Look around you. This is what remains of the Arcadian Empire. This obliterated city was once the very capital, of the great state, of Arcadia. Arcadia is… was a vast empire. It stretched from North America, up into Canada, across into Alaska, over into Russia and then extended across Europe. Visualise it. Over half of the total land mass belonged to Arcadia, before its collapse and subsequent demise. Imagine it. Such authority and command in the hands of the leaders, of the state. Theirs to manipulate, direct and control… however, not anymore. What happened? Well, I’m glad you asked.
It was merely pure luck that events happened as they were. If events had have happened any different, with any single aspect distorted, then I would have been here saying, “Welcome, to the great state of Arcadia. ” There it was. That monotone beeping, that I had heard for the last twenty years, which signified 0600 hours. I lay in bed, staring at the discoloured ceiling. There was nothing interesting. I just stared at the ceiling. It took a scream and a shout for me to come back to reality. It was already 0643 hours. Another person must have missed the morning pledge, to the state, broadcasted on every TV, to everyone.
It began promptly at 0630 hours. You’d often hear a scream of two every week or so. I was fortunate this time. That person was being dragged off to the local detainment centre, where he would mysteriously die, due to “unknown causes. ” There was little point in getting up now. I had missed the morning pledge and there wasn’t anything particularly motivating to do, inside or out. My room was… well let’s just say not big. It contained a bed, a window, a light, a TV and in a smaller, separate room, a toilet, a sink and shower. Nothing else was deemed necessary, by the state.
Meals were benevolently given out, at the local state cafeteria and any reading materials were reasoned to be dangerous, as they were a way of spreading anti-state propaganda. Any kind of media was from the state and only from the state. My room and the whole state housing block, in fact, was decorated grey, with the rare occasion of white. Other colours were apparently brain stimulating, which was merely a distraction from being an upstanding citizen. Eventually, I became bored at gazing at the ceiling, so being the upstanding citizen I was, I finally decided to go out and do something productive, albeit I had no idea what.
Having no idea where to go, I roamed the streets. Obviously I tried to look like I was industrious and dynamic, as being unproductive was frowned upon… and a crime punishable by mutilation, for that matter. It was impossible to become lost. Not a single feature, of the streets changed. You would familiarise yourself with it, after a few days. As a matter of fact the buildings and streets hadn’t changed since the previous five Arcadian Empires. Even the atmosphere remained unaffected and unchanged. I could feel the artificial humidity cling to my clothes.
It was artificial in the fact that the humidity was generated due to the fact the buildings were so tall and close together, creating a synthetic weather system, at street level. Even the sounds were the same, so even if you were blind you would be able to hear your way around. State propaganda screens, pumped information into the air. I had learned to phase it out, as it was always the same. “Your safety is our number one priority. One policeman for every two citizens. Love for the state is mandatory… blah blah blah. ” However, today, there was something else. Something subtle.
Another faint sound, which entangled itself within the stream of information, pulsing through the air. A beep. It was slow at first. Slow and quiet. Then it got progressively quicker. Increasing in tempo and volume. It stayed the same pitch and resembled my alarm clock. It obviously wasn’t an alarm clock and so the only viable explanation was that it was some sort of timer… a bomb. But surely a bomb couldn’t be planted, in an empire, where “Your safety was their number one priority”… well you would think so wouldn’t you? It wasn’t the case. I woke up five weeks later, in the rehabilitation centre.