He woke. Watched the dancing lights on wall.
Screen was on. Screen was always on.
He sat up. “Black. Warm.” A warm cup of Black appeared on the table beside him.
He sipped. He did not ponder, nor contemplate. He sipped and sat, eyes vacant.
Soon, as the Black took effect he turned toward screen.
Images. Lively pictures telling what was good, what was not good. He watched.
His stomach murmured. BEEP BEEP. A morning meal appeared before him.
He ate. Ate and watched screen.
Screen told him stories, the same stories. Why he must stay inside. How he can help.
What he must never do. When to call central. What is a “crisis”.
BEEP BEEP BEEP (You must finish your meal)
He finished his meal. The plate vanished.
He got up, went and relieved himself. When he returned bed had become chair.
He sat down in chair. Chair enveloped him. Sensors connected, his body tingled.
This was exercise. His muscles were being stimulated.
Arms, legs and back jerked slightly in rhythm, over and over. Contract, relax. Contract, relax.
Before, people had to move the body, do things, LIFT things, RUN OUTSIDE.
The thought gave him a shudder unconnected to the electrical stimulation.
Chair finished exercise. He was lightly filmed in perspiration. Climbing from chair he went and got cloth from dispenser. Cloth smelled pleasant. He wiped down his naked body until he smelled pleasant like cloth. He dropped cloth in bin. It vanished. Then he went back to chair and screen.
More stories. Stories about how good everything is, how peaceful. He has all he needs, doesn’t he?
Black has been improved, so now it’s better. He was only allowed two cups of Black per day.
(Screen didn’t tell him that some people drank five, six cups of Black per day and went blind).
There were new styles of clothing. He had clothes, but only dressed when he had to go out, which was seldom. Mostly he’s nude. Home was warm, comfortable. He could not recall the last time he went out, or had a reason to. Why go out?
BEEP BEEP. An afternoon meal appeared beside him. He ate. Ate and watched screen.
And so on. Every day.
Every day, until he served out the life sentence he received for savagely murdering his family.
A crime he had no recollection of committing, thanks to the pacification treatment,
and the medication he received in the food and drink.
He had ambition for nothing more than watching the screen.