The Colony (original version)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Awarded 3rd Place in phantomhill Epic Science Fiction Contest

The year is 2153: Ferrel is a 25 year old Heroine addict in a predicament like no other. He is currently 125 feet under ground in a bunker filled with several other people hiding from the surface of Earth. Above them, computers and machines have joined forces and have become the Apex predator over humans. Ferrel is aware of all this as he's waking up from surgery of the amputation of his arm. What he isn't aware of is why did the surgery take 30 days? What happened during those 30 days? Why are people dead?

Submitted: July 23, 2015

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Submitted: July 23, 2015

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The Colony

There's no adjective to justify the way I'm feeling right now. I am aware of what is going on but still, I can't open my eyes. My name is Ferrel. My birthday is April seventh, two thousand one hundred twenty eight. I'm in surgery. I don't know how log I've been under. Doc has never been spot on with administering anesthesia drugs before operating. He's operated on me few times and it seems that every time I go under his knife that I wake up too soon, or I consciously wake up first, but not physically. This is one of those times. I know why I'm here. I'm having my arm removed. Three years of intravenous drug use with dirty needles, in unsanitary environments has taken its toll. My arm had lost all functionality. It had gotten to the point where it would just hang off my shoulder limply and uselessly. The arm had begun to discolor, turning a rancid shade of post-mortem bruise black. You could clearly see the dead veins surfacing in the rotting flesh. I can't feel the weight of my dead arm anymore, but then again, I can't feel much of anything. I feel exhausted. Not like the "I've been working all day and now I'm exhausted", as much as I'm so exhausted I can physically feel my internal dialogue forming itself before I can even put words together in my mind. I feel worn out. Almost used... Used, like a dirty U-100 syringe being passed around a circle of heroine junkies, itching for the next dose.

I'm becoming more aware of my surroundings. I distinctively hear two voices. Yeah, I'm over-hearing an exchanging of words between a male and a female. A man is asking a woman if she would like to join him for a cigarette. She politely, but uninterestedly declines. She's claiming she is not a smoker. Why this exchange is sticking out to the forefront of my mind is surprisingly clear to me. Hearing someone say that they don't smoke immediately triggers a thought in my mind of what life would be like if I myself, didn't smoke cigarettes. This thought then triggers an immediate and overwhelming craving to light up. A craving I know all too well. Cigarettes are worth their weight in gold in a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Rewind. Yes, I live in a post-apocalyptic world. Let me start from the beginning.

From as early a time as The Industrial Revolution it has been a very real fear that one day machines would be capable of taking over as dominant entities of Earth. That when the line between man and machine blurred, to the victor would go the spoils. The victor- no doubt, machines. The spoils, well... Earth. It is to my own witnessing that on the year of 2150 A.D the war was finally waged. I won't lie and say it didn't catch me by surprise because honestly, I missed the signs.

The cars were the first to go. Federal Law Enforcement got into bed with the Department of Driver Services and from that point. It was all a diabolical landslide. A federal law was soon thereafter passed across the nation stating that every drivable car on the road must have the new AYW technology present and functioning in the vehicle. Later renamed "Against Your Will" by the public, this new technology that was mandated in every car, violated many constitutional rights. What it did for law enforcement was take away the need for routine traffic stops. The AYW technology was programmed to pull your car over and shut your engine off, whenever deemed necessary by law enforcement. It sent minor traffic offenses to the local police department, who would then mail citations to your registered address. It detected illegal substances and firearms, laser scanned every square inch of the vehicle in seconds, locating anything illegal. If it detected anything illegal, it would shut your engine off and notify the police, giving them the exact whereabouts of said possessions. It even buckled your seatbelt for you, completely against your own will. What I find ironic to the current situation now present is that the actual meaning of the abbreviated technology was never to this day released to the public. Maybe I'm just paranoid but every fiber of my being fears that Against Your Will might actually very well have been the given name.

Needless to say, this new law caused a huge uproar and the people refused to accept it. Before too long almost everyone started taking great pains to refute these new stipulations to driving. Some people spent their time trying alternative means of transportation. Other people were donating and even funding research for newer and even stronger technology to bypass or loophole the federal government's new monopoly that had over the people's rights as drivers.

You know, there's an old saying about computers, "A computer is only as smart as the person using it". Well, when the smartest people in the world program computers to not only be smart and work on their own, but to work against other smart, self-functioning computers... you could have a real problem.

Fast-forward back to year 2153. I am one hundred and twenty-five feet underground in a bunker full of other fellow survivors. We call ourselves The Colony. I always thought that it was because our new lifestyle resembled that of ants, but who really knows anymore? There are two hundred and forty-seven of us down here, hiding from the bionic hell that has become Earth. My family is dead. My friends are dead. Among the manifest of our colony, are some doctors and scientists, but the better majority of us are people just struggling to survive. Since the decent into this underground isolation that we now call home, I have fallen into major drug addiction... worse than I was on the surface. When humans are confined in a small space with so many other individuals it is in our nature to clique up into groups. There have been many killings and banishments since all this started. I have for the most part, kept to my own little group. Doc, my best friend and the surgical doctor of the colony, has been treating my arm since the start of its demise by supplying me with an endless amount of Morphine to my whim. I've traded Heroine for Morphine. My girlfriend Acacia- who I had met since the decent, is an enabler to this addiction at best. The three of us represent our own little social group. We have no other friends, no family.

I open my eyes. Oh my. I am high as a kite. The warm, flowery feeling of Morphine is coursing through me. I still hear the unctuous tone of Doc's voice in the backroom. He's talking to the female voice I heard earlier. I look down at my arm, or lack thereof. From the base of my left shoulder there is nothing. I suppose the surgery was a success.

"Doc! I'm awake!" I yell with a groggy voice.

Doc enters the room with a female who I recognize, following behind him. Her name is Grace. Grace is a certified nurse. Not a surgical nurse. If memory serves correctly, I believe she is an ICU nurse. Either way, I assume Doc has used her skills to service him in the amputation of my arm.

Doc pulls up a stool next to my bed and sits facing me. He hesitates for a moment and begins stalling- sighing and removing his vintage horn-rimmed eye glasses. He looks down at the floor while rubbing his temples.

"Ferrel...Do you remember any of the last thirty days?" he asks without looking up from the floor.

"Doc, how long have I been out? All I recollect is being prepped for surgery to get my arm removed. What's going on? Where's Acacia?"

"O.K. Ferrel, I'm going to need you to listen. There will be a time when you can ask questions later but for right now, I just need you to shut up and listen to what I'm about to tell you. Please don't interrupt me because this is going to be very difficult for you to process. Do you understand?"

"Doc. What the fuck is going on? Tell me right now!"

"You've undergone two surgeries. Thirty days ago I removed your arm. I had up until that point been working on a bionic prosthetic that I wanted to finally try. It was supposed to be a surprise. It connected at the base of your shoulder and used synthetic fibers connected to you joints to send messages to your brain. It was supposed to work like a normal arm. It was designed to work directly with your brains commands to function movements. Ferrel...the surgery was a success, in theory. But, when you woke up you were completely enraged. No one could snap you out of it. Your new arm took control sending its own messages tou your brain. It sent you down a path of mayhem and destruction. We were finally able to get ahold of you. I didn’t know how to shut you down...per say, so I did the only thing I could think of. Ferrel, we had to basically injure your spine. We paralyzed you. I put you back under, and I removed the arm. But Ferrel, you need to understand; you will be paralyzed for the rest of your life."

"Where is Acacia? I want to see Acacia."

"You killed people, Ferrel. Forty-three people are dead... She's dead, Ferrel. In your bionic induced rage, you killed her. I'm sorry."

 

-James Scott


© Copyright 2017 James Scott. All rights reserved.

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