Stories from Refuge – 61 – “I can get mad at you, but it’s harder to get mad at her.”

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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-52, dialogue between F.T. and Tara Johnson, recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.10.2

I want to get mad. The things that happened – they asked me to list an incident to talk about, when I put in the application to do this dialogue. I couldn’t even pick just one thing. I don’t know why I applied in the first place. What good is it gonna do to talk about it? But I got in trouble, right? All those years with bots marching around and PsyOp messing with people’s heads, and when it’s all over and you people start telling us it’ll all get better, and I get found moving contraband in that hidden tunnel that everyone knows about and pretends isn’t there, and I get arrested. At least I didn’t get knocked around by a bot. Someone offered me a deal – I do this dialogue and I get a couple months off my time in Confinement. And I’m still not sure I picked the right thing.

Actually – never mind, I do know why you’re doing it. Like I said, what good does it do to talk about it, but that’s not the point, is it? It doesn’t matter if it does me a damn bit of good. You want me to sit across from her. Who did you say she was – a tech who worked on Commanders? Uploading the programs to the metal in their brains or whatever? You picked her on purpose. You said it was because the bots are all locked up and the Commanders all got sent Aboveground and so there’s no way for me to actually confront any of my perpetrators, so you had to pick a stand-in. Whatever. You picked her because she looks ordinary. It’s really easy for me to hate all of you, sitting at your table back there in your suits, all lined up and looking governmental. I can get mad at you. But it’s harder to get mad at her. She looks like anyone. She could me my neighbor, or my cousin. She looks like one of the girls I used to date. You set this up to make me forgive her, like it’s gonna make me forgive every damn thing the old Government ever did.

Okay, fine, girly. What do you have to say? What kind of song-and-dance did they set you up to do for this Reconciliation thing? Ha – I just figured it out. It’s not about the Councils reconciling with us. It’s the other way around. Pretty funny.

Never mind, I don’t want to hear anything she has to say. I’m not falling for it.

©2017 Michelle M. Welch

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