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Life in the Iron Box. Part 4: The Forbidden Question Traps


Important: To be able to understand the course of the events of this story, we advise our readers to read the previous parts

Today, I received a message from the central laboratory informing me that my sperm sample has been rejected. I felt very bitter not only because I would be denied the expected 100,000 Units, but also because I had become infertile. So, I tried to inquire with the laboratory about the reasons for this rejection and whether there was any confusion or error.

– Of course not, Mr. RMT 2235. The samples we received are all dead.

– Any reason why?

– It may be due to many factors, but it is very normal for someone like you.

– Normal?!!

– Yes, it is normal. You are not the first Rat Man whose sperm sample is rejected.

– what?!!

– As you just heard Mr. RMT 2235

– Are you telling me that the experimental vaccines caused my infertility?

– It is very possible, because each vaccine has its own side effects, and you, of course, agreed to all these conditions before you became a Rat Man. Thank you for contacting us, Mr. RMT 2235, Bye.

Is it the beginning of the end, as my brother had described before his departure?

Fear began to creep into my depths – -a fear mixed with a strange uncertainty about what awaits me.

I suddenly felt that my dreams of getting out of the darkness of this big prison has become impossible.

When and how will I be able to join my brother and grandmother, Rikia?

Dozens of unanswered questions began to cripple my ability of thinking. Just how and when I began to surrender to a reality that I did not participate in creating.  And I no longer had the ability to control the course of my existence.

The image of grandmother, Rikia jumped to my mind, and I remembered her stories as she described to us part of her life 74 years ago. I remembered the sadness mixed with pleasure displayed on her face as she told of that far past:

“…Life was beautiful before the outbreak of that pandemic. I don’t remember the exact year, but I was 17 years old. We used to gather around the dinner table every evening and enjoy talking and eating delicious food. We often would sit in the garden of the house to have dinner and then go back to watch a movie… I still remember my father shouting, asking us to stop using our phones while we ate. The days were beautiful- -oh how beautiful.  And suddenly this tradition ended and communication between families was cut off when the government issued instructions about the necessity of social distancing… They told us shortly after that we should receive a vaccine against that pandemic, but my father rejected the idea and took us to a village near the southern border of the United States of America …”

Is she still alive?! If so, I am sure she is enjoying a long, beautiful life somewhere out there among the pure.

Outside of these boxes there is family, house, wife, and children – -many children who will protect me when I got old.

Now I can’t have children, I reminded myself, or maybe I can if I regained my freedom and went back to my nature as a human. My mind was shrouded with darkness, and I was thrown into an endless tunnel.

  • I am human. Yes, I am a human being, and I will not give up this identity…

I was yelling, crying, and wishing for an answer that I knew I will never get. Talking to myself just for the pleasure of talking without having to pay any Units.

  • But what kind of human being am I? Who would accept to turn himself, like me, into a subject to mysterious experiments?!

Mystery!?? Everything around me is a mystery.

The X900 Space Base where I work is a mystery; the system that forces me to return every evening to my Iron Box is a mystery; the vaccines I receive are mystery…Mystery…Mystery…Mystery. Even those dream places of mine that I long to return to are no less mysterious than the conditions under which I live here.

Here I live in the grip of this system and its laws, and outside these funds there is another law that does not tolerate weak people like me. Isn’t living here safe? I do not know …

No… No… I must stop thinking.  I must end this breakdown…My brain is about to explode. What’s going on??

Loudspeakers announcing it was 6 AM.  It’s time to leave the boxes.

But where do I go?

I have been out of work since I moved to my new box.  I have a lot of equipment in my custody, and I may be subjected to punishment if I do not return it…The system in this city is non forgiving in such matters.

I should call my manager and tell him that I want to meet him as soon as possible. I must do it otherwise they will destroy my record with the system.

I’m starting to get used to my new box and have spent many hours discovering all its features- -features that are very tempting but could quickly deplete my Units.

Living inside this box is no longer bearable, as I have become addicted to virtual travel. It is my only escape route where the world is within my reach whenever I want. This technology enables me to roam the streets of Paris, London, and Moscow in a few hours without the need to travel. It is all mental travel with superior technology, very expensive but fun; and it got me out of this big prison.

Today is my appointment to get the experimental vaccine. I am no longer afraid of these vaccines; I am almost certain that my body is accustomed to them to the point of addiction.

I activated the HLC (Hologram Live Chat) system with my health monitor to make sure of my appointment with the lab…

Here she is telling me in a calm voice:

  • You must be at the lab at 2 PM sharp Mr. RMT 2235
  • Sure, I will thank you

The laboratory was crowded with people of different age groups, sick and pale faces surrounding me. Most of them showed signs of deformity; some with drooping eyes; others who had lost their vision, ears or even noses. l heard some of them uttering strange sounds that were not related to the human voice…I asked one of the officers why these people were deformed.

– Mr. RMT 2235, you are in the wrong laboratory; this one is for BMC citizens only.

– What is BMC?

– How long have you been in the system?

– 12 years, why?!!

– Because you should know by now what BMC means

– Can you please tell me; I must have forgotten.

 – BMC are Blank Memory Citizens, or Class A Citizens; Those who have volunteered to detach from their memories and everything that is stored in their brains; Those who have given us permission to make copies of themselves.

– I do not understand. What does that mean?

– It means that they are subject to a process of scanning all their memories for the benefit of the system, which transmits them to similar copies. Quite simply, everyone here is just an original of his robotic copied version; equipped with super abilities.

– All this is in exchange of what? Are they dead?

– Almost… I mean not really, but at least they are now in an eternal rest.

– Which means?

– They don’t think, they don’t fear, they don’t feel anything at all, and the system takes care of all their needs for free, plus their Electronic Wallets are endless… Do you understand now?

– Yes…Understood… where is the experimental vaccine room?

– Right in front of you

– Thanks.

I headed toward the vaccination room, and I could hardly feel my feet on the ground. Her words echoed in my head…”They are now in eternal rest…They are now in eternal rest…They are now in eternal rest.” Was she referring to a new form of death?!! Creatures that do not think, do not feel, and have no memory!! Do they really have any needs? How they keep them alive?!! What do they need their endless Electronic Wallets for?

Am I heading to that same path? I asked myself with no courage to think of an answer.

I sat in the chair and surrendered myself to a new vaccine experiment.

– Mr. RMT 2235, you are very lucky, because the vaccine we are testing on you today is very beneficial to the future of humanity.

– What kind of benefits?

– I can’t explain it more; all I can say is that if its efficacy is confirmed, it will have great benefits for the future of mankind.

– Like the future of those I met next door??

I asked her sarcastically while she was busy mixing three tubes of different solutions. She turned to me with a sullen face and then said in a sharp tone.

– Mr. RMT 2235, do you have any doubts about the services provided by the system?

– No, not doubts, but many unanswered questions.

– Questions like what?

– Many questions

– Like what?

– Are you able to answer all my questions?

– Maybe some of them, at least.

– Who is the system…? And what is the Blue Triangle?

She did not say a word. I noticed signs of confusion and fear behind the glass mask covering her face. She immediately went to the black glass wall and pressed some blue and green buttons, then came back to me as if she did not hear my question.

– Your arm, please Mr. RMT 2235

She injected my arm with the vaccine. She was working silently, as if I had said something forbidden.

One of the security robots approached me while I was sitting waiting for permission to leave the lab. He directed a flashing light signal towards me and asked me to turn around. I got up and complied with his orders without questioning them.  He left for a few seconds and then came back, pulling an electronic wheelchair and asked me to sit. So, I sat. The robot tied me with a metal belt and took me through a long corridor.

– Where are we going?

I did not hear any answer from him; so, I turned to him to check his ID number.

– Mr. MX 1130, where are you taking me?

– No answer available. No answer available.

I immediately understood he doesn’t know yet he is programmed to take me somewhere.

To be continued

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