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SAD in May — Day Four

May 5, 2014

Prompt: write a 2000 word story

This story has a mind of it’s own. It is only half-completed and already over 2000 words. I just let it run its course. So here is Part One of the story coming in at 2226 words, I hope to have Part Two up tomorrow.

 

The Genome Project
Part One
By Lori Carlson

At 1200 sharp the monitors declared it lunch time. All over the unit, chairs slid back, workers stood up and everyone moved toward the escalators. At the bottom of the escalators, people in sets of two moved toward the cafeteria. Food was placed on trays, people sat eating automatically, and no one looked around, no one but Eve. Eve320, that is. Until today, even she lived in this robotic world, and this morning, she woke up. Really woke up, but she still doesn’t know why. She’s following along as well as she can with everyone else so that she doesn’t raise suspicion. She doesn’t know what happens to people who “wake up” and maybe she’s the first.

##########

 

“Has she been released yet?”

“Yes ma’am. She’s still in with the general public though.”

“The last one skipped out pretty fast. Maybe we have made some improvements after all. Release the boy once everyone is back to their desks. I want to see how they interact.”

“Yes ma’am!”

##########

At 1300 all of the workers were back at their seats and staring blankly at their monitors. The monitors turned on and everyone began typing away. What they were typing, Eve couldn’t tell. It just looked like a lot of symbols and numbers. She must have lost the ability to know what to do since lunch because she did just fine earlier in the day. How much more would she lose by the end of the day? Would she know where she lived? For that matter, where did she live? Her mind was busy contemplating that when she heard someone say “What the hell?”

Eve turned her head to both sides but saw nothing unusual. So she turned her body around in her seat and looked behind her. Three rows over sat a boy staring at his arms like they were something wildly peculiar. She knew the feeling. She’d sat in her bed this morning doing the exact same thing.

“The fascination will wear off in a few minutes,” she said, turning back around in her seat.

“Who said that?” the boy said.

Eve lifted her hand and did a little wave. She still didn’t want to get caught being “awake” and she wasn’t going to let this boy spoil things for her.

The room became silent again and Eve pretended to type at her keyboard. And then she felt a tap on her shoulder and her heart sank. Had she been found out? She turned slightly to the right and lifted her head, but it was only the boy, now crouched down on the floor beside her desk.

“Are you crazy?” she whispered. “Get back to your desk before someone sees you!”

“Who’s going to see me? These automatons? I need to know what the hell is going on and you seem to be the only other person here with a clue.”

Eve studied the boy for a few moments. He was about her age of sixteen, a wild mop of blond hair that he kept shaking with his hands, and he could pass as handsome if she were into all of that. She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to be “into” just yet.

“Listen, I don’t know much more than you do. I woke up this morning in my bedroom and just followed everyone here. I don’t even know where here is and now I don’t remember where I lived. Just get back to your desk and we will meet up after. Okay?”

The boy nodded his head and was about to go back to his seat when he asked,”Hey, what’s your name?”

“Eve,” she whispered.

“I’m Danson, Danson360. Now how did I know that? And what do the numbers mean?”

Eve shrugged her shoulders and turned back to her monitor. Danson finally went back to his desk, but he wasn’t very quiet about it. He shuffled along making squeaking noises with his shoes and bumping into other desks. All of that head shaking was making him dizzy. Once he was settled into his desk, Eve breathed a sigh of relief and began typing nonsense into the computer.

##########

“She may be too cautious, ma’am.”

“Yes, but that isn’t necessarily a negative trait. The boy is eager and adventurous.”

“Maybe too much, ma’am.”

“Let’s see how they interact once they’ve left the compound.”

##########

 

Eve stood huddled behind the Boxwood as she waited for Danson to exit the compound. She clutched her chest; she’d never known her heart to beat so wildly before. There were still things she had never realized until now and she wondered how she had lived for sixteen years in total oblivion. She watched the workers walking past her with the same dull expressions on their faces. They were off to live the rest of their day doing… what? She could no longer remember what she did every day after leaving work. She was just about to fret over this new turn of events when she spotted Danson looking all too obviously lost.

“Spppptttt! Over here!” Eve whispered as loudly as she dared.

“Oh, hey.” Danson said as he strolled over to her with his hands in his pocket. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I thought you’d forgotten about me.”

Eve pulled Danson behind the Boxwood. “I didn’t want to chance meeting inside the compound. No telling how many cameras are on inside there. I’ve only spotted one out here and it is focused on the path leading away from the compound.”

Danson squatted down beside Eve. “So you “woke up” this morning and now, like ten hours later, you cannot remember anything you used to do every day as a zombie?”

“Where did you learn about zombies?”

Danson chuckled, “I dug into the computer and read a whole bunch of stuff. They had files on cultural activities in there: movies, books, music, art, and tons of other things.”

Why didn’t I think of that? Eve thought, then said aloud, “Good job, Danson. Did you find out anything about why everyone walks around like zombies though?”

“There was this one file called Genome Project. I thought maybe it was a book or movie, but it wouldn’t let me have access.” Danson scratched his head and held up his hands as in defeat.

“Maybe tomorrow we can dig a little deeper and get access to that file. Do you remember where housing is around here?”

“Oh sure, just down the street there and to the right. Wait, that’s boy housing. I don’t know where you girls sleep.”

Eve nodded. “Probably to the left then. We should get some rest. No telling what tomorrow might bring.”

##########

“That Danson is a pretty smart guy. He was all over that computer today.”

“Yes, but Eve is the one with computer knowledge. It is wired into her DNA. I made sure of it myself.”

“She’s too cautious, ma’am.”

“So you keep saying. We don’t have time to test her computer skills now. We need them on that island ASAP. As soon as both of them have fallen asleep, send the guards to pick them up.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

##########

Eve hadn’t been asleep long when she felt an icy metallic hand on her shoulder. She rolled over and looked straight into the face of a robotic sentinel. “Come with me,” the digital voice commanded. Eve slid down off the top bunk bed and began walking slowly in front of the sentinel; apparently she was going too slow as it gently nudged her along. When they got outside of the building, another sentinel began walking in front of Eve.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked, but received no answer. She tried again, but this time she felt the blunt of a rifle in her back, pushing her along. They walked to the end of the dormitory road where the road turned right back to the compound. Across the street from there stood Danson, sandwiched between two guards. Once everyone met in the middle of the road and Eve and Danson were standing side by side, they heard a whooshing noise. Suddenly they were lifted up into the air as though sucked into a tube.

“Heliport!” Danson yelled.

Eve looked dumbfounded. “A what?”

“It’s like a teleport, except it goes straight to a helicopter.” He finished explaining just as they were whisked inside the helicopter.

“Just wait ‘til we get where we are going. They will spit us out the same way.” This time Danson burst out laughing. Eve just shook her head and sat back in her seat.

“Any idea where we are going?” Danson asked once he finally calmed down a bit.

“I have no idea. Those tin boxes wouldn’t tell me anything.” Eve looked out the window and pointed, “We are over water now.”

Danson leaned over and looked out of the window on his side. “That’s all I see too. I hope we aren’t meant to be shark bait!”

“If we are, it’s your entire fault for messing around on the computer all day!”

“You know, you sound awful bitter about me and that computer. Maybe you should have messed around on it too!”

Eve let out a humph and said, “Why else would we be arrested and carted off of the compound? It had to be your fault.”

“I think you are just too damn cautious for your own good. You are awake. Live a little!”

Eve turned her head back toward the window. Danson was right. She was being way too cautious and she didn’t know why. Somewhere deep inside of her she could feel the knowledge of computers buzzing. She should have checked the computer, but it never crossed her mind. She was too cautious and Danson was too casual. Some pair they made. Eve was so deep in thought, that she almost missed the sight of land just ahead of them.

“Hey, look! Land! Maybe we aren’t shark bait after all!”

Danson looked out the window and back toward Eve. “Ah hell, looks like paradise to me.”

Moments later the whooshing noise began again and Eve and Danson were sucked into that tube and spat out on a patch of beach. They looked up, but couldn’t even see the helicopter that brought them there. Looking at one another, they said almost in unison, “Now what?”

“I guess maybe we should look for shelter,” Danson said, picking up a seashell as he got up from the beach. “Maybe this place has one of those swanky hotels I saw in the computer files.”

“And maybe there is nothing but jungle and beach and ocean.” Eve said quietly as she stood up and began walking toward a path in the jungle.

“You are just a ray of sunshine, Eve!” Danson yelled, and then ran to catch up with her.

##########

“You still think these two will work together?”

“Their DNA says yes.”

“Eve320 is so negative though.”

“First she is too cautious. Now she is too negative. Are you even trying to look at the broader picture here?”

“I guess not, ma’am. Sorry.”

“It is the nature of the female species to be more cautious and, dare I say, jaded. You men get to have all the fun with little to no consequences.”

“Yes ma’am.”

##########

Eve and Danson walked around the jungle for what felt like hours. Everywhere they turned was thick overgrown vines and since they didn’t have a machete, they would have to go in a different direction. They finally found what appeared to be a cleared path, although it still had quite a bit of overgrowth. Eve found a large rock and sat down, while Danson just squatted where he stood.

“Is this still your idea of paradise?” Eve asked, wiping her forehead with the back of her hand.

Before Danson could answer, they heard a roaring noise. Looking behind himself, Danson let out a scream. “Eve! Run!”

The two began running as the roaring got louder and louder behind them. They could hear the pounding of paws on the earth. They were zigzagging between trees and long thick vines. When they came to another clearing, they stopped for a moment because they didn’t hear any noise.

“What was that thing?” Eve asked, breathing heavily.

Danson bent over and placed his hands on his knees and breathed in and out heavily. “Some kind of wild cat, I think,” he finally said. “Maybe we lost it.”

Just as Danson said those words, they heard a loud roar and a lion stood on the far end of the clearing, slowly moving towards them. Danson moved in front of Eve and placed his arm across her chest.

“Stay behind me, Eve.”

“And just what are you going to do that I cannot do? It means to eat us both!”

“For the love, woman. Shut up and stay behind me!”

As the lion inched closer, Danson and Eve moved backwards. This seemed to go on forever, a slow game of cat and mouse, but the lion was growing weary of the game and soon charged the two. Eve began to run backwards. In one moment she was on her feet, the next moment she was falling into large hole, pulling Danson down with her. Just as he went down, he saw the lion pounce at him, flicker and disappear.

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. I’ll be back tomorrow for part two 🙂

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