Beep Beep Beep Beep, the time is 7:00 AM. I am suddenly launched out of my pod and see Gary – my grey tabby cat – meowing and tugging on the electrical components of my “bed”, craving some morning kibble. It is time to start the day.

I slide on some slippers, throw on a robe, and leisurely stroll to the kitchen counter in my studio apartment to brew some coffee. “1 skim milk, 2 sugars is what is necessary for maintaining a peak physique,” the unbranded coffee bag says. Gary is still antagonizing me for some grub as I grab my freshly brewed coffee and walk over to his food station located next to the medium-sized white couch across from the television. I pour two scoops of Mr. Meowth’s Kibble into his bowl, grab the remote from my oversized coffee table, and lay down on the couch with my feet towards the window still seeing the television in my peripheral vision.  

Outside I see a view of flying cars, futuristic skyscrapers, and parks with artificially perfect greenery. Each morning, I wake up to the consistent “I made it” feeling. The year is 2173. Encryption currency has become the primary source of tender on our planet with Bitcoin leading in value. Everyone is healthy, wealthy, and lives in harmony with one another. Revolutionary technology from Cryonics has made it possible for a person to not age a day with each individual required to sleep in an assigned home pod regenerating the human body back to its aged state from the previous day. 

There is a crime rate of zero on our hovering island named “Divisim” or “The Separated One”, located slightly above earth’s atmosphere with room for 25 million. This is 0.1% of the earth’s previous population. Due to Divisim’s strict legal system, where if you commit any sort of crime you will be sent back to impoverished earth and replaced with someone living among its suffering population, everyone here is on good behavior. 

Due to earth’s pollution from industrial production, overpopulation, and multiple nuclear plant leakages from conflicts involving previous superpower countries, the United Nations in 2170 decided to send 0.1% of us to the man-made, prototype planet named Divisim. This was meant to allow the continued growth of humanity as we know it. I, 26 years old at the time, along with my brother, 24 years old, were drafted here as part of the new “upper-middle-class” and assigned as data scientists to contribute to society. 

Although we don’t exactly know why we were picked to be among this prototype world, my brother had recently graduated from NYU with a master’s degree in computer science and I was already in the software industry working for a global tech giant closely associated with the United Nations. “Apparently” our titles meant that we could provide a great contribution to the new world and promote life for humanity in a more elite society.

In the midst of my window gaze, a breaking news report abruptly announces on the television, startling myself and Gary. 

Divisim Daily interrupts this broadcast with shocking news!” the reporter announces.

A Divisim data scientist, Jackson Welton, has just compromised the planet’s technological mainframe with falsified data reports.”

I gape with sudden fear and concern, realizing that my little brother Jackson has just bought himself a one-way ticket back to a place we had so deeply wanted to escape from. 

Stay tuned as the investigation further continues and prosecutions take place.

I immediately hop off of my couch, accidentally spilling some coffee on my robe. I brush my teeth, put on clothes, grab the keys to my flying car and rush out the door. 


I arrive at the summit of my brother’s apartment building, parking skew near the entrance. I burst through the fancy marble doors, sprint up 45 staircases due to the out-of-service elevator, run through the hallways, and finally begin to approach my brother’s apartment door.


Standing in front of my brother’s apartment, I’m brought to a slightly ajar door with darkness seeping through its crack. I look down and see a crumpled note with my brother’s handwriting on it, bend down, pick it up, and proceed to read: 

If this is even you reading this, hello Jarvis. For some time now, I’ve been planning to initiate Project-X. This is a software that would override Divisim’s mainframe, giving people on earth immunity and access to our technology that would help them – but I’ve been caught. By the time you are reading this, a Cryonics space shuttle has already taken me back to earth where I await trial and prosecution. It is now your duty brother to finish what I started and save earth from Divisim’s corrupt greed! Earth should not have to suffer when we have the resources they need! I have attached the Project-X flash drive on the back of this note. Do not trust anyone including your own friends as this information is far too dangerous. You’ll know what to do from here. Forget about me! Forget that I ever existed and save humanity! This is what mom and dad would have wanted. – Jackson.”

Stunned and shaken, I drop to my knees in disbelief. 

How could my brother have done such a thing?” I ruminate.

I look both ways through the hallway to make sure I was not followed, stand up while shoving the flash drive and note in my pocket, and begin to jog to the staircase exit.

This is what mom and dad would have wanted,” keeps ringing through my head as I dart down the stairs, exiting through those same marble doors.

My father and mother were both doctors at St. Petersburg Hospital in Manhattan, New York. They had made it their life’s mission to help and save those in need, despite their ranking in society. My brother idolized these actions, saying when he was little, 

one day I will make a difference!”.  My mother and father smiled, responding with “I’m sure you will my little Jacksy. You’re special, both you and your brother.” 

When I was 17 and Jackson was 15, we received a knock on our house door from a deputy department officer.

We opened the door to a man holding his hat on his heart beginning to slowly utter, “There was a terrible accident 4 blocks away from your home and…your parents did not make it…I am so sorry.”  

I begin to tear up at the thought of losing my brother just like I lost my parents. I had to save him, even if it compromised the life I worked so hard to create. 

I open my flying car, referred to as the Cryonics Type E, driver’s side door, start the engine and fly away from the apartment building with a tear running down my cheek. 


I arrive back at my apartment, opening the door to my television playing last week’s Family Feud. I grab the remote control I left on the couch to turn off its blaring noise and grab my laptop. I had left it underneath the couch after a previous long day of analyzing Divisim’s net cost for “electricity”. Being a data scientist has never been the most exciting job. I plug Project-X into my computer and data file sets of Divisim’s most confidential information glimmer.

In a moment of disbelief, I shout out, “Wo…wow! I’ve never seen something so capa-,” but I am cut off by an irritating knock at my door. I close and squeeze my laptop between the couch cushions, cautiously edging towards the door.

Could that be the Divisim police? Did they see me with Jackson’s note at his apartment? I thought to myself.

Waves of panic begin to settle in, but I quickly pull myself together and put my hand on the knob.

“Wh…who’s there?” I ask.

“It’s me, Ralph Vargas? Your best friend? lol,” he chuckles, a deemed comedian in his eyes.

Ralph works in the supply management department of Divisim, a department that data scientists like me and Jackson work closely with. After all, that’s how we became such good friends.

I nervously respond, “Oh okay,” turn the knob, and open the door.

“Can I come in?” he asks. I match eye contact with him, maintaining my original paranoia.

“Yeah, sure come in, sorry.”

“I heard about Jackson, I’m so sorry,” Ralph coos, giving me a rough but brotherly hug.

“Thank you, Ralph. It’s going to be a hard adjustment but I’m sure I will get through it. A nice bath and data analyzing should do the trick,” I quickly say, pushing for him to leave so I can focus on Project-X

Ralph walks with me to sit on the couch after closing the door behind him, Gary gleefully rubbing on his legs.

“Is there anything I can do for you? Something to eat? Anything…how can I help Jarv?” 

“I think I’m okay, I appreciate you stopping by though.”

My dismissiveness is showing greatly. I am sitting on top of the couch crack covering my laptop and Project-X from Ralph. I know he is a good friend but I can’t forget what my brother wrote, “do not trust anyone.”

Now sitting next to me, he pats my back twice and says, 

“Is everything alright Jarvis? I know your brother was just sent back to earth but it seems like you are hiding something from me. You know you can tell me anything, we’re best friends right?”

“It’s nothing, I’m just tired and grieving. I really appreciate you coming to see me but I think I need to be alone with my thoughts and feelings right now,” I say as I continue urging Ralph to leave. 

Suddenly, without blinking and in a slow eerie tone, Ralph utters, “Of course, you shouldn’t leave your apartment for a while though… I have a feeling that they’re watching us, everywhere that we go, everything that we do, and so much more.”

As he gets up and to walks to the door. I stare down the back of his bald head, resonating the words he just uttered. A warning for sure. 

Shaken up and feeling drained, I proceed to the bathroom five feet across from my kitchen counter. My apartment feels smaller than usual. I see a black-haired, pale skin, green-eyed little boy resembling the younger Jackson flash across the mirror. I splash cold water on my face and my baggy-eyed, depressed self reappears. I slowly turn my head away from the mirror, shuffle out of the bathroom back to the couch, take out my laptop, sit down, and get to work on Jackson’s creation. Seeing my younger brother’s face in the mirror inspires me.  

Now scanning through the file, I strike upon the key to everything. 

“Aha!” I echo throughout my whole apartment.

A software file that would enable Divisim’s segregated technology to restore the earth. I click on the file to view its contents and a detailed layout shows the major issues earth is currently suffering from and which of Divisim’s experiments would be assigned to eliminate these problems. The layout says,

  • In the A37-I experiment, an army of 30,000 teal colored 7-foot robots would disintegrate all trash and waste on earth with thermal laserbeams,
  • In the M35-S experiment, white shuttles that would hover over earth’s land filtering the atmosphere would give clean oxygen for all walks of life, 
  • In the R35-T experiment, 300 brown rovers, each weighing 4 tons, would clean up and decompose the earth’s nuclear waste,

*ACTIVATION* – Project-X needs to be placed in the center of Manhattan, New York, and attached to a 100,000-volt energy source. This will shoot out a signal to Divisim and activate the experiments saving all citizens on earth from its perilous conditions.

Enthralled with my brother’s detail, I turn my head away from the computer screen and look out my window to a beaming skyscraper reflecting the sun’s brightness in complete disbelief. Two and half years on the job and Jackson was able to design such a masterpiece. “Incredible,” I whisper. 

I turn my head back to the screen about to save Project-X and realize that the location where the satellite needs to be placed on earth is where my brother is being prosecuted, the United Nations Headquarters. Manhattan, New York is where the United Nations conducted the infrequent Divisim’s criminal cases. It is the only place on earth that is somewhat liveable and will give me the perfect opportunity to rescue my brother. 

Lost in my excitement, Gary jumps on the couch next to where I am sitting and attempts to bite Project-X from the left side of my computer. I carefully pet and push him away from the flash drive and am brought back to the realization that it is time to get to work. I smile at him and say, “Let’s go get our brother back”, grab the keys to the Cryonics Type E, eject Project-X out of my computer, and rush out the door. 

Hurrying out of my apartment building looking adjacent to my brother’s from the outside, I think to myself, “The next time I step in this building, my brother along with everyone on earth will be free.” I walk over to my car parked alongside my shiny building and notice the back door is partially open. I pause with suspicion suggesting that I probably forgot to close it and brush off my intuition even though I had only opened the driver’s side door today. I hop in and prepare for take-off.

I put the Type-E in stealth mode, which hides my vehicle from Divisum’s radar, submit Manhattan, New York’s coordinates into my GPS, and begin to jet to earth.


Plummeting towards earth, I break through the atmosphere and rapidly approach land. About 20,000 feet in the air and approaching, I see how awful conditions on earth have become. The lack of greenery, overcrowded inhumane housing, and polluted roads, sidewalks, and land as far as the eyes can see.

What has this world come to? This is all the fault of the United Nations! If they had put Divisim’s resources to good use, which Project-X will do, there would be no need for “The Separate One” as everyone could enjoy life. I’m invigorated now, hurdling even closer towards the earth. 

Positioning the Type-E atop of the U.N. Headquarters, a building appearing similar to skyscrapers on Divisim, I land on one of the building’s four helipads. I grab Project-X from the glove compartment, jump out and adjust to the new setting. 

I do a 360-degree turn of my surroundings and see the rooftop exit, sprint to its slightly rusted grey door, and rush down the two staircases meeting one of the building’s checkpoints. I am familiar with the building along with the rest of Divisim’s citizens as this was our final location on earth before departing for what was supposed to be “forever”. 

I reach the checkpoint split between three hallways to a sign giving directions to holdings–the place where my brother would be located. 

  • 5 floors down ↓ right-wing →

I pivot to my right leaping what felt like miles through miserable appearing United Nations employees to the right-wing, hop in one of the three massive elevators, and reach holdings. Exiting the elevator, I am brought to a vacated lobby and a single check-in officer with a hat covering most of his face is sitting behind a plexiglass surrounded desk managing the sector. 

I state, “I am here to visit someone, Jackson Welton?” thinking I would be denied access.  I am met with a sharp, “yes” by the officer as he gestures “right this…way.” A familiar voice, but I am too excited in the moment to realize something is wrong. Why would an officer let an unidentified person visit a high-profile convict? 


The officer directs me into an 8 by 12-foot concrete cell where a handcuffed Jackson is sitting on the lower bunk of his bed, elbows perched on his knees. I take three steps into the cell and Jackson cautiously turns his head, soon realizing it’s me.

“Jarvis! What are you doing here!?” he exclaims.

“I’m here to rescue you and save the world fro-,” 

“You’re not supposed to be here, thi…this wasn’t part of the plan! You must leave now with Project-X before it’s too late…how were you even allowed in here!?” Jackson tenaciously cuts me off.

“That doesn’t matter, you’re coming with me! I’m not going to lose my brother over some flash drive!”

“One life is not more important than billions of people Jarv! There is someone I need to tell you about…It’s your friend Ralph…he was the reason why I was caught and sent here! You must leave!”

“Ralph? What are you talking about that’s my best friend! He would never do something lik-”

“Like what!” the officer shouts before slamming the cell door.

“Wait? What’s going on here? Are you-?”

“Yes! It’s me, Ralph! It’s been me all along! I’ve been tracking your brother for months now and finally caught him trying to destroy us all! Divisim is a planet where only the elite will succeed and no one else! I’ve been watching your every move from you visiting his apartment to when I came by earlier today, even catching a ride with you down to this pile of a junk planet. You’re both evi-”

Cutting him off I scream, “You’re evil! You’ve known all along my brother was trying to save humanity and you’ve tried to stop him and me!” 

“I would have told you sooner Jarv,” Jackson chimes in, “I only found out recently after looking back at why Project-X did not correctly disable Divisim’s systems. It’s because someone in the management department found out what I was doing and shut down the program. Ralph has known all along about Project-X’s capabilities! He just didn’t want the rest of humanity to benefit from it!”

“Precisely!” Ralph mocks in a sardonic tone before opening the cell door, scurrying off laughing and locking both Jackson and I on the inside.

“The world is doomed!” Jackson cries out in atomic fear.

“No, it isn’t!”

“How so? We’re both trapped inside here with no way out.”

“Because he dropped his ID card along with the keys to unlock your handcuffs,” I reply in a tone too nonchalant considering the predicament we are in. “Looks like the comedian just joked himself.”


I uncuff my brother, unlock the cell door, and we both hurry through holdings onto the elevator. 

“We need to head to the roof Jackson, that’s where I parked the Type-E. We need to find a place in the city to activate Project-X’s experiments,” I now say, panicking as I realize the headstart Ralph has on us. 

“There is a satellite located on the far left end on the roof that should produce enough voltage to get Project-X up and running.” Jackson huffs, out of breath from the hasty jog we have begun.

“Great, let’s hurry then!” I say in relief.

I hit the button for 5 floors up, run past the same checkpoint sign on the way in with Jackson following closely behind, up the same couple of staircases, and burst through the rooftop entrance. 

We begin to sprint to the left side of the roof as Ralph comes out from behind the Type-E, intercepting us from reaching the satellite.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Ralph yells out, his 6-foot 2-inch build matching his intimidation.

“To save the world from people like you!”

I grab Project-X from my left pocket, hand it off to Jackson prepared to bolt to the satellite and attack Ralph with all my might.

Rustling and tussling, me and Ralph begin to drift in the direction of my brother, who’s approaching the satellite with the flash drive firmly in his grasp, throwing and taking non-stop punches. I eventually start to give out with Ralph’s strength somehow intensifying. Now laying on my back two feet away from toppling to my death, Ralph continues to inch me closer and closer to falling off the left side of the U.N. headquarters roof. My vision becoming more blurry and losing hope, I see Jackson, out of the corner of my right eye, place Project-X next to the satellite and begin running towards me.


I’ve never seen my brother so angry before, my half-conscience self thinks. My brother sprints quicker and quicker with Ralph still continuing to punch me. Jackson leaps onto Ralph throwing both of them off the roof screaming out, “Not my brother!” with Ralph getting one last punch in causing me to pass out.


I wake up to a light breeze flapping my wrinkled, bloody t-shirt around and come to my feet. I peek over the edge of the roof calling out my brother’s name in horror, “Ja…Jackson!? Jackson!?”. I kept repeating until I tasted blood in the back of my throat. I bawl my eyes out hanging my feet over the edge of the roof, contemplating whether to end this whole nightmare when the wind gust pronounces, “Save the world Jarvis…you got this,” a wholesome reminder that my brother would not want that for me. 


I stand up away from the edge of the roof, amble over to the Project-X flash drive while aggressively wiping my eyes, and plug it into the satellite with a message reading out, “Activated Mr. Welton, have a good day.” I look up at the sky’s bright white clouds seeing the experiments shoot out into the earth’s atmosphere with a feeling of relief knowing the people of the earth will wake up tomorrow with the same feeling I felt earlier today. Peace. 


I walk back to the Type-E, open the door, step in and start the engine knowing Divisim and United Nations police will be at the scene shortly. Taking off and hovering about ten feet above the helipad, I see St. Petersburg hospital directly in front of me glistening over the other buildings, another reminder of how proud our parents would be of both me and Jackson today. Now smiling instead of crying, I launch back to Divisim seeing its revolutionary technology fall from the sky, appearing like angels falling from heaven; a symbol of what the hero behind it all has done for humanity–create balance.


Arriving back in my apartment, I turn off my television which is blaring out all sorts of false news reports.

Jackson Welton and supply manager Ralph Vargas both killed outside the United Nations Headquarters!” 

Divisim’s technological components have been compromised!” 

Is this the end of Divisim and earth’s separate paths? Will the United Nations agree to equalize both planets?” 

And much more pseudo nonsense I don’t need to listen to. 

I see Gary rolling around on the kitchen counter, odd behavior for him, and see my brother’s crumpled note once again but with a different flash drive attached to it. 

“What could this be Gary?” I query as I inspect carefully, making sure it is not one of Ralph’s last tricks. It says My Last Message attached to the back along with to be seen by only my brother in small writing. I am hesitant. I grab my laptop from the couch, place it in the middle of the room, plug in the flash drive, and a hologram of my brother shoots out.

Falling over my feet in complete shock, Jackson’s hologram speaks:

“Jarvis: My brother, my friend, my mentor, and so much more describe the impact you gave me and will continue to give to others in our lives. At the time you are watching this, the universe has already planned my departure. A departure that would do good for humanity making those throughout the lowest to highest on the caste system equal no matter where you stand because human rights are given, not earned. Divisim was designed to inflict pain among those not as fortunate, not as gifted, or not good enough to be considered an “asset” for the United Nations. I pray now that Project-X’s initiative will continue helping generations to come and you, Jarvis, will continue the movement that mom and dad bestowed on us in the little time we had with them. I know when you are seeing this you are confused, hurt, or maybe angry about what I did, which I understand, and it will take time, but you, my strong brother, can get through this. I am now with mom and dad and when you join us in a long time away, just know your life has so much purpose. Remember your whole family is watching over you and that we both fulfilled the vow “one day ‘we’ will make a difference!” The future of Divisim and earth is now in the hands of the people, not a people. Sleep good tonight and the nights to come knowing you caused this change. – Jackson Welton, your brother.”

The hologram finishes playing. I open the shades, crawl into my pod, and watch the sunset disappear through my window along with the world’s damages. And that night I did sleep well.