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The Cibatus Act
The news broadcaster was ecstatic today. I haven’t used that word in a while, and I’m surprised I still know it, but that is not the point. News reports these days are usually depressing, and the reporters, glum. The sky was always grey (apparently, once upon a time it had been blue, which I believe is just a myth created by the rebels to turn us against the government, not that I need any help) and was usually cold, sometimes raining, sometimes snowing, sometimes foggy, and sometimes just plain old grey. A lot of things were grey.
Still, when we heard the broadcasters tone, everyone shut-up and listened carefully to what he was going to say. Perhaps the rations would go up a little. It would be nice to have a little more to eat, and it had happened on a few occasions. That was not, however, what the report was about.
“Breaking news, the Alimentum has breached the Roma’s most important bunker. 5,000 of the thieving bastards were living there, and will be executed shortly. This particular group has done many raids on our precious food supplies, letting our innocent children go hungry, as they stuff their greedy faces. Justice has been done today, and the war against the Roma is in our favor!” Several people cheered. I was not among them, being slightly pacifistic and very much against this war.
I do not care for blood shed, and I don’t really see what people have against the Roma. They are people as well. This is where people start to contradict me, however, saying that the Roma aren’t people, but are lower than vermin and should be annihilated. I still disagree with them. They look like human beings, they need the same substances to survive like normal humans, and they don’t want their children to starve any more than we do. As a matter of fact, the government only has themselves to blame for all of the trouble the Roma has caused them. They were the ones that denied the Roma people food, declaring that they were useless and were only a hindrance to our society. Then the government declared them an enemy of the people and wanted them all dead! And they wonder why the Roma hate us so much? It is amazing how stupid some people are.
Of course, after the Cibatus Act, everything started to go downhill, as far as morals and brains go. True some started eating better, while some received less than they were used to, but now everyone has food. Everyone that is, except those that are the enemy of the people. These are people that cannot work due to some disability (some disabled people can still work so they aren’t killed) then the criminals, usually thieves now days, but there are the occasional murderers and other unpleasant people, the Roma, as have already been mentioned, Cubans, Mexicans, Germans, East Timorese, Adorians,Swazilandians, Palestinians and any other type of people that were enemies of the Jews (the U.S. had finally decided that they were going to support the Jews and not the extremist Arabs when they took over the world), feminists, and racists (which I find funny because according that term then, all of the government and any other strong supporter are enemies of the state because they are breaking the law they so obediently follow).
Not that I should have any room to complain, I am not an enemy of the people, have no physical or mental handicaps, and have a wonderful job that I enjoy. There also isn’t anything anyone can do about the injustice anyways, since the government is now a dictatorship, and almost everyone but the enemies of the people and a few odd people like me are very content with the way things are, and people like me are watched very carefully.
“How’s Sam?” asked David. I was a regular in the bar, as was David and just about everyone else, so we all knew everyone. I was also a therapist, musical therapist to be exact, so I was important. I helped those that have been badly injured or traumatized find a new life for themselves so they don’t have to be terminated.
“He’s getting along. The head Alimentum has given me a deadline, but I think Sam should be thinking clearly by then.” Sam had been mistaken for a Mexican and had been beaten badly, before taken to an Alimentum station. Thankfully for him, David was passing by and had recognized him. He convinced the Alimentum to wait while David retrieved Sam’s documents saying that he was a Guatemalan, not a Mexican, although it looks pretty dangerous for the Guatemalan’s right now. They might end up an enemy of the people soon, in which case it won’t matter if Sam's sanity comes back or not.
It was situations like these that had turned me against my own government. In my opinion, they are all selfish bastards that don’t actually care about the people they are governing. Others that don’t see as much as I do would definitely disagree, but they don't see or know some of the things I do. Everyone not an enemy of the people is well fed and usually has a job. The unemployment rate is low compared to what it had been before the Cibatus Act, at least, according to the propaganda the government is sending out. This one is actually true though, but many people have died since the previous government was in power so that could explain some of it.
“Tell him I said hi, would you Aurora?” another one of Sam’s friends.
“I will.” I said this knowing it was a lie. Family and friends weren’t allowed to communicate with anyone recovering. It would “interfere with their health,” I was told, but I knew it was to dispirit the patients, which would weaken their chances of recovery. I had tried to give a message to one of my patients when I first started working, but an Alimentum intercepted it, and I was given a warning. I was also watched very closely from then on.
“I have to get back. My brake is almost up.” I got up and left. It was cold outside, as usual, and I pulled my coat closer. The firm was only a few blocks down. The buildings are hideously plain and nondescript, but hey, at least everyone has a home. Everyone lives in an apartment, very little furniture and always plain, but you are expected to be at work most of the day anyways so comfort isn't important. The shortest working day a person can have is 10 hours. Mine was 12. Also, the size of the apartment depended on the size of the family, which are usually small, since large ones are frowned upon, go figure.
I reached the therapists block and took the stairs to the fifth floor. I hated the elevators; they creaked and groaned when going up or down, and people had died because the cable broken more times than was comforting. My office was a floor below the patients’ quarters. My instruments, a violin and a flute, were leaning against the wall and a radio on my desk. The radio was required so everyone had one. It would turn itself on when there was really important news. That was the only time mine was on. I don't care for the propaganda they play. It's all lies.
I picked up the violin, tuned it, and then sat in front of the heat, until the last possible moment before I had to go up and start. I looked at the schedule on my desk. It was the Guatemalan group; the one Sam was in.
Then simultaneously, the monotonous voice of the announcer started playing from the radio, and there was a crash on the floor above.
“It has now been decreed that the Guatemalans are an enemy of the people. They are to be arrested and sent to the nearest Alimentum station immediately."
Then there was shouting and more crashes. The Alimentum were arresting the Guatemalans in the building, including Sam. I ran out of the room to the stairs, as the announcer warned everyone that anyone that helped these people would also be executed as an enemy of the state. To hell with the consequences! When I reached the stairs they were already dragging the patients down.
“You will receive your new schedule shortly ma’am. Please go back to your office.” I didn’t feel like obeying the Alimentum. They were going to kill these people, and one of them was a very good friend of mine. But I didn’t know what to do, so I stayed where I was.
Then I heard Sam. He was fighting hard, and I don’t blame him. Three of the Alimentum were attempting to restrain him. Then Sam knocked one of the Alimetum down the stairs, and another was slammed against the wall and fell down unconscious. The head Alimentum reached for his gun; I have to do something! I ran at the head Alimentum as he was aiming his gun, and was barely able to knock him down; thankfully, surprise was on my side. His gun was knocked to the bottom of the stairwell. The other patients started struggling as well, and chaos ensued. The Alimentum were over whelmed. Sam knocked the other Alimentum off of himself, grabbed one of the men’s guns, and started running down the stairs. I followed him.
We made it to the door, when they started shooting at us. Sam shot back several times, and then we ran out the door. The Alimentum were all over the place. It was hopeless. We were soon surrounded.
“Put the gun down now! Drop it now!”
Sam had no intentions of giving up so easily, and neither did I. One problem though, I hadn't picked up a gun. There hadn't been any available.
“Sam, shoot me.” I was going to die anyways. “Please. I'm only going to be in the way,” I whispered hurriedly.
He looked at me, a sad look on his face. He raised the gun to my head and pulled the trigger.
The story was all over the news the next day. A Guatemalan, who had been receiving therapy and was supposedly mentally insane, but recovering, had resisted arrest. One of the therapists working there had helped. They both made it outside before they were surrounded. The Guatemalan shot the therapist and then shot several of the Alimentum before he was killed. Five Alimentums were killed, and several more wounded.
“He sure did put up one hell of a fight.” David commented. He thought he recognized the enemies, but he wasn’t sure. He glanced around the bar. For some reason he had a feeling that someone was missing, but he wasn’t sure. It felt like he had lost a great companion, but he hadn't. Had he? Oh, well. Why worry about it? He turned back to drink. The problem was, he couldn't. It was a familiar feeling, and he should ignore it, but he simply couldn’t. Maybe he should ask a professional for some help, when he found the time (thirteen hour workdays don't offer much free-time, but he could find a way). This thought made the feeling of a great loss worse. Why?
He drained the rest of his drink and left. He had work to do, and it was probably just his mind playing tricks, anyways. He has never known a therapist or anyone in a field related to that, and he didn't know any Guatemalans either.