I’ve only been a D-MISE agent for less than two years, but I learned a lot in that amount of time. The personal growth is exponential when your life is on the line. I’ve done some amazing things with amazing technology, but I’ve also seen the darkest depths of the city, and I don’t mean a physical place. I’m referring to the place in the hearts of mankind, and what they’re willing to do to their peers. I’m going to share much of that with you, even with the bleak hope I have now of it reaching somebody.
One thing I can say about myself with any level of certainty is that I spent a majority of my life from childhood and adolescence to just before my prison sentence without any discernible direction. I had vague ideas of maybe one day leaving the city I had grown up in, but I didn’t know the true meaning of work or discipline. I do now, thanks to D-MISE. I imagine many of us were like that, especially youth that grew up on the cusp of the Post-Modern Era. It was a new time for our world, and it struck at the heart of the city. Just like it will again soon. As an agent in higher-than-normal standing, which I can only ascertain with the conferment of my android counterpart, I’m well on the way to After.
But I can’t start slacking now. If those that control the direction of the organization have proven anything, it’s that no one is guaranteed a ticket to the Ark. One thing that I did have aptitude in was math, and not the kind that dealt strictly with numbers. My math is a kind of logic. For example, if my brother was going to beat me home on our bikes, then he would have first dibs on the snacks on the way in, and I would only have access to the crumbs. I “did the math”, as it was called. I did the same with my situation now. Even D-MISE has limited resources, somewhere up the line. What percentage of Prism City could be expected to survive? Fifty? Twenty-five? Ten? Even ten percent was still a lot of people, and it was going to get crowded.
From my peeks behind the curtain, I have a rough idea how many people had been absorbed into D-MISE’s population, and I can tell you right now that there’s not enough room for all us. Only some other agents have suspicions regarding that revelation, and that’s why competition keeps getting elevated. We’re pushing each other just as much as ourselves, and we are seething at the confines of our infrastructure. The people are boiling, and something within D-MISE is about to crack. I’ll be the first one through it, reaching for After, as our only salvation.
That’s why I’m only “partially-reformed”. I’m willing to concede that we’ve done terrible things. I’ve done terrible things, all on my own as well as a part of D-MISE. But I’m still going to After. I worked too hard and sacrificed too much to get there. I still believe in the vision, and I believe in my own aptitude to achieve it.
Maybe I’ll see you on the other side.
It’s more likely that I won’t.