Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language, violence, and mature content.
"The outlawed program was created to ensure problematic adults, starting at age eighteen are separated from the innocents, which make up the rest of society," my teacher says with his voice sounding far too cheerful for the grim topic being taught, but I guess that wasn't his fault after all he was the oldest holo-bot left in the school. He most likely was in need of repairs so I couldn't blame him for the eerie cheerful voice he was using to talk about how everyone's lives could be ruined. I tried to focus on anything other then what my teacher was saying. I let my eyes wander. They stopped on the hologram of the world I live in.
I look at the bubble like shield around the world and thought back to the stories my mother used to tell me. "Our world isn't complete that's why we have the shield because we are missing pieces" I could hear my mother say. "We are a city among the stars." I smile at the memory of my mother's voice something I missed so much. The school dismissal holo-bot began sounding throughout the hallway causing my happy daydream to come crashing back down to reality.
I put away my tablet into my satchel careful not to drop the solid glass tablet again. This was the tablet my mother gave me because I accidentally broke mine while watching a scary hologram that I wasn't supposed to watch. Thinking about that now made me sick to my stomach. I had always been good, but tomorrow's filtering was making me uneasy. I wasn't sure why. The program only makes problematic "adults" into outlawed. I should be fine. I have never been problematic before.
The walk home felt longer than normal and I felt much more tired as well. I walk through my front door and call up to my father, "Dad I'm home, I will let you know when dinner is ready." My father walks in looking more zombie-like than usual. I knew it was because of the filtering tomorrow and I knew he was going to worry just like me until tomorrow was over. I got a lot of traits from my dad even though I wish I had gotten more from my mother. He looks at me and asks in almost a whisper, "What are you going to make?"
I smile as best as I could and try my hardest to sound cheerful while stammering out, "I was thinking maybe some stew." He nods and slugs off to his room. I let out a deep sigh I felt had been stuck in my throat the whole day. I wish my mom was here as I open the food pack. I went through the holograms menus. Finally I saw stew and pressed it. Once I pressed it all the ingredients appeared on the counter ready to be put in the pot.
I missed how my mom would make me actually go to the store and get what she called real ingredients. If my mother was here now she would be so angry that I was making that processed garbage. I pulled out my tablet and flipped through the holograms of my mother and me. Just as the tears started coming I hear the pot go of saying in a sing song voice, "Food is ready." I quickly wiped away my tears and exited my hologram viewer while shoving my tablet into my school satchel. My father walked out and sat at the table seeming more timid and fragile than normal. I sigh and crack open a bowl capsule filling it with stew. I handed it to my father and made myself some then sat down to eat. The meal was being eaten in silence which I hated. I missed the cheerful dinner talk that existed before my mother got sick and passed away. My father stood up from the table. The noise of the chair scraping the floor jolted me a bit.
"Goodnight, my little doodlebug." He said smiling before he stalked off to his room. I smiled because he hadn't smiled or called me doodlebug in so long. All he called me was Evelynn for the longest now. I press the button and the dishes went into the capsules. I toss them into the garbage. I put the pot on refrigerate mode and walk toward the stairs. I walked up the stairs my body feeling heavy. I plopped in my bed and I'm was soon sound asleep.
I scream out as they pull me from my bed. How could this happen I thought while I kicked wildly trying to break free. "Stop, you have made a mistake!" I beg.
"Evelynn A. Smith, you are hereby known as an outlawed," the tall government agent began, "you will have thirty minutes to pack and prepare yourself to be micro-chipped." I sank to the floor as they loosen their grip on my arms. I suddenly felt very heavy sitting on my bedroom floor and thinking of everything I was about to lose.
"There must be some mistake." I repeat my voice shaking and sounding quite unsure. "I can't be an outlawed I'm a straight A student, that is always on time, and never disobeys." I croak feeling a large lump in my throat that wouldn't go away no matter how many times I swallowed. I could feel my heart racing and my mind going fuzzy from all the questions shooting around in it.
"Miss Evelynn, we don't make mistakes, you are smart. You know the program decides who is outlawed and who is an innocent, so no mistakes can be made." An older man says as he enters the room. "People can make mistakes that's why we use the program because it doesn't make mistakes." He continues in a cheerful voice.
"Who are you?" I ask trying to use my angriest voice.
"My name is Dr. Matthews, Evelynn and I am here to help you." Dr. Matthews chimed while looking me straight in the eyes. I felt oddly calm and comforted by him saying this until I broke from his gaze.
"If you really want to help me then tell them this is a mistake." I plead hoping he would fix this and help me like he said he would. Dr. Matthews only let out a sigh. Then looked down at his watch and begins tapping it. I am smart, so I knew that meant my time had begun. I let out a flustered grunt and start frantically packing things. I ran into my bathroom and threw on an oversized t-shirt and a pair of jeans with my favorite hiking boots.
I then grabbed my large backpack and started throwing my teeth cleaning capsules, hair brush, extra clothes, my tablet, and my favorite book my mother had given me two years ago before she passed away. I ran to my parents' old room, the one from before losing my mother and I grab my mother's pocket knife plus a few of her pun filled shirts. Just like that my thirty minutes were up and I was being escorted by the government agents towards the hovercraft that was waiting outside. As I was walking down the stairs I saw my father knocked out cold on the floor.
"What did you do?" I screech as I rush down to check on him. I sigh a little in relief when I see he is breathing. I never get a reply to my question and they grab me and pull me away from him. I scream and cry out, "Please don't hurt him! Leave him alone! Dad! Dad!" He must have heard my cries because all I could see was his body start shaking from sobs. I knew he just wanted me to be safe.
"You said she would be safe if I did what you asked. So why are you taking her from me too?" my dad croaks before getting another blow to the side of the head. He weakly calls out to me saying, "I love you doodlebug." Seeing my father be hit again made me start to shake from anger filled sobs. Why were they hurting him? He didn't do anything. What did he mean when he said he did what they asked? My head is spinning from all the questions that will most likely never be answered.
I mean I just had to walk away from my whole life, eighteen years' worth of memories just snatched away just like that. I feel the agents shove me into the hovercraft and hear the door slam behind me. I turn to look out the window as the hovercraft starts and takes off. All I could do was watch my home, my life as I knew it fade into the distance.
"Where are we going?" I inquire with my voice still full of hiccups from crying. Did I really want to know the answer?
"To get the other outlawed." Someone from the front passenger's side says. I put my head on the window and watch the top of the trees and homes fade into one another. All I can do is think of who is going to take care of my dad since I was gone. He had already been bad off since he lost his wife, but I had always been there to take care of him. Who would take care of him now that he lost his wife and his daughter? I had been in charge of making sure he ate and stayed hydrated. Would he even remember to take his medicine?
My head keeps pounding from all the worrying thoughts and I can't take it anymore. I pull my knees up to my chest and cry. After what feels like forever they bring the hovercraft back down and to a stop. I looked out the window to see a cozy little home with a red door. I watched as the government agents got out of the hovercraft and knocked on the door. I watched wondering whose life they were going to ruin now. I wiped the tears off my cheeks and pulled out my tablet. Don't worry dad I will find ways to survive.