The Sound Facility
A Dystopian Take Vocal's "New Worlds" Challenge
This is a story for the Vocal “New Worlds Challenge” which you can find out about below.
“Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.”
That is a quote continually made here. There are reasons for that. But Think, if you are drowning, you cannot scream even though you try to, so no one can hear you scream because you actually can’t.
The same if you are buried alive and your mouth and lungs fill with sand or soil, you cannot physically make a noise and no one could hear you anyway.
This is the general reality which you used to be able to find by posing the question on the world wide web before what happened, happened.
“Sound does not travel at all in space. The vacuum of outer space has essentially zero air. Because sound is just vibrating air, space has no air to vibrate and therefore no sound. If you are sitting in a spaceship and another spaceship explodes, you would hear nothing.”
It is not a good thing for your population to know too much, so the Party after deciding there were no need for elections (well they didn’t ban them they just extended the government term to a thousand years) then closed universities and schools because there is no need for education apart from for the ruling elite, and they removed an age limit for paid work.
They say paid work, but since any remuneration earned was split between landlords, power and utility companies, banks and taxes it had effectively become a slave nation.
One bright spark had pointed out that the air that people breathe should be paid for as well and if people did not do their work we could threaten them with removing that from them and their families.
That was why we were here, to process those that had not done their job properly or had transgressed any number of unpublished but passed laws.
You didn’t meet your quota - you didn’t deserve to breathe
You turned up late for your shift - no air for you
You drank alcohol - that deserved punishment
You didn’t attend the Minister's Parade - you have to be punished
Working at the Sound Facility I think I am safe as long as I turn up each day and do my job.
The transgressors come in then we process them, remove their possessions, and they go into the room often screaming and crying and protesting their innocence and saying they have a family. They deserve to go into the room just for doing that. I don’t know why they make so much noise, they have transgressed the law and the punishment is death by asphyxiation.
They are put into the room and the door is locked, there is a single light bulb and a camera for us to watch, and then the air is removed from the room via a Vyysen pump (Vyysen won the contract for all the Vacuum rooms in the county) . We watch and see but don’t hear anything because in a vacuum sound cannot exist, like in this society these transgressors can not be allowed to exist, though in reality that is all we do these days exist.
After that we open the door and package the body to go to Soylent’s Processing Plant, waste not want not.
This is my day at the Sound Facility. We call it that so as not to disturb the population too much but they do know that they will all eventually end up here unless ….. Well I cannot say any more because I do want to keep my job, and the only alternative to keeping my job at the Sound Facility is time in a room at a Sound Facility and I will do everything to stop that from happening, even if I have to put my own family in there.
This is where we are today, everyone looking for ways to preserve their existence, but my mind is starting to rebel ………….
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