|Genre:||Drama, Action, Adventure, Scifi|
|Rating:||PG (Australia) PG-13 (US) 15 (UK)|
|Original run:||17 June - 20 July 2014|
Awakening is the first episode of the Revolution series by WikiBuilder1147. It depicts the adventures of a group of youngsters against the oppressive regime under which they live their lives in constant scrutiny and fear.
The clock began to ring.
It rang, mercilessly and unyielding, until, finally, a frustrated hand slammed down on the contraption, shutting it up. The blankets rolled back, revealing the body of a boy. His legs swung out of bed and as he sat up he stretched his arms out behind him, opening his mouth in a lion's yawn. He smacked his lips. Standing up, he turned to his bed and he sighed before he rolled the blanket back. He patted the blankets, flattening them and rolling out the creases.
The boy entered the bathroom next door, looking at the mirror. His hair was all over the place. With a tsk-tsk, he turned on the tap before placing his head under the stream of water. He shouted in pain as the cold sensation created by the water ran down his spine, electrifying every nerve. He withdrew his head promptly, quickly drying his hair with a towel. He removed a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste from a cup next to the sink, and he squeezed some toothpaste carefully onto the brush.
After brushing thoroughly, he turned the water back on to wash the brush out. No water came.
"Damn it!" the boy said. "The water's out again."
Abandoning his toothbrush, the boy went back into his bedroom. He opened the doors to his wardrobe. He removed a newly pressed shirt, shorts, socks and undergarments from the wardrobe. After making sure his bedroom door was locked, he shed his pyjamas, throwing them into a basket at the other end of the room. He then put his legs through the holes in his underpants, and then put on his singlet. He then carefully put on his shorts, zipping the fly closed and ever so delicately thread the button through its hole. His white shirt was next. After all the buttons were firmly locked to their holes and had no chance of slipping back out, he pulled his socks onto his feet before putting them into his shoes. He closed the wardrobe door.
On a hook at the back of his bedroom door was a sash. It was black in colour and felt firm to the touch. He wound the piece of fabric around his shoulder and waist before clipping the two ends shut. On the shoulder end was an emblem.
The Government Seal.
The boy unlocked his bedroom door and stepped outside into the hall. His parents were already awake and had left for work. He entered the kitchen. He removed a packet from the fridge.
"Morning Rations - Standard Citizen," the cover read. The boy pushed the packet into his schoolbag along with his books and stationery. Soon after, he heard the hum of the bus. He removed a keychain from a hook next to the apartment door before unlocking it. He stepped out into the hall. He slipped the keys into his pocket before sprinting to the elevator. Upon exiting the apartment block, he walked to the awaiting school bus, which had lowered its tube. He stepped into the tube. The boy was immediately lifted into the air, and disappeared into the bus. The bus rose into the air before joining the traffic of the busy skylanes of Bridgeport.
As the bus sped along its route to the school, the boy walked down the aisle to a seat. As he ambled past junior students, they stood and saluted him. The boy nodded back in return. He then took his seat towards the back of the vehicle. He calmly zipped open his backpack and removed the rations. He opened the cover. He pulled a spoon free from the side of the packet and started eating. It didn't really taste of much. Really, it was simply a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, sugars and other vitamins and minerals. Just enough to get him through the morning. The boy took his time. The way to school was pretty long, anyway, what with all the stopping.
The bus halted once more, and a girl was pulled into the bus. The same junior students saluted her as she walked down the aisle.
"Hi, Ben!" she said to the boy. She sat down beside him.
"Hello, Miami," he replied, smiling.
Miami sighed and began to whisper. "It's going to be yet another boring day at school. Do this, do that. Government this, Government that. It annoys the hell out of me. I wish they'd teach something interesting for once."
"You know the Government wouldn't think very highly of you if you let that out in front of everyone else," said Ben.
"I know," Miami said. "But all they teach us is 'servitude to the Government'." She mocked one of their teachers' voices.
Ben couldn't help but laugh, though he did manage to keep it to a stifled chuckle. "There hasn't been anything BUT the Government. Not ever."
"That's what they tell us," Miami replied, adopting a more serious tone. "But what if there was something before the Government, only they don't want anyone to know?"
Before Ben could answer, the bus finally came to a stop. Just outside was the imposing Public School 67.
PS 67 was a bleak building, its exterior being composed completely of drab grey brick. The fact that it was against a drab grey sky with drab grey clouds in the absence of a shining sun didn't really help. The windows were soulless, curtain-less frames into which one could see the classrooms, again, drab and grey and lacking anything that could've made them more interesting.
"C'mon," said Ben. "Let's go to class."
Ben, Miami and their classmates stood up and saluted promptly as their teacher entered their classroom.
"Long live the Government!" they screamed. Mr Rilkins marched in and paused, surveying the class, before screaming back at them.
"Oi, you filthy maggots! Did you just get out of bed or somethin'?!"
The students resisted the temptation to call their teacher "Captain Obvious".
"Right, then," Rilkins said, satisfied at the children's misery. "Get out The Government and Me and turn to page three hundred-and-sixteen! Anyone not on that page within ten seconds is gonna get into a LOT of trouble!"
The students grabbed out their books from their schoolbags and placed them onto their desks. They then flipped the largest one open to precisely the right page. All of them mostly did it in under ten seconds.
One, however, did not.
"Alright, time's up!" shouted Rilkins. A wry smile slowly creeped onto his face as his sadistic eyes fell upon the poor child who completed his task in eleven seconds.
"Oi! Slowcoach! Stand up!" the teacher screamed, pointing at the boy. He stood up, bracing himself for the carnage to come. Rilkins stormed up to his prey.
"Did I not say TEN seconds?" the teacher screamed angrily, his eyes seething with rage.
"You did, sir!" sobbed the boy.
"And how long did you take, boy?" Rilkins roared.
"Eleven seconds, sir!"
"Is that too long?" the teacher snapped.
"Much too long, sir!" the boy said, his voice begging for forgiveness.
"And what happens to people that take too long?"
"They become useless to the Government, sir!"
"And don't you forget it!" Rilkins screeched.
"If you do, your punishment will be a lot worse than this!"
"Yes sir!" the poor boy slumped back into his chair, bruised and battered. Tears flowed freely down his face, though he successfully resisted crying out loud. Ben tried as hard as he could to appear unsympathetic. Any show of that could put him in as much agony as Rilkins' latest victim.
Two hours later...
In another class, the teacher droned on and on about the Government. It was an ordeal even to remain awake during that lesson, let alone pay attention to what she was saying.
"...and the Government saved us all from destruction during the Great Drought ten years ago..." she said monotonously.
The history teacher stood facing the class with her large pointer, her round glasses far too large for her small, glassy eyes. Her impoverished form made her look like she would fold in on herself any second.
"...when the Rebellion was quelled towards the end of the Great Drought, the disgraced leaders were shamefully executed in front of the cheering populace, who were all screaming in joy as the Government's full power was restored..."
Ben looked over at Miami, who was already asleep. The teacher didn't seem to care, as she continued to spout her lecture. He shook his friend awake.
"Wha...wha?" the girl whispered. "Is class over?"
"No, Miami," Ben replied. "You need to stay awake!"
"Ugh," Miami groaned in disgust. "Bite me." She turned her head away from Ben and resumed sleeping.
"Right, you sorry bunch of wimps!" shouted the gym teacher, who looked more like a drill sergeant than an educator. "You can't be of service to the Government if you can't demonstrate the basic skills of physical activity!"
"Great," one boy said. "More--"
He didn't have time to finish his sentence. The teacher forced the boy to the ground. His victim's body slammed against the ground. Hard. The boy didn't move after that.
"Anyone else?" said the teacher, cracking his knuckles. The rest of the class stayed silent.
"Right! A hundred laps! All of you! Anyone who doesn't make it back by the time the bell rings will be as unconscious as him! Now, MOVE!"
The class were now, exhausted, back in the class of Mr Rilkins.
"The Government and Me, page four hundred and fifty-five! NOW!" came Rilkins' terrifying scream. Everyone scrambled to open their books to the correct page. The teacher looked around with his Stare of Utter Doom and Despair. Fortunately for the class, and unfortunately for him, everyone had made it in time. Rilkins grunted in disappointment.
"Read the article!" Rilkins said in a softer tone, much to the relief of his students.
"The Government has been in existence since the Dark Times. It is eternal because of its mighty power to crush any opponent standing in its way. Its power is thanks to its citizens' ability to provide their services to the Government," the children chanted. "As we are this country's citizens, it is imperative that we dedicate our lives to the glorious establishment we call the Government, the only government that's ever been, and the only government that shall be."
"Good!" Rilkins said in displeasure. "AGAIN!"
Rilkins' tormented students repeated the paragraph again and again. They did so until Rilkins found someone who was not following exactly in step as the others.
"STOP!" Rilkins screamed, his mouth once again curling into a cruel grin. He marched over to the unfortunate student's desk. Unlike men of today, Rilkins was not afraid of hitting women and little girls. He slapped her face heartily.
"You weren't with the others!" he screamed.
"No, sir," she confessed, afraid of getting hit harder if she attempted to defend herself.
"In future, if you repeat the same mistake, you will be severely punished! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!"
"The Government doesn't like mistakes!"
Rilkins raised his hand to slap the girl again. He then found himself unable to bring his hand down upon her reddened face. He looked back to see who was insolent enough to do such a thing.
It was Miami.
Ben looked on in horror as his best friend angrily stared at the raging teacher. Rilkins ceased his attack, turning to glare at the perpetrator, his eyes filled to the brim with hatred.
"How dare you!" Rilkins screamed.
"How dare you!" Miami shouted. The headstrong girl launched immediately into a rant.
"How dare you scream at us when all we've done is to be human and make mistakes! How dare you treat us like inferior beings and make our lives miserable like it's your job! Your job is to teach us things that will make us productive citizens of this country! Our job is to learn things that will make us productive citizens of this country, NOT to take your petty insults! You, Mr Rilkins, and all of your shameful colleagues, are fortunate that the stupid Government turns a blind eye to this nonsense, or else you would be in prison at this very moment! You are committing child abuse, and you say how dare me? You, Mr Rilkins, are a CRIMINAL, and so are all the 'teachers' in this DAMN SCHOOL, and all the other DAMN INDOCTRINATING INSTITUTES IN THIS DAMN COUNTRY!"
Rilkins was speechless for a few moments, then grinned evilly once again.
"You'll certainly pay for this," looking past Miami. "Take her away."
"Miss Miami Hodgson," said the soldier standing behind Miami, "you are under arrest for the crimes of insulting a superior individual and disrespectfully speaking against the Government." The security guard's companion grabbed hold of Miami's arm.
"Get your slimy Government hands off me!" Miami cried before being knocked unconscious by the first soldier. Miami was handcuffed before being slung onto the second soldier's shoulders.
"Not to worry, sir," said the first soldier. "We will eliminate this criminal's influences and shall reeducate her before sending her back to school. The process may take, at most, a few weeks."
"Most delightful," said Mr Rilkins in a far more diplomatic tone than usual. "Thank you, officers."
"Pleasure," said the second soldier. The pair exited, with Miami's unconscious body as Ben and his classmates watched in utter terror.
As Ben Faulkner shuffled down the hallways of PS 67 the next day, schoolmates walking passed him glanced sympathetically at him. Only briefly, though, for fear of teachers punishing them for extended exchanges of compassion.
All of this was too much for Ben, who started speeding up into a run.
Why, Miami? Why? was his only thought at the time. Ben ran into his classroom, where for once he felt a small measure of safety. The bell rang, bringing near-silence to the halls thereafter. Students filed into the classroom, preparing themselves for Mr Rilkins' screaming orders.
"Long live the Government!" they chanted again as their feared teacher walked into the room.
"Thank the Government! Page two hundred and thirty-six! Five seconds!" he shrieked.
During gym class, the teacher was just as terrifying and drill-sergeant-like as the previous day.
"Alright, you miserable wimps!" he screamed. Ben could see that the same boy that was severely punished by the gym teacher the day before was seething with rage at the sight of his tormentor. Suddenly, the boy stormed up to the gym teacher, slapping the man before launching into a rant similar to Miami's.
The gym teacher's eyes glowered with anger. He launched an assault against the boy, creating a cloud of dust around them as they socked each other in the face and other places one would not like to detail. The other students looked on in fear.
Eventually, the gym teacher came soaring out of the dust cloud, landing on his bottom, grimacing in pain. He stood up, and slowly turned to face the triumphant boy.
"You may have won the battle, but you will pay for your insolence!" the gym teacher declared. He reached into his pocket, pulling out a communicator.
"We have a situation here," said the teacher. "Close the--"
Before the gym teacher could further his report, the boy had already disappeared.
"HEY!" the teacher screamed. "GET BACK HERE!"
- K6ka, for helping me come up with ideas for the story.