lonely swingsThe First Born is a dystopian novel set in the future in South America after multiple political and environmental disruptions. It follows the lives of three young adults. First, there is Alex who is a member of the Elite. The Elite control the government and the wealth of the country, but for Alex his life is a charade. He has been forced to play a role that he was not born to play and he struggles to balance the charade with his true identity and the sacrifice and mystery surrounding his birth. Second, there is Beth a young Second Born waitress and student who is trying to survive and hopes to improve her place in society. She is happiest denying that anything is wrong with the society she lives in and she struggles to reconcile reality with her desires. Third, there is a member of the First Born, who has no name, and is identified to others only by a serial number. The First Born are the workers of the society, they are the manual labor, they fill the ranks of the army and, like the character in the following excerpt, they are the enforcers for the government.

Excerpt from THE FIRST BORN

by A. L. Wells

Sunday, Day 14

The van that carries your MO Unit enters the pedestrian zone, driven by your commander. You scan the area from the passenger seat. The Second Born shoppers are leaving. There is a First Born sanitation crew. One member is standing. He waves a broom impotently toward the departing Second Born. He turns and faces the vans. Words are coming from his mouth. You hear them. You do not listen. You step out of your van and stand, pistol in hand, with deadly aim, and a single bullet you silence the disruption. With pistol drawn and ready you scan the remaining First Born lying motionless on the ground. They all face the ground. Not one looks up at you, or your team. Not one looks at the disruption lying still and silent on the ground. You motion to two members of your unit and they collect the fresh carcass and load it into your van to be transported to the Reclamation Center.

The other MO Unit has spread out and surrounded the square. They block all entrances and exits. The First Born sanitation crew return to their work sweeping up leaves and now pamphlets too. You remain vigilant scanning the rest of the navy blue uniformed First Born for other seeds of rebellion or hiders of pamphlets while the rest of your unit overseas the collection of the remaining fliers. You pick one up, look at the unfamiliar markings and deliver it to your MO Unit leader who remained in the van. He glances at the flier and then places it on the seat. The High Inquisitor’s Office will want this as evidence. The remaining fliers are mixed in a large pile with the leaves and you throw a match into the midst. The First Born watch the burning, waiting for the fire to finish so they can sweep up the ashes. This task complete your team climbs into the back of the van with the warm corpse. You climb into the passenger seat and your MO Unit leader drives the van out of the square. The remaining MO Unit will stand guard at the square and detain any suspicious persons, if necessary, until all has been restored to its previous state. For now order has been maintained. That is your job.

You are a First Born, like the man you shot, you are the property of the state, no separate identity. However, you are not navy blue uniformed like the corpse. You wear the camouflage colors of battle. You are the second in command of your Maintaining Order Unit. You are FB03032060/CBC/11:32. You were born on the third of March in the year 2060 at the Central Birthing Center at 11:32. That is when you became part of the state. You are the same as the man you shot, only you excelled above all the other First Born in your guardería. You walked first. You threw a rock first. You were singled out as a future soldier. You were trained to follow orders and now you are trained to give orders. You are the perfect soldier. You are not a slave. You are not the property of the state. You are the state. A wheel in the machinery of the state. A wheel that is always well oiled, that will not ever rust, or degrade, or read.