Stories from Refuge – 133 – “If they admit to anything, will they really have amnesty?”

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-104, dialogue between J.S. and Carol Nicks, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 101.1.19

Now hang on. You’re telling me this woman had to make a plea bargain and become a representative of Government because she admitted to breaking the law when she came in yesterday to do her statement, and now you want me to sit here and tell you things that might implicate myself? Just why do you think I would do that?

Is this what you’re going to do to everyone? You say we’re anonymous, we’re only getting recorded by our initials, so there won’t be any retaliation against us. But then you turn around and do this to her. Her husband was after her, right? He would have had her arrested, and she got away, and now he’s going to find her. You’ve got her name right at the top of this report.

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Stories from Refuge – 132 – “People do a lot of bad things when they’re scared.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-103, interview with C.N., recorded by James 72A
RY 101.1.18

I didn’t get to talk about the Commander yesterday. When he grabbed me on the train, when he pulled me off and out into the tunnel, there was no one waiting to arrest me. He didn’t arrest me, and there were no bots. He pulled me by the arm and through the junction with Sec 15 – I think it was Section 15, is that Media? Somewhere I’ve never been. I was scared to death that there would be a lot of bots there, ready to rip my arms off, but it was dark and it was quiet and the Commander took off his helmet and he just looked at me.

Owen, he said. You know Owen.

I don’t know Owen. I had no idea what he was talking about. I was mostly crying at him to let me go, crying that my husband had reported me to get arrested, crying that I wasn’t going to be able to go home and I had no idea where to go now, even if I did get out of that tunnel alive. I really don’t know how that conversation ended, I don’t remember how I got out of the tunnel, and I have no idea how I ended up at my friend’s living unit or the guy’s place where we went to get me new records and erase the arrest order.

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Poetry Corner: Koi

Sometimes I see
something
there, above the surface
where the light bends
and everything is strange –
tall with eyes and limbs
that don’t look right –
And sometimes,
if I go closer,
it almost looks
like something
real

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

Stories from Refuge – 131 – “I said only money would help us.”

(c) Svedoliver | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-102, dialogue between C.N. and Ellen Wen, recorded by Mary 80C
RY 101.1.17

My husband reported me because I wouldn’t stay home like he wanted me to. I wouldn’t spend money like he wanted, didn’t listen to him like he wanted. We lived in sub-18, where they turned off the air scrubbers the year after all this happened, and I wanted to pay the bribe so we could get a better unit with better air. He said we needed to make friends with different people, and they’d help us. I said only money would help us, and that’s why I needed to keep working. He didn’t seem to understand that. Finally I took money from him that I was supposed to use for food, and that’s when he reported me. The day he sent me back to Sec 13 because I didn’t come home with enough food to justify the credits I’d spent the day before, I never got there. The train got stopped and Commanders came in and dragged me off.

I wanted to fight back. I was pretty sure I could kick the one who grabbed my arm and make him let me go, and he wouldn’t be able to shoot me in the train because their guns are too long for close quarters. Usually they used bots when they had to get into close quarters, didn’t they? But this Commander wanted to grab me personally for some reason.

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Poetry Corner: Infinity

Self-portrait in Refik Anadol’s “Infinity Room” at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

If I am still enough
that the world
is all that moves
around me –
will infinity be within reach
or will it pass by,
leaving me quiet?

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

This still photo doesn’t show the movement of the light, but I wasn’t able to upload the video I took to WordPress. (It’s here instead.)

Stories from Refuge – 130 – “Request memory erase.”

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report C-34, submitted anonymously
RY 101.1.16

No.

No.

Cannot comply with order. Cannot give you a name. Do not have a name.

Assigned number 8E4.

Cannot comply. No memory program uploaded.

Awaiting time for lithium harvest and delivery. No orders until then.

Repeat question?

Don’t understand. What do I do until then? I don’t…

On standby.

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