the last compromise

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Summary

In a dystopian world, a set of diverse people struggle to live with an unforeseeable future. The central power kills off the ones they don't see fit, tainted with a goal apathetic to the others.

Genre:
Scifi / Mystery
Author:
Gold Sandcastles
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
5
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Part 1

Date 5023.0002.0001

THE CURRENT WORLD

Year 5023

Current population: 1,974,612,082

World controlled by single government

Global Knowledge Organization in complete power of government

Universal currency and language

3 independent regions

Southern region owned by Global Knowledge Organization

THE RESURGENCE

Resurgence in full efficiency slowly on path to a perfect race

↳ Commonality examined for useful brain at ages 20 & 80

If found positive, a dying body goes through cell & gene regeneration

If found negative, is given pill of death

Brain Advancement put in place 5022.0021.0012 in full efficiency

↳ An expedite to Resurgence adjusting the prefrontal cortex of the brain

HOWARD

A crisp wind cuts through the evergreen trees lining the sidewalk of this monotone, humdrum town. Everyday folks walk in opposite directions, all with inconsequential expressions on their faces. They go about their way, not minding the briskness or stopping to admire the soft rustle. A tall building lies ahead, as plain and meaningless to the people on the streets as the psithurism of the trees. A trickle of rain starts to fall, but we won’t be out here for much longer. We close in on the third window from the top, where a wide desk sits to the right of a panoramic window. An old man around 80 years old with dull, grey eyes and matching hair sits in the chair behind and reciprocates an almost lifeless action with no interest and no motive. Who we see here is Mr. Daniel Howard, a man who has been working for Resurgence for the past 102 years, a man subconsciously longing for salvation.

Ignoring the table, the square room is quite empty. A fake plant stands by the desk, providing the only source of color. Mr. Howard’s face holds a fatigued expression that blends in nicely. The white walled room is identical to every other in the large building, no one interested enough to care about status. The stale quietness is interrupted by a knock on the large wood door. In comes David Waltham, on his daily routine of walking into Daniel Howards room with an irrelevant stack of papers. The indistinguishable speech ceases as the door closes behind him.

“Good afternoon Mr. Howard,” Mr. Waltham says, walking over to the desk.

“Same to you David,”

“Strange weather today, isn’t it Mr. Howard.”

“Yes, strange,” Daniel murmurs without looking up.

“It’s hardly ever rainy this time of year.”

“Hardly ever, that’s right.”

“Well, good day to you sir.”

And with that, Mr. Waltham leaves and the silence settles back in. Mr. Howard continues with the somewhat recycled procedure he does most days. He takes the top page from the stack and scribbles something on a dotted line. The paper is then moved to a box on the other side of the desk. This process is achingly repeated until the box is empty and the sky starts to turn purple.

Speaking of, it is about time for Mr. Howard to head home. He grabs his briefcase and travels down the countless floors to the lobby. As the cool outside air hits him, he walks tiredly to a plain grey car. He steps into the front seat and immediately starts along the ordinary streets which are all too familiar to Mr. Daniel Howard. Without taking a single glance at anything but the road straight in front of him, he rushes home.

Only minutes later, he steps out to enter a particularly similar looking building, with the same ambience as Resurgence.

“Good evening Mr. Howard.” A uniformed man standing in front of the door says.

Of which the former simply answers with a slight nod starting straight for the elevator. But when the doors start to shut, a tall man squeezes in.

“Hey there Daniel, haven’t seen you in a while!”

“Hello,” says Howard, blandly.

“You know what, my friend just moved into the apartment across from mine, and we’re having a welcome party for him later tonight.” The kind-faced man explains.

“That’s nice.”

“Would you like to come?” He asks.

“I’m really very busy today, William,” He quickly replies as the elevator doors open up to

the 42th floor. Without another word, he walks out into the dimly lit hallway.

He enters his apartment and puts down his briefcase. The scene change isn’t very astonishing, much like the white-walled room we came from. Although the residence is quite big, there is, like the office, a supreme lack of furniture.

Daniel tiredly walks to the dark kitchen and makes a sandwich. He then sits in front of a large screen to watch the recent news, none exciting, none relevant. So, at a time safe to say late, he turns off the screen and goes to bed. His head hits the pillow, and he is off like a light. Why? He must have convinced himself it was because he was tired. But the real reason still lingered, it was because he had absolutely nothing to think about.

FARAH

Almost paradoxical to Mr. Howard, the story of an optimistic young soul, one helplessly savoring the transcendent experience of life, or at least whatever she has left. For her 20th birthday approaches, and so does her final judgment day. We wait outside the weary, limestone apartment in the early hours of a particularly sunny autumn day for Ms. Emily Farah to wake up. The sun slowly rises, the dark of night slowly being pushed away by the bright colors of morning, displaying a pleasing scene for only a few to witness, including our precious Farah. We see her open her eyes from the high window of her mundane yet amiable apartment. She slowly lifts her head and rubs her eyes, a sweet smile painted on her lovely face. She cracks her neck and knuckles ready to go about her day, an early bird and a night owl with not a second to waste. Emily gets out of bed and looks at her bedside table. She reminds herself of the fascinating book she’d been reading last night.

She had an incredible zest for life, a bubbly, spontaneous character admired by plenty. She yawns as she bounces out of bed, quickly dresses into a bright orange turtleneck and jeans, and walks out of her apartment building, waving hello to all the familiar faces of people who cherish her presence as much as they would a vibrant sunflower.

“Hello Ms. Farah”, A man wearing a red doorman’s ensemble says to the girl. “Where to today?”

“Anywhere and everywhere Mr. Nelson”, Emily responds in a fruity voice.

She walks down the street, a skip in her step, her wide olive green eyes admiring the scenic city around her, gratitude filling her heart. A black bag hangs on her well-postured shoulders, where her hazel colored hair falls. In only a few minutes, she comes to the front of a quiet coffee house, the sun now completely risen and the birds singing melodious harmonies. A soft bell rings as she opens the door, an engaging smile welcoming her.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Emily asks the lady at the counter.

“Great, what can I get for you today?”

“Your favorite muffin and a cinnamon latte please”, She replies, getting her order right away due to the early morning slowness.

Emily sits down at a corner table and opens her bag, sunlight pouring over hundreds of pages of writing she’d been working on for months in preparation for the most important interview of her life. A wave of light hits her large caramel eyes as she clicks open her computer and continues an article she had been working on, about the new advancement the government had planted into the brains of people over twenty to speed up The Resurgence. Emily types away, eyes glued to her screen, a desperate spirit wanting nothing more than a meaningful voice.

Within an hour or so, the door chimes, and a familiar face sits down in the empty chair opposite to Emily.

Oblivious, Emily continues, quietly mumbling to herself and tensely tapping her fingers against the table.

“Someone’s on the brink of a masterpiece,” The toneless voice says.

Emily lifts her head and a grin spreads along her face.

Ms. Codeline Grant, an old soul and a young spirit with an abundance of determination but a careless exterior. A strange character in this tale, but the most important to our dear Farah, for fate has never more harmoniously chosen a friendship so immaculate. With a personality as refined as her nose and as abnormal as her emerald-colored eyes, she was impassive and definite. Where were we? Yes, a grin spreads across darling Farah’s face.

“Cody I’m so glad you’re here, I’ve never been so worried, this one hour interview could decide the rest of my entire life, and I still have no idea what I’m going to wear, or how I’m going to introduce myself, first impressions are everything you know”, Farah blurts out, tapping her fingers even faster.

“Okay dude, first of all calm down, if you tap your fingers any harder, you’ll crack the table”, She says, arching her eyebrows and staring straight into Emily’s eyes.

She takes a sip from her huge cup of black coffee and laid back in her chair, reading the pages of articles as if they were a newspaper.

“Hey there’s a party tomorrow night right down the street”

“I’m in”, Emily says without a second thought.

“It’s going to be a beautiful night, no clouds, a waning crescent right above the horizon”

Cody smiles smoothly.

A couple of hours pass, then midday, and as quick as it rises, the sun slowly starts to set, purple painted across the sky.

Ms. Farah finishes the last of her article and Ms. Grant finishes the last of her third cup of coffee. They say their goodbyes to each other and to the lady at the counter. When they leave, the cafe the door chimes, ringing for the last time it would that night.

As soon as Emily gets home, she checks the calendar hanging next to her bed. She crawls in and turns off the light, the calling of The Reaper hanging above her. If we were to step back for a minute and examine the scene, we would recognize the still, quiet darkness from when Ms. Emily Farah was first introduced, during the early morning of a, particularly sunny autumn day.

GKO

“Officer Ives, you don’t understand, this is a real problem, we’ve had reports from all over the world starting only after the first advancement tests.”

“I assure you I take that to its fullest extent, but we have no real proof it was the tests that even caused these reports of,” he pauses, picking up a piece of paper from the table in front of him, “random spasms and derealization”

“This isn’t just a few thousand reports, it’s tens of millions of people-”

“We can’t announce something to the global population without considering all the possibilities.”

“If we don’t admit this possibility, we’re just going in loops”

“If we act on this too quickly, we’re going to look like the bad guys Gunn”

“Shouldn’t we reveal to the world all we know, isn’t that the only reason we’re speaking at this conference?”

A brief silence materializes before a voice unfamiliar to the argument says clearly, “We’re speaking at this conference to insure the comfort and safety of the people. One revelation can steer people into pandemonium. Our job is to keep the world safe and keep them believing we can handle anything that comes our way” The resonant voice is quite more confident than the others and provides a widespread feeling of assurance.

We lay our scene in a crowded, chattering conference room filled with people waiting for a reliable interpretation of a global issue. The easiest kind of people to fool some could say, maybe even the group of people behind the curtain, a perfectly selected committee of officers from the Global Knowledge Organization.

The tall, pepper-haired man who the powerful voice belonged to puts his elbows up on the table and rubs his temples.

“Officer Ives, Officer Gunn, there’s no one I trust more than you two, but we have to announce something that will satisfy the people outside this room.”

And with that, he stands, signaling the rest of the committee to do the same. They approach the steps to the stage, with the acronym GKO plastered on the wall behind.

“If everyone would please take their seats,” He says to the audience and the cabinet, silencing the uneasy crowd.

“Let’s begin”, the man says, staring out at the seated public, lined with cameras and journalists.

The man we see here is Mr. Aiden Copper, director of GKO, the single most powerful man alive, with the entire world at his fingertips. Just as he had ordered to, the council answers every question calmly, and with assurance.

The concerned public couldn’t sense a hidden lie, but a withhold of information was blatant to the crowd. They knew better to approach the GKO with their questioning, but didn’t refrain from spreading their own allusions about the issue.

It’s only until hours later we figure out the cause of these horrible spasms. What happens next has always been inevitable contrary to the beliefs of everyone involved. Listen closely, for this moment will determine the outcome of every character in our capricious story.

We follow Mr. Aiden Copper, now walking briskly down the hallways of a top-secret military base, wearing a gray suit, dark sunglasses, and an earpiece. Titanium, sound proof walls surround him, knowing more of the secret goings of the GKO than any single person, except for, of course, Copper. He stops at a metal hinged door, types in a code, and steps in, greeted with the nauseous smell of solvent vapours and iodine. A man with dark hair, tired eyes, a curved mouth, and a sharp nose stands hauntingly waiting inside.

This eerie little man is Doctor Vern Ferguson, a world-renowned scientist, one of the first men to ever go through The Resurgence. A man with an abundance of talent, curiosity, and wisdom, perhaps a dangerous amount, for this man had the body of a 67 year old, and the mind of a 207 year old.

“Oh, hello Mr. Copper, I have much to discuss with you” The man says in a gravelly voice that matches his personality all too well.

“Of course Doctor, I came as soon as he heard the tests had been completed,” Mr. Copper says as he takes off his sunglasses revealing his lively, hazel colored eyes.

The two sit down at a table across from the door, next to a tall glass window with younger scientists on the other side experimenting and racing around in a rush. The window being again soundproof, as what they are discussing is yet another secret to add to the versed rooms of GKO.

Doctor Ferguson quickly and famously gets straight to the point.

“We’ve examined the brains of people all around the world who are having these spasms, as well as the effects of the standardized brain advancement regulation, and we’re sure that they are closely tied. You see Officer, we performed a procedure to our people’s brains called neuron editing, which takes place mainly in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. What we didn’t realize was that we were also in the workspace of the cerebral cortex, and we must have adjusted the neurotransmitters connected to the spinal cord, which causes spastic movements. When the common Resurgence operations are done, which shrink the body of an 80 year old back into the body of a 20 year old, modifications are made to the left temporal cortex, which affects memory storage, reason why these people have no recollection of their spasms.”

“But, we tested the advancement of many people’s brains before we performed them on the entire world, and we saw no side effects” Aiden Copper says, disbelievingly.

“These spasms started becoming noticeable a while after the tests had been completed, we had no way of knowing”.

Doctor Ferguson takes a deep breath and glances at the panic stricken Mr. Copper.

“Officer, I regret to inform you these cases are getting worse and worse, and our goal at a perfect race is crumbling. It’s only a matter of time before people start to physically hurt each other, or a doctor blanks out during an operation, or a world leader sends a missile to a faraway region and starts a war.”

“There-- there must be a way to fix this Doctor, run more tests, find a way to reverse this operation,” Mr. Copper says in a taut, agitated voice he’d never used before.

“I’m afraid any further tests will speed up the process greatly. You can’t tell a single soul about this, Mr. Copper, but we’ve got five years before the human race has fallen to its knees.” Doctor Ferguson says, somewhat easily, with the same gritty, unpleasant voice. Not anxious, or frightened, not even flustered.

Mr. Copper sits uncomfortably, speechless, with horrible images racing into his head, almost refusing to believe he’d failed the people who had trusted him all his life. His face had gone completely pale, and his heart was in his stomach.

“No” He said quietly, but confidently.

“I’m sorry?” The doctor glared.

“We’re going to save our people, just the two of us if that’s all we have, whatever it takes.”

‘Whatever it takes.’ A bold statement, but all too true, for not a soul in the universe could crush the determination of Mr. Aiden Copper.

“I’m so glad you feel that way Officer,” The doctor says, a sly grin spread along his ugly face.

“We are going to save our people. And I know precisely how”.

Doctor Ferguson lays an old, brown journal in front of Mr. Copper, and flips to a messy, crinkled up page. A horrified expression forms on Aiden’s kind hearted face.

“This is mad, Doctor”

“No Officer, this is our savior”

Mr. Aiden Copper and Doctor Ferguson look each other dead in the eyes, one previously with an unsure, troubled expression, now matching the evil, unyielding look of the other.

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