Hey all, it's Paradox again. I've been missing for a while because of school and a rather hectic job--sorry. Over lunch hour the past few days, I've been writing this little piece in an attempt to get my short story juices flowing again and produce something suitable for general consumption. Hopefully the more or less finished product is palatable.
I'm not really sure what genre this is, so I didn't assign it one in the labels. If you've got an idea, tell me in the comments--it's always nice to know where your story fits in the grand scheme of things...
Silence is golden, they say.
I suppose in my line of work that was pretty true. I was more or less paid to be quiet. I was paid well enough--close enough to gold, I'd say.
Most people don't quite understand how that works. Was I some sort of government operative, paid to keep secrets, or some other kind of guardian of sensitive material?
No and no. I couldn't be much further from the government and, well, to be honest, I didn't really have any secrets. Not what you might consider secrets, that is.
To look at me, most people would have thought I'm just a normal person. I was a secretary at a dentist's office, actually. Boringly normal, right? Honestly, I didn't mind filing information about the condition of various sets of teeth and calling to remind people that they have a coveted appointment with Dr. Schnellenbauer on Tuesday the 18th at 3 o'clock.
In some ways I actually liked my job. It let me forget that dental hygiene wasn't the reason I was there.
I said I didn't have what you would consider secrets. That's true, of course; I'm almost pathologically incapable of lying. What you would consider a secret and what I would consider a secret are, however, two very different things. You would consider an undercover agent's identity to be a secret, obviously. But what if the agent's cover was so complete that it ceased to be a cover, and actually came to define the person?
Some might call that schizophrenia. Maybe it is. For me, however, it's just part of my daily life. Well, it was, at any rate.
This is probably where you're expecting me to tell you that I'm an alien or something. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not. I'm nothing so strange as that. As a matter of fact, I'm someone quite like you.
I'm sure they told you you're the first one to be in this "experimental" cell. They told me the same thing too. Obviously they were lying, at least in your case; you've found this note that I left, which necessarily means that there was someone here before you. I can only assume that you've got a mind as strange as mine if you've found this. Either that or you're a specially devious guard, which I highly doubt. No, you're looking for something more than just contraband left by a former prisoner. Everyone is, though they may not know it.
You want truth. It's a rather scarce commodity these days, unfortunately. Our lovely government isn't quite so understanding of faith and such anymore, I'm afraid, so they've taken over the truth-hunt and essentially derailed it into a morass of half-truths, outright lies, and a few tiny gems of real truth. That's not so good for our sort.
What sort is that, you might be wondering. Well, the only reason you'd be here is if you got just a bit too close to the truth about reality. To answer the obvious question, no, this is not reality as it once was. We've changed things quite a lot. Nobody had computer-enhanced brains fifty years ago. In order to pursue "higher truth," we decided to utilize every biotechnological tool at our disposal and pretty soon everyone had computerized brains and perfect children and so forth. The gene pool was supposed to deepen on the "good" end.
As you may have already guessed, we're at the "bad" end. No, not as far as IQ or physical aptitude; even though I'm a secretary, I have a genius-level IQ and I can bench my body weight and then some, thank you very much. Or I could before I came here, anyway. I'm not talking about physical or mental capability.
We've got faith, you and I, in something far greater than our perverted, tyrannous government. Therefore, the government reasons, we must be somehow deficient. Never mind that our aptitude tests are excellent. If they weren't, I guarantee you they would have just shot you and not tried at all to "reeducate" you.
I won't sugar-coat what's going to happen to you. It'll be terrible. You'll want to die. Maybe you will, if the guard on duty isn't as careful as he's supposed to be.
They'll try to reeducate you for at least a year. It gets progressively worse and worse, so if you think it's bad now, sorry, but it's only beginning.
It's been almost two years for me, at least as far as I can tell. I haven't left this cell in all that time, so I'm honestly not quite sure. I know the end is close now, and it won't involve any sort of physical freedom. It's all right, though; I'm ready. I've been ready ever since this all began.
Now it's your turn.
If you get out of here alive, it's your job to build a fire in the hearts of the American people. This tyranny must stop.
And now they come for me, one last time...