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By Christopher Fox

Ver 1.0

Smashwords Edition by Christopher Fox

Copyright 2017 Christopher Fox

Smashwords Edition, License Notes:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This novel is dedicated to my Mom. I’ve never said it enough, but thank you.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

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Chapter One

Until recently, I don’t think I ever had a choice. What I really mean to say is that, I don’t think any of us ever had a choice. We were taught what we were taught, we lived this – I lived this. I’m still living this… Ugh… What I mean to say is…

“What do I mean to say?”

I mean that… That… Well… Let me just start from the beginning… It’ll help me… Right, so fourteen years ago, I was brought into a strange place – here – Earth. Or at least what’s left of it... You know that animals are still existent, well some, and vegetation is still bountiful. You also know that a lot of vegetation is kept in greenhouses so that it can be controlled. Everything needs to be controlled, we are living in the age of extreme political correctness.

Now… I don’t know if any other humans call it that, but hopefully, sometime in the future, this era is looked at and labeled as such. Because if things got worse… If things got worse, I can’t even imagine what it might look like for so many humans... But there is always hope, there is a plan. At least, I hope. I’m not sure how many others do right now… Things have just gotten out of control, and now they are. What I mean is that things just are, it’s life. But I might be getting ahead of myself.

I didn’t write any of this down, and there’s so much to say… Well… How about I just say everything… No… Well… Just the important parts… Yeah, let me catch you up on the important parts. Some of this you may know, and some of it you won’t. Now, it won’t take long, but I think that it’s necessary. People need to know, someone needs to hear me. Even if it’s just me for right now, it won’t take long, I promise…

Okay – so, the current situation is a slow evolution from fairly recent history. I didn’t live through most of it, but I know it. Well… I’ve been told it, and I tend to believe the humans that told me. They said it started about thirty years ago. With some progressive ideas, for the time, about identity and self. Powerful ideas that traveled around the world. These ideas traveled so quickly that the nations of the world began adapting to them.

The nations had to. People became strong in the position of self and advocated for ultimate choice of the individual and life. My parents told me that the riots were brutal. They never went deep into description, for a few reasons. Did I tell you that my parents told me all of this? That’s important to know, because… Because I trust them. They may not trust me, but we’ll get to that…

Where was I?... O- yeah, the riots… They remained violent until some other humans saw an opportunity. An opportunity to advance themselves and perhaps their surroundings. Everything is for the group, but I’m getting too far ahead of myself again. Let me talk more about the group of humans.

They brought about a new political front, using the riots and recruiting other humans from the same riots. Due to the actions of a few humans, a new political power emerged to settle out the turmoil – In America – the political party was known as The New Collective. In Europe – it was The Respective Right – in what was left of Asia – it was a name I’ve never gotten right, but translates to hope. Nowhere else in the world really mattered because no one lived anywhere else.

I’ve heard in school that people are starting to move back into desolate areas, but that’s a slow process. I don’t even know how those people get selected for the task. The colonization has turned into an almost soft joke that kids taunt their parents with. Things have gotten out of hand, and it’s because of that war. I said there was a war right?

Well there was, it involved the world. It was about resources. That’s why things are the way they are. That’s why the riots happened. That’s why life is the way it is now. You might know it by a different name, but It’s been called World War III by most… We know it in school as the start to the new beginning. I should have started with that, I’m sorry, I’m new to this… And I didn’t plan for this…

Uh – Right… So, not so long after the start of the new beginning an event happened that is referred to as The Birth. That’s when all the parties of the world began to unite under the same banner, the banner of the New Collective. It should be noted that governments are still separate, on the surface, but the truth is that they are not separate at all. It’d be easier to say that there is just one ruling power on Earth, but in the age of extreme political correctness – it’s not so easy to put the world in a box like that.

There’s depth to everything – but it’s mostly surface – my Dad always says, “The more things change – the more they stay the same.”

Even now, I wonder how right he is… He lived through the war and met my mom. Shortly after they met, the war ended, and The New Collective was born. As The New Collective came into power, social laws were enacted. They were helpful for the time, and mostly based around collection and distribution of resources. Those laws were in response to the purpose of the war.

Because… Well… Because as far as I know, the war had been about resources. It was especially true for the time, and is still true, that the Earth can’t handle another war. Not the way that war was, or the way my parents have described it.

Let me just say that the war itself had been very unpopular and most people lost at least one person. I know my parents both lost a lot, they just don’t talk much about it, and to be honest, I never asked. It always seemed too personal. Plus, I had a growing list of other questions that I wanted answers for. There was just never enough time and well… in the age of extreme political correctness, questions are dangerous things…

Where was I...? O yeah- so the humans that were still alive after the war, felt their voices had not been heard before or during the war. That’s why dramatic change happened... Because those people hadn’t felt that they had been heard.

They felt that what was happening wasn’t working for them. It was a choice then. My Dad told me about the campaigns advocating for the human. He would go to them, he loved them, and I think mostly because he hated the war… He never said how the war stopped, nor have we ever been told in school, but it did. I’m sorry but that’s all I know, it stopped. Maybe if you know, or know someone who knows, you could tell me? All I know is that it was done in a big enough way to scare the world into change.

Well... That and the riots… My parents said in true democratic fashion – the powers in charge at the time of the war were taken out and replaced by extreme polar opposites that advocated for the individual. Which brings us to the initial birth of The New Collective. It’s why we call it that now, the birth.

Birthed through the riots and voted in. Ideas brought about through the campaigns for humans and the individual. Birthed through what was left from an unpopular war about resources… When the New Collective came into power… They had a mess laid out before them.

The new party’s actions started out slowly. I guess they needed to make sure that things could move forward, but, to be fair, it’s also how things had to go. Infrastructure had been badly damaged and most places could not support life. So, the party enacted civil engineering and planning operations.

Financial situations had to be rethought during the rebuilding phase, my parents told me on a number of occasions about money, but I don’t really understand it enough to talk about it.

Cities were changed and daily life was changed during the rebuild. Within a few years of The New Collective being in power, at least in America, the social landscape was something my dad referred to as day and night. Humans worked in greenhouses and technology was not made for war, but for survival.

Things were good but then new laws started to get enacted by The New Collective. This started to happen around the time when I was born. Things were good then, they are now... In places… Or maybe things have just have gotten out of control?

When I was born, The New Collective moved all of the individuals together, to work together. Restrictions were placed on travel. This was for the protection of the individuals. Places damaged by the war were not safe, and during that time, most people had to work for the betterment of every other person. Due to the perceived prosperity, The New Collective was voted back into office under a new face, and the party hasn’t lost an election since.

My parents even voted for them back then. Like honestly voted for them. They told me that what they thought was happening, at the time, was truly revolutionary. All people were entitled to life. All people were entitled to choice. That’s a basic summary of the initial laws – but then those laws evolved into optionally mandatory laws. The evolutions of the optionally mandatory laws were not very popular and gave rise to the birth of the police force.

There were plenty of humans left over from the fighting. Well, enough humans left over from the fighting that stepped up to help keep things in order. For doing so, those humans were given privilege. There was a great fear that things would move back to how they used to be, before the war, or even directly after. That things would be how the riots were, the riots that birthed the New Collective…

When riots began to protest the new optionally mandatory laws, there was a fear… I sort of think that the fear stemmed from the unknown of what could be, but also because there couldn’t be another war.

There just couldn’t be another war, or there would be no more life. So, laws of greater intensity were enacted and evolved. My dad said that things went too far too fast. Aspects of what was happening was good. Social change needed to happen, but he disagreed with how a few of the laws were being carried out. He told me that because of the riots that were occurring, everyone began to slowly lose their choice. The New Collective began to act autonomously, ‘for the greater good.’

One of the few laws that I know by memory was passed during this time. It’s one that everyone knows because it has influenced our current situation the most. You may know it too. My Dad told me that he felt very uneasy about it at the time. I don’t know if it was passed under another name, but it has become known as the Non-Human Identifier Law.

It states: No Human, or Humans, shall name any individual as any gender or naming or naming convention until that human chooses on its own – no color beyond grey shall be worn until color should be so chosen.

It seems weird to say, but I know that the implications of it were astounding. In truth, I’ve known nothing different. I’ve only known grey – and the number 32212. That’s been my name for the entirety of my life. It seems weird to go by anything else... There’s a lot in a name – a lot of choice.

When I said I don’t think I’ve ever had a choice. Well… I lied, I do have some choice. I have choice about myself, just not where I find myself… Up until last week, I had other choices to make too. I’ve yet to choose my gender. Because there are a lot of implications to that as well. It’s easier to not make them yet, because I want to be sure.

I know what my parents always wanted me to be – but they couldn’t say it – no parents can – parents can’t even talk about it without fear their child might report them to the police. It’s easy too, we have a kiosk at school that we, little humans, sign in for the day. There is always a prompt that asks how our parents are. I have always tried to answer as minimally as possible, because I don’t really know them.

That is for both of our protection. They know as well as I do that a lot of children have reported their parents with that prompt. Those children have put their parents in reeducation camps for labeling them as a boy or a girl. There are other reasons too, but gender was the most difficult for the humans of the old ways.

It’s not so hard for us, the new ways, because we have been brought up to know key facts about life. That is, in the age of extreme political correctness – words have power. Power to get anyone placed in a reeducation camps – but it’s mostly parents, the people of the old ways.

From what I’ve seen and heard, kids rarely get placed in the reeducation camps, because the kids ultimately have all the say in the household. That was a result of the empowerment act.

I don’t know that one from memory, it’s in a book somewhere, I’m sure… It was enacted to be an end to the rioting. Kids would get special privilege for turning in their dissenting parents. Little humans then became the focus of the new collective. Little humans have been seen as the future and the way forward.

The only time a little human might get placed in reeducation camp is for extreme levels of disobedience to The New Collective. And… Maybe then they just get sent out to the outer sectors…

Disputes between kids are handled behind closed doors and are never spoken about. So, I don’t know anything honest about the reeducation camps other than what I’ve seen them do. The parents that come out of the camps are shells of their former selves – slaves to their children. The children are the future. The creators of a warless tomorrow for The Collective, the way forward.

The New Collective doesn’t care much for the past and has purged most items from education, history, and so forth that they deemed unfit. My parents told me about this as well. The purge was the moment they realized something was wrong.

Most humans voluntarily gave their items that were deemed unfit. Massive fires were started in all sectors. The eradication of the past truly started during that time, my parents told me of their friends that were lost...

Civil disobedience was not tolerated…. The New Collective only wanted the strictest of obedience. My parents stayed home during the protests.

They told me it wasn’t that they didn’t want to protest, they had me to worry about and didn’t want to have their child grow up without parents. Because so many children at that time were becoming orphans and wards of The Collective. They couldn’t fathom the life I would have under the watch of what they were seeing. They stayed home out of love for me…

While my parents stayed home, they hid books away – when my parents trusted me – they began to show and teach me the realer side of reality – the side I just told you about – and it’s sick. If you are hearing this, it’s because I trust you. Reality is sick. You may not believe me now, but please… Please listen…

When they first told me, I didn’t want to believe them, and almost reported them. I was right there at the kiosk, but I didn’t. I went home that day and asked them more because what they told me was so contrary to what we were Learning in school.

I wanted to know the real side of life, beyond the surface. So, we individuals traded stories. I told them what we were learning and they corrected me, but they were always cautious. They knew at any moment I could turn them in.

It’s sick that things have come this far, or that things had to? The way my parents put it, goes heavily against what we learn in school. In school, we don’t learn much about the war, because it’s all just attributed to the way things used to be.

At the school I grew up in, we really never learned a whole lot… Well, other than communication and how to live in the new world… Things have changed so much from when my parents were little… They didn’t tell me too many stories about their youth, but from what they have said… Things are different or at least trying to be different. Things had to be different now…

“Collectively one…”

That’s the premise of the New Collective… But it doesn’t really work out like that, and you can’t say anything because then you forfeit your life... I know that much. I’ve seen that much…

It’s a lot easier to go through the motions than try anything crazy, crazy like getting picked up by police... Not everything from the way things used to be has died. It’s just evolved or morphed into something else, new names, new definitions. We, as a people, are still human after all.

Human and collectively one… Most of the Little humans from where I grew up buy into it, well… All of the little humans there buy into it. They got fed this stuff from birth and their parents were too scared of them to tell them anything different.

The ones who did? Well they got sent to those reeducation camps. The ones that didn’t? They just act as slaves to the new generation.

The generation that spends their time at social functions focused on their rank and social points. You probably already know all about those, but we will get to those later…

For now, it’s probably more important that you understand what we are actually dealing with… Because I don’t know what to do about it right now… I mean... I have a plan, but I also am numb.

It’s another choice I have… Everything is just so surface. I understand that I can’t think as well as I would like, so things that should make sense, don’t. They just don’t. Things that I want to make sense, don’t. At least not right now…

I guess what I’m trying to say… What I’m trying to say is that… What we are dealing with is, radical change… Radical change that isn’t working anymore…

In the age of extreme political correctness, you can’t say that though, because it’s more complicated than that.

Chapter Two

Okay, so now that we have that out of the way... I think I know what I’m going to do. I want to tell you the whole story. Well… Not the whole story, but the things that matter. I want to tell you about myself. Whoever is hearing this, should know who it is and what I did.

First, let me say that there is a reason to all things. Effects have causes, never forget that. I trust you won’t. Now… I’ll fill you in as I remember things… Everything is messy right now… But let’s just start with last week. Let’s start with my room, my morning.

No… Let’s start with my house. I’ll call it mine, but… Actually, I think I should tell you more about my parents first. What you should know about them, is that, I don’t know much about them. They gave me the top floor of the house. There is an empty room up there. It’s next to mine. I make sure to keep the door closed. I know they always wanted to have another child…

You should already know this, but the New Collective handles housing arrangements. They handle clothing arrangements. All things are handled by The Collective, because we are supposed to be collectively one. When my parents were given the house, they had marked down that they wanted another child, I know because I looked. All information is open.

I’m not sure what excuse they have used to keep the house, or why we haven’t been relocated. It’s probably just mismanagement, I mean how does anyone keep track of everyone? The answer to that is simple, but I’ll let you think about it, I may need to explain more though. Or maybe I just want to?

It does feel nice. Explaining. I feel like it gives reason for my action. I don’t even know if I will give this away, so maybe I’m just explaining for myself… So I never forget…Whatever my reason, I’m sure I’ll come to one eventually, but it feels nice…

At any rate, I lived on the top floor of that house for the entirety of growing up. For over fourteen years, I watched the world grow around me. For all of those years, my parents resigned themselves to the basement.

It was their own space. Space below and away from the place they found themselves in. I never saw them converse with other humans, I don’t think that they would’ve let me. Obviously I saw them talk to other humans, but nothing outside of the superficial greetings. My parents kept their personal lives private. I don’t blame them one bit.

Up until last week, I never asked, but I had always wondered if they had access to the kiosk like I did at school. My parents worked all day… For a while I figured that it was at a greenhouse, but until last week I had never asked. Any questions I have for them seem a little late now too. But I at least know that they worked at the greenhouses.

Speaking of the greenhouses… For most of my life, I knew of the greenhouses, but I had never been to them. We little humans were never taught much about them, other than that they existed. School really only taught me how to socialize and not much else... Well that’s not true. It has taught me things, I don’t want to over dramatize it. But it is true that school didn’t even do a great job at teaching me how to socialize. I guess it doesn’t help when you learn what it was teaching you was wrong… There are always varying sides to every story. If nothing else, I guess please remember that…

Right… I got side tracked again… Ugh… Last week… That’s where I was going to start. So Last week, I woke to move through a very comfortable routine that I developed for myself. Every morning I would follow the same pattern of shaving my head and picking out which of the grey clothes I owned. On colder days, I would wear my grey coat.

There were several points in my past that I had honestly wanted to declare color… That way I would get new clothes, but choosing color is difficult.

It is true that you can always change your color choices, but color says a lot about yourself. There is a lot to the choice, and it will always be on your record that you chose. The thought that color choice could hurt future chances on any chosen path always stopped me from choosing. But you probably already knew that... Maybe it’s even stopped you too… I mean, the lack of color choice could be equally as destructive, but I honestly don’t know. I’m only speculating about that.

You probably also know that life in the age of extreme political correctness means that all humans have access to basic needs, especially little humans. There is no personal access to anything that would directly alter looks. Even for the individuals who choose to be girls. My mom told me about make up once, that’s why I even bring it up now. You may not know this, I only do because my mom was reminiscing about her childhood one day. Letting me know how much things had changed. It seemed like an entirely different world. It’s one of the few things I know about her youth.

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