Image By: radoxist on DeviantArt
By: Robin Gagnon
“Did you get them?” my always-drunk-before-noon father asked me with a bottle half pressed to his lips.
“Of course,” I mumbled, showing him the creation guns that I had stolen deep within the city. “You know this almost got me killed, right?”
“Ya, ya,” my dad dismissed with a burp. “Hand them over.”
I passed him the two creation guns that I had stolen and sat on an old, half broken chair. I looked around our one room house that barely kept out the cold. There was some broken kitchenware in the corner, salvaged from the Scrap Pile, and a mattress on the floor of another corner. A few broken, but usable, chairs sat around a round table with empty beer bottles in the middle. I looked to my corner, which consisted of a blanket and a pillow, and sighed.
Once my dad had finished playing around with the settings of the creation gun, he moved his mattress out of the way and shot. Instantly, a bed materialized from practically thin air with a comforter, pillows and all.
“It works,” my dad said in awe. “Finally, we’ll get everything we ever wanted.”
“Hold it,” I interrupted, standing up and nearly falling through a hole in the floor. “You can’t use those things like crazy. I mean, we can’t charge them and the Electi will notice us if we start sprouting houses and such.”
“Robyn, are you trying to tell me what to do?” my dad threatened with that drunken look in his eye that I knew all too well. “You’re my daughter that the Electi doesn’t know about. The one that they didn’t know lived. You’re purpose is to go into the city undetected and get me things to make our lives better. You don’t get to lecture me like you’re my damn mother!”
I frowned. He may have been family by blood, but he certainly didn’t act like a father. I looked at the creation guns, which I had barely managed to grab undetected, and thought about the others in the Afterthought; the place where all the lower class people were tossed to live with practically nothing. There were so many others that would have loved to have these guns to create beds or new clothes or even new machinery to help them cook their food.
I looked back up at my dad, who wore the same clothes everyday. They were the clothes he had worn after being tossed into the Afterthought from the city because of one too many drunken outbursts. The once white suit was now yellow from over-wearing and it was stretched from being too small to fit his big belly. Despite being as poor as everyone else in the Afterthought, he still acted like the selfish, entitled man he used to be when he was in the city. There was no doubt in my mind that my father was going to create a lavish house with the intentions of ‘ruling’ the other people here. I couldn’t let that happen. I was done being his pawn.
Reaching out I grabbed one of the creation guns and ran. I could hear my father’s yells to get back here, but I kept going. I kept running until I had reached Jennifer’s house. Her family was the only ones who knew I existed. Jennifer immediately knew something was wrong, and demanded to know what was up.
“Is your father beating you again?” she demanded with a fiery rage that matched her auburn locks. “Because if he is…”
“No,” I immediately interjected. “I went into the city again for him and I think it was a mistake this time.
I explained to her the situation and here eyes grew round with surprise the more I told her. When I was done, she silently thought over what I had just said. I watched her blue eyes regard me for a moment, as she sat there in a pair of old jeans and a hoodie with some sort of name brand logo on it, which I had stolen for her one of the times I had snuck into the city to steal booze for my dad.
“I don’t believe you,” she finally replied. “You just don’t want me to know that your dad is hitting you again.”
I rolled my eyes and took out the creation gun that I had hidden in the jacket pocket I was wearing under my signature black cloak. At first, Jennifer didn’t realize what she was looking at. Many people in the Afterthought hadn’t actually seen the technology that the elitists had and so many of the stuff they learned about were through rumours.
“Oh my gosh,” she finally awed. “You actually got one. You got a creation gun and they exist!”
“Shhhh,” I exclaimed. “Keep it down.”
“Sorry. It’s just that I didn’t think these existed and, oh my goodness, you could create anything!”
“I know,” I replied, looking down at it. “My dad told me that they’re actually called ‘Spawners’ or something. I wonder if I could figure out how to use it…”
“Jennifer!” her mom suddenly shrieked from the other room. “The Eleci are in the Afterthought at your friend’s house!”
We looed at each other and immediately ran out the door and joined the crowd of people surrounding my house. I used the Appearance Manipulator that I had stolen to look like just another old, dishevelled person in the crowd.
“It wasn’t me,” my father was yelling at the people dressed in white and gold uniform that were detaining him. “It was my daughter. She stole the Spawners. Not me!”
They put him into one of their floating cars, as one of the soldiers responded, “Weston, you don’t have a daughter. I don’t know how you got into the city, but you’ll be punished accordingly.”
One of the men turned to the people in the Afterthought and announced, “Let this be a lesson that anyone caught stealing from the city will be punished by death or will be detained and put into the Forgotten.”
Murmurs went rippling through the crowd and the larger of the three men surveyed the crowd before laughing, “Here, you can have what is left of this. I’m full.”
He through a plastic drink container and a partially eaten piece of food out into the crowd. People scrambled for it and the three men laughed as there vehicle flew back toward the towering, gold and silver city up on the hill in the distance. My stomach swirled in disgust and anger.
Jennifer turned to me after I had reverted back to my normal appearance and asked, “What are you going to do now that you’re dad is gone?”
“Well, the Electi don’t even know I exist,” I thought aloud. “I’m not in their computer system and since my dad taught me all the ins and outs of the city, there’s only one thing I can do.”
Jennifer’s eyes widened as she realized what I was talking about, “They’ll arrest you for sure! You heard them. You should put that Creation Gun thingie back before they find you.”
“Even if they do find me and put me in the Forgotten, it’s not like anyone but you and your parents knew I existed anyways,” I reasoned with her. “Besides, I can’t stand around and not do anything about what’s going on. We have nothing while they have everything.”
I pointed to the gleaming city off in the distance as Jennifer responded, “But it’s always been like this. Do you really think you can change anything?”
“I might as well try,” I muttered, holding the creation gun in my hand under my black cloak. “Just think of me as a year-round Santa Claus with gifts for everyone. Whatever we need.”
“So you’re just going to keep stealing from the rich?” Jennifer smiled, hinting at an old tale from long, long ago.
I smiled and put up my hood before replying, “And giving to the poor.”