[16 September, 2129 | Friday]
“Good morning, Citizen 1,498,372,” my Nanny chip said; it was that time again: six in the morning. “Happy birthday.”
“Thanks,” I replied.
Not much had changed since my last birthday. We still lived in darkness while YutopiCorp fought for our freedom. Soon, the Nanny chip kept telling me, soon YutopiCorp would win this war and usher in a new age of prosperity. Soon, Canada would join the City and the Heart and experience freedom like we have never known.
The future was bright. It had taken me two years spent inside my home without being able to leave, but I was finally beginng to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The expression my parents wore on their faces as we sat down for breakfast was much the same as last year. And much like that last year, it remains with me today.
“Happy birthday, darling,” Mum said to me as she handed me my nutrition bar.
I looked at the wrapper, and the flavour was white bread. Not chocolate; not like last year. I didn’t say anything; they didn’t say anything. I unwrapped it and took a bite. These nutrition bars really capture the flavour; this undoubtedly had all the flavour of white bread.
“It’s okay,” I told them. “Soon, all this will be over, and things will be better than they have ever been.”
The glances Mum and Dad shot each other struck me as odd back then, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that they didn’t quite believe it. They didn’t yet believe in the City and the Heart. They didn’t understand the benefits corporate rule would bring us.
And sadly, I would learn years later, they never would.
“Citizen 1,498,372, it is now time to commence today’s education.”
“Yes, Nanny.” I was ready for today’s schooling; the Nanny system didn’t like it if I wasn’t ready and waiting at the strike of seven.
“Troops from Australia, New Zealand, Greenland and Norway continue to descend upon Canada,” Nanny began. “Warriors from the City continue to hold back these hostile forces that are so determined to impede our sovereignty. After landing on the British Columbia Coast, they expanded north to Yukon, forcibly occupying both territories.
“City intelligence tells us that these hostile forces intend to move East, fortifying the territories not yet held by the City. Please rest assured the City will be extending its reach past Manitoba as a matter of urgency.
“Citizen 1,498,372, please explain why Australia, New Zealand, Greenway and Norway chose Canada.”
“They don’t believe Canada should be held under corporate rule.”
A sharp pain shot through my brain as the Nanny chip vibrated, sending shockwaves through my skull. Even my eyeballs buzzed; never a fun sensation.
“Incorrect,” Nanny told me. Which I had already figured out; correct answers didn’t result in electric currents racing through your head. “It is because they crave power. YutopiCorp is ushering in a new age of peace and prosperity. Enemy forces have seen how strongly the City and the Heart thrive, and they do not want to see this extended across the world. The old government sees the benefits of corporate rule, and they know that should the citizens see this too, it would threaten their delicate power structures.
“Citizen 1,498,372, please explain why enemies of the City and the Heart are trying to protect their power structures.”
“Because those old world power structures are corrupt. The power is held by politicians looking to prosper at the expense of their territories and people. Because those politicians seek to gain and then hold on to their power, rather than looking after the interests of their population.”
“Correct,” Nanny told me.
My answer was not met with pain shooting through my brain. No, instead, I was free to continue my education without any further headaches.