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Dystopian Piece

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Summer
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This is a fairly old piece, but I'm going to have to extend the same message as with my newer ones:

I am not looking for advice on my writing style. It's mine, thank you.

At this juncture, the firmament had shifted into brilliant shades of red and orange that shattered off the copper penny sinking aloft as the framework adumbrations of the housing structures extended their reach. They sat on the second floor of a condemned building, feet hanging over the ledge; perched upon rotten boards that hung in the absence of what was once a beautiful tower.

The familiar pale of architecture was whitewashed over the passage of time. In the semblance of dying trees, their bodies remained, but all proposal of life had faded on. And yet, the pair of children seated there were untouched by this terrible misfortune. Like flowers blossoming among a generation of weeds, there was not a drop of shame to be seen in Alexander's expression as he spoke.

Nothing else seemed significant. There was no longer an earth beneath them or a sky beyond. The populace was nonexistent; the future, untainted. "They chose to believe in something, to disregard logic in favor of emotion. We chose to believe in something else, and as long as our actions remain consistent to that premise, we are what we are. Such is the essence of all people.”

The way he stared with those cold, blue eyes, his visage closed but still devouring each word, only pushed her deeper into the confession. Tears fell readily and stained her face, but even when the flow ceased and her expression hardened, she went on talking. It had been overwhelming at first, but now the words maintained a systematic beat.

Amber knew that she must speak. If all else went to hell, it mattered only that he knew as well. “For so long,” she gasped, “I tried to ignore it. To convince myself that none of this was as serious as I felt it to be. I wanted to believe it would end on its own if I stood back and looked away. But Alex, it’s not right. I’ve been so empty since the revolution. They took everything from me – from all of us.”

She had not realized that she was trembling until she noticed the quiver in her clenched fist. “My sister…” She murmured, when the silence broke. “She understood from the start, but when it came time for action, her fear of consequence surpassed all else. She said it was too late for us”.

Amber watched in stringent hush through dark lashes as the sun leisurely rose within the lavender-kissed sky. The glaring red of its sphere and waves of majestic color seemed incongruent against the inanimate, gray rooftops towering above her bowed head. Below, city streets were bursting with the assiduous movement of workers progressing in blind compliance; their march was unbroken by hesitation or thought as they pushed forward, abiding to the whim of some unseen transmission, like soldiers to the call of distant war drums. While the weather held a promising clarity expressed through its cloudless view, the study of aesthetics was a lost merit when presented to those incapable of appreciation.

The year was 2049: an era of service. Nearly a decade has passed since the Sidonia Procedure was established as a mandatory operation. Since then, all forms of crime had been completely eradicated. There was no money any longer; instead, the Head of State distributed rations equally, and according to the Needs of the People.

Although she was considered too young to have her emotions medically obstructed, Amber had struggled in vain to imitate the apathetic quality worn by older ones. Her teachers accused her of being too intelligent, and regarded this thirst for knowledge as a negative attribute, for it led her to articulate a question to which no answer was possible. The question of 'why.'

Matters were less painful to address if one simply accepted each moment upon its occurrence, as opposed to making empty plans and acknowledging the unspoken. Attempting to understand only brought forth anger and sadness, because there was nothing to be done with the realizations attained through her analysis. No hope for change. Amber Ford had not trusted herself to think, but it was becoming more and more difficult to hide what she saw.

The procedure was initially developed by a young scientist by the name of Adam Sidonia. Its intention was to eliminate man's conception of greed by destroying his ability to form opinions or desire. This would end the interference of selfishness within the community, he explained, in order to innovate a successful utopia.

Instantaneously, the media conceded; however, statistic reports began the awareness of negative side effects. Having asphyxiated identity in their patients, the subjects would often work for days without food or sleep, divorced of the body and its needs. It was decided then that those in positions of significant authority would abstain from undertaking the operation, lest it in impair leadership. The remaining free-minded formed the Head of State, and were permitted to provide families with instructions on when to eat. From therein, bedtimes were assigned, along with strictly abided timetables.

Those who were not yet convinced maintained skepticism regarding such regulations, but a preacher by the appellation of Jonathan Adriel stepped forward, wielding a powerful message to doubtful disbelievers. "The Lord said to love thy neighbor as you would yourself!"

It was midday on a Sunday in 2038, and the church was packed to its full capacity. Tightly woven women clutched young infants to their chests as men with puffing cigarettes crammed into the mass, wide-eyed and curious."You who doubt are blinded by arrogance and self-importance, too foolish to seek the salvation God sacrificed His very son to enable.

"It is your moral duty to capitulate the evil of our covetous way. In the event that you refuse, only damnation will follow. Sacrilege is the worst sin imaginable, as it separates us from the love and passion of God, putting our very immortality at risk. Without the Father, we are nothing. The Bible teaches us that all must submit to authority. Consequently, if you rebel, you are standing against God.

"Selfishness is not the way forward. In a world ruled by economic depression and dog-eat-dog capitalism, we lose sight of the path. This operation will give us the opportunity to finally achieve a warless brotherhood and fulfill God's plan."

His message aggregated to a commonplace. It was written on billboards and spread from door to door - from mother to child.

On July fifth, 2040, the will of a democratic poll insisted that the righteousness be imposed by force. When the brain completed its development at the age of twenty-five, the Sidonia Procedure became requisite. The moment this information was publicized, a group of would-be convalescents refused to go under the knife. They made public protests, demanding representation. Then, without warning, the cluster vanished. There was never a mention of rebellion in the papers. It was as if nothing had happened. Amber knew the truth, of course, but she evaded her knowledge as one would avoid the plague.

In result to Adam's surgery, civilians lacked the willpower to break or evade laws. In fact, they possessed no desire whatsoever. A terrifying stillness had settled upon the people. A deathly saturninity which seemed to suggest that at any given moment, they would all combust from the chaotic desperation building inside. Being only nineteen, Amber still bore signs of an individual consciousness. Her mind was untamed and wild. Six more years, she had thought; I have plenty of time.

Nonetheless, it was the image of her sister's face which troubled her so. Her sister, who had only a month until her scheduled treatment. A week. A day. Amber recalled those late nights when Rachel had crept into her bed and whispered for fear that their parents may hear. She spoke of the archaic lifestyle pre-Sidonia and pleaded for some flicker of intellect within her.

‎"Amber," She begged, "this is immoral. I wish you'd admit it."

"What good would that do?"

"We used to be so full of life and now -"

"Let's not worry. I'll think about it tomorrow."

A tomorrow forced back for years. A tomorrow she believed would not come, if they only turned the other way and refused to appraise it.

"Why are you so afraid of passing judgment?" Rachel's words cut like a whip, and Amber could only respond in equal bitterness.

"Why do you insist on hurting us both?"

Time had run out.

Her bus crawled up the road like a massive animal. There was an unflattering screech as it approached its designated stopping point, and the doors swung open, revealing an ultimatum. There could be no alternative but to enter. She gathered her belongings and climbed down the creaking shafts of rotten wood with a newfound spark of visible indignation. She knew that he didn’t need her touch when they boarded the vehicle together, but she wished it all the same. Their brief contact was a small comfort in the face of what was to come.

As they chugged frontward, her vision fell upon the city; there was something eerie about the stillness its populace maintained even in motion. She noted with disgust how their shoulders hunched forward by way of ignominy as they dispensed into allotted buildings. She had lost her sister to this. She would not lose Alex. He was a sculpture given life, with a promise of success in each movement.

“Arrogant creature,” she whispered inaudibly to the very idea of his existence, “they possess an inexplicable desire to watch us fall.”

Spoilers:

Plotline is fairly obvious. Alex had formed a formal resistance movement before Amber came around among those who are too young for the surgery, and integrates her. At first, those in charge allow them to gather as a means to make them feel guilty, thus pushing them further into HoS control, but when it becomes apparent that they're proud of the congregations, the HoS tries to squash the progression. Alex mistakenly calls the attention of a committee member (Head of State representative), who sees him during an assembly for what he is (does not conform, as with the other students). This leads to conflict as the HoS begins keeping tabs on him.

The individuals who went missing were not killed. They formed a separate resistance, and contact Alex to combine efforts.

Twist at the end helps them to realize that you can't save the unwilling. After the HoS is overthrown and they start a fresh, pure society, those who were cast out go onto make the same mistakes again.

More elaboration through flashbacks reveals how Alexander and Amber came to meet and discover each other, and depicts Rachel's (Amber's sister) inevitable surrender. (The name "Rachel" means "sheep.")

Edited by Summer
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Just rereading it. I started and dropped this over a year ago, and I can see glaring flaws at present:

The year was 2049: an era of service. Nearly a decade had passed since the Sidonia Procedure was established as a mandatory operation. Since then, all forms of crime were completely eradicated. There was no money any longer; instead, the Head of State distributed rations equally, and according to the Needs of the People.

Although she was considered too young to have her emotions medically obstructed, Amber struggled in vain to imitate the apathetic quality worn by older ones. Her teachers accused her of being too intelligent, and regarded this thirst for knowledge as a negative attribute, for it led her to articulate a question to which no answer was possible. The question of 'why.'

Matters were less painful to address if one simply accepted each moment upon its occurrence, as opposed to making empty plans and acknowledging the unspoken. Attempting to understand only brought forth anger and sadness, because there was nothing to be done with the realizations attained through her analysis. No hope for change. For so long, Amber Ford did not trust herself to think, but it was becoming more and more difficult to hide what she saw.

....

Amber knew the truth, of course, but she evaded her knowledge as one would avoid the plague.

In result to Adam's surgery, civilians lacked the willpower to break or evade laws.

[Ridiculous redundancy error.]

Amber knew the truth, of course, but she evaded her knowledge as one would avoid the plague.

In result to Adam's surgery, civilians lacked the willpower to break or challenge laws.

...

Her sister, who had only a month until her scheduled treatment.

["Whom"?]

In any case, it's obviously not perfect, but keep in mind that this is, as I mentioned, fairly old. Meaning that I was, as a corollary, fairly young.

Edited by Summer
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