Extract from the diary of John Saunders
19 August 2035
I have not written in my diary for two days having experienced a strange black-out of consciousness. I woke up in the emergency barracks deep beneath the earth with no recollection of how I got here or what I have been doing for the past 48 hours. I do remember a strange and sudden change coming over my mind just before my memories stop. I have a strange recollection of my thoughts being slowly obscured by an external force in the same manner as heavy, black clouds might drive across a moon, hiding its bright face for a time.
When I awoke, I found myself dressed in my full combat uniform with my arms, chest and legs covered in lightweight, heat resistant plates of armour. Dark patches of sweat stained the fabric of the khakis shirt which lay over the armour and the knees of my khakis pants were filthy. Every muscle in my body ached and twitched with recent strain. My military helmet covered my head and face and, when I removed it, my sticky, sweaty hair clung to my head in thick clumps. I had been doing something that required immense physical exertion, that was a fact. The movement of sitting up and pulling off the helmet caused my head to ache so violently, I thought I might vomit, so I quickly lay down again and slipped back into dreamless sleep.
Twenty four hours later I woke up again, I felt much better, but I still couldn’t remember the events of the past few days. I also found that I was locked into my room although someone had come in while I was sleeping and left me food and a pitcher of water.
I suddenly realised that the military must have activated the microchip implanted in my head and taken over my mind for 48 hours. That is the only possible explanation I can think of. Something terrible must have happened for my employers to have taken such drastic measures. It is frightening to know that your physical body has been at someone else’s beck and call for two days even though I did agree to it eight years ago when I underwent the implant surgery. I remember that day at the hospital clearly and I am going to write it down just in case I never leave these barracks. Maybe someone will find this record and give it to my son, Thomas.
Thomas, oh dear, why did I have to think of my strange and brilliant son and Jen, my beautiful wife. Where are they? What has happened? Why am I locked in this room? I have no answers to any of these questions.
I remember lying in a cot in a general ward in the military hospital with nine of my colleagues. We had received a communication to report to the hospital at 8 A.M. on the morning of the 30th of April 2030. Similar groups of ten men lay in other rooms in the hospital. There were one hundred men having the surgery that day.
Dr Philips had entered the room once we were all settled and had made a brief speech. “It has been decided by the world government that all military personal are to have microchips implanted in their brains. These microchips will give you the ability to log into any data base or computer system regardless of where your are in the world or what your circumstance are. It will also give the government the ability to interact directly with your minds to augment your performance or control your actions if the situation requires it.”
He had spoken for another ten minutes and what he had said amounted to: You have no choice if you want to retain your well paid jobs but do not fear, the microchips will only ever be used to control your minds in the event of a breach of security that jeopardises the future of mankind.
A short while later, a nurse came over to me and set an IV in place in my arm. Next, she crimped the line and injected something into my arm through the drip. The world went black.
When I woke up, I experienced pain at the back of my head. A patch of my hair had been shaved and I could feel the roughness of stitches. Since that day, I have not thought of the government’s ability to control my mind, the possibly of something going drastically wrong in our digitally controlled world seemed so small, despite the increasing social unrest of the past ten years.
I am not so sure I made the right decision now that I am sitting in a locked room, certain that the government has invoked its power and not knowing what I have done.
This story was written for Diana Peach’s monthly write photo prompt. You can join in the fun here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/05/01/may-speculative-fiction-prompt/