Life was hard in the domes.
Danny Bridgeport knew only too well that in spite of all needs being met and facilitated; something was missing. Work was given to everyone, food was provided on a daily basis, there was free health care, but, life was boring for most. Late one evening Bridgeport sat at his small integrated plastic desk. Looking at his screens he corrected and graded exam papers from the day before.
‘No you moron. Don’t just quote the IAN, understand it and answer the questions in in your own words’, he said aloud to himself in exasperation, as he typed mandatory remarks in the margins next to the initials ‘www’* and ‘ebi’** before moving on to the next test paper. This was his routine. If he wasnt at school teaching, then he was at home marking or planning his next lessons. He loved working with the kids, but he hated his job.
The room was small and the design of its fittings ubiquitous throughout the blocks. As Bridgeport had not neither met anyone who he might cohabit with or applied for social pairing, it was a single unit with folding bed, storage, work space and food prep space all catered for within one grey module built into the wall. Behind in the corner was a toilet/shower space. Full spectrum lighting shone from the whole opaque lowered ceiling.
He knew all around him thousands of people were living their lives, but in his space, as in all the units, only absolute silence when he listened for signs of life from outside his own enclosed environment; Nothing.
Three hard knocks on his door broke his concentration. He looked at his screen to see who was outside. Three blue suited men, obviously shareholders. ‘What do they want with me?’ he thought to himself. Getting up he took five paces and crossed his room, opening the door.
‘Mr Bridgeport?’ one man asked. ‘Yes. How can I help you?’ Bridgeport asked. ‘You are Mr Daniel Brigeport?’
‘Yes. I am Daniel Bridgeport, Danny. That’s me.’
‘We’re here to tell you that your numbers up. You have been chosen by random to join the shareholders with immediate effect. You can come with us now.’
Bridgeport was speechless. ‘But my work, what about my work? I haven’t finished.’
‘Never mind about that my dear fellow, IAN has already notified your replacement and they will start where you left off.’
The second man said. ‘It’s customary for all new shareholders to be invited in person. It’s nicer that way. Don’t you think?’
The second man who spoke had a much friendlier face than the other two and he moved aside inviting Bridgeport out into the corridor. ‘Come along now, if you don’t mind, you don’t need to bring anything where you’re going, it will all be cleanly disposed of. Just close the door and join us in a new life’.
‘Is it OK, if I drop something off to a friend of mine on the way? Brideport asked a little nervously. ‘I have some work he can finish which needs to be done for some kids tomorrow.’
‘Of course, it’s rare but not exceptional that one feels some obligation to the old life’ came the smiling response. ‘We’ll wait at the main entrance lobby for you’. Bridgeport threw into a box an old bashed up book, some spare uniform and his teacher’s tablet.
Bridgeport stepped outside and closed the door behind him. As he rushed down the corridor toward the elevator, he dropped the box outside a young colleagues door and pressed the buzzer, before rushing on without waiting for a response.
None of this made any sense. He had never played the Lottery in his life and yet now he was going downstairs to be a shareholder.
*what went well
** even better if