Error: A Short Story (Part One)

By Gaaya N




     “Glitch!”
     “Watch your language Dr. Circuit!” The nurse teased. They’d nicknamed him that since he barely slept and worked constantly, like a circuit, a powerful one at that.
     “I dropped it….” He said in a mixture of confusion. He never messed up, he never made mistakes. This felt weird to him, like he wished he could burrow himself into the cold, damp concrete floor below them and stay there, where he could never make a mistake again. His pale face started to redden.
     Embarrassment. The nurse thought as she watched his face. She’d never seen the doctor in such a vulnerable state. For all the years she’d worked in the nursery, she’d never seen him break a sweat. He’d walk, head tall through the plain white emotionless walls, his bald head matte with the missing shine of worry that the rest of the doctors and nurses got every day.
     Snapping back to the present, Nurse G92 bent down to the concrete floor and picked up the chip implant in a fluid movement. She carefully thumbed it over in her hand. She held it out to Dr. Circuit.
“Good as new!” She encouraged. Carefully, Dr. Circuit took the fragile piece of high-end technology and cupped it to his heart. After a long moment of deep thought, he straightened up to his former posture.
     “Good as new…...Good. As. New!” He seemed to chant to himself and started to walk in the direction of his last patient for the day.


・‥…━━━━━━━✼ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ✼ ━━━━━━…‥・


When the doctor entered the room, the couple was already in the naming stage. They held the baby up to the scanner. The scanner had crisp, straight edges and steel bolts to firmly keep it in place directly in front of the bed. On its side it read, Property Of The Council, generously donated to one of Hotspot’s most prized hospitals. A red beam emitted from the top and scanned the two dark golden eyes of the baby. The machine whirred as it recorded everything about the child. The gender, the color, weight, the predicted amount of intelligence in its entire lifetime, and its coordinating future job. Finally, the sounds stopped as it waited, patiently, for the couple to present the name of the infant.
     The two turned to look at the baby, who laughed and reached for the city sky painted on the ceiling of the room. It portrayed the gloomy, polluted air and the bubbler with its bubbles floating about. At the peak of the crowded towers of Hotspot stood the 59 silhouettes of the members of The Council. At the very right of the group, an empty space stood, furiously painted over. While the baby was distracted, the doctor careful held the chip firmly in his right hand and, with his left hand, slit a small slit just under the baby’s neck and dropped in the chip. The chip activated, used a small needle and thread to sew up the incision.
     The baby didn’t feel a thing and instead wiggled in the arms of her parents to get a better view of the portrait. The two looked at each other and then said together, “Ikia Ahio” using the name of the baby’s great-great grandmother who’d started it all.


Approximately 13 Years Later...



     “Chicken.”
     “Am not.”
     “Are tooooooo!” Ikia singsonged
     “You’re just bluffing, you wouldn’t actually skip…” Ja declared.
     “Oh come on! You’ve seen me at Sleuth!” she said, confident. “If anyone can do it, I can!”
     “But what if...what if they find out? My future job would go down like thirteen decimals!” He worried.
     “Who? Ohhh...you mean the council.” She said in realization.
     “Not so loud! Knowing them, they probably have cameras everywhere!” He whimpered.
     “Here? Wow, you really are scared of them.” She laughed, gesturing around them. They were in the alleyway behind the Bubbler transport, their regular meeting place.
     “You never know….”
     “Glitch! We’re late! We have Past soon! I can’t be late for that class again!” She cursed, and the two hurried toward The Bubbler. The Bubbler was round and made of titanium. Thyruim metal made the frame of the bubbles. They were lightweight and cushioned to sit on.
     They entered a wide doorway, crowds thinning alarmingly fast. They were later than ever before. They ran straight a couple of feet, made a sharp right, then left and hopped into a bubble, the Thyruim door closing tightly behind them.
     Although growing up with this type of high-end technology, it still took Ikia’s breath away every time. Especially since she was now old enough to ride it by herself. The bubble rose swiftly into the air and, after stating their destination, sped toward the schooling building. Its eight-hundred and two floors twinkled under the gloomy sky and the lights inside. The two best things about riding the Bubbler were 1) It was fast and 2) It was completely see through! They could see everything from every angle. On their way down to the ground, they spotted the class clown, Edward, doing a handstand. He carried his books with his feet and walked with his hands. Ja and Ikia waved and Edward saluted them back or at least tried to. When he raised his hand, he got off-balance and ended up toppling over, crashing into a holographic doorman, who, unfazed by Edward’s stumble, directed him automatically to his class. After Edward entered the building, Ja and Ikia followed close behind, dismounting as fast as they could from the bubble.


・‥…━━━━━━━✼ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ✼ ━━━━━━…‥・


     Due to the school's reputation for outstanding education scores, the class had only five kids, so that the teacher could focus on personalized learning activities. In Ikia’s class, it was her, her friend Ja, a girl she only knew as “the weird girl,” and a boy, the most popular boy in the whole school, as well as the meanest. Their teacher was named Q’oui Shiun and was the best teacher you could possibly get. In fact the only reason she was even in the class was because of Ja, since his mother had connections with The Council.
     “Who can tell me the correct instruction for the evacuation protocol once we all enter The Past?” Ms. Shiun asked suddenly. The unknown girl’s hand shot up first.
     “Do not panic. Next, press the red button once you make sure that everyone is within the boundaries. Sit quietly while you wait for help to arrive, You may not take any action further than that since there is a greater chance of you messing the situation up furthermore,” she finished, seeming to recite it from memory.
      “Thank you Ms. Lionoil—“
      “Lionoil? As in daughter of one of the council members, Lionoil?!” Ja interrupted. A series of questions flung themselves into the air, all traveling towards the daughter of one of the members of the council.
     “Why aren’t you going into the council kid school?”
     “Can I get a selfie? I need to post this on The Photon.”
The teacher looked from side to side not knowing what the proper protocol would be for this. It was my time to step in. “Stop! Give her a break! Besides, who cares if she doesn’t go to the designated school? She’s probably too smart for those guys anyway.” Jui Lionoil smiled at me.
The rest of the class went by like a blur—not that it was boring or anything. Experiencing a VR Kit with all your classmates that lets you explore the world before The Accident was awesome. It wasn’t much of a learning process though since the kids spent their time trying to come up with ways to capture a dinosaur. Here’s the thing with the VR, you can see stuff, they don’t see you, but you can still change the environment. You could grab rocks and throw it at the dinosaur, but all the dinosaur would see is flying rocks coming out of nowhere.
     They finally created a net out of palm leaves but everyone was too chicken to actually do it. Rest assured, nothing was accomplished in that class.


・‥…━━━━━━━✼ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ✼ ━━━━━━…‥・


     After school was let out, (They only had one class a day so that, maybe, just maybe, eight hours of one topic a week would “Dramatically” increase their chances of learning more about the topic.) Ikia headed to the back of the orb, the most prestigious research factility in Hotspot. Although some topics were banned from being researched, such as who created the council and such, most were open to the public.
     Ja and her had both agreed to meet there after school for a presentation on what they learned in Past. It was basically a chance for Ikia to practice her lying and bluffing skills.  Ikia was just around the corner of the building when she heard voices.
     “They’re too strong, they will find us soon….”
     “Not if we do it now!”
     “We can’t be reckless, so many generations have sacrificed—“
     “What exactly? We can’t just sit here waiting for ‘The right moment’ that could take another 100 years!”
     “What do you expect me to do about—“
All of a sudden the voices cut off sharply. Ikia had a very bad feeling deep within her gut. She backed away slowly from the corner. But the alleyway’s imperfect paved road did not comply with her silent request for stealth,. The gravel crunched under her boots. Ikia turned to run, but a strong, muscular hand grabbed her leg. Ikia’s feet slipped out from under her as her head hit the cold gravel. She wriggled on the ground, but three more hands grabbed her remaining leg, and both her arms.
     “Well, well, well. What do we have here.” A disembodied voice called. Blackness surrounded her as they covered her head with an ancient looking bag, which looked as if it had been used multiple times before.
When the bag was removed from her head, Ikia felt nauseous. The horrid stench of sweat and fish erupted through her nostrils. As she gagged, her eyes adjusted to the dim light. Four figures were in the unlevel, concrete room. Three women and one man tied to chair, just like her. She couldn’t see his face, but she could make out the others. One of them had dark black hair and was in her mid-twenties. This one was tall and slender, almost cat-like with her fair skin. The one to her right was short with actually dirty blonde hair. She was heavily muscular and tanned, likely thirtyish. The final one was around her own age, she was extremely thin and rocked a short pixie cut with her chestnut brown hair and her maple syrup skin.
  “I don’t know about her. “ The feline one said pointedly. “We should mind wipe her. We can’t compromise our mission, Xi.”
“We need all the help we can get, Ethi!” The dirty blonde argued fiercely. They both turned to look at the girl. It seemed that they turned to her a lot to decide on things.
“I—I’m not sure, you guys.” The frail one meeped. The other two sighed in exasperation. The blonde shifted her gaze to the guy in the chair. She strided toward him and turned him around.
No, no no no no no! Poor Ja sat in the chair, and the two met eyes. Ja had arrived early for once. Ikia felt horrible, not once had she ever thought about if Ja had been captured too! It was all her fault. He wanted to do the project somewhere else, but noooooo, she had to insist. Ikia attempted to bury her head in her hands in sorrow, but remembered that she was tied to her chair.
  “Does your friend of yours do any sports? Good reflexes?” Xi asked. Ja stuttered nervously.
     “Yeah-h, she d-does Ball, Hit, and-d even Throw!” He said, listing all the school approved sports she did.
“See? She's perfect. And I’m sure in her big head she knows how to keep a secret as well!” Xi cackled. Ikia felt self-conscious. Did she really have that big of a head? Nobody had even mentioned that to her before.
  “Listen up, both of you.” The tallest one Ethi, proclaimed, “You meet in the alleyway every three days after school." She smiled a cruel smile. “The Council won’t know what's coming.”
Ja and her both looked at each other nervously. Was she crazy, there's nothing out of the borders of Hotspot. That’s what they’ve been told all their lives, and that's the truth, right? But Ethi wasn’t finished.
     “We are going to hack into the Council’s Server, and you are going to help us to do so."


To Be Continued...


Comments

  1. Keep in mind that the paragraph about dismounting from The Bubbler and the paragraph about being in their class at school are switched! Sorry for the technical error!

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  2. "We are going to hack into the Council's Server, and you are going to help us do so." #Yasssssssss

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