By J T Pearson
copyright 2013 Joseph Pearson
I stumble out of the transport blitzed out of my mind on clauster gas. I inhaled way too much. I did it on purpose. It’ll smother my conscience for the next five hours and damage the memories of what I’m about to do. That way they can’t be recalled and used in a trial against me. The Reductionists Penalty Board will still be able to prove that I tampered with the vote but my inability to give them any evidence for their mind scanner will keep me from being eligible for the death penalty. The clauster gas that I took will also help with future sleepless nights when I’m not allowed to induce sleep with drugs anymore. Sleepless nights caused by faces, begging and bloodied faces – most of them innocent faces. I don’t want to see those faces while lying on a cot staring at the bars for the rest of my life. Lucid thought for a guiltless brain filled with chemical mush seems like an even trade off at this point. I know that my memories going forward will seem like a movie that I once watched but can’t quite seem to remember and I’m just fine with that.
Ernie, the camera man that the Big World Network (BWN) has now placed on the transport for better coverage runs behind me lugging his heavy equipment on his shoulder. Instead of the all black body armor that we wear he wears cobalt colored protection with yellow lettering that spells BWN PRESS on his chest and on his upper back. There’s a stiff fine if any of us get careless and shoot Ernie. I like Ernie well enough. I hope he doesn’t get shot. Before I left the transport another man that worked for BWN held up a small box with a pin attached to it and told me that it was something new that displayed your vitals and that I’d be wearing it today for added television entertainment. I nodded as he attached it to the back of my neck.
Smoke bombs are launched from behind me and music blares from our transport in an attempt to confuse as we move in on them. I pull my gas mask over my face. Bunched together, running toward them, we must look like a swarm of bizarre insects. My senses distort from the effect of the clauster gas so that the ground looks tasty, and I can feel the bass of my heart beat deep inside my chest. I know exactly where we are for the first time on one of these missions because, as I stated, I tampered with the ballot system and forced this destination to be chosen. My parents once took me here on vacation when I was a kid, before the travel lockdown, back when people moved among the states freely.