Tag Archives: Refuge

Stories from Refuge – 62 – “I went back three more times. I guess you want to know why.”

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
RY 100.10.3

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.

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

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

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.

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Stories from Refuge – 60 – “We just wanted to find someone to blame for how we felt.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

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-51, interview with L.O., recorded by James 72A
RY 100.9.28

I didn’t know you were going to fire him. That other Empath, the one who was the recorder when I came in a few days ago. He wasn’t really erasing people’s memories, was he? That was just a rumor, right? And I said something and got him in trouble and now he’s gone.

I wonder about the people who are gone. Not like my brother, people who got killed. Not like the people who got arrested, like my friend from back in school. The people who disappear and no one ever hears from them again. The people no one talks about anymore, because we can’t say they got killed by bots or a Commander, we can’t say they got arrested and they’re in Confinement and someone tried to visit them but the guards at the junction to Sec 5 wouldn’t let them in. We don’t know where the disappeared ones went and we don’t know how to talk about them.

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Stories from Refuge – 59 – “You tell lies enough, you start to believe them.”

(c) Svedoliver | Dreamstime.com

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-50, dialogue between R.A. and Luke Baron, recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.9.27

I got hurt by the bots, you see that’s why I can’t move my arm very well, and then I was locked up for five years, and it was for something I didn’t do. I had lots of time to be angry about that, there in Confinement, it took my mind off my arm, but it just made me angrier. That was the whole problem, I guess, when I got hurt in the first place. I saw the bots coming and I should’ve just kept quiet, not given them anything to do, just waited until the Commander showed up to arrest me and drag me back to Civil and I could’ve explained everything there, but I fought back instead. I got my hands on anything I could swing and tried to knock heads off those metal bastards, and they got rough. So that’s what happened.

Thing is, why I was so angry, is I knew why they were after me. Well, I wasn’t sure until I was arrested and I woke up to hear my sentencing and they actually told me that an eyewitness said she saw me building a jammer to interfere with the bots. That was a lie, and there’s only one person who could have told it. And I was so angry at her I just had to fight back.

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Stories from Refuge – 58 – “They started spreading rumors right away.”

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-14, interview with Tee 68A, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.9.26

I lied about my age. That wasn’t really my fault. They put me in Confinement after the Revolution, not in the paramania ward with the rest of the Empaths, but in a solitary cell in Criminal. I was trained by PsyOp but they never deployed me, so when Civil Council undid everything to reassign people, they thought maybe I wasn’t like the rest of that older generation of Empaths, maybe they could do something with me, but they needed to check me to make sure. They needed to keep me away from the influence of people like Richard and Cleo. Then they cleared me but they thought other people wouldn’t buy it, because of my age. I trained with some of the last Empaths under the old Government. So I said I was born in 76 instead of 68.

I said I never worked with Richard, either. That was kind of a lie, too. He had his eye on me when I started training. I don’t know why. He scared me.

All right, I do know why. I just don’t want to talk about it.

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Stories from Refuge – 57 – “I guess I’m here to ask why the Commander did that.”

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

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-49, dialogue between L.O. and Tara Johnson, recorded by Tee 76D
RY 100.9.25

My brother got in trouble. That’s what I’m here to talk about, I guess. It was a long time ago, I was only twelve years old, but I remember the Commander breaking down the door. People try to tell me no, it must have been the bots who broke down the door, that’s what they did, and they roughed people up because they didn’t understand humans and how we don’t keep working after you punch us in the head or pull an arm off. But it wasn’t a bot. I remember it was a Commander, he had a human face under his helmet, and he looked me in the eye and asked where my brother was. I was too scared to say anything but my brother came out of the back room swinging something, it must have been some kind of weapon but I remember it being something stupid, like a broom or a lamp. The Commander turned on him and shot him right in the chest.

So I guess I’m here to ask why the Commander did that. Why did he kick down the door instead of sending his bots in? Why did he shoot my brother? But all I can…

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Stories from Refuge – 56 – “I know what it’s like for your brain to be the enemy.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

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-48, dialogue between H.B. and Cleo 59D, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.9.22

I want to know how she did it. How did she get in there and find it? I never thought about it. I tried to never…

I’m not gonna talk about it. You don’t get to hear that. It’s none of your business and it wasn’t hers, either. The people who did that to me… No. I’m not talking about it. Bad enough I’m having nightmares about it all the time again. I’d just gotten those under control, I was just where I could go one damn day without wanting to crawl out of my skin, and then she comes along and interrogates me and it starts all over again. So how did she do it? How the hell did she know?

[Recorder’s note: Cleo waits to respond until prompted by Councilor Booth.]

You know that’s not how it works, right? Everyone knows that’s not how it works. I didn’t read your mind. No one can read minds. I projected fear at you, and your brain came up with the thing it was afraid of. That’s not my fault.

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