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-53, dialogue between H.R. and Tara Johnson, recorded by Beatrice 75C
No, I want her to talk. I want to hear why she’s doing this.
[Recorder’s note: The usual fuss from the table behind me. I can tell the subject is hostile but not so much that we need to stop the dialogue. Tara Johnson is willing to respond.]
I… um… I don’t know. They asked me to sit in on one of the dialogues earlier this year, with the man whose brother died, who had an altercation with one of the Commanders, and of course the Commanders aren’t here for people to confront them, so they needed someone as a stand-in. And I did it. They needed someone to… Well, they asked for volunteers, really, and I said I’d do it. No one else really wanted to. We were standing there in Medical, all of the techs who used to work on the Commanders, just looking at each other or looking at the floor. And then I said I’d do it. Everyone else was relieved, and I thought no big deal, I’d just sit here in this room and listen to someone who got hurt and that would be it.
Of course, that’s not what happened. That man in the first dialogue, he got mad. He started shouting at me and he kicked a chair. They had to escort him out and I have no idea what happened to him after that. All the other techs said I was lucky I didn’t get hurt, and they knew something like that was going to happen, and that’s why it was stupid of me to do it in the first place.
But I went back. Three more times. I guess you want to know why.