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As part of the social history paradigm program that I was assigned to as a child by the state thanks to my gen-class, I’ve spent four days a week from the age of seven researching the vast hoards of data archives in the Generation Project, collected from as early as the twenty-first century. We children who are assigned this role are bound to it for life, and have some substantial differences in comparison to our peers both physically and mentally.

We are considered by the masses to be genetic freaks, though the term is much frowned upon by the elders and certainly never used to our faces, yet we know that as soon as we pass the people in the street, that very word will arise in the next sentence spoken by whomsoever has seen us.

We stand out significantly you see. We are ugly, the ‘ugly vegetables’ of our time. At one point in my extensive studies, I came across an exchange between two subjects from the 1900’s where vegetables were referred to often as being ‘ugly’ when grown naturally, because much like the people of those ancient times, the vegetables were not genetically enhanced – (that became prevalent from the 2000’s onwards.) So you might get a carrot with two ‘legs’, or a turnip-shaped like a ……well, a part of the male anatomy shall we say? And this appears to have given some enjoyment to the subjects. I don’t know exactly why the idea of rude shaped vegetables is so funny….but it makes me smile as well as it turns out. When I mentioned it to Helean she gave me her ‘look’, reserved just for me it seems, which indicates that I am being weird again. I am weird. But it isn’t my fault, for I was genuinely born this way. One of the wild cards. Much like those unique vegetables; we are unattractive oddballs, myself and my ‘natural’ compatriots. To be fair we agree with this judgement, because everyone else is beautiful.

Clear smooth unblemished skin is the norm. Technically any set of parents can choose to have say freckles on their offspring’s skin…but they never do. No freckles, no birthmarks of any kind, no nose longer than 4.2cm, no wider than 2cm, their thin curved nostrils barely visible. The mouth, eyes, ears, every single physical attribute follows a scale of considered perfection. This perfect ideal materialises itself in the form of women with tiny noses, huge moon-like eyes with giant irises that gaze blankly from upper lid to bottom lash. Said lashes being exactly an inch and a half long. Tiny ears came into vogue around eighty years ago and the fashion has progressed to the point where many females now have nothing more than an orifice covered by a discreet flap of skin which is often adorned with a rainbow of tiny ‘sound lights’ that flash in accordance with the sounds they receive. The lights are set in the shape of ancients ears. Ears like mine. My huge unbecoming flaps, all misshapen and curled, I cannot bear my ears, and wear my hair long at all times to cover them.

Our official name is ‘The Secrets’, because we alone have access to the vast data banks that hold all of mankind’s history in written, recorded, form, and we alone are capable of keeping secrets from the seditious underground factions who terrorise and cause dissent in our (mostly) peaceful society. Normal children are educated only in all the languages, numerology, logistics, physical strength and a limited amount of the sciences. None but the Secrets are taught to write, (or so we are told), to feel the power of words as they swirl, clamour to be freed from our imaginations. No one else ‘needs’ this archaic skill. They can all read each other’s minds if permission is granted. Even if it isn’t in most cases. Even the languages are learnt by thought-speak, only a minimum two weeks of the term is spent on elocution, and even that is dying out as few attend the classes. Our kind cannot read minds, myself and my brethren. Our speech is considered vulgar and crude, loud and almost violent, barging into silence of the majority like boulders heaved into a perfectly still lake.

It sounds as though I lament my lot does it not? However nothing could be farther from the truth, because I have dominion over my own mind.
Therefore I am free.
And I know all the secrets.

Even yours.