Hello once again to more back logs, which to my surprise is going pretty well since I have been able to pull out a lot of obscure old pieces that I forgot I even had, this one being one of them. Though I’ll probably finally hit the well of old pieces and finally get to posting some of my more recent and quite frankly, better works, I still enjoy doing this and hopefully it still is somewhat readable. I’ve been quite busy and posting here and even on my secondary more active blog, SchoolOfWords, still takes quite a bit so bare with me. Either way, this is a kind of sci-fi piece, a little bit of anti-capitalistic themes and of course the preservation of nature and memories. Here you go, “Last Remnants”.
“We at NeuPsy believe that a well stimulated brain leads to happiness and longevity of personality and fulfillment. Our goal is to create whatever scene or memory you wish to see before you die. It’s a process that involves–”
“Hooking me up to a bunch of wires and sending me on an acid trip.”
“Look. I didn’t sign up for this. You think I care for your high-tech ramblings?” The old man turned towards a picture frame, and slowly got up using his cane. His walls were painted white, and his floor boards creaked. His clock ticked, and his television was remote controlled. The old man picked up the picture, a picture of his wife, and pointed it at the white suited man.
“You see this?” The old man turned the picture towards himself, admiring the work in the frame and the quality of the picture.
“Of course you can’t. You lot are all the same. Blinded by pretty lights and electrodes.” The old man placed the picture face down and walked over to his window, pushing away the curtains. He saw hovering cars rushing down the streets, moving highways above him, and huge scraping buildings that were all connected with large clear tubes. A spiraling elevator stood at the center of it all, leading into the city’s largest commercial center.
“But I don’t have a choice. Just like I don’t have a choice about my age. But you lot will find a way. It’s in your blood.” The white suited man continued to grow uncomfortable, and the old man grew tired. He knew he couldn’t escape it.
“So how much?” The old man asked.
“Cost you a leg and a heart.” The white suited man tried to calm the atmosphere, but the old man was unmoving.
“Eight surges,” the white cloaked man said.
“I’ll give you ten if you stay out of my hair.”
“That won’t be necess–”
“I was joking.” The white cloaked man stopped, and appreciated his notion to lighten the mood, no matter how offsetting it was.
“Eight surges for you, twelve for my son,” the old man said, “Come on, I’m not getting any younger.” Both men walked to the door with the white suited man taking a small remote device from his pocket. He pressed a button, then watched as a car began zipping by towards them. With the press of another, the door opened. Both men got in. The car then abrasively shut its doors, and began driving.
“They say you live in the past,” the white suited man said.
“They seem to say many things, but they don’t seem to notice the Tragedy of Green.”
“Sling that term around and they’ll raze your house.”
“Let them. What’s an ailing man like me going to care?” The car abruptly stopped at the large facility with the words NeuPsy projected in large glowing font. Both men stepped out of the car and proceeded forward. They were standing on a floating platform, elevated by freezing particles.
“Have you heard about our intensive programs?” The white suited man asked.
“Yes. Can’t say many haven’t. You’d be dead if that’s the case, or dying like me.”
“Is there are particular thought you wish to remember?” The old man didn’t answer, which prompted the white suited man to continue.
“Or perhaps, any particular thought you wish to experience?”
“The thought of dying peacefully and without all this Blue Washed Junk. But that won’t happen will it?” The old man said as he smiled. The white suited man didn’t reply, but simply led them on in silence.
“You’ll know anyway. Peek into my mind, watch it go. It doesn’t matter to your organization or–”
“I want to know.”The old man was stumped, surprised by what had just happened. For the rest of the way there, they walked with silence.
“Here we are,” the white suited man said as they arrived at a door with a large projected label above it. “Central Nervous Immersion Center.” It read. They entered, and in front of them was a multitude of instruments and a chair. Wires, monitors, sensors, and a chair. The old man made his way to the chair, and sat, while the white suited man hooked him up to a series of machines. He placed a cap over his head, that had wires sticking out and into various monitors. He hooked him up into a heartbeat and breathing sensor and with a few flips and typing into a nearby computer, the process was about to begin.
“May you find–”
“Cut the chase.”
“We’re ready to go.” The white suited man pressed the last button he needed, and watched as the old man closed his eyes and began entering a new realm.
“Are you awake?” The old man heard a voice, it was a woman’s voice, a voice he was very familiar with that had brought him into the waking world of his dream. The old man was surrounded by white walls, but he was sure that he wasn’t in a white room, rather, the world around him now was simply white. He knew where he was, to an extent, but not what he was about to see. He thought he had no real interest in his memories, nor where he wanted to go. He simply abided by what was there, and knew that he couldn’t opt out of it. He was in a world all to his own, but without a means to use it. The old man stepped forward, almost instinctively, and began walking. After a while, he noticed something. The old man’s tired legs, and his weary eyes were not a bother anymore. He felt alive, he thought.
Then, the world around him began forming, and shaping into a palpable vision. The ground beneath him turned into a lush green, the sky above him turned light blue, and the air around him was oxygen. The old man felt alive. He walked on the grass, that crunched under his feet, and took long breaths of oxygen that circulated his lungs. The clouds above him moved slowly, and the sun in the distance was covered by the white clouds. The man didn’t know why he was brought to such a scene, but he could guess as to why.
“It’ll be fine.” The man heard. It was the same voice as before. A woman’s voice, clear as sky, and clear as water. It was a voice that made the man calm, and it was a voice that the man could never forget. But he couldn’t see a face to that voice. It was a voice that he knew, but could not see, and that thought made him sad. It rang in his head, almost repeatedly.
“Emerald?” The old man said, his voice echoed, seeming to bounce off the clouds and air in the world he had found himself in. He didn’t expect a response, nor did he expect the same scenery he stood in to seem so hexing. The green of the grass, the blue of the sky, and the air in his lungs all started to break down into a convoluted brown. The old man walked forward, seemingly into nothingness and seemingly to walk onto a never-ending plain of green. The old man didn’t know whether the scene he saw was going to change, or whether he was going to spend the rest of his time stuck in the plains of grass that he so apparently wished for. He wasn’t keen on learning about the program as much as he should have, and he didn’t care for it.
“Everything becomes Blue.” The old man heard the voice again. It was speaking to him, but the old man knew that it was not speaking directly at him, rather, it was speaking at the essence of who he was. The voice was speaking to his consciousness, his memory, and the old man just so happened to be in that memory. The grass beneath him began changing, the green becoming blurred, and the texture shifting. The sky was falling, and the clouds were gone. Without warning, the setting before him turned grey. Everything was grey, the sky was grey, the ground was grey, and the air was grey. He was standing on top of ruins. They were ruins of a building that once stood tall and proud among it’s aggressors, but was toppled to make way for progression. The old man scoffed at it.
“Everything becomes darkened Blue.” The old man heard the voice again, and his mind was beginning to remember. The grey sky above him was not simply grey because it was his mind creating the color of grey, but because the smog in the sky was such that it turned grey, he thought. The old man did not move this time, and simply stood atop the ruined building, under the grey sky, and breathed the rasp air that surrounded him.
“There was nothing anybody could do,” the old man said, seemingly to nothing.
“It’s a sad nothing.” The old man heard the woman’s voice again, this time, much more clear, and much more near him. Almost as if reliving a memory, and almost as if his mouth and voice was acting on its own, he began speaking back to the voice.
“A sad nothing is still nothing. And nothing we could ever do, sad or happy, would be able to stop them.”
“Right, but you can’t just look at that side.”
“You’re telling me that the destruction and mass extinction we’re doing is a good thing?”
“No. It’s not. But progress comes with sacrifice. It’s just one way of living life.”
“That way isn’t sustainable, you know that.”
“I’m a scientist, not an activist.” The woman’s voice suddenly stopped, and the scene around the old man began fading again. The ruble of the ruins disappeared, the grey of the sky turned murky, and the air became stagnant. The old man did not know whether what he saw was what he wished, or whether what he saw was just a dying memory. The old man knew that the simulation could run either, whichever was more strong. The old man didn’t see himself as the condescending type.
“The recent toppling of the last remaining environmental conservative has marked the beginning of the Era of Blue.” A voice resounded within the old man. It was a static voice, not from a human’s like the last voice he heard. It was the voice of a person he did not personally recognize but the words came off as poor nostalgia. The old man knew not why he had came to remember these things, but he did not necessarily mind staying to see them either. He knew that if he wanted to leave that all he needed was to think strong enough to force an eject.
“Millions of people have been rounded up in what has possibly been the largest mass genocide since the War Of Commons.” The old man knew exactly what the static voice was talking about, and that gave him a bitter aftertaste. The world around him was forming again, he found himself standing on top of a patch of grass. However, as the old man looked above him, towards the glass dome that incased him, he knew he was in no open field. In front of the old man was a single tree, that stood large and proud among the field of grass. It circulated Oxygen throughout the dome, and the old man knew that the air he breathed was the last of its kind. For some reason, the old man felt the need to remember that. The air he breathed, was the last of its kind.
“Prices on what consumers call, ‘Electromagnetic Energy’, has risen to an all time high after the construction of the Central Tesla Tower.” The voice boomed this time, seeming to bounce off of the wall of the dome he was incased in. Suddenly, a large bang resounded within the dome. The old man felt the vibrations as the sound heightened, and soon enough, the dome broke. The glass of the dome shattered, and as the old man saw, a horde of disfigured men came rushing towards the tree, seeming to ignore him. The old man was indifferent about what he was seeing, and as he came to realize it, the scene had turned into an image. Everything around him was then fading, the grass, the tree, the men that shattered the dome. The old man did not know how to feel about what he saw, but knew that what he saw, was simply what his mind wanted him to see, and so he saw it.
“We don’t usually spare people like you.” A brash and aggressive voice resounded now as the scene shifted into one of darkness. The ground, the wall, the sky around him had all darkened. The sounds of electricity whistled within the old man’s ears, and despite being completely engulfed in unseeing, he could clearly see a surge of electricity near him. The old man figured he would panic, but he didn’t, and knew that it was all but a memory. The old man had no reason to panic, and knew that even if the situation he remembered was terrifying then, it would not be now. The old man was past that point.
“We don’t have any rights on your property, but remember that contributing citizens are more favored in this new regime.” Another voice resounded, a voice that the old man could remember and hate clearly. However, the scenery around him stood stagnant. He stood in complete darkness, enshrouded by what he figured was the end of his simulation. It was, but he would never know. And the white suited man monitoring the whole trip would know, and he would know what had went on, and what the old man had said. He would know his hate and his disgust, but the white suited man had no choice but to ignore it. It was his job, despite him wanting to cry.
“You once told me, that you would do anything for me.” A woman’s voice had boomed within the old man’s enshrouded state. It was the same voice as before, but this time, it was much more quiet.
“Taking on the regime was a dumb idea,” the old man said, replying to the voice, although it wasn’t him replying, but his consciousness replying.
“It was. But now, it’s time for me to protect you.”
“Whatever I say to you now won’t make you change your mind.”
“It won’t. But it might make it better.”
“It might. But I have nothing to say.”
“Which is why I never expected it to feel any better.” The voice stopped, trailing off, barely audible. The old man stood in complete silence and darkness, until his eyes began watering. A tingling within his right leg and in his chest began. The old man’s breathing increased steadily, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t calm down. The white suited man knew exactly what was happening. It wasn’t a memory nor was it anything he could control. It was his job. The old man’s heartbeat began disappearing on the monitors, and the white suited man felt indifferent as he watched it tick off. The white suited man placed one hand over his heart, and brought the necklace that he hid out. It was a simple necklace, with a simple symbol at the end of it, three green arrows chasing each other. It was the symbol of his love, and the symbol of a dead era. The white suited man had no choice but to honor what he could honor, and abide by what little scraps still existed within the wet works. The white suited man was a collector.