Subject TX-3712

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Review Chain
What is left of a person, after they find out that the only hope they had left, had never been a hope in the first place?

Submitted: September 04, 2016

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Submitted: September 04, 2016

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The woman sat in an old armchair, a chair which was brought here a long time ago, which was also left here a long time ago.

The light that had previously eluminated the room had begun to vanish and was replaced by a heavy thick darkness.

Shadows slowly crept up the walls and the woman let her fingers trace along the dark wood that had once been smooth.

 

The woman had only one remaining arm, she had lost the other one, but could not remember when that had happened though.

She was not able to remember many things.

 

What she remembered was the time when she came to this city.

 

?

 

A city that lay deep below the crust of the known world. A city in which hot dusty air filled emty streets and narrow alleys, where people deteriorated until all that was left of them were empty puppets with blank stares, puppets that had long forgotten how to dream.

That was what the city has become, at last.

 

Her mind had become similar to a deep dark abyss of motionless black water.

Sometimes, only sometimes, a memory came up from the bottom of her mind, scratching the water surface, but before it could break through- before she could remember- the water swallowed it again.

While some memories flashed their existence by surfacing once in a while, others would never return.

The gravest ones, however, stayed permanently.

 

She slowely closed her eyes and they burned when she opened them again.

Having a healthy dose of sleep had become a luxury she could not afford, it was best to sleep with one eye open.

She let her gaze wander, away from the scenery that she could see through the massive holes in the wrecked wall.

Instead she regarded the remains of what had once been a living room.

 

Shattered glass refelecting the little light that was left, the moldy mattress of the kingsize bed, the New Year's Eve mask that was worn by many in the night when it all had started and of course, the banner.

 

The banner which musn't be missing in each good citizen's home.

 

„Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.“

 

It was meant to remind people that every individual was equal and that after one's death, other important humans would still be alive.

Don't take yourself as more meaningful than you actually are.

 

This was why certain people started coming to this city in the first place, to escape from people that were deemed more important because they were wealthy, straight, able-bodied or educated.

 

When she had first come to the city she was assigned an apartment which was on the 26th floor of a skyscraper. All the buildings were skyscrapers towering above the people. She moved in with Jonah- or was it him who later moved in with her?

 

Jonah was a slender man with messy dark hair and soft features and like her, who had lost her arm, he had lost the ability to speak.

He was not only silent but calm and collected as well. Nevertheless, at times he seemed.... odd.

 

She once asked him what the slogan of the banner meant and why it seemed to appear everywhere she looked.

Because honestly „Death in only the end, if you assume the story is about you“ was a peculiar formulation.

She recieved an answer exactly two months later, in form of a small scrap of paper which read: „just think about it.“

 

And this is what she did. She eventually understood, everyone did.

 

The woman lifted her hand to slowely massage her forhead.

The lack of sleep was getting to her and a sharp pulsing pain began to form directly above the bridge of her nose.

Painkillers were a relic of the past.

 

Medical staff and politicans were the first to leave after the government funds were cut and the riots strated to break out after New Year's Eve.

The New Year's Eve party attendants were the first to protest, people that did not want to leave the society that they felt accepted in.

These people simply could not go back to living as second class humans- and so it escalated.

 

 

She lifted herself off of the chair.

It was time to move on, staying in the same place too long was dangerous.

She picked up her small bag and walked through the room, passing by the mask.

 

The dark purple mask that covered the upper half of one's face.

 

Not soon after New Year's Eve had passed, the mask had become a symbol, a symbol for the rioting movement , a symbol for the fate of many.

Masked people stormed the streets, trying to force the leaders to obey their wishes.

They just wanted to stay.

 

Even today some of the rogue ones still wore the mask, it reminded them of the dreams they once held dear.

 

Back then the woman understood both partie's points of view. The people that did not want to loose everything, especially their happiness- and the government of the city that depended on money from the outside world.

 

But she soon began to hate the government.

 

For her, the day, on which her life fell into pieces, began in the early hours of morning.

She wanted to protest as well.

It was impossible for her to return to her old living situation. The outside world had not treated her in a kind way.

When she was about to open the frontdoor- a cloth covering her mouth and a strong grip aound her wrist suprised her.

 

Darkness.

 

She saw blurry flashes of dazzling light and heard the sound of mumbeling voices and the roaring of a motor. The noise seemed to echo in her head.

 

Darkness.

 

She felt the sensation of cold metal beneath her skin. Once again all she saw was bright light and a shadow moving above her. Her head hurt.

 

Darkness.

 

?

 

The woman still stood in the middle of the messed up former livingroom, as she suddenly heard panicked screams not too far from her.

 

The outer world was not kind, but the rogue ones, who had never left the city, were worse.

She had been stuck in these memories that made her skin crawl and made her feel sick to her stomach. Even if this weren't the worst of her memories.

 

The woman went to the door and peered around the corner. There was no one there, which was relieving.

She crept along the hallway, when above her an old neon lamp flared up-and the long supressed memories came flooding back.

 

?

 

When she woke up for the third time she was laying down, starring at a white ceiling. She turned her aching head around, the entire room was white and filled with cold glaring light.

She tried to sit up. It did not work.

She tried to lift her arm. It did not work.

She was restrained.

 

As her vision began to clear she saw them.

 

The familiar face of Jonah and the unfamiliar face of a middle aged woman dressed in medical clothing.

 

„Thank you, Mr. Maverick, normally I would assign you to another subject, but I assume you already know that this experiment was stopped by the officials?“ The woman said indifferently.

 

„I know that they cut the fundings but no one informed me on why they decided to put an end to it. So would you please elaborate Dr. Johnson?“ Jonah replied.

 

The woman lay there silently, listening to Dr. Johnson and Jonah.

Jonah- who she had assumed to be mute.

 

„Many of the subjects began showing harmful secondary side effects after the third dose already. After the second dose the complete shutdown of the immune system was not uncommon and none of them lived long enough to recieve dose five“ Dr. Johnson's voice sounded like she was talking casually about the weather. Only one word she pronounced differently, when speaking of „them“ her voice dripped with disgust.

 

„So the entire project was brought to a standstill after millions and millions were put into it?“ Jonah's voice only showed a slight hint of regret.

What will happen to the subjects though?

 

The woman had listened to the conversation trying to stay as still as possible, her eyes were shut and she did not dare to move, but she felt that both of them were now watching her.

 

„With each dose they got an injection of „T.E.E.F. 6“ which temporarily blocks the function of the part of the brain responsible for the short term memory. They will leave this city and die within the next few years, depending on how many doses they have had, so they will never tell what has happened to them.“ Dr. Johnson sounded like an impatient mother explaining something to her child.

„Why did I have to bring her here then?“ He asked curiously.

 

„Every subject has to undergo a last checkup, so that I can write my final report.

And now that I'm done with subject TX-3712, would you please escort her to the others that are about to leave this city?“

 

The woman felt the restrictions undo and someone pulling her to her feet. They walked out of the lab, out of the building and down the street towards a bus filled with people.

 

„You will leave this city now“. That was all Jonah had said to her during their walk.

 

The woman had remained silent the entire time, instead of anger, fear or hurt she felt entirely numb and empty, as if all her emotions were absorbed by the bright white light. The one hope she has had left had never been a hope in the first place.

She took one deep breath and looked Jonah in the eye for one last time before she broke free from him and started to run.

This was not the first time she had to run away from someone and it would probably not be the last time.

She could not stand to be there any longer and so she ran and ran and ran until she collapsed from exhaustion.

 

?

 

Three years had passed and now the woman lay on the floor of the hallway, weeping, while the neon light above her kept flickering.

There was a panicked scream again, much closer this time.

 


© Copyright 2017 A. Mathew. All rights reserved.

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