Mission Extract

by Ring Sakura

In China, old people attempt to get money by pretending to fall and get injured-law problems, authorities no good enough

It was just a normal evening in 2059. In the skytrain station, people walked in an orderly manner silently, looking at their own path as they proceeded. Suddenly, an unusual sound of wood knocking onto stone came out of nowhere. People turned; they saw that an old man lost his balance since his walking stick landed on a pebble. It almost looked like a scene in a movie: slowly, the old fragile man helplessly looked around him, tripped, and fell on his face.

What happened next almost all happened in the same instant. In 3 seconds, all the pedestrians around the old man all spread out and formed a 2-meter radius circle, in such neat form as if there was an isolation belt. 90% of them took out their phone in 10 seconds: out of the ones who took out their phone, about ⅓ of them called for 911; and rest of the people aimed their phones and cameras at the old man, and the “beep” sounds repeated when they turned on their video recording app. Everyone’s actions were in almost perfect synchronization, just like all these army would do in training. The old man, who now flipped himself facing the sky, was almost horrified at the fact how all these happened within less than 30 seconds.

A young man walked out of the crowd slowly with his steady footsteps, approaching the old man. However, he did not make contact with the old man either, yet still hold his phone high and kept on recording. “Hello, sir, I will help you up just in a moment,” he started talking in a monotoneous voice, “but before that, let me clarify some things.”

“First of all, there’s more than just me recording me helping you up. We have enough evidence to prove that I did not push you or hit you with a car.

“In addition, if you think we have made a trap to let you step in, using fake evidence at the same time, then it is your responsibility to prove that we actually did that.

“Third, if you take my phone right now and break it, and I can’t find any other pedestrians here today anymore, I can still prove my innocence since this area is under video surveillance. ‘Don’t walk where security cameras can’t see you,’ it’s common sense.

“At last, I hope that before I make any physical contact with you, you can make a statement before the camera: please speak clearly and loudly, ‘The event of me falling down has nothing to do with the man who helped me up.’”

The old man sat there still with his eyes blank, while the crowded waited in silence as if waiting for the final judgement. Yet, the old man said nothing, but started laughing after his hesitation. People’s expressions changed, they seemed confused at the old man’s reaction.

“Very thoughtful.” The old man’s laugh came to a sudden pause, “Very thoughtful indeed, young man!” As he spoke, he slowly got himself up from the ground. He wiped the dust off his clothes, “This is what we had hoped for as a result for so many years…”

What did that mean? The crowded started to murmur and chatter while the old man let out a sigh. “Goodbye,” he said and turned, wanting to leave, “I should retire now.”

“Wait! What’s going on? I am so confused!” one of the people in the crowded yelled out.

“Do you really want to know?” The old man looked back with his eyes almost glittering with proud. Then he took out his beep pager, “This is 043N, this is 043N calling back to the headquarters. May I show the general public the truth of Mission E?”

The static voice responded, “Agreed. Mission Extract has ended, you were the last person to execute this mission.”

“It’s been 40 years, I can finally spell it out! Young man, let me tell you the whole story,” the old man cleared his thoart and faced the astonished crowd.

“Even though people’s lives are getting better in terms of finance, but their law awareness was still very poor. A lot of the frauds were using the law against the law, thus getting sued and paying for it. Since everybody didn’t like to prepare for possible danger in peace, educating the people about law was a very difficult thing to do.

“The authorities could just arrest whoever was unfamiliar with the law, so that everyone will start to learn about it. But that’s definitely not the way to do it; we can only let the people to learn the law by their own will.

“Stupid humans who never realize their ignorance until they have been through a huge torture!…And so several secret organization formed in order to achieve this goal. One of them, which I’m in, are full of healthy, strong old men. They are active on all the streets of the cities, and their only mission is to walk on the streets and pretend to fall and get injured and sue people.

“Very soon, ‘getting sued for helping old men up from the ground’ became an serious issue that the public actually pay attention to and talk about. While the people judged these men, they started to think about how to collect actual evidence to prevent it from happening. ‘Take a photo before helping them’ and ‘take a look at the surveillance videos’ became common sense.

“Some said that we were destroying the trust between people. But really, trust and conscience only exist in fairy tales. It is impossible to use these and change the criminals by heart. Only evidence can speak for people; not the trust!”

“And that’s the end of the story,” the old man smiled again finally, “you guys always question why the government is so tolerant with the old frauds, so now you know the truth. It is so hard to believe how people’s reactions slowly changed among the years. You guys are now a whole new generation with law awareness; our sacrifice among the years was all worth.”

After all that speech, the elder walked out of the crowd as the people cleared out a path for him. They were still astonished by the fact that all this happened. The city around the skytrain station soon came back to its original days. People who stood together just now are seperated once again, going to their own destinations.
Even though the Mission E has ended since it achieved its goal, how many other secret organizations are there just like that one? Maybe there are way more out there, being the heroes behind the stage…