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-25, dialogue between K.F. and Edward Hernand, recorded by Mary 80C
I was interrogated by someone after my sister died. It wasn’t this person. It was a woman, one of the Empaths. I’m not sure what her name was. She wanted to know what my sister was doing before she killed herself, before she killed the baby.
I didn’t really answer her. What she did was make me remember it. I found Ingrid. I didn’t find the baby, though. Someone else found the baby and reported it. I found Ingrid and it was awful, and when that woman made me remember it…
It was just worse. It was a bad idea, if you’re trying to get someone to talk. I think it’s been long enough now that I can see that. See outside of myself, if that makes sense. I couldn’t talk about it at all when she questioned me, I just sat there and cried, and that woman must have felt pretty stupid.
I wondered if that woman would be here, and if she’d ask again. No one ever did. No one asked why Ingrid killed herself. She wasn’t supposed to get pregnant, you know? Because of me and our father. We don’t look the same, and even though Ingrid looked more like our mother, more like normal, Ingrid’s application got turned down because she might have been a carrier. They didn’t authorize her to have kids because they didn’t want any more bad genes. But Ingrid was always stubborn and she wanted a baby anyway.
Then the baby came out looking like us and not her. She couldn’t handle that. She didn’t want to get arrested. She didn’t want the baby to be sent Aboveground or put to sleep or turned into a machine-head or whatever was going to happen. That’s not all, probably. Our mom was always depressed, or she had manic episodes sort of like the Empaths who get paramania do, only she wasn’t an Empath. Ingrid had it, too. More bad genes that no one wanted us to pass down, I guess.
I didn’t tell any of that to the woman who interrogated me. Does it matter anymore? Are they still doing that, telling people they can’t have kids, taking away their kids when they do? If you are, you’re not much better than the last Government.
[Recorder’s note: No one stops the subject from breaking anonymity and using her sister’s name. Hernand speaks.]
I was an administrator in PsyOp Headquarters. We gave orders to Empaths to question people in connection with crimes, and communicated the intelligence to Military when follow-up was required. I sent Kay 48C to question this subject in regards to her sister’s drug involvement.
[K.F. interrupts:] Ingrid never had anything to do with drugs. God, she didn’t even want to take antidep-
[Council stops the dialogue. Councilor Harmon reminds the subject – and asks for it to be read into the record – that the purpose of the dialogues is declaration, not confrontation. Direct interaction is to be avoided, to prevent arguments and accusations.]
[Recorder’s note: None of the Councilors asked me to read K.F. and determine whether she’s telling the truth about her sister, that her sister wasn’t involved with drugs. I did read her. She seems to be telling the truth.]
[They also didn’t ask about Hernand.]
[He isn’t. I don’t know what he’s lying about.]
[K.F. is dismissed.]
©2016 Michelle M. Welch
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