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The Designed Ones

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Today is the day. The one we have been anxiously waiting for, the one we have been trained for since we were old enough to talk, the one that we will be fighting for our lives and the lives of the rest of “our kind,” the one that will decide the fate of our world. I can’t remember the day that I was a normal kid, one where I sat on my dad’s lap by the fireplace while he read me fairy tales and my mom sang lullabies to my older brother and me as we went to sleep. These days will never come back.
It was forty years ago, the day that all this started. Scientists made a breakthrough in curing genetic diseases. They were successfully able to save a baby girl from receiving the defective BRAC1 gene, which causes cancer. They were supposed to use the new technology to help save lives, they would have the ability to cure or prevent previously incurable diseases, it would spare the child great suffering and provide the chance to lead a normal life, but suddenly that wasn’t enough. The scientists realized that with the same technology they were able to give parents the option to choose, for example, to give their unborn child blond hair rather than brown, blue eyes rather than green. They could opt to introduce or modify genes that would make the child taller and more muscular than the genes the child inherited naturally. The parents could also be tempted to alter genes to make the child more intelligent and more aggressive, and hence more likely to succeed in life. Suddenly every wealthy person across the nation was racing to have babies, racing to create new life, racing to build the perfect babies. But only they were able to afford the new technology. The less fortunate, my parent's families, and most of my town, were left behind and had “normal babies.” The babies who were never as smart as, never as beautiful as, would never have the same jobs as, and were never going to be able to measure up to the designer babies. Suddenly a giant city was built and only the “designer babies” were allowed to live there, they shut themselves out from the rest of the world who would never be as good as them. They nominated themselves for official positions and suddenly operated the government. They controlled the jobs, the money, and most importantly the lives of the “normal babies.” But after thirty years the “normal babies” had had enough. They were tired of having the jobs that no one wanted, never having enough money to support their family, always being segregated into a town that was not fit for human life, tired of being left behind because they were never good enough. They decided to rebel.
They began training the future generations, but education was no longer important; the only thing that mattered was the rebellion. My dad no longer read books to me about fairy tales and my mother no longer sang lullabies to my brother and me as we went to sleep. I was no longer allowed to play with dolls or my friends; only train with my fighting partner. You don’t choose the person who will ultimately save or die with you, they do. The picking process is based off of height, weight, and sex. They pick the opposite of all the characteristics that you possess so the pair will ultimately acquire all attributes of an unstoppable force. My partner’s name is Sam; he is sixteen, 6’2 and weighs 134 pounds. I am 5’4, 82 pounds, female, and also sixteen. Everyday Sam and I head off to the warrior training center to develop our fighting skills. My expertise is archery and Sam’s is the assault rifle. I have been put through so many agonizing simulations, shot so many targets, and spent so much time at the training center, that the only friend I have is Sam.
On my second birthday I had said my first word. This should have been a memorable moment, one that everyone should have cherished and treasured, but this was the day my world shattered, the day that my parents were taken away from me so I could been completely focused on training. Two years prior my brother had been taken away from us when he had learned to talk and taken to a different training center to “protect” me so I wouldn’t become dependent on anyone but Sam. I never went to school, learned to read, count, or proper grammar. No one gives me a hard time because we are all stuck in the same situation. But today is a different kind of day, no more training or simulations, today is the real thing.
The wind whips through my hair and slaps me in the face as we speed through the pitch black sky at record breaking speeds in our newly, developed, stolen helicopters. Two weeks ago a special mission’s team went out and stole forty five brand new helicopters from the city for tonight’s rebellion. My hands shake uncontrollably and perspiration is dripping into my eyes and I can feel it building at the nape of my neck. I have about thirty pounds of gear on; a helmet, bulletproof vest and pants, four layers of clothing on, and steel toed boots. In my shaking hands I hold death. It is a sleek, thin, silver bow. I have never missed, nor will I ever miss. I also have a small 45 revolver in the holster at my leg and an army hunting knife at my ankle. Sam has all the same weapons minus my bow; instead Sam has an assault rifle. He has never missed either. Sam and I are the most experienced and best trained warriors out of all the age groups. We are in charge of six other partner groups and have the mission of taking out the government building, along with all the government officials inside. Tonight may be their forty year government celebration, but it will also be their last.
The eerie silence that sweeps throughout the city is even more frightening than the distant gunfire. As we approach the giant, white marble mansion surrounded by huge black gates that would impale us if we tried to climb over, suddenly all of my hopes and dreams evaporate. But something is wrong, the house is not surrounded by the countless guards that were reported last week and the distant gunfire has seized. Then I hear it, the sound that no one wants to hear, the sound of death. I look to my left and I see half of my team lying in the newly polished street, drowning in a giant puddle of their own blood with gaping holes in the middle of their foreheads, glassy eyes looking back at me. Suddenly the buildings next to me are exploding into giant fire balls that consume everything they touch. It all happens in the span of ten seconds, but my hands are frozen at my side and I can no longer move my body. I hear Sam screaming at me to run; he is desperately pulling at my arm trying to make me leave. Bullets whiz past my head as Sam roughly throws me into his arms the way my father used to carry me, but this time death is on our heels.
When we make our way to the town square, where all of the fighting is occurring, I almost pass out. On the ground is the same sight I just encountered, but this time many more people lay there with glassy eyes and holes in their foreheads. A wave of nausea sweeps throughout my body and I can no longer bear to look at this sight. But then suddenly I am falling, I know this is the end, but I don’t feel any pain, I only feel the weight of someone on top of me. And then the realization of what has happened comes to me, Sam was the one shot. His body is completely still and I know he is dead. I feel as if something inside of me has been ripped out and I can no longer breathe. But his body is covering me from the ongoing battle happening right above us, and for once in a long time I feel safe. After forty five agonizing minutes, the gunfire stops, the yelling and screaming seizes, and the battle has ended.
I peek my head out from behind Sam’s lifeless body and realize I am the only one left. I am alone. I can’t believe this. They haven’t found me; they couldn’t see my body because Sam’s completely covered mine. I roll Sam’s body off of mine and look around. I know they will come back with the dogs to see if there are any survivors, so I must act fast. I take one last look at Sam and then sprint away. I run away from everything I have ever been afraid of, I run away from all my dead friends, the people I grew up with, I run away from the absence of my parents, and most of all I run away from the “designed army.”
There is only one way out of the city and that is the hidden helicopter at the edge of the city. It was in case the impossible happened. It was not supposed to happen, we should have been in the mansion, drinking the champagne and dancing to the music that used to belong to the officials. But instead, everyone was dead. As I trudge up to the helicopter I suddenly feel the weight of the day come toppling down on top of me. I barely make it to the seat of the helicopter before I collapse and cry uncontrollably for everyone that is dead, even the people I never knew, I cry for my parents and brother, I cry for Sam, and I cry for a normal life. One where I went to school, had parents who made me dinner, and put me to bed at night. One where I could grow up and fall in love and have a family of my own, one where there wasn’t a superior race, one where everyone was normal.
I fly away from the @#!*% hole of a city, and head back to the place I used to call home. As I prepare to land, I really realize that I am the only one left. I am the only survivor. I run to the town and am greeted by more eerie silence as that in the city. I walk to my room and try to think of what went wrong. We had been trained since we could talk in every basic fighting skill. We used the same weapons as our enemy. We thought we could win, we knew we could, but what happened? And then it dawns on me, it wasn’t our fighting skills, or weapons. It was the people, well monsters we were fighting against. They weren’t people at all, but mutations of what humans actually are. They had never known real love and no longer had compassion or mercy. They were stronger, healthier, and longer-lived that us. There was no way to compete with machines. The scientists took the new technologies to their ultimate conclusion . . . they ended up redesigning humanity.



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