Twenty-Third Century England

This story is told in british accent. Please comment and tell me what you think.


Chapter 1

Chapter 1

by: oreoz
I rose from my bed. I leaped from my bunk to Tripe’s. He woke from his peaceful slumber immediately. He said, waving his knife, “Who dares come near me?” I said, “It’s nearly 3:00. We will be late for training. And it’s all because you didn't set the alarm.” We both looked around. Everyone else was still asleep. Fredrickson said, spinning his knife, “Aye, it must be Saturday. Gee, saying yesterday was Friday and tomorrow’s Sunday, I guess that’s what today is. Now get back to bed, you Hootsenbaker.” Fredrickson was always a little violent. He loved the sound of his opponent’s cries for mercy in training. And quite frankly, here in the army it was allowed to kill during the extreme training. I know I’m British so I don’t really enjoy killing. But Harold Fredrickson, on the other hand, loved to kill. I guess it’s in his Irish genes. As drunk as I knew we were, I still wanted to train. I said, “Well my friend I guess I’m gonna go train since I’m awake.” Harold said, “Aye, I wouldn’t miss sleep for the world. But you are usually right, so carry on.” And I did. I trekked out. It was out into the courtyard. Prince Trenton’s guards would be watching. Cameras would be at every angle. They watch your every move. They analyze your breath. For example a person with a fast heart rate would be stopped and questioned. This really is the lazy generation. I want to escape with my brother Richard and his freedom fighter friends. I want to move back to America with them. The hover crafts zoomed overhead. I picked up a bow and an arrow. I readied myself in my stance. I had tried a few months earlier shooting at a guard but I missed. My mistake was that I missed. I was going to shoot him whether the judgment was life or death. Of course, it’s not my choice. I didn't want to shoot at the same guard so quickly. I knew that many others would shoot back at me. He was also my favorite amongst the good timekeepers in Harrisburg. So I wouldn't try to kill him, but I know he would not easily let me go without returning fire. But thinking back about our generation, why must we have no modern masonry? We have bows and arrows. We barely got a shipment of crossbows. No guns were ever needed, but an addition to the army can’t hurt. I exhaled and let go of the arrow. It went straight to the bull’s eye. It was expected, and only a fool would put their money against me. I yawned and walked over to the pull up bars. I did several and then saw Garrett poking around with Sandra. I stopped and I watched as they kissed. I was so furious that I took my arrow and threw it at him. I pelted him in the back with the side that was safe. He exclaimed, “Ouch!!! What in blazes name?” He saw me frowning down in the courtyard. I said, “Relax lover boy, it could’ve been a knife. And it could’ve been the blade.” Garrett and I have always been great friends until up about a year ago. He started hanging out with my girlfriend, Sandra. He threw the arrow back at me. I caught it and I saw my hand bled then I said, “C’mon, now Gary, this is my shooting hand.” I ran to my timekeeper friend, Mathias, and waved for a bandage. I didn’t care because it didn’t really hurt. I wrapped my hand. Mathias gave me a hard pat on the back. He was an Irish kid himself but moved and was American, perhaps one of my only American friends. I’d take that because America has been second nature to me. I don’t even understand why we can’t see pictures of this wondrous place. Then I think of the rebellion against the monarchy. Although it was more beneficial, Dawson was like a prison school. I haven’t seen my father in years. But my mother died when I was young. It was traumatizing. I had nightmares of my father killing her, so I really think it was best to come to Dawson and get away from him. But if I ever could avenge my mother, I wouldn’t. Her vengeance would come from having mercy on my father. And maybe that’s why I hate taking the life of another, innocent or guilty. I had zoned out before I even noticed Mathias was talking to me. I said, “What?” he said again, “Nice shot son. I really think you could win the competition this year.” “Do you mean cards against a bunch of drunks or strength against ruthless teens?” “Aye, there’s the kid I know.” “I guess either way I would win.” Mathias stopped laughing. I said, “What is it?” “I wasn’t supposed tell ya, but you’re going against Fredrickson one day. So I suggest you keep…uh…training alright?” I looked back over at my best friend holding his knife next to him in his sleep. I pictured him throwing it into my chest with no mercy, with no remorse, with no reason. I always knew not to push him too far because he would easily try to kill me. But I don’t believe he would ever really want to hurt me. He knows what I’ve been through. I wouldn’t mean to kill someone, but he would. I mean if someone was struggling and in pain, I would kill them for their sake.

I stared at the dummy poster in the back of the room. I threw the knife straight in its chest for a score of 100 points. I flung knives at it for hours and I never missed a shot. It was usually an artery or an organ that I hit. I went back into the courtyard.

This time I picked up six arrows and a bow. I aimed for the head, chest, legs and arms of the practice board. I didn’t miss. I apparently was being watched and someone thought I was being excessively violent. I threw everything at the dummy and never missed. I was angry, but I don’t know why. Kris, my only girl friend besides Sandra, came over to me and said, “I see you’ve got some strength in you.” I swung the knife backwards before I could even process her voice. She let out a small scream, and then she cried. It was just a few tears even though the cut seemed a little deep. I said, “I am so sorry Kris.” “It’s okay. I don’t think the timekeepers do though.” I looked behind me as the two guards came towards me. I didn’t say anything. I dropped my knife and put my head down. I put out my hands for them to cuff me, but they didn’t. Instead, they grabbed my shoulders and threw me to the ground. The tall one, named Darius said, “Get up and give me your knife.” I looked around. Mathias and Gale were nowhere near. I thought back to what Mathias said ‘If I’m not here, never give your weapon to anyone. It and your instincts will be all you have left. I remember. The sky was filled with thick smoke. It was during the war of England and America. It had been called the 23rd Century Jilt. It didn’t say fight or battle or anything. It just was called the 23rd Century Jilt. I was only 5 but I could have a weapon. It was every boy’s early childhood gift in England. Of course, I didn’t know what America was doing. But the whole time my family… well it was Mathias, Gale, Troy, Tripe, Fredrickson and I all together in a small underground basement. The house it was under had been blown to bits. But anyways, we all rooted for the US. I felt so happy when the USA was crowned the victor. I wasn’t listening to the timekeeper. Darius said, “Give me your knife!” I was scared because I knew this was the end. I couldn’t yell for Fredrickson in time. He was too far away. The other timekeeper had tears falling from his face. I looked in his eyes. It was my own brother, Troy. He betrayed me. He betrayed my father. He betrayed Mathias. I was afraid I didn’t get to say my final goodbyes to Mathias. Now I would never get to see who wins this war they’ve started at this moment. My brother took Kris by the hand. He pulled the money from her pockets and forced her to the ground. I yelled in frustration, “Stop it, let her go. It’s me you want.” Kris struggled then finally Troy picked up my knife. He raised the blade in the air. He was ready to stab her. I told her to close her eyes and count to ten. She did. I closed my eyes and I didn’t watch for I knew it would be horrifying. I heard a scream and opened them. Darius was on the ground dead. Kris was so terrified she just looked at Troy. I had never known him to kill someone he was close to. He never killed anyone. Not anyone he loved, knew, hated, or didn’t know. I was awestruck. He cut my bicep a little and said, “Man up, will you? You never give up on a lady in the midst of trouble.” I got up and rammed my head into his stomach. I said, “Give me my knife you lunatic. Cut me loose. And where’s Mathias and Gale?” “They are all in their rooms.” I was so relieved. I said, “Well that sure was one bloody…” I turned around and I saw Kris. She had a knife sticking out of her chest. I said, “You watched him stab her?!” She said in her heavy breath, “You need to run. You need to run and leave. You need to get out of here. Go get everyone. Don’t leave anyone behind. Do you understand?” “I understand don’t leave anyone behind and that includes you.” “No the Eliminators and Timekeepers are coming. You need to go. Promise me you will leave.” “I’m not leaving you.” “Hey, hey, look at me, look at me. You know how tough I am. Plus I’m wearing a suit that protects from stab wounds. It can’t get through. It did but it only cut me a little. I’ll be fine. But you have to go. It’s up to you.” She kissed me and I kissed her. I said to Troy, “Get her some…” He said, “I have military training. If I wanted to I could kill her with just one finger. But I care about you guys. I’ll take care of her. You go get everyone. Get on the hovercraft. Don’t miss it. It’s the last one coming today.” “What about you?” “I have one stored in the basement. Go!” I ran as fast as I could. Mathias looked at Kris and said, “You lied. You know the vest was still being tested. Uh, uh alright. I…I can’t…I can’t take out the knife without you bleeding to death, so this will be easy but uncomfortable.” Kris said, “Just do it.” “I’m trying to keep you alive Kris.” “I don’t care. I’m better off dead.” “What do you mean?” “My father, the king, is dead. The Timekeepers and Eliminators already got him. I know he didn’t give up without a fight to protect me. But I can’t be seen with you guys. They’ll kill you then me. But they’ll make me watch so they enjoy it more. You have to push the knife in further.” “No my brother will never forgive me or you. I can’t do it.” “Yes you can. You did it to Darius and you can do it to me.” “I’m not that much of a ruthless killer.” “So you’re a big softy.” “No I’m not! I…I just don’t want to hurt you in general.” “Fine we’ll get an alternative then. Are there any other ideas?” “I could swab the knife with cotton and fill the wound but that’s really hard.” “Is there anything else?” “I could inject you with 20 cc of…” “Inject me with what?” “I could give you two shots of adrenaline.” “What could you inject me with?” “Better yet how about two shots of espresso?” “Stop it! What is the injection?” “It’s 20 cc of plutonium. It’s the easiest, inexpensive and fastest way before we get you medical attention.” “Where are we going to get plutonium?” “That’s exactly the point. You need 15 cc of plutonium and 5 cc of anti-venom.” “How would that work?” “It works faster than white blood cells and platelets.” “What about 20 cc of plutonium, 10 cc of espresso and 10 cc of adrenaline?” “It’s so much energy though. I have an espresso and syringe in my backpack.” “Just do it!” “Okay you’re going to have to stand up. I will have to hit you with an arrow for at least 9 cc of adrenaline. I have to take a syringe and inject it into your arm. Then I have to get at least 5 seconds of pure radiation over your wound.” “I understood none of it, so just swab the cut.” Troy pulled out two cotton balls. He took off the vest. He put the cotton on both sides of the knife and pulled it through. He poured water and espresso over the wound. Kris sighed in relief. Troy said, “And 10 cc of adrenaline for good measure.” “Wait, what?!”

Meanwhile, I snuck out of the building with my friends.

Fredrickson said, “Aye laddie, we got to get outta here.” I said, “Shut up Fredrickson. I can barely think straight as it is.” I forgot completely about having to face my fears and fight him one day. He took a sword and pointed to my back. He said, “What was that laddie? I think I didn’t hear you correctly. And I hope I didn’t. What did you say?” He poked a nice sized hole into my shirt, then a similar one into my back a little way. I said, “I said shut up. There’s guards around the corner.” He got really mad and put me in a head lock. He dropped the sword and pulled out a knife. Garret pulled it out of his hand and pointed it at Fredrickson. Fredrickson said, “Garret Holland, I promise you if you stab me I will make someone bleed. So put the knife down.” I knew he meant he would snap my neck. Sandra stood there saying, “You guys are phonies, you’re still drunk and you’re very violent.” I said, “I’ve been cut enough today. My best friend is fighting for her life. My father killed my mother and I’m haunted by nightmares, and now I have to deal with a few violent drunk teenagers who are my friends. Don’t worry about it Sandra, this is a pretty normal day for me.” We all thought about what was going through my head. I said after several seconds, “I know what you guys are thinking but now what’s going through my head is I need more air.” Fredrickson didn’t want to let go but he did. He knows what I’ve been through even though he hasn’t been through it. He put me in a tighter head lock once I started gasping for air. He let go almost immediately and I started to cough. He said, “Get up.” I struggled to even move and said, “I can’t. It hurts too much.” Mathias bent down and looked at me closely. He said, “You’ll be fine but if he does it again he’ll break your collar bone for sure.” I stared at the sky. It was still crowded with hovercrafts that only a militia unit could possess. I breathed heavily thinking about Kris. I thought ‘If I do this the promise I made to Kris will be kept and I’ll be forgiven by her. I won’t forgive myself either way, life or death. So find the strength to get up somehow.” I did. I slowly stood up because I would stay there paralyzed if I didn’t.

I ran as fast as I could past the guards. I took out the key and started the hovercraft. It was my first time in a while going outside since our last retreat program. I waited until everyone was safely on board and in their seats. I turned up the elevation frequency and the speed. We were off into the air. It would be easier to travel on foot but it would take longer. And traveling up higher in the atmosphere was risky, a little too risky. So I dropped the frequency to a small and steady hover above the ground. There’s a lot more gravity but it works. “How long is this going to take,” yelled Tripe? I yelled back over the roar of vehicles overhead, “At least an hour given the distance!” “Are you sure there’s no faster way?” “I’m positive. There’s too much traffic overhead and the gravitational pull and impact of atmospheric air on the craft would be…” “Yeah I get it. It’s too slow and heavy. Carry on, I mean as you were.” “Don’t talk like that. I don’t know where we’re going…” “I do, we’re going away!” “Would you be serious? I mean we could die here!” To Be Continued at some later date!


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