Sara looked into the bright light for several seconds, then closed her eyes. Immediately the commercials began to play. They glitched between a new meal replacement pill flavor, a smiling woman advertising gum you didn’t have to chew, Gryce Industries’ latest air-cycle model, and a few others before the doctor told her to open her eyes.
“Well, I can make adjustments,” he said, “but your lenses will need to be reprogrammed by a specialist.” He consulted her chart downloading to his Class 8 lenses, flipping pages with a few flicks of his right eye.
Sara briefly wondered what it must be like to have Class 8 lenses. Hers were barely Class 3.5, and only because she had scraped together enough credits for the update from her Class 3’s. She should have known not to trust that bargain basement trader again, but the update had seemed a bargain too good to be true. Now that her lenses were glitching, she knew why.
“Fortunately, this is all covered on your plan, so the procedure shouldn’t cost more than four credits.” He smiled at her reassuringly. “It won’t hurt a bit.”
Sara sank into the hard plastic chair. She’d heard that lie before.
When a child is born, they are taken to a specialist for mandatory procedures. Eye lenses for information and communication, nostril implants for unpleasant smell reduction and contamination identification, ear canal implants for noise adjustment and sound filtration, an implant under the tongue to adjust taste and temperature, and various implants in several fingers, such as magnets and computer chips. The implants are updated every three to five years without fail. This is all done in the name of health, the name of longevity, and the name of Progress.
Sara was twelve when her implants began to fail. She had a cold, and the hot tea her mother made her had tasted terrible. She spat it out and refused to drink any more of the stuff. That is when she started going to the doctors, and that is when the lies began.
Follow the Five, stay alive.
Skipping a scheduled update is Not Allowed.
Failure to report a glitch or malfunction is Not Allowed.
Taking another Inhabitant’s updates is Not Allowed.
Religious, Political, or Other objections or refusal of implants are Not Allowed.
Removal of implants is Not Allowed.
-Rhyme taught to children at school