The List, Part II, First Draft

The picture window in the richly appointed office of the Secretary for the Elimination of Fascist Activities overlooked the National Mall. The Secretary left his mahogany desk and stood at the window, hands behind his back. Outside, off to the left, the tall, black National Oppressed Peoples’ Monument stood needle straight within the Ring of Flags representing countries liberated from capitalist oppressors. The gray sky depressed him. The civil war had won them the biggest prize of all, the United States, now known as the Union of Antifascist Socialist States. So why the gloom?

He tapped his Apple watch and a moment later his assistant entered. “What are the latest numbers for the good neighbor program?”

“Hang on a sec.” His assistant, a sprightly woman in her mid-twenties fresh out of Berkeley Grad, took a manila folder from the bundle in her arms and opened it. “As of 0600 there are 11,650,732 in custody and awaiting processing,” she read. “3,202,041 tagged and awaiting transport, and 8,751,477 in residential training campuses.” She paused to see his reaction. He appeared unmoved. “And this is only phase one.”

“You have to hand it to the List Enforcers. They don’t screw around.”

“Would you like the list of deaths, sir?”

“Does it matter? They asked for it.”

“I just thought you’d like something to cheer you up.”

He pursed his lips to suppress a smile. Her sense of mission ran deep and her enthusiasm was irrepressible. “Sure, why not?”

“Okayyy, let’s see here. Hmmm. Accidental, suicide, or enforcement?”

“Suicide.”

“944 solos, 11,339 families.” She paused. “Well, that’s actually family members, sir. I’ll add a column for the number of families.”

“Might as well. Someone’s sure to ask for the number. Accidental deaths?”

“Weeell, that’s a little harder to enumerate. It’s often difficult to separate natural and accidental. Having your door bashed in at three in the morning has a way of boosting the blood pressure. Besides, LE medics can’t always determine the cause of death right away.”

“What’s the number?”

“1,200.”

“Enforcements?”

“8,556.”

“That’s all?”

“Yes sir. Most people don’t fight back when they’re half asleep. The ones who do fight back react from instinct. They’re still groggy and not thinking clearly.”

“Media?”

“In the bag, of course.”

“What about the fascist journos?”

“Armageddon to their supporters. Passing rumors as far as normal people think.”

“Armageddon? Don’t they wish. It will be a long time before they see their reward.”

The Secretary returned to his desk and scrolled through his meeting maker. “When do we round up the rest?”

“The fascist media?”

“Yes.”

“As soon as you give the word.”

“Let’s do it.”

“Which campus?

“Put them with their political leaders.”

“The Gates campus in Washington? Okay,” she said.

“You sound surprised.”

“Actually, sir, that’s what I had hoped for. The sooner we’re rid of fascist media the less we need to worry about leaks. They and their fascist politicos can live and leak together.”

The Secretary smiled at the assistant. “You’re a great addition to the team. Keep up the good work.”

“Thank you, sir. I will. And may I add sir, I appreciate your approval of my List Enforcement plan. I didn’t expect it to execute this smoothly.”

“I had no doubt it would execute as planned. It was a stroke of genius to rely on neighbors turning in neighbors. Who knows better where one’s political sympathies lie? I couldn’t imagine living next door to a right-winger. Your enthusiasm spread throughout the entire team and brought even the most pessimistic on board. Even the Director expressed his pleasure. I had planned to wait until the completion of the effort to tell you that. I will too, when we next assemble the entire team. We’ll have a post-list enforcement dinner to celebrate. It isn’t every day a country can say it rid itself of human vermin.”

“That will indeed be cause to celebrate. Will there be anything else, Mr. Secretary?”

“No. That’s all. No. Wait a minute. What was the fascist’s last broadcast?”

“If America falls, freedom falls.”

“Arrogant bastards. Can you believe they considered themselves the protectors of freedom and liberty? You can’t have either until you’re free from want. What kind of freedom is it when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, or you can’t pay the rent?”

8 thoughts on “The List, Part II, First Draft

    1. Absolutely! I plan to draw a clear difference between the two sides, leaving no mistaking between good and bad.
      There’s a long way to go. I hope I can figure this out. I had planned to “plan” my next novel, but this one seems to flow rather well given all the material at hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like where this is going, Will. I do like the juxtaposition of the Apple Watch with a Manila envelope full of data, particularly that type of data. Somehow it adds to the evil that is going on. With electronic files, they can go anywhere and you are never sure who might capture them, but with paper files like what is in the Manila envelope, all traces of a crime can be quickly burned.

    Part 1 seemed to hint at people reliant on (and some slaves to) technology and modern life like with Walmart and Amazon. But there is this mention of Manila envelopes in Part 2 that seems to say to me, “the old ways, the untraceable ways, of eliminating people who stand in your way are still the best.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will be a challenge to balance the evils between Big Tech and mammoths like Amazon and Walmart who are ruthless in their greed and crushing of mom and pop businesses. But, people seem to be okay with that. The world is changing from a neighborhood community to a global community that just cannot have the same familial feeling. I think the battle today is between those who want close neighborhoods and those who want one world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was reading an article in the newspaper yesterday about just that thing: neighborhoods vs. one world. I love my little neighborhood, even though we are sort of “stuck in the 1960’s” from the perspective of most people.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I miss the 60s! The world is too small now. We feel it closing in, we can’t breathe, and we don’t like it. I want back the simplicity of a non-technical daily life free of tracking and targeted advertising. I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts for that reason as well as to protest the attacks on freedom of speech.

        Liked by 2 people

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