9 comments

Science Fiction Fiction

“Rules were made to be broken!” A snarky voice exclaimed. The boy was standing in an animated pose and puffing his chest out. He stood in a crowded hallway, and students were scurrying trying to get to places as soon as they could. Some kids stopped by to stare at him, others glared, and the girl who stood beside him rolled his eyes. The boy had curly brown hair that swayed when the breeze nuzzled it. He wore cuffed jeans and had a white t-shirt layered on top of his long black sleeves. He raised a small metallic object that flickered when the sun shone on it.

The girl beside him had auburn hair that traveled down to her waist. She wore navy blue overalls, and underneath a long-sleeved striped shirt. His arm swooped down in a quick move and the object fell to the ground, shattering. He chuckled, “I broke my Airp!” He smiled, then turned around to observe the girl’s reaction.

She sighed. “This is, what? The fifth time you’ve broken it this week on purpose? Also, who calls it Airp? Just say Air-P, it sounds weird like that,” She added. The girl stared at the remaining pieces of what used to be the Air-P and sighed in disappointment. “What’s the point of breaking it when you’re just going to get a new Air-P all over again? You’re not even accomplishing anything,” She muttered.

The boy gasped and grabbed his chest. He stepped back exaggeratedly. “I am so deeply hurt by Talliah.” He watched as she rolled her eyes, scoffing, and continued. “If you’re worried that you’re going to get caught with me, it’ll be fine. I-” He explained, his eyebrows straightened, and he maintained eye contact.

“I know, I know. Loyalty is more important than following rules,” Talliah mocked, rolling her eyes. His eyebrows furrowed, and he huffed.

“It is, I know you disagree. But if there was a situation where…” He faltered. He inhaled, most likely reconsidering what he was about to say, “Never mind.” He muttered under his breath while Talliah tilted her head in confusion.

A low robotic sound came from the ceiling, and the rest of the people in the hallway started to pick up the pace. The girl turned around and shrugged, “Well I gotta go to class now, you should too. This is the second bell and-” 

He scoffed and whirled around. “Yeah, yeah. Don’t wanna be late,” he let out a bitter laugh and walked away. 

🔥 

Talliah sat down in her usual seat, which was by the window at the corner of the class. She was always told that she was “Lucky” to sit in the back since she could look out the window and no one would call on her as much as her peers who sat in the front. She never understood why they felt like this since where you sit wouldn’t affect your performance at all nor your grades; so why care?

Her peers were chatting, and she sat patiently for Ms. Maureen to enter the room. She has been late for two minutes now. If she punished them for being even a minute later, the teacher should too, right? The door had burst open, and students flinched from the shock of the noise. Ms. Maureen was panting and had her hand on her chest, inhaling and exhaling. “Sorry, I’m late. Something came up,” She stated, sauntering to the desk at the front and placing all her folders and materials neatly. Taliah raised her hand. “Yes,” She nodded towards Taliah.

“What’s your punishment?” She blinked, folding her hands neatly. Ms. Maureen responded with her eyebrows raised. Taliah remembered the boy- Sid- had mentioned that when someone was to give such an expression, it would be because of confusion or that they had a question. “Since you’re late. Having something come up is ‘inexcusable and students saying this will be marked late no matter what.’ This was what you had said at the beginning of the school year; was it not? So what is your punishment?” She asked. Curious to see her response and how things would work, what is the punishment for the punisher? It surprised her to see how Ms. Maureen’s veins were almost bulging out of her forehead. Her classmates were staring at her, some of them smiling with surprise, others had their eyes widened and lips pursed. 

“Excuse me?” Her voice raised. “I am a teacher, so this does not apply to me. Besides, this was an extremely im-important manner-er,” She chuckled at the end of her sentence while stumbling over some words. She exhaled loudly, while Talliah’s classmates would peer at her and look at Ms. Maureen. She clapped her hands and smiled, “Well, this actually brings us up to today’s lesson. It’s actually morals class today,” She begun while other students groaned.

Morals class occurred once a month, when one class that would normally be on whatever subject it was, would instead be about morals and “how to be a good person”. Lila, a girl with black hair up to her chin with bangs, would always complain about how much she hated the class.

Talliah honestly appreciated this class, it was extremely helpful and beneficial to those who needed it. “Impurity,” She began, writing it on the whiteboard. “What is it?” She asked.

After a few rounds of going around and giving their own definitions, she had finally settled on Lila’s elaboration. “When something is contaminated or not pure, there are other substances or additional items in it which do not make it ‘pure.” Talliah’s ears perked when she heard this.

“Thank you for your explanation. Yes, we are all impure. Which is why we have Air-Ps’ meaning Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Predictions. This is to keep us all safe if it senses anything suspicious or the algorithm senses something bad could happen. The said person will immediately be punished. This is extremely controversial, on one hand. Some people agree with this, that the chance of others getting injured would be horrible and that they should be stopped immediately, but others believe that since it did not happen yet, they should not be punished.” Ms. Maureen paused, and some students whispered to one another, stating their sides. She glanced around the room and continued, “This is obviously incorrect. The algorithm is never wrong. Even if it was, why wait until after they commit the crime when it could be prevented earlier.” She stated. They then split the class up into smaller groups to discuss this topic.

Talliah sat next to Lila, Rika, and Will. “This is stupid,” Rika grumbled, crossing her arms. “She’s not even letting us have our own opinions. Telling us what’s right or wrong when it’s about a controversial topic,” She muttered. 

Lila jumped in, lifting her pointer, “I know right. The algorithm can’t always be right. How would they know it’s wrong if they don’t give anyone chances? Air-Ps’ is just to instill fear so that the government has control over us. Screw them. Screw everyone who agrees. Screw everyone blinded by this. Ugh, I hate this so much,” She ranted.

Talliah frowned, “It’s to make sure everyone is safe. They did give chances when Air-Ps’ were less popular and first coming out. Those people always had done something horrid, which is why we’re here today.” She explained. The trio stared at Will, who flinched and stared at his hands neatly folded.

“Uh, I don’t know. I don’t want to get involved since both sides make sense. I don’t have a one-sided opinion. I really think it depends,” he said. Rika rolled her eyes while Taliah blankly stared in confusion.

Suddenly, the bell rang and students swung their bag onto their backs and ran out the door, whiffling goodbye to the teacher. Ms. Maureen waved back half-heartedly, absorbed in her book.

🔥

Sid despised Air-Ps. It started as a game. A few decades ago, a few students gathered around and attempted at making robots that would predict a human’s actions based on all their previous responses to different situations. This developed, and powerful people got their hands on it. Soon it became a part of daily life.

Sid couldn’t stand how some people simply allowed this to happen. He could understand their good intentions, but so many people were getting punished daily for things they didn’t even do. It made him furious. It was odd how he got along with Talliah, who had very differing opinions.

Talliah was ranting about her opinions on what happened in her class. “People who are impure get punished. Why are you upset? It’s not like you’re impure?” She asked, genuinely confused.

Sid paused for a moment, “Aren’t we all impure?” She stopped in her tracks. The pair were on the street, walking towards their home together since their houses were right next to each other.

“Hmm, everyone has done something bad. Maybe nothing like a robbery, but perhaps it may be forgetting to return an item or threatening to hurt someone on impulse,” Sid stated. Honestly, he didn’t know whether Talliah has actually done something like this. Despite being friends since childhood, Sid couldn’t identify a single time she got herself in trouble.

“So everyone is impure. Everyone should be punished,” Talliah responded. She seemed to stare at something beside Sid, rather than looking directly at him. She usually did this when she focuses on something. Sid sighed, she wasn’t getting his point. As usual.

“Sure, do whatever you want,” He exhaled, giving up on trying to explain what he really meant by what he said.

“Then why aren’t people punished?” She asked, her eyes widening with curiosity. 

“Those aren’t major things, they aren’t extremely harmful and they are important to a person’s growth. You can’t grow without mistakes. Those people are still punished, just not from the government, since no one important would care about a missing pencil case or something.” He elaborated on this. Sid was unsure how Talliah would take this, he didn’t agree with her opinions and wanted her to see from his point of view. But he wouldn’t force anything either.

To the left, the pair glanced up and the familiar shape of a large brick house stood before them. Sid faced Talliah and walked backwards, one hand waving goodbye and the other extending back to be sure he didn’t bump into anything. Talliah waved back in response and skipped along to the house next door, painted in white.

🔥

Talliah liked the scenery when she would walk to and from school. The birds would whirl around and chirp, while the tall buildings would glimmer in the bright sunlight. Every day at exactly 7:30 Sid and Talliah would walk out of their houses and walk to school together. At first, it was a thing the pair would do when they were children before the Air-P was affordable for everyone, so they would do this to be safe.

The creak of the door alerted Talliah that Sid was there; the two walked side by side. “Did you sleep at all last night? You look like a mess,” Sid elbowed Talliah, glancing at her with concern.

She sighed and replied, “I was thinking. Ooh, and I made some cupcakes in the middle of the night.” After saying this, she swung her bag and opened it up to show a plastic container with two dozen cupcakes, light pink swirls on top along with rainbow collared sprinkles.

He raised his eyebrow, “Um, thinking about what? And can I have one?” He asked, reaching out his hand. Talliah quickly zipped her bang and flung it around her back.

“It’s for my classmates, I’ll give one to you later.” Drawn to the gigantic building, with the white coating that had multiple sectors connecting to one another, she paused. “I’m going to tell you something important later. Right now, I have to do something. It’s super important,” she didn’t bother to face Sid and dashed towards the doors. Sid tilted his head and shrugged.

🔥

Sid tapped his fingers on the wooden desk as he blankly stared at the formula on the chalkboard. “Write this down, it’ll be on the test,” Mr. Lank said. “Speed is distance divided by time,” He glared at Sid. While everyone else was quickly jotting down notes, Sid was twirling his pencil with his hand.

He raised his head, “Sir, I know the formula. I have it memorized,” Sid explained. Mr. Lank sighed; he opened his mouth to scold Sid- as usual- when the rotten stench of flames getting in the back of his nose. The bells shrilled, and most of his classmates covered his ears, scurrying to two lines, separating themselves.

There were whispers amongst the students, “Another drill?” One asked. “No, can’t you smell that? It’s smoke, an actual fire.” The girl behind Sid whispered in response.

Sid was in the middle of the line, surrounded by people, and he could barely make out what was going on. He simply followed in the footsteps and wondered what was happening. Everyone scurried towards the back exit, making sure that they were behind the teacher. Sid heard a shriek from behind and immediately ran towards it, slipping to the side and rushing.

More shrieks, a group of students were rushing, trying to shove others. “Oh my god!” Polly cried. Polly was staring at the remains of an arm. Egor cursed under his breath and shoved her, dashing towards the front and not paying attention to the people he was shoving.

A wave of students pushed him aside, and he felt a hand grab his arm, pulling him. Everything was blurry, the number of things happening at once overwhelmed him. A sudden change in the atmosphere made him gasp for air. The skies were a light blue, and the rumble of footsteps caused him to lose his balance. He fell to the ground and was attempting to catch his breath. “SID, SID!” Talliah screeched as she grabbed his arms and dragged him up. She lifted him up and carried him.

Tears dripping down her face, Talliah whimpered, “Oh my god,” her voice shook. To the side, Sid caught Polly and her friends taking pictures of something to the south. The stench of smoke filled his head, and part of the building was crumbling to the ground.

“I think we should go home,” he whispered. The kids that Egor shoved were walking outside the school, probably to meet their family. Talliah nodded her head in response. Sid let go of Taliah and could walk on his own. They walked in silence, both of them thinking.

Sid was lightheaded, it was unbelievable that he was so close to death. “I wonder how the fire started,” He inhaled. “I’ve got so many questions,” he chuckled. Talliah responded with a grunt in agreement. 

Talliah paused, “I still have the cupcakes. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to give them to everyone,” She said, reaching for her bag. “You can have one,” Talliah pulled out one of them and gave it to Sid.

Sid nodded his head, “Monica passed. I’m sure there’s more people that got affected. It’s so sad,” Sid sighed. “I know that doesn’t sound sincere, ‘it’s so sad’ but I really mean it,” He said while nibbling on the cupcake. Talliah glanced at him, her eyes locked onto him. “What?” He asked.

She leaned and whispered in his ear, Sid’s heartbeat thumped. Something bad was going to happen. “I was the one who set the building on fire,” she giggled. Sid blinked and gaped at her.

He wasn’t sure what to say in response, so he simply stood there. “You said we’re all impure, so it’s best to get rid of all humans, right? Then there're no imperfections or impurities. Since I am also imperfect, I will sacrifice myself for good. I won’t wipe out all of humanity, even if that were possible, I wouldn’t. We can make sure that robots raise children so they can be as pure as possible.” Talliah said. 

There were so many things running through Sid’s head at the moment. He took a step back, and the cupcake splatted to the ground. She snickered, “It’s poisoned, by the way. Cyanide. You’ll be dead within a few minutes at most,” She went on. Sid coughed and spit on the ground. It was getting harder to breathe as if all the air was getting sucked out of his body.

Talliah whirled around, “There’s no one here. Everyone is at school or at work. Oh, and I’m telling you this because. Well, I need to get it out of my system. I’ve been dying to tell someone about my plans.” She chuckled.

Sid’s body swayed left and right, he couldn’t stand much longer and fell to the ground, wheezing and attempting at getting air. 

Talliah sighed, “Nothing against you though. I’m only doing this for the better of the world!” Talliah’s voice grew distorted and Sid could barely catch what she was saying as she twirled around.

December 19, 2020 01:34

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

9 comments

Arham Ishraq
19:47 Dec 19, 2020

"Her peers were chatting, and she sat patiently for Ms. Maureen to enter the room. She has been late for two minutes now. If she punished them for being even a minute later, the teacher should too, right? The door had burst open, and students flinched from the shock of the noise. " W h a t - anyways it's really good for a rushed story and i really dont have much to say :DDD and the air-p thing sounds scary..dont give the government ideas like that

Reply

Ash M
02:36 Dec 22, 2020

Um okay thanks.

Reply

Ash M
02:37 Dec 22, 2020

Yeah ik it's like weird and rushed but like uh thanks for the compliment ig.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Izzie Chan
23:17 Dec 19, 2020

i knowww lmao omg

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
Ash M
01:36 Dec 19, 2020

I finally submitted something after like months. Woohoo :| it's pretty obvious I did this last minute and didn't get a chance to edit so- Sorry for the rushed ending btw, I know there are a lot of errors, plot-wise and grammatically. Well, I hope you at least enjoyed the story. Uh please give some feedback on what I can improve on and things like that (if you want to). Well uh anyway yeah have a nice day I guess?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Izzie Chan
14:05 Dec 19, 2020

Hey ash (it’s so weird calling you that)! Wow, I really didn’t expect that ending, though. Talliah seemed so innocent! I love the development in the characters, and I could almost hear Talliah’s voice at the end. There were spelling errors (you type very fast, so it’s understandable lmao), but if you just do a quick scanning of the story, it’ll be good! Great story, Ash! (I couldn’t help but notice that you kept the fire emojis-) Alsoooo, I released a story yesterday! Would you mind checking it out?

Reply

Ash M
02:38 Dec 22, 2020

Thanks for the feedback, and what are the said spelling errors? Also, um idk I read ur story thing it's like. Good and like pro sounding. Yeah high vocab nice good. Uh anyone other than Arham, Izzie or Raquel reading this- I'm not weird, I am weird but like Ik them irl so this is awkward and stuff. So like anyone else seeing this pls don't judge me bc idk just don't.

Reply

Izzie Chan
02:39 Dec 22, 2020

you- you wrote bang for bag-

Reply

Ash M
02:41 Dec 22, 2020

Oh, you said a FEW so like uhhhh can u like tell me more?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply