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-3, interview with Jay 59A, recorded by Mary 80C
I was born at home in Sec 22 and they took me to Medical for testing and they diagnosed Grays Type 1 but my parents brought me home again anyway. PsyOp had me under surveillance for years, trying to bring me in, but they couldn’t get through. Some of the rest of my family probably were Empaths, too – they’d have to be, right, since Grays was caused by the treatment for Levinn’s Carcinoma, back before we came underground. The treatment altered the genes and they became hereditary, so my parents or grandparents or someone had to have had it, at least to pass it down. But I always wondered how they kept PsyOp away. Our family filled up the whole side tunnel, 22h, a little corner of the world that was just us, my cousins and aunts and uncles and no one else to bother us.
Most of them are still alive. I checked the records. You’re telling me that they’ll be safe now, that the Councils won’t go after them. I hope you’re telling the truth.
I was caught when I was at school. My parents did everything they could to keep me out of Sec 19, out of any of the other sections, but Civil Council came in and said I had to go to school with all the other kids. Safety and standards, they said. The classrooms in Sec 19 went into lockdown twice a day, bots marching down the tunnels on patrol, but they said that was safer. Then one day the bots stopped at my classroom and the Commander came in and escorted me out.
They needed to break my connection to my family. That’s what my SO said when they started my training. I’d gotten too used to emoting and letting others influence my emotions. I had to toughen up. They started by breaking my fingers. I lived more in the Medical Section than I did in Sec 2 then, and Medical is really good at putting broken fingers back together. When they healed my SO made me break them all over again. Then he made me try the same trick on some of the prisoners in Sec 5. I was really bad at breaking their fingers myself but I got pretty good at making them do it.
I want to blame SO for this. You know who he was, don’t you? Is it in your records or did he redact his name from everywhere? He could do that – the big man himself. Head of the Psychological Council. I was the only Empath he trained personally besides Bee. I guess he liked finding the strays. Is he really dead, or was it paramania that got him?
I should stop talking about him. It’s not easy. He trained me never to say his name, and just talking about him is making me feel sick. Projections don’t last that long, I know. This one didn’t need to. He trained me into feeling sick anytime I tried to talk about him and now I can do it to myself. Same thing with the torture. Projections don’t last that long, he couldn’t have been compelling me to hurt people longer than a day or two but at some point he didn’t need to anymore. That’s all on me.
©2016 Michelle M. Welch