Shoot, I winced as a drone passed by, or otherwise known as the "police" of the new 24th century. Apparently, these weren't human anymore. With these police drones, they had millions of eyes placed around its body and head. Oh, and they were all over the place. As a result, crime rates had gone down, close to zero. Maybe 0.99%.
Looking up, I glanced at the white marble building where people now lived. For the rich, that marble building could be one house; for the poor, it could house ten families. Considering the way how the laundry was hung on an aging rope, it looked like this house was housing the poor. I watched as two more drones came by, their wheels slowly whirling down the street. About a mile away, I could hear their sirens blaring, meaning that something had happened. And someone was getting arrested.
I headed out of my hiding place and walked casually down the deserted street. No one dared to go outside anymore. I remembered my great-great-great-great-great grandmother's old photo album. There was a photo of her and her friends on a swing set. Yeah, well, we don't have those anymore. Any playground equipment was soon taken down by the newly replaced government to build houses and factories. In a way, today's society was almost Communist, but it wasn't. It was more like technology had taken over. Everywhere I looked, thermal-sensored cameras were pointed straight at you, tracking your every move. If you did something wrong, you will be surrounded by police drones in about less than a minute.
So, how did this society came to be? In 2245, a World War III had started. This time, there were nuclear bombs that were dropped nonstop on every single country involved. Even the innocent were destroyed. By the time it was over at around 2260, barely anyone had survived. Those who were still alive were traumatized by the terrible effects of the bombs and over half of them suffered injuries and the after-effects of the bomb.
The remaining then decided to create their own non-violent and obedient society. No weapons, no bombs, just a place where everyone was at peace and lived in harmony. Like a utopian society. Sounded good right? That's why they did it. Or tried to, anyway. The problem? To have a utopian society would require everyone to have good in their hearts, to be unselfish, and to give themselves to the common good. Unfortunately, not everyone was like that. And the person who was impure at heart and greedy ultimately led to the downfall of this picture-perfect place.
That person was the society's first president: President Maxim Vinicius. He had schemed and planned his way up the hierarchy, until finally, he had killed all his opponents...or they all mysteriously died. In the end, he was the only one left over to create this society. And a few others, including my great-great-great grandparents. But unfortunately, his killing didn't stop there. After this society had been formed, he jailed each and every one of his friends-slash-survivors, and had them all killed. But not before they created their own families.
President Vinicius had grown old over the years, and frankly, he was still in power. Those who dared to challenge him were immediately put down. His face was on everything, from postcards to buildings to giant statues to clocks. Every house had a picture of him. And his scientists and workers that he had hired created such an advanced set of technology that it was distributed to every single household so that he could watch over his people even more strictly. His most loyal followers were made governors of his giant kingdom. Our part of his kingdom happened to be sub-ruled by Governor Seth Williams.
So as you can imagine, there were protestors, an underground resistance movement. Well, as one of the many youths who have decided to cross over, I was a loyal follower of the resistance movement. In fact, I was one of the teen leaders who was a strategist and an activist who planned all the movements and riots. And the government noticed. Yes, the big one. In fact, there was my face on a piece of paper on a stone pole right now...just as I passed by it. Yep, I was a criminal, wanted by the government, avoided by the people who wanted to be safe and hidden away from the government.
Now you must think, what does my family think about this? Well, I don't have a family. My parents had died in a car crash, leaving me orphaned and alone. I lived alone, underground, alongside with the rest of the movement, which was mainly composed of youth members whose ancestors were the last surviving humans after the war. Each and every one of us wanted the old society back. The one where we had freedoms, privacy, rights, and other things that we didn't have today.
We all wanted it so badly.
Now, as I looked back at my shoulder for any cameras or any drones strolling past in the alleyway of trashcans and seeing that there were none, I removed the second-last trashcan and opened the tiny door hiding behind it. After crawling in to a second door, I pressed my hand on the screen to permit my entry. When it beeped a green light, I kept crawling in until I got through the tiny door way, until then, the ceiling had sloped upwards suddenly, so that we could all walk around as normal people.
"Avalon," Xavier, a friend, greeted me.
"Xavier," I nodded. "You ready?" Xavier was a key player in all of this. He was a techie who was basically a hacker, and helped us all get key information from the government. He happened to be one of my best friends.
"Yes," I said, my eyes set hard. "How many do you think we will lose today?" My eyes roamed around the room as nearly hundreds of people walked on the decks of our hideout, working and planning. I knew that after today's riot, a fifth of them will be gone. But we will always gain more people after a demonstration. It always happens.
"The usual, I guess," Xavier's eyes were fixed on me. "And if you are one of them?" I shivered. I didn't want to think about it. If I were captured and arrested and put on trial, I would surely be tortured or even put to death.
"I'll tell you when I am one of them," I replied and started walking to the corridors. "Brief me."
"Well, a lot of people has signed up to be a part of this riot, Avalon," he said as he walked with me. "The more the merrier right? Maybe the drones won't be able to capture as much with so many of you out there."
"Maybe," I frowned. We both knew that wasn't likely. The drones weren't human and they had more backup than expected.
"I know," he looked at me. "Well, you guys are on in one hour. You should get ready." I nodded as I tied my boot. "Good luck. Hope you come back." We were in front of my room when he left me. I entered and changed my shirt to a clean white one. I stared at a photo that was laid on my nightstand for a minute. It was one of me and my parents. Me as a baby and they were happy. In the back, I could ironically see a picture of President Vinicius.
My eyes hardened at the sight of him. Whatever, I thought as I narrowed my eyes. He was just going down.
I whirled around and slammed the door on my way out. Xavier glanced at me briefly from his computer and called, "They're there. Good luck!" I gave him a thin smile as I made my way out.
As I walked down the street to the city hall, I could hear drones buzzing around. Already? I thought as I made my way down through some people. When I came to the city hall, I was shocked to see a crowd of people standing holding signs. But those signs were only bait. Everyone knew that once there was commotion, it would get violent and bloody, pretty soon.
As soon as they all saw me, they cheered and began chanting, screaming, and yelling. It had just begun.
A minute later, drones came from all directions, surrounding us on all sides. Instead, we all grew louder as they came closer. I looked at the drone who was coming closer to me dead in the eye. I reached for my knife instinctively as it came closer and closer. Suddenly, a crack rang out in the air. Everything became dead silent. For one second. Then chaos erupted. Screams filled the air and the drones drove into the crowd to drive everyone out. People were fleeing and as I turned to fight one of the drones, another had punched me on my lower back. Immediately I fell as others surrounded me. One of them harshly pulled me up by the hair, making me hiss. My eyes made contact with the other protesters who had been caught. They looked frenzied and scared at the same time.
I took a deep breath and looked around me. I was surrounded by drones. There was no way I could escape. Well, I was caught. And I remembered what I had told Xavier earlier. And even though I was caught, I didn't know the answer. All I could think of as I stared at the drone who was arresting me was, Shoot.