Tagged: slavery

Good News/Bad News

Dear Planet Earth,

There’s conflicting news coming out of the Twitterverse today. For one thing, I’m apparently not the first person to coin the term “Twitterverse.”

But onto the real stuff. Humans in Austin, Texas raided a slave labor camp and even took out a couple drill snakes in the process. They freed over a hundred people, bringing up their resistance to about 350 strong. I contacted one of the raiders who told me that they plan to carry out even more assaults against the mole people in the coming weeks. They’re putting up defenses around their city just as we are here in New Seattle. Good luck to all of you in Austin.

The people of Blackfoot, Idaho were much less lucky. There was a resistance group there made up entirely of civilians who had been holding their own since October. They were attacked in the middle of the night on all sides. The mole men didn’t bother taking prisoners. They shot and killed dozens of men, women, and children. There were only two survivors of the tragic massacre. They’ll hopefully be safe within the borders of New Seattle in a few days. We’re excited to meet you, Maggie and Emily.

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Alive

Dear Planet Earth,

Yay! I’m alive! I don’t want to go into exactly who killed what mole man at which slave labor camp now, but be assured, I’m alive and I’m a total badass. I’ve been running on fumes for days, but my badassery remains intact.

Guess where we’re at right now.

Seattle. We’re in Seattle, Washington.

I’m going to pass out for the next eighteen hours.

Miracles/Stories

Dear Planet Earth,

Sometimes all you need in life is some fried chicken and someone to call you “friend.” I was lucky enough to have both yesterday.

Karter, Maria, and I had a nice talk all through the night about the miracle that we’re all still here. It was a dark hotel room and a mostly dark conversation, though I am happy to report that they are very much an “item” now. They told me about the horrors they were put through in the labor camp. They worked sun up to sun down, building those strange towers with all the pipes — Karter thought they were some sort of power generators because of the heat they gave off.

At night, they all slept together in a large underground cavern. They could feel the red, glowing eyes of the mole people watching them as they slept on the rocky earth, and those same eyes greeted them as they awoke each morning. They carried rifles as big and alien as those towers.

Maria told me a story about a small child who slept near her each night and always cried about food or his mother. His whimpering grew softer and softer each night until one day, he wasn’t there. She didn’t have to ask what happened to him.

There were more stories — stories about the starvation, the beatings, the executions — but we tried not to focus on that. We tried to focus on the miracle. We justified our feelings of regret, shame, and loss by affirming our shared experiences as humans, allies, and above all, friends.

And then we went down to the kitchen and scored some fried chicken.

Third Wheel

Dear Planet Earth,

The top floors of the hotel have been turned into a makeshift medical wing, tending to the many injuries from our last epic battle. No one’s talking about it yet, but a lot of the liberated slaves here seem to be suffering from malnutrition, and their conditions will only worsen as everyone’s rations continue to get smaller and smaller. Deja vu.

I found Karter and Maria up there today. They were in a corner, engaged in what looked like a serious conversation until I butt in. Maria gave me a hug and asked if I was feeling okay. It was the nicest she’s ever been to me. They both looked about five years older than they were just a few months ago, covered in new wrinkles, scars, and sunburns from their brief bondage. I felt guilty as hell again and couldn’t think of anything to say.

They said I should stop by their room tonight — apparently they’re sharing a room now — to talk about what’s going on in our heads after all that’s happened. I might just take them up on that.

Nepotistic Non-Neglect

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m not going to mind getting used to living out of five star hotels for the duration of the invasion. I won’t give any more information about our locations other than that from now on since it’s become disturbingly apparent that the mole people can and have been reading this blog all along.

When I’m not catching up on much needed sleep, taking advantage of this electric razor I scored, and enjoying the oft-neglected luxury of two-ply toilet paper, I’m getting piss drunk with old friends. Today was Dr. Eimer.

He was in the best spirits I’ve ever seen him. We’ve all been, really, since the successful raid and liberation of the slave labor camp. He was fascinated by the mole man manifesto Perry gave me. Eimer read entire passages aloud last night, as giddy as a school girl. A Japanese school girl.

I told him he could borrow the book since I think I already found the important parts I needed. It served as an uncomfortable reminder too, I guess. As my comrades were forced to work to the bone all day, many to the point of death, I was living it up in a shady room with three square meals a day. They’ve all been doing a good job of hiding their contempt, which by all accounts must be there. Hell, it’d be there for me if I was in their shoes.

Whatever the case, Eimer showed his ecstatic appreciation by giving me his bottle of vodka. And that lasted for a fun hour.

Liberation Day

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s been a seemingly unending series of ups and downs, battles that would determine the outcome of the entire world, and the ever-present threat of dying, unremembered and unmourned at any second. Yet this small, precious achievement is clear — we are free.

I awoke last week to the sound of distant explosions that became louder and louder with each successive blast. The ground shook and instantly made me think of earthquakes as I fell from my bed. I rubbed the newest bump on my head and corrected myself. Mortars.

I ran to the window of my cell door, desperate for any clue of what was going on. It was a long wait, repeatedly looking up and down the musty hallway populated only by rats and my own echoing pleas. An answer finally came half an hour later with the drumming of footsteps and someone shouting, “Hello? Anyone here?”

“Here!” I screamed. “I’m in here!”

I could feel tears and a smile starting to form; I tried my best to stop them in case this was all some cruel joke the mole people had orchestrated. The man came closer.

“Just you down here?”

“I think so,” I said, straining my neck to see who my savior was. “Karter?”

He looked starved and dirty. His hallowed cheeks and sunburned skin told me he had been put to work on the labor camp as I feared.

“Scotty-boy? Thought you were dead.”

I was about to ask him about Maria, and Rachel, and a hundred other people who I really didn’t want to know the fates of.

“No key, huh?” he said after quickly examining the door. He reached behind his back for something small. “My last one. Hope you’re worth it.”

He placed the unpinned grenade in front of the door and bounded away. I did the same.

POOOOM!

Then I lost my hearing.

12:15

Dear Planet Earth,

The narrow window of my cell door opened with the same rusty creak it screamed everyday at 12:15. My gaoler tossed in a steel plate of “food” and asked the same questions he always asked.

“You need any water?”

“You need your bedpan changed?”

“You need your computer charged?”

I always answered him with grunts and gestures — at first out of a principle I can’t remember, though it’s now evolved into a comfortable habit. But something got to me today. I was looking at the still-drying blood where Mr. Ozawa or Carl or whoever he was got his head blown off two days ago. For the past two days, I’ve been slowly taking apart the image I had of him as the mute ally, the unlikely friend in perilous times. I know now he was an agent of the mole people — a homie, as I’ve started calling them.

The splattered blood, the memory of betrayal, and the awful, noxious smell of whatever was on that plate got to me, and I had to finally break down and ask this homie the question I’ve been simultaneous ignoring and dreading.

“What’s going to happen to me?”

He seemed to freeze in place for a moment, the way you might stop yourself if you come across a small animal in the woods. He brought his face to the window to reveal his clean brown eyes, framed by sunburned skin and tufts of facial hair.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “We gave you your chance with The Big Guy. As soon as the Inheritors remember you’re here, they’ll probably put you out to work on the camp.”

I tried to make sense of that for a while until he asked, “Are you sure you don’t need any water?”

I grunted.