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 A-48 (reassigned C-1), interview with James 72A, recorded by Jennifer 80B
I want to make a statement for the record. We’ve done four of these dialogues so far and there’s a problem with them. They’re not dialogues. We take a statement from the victims but there’s no one for them to talk to, no one to face them and own up to what they did. That’s not what Ana was thinking of when she proposed this. I know some of you will be saying that Ana probably wasn’t thinking of anything at all, as full of sedatives as she was, like all the Empaths in the paramania ward. But I saw her the day they let her out from Confinement, and she wasn’t sedated and she wasn’t delusional. She knew what she was saying and she knew why she was saying it. Revolution wasn’t enough. It’s not enough to undo the old government and lock up the perpetrators and leave the victims behind to deal with the aftermath alone. They have to be heard and they have to be heard by the people who hurt them.
I know some people say that it was all projection that day. We thought it was a good idea when she said it, but it’s just because she hadn’t ever been fitted for one of these [Recorder’s note: He indicates his headset] and she had nothing to block her when she tried to make all of us feel like it was a good idea. That’s funny, since I’ve also heard that paramania compromises Type 1 Grays Syndrome patients and makes it hard for them to control their projections, if they’re able to do it at all anymore. But that was months ago and I still think it’s a good idea, and no projection from an Empath has ever lasted that long on its own. You can ask yourselves if you still think it’s a good idea, or if you really think Ana just messed with your mind.
I don’t think all the victims want to face their attackers. I know we can’t find everyone, either. The Commanders, obviously, won’t be available, unless someone wants to recall them from Aboveground. Some of the bots are shut down in storage but that won’t exactly be a good substitute. Some of the Empaths are missing, like Bee 71A, and I don’t think Richard will be willing to talk to any of his victims. He probably shouldn’t, anyway. But some of them might, and they should.
There’s one more thing I want to say, it was about Cleo 59D, and it’s why I think we need to bring the Empaths in on these dialogues. I started my training before Ana’s Revolution, Cleo was my SO, and she trained me in the old style. No projection-blocking headsets, no Civil Council Orders on Ethics. She had me collect rats from the sub-tunnels in Section 16 and make them eat poison, even when they tried to run away or spit it out because they knew how bitter it was. She said I had to do it, I had to learn, I had to steel myself, because this was about survival. She wasn’t putting up any barriers when she said it – I could feel exactly what she did and she meant it, every word of it. For her all this abuse and all this corruption was absolutely necessary because that was the only way Refuge was going to survive.
I think most of the old-generation Empaths feel this way. Not Richard, he was just a sadist, and I don’t know about Bee. Everything I’ve heard about her scares me, not just how powerful she was supposed to have been and not the albinism, but you look back at N.A.’s statement and it sounds the same. She was sure of herself in just the same way. She knew what had to be done and she was going to do it no matter what. These Empaths need to hear that it wasn’t like that, not for the victims. It was survival for them but not in the same way.
I’m proposing the C report group, too, for government workers who want to make a statement. I think a lot more of them have things like this to say. I’m not the only one who had to kill rats, and others had to do a lot more than I did.
©2016 Michelle M. Welch