07 October, 2011

in the time of things

I haven't been to the Tunnels of the Guard, I've lived there almost all my life. Anonymous. The Guards know me and just think I'm another one of them. I'm even on the rosters for the various duties and do everything they do. What they don't know is that there is no record of me ever joining the Guard. There are no files on my history or family - not even I know anything about my history. No one knows how old I am; and just because I've always been around, I just happened to slip onto the rosters. It was a natural progression.

At first, I was an exceptionally stupid probie. I could do drill, tie knots, keep up all day and night, but things like the Line Creed, the Oath and the Stance were things that some of my 'comrades' had to drum into me so that I did not get everyone else into trouble. Especially during inspection time. During those times, when everyone's files were scrutinised with a white microscope, I 'disappeared'. I had the reputation of being part of the Secret Services without needing to have said anything.

In the dark, I walk sure. Like the 'tunnel rats' that the Guard try to eradicate, I am sly. The 'tunnel rats' are my friends though. We always have been, because I was one of them before I managed to integrate myself into the Tunnels. Nobody likes the 'rats'. We were the thieves in the dark, the vicious packs that took down supply vehicles at night and set fires to the creeping Lines. The Lines didn't think we knew. They thought we, like the rest of the brainwashed citizens Above, were stupid. But we knew what the Lines were really up to and what the Lines true goal was and we weren't going to let our city turn itself over to them so easily.

We are the unsung heroes. The secret fighters of a rebellion nobody knows about. Everyone tries to squish us, but we fight to protect and survive. Nobody wants to live in a slowly shrinking cage. Most people don't notice a thing. They're too busy listening to the Lines, going to work, eating and sleeping. Our first rule is survival. The second is to prevent the Lines from taking over and enslaving the people Above. Hence I joined the Guard.

Yes, we are proud brats. Yes, we are an ignorant little peoples. But who was it who banned children from the cities? Who was it who sent us away to be beaten into submissive broken spirits in strict white institutions? Who was it who condemned the rest of the citizens Above to a slow death from age? Why shouldn't we have escaped en masse?

They say that with the Lines, all will be ageless. There will no longer be a need for children. We disagree. We have been watching and the 'ageless' are aging still. Soon, they will be so old that it will be a mercy to take their breath and lay them in the earth. Their minds are corroding.

Time cannot be stopped. Age cannot be forced to remain within a chosen decade. They may continue to look young, but their forgetfulness and useless, endless sticky notes are telling. All the time, their laws become more and more stupid.

People may only emerge from their houses at night if they have Night Duties.
People may only own 1 pair of glasses.
People must always carry remiders with them.
A male and female may not touch each other.
Marriage has been abolished.

What sort of world is this?

And what of the Lines?

The Lines know what they are doing. The Lines are the Enemy and if only the people Above would look into the history of the Lines more carefully, they will know that the very people they have been fighting all their lives are now the people they welcome with open arms.

Time cannot be stopped. And now only the 'tunnel rats' are the ones with real functioning brains. This is why we must emerge from our banishment and whether danger or safety, fight for our dying families that never loved us. If the Lines complete their mission, they will flush the tunnels. All that we are, all we have left will be lost and forgotten and the Enemy will have won.

Time cannot be stopped.
And children only grow wiser with time.

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