The Code (by Lucas Ipati, S12a)

It’s amazing how fast everything collapsed. How civilized everything became, how tame. It’s a warm Thursday evening, rather warm, with a small breeze. I have been riding my bike now for about six hours and I just keep riding, without any sort of destination. It reminds me of the old days when I travelled with my MC from town to town usually smuggling food for the people who didn’t want to take the code. Before the world wend downhill I used to rob and trade drugs for a living, but the world became smaller by the day and everything was under surveillance really fast. I’m not a good person, by no means, I simply tried to survive. When the code was introduced to the world, they promised safety and protection from outlaws like us, for example. I was shocked when I heard that you can’t sell or buy things without the code, but the general public did not seem to care. They were adjusted to this kind of behaviour a long time ago. Anyways, they promised us safety but total observation became the reality. They wanted to know everything, they wanted to see everything, to hear everything. They used the latest technology to implement us a chip in the right hand called “the code”. It all came in the name of freedom and safety, so the masses didn’t care about the observation part. I ve been riding for several hours now and I feel the exhaustion taking over. There’s a little bar in the next town. I used to go there often when we were still free. And so I’m parking my bike in front of the bar and I walk in. I’m dressed in my leather jacket, blue jeans and riding boots so it’s typical that I raise some attention from the coded ones when entering because they think that I’m still an outlaw. I sit down and order a whiskey, without the ice. The barkeeper hands the drink over to me and I take a sip.

I sense the looks from the people here. I wonder what they think of me? But I#m pretty sure I know it already. For some uncoded people I’m considered a saint, but for the people in the bar I am considered a criminal, someone without any moral codex, without any principles, just because I have no chip in my arm….

I take another sip of my drink. Now I remember the last conversation me and my Dad had before he died. I was 15 and there was a large gathering at the club house, We celebrated someone’s birthday, I think. I don’t know, it’s such a long time ago. But I clearly remember that he said to me: “Son, just remember bow down to noone – live freely or die!”

In this time they began to hunt us down. They installed the cameras in our club house. “There is no choice”, they said. We lost many members in those days, because they owed down to the new world order. I moved back in with my mum some miles away because she wanted a decent future for me. I hated that idea but now after some years I sort of get the meaning of it.

Then my dad died. To this day his death is still a mystery to me. His bike crashed into a truck, some members speculated if his bike had a defect or if he caused the accident on purpose. I never wanted to believe the latter. After his death I ran away from home and joined our MC. There was no other way, I had to protect my father’s legacy. I then sold drugs and robbed shops and such. Now I am proud of this time in my life, but I did what I had to do. When the code was introduced, we built this network this way to smuggle food to the poor and uncoded ones, all under the eyes of the system. I really found fulfilment in this kind of work. For the first time we were the good ones. This all went well until last week when the system found out. All the members then left the country to escape from imprisonment. I knew that it was all done  – our lives were ruined, we were lost!

I felt a tap on my shoulder, as I was reminiscing in my memories. I looked at the person, he seemed to be angry. “We don’t want your lot in here.”, he said to me. I took the last sip of my drink and stood up. I was too tired to get into fights, my body was kind of awake, but my mind and soul were almost asleep. I took a last glance at the main room where I stood. Everyone looked at me. I walked outside, took a deep breath and stood besides my bike for a while. “It all wen down so fast.” I began to wonder. I sat down, took my jacket of and looked at the freshly implemented code in my right hand. “I’m sorry dad, it was too late for me I was just too hungry. Now I’m just like the rest of them. But I know that I cannot live that way, being constantly watched.” I got on my bike and drove off. “Where am I driving? What is to become of me?” I heard the roaring of the engine and it instantly calmed me. A long road came up now It’s just driving forward for a couple of miles. I saw a truck emerging out of the horizon. Now there are only two vehicles driving this road, me and the truck. Now I get what my father did. He was an outlaw through and through and he would have never taken the code. It all makes sense now.

“Dad, I know what you did and I understand.” I shouted out loudly. I turned the throttle and headed full speed, aiming the front of the truck, with a smile on my face. As I was driving I looked at my arms., found my balance and spread them out widely. “ I am free again at last. Flying like a bird along the road. The truck is getting closer but I close my eyes – smiling. I see the gatherings at the club house again, I see all their familiar faces. Most of them are dead now and they welcome me. The sound of the truck’s horn is fading and I feel peace and clarity again for the first time in a long time.