“What would you say if I called all of you expendable cattle and idiots?
Two of the attendees looked at each other, mildly perturbed by suddenly being insulted.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame you for being what you are, but that’s why you’re here as I’m going to teach the six of you a lesson. You want to know how the world works? I’m going to show you.”
Derek, moving a chair ever so slightly to face each of them, sat and crossed his legs. He’d seen this room over a hundred times, enjoying each visit, each time watching as the attendants worked from their ever so subtle sleep. Their perfection, possibly, finally being freed. They were trapped, strangled, subdued by the constant barrage of media influence and corruption.
He looked at each of them, in turn, with the silence of the pristine room speaking volumes. Each participant, sheep, walking the very same steps as the many before them. Moderately self-obsessed, willing to conform and consume, as long as the world didn’t notice them. Derek smiled. Each candidate, actually wishing and wanting to be noticed, but each afraid to even remotely step forward in case their world turned against them.
They all had their designations. No names. No truths to be seen or thoughts concatenated to create any form or image. The first two, wearing business suits, were simply called number One and number Two. Uptight. Yet to relax and see the fun nature of being awake whether their lights were switched off or on. Then there was number three, the blonde, the beauty and probably brains, wishing to move forward and be all that she could be. Number four seemed defiant, the scowl giving away his instant dislike, his troublesome glare to be enjoyed over the next few minutes and, finally, Five and Six. The random creatures sending themselves forward to possibly find a solution to their life’s disadvantages.
Derek relaxed, his instant opinions for all of them settling into his thoughts. He wasn’t often wrong, if at all, whilst being obviously aware of such possibilities. This was life, his real actual life, where facts were needed before the fiction grabbed hold of his thoughts. He stood, walking over to the wall, only to turn and rest against it They all wanted to exist within the new ‘woke’ world that had suddenly appeared before them. Ten years, even five years, could make a person move from being within the limelight, to being left far, far behind.
He waved a hand and the auto-gesture feature sprung to life, showing the first slide upon the screen.
“Okay. What do we have here?”
Each participant stared at the screen. A single, solitary, blue square displayed in front of them. The words, ‘blue’ and ‘red’, appearing below the square. First to reply, were Five and Six. Their eager smiles betraying their innocence of what was to happen. One and Two, replied immediately after. Derek stared at Three, knowing that she wanted to answer with the correct reply, while being hesitant. She knew that something wasn’t quite right. Four, on the other hand, now fully relaxed, yawned a small yawn and replied with the word blue. Finally, after number Three looked at Four, Three replied with the answer of 'blue'.
Derek moved from the wall, satisfied, knowing exactly how this would now unfold.
“Okay. Correct. It is a blue square. Could you all now switch on the bands that we gave you when you arrived?”
In turn, each of them raised their arm and pressed the small red button that enabled the devices. Four, actually now responding, straightened himself in his chair. Derek, finally, knew that he had all of their attention.
“Okay, once again, what colour is the square?”
Each of them, in turn, replied with the correct answer. Blue.
Derek, placing his hand into his pocket, removed a small device with a button. He pressed the device and, immediately, each candidate received a small shock. All six of the candidates literally jumped out of their skin, not even remotely expecting the result from their answer.
“Let’s try this again. What colour is the square? I can answer for you. It’s red!”
Number One and Two looked at each other, smiling, as they both replied with the answer of ‘red’. Their smirk, written all over their faces, quickly fuelled Five and Six to reply with the same answer. Three, once again looked at Four for a possible reply. Four shook his head slightly, willing her not to give in. “Red!” she replied, to the disappointment of Four. Each of them, including Derek, stared at Four. The last to answer, the defiant one amongst them, not willing to engage with the natural order of things.
“It’s blue!” Four replied, with defiance.
“Wrong!” replied Derek, pressing the button.
Once again, all six of them received the shock and, as the effects faded, One and Two glanced at Four.
“Let’s try again. The answer is ‘Red’!”
Derek listened to their replies, all of them falling in line, apart from Four. He leaned forward, smiling.
“The answer is Blue. It will always be Blue!”
Derek, laughing slightly, turned and moved to the display.
“This is and always will be, red. It is red because I’ve said it’s red and that is your new way of thinking. You will not resist, and you will be fucking listen!”
Derek, his aggression now apparent and written across his face, walked from the screen right up to number Four. Leaning in, placing his face in front of Four’s face, he asked the question again.
“What colour is the square?”
Four, feeling the aggression and through gritted teeth, replied.
“It is Blue!”
Derek pressed the button with all six, again, receiving the shock. Derek returned to his chair, listening, as Three asked Four to correctly answer the damn question.
“Come on man,” asked Five, “just say ‘red’!”
“No. It’s BLUE!”
Another shock hit the six of them.
“It… is… BLUE!”
The other five participants, all facing Four, echoed their dissatisfaction with Four’s answer.
“Please, just say red and we can move on!”
Four, looked at each of them, as another shock hit his wrist. He closed his eyes and whispered to himself, “It’s blue,” but then raised his voice, “but it’s now red!”
Derek, finally happy with the result, once again stood from his chair, slowly clapping his hands.
“Well done. Finally. This is how life works. You all, every single one of you, eventually conform and fall in line to the way things work and function. Only ‘Four’ could see the correct illogical answer. You think that you stand together, but in reality, you are all apart and controlled by the very media you trust. The more you read, the more you obey and fit into the hatred and idiocy of life!”
Derek smiled, the message firmly settling into each of the candidate’s minds and realisation.
“You see, you think you have a choice, but even if you see the world for what it is, you will be labelled with many, many offending labels. Weird. Odd. Idiot. The world is a messed up, jumbled, quagmire of desolate greed and solitude. Do not believe what you are being told. Find the facts. Find the answers, even when you’re being blatantly told that the blue square, right in front of your very eyes, is red!”
Derek paused, for dramatic effect, watching each of them sitting silently, perfectly still.
“Well done Four and somewhat Five. You could see that there was something wrong with the answer. One, Two, Five and Six… you need to attend next week’s session, as you’re not children and won’t ever receive a fucking Gold star for being the first to reply with the wrong answer!”
The session, over with, the moment, explained.
“Thank you for attending. The lesson is over.”