My social security number is 163995-5960-10. My family members call me Ten. As you do not have an IEP (Internal Enhancement Processor), you can not
access my personal data. My personal data is available to anyone with an IEP, which is embedded in the brain of each Citizen. Citizens have nothing
to hide from each other, thus eliminating past civilization's customs.Why give a name to a newborn when the name is used throughout the world? You
had millions of Johns and Smiths. How could you have lived that way? How could you have achieved your identity, when there was so much competition
in your civilization? True, I know many other ten's, but the IEP eliminates the need for given names.
The IEP eliminated nearly every Old World custom and practice. Its predecessor, "The Internet," was invented by an Old World revolutionary who
eventually became the trusted Governor of 1COMM. He is the only representative of your civilization who remains. During the EOD (Era of
Destruction), The Governor realized the nature of your demise. You were the only species on my planet that was not concerned with the First Law. You
ignored your own genetic codes and created customs that eventually destroyed you, and nearly obliterated my planet. There is no information in the
IEP that explains this paradox. Species of lesser intelligence knew the dangers of their own waste, yet you ignored it. Only one man of your
Because of him, the IEP gives me so much information about you. Prior to "The Internet," you wore clothing as symbols. Minerals from my planet
were extracted for means of power, the creation of noisy and smelly mechanical devices. Even for personal adornments! I find it very amusing that
the minerals weren't enough for you. You became interested in their elements. You combined these elements and split them in half. You used these
combinations for a variety of uses, from smearing them on your teeth to eliminating entire countries. You tried to categorize and name everything you
found. You thought that Mankind was at its peak.
My IEP, and The Governor, informs me that you were quite the opposite. You had reached your lowest level of intelligence. You were only
concerned with immediate consequences and gratification. Your brain wasn't capable of the logic needed to determine long-term scenarios. You built
computers that told you repeatedly what would occur and when, yet you ignored them. You ignored your own predecessors, civilizations that were able
to create great structures and societies. You ignored the fact that they, too, lacked the logic for long-term scenarios. You ignored their demise,
though you considered yourselves experts of their livelihoods.
Upon the discovery of The Man In Ice during your reign, The Governor's brain achieved the logic needed for long-term survival. With his
great amount of money and brilliance, he and his life partner created the very first PoDs. They spoke of them to no one. They knew you wouldn't
conceive the idea. They knew you would laugh. They knew you would be repulsed by the idea of a slight genetic change via a simple injection - the
gift of an insect to be frozen and revived.
They gave you "The Internet" as your last hope, their final gift to you. A gift that could have made your civilization into A Whole, but was used
instead to propagate false facts and images of persons without clothing.
My IEP does not explain the multitude of images of persons without clothing.
Eventually you reached your Era of Destruction. One leader hated another leader, and a weapon was launched into the sky. When it hit the ground of
the Major Planetary Continent, each lower person immediately fell ill throughout my planet. By accessing my IEP, I see that The Governor and his
life partner were notified of the weapon launch via his computer.
They walked deep into my planet toward their rudimentary PoDs.
They did not follow your protocols of loss.
There were no feelings of sadness.
They did not speak.
They sealed the PoD chambers with their hands, and a sleeping gas made their thoughts numb.
The temperature of the PoD dropped to the appropriate level of human preservation.
Both PoD's were elevated slowly and safely to the center of a famous large canyon on the Northern United Continent, a point chosen so
that they would easily be found.
A weapon erupted in the exact geographical center of the Northern United Continent, contaminating all living organisms. Within a short era, all of
you were lost. Your leader at the time, and many of his direct followers, survived by living beneath the surface of my planet. The leaders and their
families lived comfortably beneath the earth, and reproduced underground for many generations. The structures above them remained, and nature finally
overcame its contamination in its own era, and finally established itself as the leader of all.
The offspring of your leader and his many followers overflowed in their dwellings, and their vitamin injections became scarce. It was decided that
the leader male would venture forth from within the mountain. The leader's given name was Nowuh. He remained on the surface of the earth for many
sunsets without becoming sick, then the masses poured out from within. These masses existed throughout my planet and each liveable continent, some
with success, some without.
The Governor and his life partner were discovered six generations following Nowuh's brave entrance. Two generations were required to learn
how to open the PoD's. An additional generation was needed to wait for the Governor's revival. The Governor quickly awakened his life partner by
exposing her to the sun. It was quickly agreed upon by the Northern United Continent that The Governor would become the new leader. He learned our
ways of eating from the earth, and we began to learn the ways of your life. Your mishaps and your success. We were very interested in agriculture
and repulsed by unneeded machinery. All future inventions were the responsibility of The Governor, a genius who was, and is, able to create with no
harm to others. Stars that you can turn on and off. Thought-sharing devices. IEP's. PoD's..PoD's...PoD's...
One and I sit on the strong branches of the largest tree of our property. I gaze at him as he chews gently on a piece of sweetgrass, swinging his
strong feet back and forth, back and forth. I feel a hum in the core of my brain, and giggle.
"Why are you nervous, Ten?" He asks, shifting his torso a bit and leaning back on his branch.
"You know exactly why."
"I know your heart rate keeps changing and that you are scanning me for a memory." He smiles.
"I'm wondering...why isn't your Servitude recorded on your IEP?"
"Ahhh..your Servitude.You're nervous because it is one of few things that you can not predict."
"Why did 1COMM take it out, then put it back in afterwards? Shouldn't Servitude be recorded and accessable?"
"Because The Governor says it is bad for you, Serving and recording at the same time, and I tend to believe him."
"Why, One?? Does it hurt?" I jump from my branch onto the soft grass and clover beneath the tree. I lay down and face the beautiful branches and
"You know that The Governor would never hurt any of us."
"What was your PoD like, One?"
"It's too long ago to tell you. PoD's are much different in the present day."
"Don't you remember anything?" I turn my head and look up at him. He chose to age until the gray hair started appearing above his ears. He loved
maintaining his body by roaming the fields of our property, sometimes running for no reason. His life partner, Four, who gave birth to me, chose to
remain as she was the day they met. He teases her at times for her choice, but they continue to bond happily.
"Yes, but my memories do not matter, because the present day is not one of them."
"You should be excited, Ten! Servitude is the most important period of your life! You are using your resources to keep our civilization a
successful one! Refuse to suffer like The Governor had to in his Past. Servitude is the only.."
"Prevention..." I mumble. I pick a clover and place it on the back of my tongue. The virtues of Servitude are recited every day by each citizen.
Those who are unable to recite the virtues receive the transmission on their IEP.
"Okay, Ten..I'll tell you a secret."
"There are no secrets with Modernized Man." I recite.
"Funny, funny girl. Seriously, Servitude is something you need. Not just civilization, but you, as a citizen. As a person. As a young woman" He
carefully slides off of his branch and lands effortlessly next to me. "It is the only period in your life that you will truly learn who you are. No
distractions, no data from others, no humming from within - you will learn who you are. And you know what? I think the Governor made it that way on
purpose. I think he knows that a human needs some quiet for a while."
"How long is a while?"
"Until 1COMM decides you are ready to come back."
"Shouldn't it be my choice?"
"They know once you have made the choice, Ten. They'll know. Just like when they'll know once it's time for you to begin."
"They already do know that...my IEP recorded the start of my cycle. Four recorded it, too. She was so happy, she transmitted it the moment she found
"She wouldn't be happy if it wasn't good for you, now, would she?" He leans over and extends his enormous arm. He pulls me up and I brush the
grass off of my legs.
"I guess not."
"Then we'll wait for the summon, and we won't be afraid."
One blinked rapidly. After all of his time in this world, he still couldn't conceal his IEP activity.
We started our trek home for the evening meal. The meal is our opportunity to sit and talk. To answer questions about our IEP data. Though One and
Four maintain their bodies with their PoD's, and I grow with the appropriate vitamins and proteins, it is a custom suggested by The Governor.
Without small peaceful social units, a peaceful world society can not be maintained.
We walked through the tall prairie grass, and I swatted at the mosquitos that tried to approach my skin.
"Don't kill them, Ten, they survived long before us, and will survive long after us. It is because of insects that we are able to remain
"But they make bumps that irritate me!"
"Once you arrive at 1COMM, you will miss moments like this." The grass was as tall as his knees, and as tall as my hips. He ran his fingers over
the blades, and then wiped the sweat from his forehead. I was silent as I followed him, biting my tongue as each insect flew toward me. The midpoint
between the large tree and our dwelling was approaching...the parallel shiny metal lines, where the prairie grass ended and began once more.
He stopped and waited for me. I wiped the recycled water from my neck and exhaled loudly. "Do you always have to be the fastest?" I joked, until I
saw his eyes. He looked down and the two shiny bars that stretched from eternity to eternity. I had known since the day I could read my IEP data
where the lines ended. Why was he staring at them?
I looked down, thinking that there was an error in their construction. Between the two thick parallel lines were gleaming metal plates bolted
between them. In all of my life, I had never seen the 1COMM transporter that relied on the shiny metal. I knew it was a fact that the shiny metal
was within several sunsets' walking distance of every dwelling. Some dwellings were located in a very close proximity, whereas our dwelling was as
far as was allowed by 1COMM. Most Citizens were indifferent to the foreign metal that sliced through their territories, but One built his dwelling
where the lines could not be seen.
Hum. My heart rate increased. Oh no. Oh no.
IT IS HEREBY REQUESTED
"Ten, I love you
"very much and I
AWAIT FOR TRANSPORT
"hope for the
"best for you
PLEASE REPORT TO YOUR TRANSPORT LOCATION
"Why didn't you tell me?" I demanded. "Why didn't I know?"
"It's not allowed, Ten."
"So I'm just supposed to stay here? What about Four? She will be quite sad!"
"She said her farewell before we departed, Ten."
"She knew, also?" I stomped my bare foot into the flattened grass surrounding the Lines.
"Then why not me? WHY NOT ME?"
"Because you were a child, and once you become a woman, you will know why."
Hum. I clenched my jaw. This transmission was much stronger than any I had felt.
One flinched. He felt it, also.
"I must go now."
I continued to clench my jaw. My hands began to twitch. My knees shook. I could no longer hear nor feel the breeze.
"I love you," I whispered
It wasn't sweat dripping from his eyes, I'd never seen sweat from eyes. It was something else. He wiped it with his large fingers and turned
The Lines began to vibrate.
My heart rate was tripled.
He disappeared into the grass. I closed my eyes and sat down.
I tried to remain sitting, but my head slowly touched the ground. I could not move. I looked up at the perfect blue sky.
My eyes closed.
"Hello, Young Woman. What is your Social Security Number?" The voice is neither a man's nor a woman's.
"Welcome, Young Woman!" The voice vibrates.
Fake sunshine. I scream. HUM. WELCOME TO 1COMM, 163995-5960-10, YOU ARE SAFE. "Don't TOUCH ME!"
WELCOME TO 1COMM, 163995-5960-10, YOU ARE SAFE.
"You are safe, Young Woman."
YOU ARE SAFE.
"Hello, Young Woman. What is your Social Security Number?" I hear a woman's voice.
Darkness. Cold. My head. My head. My head.
"Young Woman, What is your Social Security Number?"
Injection into my neck. My NECK! It isn't a vitamin. Warmth spreads quickly throughout my head. I am frozen in place.
"Young Woman, What is your Social Security Number?"
"Very Good! Welcome, Young Woman! Welcome to 1COMM! You are being prepared for your wonderful journey into Servitude. Your IEP has been removed.
You are safe! Time to wake up!"
Another injection. My eyes fly open. Fake sunshine blares into one eyeball. My mouth can not open, though I try to scream. I try to blink, but my
eyelids remain wide open. Fake sunshine into the other eyeball.
"Okay, replace natural reflexes. I think we got a fighter here, though." A man responds.
Injection. My eyes squeeze shut and I curl into a ball. I am on a cold surface. It's so cold. My head throbs in a synchronization of my heartbeat.
I do not know the feeling. I have never felt this...this feeling. I dislike it. I dislike it.
"Please open your eyes, Young Woman."
"No. I am feeling something right now that I do not like."
"Wait eight seconds.."
"What's a sec.."
Injection. Warmth. I am warm. So warm.
"Please open your eyes, Young Woman."
I open my eyes. Everything is in perfect focus. Above me stands a beautiful woman in pure white material. We are both standing in a room made
entirely of shiny metal.
"Why do you have material on you?" I ask.
"Hahahahha! You must be from the country."
A gray-haired man approaches her from behind. He, too, is wearing white material, though it's styled different. Material is for the extreme cold. To
protect you if you wish to play in the snow. Why are they wearing it? Why is it white as the snow?
"Four always made our protective material by hand, beautiful colors," I say.
"Well, Four is quite talented, your personal belongings were beautiful."
I look down at myself. "I'm wearing pure white!" My shoulders, all the way down to my feet, are covered with white material. Only my hands are
revealed. "But it isn't snowing."
"No, what we are all wearing are called 'Uniforms.'"
I touch my head. My hair is gone! "Where is my hair? WHAT DID YOU DO?"
"All Citizens' heads must be shaved in order to safely remove the IEP's and begin Servitude. Don't worry, Young Woman, your hair will be quite
long when your Servitidude is complete. No more questions. All will be answered in your orientation."
My eyes open and I feel my heart begin to race. Again, I am standing. There are many people standing in a straight line in front of me. I turn my
head. There are many people standing in a straight line on either side of me. We are all Young. I cannot turn around. I can only move my head. I see
others moving their heads, also. We stare at each other in horror. Each person has no hair, but each has a single exposed hole in the back of their
skull. We are all wearing identical white uniforms.
"Hello, Young Women and Young Men."
All heads stare straight forward, though there is no one to be seen amongst the huge straight lines of which we are standing.
"I am The Governor, and this is your orientation."
I see no one, aside from the hairless Young Woman with a hole in her head, standing in front of me.
"In summary, you are here to provide the energy needed for a peaceful society. It will be physically painless. You will be introduced to your first
PoD, one that is used to generate energy emitted from your bodies. Prior to the PoD, this energy was never consumed and was wasted. With this
innovation,your energy will be used in order to help the world maintain its existence! This is a wonderful opportunity for you!"
His voice started to raise into a shout.
"You are serving mankind by producing power without waste! Power that is needed to produce IEP's! Power that continues peace throughout Modern Man!
You are contributing to the future of our species! Thank you, Young Women and Young Men, and thank each other for the wonderful gift you have to
offer! This gift is only available at this era in your life. You are at your electrical prime!"
His voice is now deafening.
"Once completed, you may return to your families, or you may choose a career of your choice here, at 1COMM. This, my young friends, is one of my
many gifts to you! Extended lifespans, clean air, the ability to learn without being taught. This is a Utopia!"
My eyes scan the ceiling of the huge room. His voice is coming out of boxes that are larger than I. I have so many questions for him, I want to tell
him that I am afraid and I do not wish to do this. But his voice is replaced is with a screaming sound.
I see the smaller Young Women and Men fall to the ground, then I see the shiny ground approaching my face. There is no thud as I fall. It is gentle,
but forced. I see the Young Woman in front of me twitching and contorting, and the room becomes black.
"Country girl, wake up. Hey, country girl. This is your last chance before we go. Wake up!"
My eyes fly open. I am once again frozen in position on a shiny table.
"Turn your head, you can still turn your head."
I turn my head. I see another Young Woman laying on a shiny table. My eyes widen. She, too, is frozen in position, but her head is turned toward me.
She is beautiful and very pale. Her green eyes stare into mine. She smiles gently, but I am so scared. Shiny strings are coming out of the hole in
her head, so many shiny strings. "You have strings in your head," I croak.
"They're called 'wires.' You do, too, Country girl."
"Why do you call me that?"
"Because you're from Prairie. I can tell because your skin is darker than mine."
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from here. My father works here. I know everything about Servitude." She grinned, exposing perfectly white teeth.
"I want to go home"
"You can't. Don't worry, the worst part is over. Your PoD won't be the fanciest, but you'll have a few perks."
"Because my Dad works here, I get special privileges in mine."
"What's a Dad?"
She laughed, and I watched her wires twitch. "You don't know the Old Language, do you?"
"Okay..a Dad is the man who helped the woman who gave birth to you. She's your Mom. But hey, don't be scared, 1COMM makes sure you feel good. I
think you'll have three communications per month..I mean moon cycle. I'll have a direct link to my Mom and Dad, but since your parents are Prairie
People...I guess 1COMM will IEP your messages."
"That's good to know."
"There'll be a computer talking to you. I'll let you in on a secret, since your PoD will be pretty minimal. If you wish to terminate, you
"Why would I want to do that?"
"I duh-no. Dad tells me it happens all the time. Some people can't handle it. All you have to do is say 'Terminate Procedure' once you're asked
if you need help. It's a loophole in the system. Once the help menu is engaged, 1COMM can't stop you from speaking."
"Thanks, but I think I'll be okay."
"Just thought you'd like to know, Country."
I hear someone approaching from behind, and the girl's smile grew larger.
The person spoke. It was a male. "Say your Goodbye's, Young Women."
"Goodbye, Country Girl!"
"Goodbye, 1COMM Girl."
Black. Are my eyes open? I blink really hard. I squeeze them shut until I feel the discomfort. This time the opposite has occurred..my head is
frozen in place, but I can move my body. I feel around me, and everything I touch is soft and warm. I feel like Four is holding me, such as when I
was a child. I hear a humming sound, and a breeze is blowing on my nose and mouth. It smells just like home. Am I back home? Is it over?
"Welcome to your PoD, 163995-5960-10." The voice is neither male nor female. It has a strange vibration to it. I bring my hands to my face. A
warm piece of fabric is gently encompassing my eyes. I touch my head, and can feel that I no longer bald. I stretch my arms out, but they stop
halfway. I feel more fabric, with comfortable heat coming from within. I feel so good. Four is holding me. She must be holding me.
"Four?" I ask.
"Welcome to your PoD.These are your facts. You are laying in a standard custom-made PoD. This is a wonderful opportuniy for you." The voice speaks
without any emotion. I am becoming irritated from hearing how wonderful this is."You have been in your PoD for three months, and have been asleep
while 1COMM makes your experience as wonderful as possible."
Wonderful this, wonderful that.
"Are you hungry and thirsty, 163995-5960-10?"
"yes," I whisper.
I feel my head twitch, and my mouth begins to water. I feel as though I have just drank from the stream back home.I taste Four's pasta and
potatoes and romaine salads, and begin to chew. There is nothing to chew. My stomach begins to feel full, and I feel as though I have just eaten a
large meal. The resemblence is uncanny, though I have consumed nothing.
Nothing. Nothing at all. I'm stuck in here, with this fake voice talking to me, as 1COMM literally feeds me my memories. I am completely alone. I
can not summon Mom and Dad. My eyes begin to water. I hate being...
"Are you sad, 163995-5960-10?"
Black. Warmth. I touch my hair, which has doubled in length. Another three moon's must have passed. Months, they call them. Month, moon, whatever.
"Hi there," I answer sarcastically.
"Are you hungry and thirsty, 163995-5960-10?"
"Are you sad, 163995-5960-10?"
"Is that all you have to say?" I ask.
"What more is there, then?"
"Would you like to record one of three messages, 163995-5960-10?"
"Your parents or guardians."
"Yes, tell them - tell them that I hate this world."
"One of three messages recorded. It will be transmitted immediately. You have two messages remaining. For other options, say 'Help.'"
"How may I help you today, 163995-5960-10?"
"Are you all that is?" I asked, as my eyes begin to water once more.
"I do not understand. Are you sad, 163995-5960-10?"
"Stop saying my Social Security Number. Are you all.. that will talk to me..?"
"Yes. It appears as though you are sad. Are you sad?"
"What do do you think?"
"Please answer 'YES' or 'NO,' are you sad?"
Shall I cry, or shall I sleep for another three months? I guess I can fall asleep whenever I ask to...yet for some reason I wish to remain in my
darkness for a bit.
"No," I choke. "I am fine." I think about 1COMM Girl. She said she had communication with her family. I wonder what her family is like, what it
must be like to live within 1COMM. All the shiny metal, and no Prairie Grass. Fake sunshine. Yet why was she told what this horror would be like? Why
did One, my Dad hide this from me? I could have stopped it. Somehow I could have stopped it.
But even 1COMM Girl couldn't stop it. She is probably more comfortable at the moment than I, but even she has a period of Servitude.
"It appears as though you are angry. Are you angry?"
"You better believe I'm angry."
Black. .. message.
"You have a message! You have a message! You have a message! You have.."
I touch my hair. It is now at my shoulders. One revolution around the Sun? Old World Word....
"What is the Old World terminology for Revolution?"
"The New World Dictionary describes it as a noun and a verb. To revolt, which a Citizen would never do, or the Earth's planetary orbit around the
Sun. One Year.You have a message! You have a message!"
"Play the message, then."
"Message transmission: Date withheld for security purposes. Dearest Ten, Four and Ten are very proud of you. Pause. You are helping mankind by being
brave. Pause. Your energetic youth is what helps us stay young. Pause. Thank you, Ten. You are an excellent Citizen! Break. It appears as though you
"THAT'S the message? After one year?"
"Yes. It appears as though you angry. Are you angry?"
"Yes. Keep me angry for another year. I'm tired of this, you Old World Asshole."
JOLT. My head begins to twitch.
"Never swear at 1COMM. You have committed a misdemeanor. Never swear at 1COMM. You have committed a misdemeanor."
My entire body begins to shudder, and I feel my tongue approach my throat.
"You have ten seconds to respond."
I am convulsing now. I feel the wires pulling against my head.
"Help function disabled. You have seven seconds to respond."
What's a second?
"I'm...sorry." Everything ceases. I begin to breathe rapidly.
"Misdemeanor cleared. It appears as though you are scared. Are you scared?"
Black...my hair is now knotted past my shoulders. I remembered 1COMM Girl's advice and decided to explore the HELP menu some time back. I have two
transmissions remaining. I wonder if I should send one to her and ask how she is doing, but I don't know her Social Security Number. For all I know,
she is long gone and living happily in her shiny world.
Maybe 1COMM has forgotten about me. I've learned that the monotonous voice shuts up in HELP mode. Maybe 1COMM can't reach me, now. I'll turn it on
occasionally for a meal and some water, but it's meaningless. It isn't real. It's just a wire telling my brain that I have eaten and am full. In
reality, I've learned, my urine is being recycled back into my body, with vitamins thrown in to keep me alive.
"Would you like to record your second of three messages?"
"Sure, what the hell."
"To my parents or guardians. You lied to me. I have learned that Servitude is a selfish way to get energy so that our brains can be exposed and we
can be vain. Life is no different above ground than it is down here, with wires coming in and out of my brain. I hate you both, and will never see
either of you again. I doubt you will be concerned."
"Second of three messages reco.."
"Help menu activated!"
Sweet silence once more. I've learned that it feels good to let water out of my eyes, though I've also learned that I can only do it privately.
I've learned from the dreaded computer that it was once called "crying." It feels good and horrible at the same time, but so does the PoD. So does
"Time remaining?" I ask, already knowing the answer.
"Date withheld for security purposes."
"What am I gonna do, break out of here?"
"You appear to be..."
"Help menu activated."
More water flows from my eyes. It tastes salty. I make noises I do not usually make. Wailing. Wishing for the Sun and the Prairie Grass and even the
insects. My time down here is indefinite and infinite at the same time. This could be a cruel joke...I could be buried here forever.
"Help..." My hair is damp where my tears have fallen.
"Help menu activated."
"Would you like to record your final message?"
My final message. Now the computer is catching on. This is my final message.
"To The Governor, you are a vain and greedy man. You missed a spot in your programming of this ghost of a machine, and you're not the genius you
think you are. I am not serving society. I am serving you, and this is my resignation."
"MESSAGE CENSORED. DELIVERY FAILURE."
"I figured that." I sniffed and cried out.
"You have no messages remaining."
"Help menu activated!"
"It appears as though you are sad, do you really wish to exit?"
[edit on 25-7-2005 by dotgov101]
[edit on 8-3-2005 by worldwatcher]