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2030: The Watchful Eye

Orwellian future, a thought crime dated 22nd March 2023.

Chinmay Relkar
12 min readMar 22


Co-writer: GPT-4


In the year 2030, the world has changed significantly from what George Orwell depicted in his dystopian novel “1984.” Though the original novel was set in a fictional totalitarian state called Oceania, the new story takes place in a world that has been transformed by technological advances and social media’s pervasive influence.

In this new world, the omnipotent Party no longer needs to rely on propaganda and strict control of information, as they have learned to exploit people’s dependency on technology and social media to maintain their power. They have developed a sophisticated surveillance system called the “NetSight,” which continuously monitors and collects data on every citizen, analyzing their online activities, conversations, and behavior patterns.

The protagonist, Winston Smith 2.0, is a mid-level employee working for the Department of Social Compliance (DSC). He is responsible for analyzing NetSight data and identifying potential “thought criminals” who deviate from the Party-approved narrative. As he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the oppressive regime, Winston starts to question his role in perpetuating the Party’s control.

Winston meets Julia, a rebellious young woman who is secretly part of an underground movement called “The Network.” She introduces him to an online community of like-minded individuals, where they use encrypted messaging and virtual reality spaces to plan acts of dissent and share forbidden knowledge. As their relationship deepens, they both become increasingly involved in the subversive activities of The Network.

Eventually, the Party becomes aware of their activities, and they are targeted by the Thought Police, a specialized division of the DSC that uses advanced AI algorithms to predict and prevent dissent. Winston and Julia are captured, and they are subjected to the modern version of Room 101, a virtual reality chamber designed to psychologically break them by simulating their worst fears and insecurities.

As Winston faces the consequences of his actions, he is forced to confront the true nature of the Party’s power and control in this brave new world. The novel explores themes of surveillance, individuality, and the consequences of technology in the hands of a totalitarian regime. Ultimately, “2030: The Watchful Eye” serves as a warning about the potential dangers of an unchecked surveillance state and the erosion of personal privacy in the digital age.

Chapter 1: The Digital Chains

Winston Smith 2.0 awoke to the shrill sound of his SmartAlarm, feeling the weight of another day at the Department of Social Compliance (DSC) pressing down on him. He rubbed his eyes, the lines on his forehead deepening, as he stared at the digital clock projected onto his bedroom wall: 6:00 AM. With a weary sigh, Winston deactivated the alarm with a simple gesture, then sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

As he dressed in his standard-issue DSC uniform, a drab, slate-gray jumpsuit with the Party emblem emblazoned on its left shoulder, Winston felt the familiar knot in his stomach tightening. He forced himself to ignore it, knowing that any outward signs of discontent would be recorded by the hidden cameras embedded in every corner of his apartment.

Winston walked to the kitchenette, where his SmartFridge displayed a menu of government-approved breakfast options. He chose the usual — a bland, protein-packed porridge — consumed it hurriedly, and then walked over to the living area. The screen on the wall flashed to life, prompting him to begin his mandatory morning exercises. The screen’s AI voice droned on, instructing Winston to stretch his limbs and perform a series of calisthenics. Winston’s muscles protested as he obeyed, his body protesting the mechanical routine.

With his exercises completed, Winston left his apartment and joined the stream of people shuffling to work, their faces illuminated by the pale glow of their devices. As he walked, Winston couldn’t help but glance at the enormous digital billboards towering above them, their screens displaying the Party’s slogans in bold, blocky letters:


The slogans were accompanied by the ever-present visage of Big Brother, his piercing gaze seeming to follow Winston as he moved. The streets were devoid of any chatter, as people hurried along, their attention absorbed by the constant stream of notifications and updates on their devices. Winston felt a pang of longing for a time he could barely remember, when people talked and laughed together without the ever-watchful eye of the Party looming over them.

Upon arriving at the DSC, Winston swiped his ID card and entered the sprawling building. The familiar hum of computers and the faint clicking of keyboards filled the air as he settled into his cramped cubicle. His workstation flickered to life, and he was greeted by a seemingly endless list of citizens to monitor.

Winston scanned through their profiles, analyzing their online activities, personal messages, and search histories for any indication of thoughtcrime. As he clicked through the digital lives of strangers, he felt a creeping sense of unease, as if he were violating something sacred. But he brushed the feeling aside; after all, he was just doing his job.

Hours passed, and the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a cold, bluish light through the windows. Winston’s eyes burned from staring at the screen, and his fingers ached from typing. Suddenly, a name caught his attention — Julia. There was something about her that intrigued him, a hint of rebellion hidden beneath her carefully curated digital presence.

As he began to dig deeper into her online life, Winston found himself drawn to her defiance, feeling a connection to her that he couldn’t quite explain. Unbeknownst to him, this curiosity would change the course of his life, leading him down a path of rebellion, love, and ultimately, a confrontation with the dark heart of the Party’s oppressive regime.

Chapter 2: A Digital Spark

Over the next few days, Winston found himself increasingly preoccupied with Julia’s online activities. He couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to her than met the eye. As he monitored her digital footprints, he became captivated by her subtle acts of rebellion. It was as if she had developed a secret language, one that only those who dared to defy the Party would understand.

Winston’s fascination with Julia grew stronger each day, and he knew he had to meet her in person. He carefully devised a plan to approach her, while avoiding the watchful gaze of the surveillance cameras and facial recognition systems. He knew that the risks were immense, but the idea of connecting with someone who shared his feelings of disillusionment was irresistible.

One day, as Winston left work, he noticed Julia walking ahead of him. Heart pounding, he took a deep breath and followed her, making sure to maintain a discreet distance. They wove through the narrow streets of the city, and as they turned a corner, Winston found himself in an unfamiliar part of town.

He hesitated for a moment, then continued to follow Julia, who stopped in front of a small, unassuming café. Winston watched as she glanced around furtively before entering. Gathering his courage, he decided to follow her inside.

The café was dimly lit, with the warm aroma of coffee and the low hum of hushed conversations filling the air. Winston spotted Julia sitting alone in a corner booth, her eyes scanning the room cautiously. He walked over to her, his heart pounding in his chest.

“Excuse me,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady. “May I join you?”

Julia looked up, her eyes narrowing as she scrutinized him. After a tense moment, she nodded, and Winston slid into the booth across from her.

“What do you want?” she asked, her voice low and guarded.

Winston hesitated, unsure of how to proceed. “I’ve been watching you,” he confessed, his face reddening with embarrassment. “I mean, not in a creepy way. I work at the DSC, and I’ve noticed your… resistance to the Party.”

Julia tensed, her eyes widening with alarm. But before she could say anything, Winston continued, “I feel the same way. I think we can help each other.”

A tense silence stretched between them, as Julia weighed her options. Finally, she spoke. “Alright, but we have to be careful. The Party is always watching.”

From that moment on, Winston and Julia began to meet in secret, sharing their thoughts and fears about the world they lived in. They exchanged encrypted messages and met in the hidden corners of the city, away from the ever-watchful eye of the Party. As their relationship deepened, Julia introduced Winston to an underground movement called “The Network.”

The Network was a diverse group of individuals who, like Winston and Julia, had grown disillusioned with the Party’s oppressive regime. They sought to undermine the Party’s control and spread forbidden knowledge through encrypted communications and virtual reality spaces.

As Winston became more involved with The Network, he found himself torn between his duty to the Party and his newfound sense of purpose. Little did he know that his growing rebellion would soon put both him and Julia in grave danger, as the Party’s all-seeing eye began to close in on their clandestine activities.

Chapter 3: The Network Unveiled

As Winston and Julia became more deeply involved with The Network, they began to learn about the tools and techniques that the organization used to evade the Party’s surveillance. They immersed themselves in the world of encryption, virtual private networks, and digital dead drops, all of which allowed them to communicate securely with other members of the group.

The Network’s virtual reality spaces were particularly intriguing to Winston. When he donned his VR headset and entered one of these encrypted spaces, he felt as if he had stepped into another world — one where the Party’s control was only a distant memory. These virtual spaces served as meeting points for The Network’s members, where they could share ideas, strategies, and forbidden knowledge without fear of being monitored by the Party.

As Winston grew more comfortable in this new world, he began to contribute his own ideas to the group’s discussions. He shared his insights from his work at the DSC, offering suggestions on how to exploit the weaknesses in the Party’s surveillance systems. His contributions were met with enthusiasm, and he found himself feeling a sense of belonging that had been missing from his life for so long.

Meanwhile, Julia used her connections and skills to gather information on the Party’s inner workings. Her natural charisma and cunning allowed her to befriend key individuals within the regime, who unwittingly divulged valuable secrets to her. With each new piece of information, The Network grew bolder in their actions, planning more daring acts of dissent.

But as their confidence grew, so did the risk of being discovered. Despite their best efforts, Winston and Julia couldn’t entirely escape the watchful eye of the Party. Their encrypted messages and secret meetings had not gone unnoticed, and the Thought Police, a specialized division of the DSC, began to take an interest in their activities.

One evening, as Winston and Julia met in a secluded park to discuss their latest plans, they felt a sudden, chilling sensation run down their spines. They looked around, searching for the source of their unease, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. It was only later that they would realize this moment marked the beginning of the end for their rebellion.

The Thought Police, using advanced AI algorithms and the vast amount of data collected by the Party’s surveillance systems, had identified Winston and Julia as potential threats. They began to monitor their every move, analyzing their behavior patterns and conversations to predict and prevent any acts of dissent.

As the noose tightened around them, Winston and Julia struggled to maintain their defiance, knowing that their time was running out. They continued to meet in secret, but the constant threat of discovery cast a dark shadow over their relationship. The stakes had never been higher, and with each passing day, the risk of capture grew more and more imminent.

Chapter 4: The Unraveling

Despite their precautions, Winston and Julia could not evade the Thought Police forever. One fateful evening, as they met in their favorite virtual reality space, they suddenly found themselves ripped from their digital haven and back into the harsh reality of their apartment. The door burst open, revealing several Thought Police officers, their faces hidden behind cold, emotionless masks.

Winston and Julia were seized, their hands bound behind their backs as they were roughly led out of the apartment. They exchanged a fleeting, desperate glance before being separated and thrown into separate armored vehicles. Their world had come crashing down, and the oppressive weight of the Party’s control had never been more palpable.

At the Ministry of Love, a grim, imposing building that served as the Party’s center for interrogation and psychological manipulation, Winston and Julia were subjected to a brutal regime of questioning and torture. The Thought Police wanted to extract every last bit of information about The Network and its members, and they were merciless in their methods.

Winston was locked in a windowless cell, cold and damp, with only a thin, hard cot for comfort. Each day, he was dragged from his cell to a sterile, brightly lit interrogation room, where the Thought Police worked to break his spirit. They used a combination of physical pain and psychological manipulation, attempting to force him to betray Julia and The Network.

Meanwhile, Julia faced a similar fate, subjected to her own set of tortures and interrogations. Her once indomitable spirit was slowly worn down by the relentless cruelty of her captors. Even as her body and mind weakened, she clung to the hope that she and Winston would somehow find a way to resist the Party’s control.

Finally, Winston was taken to the modern version of Room 101 — a virtual reality chamber designed to psychologically break even the most resilient individuals. Inside the chamber, he was forced to confront his worst fears and insecurities, all carefully tailored to exploit his deepest vulnerabilities.

As Winston struggled to hold onto his sense of self, he began to understand the true nature of the Party’s power. They didn’t just seek to control their citizens’ actions; they sought to control their very thoughts and beliefs. In the face of this terrifying realization, Winston’s resistance began to crumble.

In the end, Winston and Julia were broken by the Party’s relentless psychological warfare. As they emerged from the Ministry of Love, their spirits shattered and their connection to one another irrevocably damaged, they could only look upon each other with a mixture of sadness and resignation. The Party had won.

The story of Winston and Julia serves as a chilling reminder of the potential dangers of an unchecked surveillance state and the erosion of personal privacy in the digital age. Their tale is a cautionary one, urging us to remain vigilant in our pursuit of freedom, and to never let the watchful eye of an oppressive regime dictate the course of our lives.

Epilogue: A Flicker of Hope

As Winston and Julia were released back into society, they found themselves changed, their once fiery spirits extinguished by the brutal reality of the Party’s power. They had been broken, their bond severed, and their rebellion crushed. The Party had once again demonstrated its ability to maintain total control over the minds and lives of its citizens.

However, the story of Winston and Julia’s defiance had not gone unnoticed. Rumors of their rebellion and the existence of The Network had begun to spread, whispered in hushed tones and shared through encrypted messages. Their struggle, though ultimately unsuccessful, had ignited a spark within the hearts of those who still dared to dream of a world free from the Party’s oppressive grip.

As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, more and more people began to question the Party’s authority. Small acts of defiance multiplied, and the seeds of dissent took root in the minds of a growing number of citizens. The Party’s control, once seemingly absolute, began to show signs of vulnerability.

The Network, while severely weakened by the capture of Winston and Julia, had managed to survive. Its remaining members regrouped, reorganizing their efforts and learning from the mistakes that had led to their exposure. The knowledge and strategies that Winston and Julia had shared with them lived on, fueling their continued resistance.

Though the Party remained a formidable force, the world had begun to change. New technologies and ideas emerged, challenging the Party’s monopoly on information and control. As the digital landscape evolved, the tools and techniques that the Party had once used to maintain its power became less effective, and the cracks in their facade grew wider.

Winston and Julia, now living separate lives, found themselves haunted by memories of their rebellion and the love they had shared. While the scars of their ordeal ran deep, they could not entirely extinguish the flame of hope that still flickered within them. As they watched the world around them slowly begin to shift, they held onto the faint possibility that, one day, the reign of the Party might come to an end.

In the end, “2030: The Watchful Eye” is a story of love, resistance, and the enduring human spirit. It serves as a warning about the dangers of unchecked surveillance and the erosion of personal privacy, while also offering a glimmer of hope for a brighter future — one in which the chains of tyranny are finally broken, and freedom prevails.



Chinmay Relkar