Follow me. For the next two months, we will wander onto the unknown paths of A Time to Die. I expect we’ll meet new characters, foreign places, wondrous inventions, and maybe a little danger…
Invention Exploration #1 — The Clocks
Now look at us, look how our society has grown. We have the Clocks — stunning little mechanisms that show us exactly how long we have to live.
Visitor, I’m glad you’ve come. I am the Clock historian and I always like the curious folk. You’re curious, aren’t you? I can tell — and those who are curious are usually ones who have no Clock. That makes you a Radical. I should turn you in, you know. It’s the right thing to do — let the Enforcers take you away and decide what to do with you: either chuck you through the Wall or relocate you to a Low City where you’ll never be a part of decent society again.
Don’t ask me how the Clocks figure out one’s Numbers. How should I know? No one knows, in my opinion. I think the inventor just came upon it all by luck. The one thing I do know is this: the Clocks are never wrong. Never. If your Clock says thirty-seven more years and six seconds, then you have thirty-seven more years and six seconds to live.
Don’t ask me how you’ll die. No on knows that either. But you will…right on time. Oh yes, I almost forgot, you’re a Radical. You don’t know your Numbers. See, a Clock can be matched with a person only at conception. If your parents were irresponsible and didn’t have the ovachips or blank Clocks when they got pregnant with you, well, you have a good reason to be bitter at them. There’s no going back now. No one can be matched after conception. You should know this better than anyone.
What’s it like not knowing when you’ll die? That would drive me crazy. It could be tomorrow, even! Does that scare you?
The government requires everyone to have a Clock. Those who don’t — whether by decision or bad luck — don’t get any medical care, can’t get jobs, and can barely function. I’m sorry for your misfortune, visitor.
If I were you, I’d try not to think about it. And steer clear of the Enforcers.
Well, that Clock historian wasn’t the nicest sounding person, but I’m sure they’d answer any other questions you might have if you ask politely. What would you like to know about the Clocks? Ask in the comments!
Not to mention these characters and other places you may want to meet or explore:
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