The full “long” story so far

“Happiness, the pursuit of which humankind spent its entire short life chasing. By the time they found it there was no time to enjoy it, and even this were for the lucky few that made it past 80 years old”

Gasp! The room of students were shocked

“Teacher, they only lived to 80? Thats crazy, my parents are 530 years old, how come people used to live such short lives?

“Yes, good question Portguas. Before we discovered the science that extends our lifetime, it was very rare to live past 80 years. Many people died of sickness or conflicts at even earlier ages. Some even died before they were even eighteen!

“But thats almost as old as us, thats a little bit scary to think of”

“Put it aside! Smile and appreciate. This is all ancient history, the average lifespan of humanity is 1500 years, thanks to the serum, that modifies our DNA to prevent aging. It is only possible to pass away from violence, and with our extended lives war and violence is unheard of.”

Sir? What is war?

“I can cover that in the next history lesson. For now lets move onto private study. Open your text books to the chapter “Wellness starts from your choice” and continue reading in silence”

Yes teacher!

After class I was cleaning up the desks around the room. The children certainly know how to mess up the room. Pens and papers littered the floors, especially around Nirvana’s desk, which presents a mess as an artform. It may of been my distraction that allowed me to fail to sense the presence of two suited persons awaiting my attention by the door.

They were sporting “wellness squad badges” and their facial expressions beamed positivity enough to intoxicate.

Startled, I switched my attention over to them.

“Greetings and salutations officers! What an amazing day it is to be alive!”

“Greetings citizen. You were filmed teaching children about the concept of death. Lessons about history and mortality breeds negativity. Please explain your actions”

“Knowing how bad things were in the past, and how humanity has progressed will grant a higher level of appreciate for the beauty of life”

“Deviation from the core values of optimism, wellness and smiles is in direct violation of your position and a negative thing to do. Consider this a warning. Have an amazing day!”

“Always! Appreciate the message. May your day be wonderous!”

At that, they both spun on their heels, and quickly strode from the room.

It wasnt always like this, harbouring the only real thoughts in your head and projecting this fake persona to the world. It was only the last 300 years or so that optimism was passed into law. Being careful how you speak and your facial expressions is important and slipping up can lead to dire circumstances.

This is certainly more apparent to be seen working for the department of knowledge. A fanciful name at best, what is taught here is indoctrination. There is some leeway here and at least I get to influence the next generation, small though it may be. My quality of life is also significantly better then your average worker, let alone the poor sods living below the city.

After my riveting discussion with those fine gents, I felt lunch would give me the uplift I needed to get thru my afternoon lessons. Walking past the monitoring rooms, the walls of the corridor leading to the canteen are plastered with motivational posters

“Reach for the skies!”

“Do today what was impossible yesterday!”

“Stay positive to stay above the ground!”

“Only the happy truly live here ^_^”

Always such an empowering hallway. Its always important to feel super amazing after walking past posters like these, even if its only externally, after all there is always someone paying attention.

Upon entering the lunchroom I found my usual crowd, They were all teachers and we liked to discuss curriculum content. We would even have quite heated debates about this from time to time.

The three of them were sitting around a square table, an empty chair seemingly available and awaiting me.

There was Niles, the math teacher. He was exactly what you would picture a man of numbers to be like. Slightly greying hair, horned spectacles (mostly for show, his sight was perfect) and usually wearing a sweater vest. Niles was a strong believer in having students unplugged and learning with pen and paper. He was a bit of a relic in that respect, but he seemed to garner a lot of respect from the students for it, even if they complain every day about it.

Next to him, laughing between gulps of stew and short breaths of conversation, was the language teacher June. She was a passionate teacher who always seemed fit to burst into laughter at any given moment. Her teaching method was generally one of “talk until someone pays attention”. Which being a language teacher, this worked well for her classrooms.

Finally, a little bit to the side, cautiously examining his lunch was Jasper, the Medical knowledge instructor. He was certainly a quiet one, though when he got talking about serum science and genetics he would talk until dawn if you let him.

As I came to sit in my spot, i joined the group part way into their conversation.

“… one of the boys tells me – It isn’t his job to know what x is, and that if the teacher doesn’t know then clearly it is unattainable knowledge

“This is clearly not positive behavior from the boy, I didn’t reprimand him, but he was escorted away a couple of minutes later. Dang efficient those Wellness Squad are indeed! He came back into class for the next lesson, happy as can be, so he must of had a good talking to”

June jumped in

“We are looking at taking out the prefixes un and de across the entire curriculum. Soon surprise guests (June had a way of talking in italics that very few can mimic) will replace the uninvited. There is too much pessimism in words starting with un in particular. Unexpected, unintentional, destabilise and such words carry too many feelings of mistakes or not appreciating whats life in all its splendor. Huge steps are being taken everyday to further the frontiers of optimistic communication”

June was what i would call a child of the new world. She was only 196 so she didn’t know what the world was like pre-serum. Brimming with pride and not a single repressed thought or emotion, I don’t think she has the capacity to comprehend being unhappy, fear or even death, and how these things can affect your overall mood.

Frankly, I am just a tad jealous of her, it takes alot of effort to maintain a positive image 24 hours a day. Forcing myself to grin and smile to holo-ads, laughing on cue is important as well. Let alone watching what you say and how, a simple slip of the tongue showing displeasure or lacking appreciation can put you in the Wellness squads black books and lose you your serum-subscription very quickly.

Finally, Jasper noticed my arrival

“Ah, exhilarating that you could join us for lunch Beach, I was afraid your history lesson went awry”

“It went well Jasper” I said, “But always opportunities!. The Wellness squad found my curriculum about life expectancy somewhat morbid. I stand by it though,without an understanding of the conditions of the past, the appreciation for today is only surface level, or habitual. I want the students to have a true grasp of how good they have it and having a comparison point is vital for that”

Once again, June jumped in.

“Completely agree with the Wellness squad on this one Beach, they really know their stuff! People don’t need to know about such topics like death and war. How can anyone expect to be happy knowing such things used to exist?”

Jasper piped in

“If you end up teaching you planned lessons on war history you will end up in rehabilitation. We are fortunate we are government workers, even mentioning some of these topics outside of this building would be risky. What if one of your students starts blurting out things about death in the streets?”

and then they come to my optimistic language lessons and I have to work it out of their vocabulary. You could be teaching much more useful content Beach”

“Indeed June! thank you for the feedback”

The conversation gently dribbled away at this point, and I made sure to take some notes (its always important to take notes, so people see you value what they told you). The rest of lunch was consumed in relative silence, with the general clatter and clank of dishes the backdrop for small snippets of conversation.

There were virtual lessons in the afternoon session. When I was a child doing virtual lessons meant visiting historical landmarks via a headpiece. I’d visit ancient cities like Rome, Venice or Melbourne, taking a walking tour and experiences cultural events. I always enjoyed the sporting festivals of the past, the Olympics being a favorite.

The experience for my students was certainly different. The past was something of a shadow, and did not warrant too much scrutiny, and lessons about it were seen as “provoking a regressive response”. Instead, my students were flooded with positive images and serene music. They would gain insight into how this city operates and learn about the various societal structures they would become a part of, usually this content was narrated over non-intrusive visual content, such as a beach or a flower-filled meadow.

Suffice it to say, the students felt very relaxed and informed after their virtual lessons.

After my afternoon lessons my students wished me a jolly farewell, and I lovingly responded. Maintaining a doting and compassionate teaching style was important to ensure the students can approach me and seek life lessons.

The walk home after school was something a delightful trek for me. Most of the other teachers used the sky-rails, to avoid some of the thicker crowds and intrusive advertising. I preferred to walk, even though there was a stigma attached with seeking to talk home alone. As I walked down the street the imposing Department of Education towered behind, and the residential sector loomed ahead. Holographic images bombarded my every attention, some portrayed as my mother asking for cleaning supplies, one was portrayed as my childhood crush offering a strip tease. The advertisements knew what made the viewer tick, and based off where my attention lingers they would evolve and adjust to better sell me products.

Still, despite this I enjoyed walking home from work. It was about a twenty minute walk, and without it I would do very little to no exercise at all. There was an inherent risk that comes with walking the streets by yourself, if a patrol stopped you its fairly easy to justify, selling the point of “loving the exercise”, but if your caught doing it too often they will generally rectify it by making you seek social interactions forcibly. Social interactions are a staple of modern society and seeking to avoid them is a slippery slope to oblivion.

Purpose

I was wandering an well trodden path when I met an old man at a bench.

He asked me “what is your purpose?”

Taken aback, I told him to bugger off and mind his own business.

I then continued down the path. Reached a waterfall and spent the afternoon enjoying natures splendour. On the walk back the old man just smiled, and waved ne by.

I went home, went to sleep, went to my job, met a woman, became a husband,travelled overseas and was successful in my career.

and yet, I would think of the old man.

Why did he wait at that path asking people about their purpose?

I went back, this was many years later. I had expected the old man to no longer be there, and was prepared to just walk by and enjoy the outdoors.

The man was there, visably older and smiling with fewer teeth then before. He asked me

“What is your purpose?”

Thinking, I said “to be happy and successful”

Laughing, the old man said “that is just a symptom! Come back when you know!”

Confused again, I went straight home. Told my wife I loved her and went to sleep.

My encounter with the man drove me to seek more wisdom. I visited nepal and spoke with monks. I climbed mountains, painted sunsets and enriched my every sense.

My wife and I had three beautiful children, and in their faces I could see the world. I knew what my purpose was.

I went back to the path, prideful and victorious knowing what to say to the old man.

When I reached the bench, there was no man. Next to the bench was a wreath of flowers and a small wooden cross, and I sat, grieved and looked to the sky.

As I sat young man came walking by, and I thought “why not”

I asked him “what was his purpose?”

The young man said “bugger off geezer”

With a smile, I waved him on and waited.

With purpose.

Why?

Which week were we walking wearily?

“Last week Bill”

Wow, where was Westminster Wat?

“The Westminster church is in Bull creek in Perth Bill, and you have your theological names mixed up”

Why was westworld woefully whimsical?

“I would hardly call it that Bill, it is a very thought driven show”

Which world wa..

“CAN YOU JUST TALK PROPERLY BILL”

Ok.

Bill is clearly amused, John was at best bemused.

#4

(This is a work in progress, I suggest you read #1 #2 #3 before continuing the story from here, if you have not already done so)

 

June jumped in

“We are looking at taking out the prefixes un and de across the entire curriculum. Soon surprise guests (June had a way of talking in italics that very few can mimic) will replace the uninvited. There is too much pessimism in words starting with un in particular. Unexpected, unintentional, destabilise and such words carry too many feelings of mistakes or not appreciating whats life in all its splendor. Huge steps are being taken everyday to further the frontiers of optimistic communication”

June was what i would call a child of the new world. She was only 196 so she didn’t know what the world was like pre-serum. Brimming with pride and not a single repressed thought or emotion, I don’t think she has the capacity to comprehend being unhappy, fear or even death, and how these things can affect your overall mood.

Frankly, I am just a tad jealous of her, it takes alot of effort to maintain a positive image 24 hours a day. Forcing myself to grin and smile to holo-ads, laughing on cue is important as well. Let alone watching what you say and how, a simple slip of the tongue showing displeasure or lacking appreciation can put you in the Wellness squads black books and lose you your serum-subscription very quickly.

Finally, Jasper noticed my arrival

“Ah, exhilarating that you could join us for lunch Beach, I was afraid your history lesson went awry”

“It went well Jasper”  I said, “But always opportunities!. The Wellness squad found my curriculum about life expectancy somewhat morbid. I stand by it though,without an understanding of the conditions of the past, the appreciation for today is only surface level, or habitual. I want the students to have a true grasp of how good they have it and having a comparison point is vital for that”

Once again, June jumped in.

“Completely agree with the Wellness squad on this one Beach, they really know their stuff! People don’t need to know about such topics like death and war. How can anyone expect to be happy knowing such things used to exist?”

Jasper piped in

“If you end up teaching you planned lessons on war history you will end up in rehabilitation. We are fortunate we are government workers, even mentioning some of these topics outside of this building would be risky. What if one of your students starts blurting out things about death in the streets?”

and then they come to my optimistic language lessons and I have to work it out of their vocabulary. You could be teaching much more useful content Beach”

“Indeed June! thank you for the feedback”

The conversation gently dribbled away at this point, and I made sure to take some notes (its always important to take notes, so people see you value what they told you). The rest of lunch was consumed in relative silence, with the general clatter and clank of dishes the backdrop for small snippets of conversation.

 

#3

After my riveting discussion with those fine gents, I felt lunch would give me the uplift I needed to get thru my afternoon lessons. Walking past the monitoring rooms, the walls of the corridor leading to the canteen are plastered with motivational posters

“Reach for the skies!”

“Do today what was impossible yesterday!”

“Stay positive to stay above the ground!”

“Only the happy truly live here ^_^”

Always such an empowering hallway. Its always important to feel super amazing after walking past posters like these, even if its only externally, after all there is always someone paying attention.

Upon entering the lunchroom I found my usual crowd, They were all teachers and we liked to discuss curriculum content. We would even have quite heated debates about this from time to time.

The three of them were sitting around a square table, an empty chair seemingly available and awaiting me.

There was Niles, the math teacher. He was exactly what you would picture a man of numbers to be like. Slightly greying hair, horned spectacles (mostly for show, his sight was perfect) and usually wearing a sweater vest. Niles was a strong believer in having students unplugged and learning with pen and paper. He was a bit of a relic in that respect, but he seemed to garner a lot of respect from the students for it, even if they complain every day about it.

Next to him, laughing between gulps of stew and short breaths of conversation, was the language teacher June. She was a passionate teacher who always seemed fit to burst into laughter at any given moment. Her teaching method was generally one of “talk until someone pays attention”. Which being a language teacher, this worked well for her classrooms.

Finally, a little bit to the side, cautiously examining his lunch was Jasper, the Medical knowledge instructor. He was certainly a quiet one, though when he got talking about serum science and genetics he would talk until dawn if you let him.

As I came to sit in my spot, i joined the group part way into their conversation.

“… one of the boys tells me – It isn’t his job to know what x is, and that if the teacher doesn’t know then clearly it is unattainable knowledge

“This is clearly not positive behavior from the boy, I didn’t reprimand him, but he was escorted away a couple of minutes later. Dang efficient those Wellness Squad are indeed! He came back into class for the next lesson, happy as can be, so he must of had a good talking to”

(to be continued next sunday)

 

Links below for the first two weeks worth of this story!

#2

#1

 

 

One.

“I am a box, visualize opening myself and viewing whats on the inside.”

“A box is easy to open, let the contents fall onto the ground”

“Let hate, let stress, let trauma all fall onto the ground, look at it, but do not put it back in the box.”

“Ignore the impulse to destroy the box, it is precious and fragile. Do not damage the box!”

This was my third time at the therapy centre. I was getting good at following the visualization exercises, they did it to calm me down, and if I wasn’t already meticulously calm then it would of helped. The caretaker was a young man in his early twenties. He was probably just out of tafe and was seemed interested enough in psychology to probably go to university next. He did not deserve what happened to him, nor did the last one, but until they could stop me, it would continue to happen. I was invincible and no-one even knew it yet.

You see, I am a psychopath. Emphatically aware of this, unable to stop the impulse to main and hurt, but also too aware to every get caught. They had me taking these community centers for social anxiety. It was so easy to get in, I just told my boss that I was afraid to talk to my co-workers, and that it made me stress out.

After that it was easy enough to get into their personal files, track down their address, wait 3 months for them to pass whatever files they were onto to the next person, and visit them in the night. Those were the days.

But i’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. Because this is the story of how, after thwarting the police, ASIO and other government bodies for over 9 years, I was finally apprehended and locked in jail. This is the story of the struggle between myself, the ex-boyfriend of one of my victims, and the law-makers who let it all happen.

Simulation

Taken, in chains to the small cell where we were kept before the next slaughter. I had no idea why they kept us all in cages where we could see each other, it just let us see who was going to be the first to crack and who were the ones to look out for. Most of the “gladiators” were just boys that had barely seen fourteen winters, the rest were grizzled older men who were probably sold once they could no longer handle the requirements of forced marches.

In due time we would be taken by armed roman soldiers to the center of the colosseum where a variety of weapons would be laid out. The spectators would spew in from the vomitorium and fill all the seats… every seat. This was the first sign for me that something was amiss, there was no way that not one seat was empty. This was the third time for me, so I was starting to notice the cracks. Guards with different voices but the basically the same face. Each time I had been taken to the same cell before the fight, and the same cell after the fight, but the time between the end of a fight and the start of the next seemed to be filled with nothing substantial, like its all just busy work.

One of the boys wails and shits himself. The pre-fight shits are a common occurrence, the whole place reeks of death and blood, so who in there right mind wouldn’t be scared out of their minds. I was clearly not of the right mind, because I had no fear. I was strong and I had survived this two other times. I knew the weapons and I knew the best way to survive.

I also knew that none of this was real.

The signs were there, for a keen observer. Why though were all these people being forced to kill each other, for who’s pleasure, and why did it seem to just never end?

The guards arrived, hit a switch that opened all the cell doors. With a loud thud the doors opened and one of the prisoners rushes out to escape and trips over his leg chains, and is immediately skewered with a spear. There was only one way out of this place, death or victory.

They take off our chains, and we are all led out of the dank cells and thru the portal to the arena floor. The light blinds my eyes, blinking to return my vision, the cheers of the colosseum’s crowds gives me a certain rush of adrenaline.

We are all lead into a large circle. Weapons are scattered around the central pillar and the emperor raises his hand for silence. Which is immediate.

His hand drops, the madness begins.

Rushing for the weapons I head straight for the shield and sword. Its worked for me before and i had proficiency in it. An arrow narrowly misses my shoulder, someone must of gotten there quickly. Picking up the sword and shield find my first foe, a child holding a trident that is clearly too big for him. Its gruesome but quick and he does not suffer long.

After having dispatched the child I moved onto some of the larger, slower targets. I am quick on my feet and dance around an older man with a large woodcutters ax. Slicing at his heel first, he falls and the rest is easy. I do not like to see anyone suffer and try to make it quick as possible.

Looking around, most of the prisoners are on the ground, blood mixing with the sand of the arena. Two others impale each other on each others weapons. From what I can see no-one is left. The odd’s of surviving four of these just seems too small for it to be coincidence. Cheers from the crowd is drowning out all noise and I drop my weapon.

And then it hit me.

An arrow right thru my chest.

and I saw nothing more…

 

… Fighter 14 wins, odds 7.8:1 please collect your winnings from the cashiers desk.

“I can’t believe the favourite didn’t win! I had 60 credits on him, why the hell did he drop his weapon before finishing off that kid with the bow? Just shows how no matter how good the odds are, there will always be upsets…”

“That’s why the casino always wins, the people in those simulators are so easy to manipulate and the odds always pan out for them”

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Entertain