THE CONCEPTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Strange thoughts. Feelings.

737947. That is all she knows. Wake. Dress. Do your duty. Today, procreation duty. Eat the pills. Sleep. Repeat. Do good service.

This isn’t right. She remembers something more.

Do your duty. Serve your masters. For the benefit of all.

For the benefit of who? Who are their masters? Is anyone else thinking like her?

To question is wrong. To talk is to conspire. Silence must be maintained. She wants to talk. To someone. Anyone. She dares lift her head and look at the boy next to her.

She feels contact on her shoulder. Cold and metallic. Artificial speech.

‘Mortal 737947. Violation. Proceed to sentencing.’

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Copyright Ted Strutz

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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To find out more about my novels, buy them, or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited, just follow the links below:
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76 responses to “THE CONCEPTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS”

  1. Wow move over The Handmaiden’s Tale!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – one I need to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoughtcrime, thoughtcrime

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, they are strict in that school!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You wouldn’t last long!

      Like

  4. I really love how you wrote this! One can only wonder for what purpose the AI want humans to procreate. chilling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, breeding more slaves, or food perhaps?

      Like

  5. Pray that this never becomes true…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels like it isn’t far away in some ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, scary isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely dystopian! I love it! Now for the rebellion …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great turn at the end. I was thinking Brave New World for a minute there, but it’s more like Logan’s Run. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it was my first thought seeing the prompt, so I just went with it.

      Like

  8. Think this is quite chilling Iain. Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Iain,

    No lack of spooky in this one. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terrifying. Procreation duties? Yikes.

    It’s not Utopia, is it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The opposite in fact! Thanks Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I definitely wouldn’t want to live there! Well, actually I guess they’d probably euthanise me pretty quickly, given my habit of questioning everything, especially rules and norms!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, you wouldn’t last long with behaviour like that! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Authoritarianism at its sinister worst. Nasty, but cleverly devised Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sigh. The ultimate totalitarianism. Sadly plausible.
    I am part gratified part terrified that I so many of us saw this, in that …
    Then again, given the realities of our times …
    oy vey.
    This was very well written, Iain!
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, as you say, the times seem to inspire such stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alas, yes, they do. …

        Liked by 1 person

  14. My scalp started tingling when I read this. It is a cross between A Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 — and Terminator!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I like the combination!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. scary… but least it brings everybody in line and to behave accordingly for the greater good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So long as you don’t mind being a slave to the machines, you’ll be happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And this is why I will never have AI in my house 🙂 Excellent story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Imagine Alexa keeping an eye on you like this!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I hope this remains fictional. The more we allow AI to control our lives and even think for us, the more apathetic we’ll become.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s already having an effect on what we buy, what we listen to, what we watch. It’s the logical conclusion.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Excellent, such a future would be grim indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Not what I was expecting! A friend took this photo and I liked it knowing some good stories would come. This was more than good. You can see her work here… https://instaology.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link and the prompt Ted 🙂

      Like

  20. What a scary place to be. Makes me think of a mini animated movie I saw recently where no one dares to step out of the “accepted norm”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. All must comply.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. My immediate thought on seeing this prompt was The Handmaiden’s Tale. And my first (not yet shared) effort at this was dystopian. I think I’ll have a go from a different angle now. Good story Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Trish, it said dystopian to me straight away!

      Like

  22. Not much chance to start a rebellion when even a small glance is immediately noticed and punished. Chilling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best to stamp this sort of thing out early, I find.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Perfect take for the prompt. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Scary enough for an adult. Imagine such a dystopia for a child. Chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine children are just kept in cells of some kind, no need to let them out…

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I don’t think I’d last very long in that situation! Good writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are many who would find it hard to survive – the robots would take care of them first…! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  26. An awful distopian nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not for the robots! Thanks Liz 🙂

      Like

  27. Oh no!

    This is a great, tense piece, if completely terrifying.

    Don’t look up, Don’t speak, Don’t think
    Love it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all better get used to it 😉 Thanks Laurie

      Like

  28. Love the way you weave a story, Iain. So entertaining and thought-provoking. There are places around the world where the thought police are a reality!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not far away, and machines that have all this information about us will soon be thinking for themselves!

      Like

  29. A dystopia is only one step away – so they say. Who are they? – The masters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I was one of them, instead of the proles!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I really like the way you convey the dystopian atmosphere through the terse style. Reminded me of The Handmaidens Tale. What a shock ending, I felt chilled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  31. I especially love the title!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Chilling! Makes me wonder how many others have shared her fate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I reckon all of us eventually! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. My “consciousness” lacks the experience necessary to be pulled into this. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We may not have a choice in the end! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Oooh this is good. Scsry though, for doesn’t seem too far from reality.

    Liked by 1 person

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