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A Short Dystopian Story

By Deborah RobinsonPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Blank, unseeing eyes gazed past me as I typed the hour's stats into my data collector.

Blood pressure: normal. Haemoglobin: satisfactory. Oxygen levels: good.

The 'donor's' body floated in the large aquatic chamber in front of me. The solution had been made to replicate amniotic fluid, therefore keeping the human tissue fresh and healthy. Her body hair had been removed, and tubes were connected to her major arteries. Wires protruded from a rubber cap fixed to her head. She was like some ghostly Medusa, forever captured motionless in a liquid prison.

This was 'Donor 189 O -'. Her blood was O Negative, and therefore one of mine. Her blue eyes stared off into no-where, and her thick black lashes framed those pretty eyes that had once belonged to someone with dreams and hopes. A tiny tattoo of a pair of angel wings could just be seen on her left ankle. How ironic, I thought. She really needed a gardian angel right now. But hope was something we didn't toment ourselves with around here. It was too dangerous.

I looked after 10 donors. There were two in each chamber. Ten humans. Ten sets of 'human components'. Ten people whose lives were halted prematurely. Halted to help 'The Cause'. Halted because they were born into the wrong class. Halted because 'The Director' and his comrades needed the donors' blood to fight the disease slowly eating away at their bodies.

Somehow the effects of the disease didn't seem to matter when it was only affecting the residents of Classes 6, 7 and 8. People were dying from some sort of horrific blood disease. Their loved ones were left destroyed by the images of victims gasping for air and begging for pain relief. A horrific purple rash would climb like poisonous ivy over the inflicted's torso and neck, eventually settling around the cheeks. That's when the end was near, and nothing could be done. Families quietly buried their loved ones. There was no public mourning or outcry. We were used to being oppressed, and so we did all things with silent dignity.

But, once the disease somehow managed to reach Class A and Class Elite, did the Director force the top scientists to search for a cure. Suddenly a 'pandemic' was declared, and suddenly, those in charge began to take it seriously. It's incredible how motivating fear can be, when the disease arrives at your doorstep. And it's also incredible that somehow a cure was found. A cure that was found in the genetics of a couple of families in Class 4. Classes 3, 4 and 5 had managed, somehow, to escape or avoid the disease. For now, however, members of the immune families now hung, preserved in liquid-filled chambers in pristine labs, their conscious brains 'suspended' with drugs, until the disease could be eradicated, and then they'd be free. Whatever 'free'meant. We weren't free anymore, I reminded myself, as I tucked a strand of hair underneath my hairnet. And I certainly didn't trust the leaders to honour their promise. But for now, I had a job to do, and I had to do it quietly, and without drawing any attention to myself.

The Donors were told to arrive at the unit in only state issued jumpsuits; but this donor, this girl, this person who had dreams, fears, a family, had arrived terrified, and clutching a silver heart-shaped locket in her hand. It was impossible to remain objective as I looked into her blue eyes. She pleaded with me, somehow, without saying anything, and I nodded, taking the locket from her. A silent promise to return it to her family. When I looked inside, later, after my shift, I saw grainy little miniature photos of two smiling, happy people. Two girls, probably teenagers.

Now, she hung there, suspended, her beautiful blonde hair shorn, her eyes unseeing. I'd had to hide the locket in my shoe on leaving my shift. Lab workers were searched on exit, and those found with things they shouldn't have were severely punished. Physically. And mentally.

My job was to harvest blood from the 'donors' twice a day, to be made into a serum that was directly injected into the wealthy victims' bodies. (I say 'donor', but really, these people weren't given a choice.) I then gave the blood to another lab assistant, like me, who would transport the vials to another location in the low, white windowless building. Other technicians came for brain tissue samples, and cells from other organs. That happened once a month.

We weren't allowed to converse with our 'colleagues'. Physical punishments were given to those who dared to. Some never returned. I had learned not to ask questions. The silver scars on my right arm were a daily reminder to question no-one.

''Agent. You are to report to Doctor McKay. Immediately.'' The guard on duty took me by the elbow and used his thumb print to unlock the double doors at the other end of the lab. I was ushered quickly down a stark white corridor. Doors on either side of me had plaques reading 'Lab 1', 'Lab 2', 'Correction Room', 'Genetics'. I had never been inside any of these rooms. I didn't want to, either.

My heart raced in my ears as I was marched down the corridor. My rubber soles squeaked on the pristine white floor. I had never been summoned before. Only people who had been talking or caught questioning 'The Cause' had been called. And they never returned.

''What's happening?'' I couldn't help my voice from wobbling.

''Please, am I in trouble? I haven't spoken a word to anyone in here. I just do what I'm asked. Please, help me. I just want to go back to work.'' Adrenaline was causing me to lose sensation in my fingertips. My bowels were churning, and I thought I might faint, but the guard held tight and said nothing.We arrived at a door that read 'Testing Room'. It too was white, unremarkable, apart from that plaque. The words sent a further jolt of adrenaline through my stomach. 'Testing'? For what? Was I being tested? Was I moving section?

I was thrust through the door and into a large white laboratory. Benches lined the walls, and overhead strip-lights cast a harsh white glow onto every gleaming surface. There were machines, test tubes and vials on large worktops. Three technicians wearing white masks and white hazmat suits seemed to be collecting data from machines.

A man in a white lab coat stood, perhaps in his early forties, stood, apparently waiting for me. He wore his dark hair slicked back, and his pale green eyes bore into me with sinister confidence. This must be Doctor McKay.''Ah, Agent 20. Sarah, I believe. Or is it Orchid? Such a beautiful name, I wonder why you changed it. Anyway, welcome. What a privilege it is to meet a 'survivor'. Funny, I don't understand why you would have kept that from us. You do know that your blood will save many important lives.''

I swallowed. How did he know this? How had he gotten access to my files? I had changed my identity successfully a year ago. I was promised no-one would ever be able to find out who I was before. My mind whirled into a blind panic as I waited for a death sentence. I clenched my jaw and stared at the ground.

He held up a vial of healthy, dark blood, and peered at it with wonder, then at me.

''Well, then, let's begin, shall we?'' He grinned and nodded at the guard.

The guard once again, grabbed my elbow.

Short Story

About the Creator

Deborah Robinson

I'm new to the 'writing for real' scene. Previously, I've kept my poetry and writing under wraps in a fancy notebook, but now I've decided to give it a proper go!

I hope you enjoy my work.

Thanks, Deborah.

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    Deborah RobinsonWritten by Deborah Robinson

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