I looked at myself in the mirror, the look of discontent marring the ageless
beauty that was reflected back at me. I was tired of it all, all this endless
monotony that marked the life of every citizen on Sector 5. Sector 5 was a
cluster of planets in the universe banded in the year 2555, thus the numbering
of it as 5. It was a world of tremendous beauty, where all the citizens were
gifted with immortality. They had all been fertilized in a pod-like container
that accelerated their growth, completing what would have taken twenty years in
a mere two days. Somehow, the process also froze their ages at twenty, allowing
them to live out their eternity in the prime of their youth and beauty.
everyone took for granted as their right was understood by me as eternal hell.
How else would you define existing forever without change, challenge or chance?
Everything was provided for; all that a citizen had to do was roam about every
day in a state of vacuity, occupying a
statistic in the annals of the Population Regulators' Department (PRD). All that
ever changed was geography: whenever the maximum limit of the population had
been reached, the PRD would assign some citizens to `liberate' a newly banded
sector. This meant that no one would ever have to give up the gift of life. But
to me, this merely meant that all citizens existed merely to justify the warped
control of the all-powerful PRD, the
latter being also the legislative council that decided on the affairs of the
I had no idea when my disenchantment with
my life began, but I knew exactly what I was unhappy with. The sheer boredom of
living without any aim horrified me. I remembered all the classics that I had
accessed in the electronic library. In all the historical records like the
"Time" and "Newsweek" magazines, I voraciously drank in all the events that
obviously showed my ancestors as being people of tremendous drive and vision. I
was inspired. I had labored over the problem in my mind and finally had the
solution to the problem all wrapped up. I knew the ultimate weapon that would
bring down the foundations of my society - death.
I realized that any death at all in Sector 5 would create a pandemonium in a
population reared on a diet of total trust and docility.
When they were thrown on shaky ground, perhaps they would wake up from their
stupor and see the need to grasp their destiny in their own hands instead of
listening blindly to a largely faceless voice called PRD. I would be the
catalyst of change, I thought. I would be the undisputed turning point in the
history of mankind. My death would be it all.
I was to put my plan into action soon. The right day would be the
Commemoration Day, which was the celebration of the establishment of Sector 5.
Everyone would be there to lend presence to this important day. I had done my
homework, which was, of course, an enterprise that was practically unheard of in
the present day and place. No one ever had to work at anything; their sole task
was just to be there in Sector 5. But I knew that there was more to life than
this and I was going to prove it.
The day of reckoning was finally here. I got ready for my moment of glory. I
packed the syringe of lethal poison that was designed to cripple my body systems
carefully into a plastic carrier. I had spent so much time over it, taking care
to test it on myself in increasing doses. My body was slowly winding down. I
suffered from fatigue, hitherto a condition that was unheard of. But I was still
strong enough to drag myself to the Coliseum.
Outside the imposing facade of the Coliseum, I found myself forced to rest by
the large pillars as I clutched my weakening heart. A twinge of fear gripped me
when I thought that I might not make it to the Coliseum. Everyone else had
already gone in. I was left all alone. My death would have no impact if there
were no one to see it. I struggled to stand up but could not muster enough
strength. I tried to call out, but no sound escaped my parched throat. Slowly, I
sank lower to the ground, feeling my life draining away.
When the crowd thronged out of the Coliseum after another equally wonderful
celebration, they failed to see the strange-looking heap of brown dust on the
ground. What they failed to see was also the nondescript remains of one of their
own who had tried to bring them the meaning of real life. What I had failed to
realize was that, together with the accelerated growth, was the very clinical
and convenient accelerated decay of my body.