"After the Allies won the Deciding War, occurring in 2063, China’s rise to power was almost immediate. Defeating its greatest enemies – the U.S.A., Russia, and Great Britain (known today as the Morbosus) – China took their land as their own, which turned out to be the nation’s first tottering step to global domination. The Morbosus were corrupt – a disease, plaguing the entire world – so China pulled the infestation out at its roots. While most inhabitants of the countries were generously spared (for when questioned it was found that the citizens had been brainwashed in effect by their governments and could not be held responsible for their actions), the ministers of parliament who started the war were executed, as they deserved."
- Excerpt from A History of the Deciding War, a textbook published for Standard School Level J.
"And the Lord Almighty looked upon the world so brimming with religions, and languages, and cultures, and it saddened Him. Earth was so diverse that even those of the same tongue, even those who came from the same mother's womb, struggled to understand each other. Individuals all focused on themselves and only themselves, and the Lord Almighty wept as he looked on from Heaven, his heart heavy with a father's burden."
- Excerpt from the unsimplified Standard Holy Book
"A child embarks on the Standard School System at the age of three years. They will start at Standard Level A, which they do not have to pass an exam or meet any qualifications to begin. Every month a test will be given to the children. If they pass, they will be moved upwards to Standard School Level B. This process repeats at all levels of education until Standard School Level S. You must study for a minimum of three months at this level, before you are tested. If you pass you are given the choice to break away from the School System and choose a career path, or continue your education to Standard School Level Y. If you fail, you must repeat Standard School Level S again, and take the test with the next batch of test-takers. Up until School Level S, should a student stay in a School Level for over four months they will receive a warning. If they stay for over eight months they will be monitored. If they stay for over a year, they will be recategorised as a Defect, and must therefore leave the Standard School System. This does not apply for Standard School Level S (for which the warning comes at nine months, monitoring at one year, and re-categorisation at eighteen months. From Standard School Level T and onwards, the child may leave or stay in the School Level for as long as they wish, without the threat of being marked as Defective."
- Excerpt from Understanding your Child's Education by Chaoxiang Li.
F.A.Q.'s about the Data Processes:
Q: Will the injection hurt?
A: No. You will be given anethetics beforehand anyway, but should you be nervous there is the alternate option of pill taking - however, you will have to take these pills for the next eight days instead of the seconds it takes for the injection to be completed.
Q: Why are the Data Processes around?
A: Every year after their birth, a person must have a Data Process (in the form of an injection, or less commonly, a tablet) . This is so the information they have collected over the year will not be forgotten, and sucumb the patient to the plagues of mental decay, and forgetfullness. The injection stores the information and memories picked up over the years to a 'mental box' , which the patient can then open and close and look inside as much as they like, never having to worry about forgetting them.
Q: Who invented the Data Process?
A: It cannot be attributed to one person. After the Deciding War, it was one of the Allies' first actions to benefit our world.
Q: Do I have to have a Data Process?
A: The few who try and miss their Data Processes are clearly misinformed about what is best for their wellbeing. If they do not have a valid excuse, they are labeled as Defective, and must be sent to live amongst the other Defects.
The girl looked down at her hands, and they were haggard and ugly. On the inside, she felt her heart fraying at the edges, the strings of her mind unravelling, and the light in her eyes that once sparked with knowledge dimming, flickering out. Staring into the cracked, old looking glass she pressed her palms to her cheeks and began to sob, tears leaking from her eyes and landing with a 'plop' on the table in front of her.
- Extract from The Girl who grew Older, a horror story for a younger audience by Mae Ti Zhang.
"We are invested in furthering a society of young, hard-working human beings. Your journeys through life will not have been easy, but know, all of you, that every job you do is for the benefit of our Community. Help each other, and through this you will help yourselves."
- Tsu Wauy Chi, Chairman of the 2084 Committee
The Standard School Curriculum:
After Standard School Level D, students study the following compulsory subjects -
- SL (Standard Language)
- Music (By Standard School Level K, competency using at least one musical instrument is required.)
- General Exercise
- Religious Education
It is possible, if the child shows affinity for the subject, to also take the following:
- Further Standard Subjects
- Applied Mechanics
- Architecture and Design
- Textiles and Woodwork
- Committee Apprenticeship
- Military Training
"In the past, the word 'beautiful' plainly meant a person's outside appearance. Nowadays we prefer to judge someone's beauty by the content of their inside. This is why at ten years old you, and every other child is scarred across their face - it not only heightens our similarities so our race may find it easier to connect to one another, but also means a person's beauty is shown far more clearly inside their soul. "
- An extract from the Standard Guide every child is presented with on their ninth birthday.
Tortured by plague,
The Defects live lonely,
With memories that fade."
- A young children's skipping chant, common especially among Standard School Level Ds and Es.
"To prevent the ugliness, frailty, and unstoppable mental decay that begin to creep up on us when the age of 60 is passed, the Committee have hereby decreed that on reaching the age of 61 the citizen in question must be executed. Naturally, the death will be as humane as possible."
There are no exceptions to these rules.
- Commandment No. 36, from the Standard Book of Laws