Everybody is complient.
We run, me and Abbey.
Cause we don’t want to get caught. Because if we do, we get Injected. And we lose ourselves.
There are a few other people like us. We call ourselves ATRCs, or Axcota thought resistors and conductors. Then we separate ourselves into to groups - resistors and conductors.
Resistors are people who haven’t been Injected. They don’t have the Thoughts - the Axcotas don’t have control of them. Some of us ran away. Others were born into being resistors. Others have been here since before the Outbreak - like our Grandpa Dean. He was two when the first Outbreak came. He will never forget how many people were Injected in those three days. Or at least that’s what he said all the time. There are still so many people who get Injected every day. Because some of us get caught.
But there are other ATRCs - people who get Injected but can’t be controlled. We call them conductors. And there is a simple explanation for their name - the Axcota Thought processes get processed out of their mind as soon as it goes in. One Thought goes in; another Thought goes out. Their minds can’t keep track of which are in their minds and which aren’t.
So the Thoughts don’t get processed at all.
But with the hundred-thousand ATRCs, there are billions of ATCDs - Axcota thought compliance disorder. That’s because there are only a few people who make it out of big cities with their own minds. So most of the people who aren’t ATCDs are farmers. And then life gets to hard for them because they don’t have the money or resources to live on their own - the Controllers, the people who control the Thought processes, take factory workers who are Injected already and then the factories turn into production lines for food. So many farmers who have given up hope on getting profits willingly go and get Injected.
So the rest of us are mainly runaways and pickpockets - basically, the outcasts of society. The Controllers call us the Aboriginals, because we uphold the idea that humans should have free will, that other people shouldn’t make up our minds, send us Thoughts, tell us what to do.
We tell those people to go six feet under.
Becoming a Controller is probably the second-dirtiest thing you could do. By becoming a Controller, you keep your free will for a price.
You let the Axcotas feed off you. Willingly.
For those of you who still don’t understand, Axcotas control your thoughts by sending Thoughts. Thoughts and thoughts are two very different things. Thoughts are ideas that you come up with. Thoughts, Axcota Thoughts, are mind-numbing commands that come from the Axcota inside you. Then they feed of the emotions that come from the scenarios that result in those Thoughts.
Controllers let Axcotas feed off them in a different way. The Axcota comes inside the ATCD it is currently feeding off of and then takes the form of the ATCD - which is basically like making a carbon copy of the host, which then knocks the ATCD out, because the carbon copy is basically the Axcota making a physical form of the ATCD’s soul. And then the Axcota incarnate has a little bit of . . . fun with the Controller.
That’s the price of having free will in this world. That or starving to death.
I would prefer dying of starvation.
We ran because we had nothing else to do. This was one of our bad days. We were trying to steal the food before it got processed in the factories. You never know what’s gets put in the food while it’s processed.
The Controllers don’t want you to find out.
This was another way that the Axcotas controlled their ATCDs - yes, I know, shocking that the alien conquerors of the Earth need three was to control us humans. Though, I have to admit, we are pretty stubborn. The Axcotas put a serum in the processed food. It numbs even more of the human mind so that they can more easily control the minds of their ATCDs. You would think already being in their head was enough.
So we always stole the “ingredients” that then get processed into “food.”
“This really was one of our bad days, huh Allie?” my twin sister, Abbey, asked. We weren’t identical. Cause we were fraternal, not maternal twins. She had brown hair. I have blond. But we had the same face. Big lips. Hooked nose. Green eyes.
I always thought that my twin sister looked better than me. Her greens eyes against her brown hair looked exotic. Mine looked plain with my blond hair. Now there are actually regulations about how people can look, the genes they have. Well, at least in the Cities.
That’s why my sister looks so different. Nobody has green eyes and black or dark brown hair. The Axcotas say it isn’t natural.
Everything the Axcotas say is done. Even suicide.
Some Axcotas actually do that. They get bored, so they tell their ATCD to stand at the top of a building and jump off or stay under the water in the ocean without resurfacing.
The Axcotas are cruel, inhumane.
That’s the one and only truth in this world, at least for the ATRCs. No one who hasn’t been Injected thinks otherwise.
“Yep,” I finally reply. “Definitely one of our bad days.”
We picked up the speed, knowing that the more we slowed down, the more time the Controllers had to catch up. They’re the ones who Inject people. They’re the people that take away your humanity.
We didn’t want to get caught.
There were so many ATCDs out today. None of them run after us. The Axcotas don’t want their hosts thinking about options other than having an alien inside their mind. So they send Thoughts to make the ATCDs think that there was nothing going on. There weren’t two teenage girls running down the street. And they definitely weren’t being pursued by Controllers. As far as I knew, they don’t even know there is a such thing as a Controller.
The only people who noticed us were kids under fifteen. Axcotas say the prime time to Inject someone is at the age of fifteen. Not too old to be too independent. But not too young that they get the opinions of other people like parents and teachers. The only way to tell the difference between the Injected people and the non-Injected people is to look at the eyes. Anyone whose been Injected had all have a blueish tinge in there eyes, no matter the eye color. The same color as the carbon copy the Axcotas make of your soul.
The same color as the Axcotas themselves.
“Yep,” I repeat, needing to ground myself. “_Definitely_ one of our bad days.”

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