Project Underworld

Reads: 73  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story follows Christian Johnson, a top-notch lawyer who suddenly fell into poverty. Join his adventure to re-ascend the socioeconomic ladder.

Submitted: March 19, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 19, 2017

A A A

A A A


The year was 2067. After 50 years of development, the United Nations Economic and Social Council has announced that 99% of poverty and 80% of crime has been eliminated. Science has achieved technological breakthroughs and is closing on a Type 1 society based on the Kardashev scale. All of this may sound incredible but not for 35-year-old Christian Johnson.

 

“A highly-skilled lawyer and a former member of the Human Rights Council now living as an average middle-class civilian in a studio-type apartment.”

 

“Hey, I used to be the best of the best back in the days you know! It’s thanks to the reduced crime rate that even skilled lawyers like me don’t get jobs.”

 

“You know Christian, you’re the only person I know with such an ‘amazing’ background.”

 

“Well Roy, at least I managed to reach the top even for a brief moment, unlike you who remained average the whole time.”

 

“And that’s where you’re wrong kiddo, my company, Walton Industries was the top technology manufacturing company in the entire world!”

 

“Was,”

 

“Well enough chit-chat, hurry up and get over here already!”

 

“Okay, okay, I’m already on the Airbus and damn it costs a lot.”

 

1 hour ago

 

 “Ring ring.... Ring ring…” It was 7:00 a.m and the bright sunless sky lightened up half of the world. People are going to work, some to school, and some to do something else that can help society grow. And in a particular apartment lies the home of a man named Christian Johnson. An average to below average civilian living on the remainder of his bank savings.

Christian started getting ready for his visit to his best friend, Roy Walton. They’ve been friends since kindergarten. He decided to clean up the house as well, and after a couple of minutes, he found an old folder engraved with the words “CLASSIFIED MURDER CASES.” Naturally, he opened it. But he only managed to see the name “Lisa Adams” on the upper right corner of the paper before his phone started ringing.

 

“Wassup Christian, this is Roy, hope you didn’t forget about our reunion! It starts at 8:30 a.m. just reminding you to bring any food you can cus whoever brings the least, pays for the pizza! Bye!”

 

Geez, these guys have bottomless stomachs! Guess I’m off to the grocery then… Nah I wanna try out this new online delivery thing that supposedly teleports whatever you order in front of you.

 

After setting up an account, Christian buys a whole sack’s worth of french fries. And as expected the item magicallyteleports and manifests in front of Christian’s eyes. Jeez, this is big, good thing it comes with a free item holder. There, a sack of fries in my wallet!” Now, how much money do I have left?

 

$100

“Wait what?” “Computer, dictate purchase history starting from 5 days ago!”

“Access Granted, accessing bank database, username: Christian Johnson

April 3, 2067, Sunday, no purchases $130

April 4, 2067, Monday, no purchases, $130

April 5, 2067, Tuesday, no purchases, $130

April 6, 2067, Wednesday, no purchases, $130

April 7, 2067, Thursday, 1 ticket to 100 Shades of Grey, $110 - “SHH, the reader’s don’t need to hear that!”

April 8, 2067, today, Friday, 1 sack of french fries, $100

 

“What do I do now?” as he was pondering over the possible cause and solutions for this problem, his phone rang again,

“EYY CHRISTIAN MY BOY!!”

He was always the active one…

“Just a reminder, we’re starting in 45 min, bye!”

 

 

 

I can't afford to pay the pizza. And it's gonna be embarrassing to tell my friends that I have only $100 left in my bank account which I sure hope was a mistake. I have to take the Airbus, the roads are now exclusive for pedestrians, and the Airbus is the least expensive form of transportation. I’ll just walk the rest of the way.

 

Back to the Present

 

As Christian approached the door, he was immediately greeted by the anxiously waiting Roy.

“What took you so long?”

“I walked the rest of the way”

“Oh well, doesn’t matter, come on in!”

Compared to Christian’s apartment, Roy’s house was pretty much a mansion. Each room the size of a regular Eighth-grade classroom. The dining room even had a chandelier!

“Wow Roy, last time I came here the place was pretty much a dump.”

Well, luck has been on our side.”

As they headed to the living room, they heard the doorbell ring.Thank god I’m not the last one.”

The reunion progressed normally. But not until…

Okay guys, I’m doing a survey and if you could, please hand out these forms to your parents and have them fill it up.” said one of my colleagues.

“Christian, Roy, can you too also hand these out to your parents?”

“Sorry, Christian’s parents and my parents… died five years ago.”

“Oh sorry, I didn’t know, forgive me for my ignorance.”

“Nah it’s fine, Roy and I already got over it. For us, the grief and sadness it has caused have been transformed into a mere memory.”

The reunion lasted for an hour and a half.I have to walk home to save money. I haven’t told Roy about my situation yet.

 

Just as Christian approached the door to his apartment, he saw a man wearing a black uniform in front of his door.

 

“Who are you?”

“I am an agent of the infamous International Cleansing Association.”

“I didn’t call for a house cleaner.”

“We clean something much bigger, the world. Now if you don’t mind, I have been ordered by my superiors to take you.”

“And what will I get in return?”

“Money, we’re aware of your current situation and we would like to assist you.”

 

Christian followed this agent willingly.If this is my chance to climb up the socioeconomic ladder, then so be it. Christian noticed the man’s name tag, it said:

 

ROBERT WISE

SPECIAL AGENT

INTERNATIONAL CLEANSING ASSOCIATION

 

The ride took about an hour and when he disembarked from the car, an enormous building white building comprised of three towers at least 900 meters in height appeared in front of him. Christian was taken to the top floor of the central tower, which he guessed was the president’s office. As he entered the room, he saw a tall man awaiting his arrival. His sign stated, President Donald Piessens.

 

“Good morning Mr. Christian E. Johnson, please have a seat. It will be quite the discussion.”

“So President Piessens, I have heard some of the details from your agent. What kind of job will you offer me?”

“We are offering you a job in which you are to take responsibility and decide the faith of millions of lives, and of course, the salary will be just as big.”

 

Christian was surprised and overwhelmed by the offer. With the tone of the man’s speech, he was 100% sure he was speaking truthfully.

 

“But why choose my, an average civilian living in an apartment awaiting the flow of life to take him wherever it may end up?”

“Two reasons. One, according to our background checks, you were an excellent lawyer and a former member of the human rights council. We need a man who can work without bias. Two, and the more important one; you are next in line for project “Underworld”. The world-saving project that only those with high enough authority.

 

“Wait… I’m lost. What is this project underworld?”

 

Donald pulled up a virtual screen between them. And in it, is project underworld. A place similar to the unchanged concept of hell. A fiery place filled with fire and lava. But this time, a bit milder and settlements have seemed to have been built.

 

“What is this place!?”

“This is Project Underworld. Do you remember the report the UN recently made that 99% of poverty has been eradicated?"

 

“Yes, it was released 5 years ago and no one has seen any signs of poverty.”

“That’s because whoever falls below the poverty line is sent to Project Underworld where they have to work their way above the poverty line. But since we saw the chance to solve the problem of overpopulation as well, we decided that in order for 1 person to return to the overworld, one person, in return, must go to the underworld. And that’s where the sector organizers come in. Every two days, you are to decided who to swap and your choices may not be biased or else, you will be exiled into slavery as well.”

 

“And what if I decline?”

“You can’t. As I mentioned, this is highly classified information. You either accept the job or be sent into slavery.”

 

“When do I start?” said Christian in a sarcastically cheerful manner.

 

“You may start tomorrow. Use this day to pack your stuff since you will be living in your office. But don’t worry, you get a day off once every month. ”

 

Christian immediately started packing his stuff when he got home. That night, he couldn’t sleep. He was thinking about his future, his friend, Roy, and… he couldn’t think of anything more. He started realizing that his life may not be important anyway. That he could just vanish into the darkness, quietly, and no one would ever care to call him back.

 

The next morning, there was a black car just outside the apartment complex. He figured that it was the ICA. He only needed to bring clothes. Gadgets aren’t allowed and other necessities are to be supplied.That morning was completely different from yesterday. It even rained that day. It would seem as if the whole world was silent, and everyone was in despair of Christian’s departure. He let this thought sink in to cheer him up, but it was no good either. He didn’t believe in hope. For him, hope and faith were all nonsense. A mere concept for people who were too afraid to accept the result. He was an atheist.

 

Part 2: The Office

Christian was a fast learner. He learned all the controls quickly. Although he also had help on his first day from the man who was previously in the same seat as him. His name was Michael Tribett, not that it matters to Christian anyway.

 

Christian noticed the photo he had brought with him on his first day. It was right beside his computer. It was a photo of him and Roy. He acknowledged it but then returned to work with tears flowing along his emotionally dead face. This was the day his emotions died.

 

For the first few weeks, life has been normal for Christian. He had a simple cycle: RWP which stands for Rest, Work, Personal time (which includes bathing, reading the news, eating, and other daily human needs). But the same couldn’t be said for all the slaves beneath his airborne office. From time to time, protests have been occurring. The protests are mostly ones led by Richard Adams, a person with high pride but also high accomplishments and the common reason behind it is they are saying that they deserved freedom long ago and should be released as soon as possible. But Christian had planned to let him go after 8 weeks since there are more promising candidates. But Christian knew not to give them their wish since background information, skills, and other aspects matter. It’s the same as a prisoner. You can’t just let one go just because he’s rich. People here can only leave if the Sector Organizer believes that they can find a job, be accepted by society, and not cause trouble in the overworld.

 

All seemed to go well. But things became interesting after four weeks. During a newsflash, it was reported that Walton Industries has gone bankrupt due to the corruption of their current CEO, Roy Walton. The name had registered so painfully that it made Christian cry and made his chest ache.The old Christian was back, with a hole in his heart.I don’t want to have to go the experience of telling my best friend, my only friend that he will have to work in slavery while I sit on a chair, comfortably holding their fate in my hands. And thus, he used his monthly day off to visit Roy.

 

Part 3: The Comeback

 

Luckily, Christian’s monthly salary was just enough for the teleporter, the fastest known mode of transportation. He didn’t worry about money right now since he was planning for a revolution.

As soon as Christian arrived on Roy’s front door, he spammed the doorbell and shouted Roy’s name as loud as he can. Thankfully, it only took a few seconds for the door to open.

 

“....Christian...is...that...you?”

Roy’s voice sounded awfully terrible.

 

“Roy, what happened Roy!”

They continued the conversation inside…

“Sorry, I got too greedy, I didn’t know that one mistake could lead to the downfall of an entire company. Sob...Sob…”

“It’s ok I’ve got your back. I’ll do whatever I can to help you.”

“It’s ok Christian, I’ve noticed that in this world, poverty is surprisingly non-existent anymore. Maybe the government offers financial aid to people like me. Maybe it’ll be as easy as getting a loan!”

Roy was trying to cheer himself up. But when I heard his suggestion, I couldn’t stop the waterworks. I ended up telling him the truth about Project Underworld. But then I realized, there’s no turning back after sharing highly-confidential information. I’m pretty sure the ICA can track whatever I do.

“Roy, let’s help each other. Let’s stop this cursed system. It’s time for change. It’s time for a revolution!”

“But how!?”

“I’m a lawyer, I can convince people through words. And you mentioned something about your parents being soldiers. Which means that you should have a stash of guns and ammunition somewhere.”

“You’re right! But I guess we don’t have a choice. We’re goners anyway if we don’t do anything. I’d rather die a free man than live the life of a slave.”

“Me too”

Roy led Christian into a secret room in his house. It was covered with photos of his family on the walls. And in the center, a picture of him and Christian beautifully framed. They were really best friends.  I don’t like red frames, though, they remind me of the blood of violence.

 

“I’m going to find where my parents may have kept the guns and ammunition, stay put and chill. This room is full-proof, they can’t track you when you’re in here.”

 

“Thanks!”

 

Christian had noticed Roy’s family tree it was pretty complicated since Roy was adopted. But then he noticed Roy’s full name:


ROY A. WALTON

 

As Christian was pondering, Roy entered the room with the weapons he could find. Christian went straight to the point.

 

“Roy, you’ve never told me. What’s your middle name?”


“Oh, it’s Adams. I was adopted, but the Waltons were kind enough to allow me to keep my original last name. Why do you ask?”

 

Christian was shocked. It wasn’t a coincidence. His father WAS in the underworld.

 

 

“Say, Roy, is your father’s first name, is it Richard and your mom’s, is it Lisa?

 

Suddenly, the atmosphere turned into a silent, gloomy mood and Roy’ face turned straight serious.

 

“How and why do you know that Christian?”

Roy said as he pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Christian. And at that instant, Christian was locked in his seat due to straps that tied his feet, waist, and hands.

 

“No use struggling, now answer the question!”

 

“Ok, Ok, I the name Lisa Adams in a document I found in my apartment, and Richard Adams is still alive… in the underworld.”

 

“He is!”

 

“Yes, I was about to free him until I saw the news about your bankruptcy and rushed over to your place. Now please, put the gun down. What’s going on? I can help you find your dad if you want!”

 

“It seems as though your parents haven’t told you about the complicated situation between our families. Long story short,  your mother was framed my mother and having her sentenced to death with the accusation of treason when they found her gun collection. Why? Because after the war, your mother taught that my father betrayed your father in the midst of combat. Pretty complicated stuff especially your mother. I was planning on killing you later on but after hearing that even you denied my father, America’s war hero, my rage is unstoppable this is my comeback, my parent’s comeback.

 

“Roy, please don’t do this!”

 

“Sorry Christian, just so you know, I never looked at you as a friend.”

 
 
 


© Copyright 2017 TimeLeaper. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Mystery and Crime Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by TimeLeaper

Project Underworld

Short Story / Mystery and Crime

Popular Tags