It was a bright cold day in September, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Citizen Seymour glanced at the poster with an enormous face of a dark-haired woman gazing from every wall in the corridors of The Party. BIG SISTER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
Her eyes looked deep into Seymour's own. "Knock it off," he said out loud. "I am a free man."
He reached his office and went through documents prepared for him as the Leader of the Act Resistance.
One caught his eye.
It read, "Māori have their own priority access code to access the Covid-19 vaccine."
Citizen Seymour seized on the dark implications. It was all part of the Ministry of Truth's project to introduce a raft of policy measures - the new history curriculum, Māori co-governance of Three Waters, and a Māori Plant Variety Rights Committee - that would allow Māori to enjoy special privileges.
It was a madness, a sickness. But that was the way of The Party.
He squared his jaw. He knew what he must do.
The Party, and its propaganda team at the Press Gallery, reacted swiftly to Citizen Seymour's message to his rebel supporters not to book in for a vaccine and instead use the secret code reserved for Māori.
"Despicable," said Marama Davidson from the Ministry of Wheelbarrows.
"A low-life move," said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer from the Ministry of Not Pākehā People.
"Hugely disappointing," said Big Sister.
The propaganda team at the Press Gallery took delight in sharing the views of The Party and branding Citizen Seymour as a thought criminal.
Citizen Seymour stood firm. He knew that the secret vaccination code was a perfect symbol for everything The Party held sacred – the belief that New Zealand has sinned, and the only path to redemption was through a new kind of state.
"I cannot sit by and watch this vast conspiracy sweep away our precious traditions," he said through gritted teeth.
Citizen Seymour defended his actions and pointed out that the controversy actually meant that he had done more to promote Māori vaccination than The Party's taxpayer-funded advertising.
"I shan't lose any sleep waiting for Māori to thank me for it," he said through gritted teeth.
"Say aaah," said the dentist.
"Aaaah," said Citizen Seymour.
As soon as Citizen Seymour woke up, the ever-vigilant Leader of the Act Resistance thought to himself, "What mischief Māori have got up to in the night? Must I go through the day looking over my shoulder? Is this any way to live?"
Another hard week lay ahead of him. Many of his supporters were in Auckland and locked down in level 4. Their businesses would continue to suffer. Where were their special privileges?
He sighed and wondered if he had the energy to continue battling against The Party. He heard the Ministry of Truth was about to launch another Kind Week. It was ingenious, and calculated to win over the next generation. Big Sister would appear in the dreams of everyone at school, and say to them, "Be kind!"
He opened his emails. There were many, messages of support. They buoyed his spirits. "I will fight on," he vowed. "As long as I can draw breath, I will fight on!"
The clocks struck fourteen. He sighed again. It was going to be a long, long week.