not-recognized

Marshall crept up to the large metal door, an entrance to a place he once called home before he was forgotten. He held his breath and quickly took off his light oxygen mask then proceded to let the facial recognition scanner study his face. As he had dreaded, the automatic response uttered through its rusting speakers, "Not recognized, locking facial recognition system please try again in 9999999…". He had previously tried to get in a several dozen times before, but now he had no choice, he had to leave for good.

Marshall fell to the ground, partially due to lack of oxygen but mostly due to his evergrowing loss of hope. Almost subconsciously he put the mask back on, heavily breathing. It had been 2 days since he was forgotten, abandoned into the waste of the surface with nothing but 3 days worth of oxygen and rations. He looked around at the bleak soil, he didn't know if it had always been that way, the last people that would know if there was ever any green life would be long gone.

Marshall walked away from the city walls in search of anything. He walked for a few hours, making sure to conserve his oxygen until he found something. He knelt to the ground and inspected the weathering corpse, it couldn't have been more than a few weeks since the death the unfortunate soul. Ever since Marshall's rejection from the city he had been growing more and more resentful of the city's governors. He had seen to it that many people be abandoned and forgotten, it was his main duty as a Civilian manager. Once they break any rules, question too much, or get too old they would be sent to the surface.

Marshall always thought it was funny that they called it "the surface". To him it made it sound like the city was below the surface, safely living in an underground vault with neat housing and nice quaint, green, living parks. It never occurred to him that the soil they used to grow plants and make parks was the exact same as the surface, the place where he was now and where he was going to die.

Five hours left, "Not recognized," he thought to himself as he mindlessly walked further into the sea of darkness and rubble that was the surface. "How can they do this, to me of all people," he ranted in his head "How can the forget ME?". His internal bluster was interrupted by a change of scenery.

He was bewildered, "how could it be?" he thought. He stared, star-struck, at the massive metal wall, just like the one from the city. "Going mad?" he spoke to himself in a disgruntled voice "It was THE city, not A city!". He looked around for a door but to no avail. He checked his oxygen tank, one hour left. He almost gave up then, the massive metal wall mocking him with thoughts of safety behind it. As a last-ditch effort and in even more spite of his former city, Marshall decided to follow the wall, hoping to find an entrance before his gruesome death.

Forty-Minutes left, Marshall spots a vague light source, just barely visible to notice. He practically ran towards the source, expecting it to be a facial recognition scanner common for city doors. He reached the light upon seeing it clearly through his fogged up mask, he was distraught, he practically screamed. The dim light in the dismal wasteland of the surface, a speck of hope, was nothing more than locked out facial recognition scanner. Marshall heard a quiet sound coming from the wall, he leaned in closer. "…9999999" the automatic response was still relaying the message that Marshall had heard days earlier.

Marshall fell to the ground, mostly due to lack of oxygen but equally due to his complete and utter loss of hope. He leaned against the cold, monotonous wall and shakily grasped the last of his oxygen, attempting not to cry and to not think of what happens next. The scene around him was growing darker. He sat there and held on to his oxygen for a few more moments before taking the mask off in a subconscious search for air.

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