Chapter 12:

Chapter 12: Clearing Up Questions

Neo-Tokeyo 199X: M1

When Arron once again arrived at the fourth level's MagLev station he was stopped at a checkpoint by two station police.

“What's a B rank doing on the 4th level?” asked one of the officers.

“Stop messing around Mort. There are others behind him. If he is allowed to leave then pass him through. If not let the security bots handle him,” said the second officer.

Mort continued to read scanned info from Arron's cloud chip.

“He's not a wanted criminal and looks like he's allowed to leave.”

“Move it along citizen,” said the second officer waving Arron past.

As Arron walked past his NerViz notified him that he had received a new high-priority message.

[Report to M1-HQ Immediately: Level 1, Sector 12, Zone 3, the damn big building with the M1 Holo-sign.]

Arron walked down the large station platform with several MagLevs entering and leaving the station, as he searched for one that would bring him to Neo-Tokeyo's first level.

As he waited for the right MagLev to appear, he thought over what chief Harlan had said.

Hopefully, his experience working in the megacity would not be that bad. No matter what, he would not bow down and would overcome all challenges that he encountered.

But first, he had to clear up a few important things he was unclear on. After finding a hover bench to sit on he started his quest for answers to his questions.

Since he still couldn't access the Holo-net he was forced to use his wrist-datapad to search through the backlog of KNN news clips which the party of Mother and Father allowed everyone to have access to.

“The new Huko law has been put in place to protect the safety and control the massive population flow. Those not born Neo-Tokeyo will not be allowed to live or work in the Mega-city unless they receive a special OK from the party of Mother and Father.”

“I see so that's what he was talking about,” said Arron as he closed the holo-vid.

With the holo-keypad, he typed in: M1 S.T.F.

Immediately thousands of clips appeared and after a bit of searching, he found the [View from oldest clip] option and tapped on it.

The long floating list was reorganized and he pressed his finger on the first video.

Surprisingly it was a clip from the mental patient Pake. What Arron found more interesting was that it had not been scrubbed from existence like everything else after the incident some time ago.

“Due to the large uptick in new tech crimes which are becoming more cunning, explosive, and deadly on the first level. The police are having trouble handling everything. The party of Mother and Father in their infinite wisdom decided to create a new unit called the M-1 'Special' task force. This special task force will operate separately from the first level's police force,” said Pake.

“They sure sound 'Special',” said Fela.

Arron continued to play clips from the long list of holo-videos.

“Not much has happened since the party of Mother and Fathers decided to create the new M-1 'Special' task force last month. Today, after such a long wait, the M-1 S.T.F. is finally taking charge of all new tech crimes, as well as any other dangerous crimes.”

“The new special task force has seen skyrocketing deaths and serious injuries due to the work they do. The chief of the M1 STF claims it is due to lack of proper equipment to protect themselves against the dangerous situations they seem to constantly find themselves in,” said Pake.

“Maybe they should stop getting into those situations,” said Fela.

In every video that had not been memory-holed by mother and father, the people talking about the M1-STF all did so in a mocking way. Some even went as far as to call it a place of death, or 'The new special walking dead unit'.

“What have I gotten myself into?” Arron muttered to himself.

Just as he muttered those words the MagLev he was waiting for arrived.

The tens of doors clunked open but no one exited the MagLev onto the station’s platform. This allowed Arron and the handful of other passengers to board without much waiting.

When he saw the seats of this MagLev he silently cursed. There were no cushioned seats, only two long rows of benches on each side of the cabin with a few intact seat buckles.

Arron saw the other boarding passengers scrambling to get to one of the spots that still had the flimsy seatbelts.

Arron sat down and claimed one himself, clicking the flimsy belt into place.

'Will this thing even work?' thought Arron, as he looked at the loose, frayed, and stretched material.

A second later the seat belt immediately shrunk back into the wall behind him pressing his waist firmly into the wall.

It was super tight and very uncomfortable. Arron looked around and saw that the belt seemed to be one-size-fits-all.

Another man was sitting next to him on his right. The man’s large gut looked to be cut in half due to the tight belt squeezing him up against the wall.

“I hate riding this damn MagLev! I need some food, but this is the cheap MagLev,” grumbled the man.

The unlucky people that got onto the MagLev last did not sit down on the bench, but instead, they grabbed onto the handlebars hanging from the middle of the ceiling.

Those who had enough money wore magnetic clamping boots that held their legs in place while they held onto the bar above. Those that did not have such a luxury, tried to crowd at the front of the MagLev to lean against the front wall while holding onto the handlebar.

Arron ignored the others as he started to read up on the Social Credit Score from the Information page that everyone could access.

[Your social credit score controls everything. What rank you have determines what rewards, privileges, or punishments you will receive.]

[Social credit score tiers:

AAA: 1050+ points. Super special citizen.

You will get access to all super special benefits such as; Living and working on the 4th level, being able to run for political office in the Upper house of the party of Mother and Father with no extra requirements to register. You will be able to live and work on the 4th level. You will receive minimum tax requirements. You will receive health priority 1. Your children will have first choice to the tier 1 government schools.

AA: 1030-1049. Model Citizen.

You will receive special benefits such as; being allowed to live/work on the 3rd or 2nd level. A minor tax requirement. Health priority 2, your children will have first choice to tier 2 government schools. The party of mother and father can and will use you as a model citizen in their ads for lower-level citizens.

A: 960-1029. Normal citizen.

You receive no benefits other than being able to live and work on the 2nd and 3rd levels.

B: 850-959. Citizen with minor problems detected. You are allowed to live on the 2nd level. You are locked in tier B for a minimum of 2 years of probation. The office of Reason will send a message explaining how you can fix any problems that have placed you into tier B. If you fix the problems during the two years you will be allowed to work on reaching tier A.

C: 600-849. Potentially troubled citizen.

You are restricted to the 1st Level for both work/living. You are locked at tier C for 3 years probation before they can work towards tier B. Your name will be put on an internal government list of potentially troubled citizens. During the three years of probation, an agent from the Office of Reason will come to your home once a week with a checklist. Your workplace will send reports of any problems to Mother and Father and the Office of Reason. You are only allowed 2 children for the rest of your life.

D: 0-599. Troubled citizen.

You are restricted to the 1st level. You must follow the laws and regulations on which jobs and where you are allowed to live. You will be locked at tier D for 5 years of probation before you are allowed to work on getting back to tier C. Your name will be put on a public database for all to see.

This database will be used by the Party of Mother and Father to show which crimes and bad life choices everyone else should avoid. You will receive monitoring 24/7 by the Office of Reason. Any college degrees gained before will be revoked.

You are not allowed to apply for any social benefits, bank loans, or vacations. Due to your low credit score, you may be fired from your current or future job for any reason.

You will be sterilized and your Children will be taken by the [Office of Reason] and put in tier D government school with dorms. See section 3 for further restrictions.]

[For further documentation and information read section 2.]

Arron closed the information page and tried to soak in all the information. It seemed this really was a big deal.

The MagLev jerked forward and started moving away from the station and moments later it was hurtling straight down the side of the Megacity's walls.

Arron's upper body slammed into the large man next to him who was smooshing the person sitting next to him.

A minute later the MagLev did a sharp 90-degree twirling turn as it entered the 3rd level MagLev station to unload and pick up passengers.

When it came time for the MagLev to leave again, Arron braced himself better this time gripping onto the seat between his legs and spreading his feet out to try and stabilize himself for the coming sharp fall.

As the MagLev shot down again he heard a loud 'SNAP!' next to him, followed by a cry of shock.

Arron watched as the large man tumbled down the aisle slamming into everyone that was standing and holding onto the bar above them.

The entire central aisle was cleared as everyone was plowed over and fell to the front where several sickening cracks were heard.

Multiple loud cries of pain and low moaning came from the large pile of bodies that the fat man now lay on top. It all sounded like there would be several people needing medical attention.

All this happened and yet it was only the descent to the second level.