A flash fiction story with elements of science fiction.
January 18th, 2050
It's 7:15 am at Thinking Cup Cafe. While I am waiting for my early morning coffee under the watchful eye of robot EPA100, I leaf through the Northern Times, the only daily newspaper there is. The pages are filled with propaganda of the United Radical Party's army taking over East Siberia. As I turn to the last pages, I am welcomed by the articles on travelling, suggesting readers where to go for their next summer vacation. I remember the times when I was little and my grandparents telling me about what the world was like back then. People used to go to fancy seaside destinations such as the Caribbean or the Maldives. But in truth, those islands don't exist anymore. They were replaced by surfing on the beaches of Norway, or hiking in the Atacama. In recent years, the global warming has taken its toll. The sea level has risen as well as the temperature. The population has declined and is now down to two billion. People have migrated further north, or south, depending on the hemisphere.
I finally get my Thinking Cup coffee. Before taking a sip, I have to keep my mind neutral. You see, the EPA100, or Exceptional Peacemaking Android, was enforced by the same United Radical Party years ago. Its role is to detect any possible enemy to the Party and report it to the authorities. The technology today is developed in a way that people's minds can be read when a person touches a previously bugged object which translates the body heat to code understandable only by the government.
Leaving the cafe, I head to The Icelandic National Meteorological Station to start my working day. Making my way to work, I am intercepted by two men in black suits.
"Ms Skadi Albertsdottir?", one of them says.
"Yes, it's me. What do you want?"
However, I don't get the answer as the other man pierces my neck with a needle. The world starts to spin and all of a sudden my vision is filled with nothing but darkness.
I wake up as someone takes a blindfold off my eyes. I find myself handcuffed in a cubicle. The room had grey walls, like I was in a bunker of sorts, and there was a large metal table in front of me. The sound of the door creaking at the hinges brings me to attention as two people, a man and a woman, enter the room.
"Where am I and why am I here?", I ask.
"No, no. That is not how we do it out here. We ask the questions and you give us answers," said the woman sternly, "Due to your disobeying the law and politics of URP, you are now in a re-education center."
What? I've heard of re-education centers before but I've never known much about them. The only thing I know is that not many people come out of it.
"We have brought you here because we have been following your recent change in behavior. As you know, one of the principles of our government is equality in a way that no one should stand out. Have you done or said anything recently that would oppose this law?"
"I haven't, no," I answered.
All of a sudden, I could hear some sort of buzzing behind me. I turned my head and in the corner of my eye I could see another EPA100, just like the one in the cafe.
"It is lying. What it said is a lie," said the robot.
"I am telling you the truth," I responded.
The man looks at EPA100 and gives it some sort of permission with a nod of his head. All of a sudden, I can feel another needle protruding my skin. A few seconds later, I feel as though the control of my mind is weakening.
"Now, answer our previous question again," said the man.
"You want the truth? Alright, then. As a scientist at The Icelandic National Meteorological Station, for years I have been studying how to improve Earth's environment, how the temperature of the atmosphere can be lowered. If that happens, our lives will improve and go way back to what it used to be, when we didn't worry about constant dangers that people face on Earth, be it a tsunami, great fires, or animals going extinct. I know that if science and government bring a decision together, we can even bring back winter and snow. We can-"
My answer was cut short when the woman slapped me hard across the face and says, "You are quite a dreamer, aren't you? And a rebel at that. What do you think you are some kind of winter goddess? You think you can control nature? We know a perfect place for people like you."
Suddenly, they grab my arms and lead me out of the interrogation room down a cold and narrow corridor. After a few twists and turns, we arrive before a heavy metal door with a little window on it. The woman opens the door and the man pushes me into a small dark room. The door shuts, the small window opens and the man says:
"See? This is what you get in exchange for your freedom you used to have before you started having crazy thoughts. Here, you are free to live in your fantasy, dreamer."
And with those words, the window closes and leaves me in complete darkness.