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The Future's Hold
“Well, 1 month to go.” John said, crossing a day off of his desk calendar. He touched it again and a mirror appeared as the calendar faded into nothing. “What do you think it will be like? Being in the never-ending war?” Matt said nervously. “Well, I’m kind of excited.” Matt answered himself. “I don’t know. No one has ever come back to tell us what it’s like. I’m actually kind of scared.” John said.
When you turn 17, you are handed a weapon and sent off to the never-ending war with the world. When the girls turn 17, some get to be nurses in the war. No one has ever returned, but with the women nurses, there is no way men can die in the line of fire. The boys snuck out that night and went out to there secret hideaway deep in the woods.
“Don’t you ever wonder why you get knocked out before you get sent away?” John asked. “Not really. I’m guessing it’s just to make sure you don’t fight it when you get thrown in the helicopter, you know, for the ones scared of heights.” Matt said, quite sure of himself. “But why would anyone try to fight it? We’ve trained for it all of our lives.” John argued. “Just don’t give it too much thought, you might make yourself not want to go.” Matt said jokingly. “Well maybe I don’t. Who knows what they do to you there.” John replied hastily. “But we do know what they do to us. They take us away and we fight for the rest of our lives. Who doesn’t want that?” Matt said.
“What if they do something to you? Change your mind, put in something that shouldn‘t be there?” John said. “Matt, there could be a reason they knock you out. They might hurt you, change you. I’m not sure I want to go anymore.” John whispered softly. “John, I can’t believe you! We’re both turning 17 on the same day! We were going to go together. Why don’t you want that anymore?” Matt screamed. “Be quiet! The walls will tell on us! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in virtual prison. I’ve heard it’s horrible.” John whispered. “Well maybe I want you to go. We’ve promised each other since the day we turned 5 that we were going to be together forever.” Matt whispered. “Why would you break a promise for rebellion? That is just asking for a one-way trip to prison for the rest of your life, all 350 years of it.” Matt said angrily. “Matt, please try to understand-,” John said. “John, you listen! There is no way I’m letting you do this. You’re coming with me or I’m reporting you to the authorities.” Matt started to climb out the nearby window. “I’ll give you the night to think about it, I’m coming back in the morning, before we get our army uniforms together. And, you should know, from an insider, the night you turn 17 they clamp you to the bed because some people, like you, get jitters and try to run. You better be ready in the morning. I’ll be here at 900 hours.” Matt said, before jumping into the darkness.
Three hours later, John left a note to lead Matt off his trail in the morning, “Matt, went out for a morning stroll, might go to my friends house. See you tomorrow, buddy. You’re right, I would never leave you.” He climbed out his bedroom window and headed for his porter. He set it to take him to Humgle, the best place to buy tools and any supplies for escaping. When John first arrived, he bought 7 weeks of packaged food and a backpack full of supplies. He grabbed a water canteen and a water purifier. John stopped to grab a shovel, “Never know when you might need one of these.” He joked to the shopkeeper. He set off putting his porter in his back pocket. John decided to keep a journal of his day to day escape. He stopped to take a dip in the cold stream. He thought about the life he was leaving behind, his best friend, his planned life, the promises he had made. If he went back now, his packaging would show he tried to escape. He had to keep going. Sitting in this stream was so nice. He climbed out and hiked up the mountain to find a place to stay for the night.
I kinda regret my decision to leave, but I’ve come this far and I can’t go back now. I found a nice place to reside in for the night, a place well hidden but I can see for miles around. It’s warm tonight, and I caught 3 fish for dinner and started a fire to keep me warm. Going to bed for the night.
“Well, today’s the first day of the rest of my life.” John said as he was waking up. He sucked everything back into his bag and grabbed a food packet and shook it. John poured it onto a plate and purified some water to have with it. He washed his plates in the river and kept going. Soon he stumbled upon what looked like an old hideout. He began to explore. “Whoever was here isn’t that long gone.” He muttered to himself, touching a pile of ashes. Huts were lined along a walkway leading to a large hut, the largest of the twenty. Inside, the walls were lined with radios, food packets, weapons, 3 purifiers, 17 airplane tickets and a fake army uniform. He stocked his bags with two flamethrowers, another water purifier, 13 food packets, 3 airplane tickets, and the uniform. He started searching the smaller huts, in 5 of them, were beds.
Today, I found a small abandoned village packed with traveling bags, and small beds. I heard a weird screaming in the distance, like someone calling my name… I was scared, but I guess it was just my imagination. I found a wardrobe with a change of clothes and some soap. I didn’t know you could stumble into a camp like this, I guess I’m just lucky.
John woke up early the next morning and washed himself out in the river nearby. Again he heard the soft scream out in the distance, with that soft hint of rage in it’s voice. A helicopter passed overhead, flying so low it brushed his hair back into a spike. Quickly grabbing his supplies, he ran into the trees covering his face. With the helicopter turning around, he knew he had to get moving before they caught him. Running as fast as his legs would carry him, he ran only about 10 feet before falling into a large hole, covered by sticks and leaves. Trapped, alone in a 15 foot hole.
The helicopter passed overhead without noticing him. Well there’s a good stroke of luck, he thought. He started looking around the hole, hopelessly searching for a way out, when all of a sudden, a wave of pain struck him. He started feeling drowsy and collapsed.
He woke up on a pile of colorful rocks. John started walking until he smacked himself into a wall and fell back. Hitting the wall again, realizing he was not getting out, he started dragging his hand alongside its outer edges. He was in a fish bowl, not filled with water, but with all the accommodations of one. This fish bowl was placed in what looked to be a young boys room, with no electronics, looking like a room you would see back in the 2000s. John didn’t know what to expect. Suddenly waking up…
He finally realized it had all been a bad dream. He awoke in a small, darkened room. John tried to move but only felt pain and decided to stay put. What seemed to be hours passed and no one came for him. He realized he wasn’t in the hole anymore, but in a facedown position on the ground. How long was I out? , he wondered. 3 men, two of them 19 and the other looked to be about 40, dressed in black came into the tiny room where John was. “Do you know where you are?”, one of the taller men asked. “No, I don’t. Who are you?”, John asked nervously. “All will be revealed at a later time. May I ask your name and how you managed to find us?”, the eldest man with the deepest voice asked. The younger men left the room while John spoke, “Well, my name is John and my story is two helicopters passed overhead, close enough to hit me, so I ran and fell into a hole and somehow passed out. Where am I?” “Well, you’re in Normandy, about 1000 miles away from where we captured you.” The man said. “And you captured me because…?” John asked, still on the floor. “Well, we found trackers on your clothes and thought you were a spy. But now I must ask, are you a spy?” John shifted uncomfortably, unsure if he should tell him if he was a runaway. He could work for the city. “What am I in? I mean, whenever I move it hurts.” John said, changing the subject. “Well, it’s basically a shock-wave manipulator. We can capture shockwaves and send them through your body if you try to move.” the man said. “Can you let me out? Who are you anyway?” John asked. “I’m sorry but I cannot let you go. I’m Piccard, but you can call me Pic. I help runaways escape from the city. Even if you are a spy, there is no way you’ll be able to tell anyone about me or this place.” he replied. “Why can’t you let me go?” John asked. “We don’t know if you’re telling the truth yet, so we can’t let you just leave until we do. I’m sorry, these aren’t my rules.” Pic said apologetically. “But I am telling the-… Wait, did you say your name was Piccard?” John asked. “Yes, why?”, the man said. “As in Piccard Johansen?” John asked with a questionable look on his face. “How do you know my name?’’ Pic asked. “My full name is John Johansen.” John said.
“Jonathan,” Piccard said in utter disbelief, before sinking to his knees, stood Jonathan off the ground, “You’ve grown.” John searched for the words but couldn’t speak. Both stayed in complete silence for a few minutes, before Jonathan spoke, “I can’t believe you’re here, I thought you were in the never-ending war.” “I was, until I was rescued by my best friend, Kenneth.” Piccard said. “Rescued?” John asked, “Why would you want to be rescued?” John asked again.
TO BE CONTINUED...