A large crash woke him from his slumber. The sound of shouting in the darkness, noises, dogs barking, somebody screaming and crying.
Shit, he thought to himself, they had come for him. He always knew that as a resistor they would come for him one day.
His body sprung into action. Fear provided the adrenaline he needed, caused him to literally leap from his bed, throwing his duvet onto the floor. His attention focused upon the source of a gentle draft, the ever-so-slightly ajar window in the room. His eyes looked around the room; there was no time for sentiment, although he knew he would never see anything in there again. With all of his strength he struggled to pull the window open, yet it seemed somehow stuck. All the while the sound of shouting and dogs parking panicking him further. Friends of his already captured, being taken into custody and who knows what else. As he pulled the window open he heard a crash on the door. The multiple locks and bolts he had installed held. For how much longer will they hold? He climbed out of the window and looked down.
He hated heights. In the darkness he could not see the ground far, far below him. But he knew it was a long way down, knew that it was going to hurt as he started to lower himself. Suddenly the door to the room shattered, as the wood literally shattered. Torchlight pierced the darkness sweeping the room. His eyes focused on a large Alsatian dog, a feeling of terror as it barked at him. The mouth filled with deadly fangs, and the way it foamed around the mouth. A dog that looked fuelled with anger and aggression. He could see the way it pulled hard against the handler leads, struggling to tear itself free and satisfy a primitive blood lust. The fear of the dog exceeded that of the height. He jumped from the window.
Pain exploded from his left leg as he rolled into a bush. Apart from a pair of boxer shorts he was naked and he was vaguely aware of the cuts on his body, but he had no time to indulge in the pain. He struggled to his feet gingerly testing his weight on his leg. It hurt, but he was able to stand.
A helicopter hovered overhead, it torchlight shining down on the squat.
“Give yourselves up and come quietly” Yelled a voice from a megaphone in the helicopter, “Jones, Jackson, Wilson. There is no escape. ”
They know my name. Where to go? He wondered to himself. The sound of the dog barking from the window above further shattered any time for contemplation. Run!
He scrabbled to his feet and starting to sprint off, heading towards a side street. Formulating a plan. I can head along the side streets; there is less chance of being spotted. Then hide in a shed or something overnight. And then get help from someone. But who?
"Stop" Yelled a voice.
"He's over there!" Yelled other voices.
"Get him!" Yelled another voice.
As he headed into the road he saw several figures standing in the middle of his path. They seemed imposing; it was not so much their size as their posture. The way they seemed to stand, proud, firm, erect. As if he wasn't going to pass. Do I turn around? And if so where do I go? There will be more of them back at the house and once I have got past this lot it should be it.
Running towards them they did not seem to move particularly quickly to stop him, rather they walked towards him. He feigned a left turn and then darted to his left. They seemed to almost buy the dummy and he was amazed to discover that he had somehow got past them.
Yes! He felt for an instant relief.
"Stop or we'll shoot!"
What now? If I stop they may shot me anyway. He continued to run for a few seconds. His lungs held almost as if they were going to explode and yet he seemed to enjoy the feeling of being alive, being within the moment. He heard the bang.
A brilliant light shone in his eyes, from a light source that seemed to be suspended above his head. He blinked and struggled to move. But his hands seemed fastened to something.
"Relax" Said a voice. It sounded like the voice of a middle aged man, kindly and yet firm.
"Where am I?" He asked. He was aware that his legs were also strapped down and that we was led on some sort of bed or table.
"Good to meet you at last. I am Ministry of Justice Interrogator number 20173.....and you happen to have found your self inside the Ministry of Justice."
"What crime have I committed?" he barked back at the man, who emitted a deep sigh. He could only his neck and struggled to look at the man. He was dressed in a white coat that looked rather like a doctors. A pair of glasses perched almost half way down his nose gave the man an intellectual air.
"You need to rest," responded the Interrogator.
"Let me out of here!" He yelled as he suddenly became aware that the man was holding a large syringe in his hands.
"No", he said as he struggled against the fastenings, but it provide futile. He winced as the needle pierced the skin in his arm. A warm feeling of relaxation poured through his body.
“It will all be over soon”, said the interrogator. He felt a hand gently stroke his hair as he struggled to fight the overwhelming urge to sleep, but surrendered to the darkness.
“Welcome back” said the Interrogator.
“Hello again” He said.
“Why am I being held here?” He asked.
“You are not being held anywhere”
“What do you mean? I was arrested and brought here against my will. Then I was tied to the bed and drugged.”
“Yes. That was…regrettable.” Responded the Interrogator, “I have several leaflets on our complaints procedure that I would be happy to give you. However you will see that you are no longer tied up and are free to leave at any point.”
“Great,” he answered as he sat up an looked around. The room was small and rather empty, apart from his bed, an observation window and a door. Everything was white and the room was illuminated from above by a rather pale white light.
“You are a free man and whilst thist might appear to have been an ordeal I can only say we have done you a favour. You are all fixed now!” The Interrogator had a jubilant smile upon his face.
“Fixed how exactly”
“As you are aware we live in dangerous times and the democratically elected government has decided to take action to quell that.”
“Exactly. By analysing certain variables we are able to determine those people most likely to engage in criminal or violent activity. The serum acts to damped down those urges by permanently suppressing certain aggression receptors in the brain.”
“You have given me the serum then?”
“Yes. It is unfortunate but those in most need of the serum seem least able to recognise that fact and resist the use of it.”
“I see” He said, various thoughts rushing through his head and yet struggling to know how to feel.
“You seem puzzled. The emotion you are searching for is anger, but I am afraid it is not something you will ever be able to find.”
“Why?” He said rather blankly.
“It is interesting that those in most need of the serum have the strongest resistance to its usage. Unfortunately you are a member of what we call the resistors. For the general good you needed to be forced to do the right thing”
“…But surely it is wrong?”
“No-one has ever complained after the procedure and most people don’t object to it. Like I say there are leaflets I can give you on the complaints procedure, but I can assure you that you won’t use them.”
“Is there anything else?”
“I believe that you co-operated in avoiding the serum”
“Will you give me details of where I can find them”
“Does that mean your serum doesn’t work? That I am not a good citizen?”
“No, the serum doesn’t control your actions only your emotions. You may still act rationally as you will, and not betraying your friends is rational. However you are no longer a slave to your aggression. In time you will come to love the new you and will be convincing them of the merits.”
He stood outside the building, dressed in rather ill-fitted clothes that had been given to him. His body ached from the cuts he had sustained. He knew he should feel something, but didn’t know what.