully functioning prison again, complete with revamped medieval torture chambers. You can hear the screams over the sirens some nights. London is just a shadow now. A shadow of the once great country it stood for.
We don't get any TV broadcasts anymore. Not since the beheading of the Queen and the Prince. All TV and radio stations were shut down. Instead there are loud speakers all over Britain, all wired back to Buckingham palace where Lord Fitzgerald makes all his announcements from. I live in a one room flat. There's no light, no heat, one moth eaten mattress and a small metal bucket in the corner for a toilet and I'm one of the lucky ones. I can afford to pay the rent. Most people live on the streets, but even that's risky. On average, thirty nine people are murdered each night and that's in London alone. Periodically, the police come around and collect people of the streets and take them to Pall Mall where they're lined up against the gates of Buckingham palace and shot. All on the orders of Lord Fitzgerald. Even in a flat I'm not safe. Sometimes Lord Fitzgerald sends the police around the flats as well as the streets to collect rent payers too. Just because he can.
Jobs are scarce in London. Jobs are scarce all over Britain. I have a job. I work in the sewers, cleaning away blockages and fixing the pipes when they burst. Many people die from diseases in this job. Nine times out of ten it's because a rat bit them. So far, I've managed to keep myself healthy. Working in the sewers is only my day job. My night job takes place in the old underground stations, flaming torches lighting the walls. Down here, deep under the city, this is where the rebel army lives. The rebel army has a worldwide network, bases in each country and in each major city. We communicate by hacking into the phone lines that belong to the rich. In the rebel army, we have one aim. Destroy the Holy Grail and all the world's leaders with it. Each year, all the world's leaders gather together in one room and drink from the Holy Grail. It's at this time when we have to strike. But the location changes every year and it is heavily guarded with tanks, armed guards and dogs. It's virtually impregnable. But one day, we will succeed and destroy the room, killing everything and everyone inside, breaking the oppressive dictatorship pressing down on our society.
My name is Maddie Jones and I'm sixteen years old. Welcome to my living hell.