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-36, submitted anonymously
Everyone says I should confess, everyone who knows anyway, they all say I need to tell someone what I did. But that’s the problem right, what did I do? Everyone says I need to stop hiding from it and pretending it didn’t happen, they say that’s what it means when I say I don’t remember and I’m just not sure. Maybe I am pretending. But if I really can remember I don’t think I want to.
There’s lots of people who show up in Factory and Production who don’t belong there. They’re hiding out or they’re in trouble or they want to steal stuff. Hardware sometimes, little things like screws or drills they don’t have themselves, maybe they can’t afford it, maybe that’s all it is. Maybe they’re just screwing around and want to steal stuff. Sometimes it’s bigger, like they want stuff they can use as a weapon, a tool they can hit someone with, or they might actually want to machine something, make a weapon. We used to get a lot of those before the Revolution, when the bots were still out, people wanting to build jammers to shut them down. Something like that, I never really understood what they were doing, but one guy went on about how he was going to build something to shut down robots if I’d just let him have some sheet metal, some screws and some wires and soldering equipment.
It didn’t happen like that too often, where people asked me. Usually they just took it. A lot of times they wanted to fight me for it. And I’m a big guy. You fight me, I fight back.
I’ve got to remember what I did, right? If it was some other big guy trying to start trouble or trying to hit me with my own hammer or maybe just some jackass pipsqueak like that kid building the jammer, like I was just sick of one more person trying to take my stuff, trying to break into my factory and take what doesn’t belong to them. But I don’t think I would’ve done that, I don’t think so, I really hope not, I really hope I didn’t do something awful to someone just because I was sick of them. But I don’t know. I’m supposed to confess and I don’t even know.
©2017 Michelle M. Welch