For the first time that day, George went to the alcove and inputted his personal id number, then inserted his id card, then had to submit to the usual retina and dna scan. It was a routine now 4 times a day he would go and get scanned to prove that they werent a burden to the state. Each time the laser ran over his eye George shuddered, thinking how the world has changed in so short a time. Once again he passed his burden test, but this time it seemed to take longer which was odd since they were all controlled by the central register. As he sat waiting for the data to be read out, he thought why would they be slow accessing. He smiled as his data was read out he had passed the daily task list, one more day alive, but the cynical part of him said hang on, if something good happened now, that means something bad would happen later. As usual his cynical outlook was prooved to be correct.
“George number 876, 213 B. your work quota has been increased, you will be transferred to the central register, for reprocessing. All hail the state, they who feed you, clothe you, protect you. You will report for processing tomorrow at 11 am.”
The fear on Georges eye, was pleasurable to the guard, a petty little sadist, who enjoyed seeing the fear and hate in their eyes. She was young had only just joined the state guardians, but already she loved the brutality of it. Her name was josephine but to her co workers she was Jo, she didn’t have any friends, but she didn’t want any brutality was her lover, she had dallied with a few other lady guards, but nothing came of them.
Jo noticed him sitting there in numb terror, and wondered who he was, then decided he wasn’t worth the thought, who cares who he was, he was a man, and a B worker, someone who did all the worst kind of jobs, she then had a thought I will have some fun with him. So after George had sat there for 5 minutes as required by law Jo removed her nite stick and ran the stick over his neck, loving the sight, of his cringing at the touch of the hard black metal on his throat, this was why she loved her job,making men suffer it was almost as good as sex, but almost. She ran the stick over his throat pushing it harder and harder so he couldn’t breathe, and stilll he didn’t move, this wasn’t right he should be pleading with her to stop, and she knew that she wouldn’t.
George sat there feeling the stick slide across his throat, but he used one of his tricks something that not even the register knew about, it was his secret weapon, he could go away, pull his conciousness inwards until he became an observer in his own body to the degradation that he had to endure since the State had taken control over all of their lives. He knew she couldn’t keep him here for more than 15 minutes before being called to account so all he had to do was wait and he will be free, at least till the next time he had to get scanned. Jo decided to increase the force damn she thought he isnt doing it, he should be crying in pain. Jo moved the stick lower down his fat greasy body, deciding that as a man the pain of the stick being pushed into his groin would make anyman scream in pain, she was anticipating the near sexual thrill she got from punishing men for being men. She was totally caught up in the feeling of power that she never noticed the light blinking on the panel stating the next person was waiting, 15 minutes, 16 minutes, 17, the light flashed faster. Then with a feeling of terror Jo realised oh no I am late , I should have gotten rid of him 4 minutes ago, she will be punished for this. This MAN this lesser being he caused her to be a burden on the state.. “ go on George 876213B, go and don’t be a burden to the state” she shouted but her heart wasn’t in it.
George walked out of the cubicle with relief, he had made it, she was the worst guard yet, it seemed that most of the guards were women nowadays, and their brutality was increasing, it was not unknown for these amazonian nazi’s to even beat people up, it was even known that they would kill. As George walked down the corridor he noticed the head guard Adrian Lancaine, someone he had known in the life before the State or B.S. as it was known, come racing down the corridor looking furious, George couldn’t help but smile, yes someone is in trouble.. as the head guard entered the room he saw Jo who was his best guard sitting on the chair with her head in her hands, and knew that she had once again let her emotions cloud her duty to the state, but this time he couldn’t hide the evidence. “Whats happening?” george stormed at her, “have you lost what sense u were born with, or are you trying to kill me? Come on ANSWER me.” jo looked shocked at this outburst, she was his golden girl, the best at control “ it wasn’t my fault, he ..he kept looking at me, please don’t report me” jo whimpered , feeling shame at how she had to become subservient to a mere man. Adrian looked at her and saw something had changed in here, gone was her superior attitude, and a vulnerability had replaced it, and knew she would not be a guard again and shook his head. Jo saw this and shuddered oh god I am going to be a burden to the state, all because of that MAN, that fat slob of a man, a man who deserved to die, not for being a burden but for being a MAN. While these thoughts were going through jo’s mind, Adrian saw a different light enter her eyes, and he became scared, she had lost her mind.
Adrian checked the system register for who could have caused this change, it was odd george wasn’t the kind of person to do this, but then again Adrian realised there were things in his record that didn’t make sense, and he wondered who’s idea was it for a computer controlled register, computers don’t think they don’t reason, facts are facts.. George was a inoffensive person, as far as Adrian could see, but then recalled his face “I know him” he cried, “he was always a weird person, a thinker an enemy of the state for that alone”
Jo looked up at those words, and asked Adrian “you knew him? How, Why, Where?”, Adrian answered unconciously as he went back over his past, “ oh I saw him around, he had a sort of confidence about him, as if he wasn’t supposed to be here, he was just different, I hated him the moment I saw him, he could have been so much more than a “burden the the state”” Adrian said with deep sarcasm” but at least now he wont be, so what were you doing to him, Jo, not torturing him were you, you remember what happened to michael 765, 908 C, and the trouble I had covering that up.” Jo remembered the feeling of blood on here hands the feel of it, it was glorious, but all she did was nod.
Adrian thought what can I do with her, she alienates all the other guards, she hates all men, if I was of a nasty mind I would send her to work in the pregnancy camps, that would change her, being forced to have multiple babies, but then remembering a conversation with the head of the security services, about a new core group of expendable, stone cold killers who would be sent out to eliminate enemies of the state, and thought that’s an idea, it’s a promotion, and she would owe me big time, and still get her out from my group..yes I will have a word, “ ok Jo, go home, and wait, we shall see what happens,” Adrian loved this little terror he could inflict on people. Jo looked up in fear, was I a burden, please no, and for the first time in 5 years she prayed, I don’t want to be sent to the baby farm, to have all those sweaty men on me, the thought nearly made her throw up, but this was the fate of women who where burdens to the state, and part of her agreed women who were a burden should repay the state by having children, but it was she realised a different thing when it was her. Jo went home to her house, and sat there contemplating her future, she knew that a few traitors had made a home in the vaults but she rebelled at the thought of them of sharing their lives and losing her power to terrorise.
george walked to the factory, his job for the next 4 hours, 4 hours of work, then another scan , then 4 more hours, 16 hours work today, then sleep, then a meeting in central control, he hoped they hadnt found his secret stash of subversive books, “subversive” he muttered, then realising he had said it out loud, looked round incase the watchers had noticed, luckily they hadnt and sighed in relief, thought police, sadistic security guards, and he went back to his subversive books, it was mad, in 5 short years, 99% of all books where locked up, or burnt at that thought george felt something like sorrow, all that lost knowledge, all the good it could have done. But its gotten so people cant think, thinking back over the incident with the guard, it seemed to him that more sadists where coming out, it was terrifying, they must have only been 17 when the first words were uttered, he still remembered them, “Don’t be a burden to the state, work for the state, live happy for the state” it made him sick, but it’s the world he lives in now, you had to be a profitable member of society, your costs must never outweigh what you earn, george smiled grimly, at least the credit card people were out of business, they never expected what happened. It was the first year after the State came into effect they had slowly taken power, bringing the rich and powerful over to their side, why should the rich pay for the burdens that the lesser people put on us, you will be the uber class, the leaders of the new State. And they were fools to believe them, but then the rich were always known to be fools.
The credit card companies, followed the party line, we will help the defaulters onloans, we will put them to work, and get your money back, al we need is some capital we have all these rich people on our side, we just need you, what a crock it was, 6 months later all the credit card companies were abolished, the executives sent to work in the camps, all assets, confiscated for the State. That was clever, get them to pay for their own destruction. Then confiscate the property, george had to admire that piece of theft. Then came the gradual, curtailing of rights, the introducing of id cards, then retina scans, dna scans, until there was nothing you could do without proof of your identity, then the addition of making people work for the good of the state. You had to show that you could provide a service to be allowed to live and love. George was miles away and he nearly walked past his employment, hah employment, all he did everyday was check the standard of certain items, then someone checked my work, and so on, for as soon as you discovered that you were a burden, you would vanish.
It was clever george had to admit, but it was a grudging admiration, so another 4 hours of work, then yet another meeting, you cant have people doing work or getting someone who is on a break to substitute for you, spot checks of identity, this is a wonderful new world, at least the rich are no longer around, another group of people, sent to the camps, and as usual all property confiscated, the state was THE richest group around, and the most powerful. Everything was now focused on the good of the state, if you were a woman you would be sent to the baby farms, breeding the next generation of mindless drones, followers of the state, men were not sent to the baby farms only the uber classes could have kids and often. George remembered one of his friends suddenly disappearing in the middle of the night and anyone who spoke up they vanished as well. George found a way to work and yet go back into his own past, he did this every time at work it was the best way to cope.
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