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Institutional Selection / A Letter to Lilian

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To Lilian  █████, My niece and only remaining family member. Only to be read on the occasion of my death.


Stun

I missed your birth, I was working nights and my phone was in my car. I remember being exhausted, getting into my car, I just wanted to go home and sleep then I saw the phone; about 24 missed calls and twice that many texts from your mother. I rushed to the hospital and by the time I got there it was 5am in the morning and your mum was sat up in bed holding you. You were tiny, underweight and the palest thing I'd ever seen.

Your mum was living with me at the time, it was just a couple weeks after your dad clocked. She moved in with me because she hated being alone. The whole thing made her paranoid, sleepless and tired. She'd lay awake at night. Honestly, we all struggled to sleep some nights. God knows how many times I've sat watching the clock at night, that sigh of relief when the hour changes.

Anyway, the doctor came in to give you your implant. The implant has a 1 in 806,400 chance of activating each hour. Technically this means that no one should make it past age 100, I'm not good with this kind of stuff but it I think it also means that that there's just a 50% chance that you'll make it past age 50. It wasn't perfect but at the time I thought it worked, the population had dropped to a more manageable number dramatically, I sound like one of those politicians, I used to think like them. I was nervous watching you get the implant, I'd heard ghost stories about kids that had the implant put in just to have it immediately activate and clock them straight away.

Obviously you managed to survive it, the day was January 12th 15 al. You were born at 3:34 am and chipped at 5:23, you weighed 5lb 5oz and it was the first time I'd seen your mum smile in months. We took you home with the advice to keep you well fed and to call if anything happens. Ellen stayed up with you even though she needed sleep way more than I did, Your mum was like that, she was tough as nails she persevered and put others miles in front of herself. She was the one who explained to me why people couldn't die of old age any more, back when we were both kids. I was 13 and she was 19; in medical school, she said something about our cells mutating. I can't even begin to explain it back to you but she told me that our cells were immortal, Like cancer cells. Sounds stupid when I try to explain it but she sat with me for about 2 hours teaching me about it. Wish I'd have remembered it now.

I have a reason for writing you this letter. There's a way to deactivate the implant safely. Your father knew about it before he was clocked out, It's why he was clocked out. I don't need to tell you that he didn't like the idea of the implant. After he was clocked clocked your mum and I sorted through all his stuff, I found his laptop. There was hundreds of files and documents about conspiracy and urban legends, things that allegedly could shut down the implant. It ranged from magnets to uv rays to bloody x-ray machines. Now, I just want to say, I feel really bad about what happened next. Your dad got an instant message, I should have left it but it caught my attention.

"Shino was clocked yesterday." Someone called Ted.

Without thinking I replied.

"What time?"

That's all I could remember from that chat but he told me that Shino had died at 10 o'clock. I tried to dismiss this idea I had in my mind that it was connected. Then Ted mentioned flying out to his funeral.

Shino was Japanese, 10pm in Japan would have been 1pm here. Same hour as your Dad. It could have easily been coincidence, a one in a million chance of these two people who happened to know each other would clock out at the exact same time on two different sides of the world. The odds where unreal. I carried on talking to Ted for a few hours, posing as Gray. I pretended I knew this man, played along as Ted reminisced Shino. I found that Gray your Dad was part of their group, a small internet conspiracy group who looked mainly at ways of stopping the implant and other, more questionable topics to which I'm thankful that your dad didn't seem to be a part off.

I was surprised, Gray didn't seem like the type of guy to post in online forums. He even had a couple video logs of him testing out ideas to stop the implant from working. I browsed these sites for hours, now and then I'd ask Ted about things I'd found out. (Still posing as Ted of course)

I have to move on, I've not got much time left. Every now and then I'd come back to this site, I had changed your Dad's password so I could get onto his Skype, His only contacts were from his group Shino was on the list but there wasn't a chat log. I learned that Ted was a little deluded, he thought he had survived his implant activating. One night he signed on, he was excited, he told me he was onto something. Something big and then he sent me a download link to a weird web browser I'd never heard of before. I decided to download it and see what he was talking about. When I launched the browser and I was met with a professional looking website: Selectionbydesign.co.uk. This website sold implants. For millions of pounds you could half the chance of your implant activating. These people had qualified surgeons doing their work. I was questioning the legitimacy of this site, I entertained the idea that Ted had created it on his own in an attempt to make his deluded fantasies seem more real or convincing or something. I dismissed it.

6 years later your mum clocked. It was the worst time of my life, You were at school when it happened but I remember it happening so clearly. I was in the front room, I heard a smash and ran into the kitchen. I found her, the implant had went off, a bolt of electricity had shut down her brain for good and she was dead. I started to realise that day, the rich live longer and everyone else risks dying 24 times a day.

We found a solution, we think that Gray had a solution and he died because he knew it, we think that Shino had the same solution. There's a way to activate and deactivate the implants, you can shut yours off by exposing it to concentrated amounts of █████, I'm realising now that I haven't given myself much time to explain this.

Just don't let anyone tell you its justified, it's not. It's mass murder.

They can control it, they choose who dies and when and they made us how we are now.

It is currently 00:57 the 9th of August 24 ale.

This is my advice and my goodbye.

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