Here is an old short story I wrote in 2013. I found it in the archives of an old blog. There was even a photo of me with long hair. Hopefully you find this entertaining. Thank you for reading.
Jack didn’t understand how it came to this. He had always been a strong supporter of the party, paid his taxes, went to rallies, and contributed to the campaign funds during national elections. However, there he was sitting in the darkened cell chained to his chair, and all the FSB agent had told him was he would be detained until the incident could be contained. Jack had no idea what they meant by incident.
That morning he had gone to work like normal. Stopped at the Starbucks on his office buildings first floor for his morning coffee and then taken the elevator up to the 20th floor. The moment he stepped of the elevator it was a nightmare. FSB agents were everywhere, all of his co-workers were lined up against the wall with their hands zip-tied behind their backs and black masks covering their faces. The masks were the largest Jack had ever seen, they made the person’s head who wore them look twice the normal size. As one of the FSB agents pulled him inside to zip-tie his hands behind his back, he heard his boss Jim ask why they were being detained.
The FSB agent said, “Under the new FSB security act Alpha-Charley-3984.02, you are now charged with a felony for hindering an ongoing investigation and contaminating a crime scene. Anyone else who interferes will be charged with criminal conspiracy to commit terrorism.”
Jack heard Jim hit the floor and thrash around, as the FSB agent struck him with a stun-stick again and again.
When Jim stopped convulsing he said, “I want my lawyer.”
“You are now a suspect of terrorism which revokes all of your civil liberties, you have no right to an attorney, nor do you have the right to remain silent.” The FSB agent kicked Jim in the ribs and said, “You will now be detained and questioned to find our who your accomplices are. Everyone else will be taken to private holding cells. Men move out I want this done double time.”
As Jack was lifted up, an FSB agent slipped a mask over his face. The mask was disconcerting, everything sounded far away like echoing off the walls of a very long hallway, then they would change and sound like a blow horn in his ear. He couldn’t see anything around him, instead the eye holes there were led lights that changed colors and pulsated. The whole experience made Jack feel nauseated, and loose all sense of time and space.
Jack had no idea how long it took for him to be transported to his holding cell, all he knew was it was the worst ride of his life. By the time they put him in his cell and took the mask off, his limit had been far exceeded and he hurled his breakfast of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal down the front of his shirt. The smell was overwhelming for Jack, it wasn’t until that moment that he realized the mask had also blocked out all of his sense of smell, and of all things puke was the first he smelled. It repulsed every fiber in his body.
“Looks like we have another spewer.” said the FSB office who wasn’t wearing a masking anymore.
Looking down at a file in his hand the FSB agent said, “We’ll get someone right in to clean that up. Now lets see, Jack Sigrum is it? We’ll Mr. Sigrum you have nothing to fear, you are being held as a formality until we resolve this incident. As long as you cooperate everything will go well for you. Can’t say the same for Jim in the other room.”
Jack heard a loud crash from the other room and said, “What was that? Why am I being detained? I’ve done nothing wrong! One minute I’m on my way to work and the next you’re bringing me here.”
The FSB agent didn’t say a word, he looked at Jack shook his head and marked something in his file. Looking up at Jack he shook his head again and left the room. Jack couldn’t understand why he was being held, he had done nothing. Ever since the new list of undesirable websites came out, he had avoided Youtube, Facebook and absolutely any website hosting anywhere besides the US. Jack thought how could he be an enemy of the state, he didn’t so much as appose the Nationalist party. He even voted for President Joseph Aldorman when he ran. He registered Nationalist, and supported every move they made. He agreed that by having a centralized government and getting rid of the states prerogative of interpretation and implementation of laws was a good thing. However, here he was sitting in an FSB detention cell that he had herd of only in hushed whispers.
As the hours passed, Jack wondered if he would being one of those people who just disappeared without being heard from again. His neighbor John had been one. But then again, Jack thought, John had been speaking out against the government saying that Joseph was nothing more than a tyrant and that the Nationalist party was nothing more than a Fascist dictatorship.
Jack looked the whole room over many times counting the bricks and ceiling tiles, but he couldn’t find a single camera, and there was no glass mirror which was shown in every TV show he had ever seen of a holding cell. God, Jack thought, I would kill for a TV right now anything to take my mind off this dreadful room. His arms and legs began to ache from being securely locked to his chair for so long.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Jack woke up suddenly, there were people talking outside his room, he didn’t know how long he had been in the room. He could almost hear what they were saying. He thought he heard, innocent and release, but no one came into this room. He didn’t understand why he was still in the room or at least why he was still chained to his chair. He was no danger to anyone. Each of his neighbors would say if you asked them, “Oh Jack? Yeah Jack’s a nice guy always takes care of his lawn and is always the first one to bring a dish to the weekly block-party meetings.” Block parties had become a nation wide event, everyone was intrusted to look in on their neighbors and report any suspicious activity to their local Federal Security Bureau office. The FSB was now located in every city with a population over 35,000.
As Jack thought about just how hungry he had become the FSB agent from earlier walked into the room. He was carrying a covered plate, and Jack prayed to every god he knew that they would let him eat. However, the FSB office placed the plate on the other end of the table and sat in front of it.
“I hope you don’t mind.” The FSB agent said, “It’s lunch time, but with all the work you and your coworkers created for us, we now have to work while eating our lunches.”
“But I haven’t done anything!” Jack said, loosing his temper he thrashed in his seat but the handcuffs kept him tightly secured to his seat.
The FSB agent took a bite of his sandwich and said, “That’s no longer for me to decide. You’re being transferred to one of the National Education’s Centers for Knowledge. NECK instructors will be here in ten minutes to take you.”
In that moment fear took hold of Jack and he lost all perspective of his situation and said, “You can’t fucking do this. I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m a supporter of the Nationalist party, for god’s sake.”
The FSB agent looked at Jack for almost 2 minutes as Jack ranted, before he stood up and said, “You’re guilt is no longer for me to decide, the NECK instructors should be here any minute. My sandwich isn’t that good you can have it.” He pushed the sandwich over to Jack, “I suggest you eat they’ll be here soon and it will be a long ride.”
The FSB agent closed his eyes, turned away from Jack and left without opening his eyes. Jack didn’t understand why he was being transferred, but he believed the office about the trip being a long one and began to devour the sandwich. Mustard and mayonnaise smeared across Jack’s face as he shoved his mouth down into the sandwich to take as large a bite as he could. Before he could finish the sandwich, two NECK instructors walked through the door, Jack could see the FSB agent standing outside in the hallway.
Dr. Scrivener opened the file in his hand and said, “Good afternoon Mr. Sigrum, my name is Dr. Scrivener and this is my associate Dr. Walden. You’ll be coming with us for further evaluation. I see you’ve eaten, that’s good.”
Jack hadn’t expected doctors to be the NECK instructors. They wore both dressed in dark brown suites with matching green ties and had green face guards, the same kind surgeons wear. Both men wore glasses that created a glare which prevented Jack from seeing their eyes. The both seemed calm and relaxed, which made Jack even more anxious.
“Where am I being taken?” Jack asked.
Dr. Walden said, “We’ll answer all of your questions once we reach our facilities. Until then, we will place the mask back on you so we can safely transport you.”
The FSB agent came back into the room and placed the mask back on Jack’s head. Once again the sounds he heard were constantly changing pitch and the disorienting lights seemed even more intense than last time. He was unlocked from his chair and his hands were cuffed in front of his body. Two arms grabbed his own and led him from the room and through what seemed a maze of right and left turns. He knew they took an elevator, but he couldn’t distinguish if they went up or down. Jack was then lifted into a vehicle and secured into his seat by a five point harness.
As the vehicle began to move Jack once again felt as if he was going to be sick, but decided he would fight the urge this time. This determination didn’t last long, when they hit a bump he hurled what little sandwich he had managed to eat. The mask had a drainage system which removed the vomit form inside the breathing portion of the mask. However, it did nothing to remove the smell of bile and the bits that had gotten on his face and eyes. As they continued to drive Jack tried to work out why he was being taken, and what the hell they meant by an incident.
Nicholi A. K. Baldron
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