The Company

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I set the empty glass of water in the metal table that stood beside me. My fingers brushed the cold metal as I retreated my hand. Cold. Just like the rest of this room and the people--if you could call it that--that came out of it. Their faces frozen in one expression, neutral, Switzerland. It showed no happiness nor sadness, blank. I sometimes felt bad about these people. Some of them have children, some have wives and husbands. Some have nothing but nothing itself and to them, that was enough.

I had been working for this company. The human race was slowly dissappearing, war had done this. War, cold war. The company surged in these times. Some say it was an idea from the president himself. Others say it was a sect, wordlessly watching until the human race had suffered enough to take control. Either way, it grew. Powerful it grew and all of those who were suitable entered its safe confines, not knowing what waited ahead. Just being accepted created hopes on us, something we had believed extint for a long time. They thought that by eliminating the souls of people that they would erase all source of evilness in them but they just eliminated them. There was no hate, or love... Now, I work here and I'm not allowed--

Oh, look, another one just came out. Poor man, he looked about forty, probably had kids. The possibility increased my pain for him. I looked at the man's face, it was the hardest thing to do. It was blank and expressionless, his humanity quickly draining. I grabbed my Check tool from the table and stood up.

"Sir, let me make a quick check," I said, my voice perfect and emotionless. How I hated that voice. In truth, I hated everything about this company; the method, the games, the ideas...

I held my Check tool close to his skin, gently touching it. The little screen on the side marked two per cent in perfect red numbers. I nodded once and sighed. Yes, the humanity in him, the part of his soul that made him feel, experience...it was slowly draining and I could do nothing about it.

"You're good," I said. And the man passed without another word. I sighed again, knowing that in less than a day I'd see his family here, leaving with the same kind of faces...

I once saw a boy about my age, nineteen. He was beautiful. His eyes were gray and he had black hair that fell just over his eyes. He had smiled when her first entered. I was the only encouragement for those who were brought here, a piece of hope. Most had seen what we do and were trying to stop it but they ended just like that man..and the boy.

That day I had volunteered to help him into the Chamber, knowing it was the last time I would see his face the way it was when his body still had a soul. I barely saw a teenager pass through these walls, not many wanted to reproduce under this conditions.

"What's your name?" I asked. Of course, I needed it for the record but I was awfully curious, too.

"Alexandre," he said and I noted he had an accent. I looked at him, trying to find out were he was from but I gave up. All his features were exotic, nothing that I have ever seen before.

"Are you from here?" I asked, meaning America. I figured he had to be European for some reason.

"Yes and no. I have lived here for about seven years but I come from Italy," he said. Hmm...Italy. I was going to ask him about another thing but then the alarm went off. It was time for him to go. I smiled and told him that I had to go and that he should get into one of the chambers. He smiled, too, thankful for the last moment of happiness I had given him. I tried to say something else, something like "Run!" or "Go!" but I couldn't, I had signed a contract.

So that was the last time I saw him with a soul, next thing I knew his features were not as exotic as I had seen them. They were striking, but in a different more scary way. I had to be strong, though. The little voice in my mind telling me to leave was so consistent that I almost got a headache. But I ignored it, like I did every day.





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