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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

The Innocence Treatment

Ari Goelman

Roaring Brook Press



2031 doesn’t seem like that long ago to me. Yet somehow a full decade has gone by since my sister’s operation.

A lot has changed since then. In 2031, the United States was still enjoying the lull between the first and second uprisings. A drought was drying out the last of the great western forests, but it would be another two years before the massive wildfires that left millions homeless and sparked the second uprising.

In the meantime, the first uprising had receded into the distance. Back then, we didn’t call it the first uprising, of course. We just called it “the Emergency.” It was supposed to be a onetime event, something that would never happen again. The power grid was back on, more or less. The government was back to functioning, more or less. People bought the best solar panels they could afford, and kept their garages full of fuel for their emergency generators. Aside from that, we mostly pretended that the Emergency had never happened.1

My sister wasn’t the famous Innocence Girl yet. She was just poor, benighted Lauren Fielding, nervously awaiting the operation that would finally “fix” her. As though she wasn’t perfect exactly the way she was.

But that’s enough from me. I’ve pulled this book together to let Lauren tell her own story in her own words.

I hope you find that the following text offers an illuminating portrait of one of the great heroes of our age. Lauren, if you’re reading this, I love you.

Dr. E. Sofia Fielding, Ph.D.

London, UK

June 2041

A note on sources: I downloaded the bulk of Lauren’s journal entries, along with her therapist transcripts and the two video clips described in the text, from the RIP section of the Swedish website Wiki-Plus. Rather than stick to strict chronological order, I’ve placed each therapist transcript immediately after the most relevant journal entries.

The final five journal entries are published here for the first time. They came into my possession as handwritten hard copy several years ago. I’ve since had a panel of independent forensic-document experts verify them to have been written in Lauren’s hand.

Aside from the reordering noted above, I’ve changed nothing substantive in any of the journal entries. I’ve cleaned up the grammar and spelling and minimized the profanity (for obvious reasons having to do with publication in jurisdictions like the New Confederacy and the Singapore Federation), but that’s it. —ESF

Text copyright © 2017 by Ari Goelman