Every day was the same. Wake up, do the work in your sector, go to bed. The rules of survival were simple: Do NOT go outside. The facility was the only safe place. We had to tell them everything that was going on, including our mental state. It was my appointment soon. I wasn’t sure if I should have told them that I kept having the same recurring dream. I kept seeing the woman in my locket but I had no idea who she was. I don’t know why I wore it but there was something in the back of my mind that wouldn’t let me take it off.
My room number was called on the monitors. 5071. It was time. I kept quiet about the dream. Nobody knew what they did to people when they started to lose their mind. The men in white always took them somewhere and they always came back like a blank slate. Almost as if they are a baby. Like, they were starting life again.
I passed my physical check, like always. They scanned my brain and I started to sweat. Hopefully, everything is healthy. The doctor looked at me with a concerning eye.
“Is everything okay?”
He stopped scanning and penned me in for another appointment next week. I did it. I survived another week.
That night the dream changed. I was drowning and the girl in my locket saved me. I woke up in a panic. I coughed up water as if it actually happened. How is this possible? What is going on? I had to find out who she is! Maybe then, I could carry on surviving the way I was taught too. I didn’t get much sleep that night, I was too busy planning my escape from the facility.
In the morning, I made my daring escape. I didn’t care if I died, I had to find out who she was. I had to find her. I wasn’t prepared for what was on the outside. I didn’t know the world was the way it was. My first step into the outside world was frightening. A barren wasteland with nothing but mud and sand for miles. Deserted and empty, except a few skeletons of exploded cars. When my feet hit the ground, an ear-piercing alarm rang.
“ESCAPEE, WE HAVE AN ESCAPEE!”
“Shit, they know.”
I ran as fast as I could to try and find a place to hide. There was nothing for miles. I had to think quickly, I hoped they didn’t know my face and climbed into the remains of the burnt-out car. Play dead. I covered myself with dirt from the ground, scrambled next to the corpse in the car and tried my best to stay completely still. The man in white looking for me was suspicious. He tripled checked that car and prodded me in the ribs with his metal pole he always kept holstered to him but it worked. Eventually, he decided I was nothing but a corpse, just like I had planned. I waited for what seemed like hours before I made the decision to move from my hiding spot. I wasn’t sure if they had people monitoring or not, I waited for dark and made my move.
I fell out the tortured truck and bolted. I sprinted until I was so out of breath that I threw up. I found myself on a concrete road. All I remember was feeling relief. This road had to lead to somewhere. I walked down that road for what felt like forever. It was daylight again when I found the city. I thought it was abandoned but I was wrong. I didn’t have time to explore when I got there though, I was so exhausted, I had to find somewhere to sleep. I scuffled into the nearest building and huddled myself into the corner of the top floor. I don’t know why I thought I was safest there. Suddenly, I was woken up by a tall, handsome man towering over me.
“Emily, Emily, are you alright? Open your eyes please!”
I was so frightened; I didn’t know who he was. Could he be from the facility? Why was he calling me Emily? My name is 5071. At least, that was what I was always called at the facility. I think he could tell I was scared, I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and begged
“Please. Don't take me back. I have to find her.”
He looked at me with a warmth in his eyes. He definitely wasn’t from the facility. Not with kind eyes like that, everyone there was so lifeless and cold, he couldn’t be. He held out his hand but I hesitated. Could this be some kind of cruel trick to get me back?
“Emily, it’s okay, I’ll take you to Sarah. She misses you.”
He reached out and opened my locket. He pointed at the girl in the locket and spoke
I had no choice but to trust him. I put my trembling hands in his and let myself be led away through the city by this man I’d just met. I wasn’t really thinking about the consequences, I just knew I had to find out who she was. Walking past all the derelict, ruined buildings, I was surprised anyone was here. I asked
“What happened? Where is everyone?”
He replied with
“Everyone went mad. Some scientists made it so everyone could live forever but we couldn’t have kids. So, they started to round up all the children, one by one, and we don’t know what they did with them. We can only assume the worst. There was a full-blown war between the parents and the ‘immortals’ as we call them. This is the result.”
I reeled in terror. How could anyone be so evil? I wanted to know more.
“How long has it been?”
He looked at me with a seriousness I hadn’t seen about him yet.
“It’s been four years.”
Eventually, we made it to a camp where he shut me away in a tent. He told me not to come out, I was confused but I put my faith in him. He said Sarah would be there any minute so I waited. That’s when a girl with the same face as me walked in. We had the same nose, the same long brown hair, even the same freckles. It was like I was looking into a mirror. However, it wasn’t the girl in the locket. No, this was like a twin. She asked
“How did you get out? You aren’t supposed to be out until I need you!”
I was so confused, I stayed silent. I think she could tell I was confused.
She explained further
“You looked confused so I’ll explain it for you. You are my clone. I am an immortal. You are supposed to stay at the facility until my body starts to break down and I need some new parts. I may be immortal but that doesn’t mean my body is. So, I’ll ask you again. How did you get out?”
Everything came crashing down around me. I’m a clone? This can’t be. I pushed her out the way and just started to run. I ran as fast as my legs would take me. I went back into the city and hid in one of the buildings. It didn’t work out well for me before but this time I wouldn’t be sleeping. No, this time I’m on guard. I looked out of the shattered window and that’s when I saw her. The woman in the locket. She was exactly the same in my dream. Radiant and glowing even with all the torture and evil around her.
She ran into the ruined building across the street. I didn’t care if she was with them. I had to find out who she was.
I flew down into the street and raced into the building. I looked around and wasn’t sure what to say. That’s when I remember what the man called her.
“Sarah, Sarah are you in here?”
I hear a voice echo from upstairs.
I hurried up the stairs to see her sat with some terrified, malnourished people.
She looked at me and told me to
I wasn’t sure what was going on. I just knew I had to ask
“Who are you? Why are you in my locket?”
That’s when she broke down and cried.
“It really is you!”
She ran to me and wrapped her arms around me. I had finally felt safe for the first time in my life.
"Emily, it’s mum. I thought you were dead.”
She led me into the next room and explained everything. When the ‘immortals’ took away all the children, they made identical robots of them all to try and trick the parents into revealing their hiding spots. I was so relieved.
“So, I'm not a clone then?”
“No, where did you get that silly idea from?”
I told her everything I’d been through. I told her about the camp. I told her about the facility. That must be where they took all the children.
“I want to go back and help them all. We got to bring that place down.” I pleaded.
“Let’s do it.”