Publish Novellas 21 July 2021
EPISODE 4 – BRAINSTORMING
Without great options after returning home early from a doctor’s visit, Dennis contemplates life on the run while access to technology remains.
Dennis walks into his apartment with a chip on his shoulder that is much larger than the chip within his arm. His medical friend is reluctant to get involved. If Dennis goes back to work and puts the incriminating information into the database, he will be flagged alongside Abigail.
If he leaves the data out, his boss will discover the omission during her verification. This would raise flags about his health with resultant investigations.
In the kitchen, he makes a Dagwood sandwich with leftovers from his recent party without bothering to confirm the shopping list. Then he shaves off his beard and takes a long hot shower. But incohesive thoughts keep racing through his mind.
With fresh pajamas, Dennis sits on the edge of his king-size bed, staring at a wall-length television screen that is not on. Unsure how to proceed, he phones Abigail while pacing throughout his apartment. “Hey Abby, are you free to talk?”
“No… I am too busy waiting to be erased,” she answers sarcastically.
“Too soon for that humor,” he reacts. After an awkward silence, he continues, “I have deleted your stuff from the database. What do you think we should do now?” he asks.
“I don’t know. You’re the computer expert. My head is spinning and my stomach is in knots,” Abigail complains.
“There may be some medical management options for that!” he says to her.
“Yes… but the minute I go to the doctor, the government will get its hands on my health data, remember?”
“I’ve been thinking… we should leave… go far away,” suggests Dennis.
Abigail correctly protests, “How do you propose we get transportation without being tracked?”
The tech industry categorizes embedded body microchips under the spectrum of biohacking. These microchips utilize radiofrequency identification (RFID) as passwords and near-field communication (NFC) to store electronic credit card or cryptocurrencies. Leading the world, in 2018, over 4,000 people Swedes opted for microchip implants.
With what seems like an answer for everything, Dennis asserts, “We could dig out our microchips…”
She doesn’t let him finish before adding, “How then do we travel from here to the middle of nowhere without any chips?”
Determined to make the plan work, Dennis stresses, “We can keep them in until we get as far away from here as possible. Technically, the microchips don’t have GPS like our phones. We need our microchips to buy things and enter high-security buildings, when we do, there is a record of our location.”
“Then we will be on the run,” Abigail ponders out loud.
“Yes.” After a pause, Dennis asks, “Are we doing this?”
“I think so,” she says with anticipated apprehension.
Dennis looks around his living room, thinking about the comfortable lifestyle he is about to sacrifice. Then he commits to the audacious proposal. “Let’s do it tomorrow then. We’ll escape without going back to our jobs. And you should leave your phone behind so there is one less device for them to track.”
“What time?” asks Abigail.
“I’ll let you know soon,” he ends the call and walks into the bedroom.
His bones are still aching. When he lays down in his bed, he realizes that there is no point in feeling bad about leaving the apartment. He doesn’t own it, or anything inside of it except for his clothes. The government made sure of that.
Dennis begins considering where he and Abigail should go. He texts her:
With one-day notice, what's your preferred destination?
She doesn’t respond. “Maybe she has gone to bed. Maybe she’s in the bathroom. Or, maybe she has been… erased? His heart begins palpating as he steadies himself. When he dials her number again, she answers.
“I’m tired, Dennis, go to bed!” she shouts over the phone.
He laughs. “Okay…” just before she hangs up.
Laying on his bed, Dennis commands the television activation. News reporters interview scientists that hail the advantages of genetic testing prior to pregnancy:
Technology to build a genetic profile of partners in the procreation of new life is quite mature. Variations of the voluntary procedure have existed for decades. Based on genetic data, we can unite sperm and egg in a petri dish. Then fertilize the woman with a perfect embryo. The advantages are exponential. No one will be born with genetic disease. This will reduce healthcare costs and extend human life expectancy…
The news of what will become mandatary in two years, doesn’t alter the present dilemma. Dennis is becoming immune to the propaganda. He supposes that officials will still compare the genetic profile with the world health database. Hence, the same fate awaits potential parents who test positive for incurable disease.
He turns off the television and stays up making plans for escape that involve multiple modes of transportation to get out of the country. By going to multiple unrelated places, he hopes to confuse those trying to track them. Countries with the least amount of technology become his focus for an ultimate destination.
Most High-Tech Countries
- United States
- South Korea
Least High-Tech Countries
Dennis then tries his best to eliminate any clues of their plans by deleting texts and erasing internet browser history. But he must let Abigail know what time to meet him downstairs. So he sends one last cryptic text message that simply says:
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