Chris Anderson had learned the world was an unfair place shortly after he was born. Frightened people had taught him the lesson and it was stored in his cells as a burning pain. He was stored in a cell too. A 6 by 8 feet concrete box that had been his home all his life.
Chris was skinny, not particularly good looking and looked like the kind of guy you could have long conversations with. He never stood up straight and people told him he looked cold even when he wasn't.
His nickname was Tag. He had gotten it when he was a kid. No one could ever catch him. He would run and slide like a baseball player to get away from their hand, avoiding it like it carried the plague. He was never "It" once in his entire childhood career. The name stuck with him as an adult. When it came to work and responsibility, he would dodge those too.
His name might have been "worrier" as that was his favorite thing to do. He worried about his job, he worried about his girlfriend, he worried about his future, worry after worry, in ever-tightening circles of dread. He had a taste for unsolvable problems and he chewed them until they became like gum that had lost its flavor.
Lights out had been at 11 PM. It was an hour later and Tag still wasn’t asleep. He rolled back and forth on his prison-issue cot, trying to burn his excess energy.
There was one trick he had at times like this, to fantasize and leave his body, and he did that now. He imagined himself on the sand world of Dune, hiking through the endless desert in a still suit that reclaimed lost moisture. His fantasies paved the way for dreams and finally he slept.
Tag rubbed his eyes and willed himself to wake up. He threw his feet onto the cold floor, making contact with the Day. He looked with disgust at the bucket which served as his toilet, knowing that he would soon have to empty it. He could feel the unblinking eye of the Panopticon on his undressed body. Through the slat-like window of his cell he could see it slowly revolving, like a spider turning to see who had disturbed its web. He gave the customary salute and shouted "Always Ready!" with a vigor he did not feel, the words echoing with a thousand other voices.