The change was like fire. I could feel it rushing through me, licking over the surface of my veins, firing in the synapses more and more rapidly. Until, at last, I was consumed.
I fear I am the result of the old saying about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The pain wasn't the worst part though; no something lay beyond the pain that was far worse. The fact is that they say I can never go back. Never return to who or what I was, or gain back all I worked my twenty seven years for. The worst part, at least in my soul, is that I am only a victim in the most basic definition of the word.
This is just the beginning of this journey, and I have no idea where it may lead. I may not live long enough to fill these pages, they say that no many do, but I am not afraid.
My name is Aidan Dark, and this will be my story. However long it last, however many days I get to see, I will do my best to explain what happened.
The briefing was disturbing to say the least, and then they lead me back to my room. They can't see me, of course, but they wear a device that lets them know my position. Well, mine and the others.
I am sitting in my room now, holding this journal that hasn't left my side since I was changed. They can't see it, but I can't be sure if they know of its existence. I had been carrying it with me when I was captured; it had been a present for my niece.
Now, since I wasn't going to make it to her party, it is my only way to let my words out. No one will ever see these, if I am correct, but if there is that chance I feel it is my duty to try to share what is happening behind the walls that no one is able to see.
The year is 2053, and the world outside is stable, but at a price I don't think any out there could imagine. In the background of this golden age, a price for peace and prosperity is being paid by the loss of lives.
People like myself, and the others…I have only met two so far, have been…they say recruited, but we weren't given the option.
We are the soldiers, invisible; unable to be seen or detected by anything other than the devices they wear.
An army that can't be seen, I don't think it is such a bad idea; at least I wouldn't if they had asked.
Yesterday, or possibly the day before, time was a bit fuzzy for a while, I was taken. I had been walking home, the same path I always take, leading me from the market on Line Street, to my small home on Pine Street.
I live…lived alone, had since I moved out of my parent's house when I was fifteen. I grew up on these streets, knew them like I knew myself. They had been crowded when I was young, my friends and darting through the thick crowds like the kids we were. Then the day came, I remember my dad stopping me on the way out the door, which changed the world.
That was the day that they announced the discovery of Earth Two. At the time I didn't understand the impact, only that it wasn't a very creative name. My father was patient, trying to explain the situation, and how lives were going to change.
He worked for the government, I knew that, but like a typical seven year old I didn't take too much interest. I wish I had now, because a year after that, my life changed again. My father climbed into a shuttle, and it took him away from us, not to return for seven more years.
Earth Two, I realized with time, was a second chance at undoing the mess us humans had made here on this Earth. When that first group of travelers returned, my father among them, they brought back pictures, and film. They brought back a promise of hope, and that made them heroes to this day.
I always wondered why we didn't go, with all the glory they spoke of when they talked of the promise. He refused to explain it, only saying that this was where our life was, and somehow even young as I was, I knew that I shouldn't question farther than that.
I wonder if we had gone, if something like this would have happened there. We didn't get a lot of information back from Earth Two, but they were supposed to follow the Universal Standard. Still, who was to say what was happening so far away.
The population dropped in waves, until at last the crowded streets of my youth were empty. The population of our town dropped from 100,000 to 20,000 in two year's time. Homes still stand empty, and things aren't what they were.
The first years were hard on everyone, but then the Universal Standard was written, and put into place. Peace was found, and business started to prosper. There wasn't much crime, prisons were shut down all over the country, and we heard the world.
Who would have the nerve to question such goodness, and no one did. Not me or any of my friends. My brother asked me about it once, but like a fool I told him not to worry about it.
A government that isn't questioned, as it turns out, is a government that is able to create…us. We are the forgotten, the stolen, we are given a title instead of a name. We are the Greeters.