Tag Archives: science fiction

Stories from Refuge – 87 – “I didn’t want to get together and talk about insurrection.”

(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-75, dialogue between K.A. and Dean 62A, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.11.14

I was part of that group, Olive’s group, who came in here yesterday. Right, I’m not supposed to say her name. I’ve done a lot of things I’m not supposed to. But not nearly as many as I should have, I guess.

I was a big guy when I was a kid. I didn’t really want to have anything to do with that group, I didn’t want to get together and talk about insurrection. I was staying after school to catch up on my homework. My parents couldn’t afford to get me glasses – hardly anyone could, as expensive as they are – and I stayed after class so I could sit closer to the blackboard and read what the teacher had written. Olive’s friends thought I was tough but I was really just too embarrassed to let everyone know how bad my eyes were and how poor my parents were.

But I was a big guy and I looked tough and they all said I would be their best fighter, once we had a plan and we could go out into the tunnels and fight back. I don’t even remember what any of our ideas were. I sure didn’t want to be at the front of a fight so I didn’t really say anything, just squinted at the blackboard from across the room and tried to keep reading it. But when this Empath came to interrogate us, I got at the front of the group so he would hit me first. That’s probably the only brave thing I’ve ever done.

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Stories from Refuge – 86 – “We didn’t have any secrets to get tortured out of us.”

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-74, interview with O.L., recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.11.12

I didn’t expect him to be so defensive, that Empath from yesterday. Yeah, I remembered him, and yeah, I was too upset to speak. I was angry that he couldn’t remember me after everything he put me through, all those nightmares he gave me that I still remember, years after the projection should have worn off. It’s probably not surprising that he doesn’t remember me, though. I’m hardly the only one he tortured with nightmares. So that’s not really surprising. What did surprise me was how defensive he got. Although it shouldn’t. We were that defensive.

We used to say it was ironic that we got interrogated – those of who still saw each other afterward and were willing to talk about it. We didn’t even do anything, not really. We didn’t have any secrets to get tortured out of us. We didn’t get involved in any riots, we didn’t write poems and post them around the tunnels, we didn’t sabotage any bots or any computers. We all met each other in school and stayed late to hide out in the empty classrooms and talk about all the things we should do, all the things we wanted to do if we’d been braver or crazier or whatever. We thought we were really doing something just by talking about it, just by getting angry. That’s when we got defensive. We weren’t keeping our heads down trying to get by, we said. We were really outraged. If anyone asked us, we’d tell them just how outraged we were.

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Stories from Refuge – 85 – “I’ll be going crazy any minute now, right?”

(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-73, dialogue between O.L. and Dean 62A, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.11.11

I’m not supposed to start, am I? She’s supposed to start. This is about her, and whatever she came here to accuse me of. But she’s too angry at me to speak. I don’t think she was expecting me to be here. I thought that you brought in proxies, people to represent Government but not the actual people who did the things to the victims. I guess I’m the actual person, though.

It’s not easy to read with this headset on. Wait – the recorder thinks that’s wrong. It just stops us from projecting, right? It must be the sedatives. There’s a pretty narrow window between the sedatives wearing off and the symptoms coming back. I’ll be going crazy any minute now, right?

What? Now all of you are mad at me? You’re the ones who put me in this position, you’re the ones who gave us the cancer treatment – generations back – that turned ten percent of us into Grays Syndrome kids in the first place, messed up our brains and turned us into Empaths, and you decided to take advantage of that and use us to do your dirty work, and then when half of us end up with paramania you shrug your shoulders, lock us up, and put us under sedation for the rest of our lives. We sit there drooling in Section 5 and you turn your noses up at us for drooling.

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Stories from Refuge – 84 – “You’re trying to make me feel sorry for him so I forgive him.”

(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-72, dialogue between Y.S. and Dean 62A, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.11.10

Why is he here? Is that even him? Doesn’t look like him. He looks too old. I mean, I know we’re both a lot older than…

This is your play, right? Trying to make me ‘fess up and do the forgiveness act? This is bullshit. Bringing him in here – He’s sedated, right? That’s why he looks like that? He’s got that thing that makes Empaths sick, paramania or whatever it’s called? You’re trying to make me feel sorry for him so I forgive him. Is that it? You with the headset, you’re a different girl this time. The last one didn’t answer my questions. Are you gonna answer my questions? Did you know about this? Do you know why he’s here?

[Recorder’s note: Councilor Booth gives me permission to speak.] I did know about this, because I read the incoming file. I don’t know anything other than what was in the file. According to that, Dean 62A volunteered for this dialogue.

Volunteered! He can’t even sit up straight! Jesus, he’s practically drooling. You can still read stuff with that thing on your head, right? Is he even conscious? Does he even recognize me?

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Stories from Refuge – 83 – “You have to admit you got hurt but say it’s okay.”

(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-71, interview with Y.S., recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.11.8

It’s interesting. I thought I wanted to talk about it. I thought I wanted everyone to hear about it. That’s the point of these, isn’t it? Bearing witness, speaking truth to power. Tell everyone what I went through and what I lost and how hard it is to live, even when the people who did these things are gone now. But sitting here, I’m not sure I really want to.

I know someone who came in a few months ago. She was one of the first dialogues, she even got to talk to Ana herself, although Ana went a little crazy during the dialogue and had to be sedated. My friend wasn’t bothered by that. She wasn’t even bothered sitting right across from the Empath who tortured her a long time ago. She said she forgave that Empath a long time ago, anyway.

I used to tell her she was crazy, my friend. How can you forgive something like that? Maybe put it out of your mind so you don’t keep thinking about it and getting yourself angry and paranoid all the time, but forgive-and-forget doesn’t really work, does it? My friend told me it’s because I’m a man, and men don’t forgive easily. We don’t like to show weakness, and letting go of a grudge against someone who hurt you implies weakness. You have to admit you got hurt but say it’s okay, and men don’t like that. I’m not sure that’s it. The hurt she went through was kind of in a neat little package, one interrogation where she was tortured, with a beginning and an end and nice hard edges. What I went through…

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Stories from Refuge – 82 – “The only thing I feel right now is tired.”

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-70, dialogue between E.S. and Kal Benway, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.11.7

Yes, this is him. The one who diagnosed my son and took him away to become an Empath. The one who made sure my boy never came home. Thirty-five years ago now. I used to count the days, but I stopped. Sometimes I have trouble remembering exactly what year he was born. Sometimes I get angrier at myself for that then I’ve even been at this doctor.

They tell me he was killed during the Revolution, that he was defending Section 1 where the Councilors live and a crowd of rioters overwhelmed him. That’s not supposed to happen with Empaths, is it? They’re supposed to be strong. They’re supposed to be able to control anyone’s mind and make them do things or stop them from doing things. That’s what I used to worry about most, that someone would hurt my little boy and his mom wouldn’t be there to protect him. But I told myself it was okay, he was going to be an Empath now and he’d be able to protect himself. I guess it worked, I wasn’t worried anymore, and when they told me how he was killed I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t believe it for the longest time. Then I stopped doing that, too.

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Stories from Refuge – 81 – “Every time I had to choose how to be, I chose wrong.”

(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-69, dialogue between G.B. and Kal Benway, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.11.6

Yeah, I know the doc. He evaluated me during training. He wasn’t the one who did my initial evaluation, when I was a kid and they took me away from my parents because they said I was a Type 1. Benway came in to re-evaluate me after I’d had about two years of training and I wasn’t getting it, it wasn’t sticking. The doc said it was because I wasn’t really an Empath, not really a Type 1, I just had some Type 1 traits. However he phrased it. Some people called me a Type 3, which doesn’t really exist, it was just a way of making fun of me, saying I was a freak. That’s fine. I always felt like a freak anyway.

So if you think I’m here to rag on the doc for ruining my life or something, like he’s the one who kicked me out of PsyOp, I’m not. I’m not even here to thank him for getting me kicked out because it saved me or something. It didn’t, really. They told me he’d be here and I said okay, I’ll do the dialogue, but it’s not because I want to talk about him. I want to talk about my daughter. And I can’t blame the doc or anyone else for what I did to her.

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