The Allotted Time

Hector pulled the hood over the suicide booth. The man laying inside had an idiotic smile, the Grand Estate would grant his brother a High Vote for his sacrifice. His family gave their salute, a closed fist over their forehead, and many of them cheered. It made Hector sick.

The hood turned a glowing translucent blue, and the man inside was barely visible, though just enough so that you could see the disgusting twitching of his face as ten million volts pierced his heart. He died within seconds.

The machine whined as it powered down. The smell of burnt flesh came seeping out of the booth, soft, yet strong enough to make a few of the witnesses gag a little. Hector was a seasoned Slaughter Host, he maintained his composure easily.

 

 

“This man has made Sacrifice. Stephan Riggs, please step forward.” Hector said to the crowd.

A tall man with long, curly black hair made his way to the front, his movements smooth and calculated. “I am Stephen Riggs,” He announced.

Hector reached into the breast pocket of his black and gold jumpsuit and pulled out a silver computer chip.

“Stephan Riggs, with honour from the Grand Estate, I hereby anoint you a High Vote.” Hector said, then tapped the chip on the soul of his shoe three times in tradition. He then placed the chip into Stephen’s breast pocket. Their clothing was made from steel and plastic polymers, and the chip clicked into a slot inside the pocket like a cassette tape.

The Rigg’s family gathered around Stephan and embraced him. His job being finished for the day, Hector gave the family a closed fist salute and made his way to his car. All he could think about was getting home and working on the transmitter.

 

 

Hector pulled up to his apartment parking lot, the rumbly V8 of the Camaro making any signs in the vicinity vibrate. He loved his car, he didn’t care much for the new hovercars being sold all over the Grand Estate, nor could he afford one on his salary. With resources dwindling all over the world, it was a wonder anybody could afford something that didn’t still run on gasoline. Even with gas prices so high, the amount of gold and titanium used for the new hovercars was still enough to make them a luxury item of the rich.

He parked the car and walked over to the structure of decaying red bricks, then pressed his key card onto the reader on the front door.

The reader beeped and made a statement in it’s robotic voice, “Hector Dardanis, age 25. Civilian protocal. Entry Granted.” The door opened and he stepped inside. He walked down the weathered hallway, dirty red carpet crunching underneath his feet. Another security clearance at the door to his apartment, and then he was inside.

He stepped into the spare bedroom that was lined to the roof with computers, radio towers, and hardware.

“Good evening, sir” An almost human voice said behind him.

Hector turned around to face the four foot tall robot with three arms and wheels in place of legs. It was shaped like a beer bottle, with a spherical viewport on the top that allowed vision in all directions.

“Hey Gavin. Are you ready to get to work?” Hector said.

“Always pleased to.” Gavin said.

Hector flicked a few switches that were on the wall, and the whole room lit up with blinking lights. He set Gavin to a task and then sat down in the recliner in the corner of the room and lit a fat cigar. Gavin processed targets for the transmitter as he puffed the cigar and sipped on a bottle of whiskey he kept tucked under the cushion.

“May we speak freely again?” Gavin asked after awhile.

“Speak your mind, Gav,” Hector said.

“What are these targets I’m designating?” Gavin said.

“Those are Grand Estate congress members.” Hector said, not really paying much attention as he spoke.

“And upon their elimination, the suicide booths will be shut down?”

Hector grinned, “Something like that.”

“The people will have freedom, like you gave to me?”

At this Hector laughed outright. “You don’t have freedom quite yet Gavin. But yes, everybody will be free.”

 

 

Stephan Rigg’s stood at the podium in the Grand Estate Great Hall. He Listened intently as he was addressed by the committee.

“Stephan Rigg’s, your brother’s sacrifice before the allotted time has granted you the High Vote. With overpopulation rising everyday, our needs are growing. Even with the age limit, the Grand Estate simply cannot provide the means to live for every human being. You may make your statement, and the committee will take your vote into consideration.” The voice came from speakers in the top corners of the Great Hall, the thoughts of congress coming together collectively through neural transplants in their brains.

“I vote for Hector Dardinus. My surveillance team has shown an increase in computer purchases, namely radio and laser targeting systems. I think it is obvious that he has become unhinged. He shows less and less remorse at his job, and my team thinks that he will make a move very soon. I think only the High Vote can protect the rest of us from whatever he is planning,” Stephen said.

“We will take your vote into consideration, and your opinion as chief of police matters to us. Please, let us discuss.” The speakers boomed. It only took a few minutes for a decision to be made, “The High Vote will be placed on Hector Dardinus.”

 

 

“Am I the only one who believes in freedom of life anymore?” Hector said to nobody, the whiskey now pumping heavily through his veins.

“It’s ready, Hector,” said Gavin, rolling over from the computers to face the recliner.

“Good, I think I’ve had just enough of the liquor to make this fun. Fuck it, hit the button Gav.”

Gavin back over to the computer and began frantically pressing buttons. A timer flashed above the computer reading one hour.

“This is it I guess. One more hour and everybody is free Gavin.” Hector said.

 

 

A firm knock came at the door when the timer was down to five minutes. Hector knew that what he had done was irreversable. So what if the police found out? It was too late now. He walked over to the door, a smile on his face, and pressed the open button.

It was only Stephan Rigg’s standing there, wearing a black suit and tie with jet black sunglasses.

“Mr Dardinus, I am here on behalf of the Grand Estate. You have been chosen for High Vote.”

Hector’s heart skipped a beat and he turned a very pale white. “H-High Vote?” He stuttered.

“We’ve noticed much unrest, you haven’t been happy with our system for awhile. We want to offer you the High Vote, so that you may live on in peace and let others have theirs.”

“You stupid bastards…” Hector said, his face growing red hot.

“You do not wish to live beyond the allotted time? You have been granted an additional sixty years.”

Hector turned white again and proceeded to puke all over Stephan’s shoes. “You bastards…” He mumbled again.

 

 

The targeting system locked onto the nukes at 6:45 PM. The bombs self armed, and were sent flying to the homes of the members of congress, spread out all over the entire earth. Hector cried, and Stephan looked on in horror, as the great explosions shook the world.

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