Starting from Scratch

Chapter One

Of course I bought the new IPhone 100Z. It was 2040, for Christ Sake.
At the time, to own an outdated IPhone model was to brand yourself with a scarlet letter.
Total. Social. Suicide.
You know how it is was.


Besides, our brains are naturally wired to crave new technology.
It wasnt only our way of staying current; survival in our modern world was dependent on the possession of a cell phone.
Not to mention that when Apple bankrupted their competitors in 2021, my decision to buy the IPhone 100Z really became less of a personal choice and more of an obligation, despite the monopoly's nauseatingly misleading slogan,
Apple: the right choice
Ok, I'm sorry. I dont know why I am justifying it. The truth is that I bought into the Apple bullshit like the rest of us.
I fed the flames of a fire I did not even know was burning
We all did. And it scorched us alive.

At only 16 years old, I simply did not know any better.
How in the world could anyone have predicted this ?
No matter how guilty I may be, I never, not in my wildest dreams nightmares, could have imagined what Apple was cooking up behind closed doors or even considered what was really going on at that tyrannical corporation we idly allowed to take over our world.


Allow me to introduce myself, briefly though, before they come back.
My name is Amaris, though I much prefer the name my mother gave me, which is Sarah, by the way.

That is all in the past now though, or so they say.
Times may have changed, but they still cannot erase my past, no matter how hard they may try I will always remember who I was before they stole everything from me.
After all, my memories are that I have left.
I will always remember the panicked and unforgettably haunting look in her eyes the day they took her away from me.
In fact, I don't think I could shake that image from my head even if I implored them to rob me of it.
I remember the comforting smell of coffee, and the rich taste of chocolate. I remember the blue, Latin words written on his door that I passed on an everyday basis back at the office he told me translates to loyalty, honesty, and respect.


So anyway, here is my quick, summarized version of it all.

My loyalty now legally lies with a couple I honestly could murder in cold blood without losing an ounce of sleep.
Respect? it does not exist anymore. The respect train left the station 3 years ago for people like me and I am currently treated with the level of respect owed to the insects on your windshield wiper. And look, if you want honesty, the raw truth is that I am slowly drowning; gasping for air while the life boats in proximity turn their faces, ripe with pity, to watch. And then carry on, forbidden to take action even though they know what is happening to me is wrong.


I was going to be a journalist, you know. Now my duties consist of doing nothing and saying nothing. Now I am merely regarded as a limited purpose object; the sponge that absorbs all of her displaced anger and the walking womb that will someday carry her my child. The cruelty of my mistress is deeply entrenched in jealousy and I can detect that she resents me because she is not the chosen one: I am. I am her handmaid. Lucky, lucky me.

Chapter Two:A Glimpse at the Past

So as it turned out, the cost of being technologically savvy came at a hefty price.
And by price I don't mean the physical $3000 bill we had to pay for the newer, sleeker, trendier IPhone model.
Nor am I referring to the price of every new device's associated headphones and chargers, strategically designed as incompatible to the other, older models. I'm not even explicitly referring to the cost of internet dues resulting from the 2045 crisis when Apple teamed up with Google to eradicate Net Neutrality as we knew it.
So yeah, that happened.
Apple had insisted that government regulated Net Neutrality would be synonymous to letting all cars on the road enter a one lane tunnel at the same time;
I insisted that government regulated Net Neutrality would be preferable to corporately regulated totalitarianism.

Ok, well maybe not out loud, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, here's how it played out.


In 2047, Apple officially became the largest, most profitable corporation known to man, solidified by their decision to purchase every broadband and internet service provider available in the US. Shortly after, Apple's largely unregulated powers seemingly penetrated every aspect of our existence taking control of our lives and changing them forever.


Let me explain.
That September, the FCC released their decision to allow Apple to segment the market of internet users
(AKA everyone)
by issuing different internet access subscriptions at different costs. Almost immediately, the hypothetical line dividing lower, working, middle, and upper class citizens hardened. Suddenly, limited censorship and high speed internet service became commodities replacing material goods and brand names as the most discernable indicators of wealth, in juxtaposition to today's class system of course, in which we are now all forced to distinguish ourselves in the form of government issued uniforms.


In transforming a public resource as fundamental as the internet into a commodity, Apple single handedly turned information consumption into a luxury rather than a necessity in the name of exploiting vulnerable citizens. Two months after the decision was made, my best friend Franny dropped out of college. She simply didnt' have the tools she needed internet access. Apple's plan to turn all of us into puppets at their mercy was officially in effect.
and let me tell you something, ignorance was not bliss.
Although listed at $3000, the real cost our savvy Apple gadgets turned out to be the relinquishment of our basic human rights.


Here's what you need to know: We were never alone. All those times we thought we were just with our cellphones, there was always someone else in the room with us. Apple made sure of it. Our devices, or should I say the corporate stranger on the other end of our devices, listened to us. Then, they personalized and censored the content we consumed (even before it was legal).
Sometimes our technology even responded to us in ways we were utterly oblivious to because their propaganda tactics were scientifically engineered to be subtle.
Before our world was turned upside down, we used our cell phones so frequently that they literally became extensions of our hands and minds.

Consequentially, by tapping into them, Apple was able to extract even our most subconscious thoughts and predict our next moves by translating our behavior into an algorithm.


Surprised by the 2016 election? They were't.

And no, I wasn't alive at the time, I just went to college, OK?
What I didn't learn in college was that Apple actually secured Trump's presidency and relied on it.
After all, Apple's Christian Reconstructionist army would not have so easily been able to swoop in and replace our fragile government had it not already been in tatters.
By monopolizing on all technology and commercially restricting the internet/basic public information, Apple was able to heighten our dependency on technology with the intention of exploiting it.
Think of it as a drug dealer using social pressures to convince a sober counterpart to try heroine by promising the first dose for free in order to hook them on the drug and make a profit.

Apple's true intentions were camouflaged by the seemingly capitalist spirit with which they went about acquiring power and control.


The irony, then, was that their profitable business model resonated with the core values of America's capitalist Democracy whilst simultaneously undermining it. They never wanted a democracy ‐ democracies inferred equality. Apple wanted complete and utter control which they were able secure initially by segmenting internet access, and then by artificially reconstructing our demographics by geographically fragmenting our entire nation in order to better control our increasingly scarce resources.


Our bustling age of technology was set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing, rapidly deteriorating natural environment barren waste land.

If something wasn't already dead, it was wilting. Our environment, once fruitful and ripe with natural resources, was slowly becoming uninhabitable. Although nature may had been failing us, we failed it first by neglecting to respect not only our environment's natural balance but our society's.


I believe we fundamentally disobeyed nature's unspoken rules by embroiling ourselves in technological indulgences and corporate power; a kind of overwhelmingly assumed power that overestimated mankind's potential and maintained that the human race was superior to any environmental law because we had thought we had means of artificially simulating all of our necessities such as food, water, and reproductive means upon which the continuation of our species was contingent.
Instead, the continually increasing wealth gap facilitated by Apple's commercialization of the internet was reinforced by dwindling resources.

Survival of the fittest richest, you could say.

Chapter Three: The Turning Point

I was on my way to meet Mark at Cafe Milano, running 10 minutes late already.
I reached for my Iphone to let him know I was still about another 10 away when I saw that my screen was black ‐ a peculiarly disappointing sight because the newest model wasn't supposed to ever die when an ominous message began to materialize on my screen.

Then something happened.

What occurred in the next 5 minutes enveloped us all in a sea of blinding chaos more memorable than the specifics.

Our Apple technology, on which we had grown increasingly dependent (and not to mention spent small fortunes on), was now reduced to a personalized message demand from ‘yours truly.’ We could not text, call, browse ‐ nothing: Only read and obey Apple's instructions and information regarding our new roles in society based on class and skill, ect.


Remember, they thought they knew us better than we knew ourselves supported by years of monitoring and censoring our devices.
Apple encouraged us to trust the algorithm and follow the rules of the game we didn't even know we were playing.
They provided a list of nearby shuttles that would chauffeur us to our specific districts, and urged us to make haste if we wished to keep our lives.
They justified their fabricated reconstruction of society by insisting that it aimed to preserve the human race and serve the public good.

By reducing what we could see on our $3000 phones to a measly chunk of words detailing what had to do if we wanted to survive, Apple had created the first ever technology blackout as well as the greatest panic our world had ever seen.

The fear that ensued thereafter was pervasive. So pervasive, even, that the majority of people actually obeyed their orders, unable to ignore the promise of death to those who disobeyed. That is why I am here and she is there. That is why I am Amaris.


Perhaps our leaps forward were too strident; a quick glance at any History book may remind you that radicalism is often the catalyst for political and social ideological reformation.

For example, one can recall that the birth of the Romantic Movement was created to as a way to combat and critique conflicting ideologies of the Enlightenment Movement. It is hypothesized by some that our age of technology over indulged us. Developed so much at such a rapid pace in a way that facilitated an infertile environment and the completion of a whole, 360-degree circle, forcing us to start from scratch.


By reverting to, and going beyond the oppressive intolerance of the original puritans, Apple implemented our now monotheocratic government as a means of justifying their complete control over all resources.
Our districts resemble the original 13 colonies.
Depending on the terrain of the district, inhabitants are to follow different processes required to extract the land's specialized resource which is then exported directly to the ruling class in which I live.


Well ‐ sort of. Although our model echoes the fragmented colonial labor market, in which Virginian planters cultivated tobacco and South Carolinians enjoyed a monopoly on rice, my resourceful contribution is ‥ a bit different.

You see, our population has plummeted. The curse of infertility now not only plagues our environment's cultivated resources, but has infected womankind, ultimately threatening the extinction of the human race and leading to the exploitation and commercialization of fertile bodies.


In 2049, I had a daughter named Hannah.

They took her from me ‐ told me I should feel lucky; blessed even.
That I am the chosen one that gets to bear them children, ‘blessed be the fruit’.
Living among the ruling class isn't all it's cracked up to be.
At least in the districts everyone is equal whereas here, my red robes signifying subordination stand out starkly against their green. Apple said they would rearrange and redefine mankind's ever evolving social structure by setting back the clock in order to preserve the human race.

I say its bullshit.


Sarah Amaris

The End

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