Smothered by solitude, suffocating on stillness in the surrounding silence, his disquieted mind drifted back to the bygone era that was the dawn of the last millennium. He’d only been a boy then, and could hardly remember what life had been like. Not quite four decades had passed since the turn of the century, and how quickly it had all changed, but he struggled to hold on to any glimpse of the home and family he’d once known.
He was still a little fuzzy on the all details, but through years of duplicity and diligence, intercepting suppressed disseminations of stifled truths and forgotten facts from caliginous conduits in tenebrous venues, he’d been able to ascertain that back then, all people born within the space that had once been a country were considered citizens, and were naturally granted rights by birth, not by assignment of designation. Before the Unified Moral Order, nationals were permitted to marry and procreate by choice, to partners of their own selection, so the company in which one was raised was determined by cooperation of contributing parties to his inception, not by the outcome of his Aptitude Capacity Exam.
As a youth, he was a little older than most in the camp, and there’d been many among his number who’d not known of another time, but he could actually remember having a mother and a father. His father was in the first wave to be interned by the Proletariat Protectorate after the Intelligentsia instituted the Fugitive Debtor Act. The kids he’d been celled with, though, could hardly fathom a world that didn’t instate separate but equal habitats for those imputed by commission of assessment with the wearing of the blue collar. Children waited with eager anticipation the day they could prove through Discernment Skills Analysis results their right to don a different color and change their status to another, thereby adjusting to a more abundantly rewarded sector. Most believed without dread of the Conservation Lottery that this was truly a possibility, neverminding statistical evidence to the contrary.
Despite his obvious prodigious intellect, though, he’d always suspected that his passage had more to do with his cognizance of origin… perhaps it was just deemed simpler that he not be left to remain with the ignorant masses, to avoid any potential that he might stir the pot. He marveled that his own personal identity code had never been drawn in the lottery, but assumed the potential of his youth had given him more inherent value, and preferred not to dwell on it.
He’d known enough to play the part well, and not give anyone cause to doubt the bestowment of their favor. Learned all his roles to perfection, and toed the line with patience, deference and wit, charming his position into the ranks of the privileged, earning a recurring allotment of coveted privacy in the process. Upon the first moment of his newfound independence, he’d set out with precision and stealth to absorb anything he could find on the Acroamatic past of legend.
Chasing down rumors and shadows, he’d been searching for more than to prove the existence of The Recondite, he’d hoped to gain an underground audience with them, perhaps even to be considered for clandestine indoctrination. But, when corrupt intel caused a misstep in his furtive quest, and he was nearly caught up in a random sweep of insurgents, he’d been found instead by the Tacitourniquet.
They were everything he’d dreamed of. More than whispers and philosophy, they inspired and incited action. More than a disgruntled commonbase, they were represented by members of every sector, from escaped lottery workstock to the Academic Elite, and even Orphic Pedigrees. They spoke to him in secret of principles lost from the time of his father, his father’s fathers, and before. They told discredited histories of an ignorant, apathetic global population which placed elected leaders into positions of power, but then did not monitor the resolutions of the dominating authority, and lost control of its freedoms at the hands of tyrants and usurpers. They explained how a delegation of citizen appointed representatives had gradually and quietly transformed themselves from an installation of public service to an iron fisted aristocracy without so much as a murmur of dissent from the people.
And, most importantly, they’d given him The List...
...of those who still remained.
It was his charge to track down every coprolite, every fossilized particle of ordure from the prehistoric era that was the old world no one could be permitted to speak of. Every antiquated relic who’d stolen freedom and liberty, while basking in leisure, he would bring to justice. It was his crusade to pave the way to a change for the future.
He shuddered in the chill of the moisture on his cheek, and drew in his breath.
Enough reflection. Focus.
A few moments more, and then, a slight bristling of the hair on his skin with the subtlest shift in the wind as the hushed flutter of her conveyance alighted onto the port below. She stepped out into the apparent isolation of her reclusive villa. She had been hard to find. Difficult, but not impossible. He leveled himself against the abutment, adjusted his clutch, and aligned his sight as she moved toward the ingress of her acropolis. For everyone without a voice, he thought, as he released the tumbler, and the arbalest spoke.
11 down. 236 to go.
LJ Idol | Season 8 • Week 3 - Topic: COPROLITE
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