The interrogation room is cold. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that they do that on purpose – anything to make you feel uncomfortable. The temperature, the buzzing florescent lights, and the hard metal chair are all doing their jobs and filling me with unease and a sense of impending doom.
I’ve been sitting here for what seems like hours (another time-honored technique, I’m sure) and have had time to reflect about the last 48 hours. Jeff told me I had to be careful. He had tried to talk me out of it. “Can’t you just go along to get along?” he asked.
“I’ve had it!” I had answered. “I can’t just sit back and watch while the powers-that-be do this to innocent people. I have the right to choose and I will NOT conform this time! Think of how history would have changed for the better if the German people hadn’t followed Hitler. Or if the public hadn’t viewed Justin Bieber’s first YouTube video so many times. Think of the lives that could have been saved!”
“Oh come on!” Jeff smirked. “You’re being a little melodramatic don’t you think?”
“No, I most certainly do NOT think I’m being melodramatic! I will not follow along like some lemming and let them tell me what to do. They are manipulating everyone into thinking that they’re acting in our best interest. My god! They’ve even gotten to you, haven’t they?”
“So what if they have? I don’t see what the big deal is. I didn’t care for it at first, but I actually like it now. You’re seeing conspiracies where there are none.”
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this. Who ARE you?!” I had shouted. I grabbed my keys and ran out the front door into the crisp autumn day.
I jumped into my car and started it. Jeff came out onto the stoop and called “Don’t do anything stupid, Rita. I won’t lie for you.”
I had indeed done something that he would classify as stupid. But it was the only thing I could do that made sense to me. I drove over to Tami’s house where she, Nancy and Brenda were waiting.
“I’m ready” I said as I sat down with them at the kitchen table. “Let’s do this.”
“Before we do” said Nancy, “I want to be sure that you know where we stand.” I nodded for her to continue. “We’ve tried boycotts, letters to our congressmen, peaceful marches – nothing has worked. We need to kick it up a notch. They continue to pump more of this poison into our lives each day. It started out pretty harmless – it smells pleasant enough that the public barely noticed it in things like candles and air freshener, but that was just the beginning. Next came adding it to food. Sure, who doesn’t like things like cookies and cheese cake? But if that wasn’t bad enough, they started in on the drinks too – do you know how many people are affected when you put it in coffee and beer?”
“That’s right” said Tami. “And now our Intel says that there are plans to introduce it directly into our water supply in the next few months.”
“Worse than that” added Brenda with angry tears in her eyes “my contact at the CDC says they’re planning to include it with the DTaP vaccine so they can get to the kids when they’re just babies!”
“Like I said: I’m ready. Give me the backpack.”
I heard the door of the interrogation room open behind me. A middle aged man in a rumpled suit came around to sit across the table. “Ms. Duckworth. I’m Mr. Brewer. Why don’t you tell me about the incident?”
“You can’t hold me here” I say.
“Well, actually, I can. You were trespassing. You can make this easier on yourself if you just talk to me. Tell me who else is part of your little… group.”
“The tanks you were tampering with are not only very valuable, but are very important to our nation’s overall plan for its citizens.”
“So you admit there’s a plan! My little “group” has been aware of this conspiracy for some time! You can’t get away with this!”
“You’re being brought up on very serious charges Ms. Duckworth. Trying to plant a bomb at one of our facilities… well… just help me understand what you were thinking.”
“CHARGES? You are not the police! You have no authority!” I shouted.
“Oh, but I do” he chuckled. “Haven’t you seen the news? It was announced today that my organization has just been adopted as a department of the federal government.” He got up and knocked on the door. When the guard outside unlocked it, he whispered something to him.
We sat in silence for a few more minutes, staring each other down, until the door opened again and two men in white lab coats came in. One was carrying a syringe with a three inch needle at its end in one hand, and a tall white paper cup with a plastic lid and green writing on it in the other. I couldn’t read it, but I could guess what it said.
Before I could react, Mr. Brewer and the other man came over and held my arms firmly against the chair. The one with the syringe opened the cup and I could smell its noxious odor across the table. He filled the syringe, held it upright and flicked it with his index finger to remove any bubbles.
He advanced on me and I felt the stab of the needle as it entered the skin at the crook of my elbow.
“Resistance is futile Ms. Duckworth. We are well on our way to world domination. Why don’t you just sit back and enjoy it? Everyone does – your friends, your family – they look forward to this all year. If you cooperate, I may even be able to get you a nice, comfortable job with that governmental department I mentioned. Surely you’ve heard of it? The DoSF? The Department of Seasonal Flavors.”
I started to feel woozy. My vision was going dark. I knew I was about to pass out. With my last bit of energy, I opened my eyes and screamed
“You’ll never get to me!
YOU WILL NEVER MAKE ME LIKE THE TASTE OF PUMPKIN SPICE!!!!”