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Science Fiction and Fantasy
:: The Clean Slate Accord by Sofia Diana Gabel
The Clean Slate Accord by Sofia Diana Gabel
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Tired of war and killing, Earth's Global Director Alexa Lange has developed a method of creating world peace by altering the population's brainwave activity. Assisted by her hyper-intelligent and quirky helper Jonas, Alexa is excited that her plan is becoming a reality. That is, until something goes terribly wrong. A sci-fi novella.
Alexa sat up straight and repressed the feeling of dread that had plagued her all day. It was only a speech, she reminded herself, but a speech that would change the world. She had no qualms about the impending change, but the fact that her image would be broadcast worldwide made her hands tremble. Ever since childhood, she’d preferred to work in solitude, behind the scene, but now everyone on Earth would know her face. Her entire adult life had led to this moment.
She ran her hands through her short blonde hair and waited for the time to count down, keeping her hands clasped together under the desk. Five seconds, four, three…then, smile and talk. “Citizens of the world, as your Global Director, I, Alexa Lange, make this announcement from the Arctic Operations Bunker with great pleasure and hope. It’s taken twenty long years of negotiations and trials, but we now stand on the threshold of launching the greatest contrivance ever put before us. The Clean Slate Accord shall finally become reality, creating a clean slate, if you will, where our planet can start over. No more hostilities, violence, murders or wars. Humanity will finally evolve to greater heights without these unnecessary distractions. With all humility, I thank you for your attention and cooperation and I look forward to witnessing this amazing transformation as much as you do. May peace and prosperity bring about New Earth.”
Alexa kept her eyes fixed on the global broadcast lens until the little red light flicked off, signifying the transmission had ended. She addressed her crew with a relieved smile, “Thank you, gentlemen. I’m glad that’s over.” She looked for twelve-year-old Jonas among the crowd of people. “Jonas, where are you? Can you get the President for me right away?”
Jonas, small and gangly, peeked out from behind the broadcasting equipment, pushed his empty eyeglass frames back up to the bridge of his nose and nodded. “Already on line one, waiting for you.”
“What would I do without you?” Alexa tapped the “one” key on her wrist communicator and took a deep breath. “Good afternoon, President Chandler. You’re free to make your announcement now.” She disconnected the call and went to Jonas. “Turn on the viewing screen. I want to watch Chandler.”
Jonas flicked a switch on a console panel. “Done, Director.”
The large wall screen flashed on and the image of President Isabella Chandler leaning against the front of her desk appeared. Alexa held up her hand to quiet the crew and whispered to Jonas, “You watch, she’ll use that same tired choreographed move where she starts talking and then goes and sits down to dispense her grandmotherly wisdom.”
The President began her prepared speech with a genial smile. “My fellow citizens of the United Continents of America, I come before you to set in motion the much anticipated initiation of the Clean Slate Accord.” The President straightened up and moved behind the desk, just as Alexa knew she would, and took her seat. “I know you might still have some concerns about the aspects of the training process, but I can assure you, there’s nothing to worry about. Clean Slate is perfectly safe. For generations to come, you will be remembered, or should I say revered, for your complicity in this amazing advancement of the human race.” She folded her hands in front of her on the desktop and paused for a brief moment. “I would advise all of you to review your pamphlets just as a brush-up reminder of how the Serum A injections will work in concert with the implants. Any and all questions should be referred to your local magistrate or health clinic. The Accord will officially go into effect as of midnight, according to your particular time zone, when the implants are triggered. I am excited to serve as your president at the start of the Accord and if you see fit to re-elect me in the fall, I promise to continue to serve as your humble leader. I wish you all a pleasant night and may the grace of the Accord fulfill our every dream.”
The transmission ended and Alexa looked over at Jonas. “Humble leader? Is she kidding? It was me who negotiated the uniting of the North and South American continents. You like the way she worked the election into the speech? I think she even peppers her hair gray so she’ll look more dignified.”
Jonas pointed to the blank screen. “You don’t like her, do you, Director?”
“Oh, it’s not a matter of like or dislike, it’s just that she’s so arrogant, in a very unpretentious way.” Alexa saw Jonas struggling with the concept and thought she should help him out. “She fakes her humility.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
With a wink, Alexa smiled at his innocence. “Don’t worry about it. It’s a trait you thankfully don’t have.”
“But I’m like everyone else. You said it yourself.” Jonas stared down at the ground. Even when Alexa touched him on the shoulder, he didn’t look up.
“Yes, you’re human, so in that respect, you are like everyone else. But your intellect, as wonderful as it is, segregates you from the rest of the population. Sometimes, Jonas, I wonder if you see the full potential of who you are.”
He looked up and removed his eyeglass frames. “But why did you have to make me so smart? I’ve never had a friend. I’ve never even gone to school. People my age shun me.”
Alexa sighed. Here it comes, the self-pity. Poor Jonas. Every now and then, he fell into a contemplative mood and pondered his existence. Alexa took the frames from him and waved them in the air. “Why don’t you leave these things off? You know I don’t like them. Your eyes are perfect.”
“I look more like everyone else with them. It gives me the appearance of a fault. They bring me equality,” he answered with a half-smile.
Equality? He would never be equal to anyone, but Alexa was not about to tell him that. “Why would you want to waste your time in school or socializing with ignorant people? You are who you are. You’re special and for that reason, I didn’t implant you. You and I are the only humans on the entire planet without implants.”
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