NEW! Drop Down Now Included In Vertex

This month another new addition to the Vertex Framework is the S5 Ultimate Drop Down. This is a feature that was seen in several Shape 5 designs. Many have asked how to add to other designs so we decided to build this into the framework so every design here on out will have this functionality. Be sure to read more about this new feature here: Features:

  • Customize almost everything! Shadows, borders, gradient, opacity
  • Contains 6 module positions drop_down_1, drop_down_2, drop_down_3, drop_down_4, drop_down_5 and drop_down_6
  • Auto adjust to the height of your content
  • Set your own open and close text
  • And many more features!
Open Panel
May 2013

The Inspection

Image courtesy of images

Image courtesy of images

By the time The Matron reached the cot it was too late.

Blood was splattered on the blankets. A milk tooth lay on the pillow with the root still attached. A trail of blood marked a path from the cot to the open window, wind buffeting the drawn curtains. And there, on the floor in a pool of blood, its ragged end bloody and gashed, lay a finger.

The Matron, faint with shock, nearly passed out. On the verge of tears, trying to comprehend what happened, her self-consciousness told her to pull herself together. Certainly, what to do if a baby was kidnapped was not mentioned in her little, green rulebook, but what to do if there was a disturbance in the night was. The Matron racked her brains, trying to remember what to do. “Page 37, Chapter Standard Procedure, Section 1, Rule 3: CHECK COMFORT OF SURROUNDING BABIES BEFORE ADDRESING SOURCE OF PROBLEM.”

The Matron looked around to make sure the rest of the babies were okay. They all seemed undisturbed by the commotion and were fast asleep, apart from No. 3 who seemed to be sleep-talking. Under the normal circumstances, she would have woken No. 3 up and put him back to sleep, as sleep-talking was prohibited in the Society. But then again, these weren’t normal circumstances.

After consulting her precious rulebook a few times, The Matron seemed to have calmed down. She went into the cooking room and rinsed a strip of cloth. She squeezed the excess water and mopped the beads of sweat on her forehead. She rinsed it again, then went back to the nursery to wipe up the blood. She put the cloth in the decomposer machine and then she layered 7 more strips of cloth. Grimacing, she gingerly picked up the finger and put it in the decomposer machine, then took its remains and put it through again. Feeling bile rise in her throat, The Matron quickly poured herself a cup from the filtered water cooler.

Her hands felt contaminated, so she placed them both in the cleansing machine. The movement sensor activated the machine and she gave her left hand a quick wave to confirm the activation. Warm, soapy water flowed over her hands. Next, a blob of soap was placed on each hand and brushes emerged, which firmly scrubbed the soap into her palms. Another jet of water, this time not soapy, doused her hands and rinsed off the soap. She quickly transferred her hands to the drying machine, which blasted her hands with hot air and evaporated the remaining water on her hand instantly. And then, purely out of disgust, she repeated the whole process again.

After she had lain down for a while, she made herself a cup of coffee and took some anti-stress pills. She then sat down and recalled the nights’ events. She had put the babies to sleep and went to the wash room to put the soiled baby clothing in the washing machine. After that she had put away the eating utensils and sat on the couch with a cup of coffee. She read her rulebook to keep her entertained until around 24 circums, at which point No. 9 would usually wake up. With No. 9 being the future Society leader, she had to take extra care with him. Then at 22 circums, she heard No. 9 cry and, while being a bit surprised, proceeded up the stairs to put him back to… Then it hit her. The one that had been kidnapped. No.9. The future Society leader. The Matron fainted.

When she came to, her head was swimming. She couldn’t see. Her hands were tied together. Her mouth was gagged. She was sitting upright- most likely in a chair- and when she tried to stand up, she realised she was bound to the chair. She did what most normal people would: she panicked. She writhed around, jerking and shuffling the chair. She tried to scream, but her gag muffled the sound. Then she heard a voice.

“Our prisoner seems to have woken up, Solomon!” it shouted squeakily. “Why don’t we introduce ourselves!” the voice cackled with laughter. The blindfold that covered her eyes was suddenly whipped off, and The Matron had to wait while her eyes to adjusted to the light. When her vision was back to normal, she saw a tall, bald, muscular man with a thin goatee looking at her. Just at the edge of her peripheral vision she saw a fat man with greasy black hair and piggy eyes.

“Don’t be afraid,” said the man with the goatee. That must be Solomon, thought The Matron. His voice was definitely not the squeaky one she heard a few seconds ago. “We’re not going to hurt you. Well, if you cooperate, we won’t have to.” Solomon talked slowly and precisely, carefully picking his words. “Please try not to faint again as it is very inconvenient for us. My friend here is very impatient and does not take kindly to people who make him wait.”

The Matron glanced at the fat man again, and saw him scratching his arm with a knife. As she turned her gaze back to the man named Solomon, she heard him curse as he cut himself. If this man was supposed to intimidate her, it wasn’t working. Solomon’s goatee quivered and the fat man retreated into a different room. Clearly, Solomon was the one that The Matron should be afraid of.

“My dear Matron, we have been watching you and your little society for a while now. We know your daily routine. We know what happens to each baby at birth. We know what happens every week. We probably know more about your Society than you do. We also know that the future Society leader was kidnapped a few hours ago. We know this because we were the ones who kidnapped him. By the way, he’s dead now. You could probably tell by all the blood. The baby bit my friend and he didn’t like it.”

The Matron’s heart was beating so fast she thought it might just rip through her chest. Her body convulsed and she vomited. And vomiting with a gag on is not at all pleasant in the slightest.

“Tony! Come clean this mess up! Now!” Solomon said loudly.

“If it’s vomit again, I ain’t doing nothin’!” replied the squeaky voice from the next room.

“You will do as I say, or I’ll be speaking to the boss about demoting you,” said Solomon firmly. “It’s bad enough with you killing the baby, and you know that the Organisation does not tolerate disobeying your superiors. And on this mission I’m your superior.”

Tony walked into the room and took her gag off. His piggy eyes stared coldly at hers. She stared just as coldly back. This man did not intimidate her. This man was not scary. This man was nothing more than a dim-witted henchman.

“Ain’t, is not a word, you moronic imbecile.” The Matron said icily. She received a slap that left a sting and a red mark. After she had been cleaned up and Tony had sulked off to the other room, Solomon explained why she was here.

“You know very well that the Inspection is tomorrow. You know that the Inspectors will see that the child is missing, and you will be dragged off kicking and screaming, never to be seen again. Am I right?” The Matron nodded. “You also know, that if you blame it on someone else, for example a fellow carer, and say you were not on duty that night, they will find out that you are lying through the electronic neuron that was placed in your head at birth. Am I right?” Reluctantly, The Matron nodded again. “And if you blame it on us we will find you and kill you. Am I right?” The Matron, knowing that her fate was sealed, nodded once again.

“But what you don’t know, is that I have a spare baby, that Tony is attending to right now. He is what No. 9 is meant to look like with dark hair and pale eyes. His lips are a bit thinner than usual but his nose is perfect. We also have a machine that can manipulate the memory section of the implanted neuron. It can create memories and delete memories. It can change memories and it can tweak tiny little details. If you choose to accept our offer we will give you this baby and we will adjust your memory. Accept out offer, and according to your recollection, this little, ah, incident, will never have happened. If you choose to decline we will let you go free of harm but you will be taken by the Inspectors. So, do you accept or decline?”

The Matron mind worked rapidly, thinking about her options. If she accepted the only consequence would be that the future leader of the Society would be an imposter. He wouldn’t have an electronic neuron in his head, but if The Matron raised him right, he would be a good child and the Inspectors would never find out. But what if Solomon’s so called ‘boss’ implanted a neuron of his own, in the imposter baby. What if this baby jeopardised the future of the Society.

No. The Matron would raise this baby so well, he would be better than the current leader. But what if she couldn’t? Who knows what would happen. If The Matron declined, well, declining was not an option. She did not want to spend the rest of her life as a human being devoid of any emotion. And so The Matron made the most selfish decision in her life.

“Very well. I accept.”

By Isaac R. Year 8


One Response to “The Inspection”

  1. Cam says:

    Good story very interesting

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