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If Only They Knew

By Sophia Charania '27

I didn’t mean to overhear the mayor's conversation last week; but ever since I did, I couldn’t get it out of my head. The dark secret followed me everywhere I went. As I looked around the crowded streets of New York, I didn't understand how I could be the only one who knew the truth. Everyone thinks we live in some utopian world, but that could not be farther from the truth. Ten years ago, a new form of government arose, an AI government. The AI program that was installed had all the solutions to solve the problems that had been going on for the past fifty years. Wars stopped, healthcare became accessible for all, poverty was a distant problem, and people were happy. The world was finally stable and at peace, which was all the people wanted. I know that it is all a lie. The world isn’t at peace, not in the slightest. 

The AI has been covering up everything they're doing so the people don’t see it. All of the problems never really stopped; they just stopped being reported. Healthcare isn’t easily accessible, but anyone who tries to speak up dies. I understand why the government is doing this: to keep the peace. The world was about to get out of hand; and if someone had not made it appear that everything was perfect, humanity would’ve torn itself apart.

I always wonder if I have a responsibility to shine a light on this truth, seeing as I'm the only one who knows. I think about it every night, but every time I come to the same conclusion: It’s not my place. This AI government may be messed up, but it’s keeping the people in order, so it’s okay, right? Some might say I’m being cowardly, but I say it depends on how you look at it. If I tell the world what is going on, things will likely go back to being chaotic. If I keep my mouth shut, everyone can go on living a good life. Peace has finally come after years of struggling, and I don’t want to be the one to take that away.

We all hear about the heroes who wear capes and save big cities from menacing villains. These are the people who keep our societies safe, or that's what we think. No one talks about the damage they leave behind while trying to catch the villain. Though these superheroes often create another set of problems while trying to solve the original one. That's what I’m going to be doing if I try to be a hero here. It's a complicated decision to make; but in the end, keeping the peace is what matters. After all, isn’t that the point of being a hero?

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