Gretchen: World Building— Short fiction

Gretchen: World Building— Short fiction

It’s been more than 200 years since the old nations fell and this giant company, “Gretchen Foods,” took over. People know GF for being like the bad guys in those futuristic stories — where the super rich have all the fun and the rest of us just work hard. They don’t let robots do the job; it’s us regular folks doing everything. We could have robots, we’re pretty advanced, but the big bosses at GF say no. They’re scared robots caused problems in the past, so they want full control. But who really knows? Time hasn’t given us many answers. Some folks even think aliens erased our smarts ’cause we got too clever.

Now, about us regular workers — we’ve got these chips in our heads to watch what we do. If you want to be an Elite, which is like winning the lottery, you gotta get lucky. But if you’re born to an Elite, well, congrats, you’re automatically the part of the creamy layer.

Here’s the thing — the fancy folks mess with our brains. They make us stressed and worried so we don’t make trouble and just do what they say. And if you’re a troublemaker, there’s a special police crew — we call them enablers. They deal with the folks who don’t listen. Where they take these rebels, who knows?

The Elites tell us that these rebels are a problem as they hamper the peace in our society. And peace is a fragile thing, they say. These rebels are taken to re-education centres. This is what is written in the Good Citizen Memo, but who knows.

The best thing that can happen to a worker is becoming an elite, some workers are chosen through a lottery system every year and they are introduced to the Elites’ circle. My guess is that the lottery system is rigged.