THE RESTRICTED SECTION
| EXTRACTED FROM KNIJÄ TĀU / COMMERCIAL LOT 231 /
OPPOSITE EDŪCATION LOT 0497 OF 81SUB / 2.3.3450 / 3:19āam |
I sit outside, opposite the edūcation lot, readying myself to enter at my own risk. My body is itching with constant bursts of anticipation as I recall the conversation that I had with Ms. Arīka earlier todaāy.
I’m finally going meet someone involved in the organisation that has been sending my deliveries. My mīnd is swimming with the most incredible sensation. It’s radiating so much that my U-chip is pulsing feverishly, much like it would if it was synced to Peār. Right now I wish I could take something that would pacify meē because I’m barely containing myself. I try to breathe calmly, in and out.
The lot is dark, usual for 3āam, but something is different. The saān dimmed just under three hours ago and will rise again in another three. 81Sub is usually quiet, unless a U-man or U-mans happens to walk past, but there’s a strangeness in the air that elicits an unusual fear in meē. Unknowingness. I let the word sit on my tongue and spread through my body. I’m uncertain and unsure.
I’m not at home with my parents, savouring the few hours that we have together. Instead they think I am with Hoslū at a recreation lot and that I’ll be back shortly. I couldn’t tell them – something inside meē whispers that this is my journey to experience. That, and they’ve always been unsettled by my difference. It’s unsaid, but I know. I’ve scrolled through my memorī files enough to be aware of this.
“They will meet you during reflect period,” Ms. Arīka had said. “If you want to know the truth to our history, go to the Restricted Section. Door 22 on the left. Use your U-chip to enter.”
“What will I find there?”
“The truth. Everything that I cannot say. You will finally meet our organisation.”
I’m sitting on a community lot bench that is opposite the edūcation lot, the Synthetī mūun atop of meē and shining its pale streams of generated light all across 81Sub. I look up at the newly programmed sky and wonder if it’s filled with eyes or ears. Will Peār be able to see meē enter the edūcation lot when I’m not supposed to by just the simple touch of a button?
I stand up and, without racing too fast or walking too slow, I make my way to the entrance of the edūcation lot. I step across the alert space and it notīfys the doors to open as if I’m meant to be here. The edūcation lot doesn’t light up like normal though and most likely won’t due to there being no teacher or Peār Protocol here to switch everything on with their authorised U-chip. I breeze casually past the glass doors and walk into darkness.
I count as I walk past the doors. 7, 8, 9. This is what I’ve been waiting for all my life: real answers. Not just half finished explanations about who I am and how I’m different. I’m ready to know the purpose. I’m ready to know my purpose.
14, 15, 16. I hadn’t heard of the Restricted Section until todaāy. It’s an odd concept – most edū files can be accessed on the Edū Tab from my U-chip. Everything we can possibly want or need is there, so I wonder what in the Metravā could they be hiding?
19, 20, 21. Door 22. The door indicates that this section is now the U-file Hub, the physical storage space for all the edū files. Nothing about Door 22 is unusual. Thin little numbers above the door indicate its position but, aside from that, it’s like any other door in the edūcation lot. I release a quick little breath before positioning my U-chip over the control pad beside the door.
Swiping my U-chip, there is a Synthetī ping that hums from inside the room before the door slides to the left, revealing the most peculiar room that I have ever seen in my life.
I step inside and the door slides shut behind meē.
THE RESTRICTED SECTION
| EXTRACTED FROM KNIJÄ TĀU / THE RESTRICTED SECTION /
DOOR 022 OF EDŪCATION LOT 0497 OF 81SUB / 2.3.3450 / 3:29āam |
Soft light begins generating above and casts delicate shadows on what is in front of meē. The Restricted Section is large and filled with neat rows of shelving with the most bizarre objects meticulously arranged on them. With a brief glance around the room, I put my hand forward and go to pick one up. If anyone were going to stop meē they would have by now. The thing is heavier than I imagined, weighing down both my palms. It’s some sort of rectangle shape with a thick covering. Inside are touchable files that are organised together. The first page is entitled “The Encyclopedia of Nū Earth: The Transition from Human to U-man – Printed 2982.”
‘Nū Earth’. It fills my mīnd like a U-vid playing in my head. I feel the connections lighting up – Earth was before Metravā, so therefore humans came before U-mans. But if I’m human then that means that humans still exist. Right?
I pluck the rectangle objects from the shelves and begin stacking them around meē, creating a fortress of knowledge that I’m thirsty to absorb. My U-chip misreads my needs and pings meē a notīfy to the nearest Well or Nutrī Dispenser. “Stay extra hydrated with Waterlite’s new revolutionary formula: Waterlite+ Advance, rich with restorative minerals and a fresh new taste! Order it from your U-shop todaāy!” I swipe the advert away and command my U-chip to turn to Study Mode.
I sit down and consume as much as I can in the time I have. I examine each book cover-to-cover, taking notice of the word TAODAP printed on the back of each object. Each ‘encyclopedia’ is like another key to the many locks that hide the truth of who I am. For the next hour or two I read on.
“The Technology Resistance Period proved to be the most destructive era in Earth’s history. As pollution and consumerism grew faster than predicted, Peār reigned as the sole manufacturer for technology in 2701. Consumers panicked, fearing that there would never be enough technology for everyone. This ultimately led to the Second Great Depression. The economy plummeted and poverty and disease reached new heights. Those that survived the Second Depression, still reeling with loss and devastation, rebelled against technology, refusing to trust anything synthetic or artificially produced in fear of what it could do to their race further. Thus they declared war on Peār.” (Maiūs, P. (3430) Resistance Through the Ages, Revised Edition. p. 985).
“The Introduction of the U-chip was marketed to mass media in 2754 and was pitched as a revolutionary piece of technology that promised a brighter future for Earth, being ‘a cure from all that we have perceived incurable’.
The U-chip had its first fusing at 7:51āam in 2755 in Nū New York, a substantial sub that was a part of Earth. The world did not react as anticipated, rebelling and dubbing the moment “The Nū Nazi Era.” Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in riots that went on for weeks after the first fusing.
Three years later, on the 17th of Uarmaārch 2758, the world leaders were conferenced to announce the official date of the “Death of the Earth.” Their speech declared that Earth was no longer sustainable or fit for humans. According to scientists, Earth would be uninhabitable to humanity within a century. Plans then surfaced of a world relocation that would be taking place in the near-distant future.” (Viaāsyl, S. (2999) Fusing for Thought. First Edition. p. 29).
“In 2806, all Government bodies, political leaders, the United Nations, mass media, pop culture idols, current celebrities, scientists and professors avowed an alliance with Peār. In 2810, the Government instilled a law of mandatory fusing to all humans and passed The Bill of Mandatory Fusing of the U-chip at Birth. Any human who declined fusing was refused entrance to board shuttle transport to Metravā, and would therefore remain on Earth. In 2822, the Great Move was enacted and for the next 17 years, fused humans travelled from Earth to their newly restructured world that is now known as Metravā.” (Mīrci, C. (3234) Nū World Politics: Corruption and Control. p. 402).
| EXTRACTED FROM KNIJÄ TĀU / THE RESTRICTED SECTION /
DOOR 022 OF EDŪCATION LOT 0497 OF 81SUB / 2.3.3450 / 5:02āam |
Drowning in these words, my privacy is shattered when I hear the door slide open. I gasp in panic and drop the object I’m holding. I look back towards where I’d come from and see a group of figures looking at meē with intrigued eyes through the doorway.
“Do not worry, Knijä,” a familiar female voice says. “It is finally time. Welcome to the truth. Welcome to The Allegiance of Oppressed Doctors Against Peār, or,” she chuckles a little, “TAODAP for short.”
- The Cure will be published in full on Monday the 15th of August.
- The Cure is written by J. R Knight, illustrated by Paul Ikin and edited by Kayla Marie Murphy.
- The first 15 instalments of The Cure will be published week by week on The Knight Life. The next instalment will continue this coming Monday.
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