April 15, 2117

I regret to inform you that my request to participate in the next round of Retrievals has been denied. I have not been read in far enough to know the names of the individuals, ages, or any identifying information. All I have been able to determine is that there are eleven from our very own Municipal, six from the Upper, four from the Middle, and surprisingly, one from the Underbelly. If you have children, please be prepared. The Retrievals will be taking place any time now. I wish you all the best of luck, though I think I speak for us all when I say, luck has a very limited role in any of our lives anymore.

But do not wallow in despair at our helplessness. Do not give up. Do not give in to their demands or accept our reality. This is America. Once upon a time, America was a beautiful thing, and I firmly, ardently believe it can be again. Our predecessors errored in whom and what they placed their faith. They believed in justice, in a complacent tomorrow, in their politicians and laws.

They were wrong.

We know this now because we’re left to pick up the pieces. Well, my fellow Legion members, when we pick up the pieces, let’s make sure they stick, and let’s make damn sure we like the image we create. Hope is not lost. A better tomorrow is not just an illusion. They may take some of our children, but not all of us. And, as horrifying as the grooming process may be, there is still a chance, however slim, that your child might remain intact on the other side. Colton and I both went through the grooming process and it only strengthened our allegiance to the Legion. It is possible others will do the same.

We will correct America’s path. Perhaps it won’t be today, but it is not out of reach either. Just six months ago, we never could have envisioned a broadcast platform, much less one as secure as this, and yet… here we are. Countless Legion supporters are working tirelessly toward a New Revolution. But, this musn’t be rushed. We must get it right. So until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 13, 2117

We all know about the dreaded Retrievals, those “honors” people within the Upper, Middle, and occasionally, the Underbelly, of each Municipal sometimes receive. Of course, the Elites regularly test our children, claiming they are nothing more than “Standardized Testing.” When we’re younger, we refer to them as  “Live or Die tests” or as I often preferred, the “Make it or Fake its”. The tests begin at age eight, and the results determine our paths. The bottom ten percent are always, succinctly eliminated without notification to the families. Once their children are dead, the parents receive a text alert (or if they live in the Underbelly without power, a letter) indicating their children did not meet the threshold for Continuation. There is no detail, no pause for apology…. just a succinct telling of their child’s fate. Game over.

Of course, there are times when special needs children get exempted from the elimination, though not always. For those who do get exempted they often become pets, or play things of non-military purposed Elites. They are photographed, ridiculed, promoted or forced to do demeaning things in the hope of living to see another day. Some live a very luxurious life, but many others… many others would have benefited from elimination.

As for those who did “pass” the tests, they get grouped based upon their achievements, the higher testing get grouped separate from the moderate intelligence. Each year, the children are subjected to another round. Each year, the bottom ten percent of those in the “High Functioning” group get dropped to the “Mid-Range Functioning” group, and the bottom ten percent there get eliminated. This allows them to ensure that by the time we reach eighteen years of age, all that remains are the top ten percent, and in the “High Functioning” group, only one percent. Welcome to the New America, where if you are not deemed worthy, you will cease to draw breath. Of course, there is some leeway in the Municipal Underbellies, where if those who do fall into the bottom percentile remain docile and cooperative are often left to live. They will serve other purposes at a later date. (See http://cloveramerica.net/2015/04/30/municipal-two-update/ for more information.)

The Elites here in Muni Six are preparing for another round of retrievals. There were nearly a dozen subjects that stood out in the last round of Elite testing. As such, we will be Retrieving them, to incorporate into our grooming system. The Elites see this selection as the highest honor to befall anyone, but you and I, and all our fellow Legion supporters, know this is one of the darkest fates to befall anyone.

True, their children may survive, but after the Elites have finished grooming them, the shell of the person that remains will be broken and will no longer remember who they used to be. Trust me. My becoming an Elite was a far greater torment than I ever could have found in death.

I have put in a request to participate in the Retrieval and will provide any updates as I can. If my request is granted, I will be privy to names of the children on the list and will warn you all, if possible.

Until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 12, 2117

Sorry for the delay my fellow Legion members. I know it has been three long days, and surely, you’re waiting for confirmation, confirmation on whether or not the “truth” fed to us by the media over the past few days is in any way rooted in reality.

I regret to say, this time… this time it is.

As I had previously indicated, I was ordered to participate in the deployment of another incendiary device within Muni Six. I made the delivery April 10th, as ordered, and the receiving Premier was to take the package to it’s predetermined location, within the FRE. I handed it off, but instead of high-tailing it back to Base, I lingered. I couldn’t stop myself.

It was allotment day at the Food Ration Exchange, or FRE, and the promise of the meager food rations of grain and smoked meat, of clean(er than usual) water, dried beans, only slightly rotted vegetables, outdated canned goods, of life had flavored the air with a bit of jubilance.  Small children were chasing one another along the street at the entrance to the FRE, their laughter calling out to others’ squeals of delight. The gentle breeze caressed their flushed cheeks as they scuttled out of the way of an incoming shuttle.

At its stop, the unmanned shuttle’s doors whooshed open and I stood by as dozens more of the hungry filed out to collect their rations. I recognized some as Opposition members, including one woman whom I knew personally. She was pregnant with her first child, and once born, she planned to join the Legion in an effort to ensure her child had hope for a future that was secured by more than just fear.

She nearly toppled as two kids came screeching through the doorway in a rampant game of chase. They skidded to a stop to apologize, but she waved them off as her glance crossed the street and met my own. I saw the confusion enter her expression as she recognized me, knowing I had no reason to be in the Underbelly, even as the shuttle resumed it’s schedule, passing between us.

That’s when it happened. The ground shook from the blast, the roar cascading along the walls of neighboring buildings, angry flashes of glass, wood and metal exploding out at us even as those of us outside fell to the ground, seeking to minimize our exposure to shrapnel.

My ears rang from the magnitude of the blast as I picked my way around the shattered shell of the shuttle. As I looked through a window, I knew none inside could have survived. The resin glass that did remain had been splattered with life and there could be no leaving that glass box.

Fire was already raining from the sky in blackened chunks, the sidewalk littered with the story of the tragedy. The pregnant woman lay dead, several feet from where I had last seen her, her body contorted, aflame. Her expression maintained the confused look she had cast me moments before, the only difference being the vacant eyes and red trail of death from her mouth.

Whatever people still could, were running frenzied in opposing directions along the street and my ears began to correct, the dizzying ringing becoming more manageable. In it’s place I heard screams, panic. Fear.

But, there was another voice calling from behind. One of the boys who had run from the FRE moments before the explosion was pleading for help. He was covered in blood, his voice dipping far deeper than a five year old should possibly sound, made so by his terror, his anguish, his desperation. His pleas sounded more like growls than screams for help.

Without thinking, I rushed to his side and saw that his right arm was nearly torn off at the mid-upper-arm, something having nearly removed it from his body. Immediately, I ripped my shirt and began tying a tourniquet above the wound as I heard his friend groaning from the ground at his feet. Blood had pooled from his abdomen, and without a moment to think, I found myself cinching the tourniquet tight, moving the standing boy’s good arm to support the weight of his dangling limb as I fell to my knees to tend to the boy on the ground.

As I lifted his shirt and applied pressure to the largest wound, I felt my right hand move to my watch to place a call for medical, for assistance, and that’s when it hit me. My mistake, my error in helping, my treason against the Elites ticked its way up my spine, it’s icy fingers lingering to ensure I felt its presence. I had aided these innocent children when it was me, me who had been sent in to deliver the device of destruction.

My head snapped up in alarm, too late. I saw standing before me the Premier to whom I had handed the incendiary device, his arm already outstretched as he fired his Taser gun, and the world shuddered around me.

Before I could rise to my feet, my fellow Premier was on top of me. I was apprehended and assumed the two boys were left to bleed out on the sidewalk near the flames as we returned to our interrogation facility within the Upper. After two days of electric shock therapy, the Elites eventually understood my feigned ignorance to be truth.

I was able to persuade the Elites that I had assumed the two boys I had attempted to help were nothing more than collateral damage. After all, why would I deliver the device to kill them if I was intent on saving them? They pushed me to what they believed my “threshold” and as my story never changed, assumed I had remained in compliance. They further agreed that while I had acted rashly and was stupid for trying to save any “Underbelly trash”, I had committed no true crime. In fact, we had claimed many more lives than anticipated and my Mission was deemed a success.

As I was cleared, I was led to another room, where much to my surprise I was met by the innocent faces of the two boys from the FRE. Their wounds had been dressed, but their complexions were pale. The Elites had not attempted to reduce their pain, nor replenish the lost blood. The second boy who had suffered injuries to his abdomen was running a fever and was clearly in distress.

When they saw me enter, their faces brightened as though they were finally seeing light at the end of a very dark tunnel, that hope reflecting back at me. I didn’t find a similar light, only darkness.

My Supervising Officer, the same man who had helped interrogate me over the past forty-eight hours, only smiled smugly, crossing his arms. None of us dared to move, to speak, and so, he moved to my side, leaning close as he brought my own personal hell to the forefront of my mind.

“Well go on then.” he whispered. “They don’t mean anything to you,” he pulled away to speak broadly for us all to hear. “So go on and eliminate them.”

My head jerked to meet his gaze as he smirked, amusement dancing in his eyes. I felt my own expression go cold as I moved to the boys, sitting on the hospital bed next to the second.

The boy with the fever began to push away from me as though he could burrow through the wall and escape as he begged for his young life. “Please. No. God, no. Please, please, please. No. I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” he pleaded.

I knew we were being recorded and could do nothing to calm him. Why did he apologize? He had done nothing wrong. I was the one to apologize but could not. So, I broke his neck as swiftly, as mercifully as I could.

I was surprised to see the other boy had not moved. The only change was that the light in his eyes had gone out. He knew there was no hope to be found here. Instead, he stood straight, his head held high as I placed my hands on his face. He was more gracious than his years allowed as he didn’t even bring his eyes to meet mine. He didn’t want me to suffer that torment, but instead closed them, readying for what lie ahead. I will never be able to thank him for that action, his selfless choice to protect me from the guilt I would find in his eyes.

When done, my supervisor clapped me on the back jovially as he said, “Always were one of my favorites, Eckles. Come on, now. Let’s go get something to eat.”

The media has since reported that more than two hundred lives were claimed in the explosion. This is correct. If you are wondering why, it was to send a message. The operators of that particular FRE were holding back some unused food supplies, keeping them to give to those in need. This is in direct violation of Elites’ mandates, for it takes control out of their hands as to who gets what, and when.

The FRE was stripping away some of their control. A message needed to be sent.

Well, I think I speak for us all within the Legion: message received. This is another in a long series of perfect examples of why the Elites must be stopped.

Until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 9, 2117

As you all know, I received the unfortunate appointment of an Elite Premier upon completion of Secondary Education. Most days, this appointment as a Premier makes my skin crawl. Not only do I work for the enemy Elites, but I am one of their go-to people, a favorite, the first choice in doing their most inhumane and demoralizing tasks. However, such an appointment does contribute immensely toward the Legion’s Cause… on occasion.

To address some of the concerns that have been brought to my attention, I think it best I show my full hand. After all, this broadcast is about keeping communication open, and more importantly, about ensuring we have honesty and a basis for trust.

So, yes. I have personally killed Opposition members, and even some Legion members as well. But, please know without a shadow of a doubt, that this has been avoided whenever and however possible. It was only done when following a direct order to maintain my cover. Some of the lives I have taken were friends of mine. Shedding their blood… shedding any loyal blood, is something that will haunt me the rest of my life.

Also true, I have implemented plans, enacted orders and made deliveries that cost additional Legion and Opposition lives. For example, I was the individual who placed the incendiary device at the shuttle station in the Underbelly here in Muni Six, just a few weeks ago. One hundred eighteen lives were taken that day, fifty-three loyal to the Opposition and nine were fellow Legion members. Their deaths weigh on my conscience daily, but please know this my dear followers, if I would have refused, their blood still would have been shed. In fact, if I am found out, countless others will be made vulnerable as well. True, I would have been eliminated immediately, and in a public forum. Surely, I would be made an example of, but I do not fear death.

My actions are not in an effort to maintain my security, but rather, to maintain my anonymity.

If I die, nothing will change. The world will remain as dangerous as it is for us today. The savagery that runs rampant through our streets will still be inflicted by the Elites as usual. But, my maintaining anonymity within their inner circle as a Premier, that, now that gives us an advantage.

And on that note, I do have an update for you. Another incendiary device is being delivered tomorrow at 0800. It will be located within the FRE. Steer clear. I will update you after.

Until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 7, 2117

Well, we now know what happened in Municipal Two this morning. It was a standard raid, what they refer to as a “Recruitment.” Talk about a bastardization of a word, if ever there was one.

Once upon a time, this was a term generally used for military purposes, when they would draft, or otherwise recruit, men and women of an appropriate age into the Military Nationals. No longer. No, instead, the term is much more broad, much less discerning. This word is now wielded by the Elites as another measure of power, of instilling fear in our citizens. This morning, the Elites “recruited” nearly 3,000 citizens of Municipal Two’s Underbelly. This was achieved by their local Elite Officers and Premiers encircling a several block radius of the Underbelly and apprehending all those within that square. The residents ranged in age from just nine weeks to sixty-two years. These individuals are now the latest batch of test subjects for the Military Nationals. They are being dispersed into various test facilities as follows:

For those aged less than thirteen years, a new living arrangement has been assigned. They are being moved to a facility outside all other Municipals for testing. The location they have been sent to is a renowned “Smart facility”, where they already house approximately 10,000 subjects. Some may participate in electronic interference programs, testing to determine how the human body, and human brain react to electronic chips inserted in their brains as they grow, how their physical body, mental capacity and personality are altered by the electronic stimuli, controlling their movement, their thoughts. Why you ask? The Elites are working toward a day when they can simply place a chip in our brains upon birth, control us to the most miniscule detail to ensure we are conformed, cooperative citizens. In their minds, this will be the ultimate super-soldier, the prime citizen, incapable of independent thought or action.

Others will participate in laser therapy, determining how different laser weapons impact the neurological health of teens and young adults over time. After all, this will aid in corralling the less desirable of us, those of us in the Municipal Middles and Underbellies. They believe that if they can maintain perimeters with lasers, it will free up their guards, their surveillance for more pressing matters.

Considering our already limited and diminished presence in the world, I wonder what they would do with the time.

Of course, the others… they will be used for “standard testing”. You know the ones, endurance testing, harsh environment resilience, medication testing, weaponry fall out. After all, it’s much cheaper to use one of us to study than if they were to build, to create a synthetic subject, keeping us from harm. For them, it’s more entertaining this way too.

They deem this a successful recruitment, with minimal resistance. Of course, you and I know that resistance is futile, at least at this point, but one day my fellow Legion members, one day that will change. Our collective has never been so strong, our reach so expansive. We will continue to prepare, to position ourselves, all for the day… the one fateful day when we make ourselves known. So, remain vigilant. That day is coming. Until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 6, 2117

Received new Orders today. While they are concise, I know they are only part of a much larger picture as I’m transferring a restricted communication. It’s sealed and password protected. I can’t determine the contents.

Also, an unfortunate side-effect of maintaining the anonymity of this broadcast blog, ensuring it remains secure, is that I do not know how far my reach goes, nor how many of you receive these updates. So, I say this: if you belong to the Legion in Muni Two, or can make contact with those who are there WITHOUT (and only without) risk of your communication being realized by the Elites, please put them on high alert. Sometime in the next 24 hours, something large will be going down. I do not know what. I do not know when, but I do know it will be in Muni Two’s Underbelly. I overheard some of the communication, but regretably, no additional details.

Please be on high alert and remain vigilant. Until next time…

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.

April 5, 2117

Powerless. This feeling, this helplessness, this raw emotion is one we all battle on an everyday basis, isn’t it?

Though there are times when we each step forward, take action and help fellow citizens in opposition of the Elites’ evil, such action is not always possible. There are times when to do so, is to jeopardize not only our lives, but our beloved Legion, the entire Opposition. I encountered one such scenario earlier today.

After reporting for duty this morning, I received my directives and had implemented my orders no more than twenty minutes before I smelled it: a bitter heat, the warm stink of chemicals. The scent of burning dust and dry wood registered in my mind even as my ears identified the loud crackling, snapping sounds of hate. As I turned the next corner, I saw it, an angry wall of flames engulfing the shoddy frame that remained of a dilapidated apartment building. Sharp bursts of fire shot out of the building’s open holes that decades ago had housed windows, the flames biting at neighboring rick shack dwellings, running along the roofline of the one most near. Because of the impromptu craftsmanship of dwellings that deep into the Middle, residents ran for their lives, some bouncing off me as I walked against the steady stream of their fear. They’ve seen the news reports over the years. They know how quickly flames can spread in the Middle.

Gauging the size of the inferno, it was clear the flames had begun some time ago. Yet, there were no sirens approaching, for surely, they had been ordered to stand down. As I drew nearer, my suspicions were confirmed. I saw that the doors had in fact, been boarded shut, as had the lower window casings. For those inside, there would be no escape. I considered rendering aid, wrenching open one of the doors, searching inside for anyone who might still be alive despite the fire’s fury. These thoughts were quickly dashed as I remembered my transponder in the radio. Today’s mission was only a short journey. As such, I would never be out of range of the Capital, and thus, was unable to disengage or shut off my signal on the tracking beacon.  If I were, they would know I had interfered. The signal had clearly tracked me to this point. Any deviation would instantly be reported. I could only pass by in horror.

My heart grew heavy as I continued toward the fire. As I neared, I could hear the pops of small explosions inside and could actually feel the temperature rise with each step. The sound was deafening as the fire roared, the heat drawing sweat from my pores as it radiated off my skin. But the red and orange beast wasn’t what caused my skin to crawl. No. The fault for that lie solely with what I saw just a hundred feet in front of me.

The throng of fleeing civilians had thinned to allow me to see three men standing on the sidewalk, watching the blaze from across the street in awe, horrid smirks plastered on their soulless faces. The one nearest me turned as I approached and I watched his face brighten.

I knew the man who had been pointing and laughing at a woman desperately screaming from the top floor window. He and I had been in the same class. He had considered me a friend, and though we both received similar posts within the Capital, our allegiances could not have been more different. He grasped me by my shoulders as I approached and kissed my cheek briskly in greeting. I felt my body go rigid as the devil brought his lips to my cheek but fought the steeling urge to knock him to the ground and take his life as retribution. Instead, he introduced me to his comrades.

As I shook the third man’s hand, motion caught my eye. It had been a flash of light separate from the dark plumes of smoke pumping from the inferno. As I turned to face it, my ears were assaulted by the men’s raucous laughter even as my heart swelled into my throat. I will not use a name, but the younger brother of a fellow Legion member was hobbling toward us. It appeared he had jumped from a third floor window. He dragged his right leg behind him, his voice twisted in agony even as he extended his right arm toward me, flames dancing along his back, his arm, his hair already gone, the left side of his face seemingly melted.

The men behind me began to cackle, letting out gleeful whoops and cheers as the boy dropped to his hands and knees, hanging his head as he was overcome by the fire. I steeled myself against the urge to rush and render aid. I knew there was nothing I could do. He was too far gone, and helping the innocent little boy who had celebrated his ninth birthday only one week prior would only risk my cover, make the Legion vulnerable to exposure.

Instead, I stood by idly, unable to help, to save… powerless. Once he stopped moving and his entire body succumbed to the flames, I finally turned back to the men. They were still watching their handiwork, be it the child or wall of flames across the street in awe. The screams from the woman had abated. The smell of burning flesh encircled me even as I feigned a smile at the men and scurried down the street, my tail between my legs.

I was an accessory to what happened today. I was powerless to alter the death that took place. Surely, you’ve seen the broadcast by now and know that a message was sent to the Legion today. They suspected Legion members lived in that building out in the Middle. True. Some did. But, they took forty-seven lives, only three of which belonged to us. I regret to admit I stood by today, but I will not let them die in vain.

The loss of life I witnessed is the perfect reminder that the Legion must press on. So, until next time….

We are the Legion. The Legion lives on. Harper Eckles, out.