Imperium

Imperium control the subjects.

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1. 1. Darcy

You can’t ever just wake up and think that when a new day comes, everything that happened before this day, before this moment, has vanished. It hasn’t evaporated and it definitely hasn’t vaporised. It becomes history, and history does not define us, but it certainly shapes who we were made to be.

 

 

“Darcy. Congratulations. You have passed this segment of the test. Whilst you slowly come back to yourself, you will be injected with a formulation that will heal your bruises and scars.”
I stand there over a figure that lays on the ground. My eyes can’t quite make out who this figure is, but they are certainly not awake. My vision is blurred. The voice plays again and again in my mind, like a female robot. Her voice is cold and hard. Who is this woman? Wait, this is the testing room. Hang on, she just said I passed a test… Was that today? Did that just happen? I begin to shake my head, trying to clear my thoughts. I manically blink for my vision to become clear. I then see the figure. His skin is pale, he has brown hair that falls onto his forehead. His eyes are lifeless. Oliver? I bend towards him, placing my hand on his chest. My hands are aching. I feel so sore. “Oliver? O
liver? Are you okay?” I say this whilst scanning his body and then the room. No one is around. It is a white room. No doors, no screens, no windows, nothing. Just myself and Oliver. I notice he is not completely flat on the ground. I look beneath his back, and I freeze. I noticed a mirror shard wedged between his shoulder blades…I can’t breathe…neither can he. I hear footsteps behind me, and as I realise what has happened, I am dragged by my shoulders, pulling me away from him. “Oliver…Oliver. Oliver!” I try to fight my way back to him, I scream “Oliver! Get up, he needs medical attention!” as I am pulled further away, my body goes into attack mode. My legs kick the air, and my head swerves side to side. My eyes fill with water, blurring my vision. This time my vision control was my choice, as was the choice I made whilst under the programme. I feel a thin needle pierce into my rib, and tears slowly fall from my eyes. “I’m sorry Oliver. I’m sorry…” I try to fight back, but my pulse starts to slow, and I suddenly feel exhausted. I have no energy left. He is left in the white space. Lifeless. Motionless. Dead.

 

When I wake up, there is no sound. There are no figures. I am in a room filled with 10 other beds, all with a metal frame, and white sheets screwed all over the place. No one is here. I am alone. What time is it? What day? Where am I? I lay there for a few minutes, waiting for someone to come in, or at least hear the sound of the wind. Nothing. Just pure silence…no not pure…controlled silence. I fear if I stay here any longer, I’ll go insane with the unknown. I sit up on my bed, and I head towards the door. 

 

I encounter a long hall way. It is clinical. The tiles are blue and white marble. I have no shoes on, and I only have an oversized black polo top on, with black shorts. I need to find out where I am. As I make my way down the hall, I notice photos of different people hanging on the wall. Each picture is the same, each person, male and female, have a cold look on their face. Each has no life in their eyes, each lips are parted slightly. Some are hung with a yellow frame, some are dark blue, others are white, and there are some without any. I stop as I see a mirror. I look at it, with the same expression that the faces have in each portrait. I notice an envelope on the floor. “Darcy, 7298” I pick the envelope up, but stop as I look at the mirror. I realise that my hair is shorter, and that my reflection is not holding an envelope. My stomach drops as I realise it’s not a mirror. It’s a portrait. I am one of the many who have passed the test. 

 

I stare at the portrait for a while, and then the envelope. My eyes flicker between the portrait and the envelope. I am scared. I have this urge to scream and dispose of the envelope, dismissing the information held within, and punching the wall until it cracks. This urge is defeated, because I am dead. I am mentally dead. I back away from the portrait, until my back hits the opposing wall. I slump to the floor and I maintain eye contact with my lifeless portrait. My fingers are frozen. I don’t want to know what happens next, but I need to know. I need to know what happens next, and so, reluctantly I open the envelope. 

 

Darcy,

 

Congratulations. You successfully passed the 3rd segment of the test. You have shown commitment and strength. You are what this city needs in order to survive and feel safe. 

 

I know you will be feeling confused, and sadness for killing your friend, but it would have been easy to pair you with someone you despise, or with someone you have a sense of dislike towards already. Putting you with Oliver meant that we could identify how you would cope when faced with a life threatening situation, regardless of their importance to you.  

 

The next test is to take place on a day that falls on the 17th. That is all the information you will receive for now, regarding the test. To prepare, you need to accustom yourself to the new setting, and your fellow subjects. Remember, this is for good. It is better to lose a singular life than a collective.

 

F.R 

 

I feel sick at the letter. I feel sick knowing that there will be more killing. I am not strong. I am weak. I am a coward for letting my friend die instead of sacrificing myself. I want to throw up. I hate every breath I take. I chose to kill, not only a friend, but a companion. I chose to agree to this test. I chose to let the programme take full control. I didn’t have the strength to fight it off. No. I am not the strong one. It is not better to lose a singular, if that singular could fight for what they truly believe. I am not strong. Oliver was. Oliver is. 

 

I hunch my back into a ball, wrapping my arms around my legs, which are bent and pressed against my stomach. I let the letter sit on the floor to the right of me. I burrow my head to block out light, to block out any life. I want to stay in the darkness forever. I feel my cheeks heat up, and my face is covered with sweat, tears and heat. I wipe my eyes with the palms of my hands, and I look at the words printed on my wrist:

 

 History does not define us, it shapes who we were made to be.

 

I hear Oliver’s voice in my head, as I say each word. I look at the letter, and then my wrist. I feel Oliver’s presence around me, and I forget the sadness of loss. My lip quivers as I apologise “Oliver…I am so sorry. I will not let your death be in vain. I will fight for you, and I will fight for every other strong person who gave their life. Just…stay with me. Please.” I feel a cold air brushing through the hall. I know what I have to do. I gather myself, and place the letter in my pocket. I look at the lifeless portrait one last time, but I don’t recognise that person. I head down the hall, and begin preparing for the next test.

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