FUTURE - SHORT STORY by Rosemary Okafor - The Isaac Somto Foundation

  • FUTURE - SHORT STORY by Rosemary Okafor



    FUTURE - SHORT STORY

    Year 2035-Nigchin Province.

    "The street is deserted as I walk down to Ling-yu restaurant".

    This place used to be Abuja many years ago,  now everything has changed, we all have changed.

    No song to sing, no laughter in the street, no funny tricks to play and no more children.

    "to make the country better, we made a part with the emperor of the Asians," they told us

    "poverty will be eradicated, Trade will improve and the economy will be boosted for the good of all of us" their voices rang from our radios

    There was Hope, but few of us were suspicious and afraid of this union.

    We were given new names, chips on our ankles controlled by this new coalition government.

    The change was gradual, just a little pain during the insertion of the chips, we ignored the danger signs, we even applauded it.

    Then came the Asians, first like droplets, then in groups and in droves. Their flying saucers filled the air, darkening our Sun, a new technology we had only seen in the movies, so we didn't mind losing the sun for it.

    I watched as the city was rid of people and replaced with machines.

    "The chips are not just for control, they are taking over our bodies, turning bones into irons, nerves into wires brains into micro cards and eyes into embers".

    These new forms weighed us down, some of us fought them, but they were too strong, we lost our humanity to these machines that eat us up and took over.

    "I am a lucky one, the last of my kind. Though I have the chip, my mind is still human, I still have emotions and feelings, I can still write and recognize the legendary song of "Fela Kuti"

    I used to have a name, a native name, though I can't remember what it was, in this new world, I Am simply referred to as "Hybrid Zero"

    "In this new world? We know no family, no friends no hurt and no fear"

    "Only the command from the Over-Lord. We hear him in our heads whenever the microchips beep".

    Those that have lost their humanity to machines quickly are used for technologies and for War, but for us who still have our humanities flickering in our heads, we are either abandoned to die or used as domestic helps, that is if the machines do not get the job first.

    "Nǐ wǎnle (you are late)" flat buttocks Master Yuan Ji, shouts at me as I walk into the restaurant.

    He owns the place, where Asian elites have teas and make jokes of us.

    Unlike us, they have no chips and can still drink teas and eat noodles. 

    "Duìbùqǐ (I am sorry) " I muttered in Mandarin, I now speak few words in Mandarin, that is the only way "Hybrid Zeros" like us get jobs

    "this wan es useless," Master Yuan Ji says to the lady seated beside him, trying to speak English.

    I walk towards the changing room, the screeching sound from my left leg trails me. My bones are beginning to change to iron, I don't know how long I am going to remain half human half machine, how long I will fight this before I lose the fight

    I look straight to the surveillance camera, I know they are watching me, any wrong move leads to extermination.

    I tap on my pocket, the pictures are still there, they are all I have to remember the past and dream again for a future where we will be humans again.
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