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Minder's Liberation (part one)
All Civilians, on account of the new poison-releasing bomb being used by the Northern Democracy, will need a corrective surgery done on their brain. Without this surgery, the brain will hemorrhage and people will die. All Surgeries will take place within one month. Resistance will not be tolerated.
August 17, 2012
Dear Malori, my older brother went off to fight in the war five years ago today. I have not heard from him in all this time, and have no idea when he will return, or what state he will be in if he gets back. Huge factories have sprung up all along the river, and the sky is turning a permanent hazy gray from all the smoke they belch out their smokestacks. But it is not for nothing; every day, our dear Republic turns out thousands of weapons, hundreds of thousands of bullets, ammunition, anything the Army needs to fight off our many rivals. I do not wish to fight. Today I go into hiding, like you did so many months ago. Perhaps I will find you; I hope so, for I think the going will be easier if I have a friend at my side.
Yours in Friendship,
P.S. Did you see the newest notices put up by the Republic? Laughable!
“Who is she?” The General asked the doctor.
“Eve Richardson, my lord,” said the doctor.
“Eve? I’ve never heard that name before, except in the Bible. I’ve heard Eva, but never Eve…” the General said, puzzled.
“Probably because of the crime associated with that name, sir. Funny how our new beginning is marked with a woman whose name was in the true beginning. Anyway, her heart rate is steady, and apart from the minor wounds taken during capture is as healthy as a horse, if you don’t mind me using an overtired simile, sir.”
The General grunted. “I don’t even know what a simile is, Doc. But I still don’t understand why you brought me to see this prisoner. She’s just another resistor; we’ll crack her like we did all the others.”
“Come look at this, sir.” The doctor turned and walked to a far wall, pointing to a few pictures on the wall. “I have her on a machine that will reveal how she feels about a subject when I speak of it to her, whether she’s unconscious or not. This chart here shows her opposition to what I said about the surgery that we told her would have to be done after capturing her.”
The military man’s eyes widened, his equivalent to shouting in surprise. “But… the whole thing’s red!” He exclaimed. “That column too…” He pointed at another red column. “What was that one for?”
“Us,” the doctor murmured. “I asked her how she felt about us. She hates the whole organization, the whole country because of what we are doing to our soldiers and our people, whether they want it or not. Her reactions are so negative, and Eve has such a strong mind… to do the surgery on her would be suicide. The Prototypes proved that.” As he said this, he turned back to the girl who laid ramrod straight on the table, gazing at her in adoration.
The General turned as well. “Why can’t we do the surgery? She could be an elite; she could be the best Minder we ever had! Second in command only to me. Why can’t we do the surgery now?”
“Her mind. It’s too strong! Don’t you understand?” The General looked blankly at him, and the doctor sighed, trying to be patient.
“When we first started capturing the resistors, we did the surgery without waiting, no questions asked. Now, for some it worked, but for most… well, it fried their brains, to put it mildly. Their brains rejected the stimulant that made them able to connect with others and control things with their minds. We had thousands that had to be shot and buried because they had turned into human vegetables. I personally did autopsies on hundreds, maybe thousands, of the bodies to find out what went wrong. We—my team of doctors and I—finally found out that consent was the key. If the subject consented to the surgery, then it was possible, even for the strongest minds. You can’t have the surgery done to this girl for the simple reason that if you do, she will be no more use to you or me or anyone else.”
The General looked at the body on the table. Her shaved hair had been a dark brown when they had first brought her in, and the stubble haloing her head looked rather odd in contrast with the paleness of her body. He could see the subtle lines on her arms, above the sheet that covered her from torso to mid thigh that showed just how strong in the body she was. And yet it was her mind that counted. Odd.
“Then wake her up.”
The doctor sighed. “What do you think I’ve been trying to do for the past few hours? I need her awake to ask her questions: where she came from, how many others are out there…”
“Do it, Doc.” The General interrupted.
“But—” the doctor tried to protest, but the General, quicker than lightning, drew his pistol and pointed it at the doctor’s face.
“Inject the stimulant, doctor. Now.”
The doctor laughed nervously, deciding to call the bluff. Something about staring in the face of death put everything into perspective. “No. You need me; you can’t just go killing me like your trigger finger is itching to do. I am the only one able to do the surgery.” He smiled confidently.
The General smiled back. “My dear doctor, I only ask you to do this for convenience. I’d lose up to five minutes if I had to page another doctor! But I don’t mind as long as she gets the surgery done.” His finger tightened threateningly on the trigger.
The doctor sighed and nodded. After all, how could he refuse?
He turned to the table, picked up the syringe, turned the body over and injected the fluid behind the left ear.
“There,” he said hollowly, “it is done. She will wake in four hours, the time allotted in the serum for healing and accepting sleep. Now, is there anything else you wanted?”
“Only one thing,” The General said, and, smiling, shot the doctor in the back of the head. The man fell with a thud. He turned to go, but paused, looking at Eve one more time.
He snorted. “Some surgery,” he muttered, and walked out of the door, paging a cleanup crew as he did so. He didn’t want that body in there when he came back later.
A few moments later, the girl, as if in gentle sleep, sighed and turned over.
Eve sat in the prison room, her back against the wall, knees to her chest, arms wrapped around them. Every once and a while she would shift or relax a tired muscle, but otherwise she would sit in perfect stillness. The slight ache behind her left ear told her that the surgery had been done, but no one had ever asked her to do it. Wasn’t she supposed to be a zombie now? Another person to be taken behind the shed and shot?
Her brown eyes roamed the room, looking at al the complacent prisoners. Why didn’t they speak, or do anything for themselves? The only time they moved or did anything besides shuffle and groan or mumble to themselves was during a meal time. Otherwise they were just as bad as the vegetable humans.
Hatred welled up in her as she remembered her mother being taken away, and turned into one of those people. She had been shot. And then her thoughts flickered briefly to Chris, her older brother. How was he holding up? Had he been worried when his commander had told him that his sister had gone into hiding rather than join the army or face the draft? That she had condemned herself to this life, as the Minder army?
Eve screamed, jumping up in alarm as the voice, the thought that was not hers, seemed to float through her head. What was that?
“Shh!” Someone hissed, and a hand clapped itself over her mouth. She struggled for a moment, but then went quiet as she found that she would not win this fight.
“Sorry I frightened you before,” the voice whispered again, and it sounded elated and cautious at the same time, “but you have to get used to” this.
Eve choked back another shriek of terror before calming herself down. The hand, after giving her jaw a gentle squeeze to remind her to keep quiet, relaxed and fell away. Eve immediately turned and slammed into her attacker, pinning him to the wall by his throat with her forearm.
No! Wait! Let me explain! The thoughts that were not hers pierced her again, and she stepped back in shock.
“That’s you?” She demanded. “How are you thinking in my head?”