“It’s not a choice.”
“Please Stephen, you have to understand. This is how our people have lived for centuries.”
“This isn’t living! It’s… it’s existing.”
“You need to calm down.”
“Or what? You’re going to lobotomise me, like you did those assholes?”
Stephen felt bad as soon as he said the words. Emma looked down at her feet, the plain brown overalls covering her form and removing any semblance of a figure. It was the same uniform every man, woman and child here wore. Uniformity. If only it stopped at appearances.
“You need to understand.”
“You keep on saying that but what if I don’t want to.”
They were stood above one of the main chambers, throngs of people moving below. Perhaps people was too strong of a word. Animals. Sheep. Persons devoid of personality.
“Things are better here. There’s no crime or hate. No one has to worry about food or work or sickness.”
“Or happiness, family.”
She pulled a small clear packet from the pockets of her overalls and held it up to the artificial lights. Stephen looked at it, the clear tablet catching the reflections. She pointed at a group of small children, each growing into their overalls, as they shuffled aboard one of the subterranean trains.
“We give this to the infants. It helps them regulate it. Learn to control it.”
“Their humanity,” Stephen said angrily. “It helps them erase their humanity.”
“Is that so bad? Is it wrong to want to remove that which causes so much pain?”
“And if it costs you everything that makes you you? Do these kids go home to their parents and laugh about their day at school? How they made friends and paper mache models of volcanoes.”
“We have no parents.”
“Of fucking course,” Stephen said.
“Familial bonds are hazardous. Only the community matters.” She held out the small tablet. “It’s the only way to join us without losing everything.”
Stephen took the tablet, turned it in his fingers, and flicked it into the void. If she’d been human, he was sure Emma would have cried. As they came to drag him away, to turn him into a productive member of the collective, by force, he promised he would not forget his humanity.
He would remember what these people did to him.
Prompt originally posted by AutonomyForbidden on reddit and received 3 upvotes.