Die beiden Kurzgeschichten aus unserem Englisch LK der Q2, "Dome 47" von Ina Mainz und "The effacement" von Sophia Parmar und Layla Grimm, sind als kreative Schreibaufgabe kurz vor dem Corona Lockdown entstanden. Im Rahmen des Themas "Globalisation" haben wir dystopische Zukunftsvisionen in der englischen Literatur wiederholt. Nach der gemeinsamen Analyse der Kurzgeschichte "The Aqueduct" vor Ray Bradbury, sollten die SchülerInnen anhand des Beispiels "CO2 Ausstoß" eine ähnlich albtraumartige Zukunftsvision selbst entwickeln.

Rebecca Zündorf

 

The effacement

 

Heavy steps accompanied by heavy breathing. The sound of weak people wheezing is depressing.  The weight of the CO2 tank is suffocating. People aimlessly wandering around, no goal in sight. The only certainty embedded into the people´s heads: death before the age of 40. The oxygen amount in the glass dome where the lower class of society is kept is alarmingly low, resulting in asphyxiation in most of the cases. Daily, the number of the so-called “greyhounds” is shrinking, leaving empty houses and saddened streets. Outside of the glass dome life is supposed to be good. But it is fake and empty, just like the government and its promises. The clones out there are not alive, they are just existing. But at least they can exist. They are not dependent on oxygen like us greyhounds are.

 We carry these tanks, collecting the CO2 we exhale, in exchange of clean and pure oxygen packs provided by the government. “Clean” they say. Nonsense. The oxygen packs merely consist of 60% oxygen. The rest is another chemical, worsening the functional ability of our lungs. We do not know what exactly it is, we do not have the advantage of science on our side regarding that problem. The government wants us to go extinct. “The clones don´t cost as much”, they say. “These are the perfect humans”, they say. But can they really be labeled as humans? Can a product of nature be compared to an artificially created organism? Apparently, it can. And the latter is worth more. At least in this world.

There are roughly 6.000 of us left. In 20 years, half of us will be gone. Or more. The number of crimes and theft of oxygen packs has increased lately. Yet alone in this week there have been three robberies and one murder. And it is only Tuesday, I think. You forget what time it is here easily. Every day you see the same gray streets, the same gray buildings and then occasionally blinding white CO2 tanks and corresponding masks around the frowning visages.

 And then of course this ridiculous glass dome. Glass my ass. The dome is not made out of glass, not even a car crashing into it can break the dome. Dexter tried it about a month ago, the government caught him. We have never seen him again since then. He was not the first to try it. Many greyhounds have disappeared over night. We can only speculate what happened to them. Maybe they were killed. Maybe they were used for experiments. Maybe they will end as yet another mold for a “perfect human”.

We do not know. We do not know who we are. We do not know what we are. We do not know anything. And maybe we do not want to know. The only thing we can hold onto is hope. An artificially created emotion trying to battle the arrival of death which is inevitable.

No one will remember us. But there is no need to, since the perfect society is the better and superior one. The superior society wearing the color white. As if they could actually feel any emotions, pretending to be human.

Are we even human anymore?

 

Sophia Parmar, Layla Grimm

 

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Dome 47

“Haze!” I slowly opened my eyes. Was I late? I looked at the time. It was 6:30 AM. Barely on time, which was on time, for me. I quickly got dressed and hurried out the door, not even bothering with breakfast, saying goodbye to my moms on the way out. Once inside the school building I walked up to the history classroom. “Voice identification required”, said the automated voice. “Hazel Winter”. It let me in. There weren’t a lot of seats left, so I had to sit in the front, but that didn’t bother me, I liked it better anyway. I didn’t really like the people around me, so I wasn’t bothered by the fact that they didn’t talk to me. They acted like they were better than some of us, just because their parents weren’t in debt from taking out a large loan just to live in Dome 47. That was our home. Dome 47. I had never been to any other of the domes, although I had heard that some had better air and some were even supposed to be entirely scented. But I was not sure if that was just a rumor. Most of my peers hadn’t been to any other domes either. My thoughts were interrupted by Mr. Kieran, our history teacher, coming in. Britannia and Malvina immediately stopped talking. Serena didn’t, she didn’t care because her parents owned part of the dome. Technically the Dome belonged to no one specifically because our parents had payed to live here, but her father had funded the building. 

“Today we’re going to talk about some more recent events. The origin of the Domes.” This left us all quiet. We had all been told before that we weren’t ready. That it was too painful and too hard for us to understand. “In January 2019 a virus called SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in Wuhan, China. This caused a world-wide pandemic and thus panic. When scientists in Germany finally developed a vaccine in December 2020, it was already too late. The virus had mutated and was deadlier than before. If you were still alive you barely would have been able to breathe because of extensive lung damage caused by the virus. Then in March 2021 US scientists developed a plan to save the human race. A dome for each state was going to be built, with its own air filtration system to keep oxygen levels as high as possible. By January 2022 all humans lived in domes. Only the young survived to actually move in, and because of this virus producing carbon dioxide is a capital offense to this day.” The room stayed silent even after Mr. Kieran had finished. Although we had all heard fragments of the events before, it was a lot to process. For the rest of the lesson I couldn’t really concentrate. My parents had always taught me to question everything, so now I was questioning the story I had just been told. Something was bothering me, but I wasn’t sure what. I decided to just ask my moms about it when I got home, and so I did.                         

“Mom, can I ask you something?” “Of course Haze, questions are what makes us scientists.” “Well…so we talked about why the Domes were built in History today. And something doesn’t seem right. There were over 7 billion people on earth then right? So if one Dome can house around 100 thousand people, and there are 700 Domes on earth, then that would mean that 6.930.000.000 died. That can’t be right. There weren’t that many old people right?” I watched her check my calculations. “You’re right Hazel. Then the number of people on earth then can’t be right. You’ll have to talk to someone else about that. How about you ask Alexa at the library later? I’m sure she’ll be able to tell you.” I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, but I let it go because she had already continued. “Hazel I wanted to tell you about something exciting. I had a major breakthrough at work today with the harvest robots. I think if we keep working on this they won’t be destroyed by wild animals anymore. We developed a force field that should protect them and our food. Speaking of which, I hope it is okay with you that we’re having peppers for dinner again, the force fields aren’t in place yet, so we still haven’t gotten any other vegetables from the harvest robots. They were supposed to bring back potatoes, but didn’t notice animals had eaten them on their back-“ 

I wasn’t listening anymore. This whole thing with the numbers was bothering me too much. I got up and ran out the door “Haze-“, I heard my mom call, but I was already running towards the library. It had the best artificial intelligence in the dome, Alexa. She, well it, knew everything. When I got there I went up to one of the desks. “Do you have a question for me Hazel Winter? I am here to help”, said the voice from inside the human-like robot. “Yes. Alexa, can you tell me why only 70 million people moved into domes and were thus saved? Did all the others die?” The answer came immediately: “I am afraid I am not permitted to answer that question.” “But you’re supposed to know everything! Why can’t you tell me?” “I am afraid I am not permitted to answer that question”, she said again. I was getting frustrated now. “But why?!”  The librarian interrupted Alexa’s same answer. “Young lady I’m going to have to ask you to leave. “, she said. I did as she asked and left the library. I was not satisfied with the answer I had gotten at the library either. I knew I had to go somewhere else or ask someone who would be able to tell me. If I went to Trump Dome, where the government is still located, they would have the answers. They had to. They were in the highest position one could be in, so there was no higher security level either. I knew my moms would be worried if I just left, but they had raised me to be a scientist like them and scientists needed answers. 

I knew my mom’s credit card number, so I knew I could buy a train ticket to get to Trump Dome. I ran to the train station, bought the ticket and was actually excited, despite the circumstances. I was really looking forward to seeing the outside. The Domes were made of bulletproof glass that the sun could shine through, but humans couldn’t see through. Not because it has to resist bullets, there was no one out there to shoot at them. As I got on the train, people were looking at me weirdly. Usually people only went to Trump Dome on business. As the train took off, more and more trees and flowers came into view. I was baffled. I had only seen pictures, real plants were so much better. No one else seemed to be quite as focused on the outside as me, maybe that’s why they didn’t see what I saw in that moment. First I just saw one of the harvest robots and thought of my mom. But there wasn’t just the robot. There was another, more human shape. But that wasn’t possible; all humans were either in domes or had died. 

When I started the journey I had expected to uncover that the creators of the domes had let people die outside, but now I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Had my whole life been a lie?

Ina Mainz

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