Posts Tagged ‘Harper Eckles’

May 6, 2117

(…continued from earlier post)

“Don’t say the Opposition. It’s a dirty word.” The horrid man spoke in a deep voice that betrayed the juvenile reverence with which he spoke. His words and tone were those of a toddler, but the man was well into his thirties.

Perturbed by the disconnect and already regretting her admission, Ella only shrugged her shoulders and scowled.

“Do you belong to them? To the, the Opposition?” He barely whispered as he uttered the last word.

She shook her head only once.

“The Legion, then?”

To that Ella scoffed. “I’m only thirteen.”

The man’s head tilted again as he sat forward in his chair, entranced. “Thirteen is a good age. It’s an important age. That’s when you really want to belong.”

“Belong?”

“To something. Anything. I assume that’s why you joined the Opposition. You wanted to belong. Like your mother.”

“What do you know about my mother?” Ella had grown defensive, territorial.

“Nothing.” Though still creepy, the man too became defensive, surely an emotion born of vulnerability. None of us viewers knew his story, but we could see, just as young Ella could, his story was beginning to unfold. “Just that your mother must have been beautiful.” Silence again claimed the room before the man cleared his throat and ventured, “It’s ok to want to belong.”

She didn’t respond, but I saw the sympathy. It was in her eyes, her expression, her heart. “You know, it’s also ok if you don’t belong.”

“What?!” He lashed out, crossing the room in one leap. He had his hands wrapped around her neck before she even had a chance to block him. Her air was running out as she hit and scratched at his arms, but he acted like he didn’t even feel it. Instead, he raged. “Are you saying I don’t belong? Huh? Is that what you’re saying? Is it? Is it!!”

She shook her head desperately as her tears streamed down her face.

Without warning, he let go and began to pace in front of her as Ella struggled to suck air back into her lungs.

Finally, as both their breathing returned to normal he mumbled. “’Cause I do belong you know?”

“I’m sorry.” She admitted.

He stopped to face her. “Sometimes I doubt it, and when I do, I…” He knelt before her. She tried to scramble away, but he blocked her escape and rolled up his shirt sleeve. “When I wonder if I belong, I do this.”

As viewers, we couldn’t see, but Ella’s reaction told us everything. Her face sagged and the light within her was snuffed out. She was empty, hollow, all hope diminished.

His voice was calm when he spoke next. “You see? All of you, you join the Opposition because you’re scared, because you’re lonely and want to belong. But, if you knew another way, if you knew how to make yourself feel, something to connect you, you wouldn’t have to do that.”

Ella searched his face, desperate for something, anything that could be an alternative to what he was offering.

“That’s what I’m going to do. You’ll be the first. You’ll see.”

“See what?”

“I’m going to save everyone, show them how to belong without joining the Opposition…I’m going to eliminate the Opposition.”

“Eliminate the…” she couldn’t bring herself to go on.

“It’s like I said; you have an amazing destiny Ella. Simply amazing. You and I are going to create history. Right here. In this room.” Still mindful to keep his face from the seeking eyes of the camera lens, he moved to the far wall where he pushed on a panel that dropped down.

It was a hidden shelf and compartment from which he pulled a knife and casually moved back to Ella.

“No.” She whimpered as her chest began to quake from her sobs. “Please.” She managed to squeak out. “No.”

“Sh-shh. Don’t cry. It’s not bad. Really. It just helps you feel, so you know you’re not adrift, that you’re connected. See? Pain is the same for everyone. It’s how you know… it’s what ties you to everyone else.”

Ella could do nothing more than cry until the blade brushed along her skin too and screams burst forth. First, he cut the tops of her forearms, and then his own. She scrambled, desperate to get away, but he pinned her down, matching her agony with his own, stoke for stroke. Her shoulder, then his, her cheekbone, then his.

She begged and pleaded. “Stop! Please, stop! It hurts! No! No! Please, please, please, NO!”

He ran the edge of the blade across her forehead causing the blood to run down her entire face. As he matched the stroke across his own forehead, he used his hand to collect his blood, and run it across her newest wound. Then he repeated the process, adding her blood to his. “See?” Despite the blood that coated them both and smeared the tile floor in illustration of their tragedy, his voice was at ease. “Forever, you and me, we will always be bonded.”

“Stop it!” Her voice launched into hysterics. “Stop, stop, stop, Stttttoooooopppppp!” she was choking on the emotion that clogged her throat as she spat her own blood from her mouth.

“You want me to stop?” he rolled back on his haunches.

“Pleeeaaase.” She whimpered.

“But doesn’t it feel nice to belong?” the vulnerability in his voice then caused even me to hold my breath. Every one of us who was watching on knew that her response would determine her future, but with such a fragile psyche in control of that destiny, there was no telling what was the right or wrong answer.

I watched as her eyes locked on his. Her focus was unwavering even as her mind darted back and forth between telling the truth and lying. “No.” she finally said flatly. “You’re hurting me.”

He fell back as though she had kicked him and clutching the knife to his chest, he scuttled back to the center of the room. “Not you too. Not you too. Not you too. Not you too. Not you too.” He mumbled incessantly.

“Not me what?” she was exasperated and in pain, desperation clinging to her words like a weapon as her fear expelled from her in anger. “You’re the one…” her voice quaked as more tears clogged her throat. “I didn’t do anything to you.”

“But…” now he was crying, his voice like that of a child. “”None of you, not any of my past besties I’ve picked out or even my mom… none of you want to be connected to me.” His tone shifted as he rose from the floor. “Why don’t you love me?!”

“Love you?” She cried, horrified. “I don’t even know you!”

Her words caused her captor to lose his mind. He bent forward at the waist, his arms dropping toward the ground as he screeched and bellowed like a wild animal with clenched fists.

Ella slipped and slid across the floor to the corner where she covered her ears and let the tears flow.

He screamed so loudly the camera had difficulty capturing, and the speakers had trouble broadcasting, the varying pitches and sounds that spouted from him. Finally, he dropped to his knees. “My mom didn’t want to be connected to me either.” His voice was raw as he spoke. “So I blew her up.” He spoke the words so matter-of-fact, it was as though he were a different person than the raging beast that had lost its mind a moment ago.

Ella’s hands dropped from her ears.

“But it didn’t help. I’m still alone.” He began to weep. “I tried to save her, but she refused to leave the Opposition. If she just would have listened to me, she could have belonged to me. Then, she wouldn’t have had to belong to the Opposition.” He crawled over to Ella slowly, his blood marking yet another trail on the floor which looked as though it were out of a horror movie.

Though she twisted and fought, Ella had grown weak from blood loss, and her attempt was futile. Instead, she could do little more than watch as he held her wrist, the blade just above it.

His voice was small, desperate as she spoke. “Ella, will you belong to me?”

Through her tears, she shook her head. “No.” she blubbered softly. “I’m sorry.”

Again, he roared as he jumped to his feet, stepping purposefully to the same collapsed shelf he had pulled the knife from. “What does the Opposition have on you, huh? What’s so special about it? Why isn’t it good enough for you to just belong to me?” Again, his voice broke as he was overcome. “Why doesn’t anyone want to belong to me?”

Pulling something from the shelf, he turned back to her. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

Terrified, Ella offered, “You’re not.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“No. Really. I do. I swear, I-”

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO LIE TO ME!” Then his voice shriveled up as he continued. “No secrets. That’s all I wanted, was no secrets, but you can’t do that can you?” He shrugged. “I’ll love you enough to make up for it anyway. I still want to give you the greatest destiny in the world.”

“What destiny?”

“We’re going to show them.” He was exasperated that she still didn’t understand as he moved to stand before her.

“Who? What?” she blubbered.

“All of them. Everyone. You and me. We’re going to show them how to belong without joining the Opposition.”

“What are you talking about?” And then, Ella gasped as the air left her body when he opened his hand. There, lying on his palm was a grenade.

The pin was already pulled out.

There was a serenity in his voice as he spoke, even as Ella scrambled to her feet, slipping and sliding in their blood. “We’ll always belong to one another Ella. Always.”

There was a moment, a single fractured moment when the room seemed to fill with energy, and then, after a burst of light and noise, it was gone. The camera feed stopped. Young Ella Chang was gone. And her faceless monster? He ceased to exist.

Of course, the public went crazy as they took to the media to discuss what we had witnessed. Some tried to rationalize it. But how could you? Others glorified it. After all, he wasn’t the only monster among us. Some blamed our beloved Opposition, but we’re used to that. Still others, others could do nothing more than question. How could someone like that have so much money? What was wrong with him? Who was he? Was he truly crazy, or did something cause him to snap? Was it a conspiracy? How on earth did he live so long without being eliminated? Surely he wouldn’t have passed through school without elimination. So, who was he? Who was he related to? What makes a person do that? How did he go unnoticed? Did they know he had a bomb? Did they know he was going to blow that building up? Was anyone else killed or injured?

The questions were endless, but not from me.

I didn’t ponder those questions. I didn’t wonder who he was, who approved it, or what was wrong with him. Instead, I focused on fear.

I am terrified of whatever it was that happened to him, whatever broke him, and more importantly, who is responsible. You see, monsters walk among us, but they are not the same as you and I, nor are they victims or weak. As you know, in our world, only the best and strongest survive. So then, for an extremely wealthy, broken man to reach that point… the answer everyone else is looking for becomes clear.

Ladies and gentlemen, he is not one of us. He was created, his psyche molded to hurt us, to attack us.

To beat us.

So until next time…

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

 

 

 

April 19, 2117

Well my fellow Legion members, we’ve had a quiet couple of days here in Muni 6.. Since news of the Eielson family’s tragic “murder/suicide” aired, it seems Legion members and Opposition members alike have allowed themselves to be persuaded into a tiny pen of complacency. Please, do not allow this. I urge you to fight through the haze of fear twirling around you. Yesterday, even our Legion’s meeting was cancelled. This is not unheard of, and Lord knows it’s not the first, nor will it be the last, to be cancelled, but what was the reasoning behind the cancellation? I haven’t heard any rumblings within the Upper that they had any suspicions of a gathering of Legion members. Even if they had, we have met under far greater odds, and yet yesterday… nothing. Colton and I were there, as were three other members, all of us, members of the Elites. And yet, those with arguably less obstacles to overcome in participating in the meeting… nothing. If there was something that prohibited you from participating, please say so here. Perhaps there is something that I am missing. But, if it was dread that kept you at bay, please reconsider that decision. Fear is a weapon, a weapon they used against us when they eliminated Eielson’s family. However, we too are learning to wield the same weapon. We must continue down our current path if we are to be victorious. Our very own leader, Braden James, sanctioned yesterday’s meeting, despite his usual recommendation to remain concealed and maintain vigilance. Those of you who know me, know this next statement already. For those of you who don’t know me personally, please allow me to introduce myself a bit more clearly.

My name is Harper Eckles, and I’m a bitch.

In fact, it’s one of the first things you notice about me. First, my dark skin amid a sea of primarily white Elites. Second, I am unwavering, unforgiving and blunt. Because I am a female, this usually groups me into the realm of bitch. If efficiency is gained by wearing such a label, so be it. But, in that mindset, I cannot understand why a previously planned meeting was foregone because of something so small as fear. Fear. Fear? Need I remind you, we all live in a constant state of fear!

People have risked their lives to coordinate yesterday’s meeting, some lives actually being given. Have you all forgotten about Arman Fuentas? Three weeks ago, he was attempting to communicate with another Legion supporter, confirming the location of yesterday’s meeting, when he was found crossing a desert lot moving from the Underbelly into the Middle. He was apprehended and interrogated. He managed to survive thus far in life by feigning ignorance, being labeled as a “Non-Threat, Viable” citizen. As such, the Elites kept him alive in the Underbelly thus far, assuming he was compliant, for later use in scientific testing. (If you’d like more details on this, please see: http://cloveramerica.net/2015/04/30/municipal-two-update/)

During interrogation, Arman relied on the same talent he had used to get by in life, again feigning ignorance and never letting on that he even knew of the Legion, much less belonged. Because the Elites believed him incapable of thought, they bought his story that he was only looking for food and didn’t question further. Instead, they employed one of their favorite measures for ensuring those in the Underbelly do not leave the Underbelly without authorization. They chose fear.

They placed him in the quad of Reid Middle School. For those of you outside Muni 6, Reid Middle School is the only Middle School in our Middle. Generally, it houses around 45,000 pupils, depending on how many are eliminated annually due to standardized testing. At the center of the school is a quad, used for physical resilience testing and grooming (whereupon students are taught pain tolerance and to maintain composure in sweltering heat, etc.) This quad is where Arman was sentenced. They ensured he had nothing on his person, no personal effects whatsoever, looped a chain around his neck and chained it to post at the center of the concrete quad. Simple. Effective.

That’s it. That was his punishment, they chained him to a post and left him. Those students walked past him daily, aware that he had attempted to enter the Middle without authorization. They witnessed him waste away, before their very eyes. Even those who had ridiculed and mocked him early on couldn’t make eye contact by day four as he shriveled into non-existence. He never called out to any of them, never revealed his allegiance to the Legion even as his mind began to leave him behind. He kept quiet so that we could meet, so that we could take another step in moving toward the New Revolution. Three attempted rescue missions failed, collecting another eighteen lives. In total, nineteen lives were given to allow yesterday’s meeting. But with nobody there to participate, what was the point?

Though, Arman did serve as an excellent Elite lesson for those kids: to do something without the Elties’ blessing is to sin, punishable only by torment and excruciating pain… to which death is the only release.

Now, if the Elites do this to a man (not to mention tens of thousands of kids forced to witness), over something so small as hunger, in what world do you think it best to remain compliant? Remaining united, planning our next steps, that is the only way we break free of these chains of fear. Join me, or don’t. That choice is for you to decide. But, do not claim allegiance when you refuse to participate. To do so is to jeopardize the lives of others for no reason. If you do that, what separates you from the Elites?

Our meeting is being rescheduled. The details will follow. So, 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 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 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.

April 4, 2117

I’ve been asked why I started this blog, why now? Was there an event that triggered it? Is there something I saw that I had to tell the world? In truth, my answer to these questions is yes. But, it wasn’t any one item. It wasn’t something I encountered recently. Rather, these evil atrocities have been happening throughout my, and all of your, entire lives. As an example, please allow me to describe something that happened when I was just a child, nearly ten years ago.

In school, I had a very dear friend, Colton. He has asked that I use his name, as he wishes to participate in this blog. For now at least, I will use only his first name, though he pushes for full disclosure.

As children, we were both naïve, both having always thought what we’d been told, that those in the Underbelly were trash, disposable, that they were savage, ungrateful beasts to be avoided at all costs.

Back then the Elites had grown more brazen as the Opposition had seemed to disperse under Braden James’ guidance, unaware that it was to allow us an opportunity to regroup. Because of the Elite’s bravado, the students were allowed field trips, armored buses that ferried us into enormous fenced-in lots so we could see the Underbelly residents up close. Our classes had been grouped together and Colton and I shared a seat, peering through the barred windows at them. There were hundreds of emaciated, dirty, rotting people. Dark circles ringed their bloodshot eyes and their joints were little more than knobs along their limbs.

Since then, we have come to learn that those people had actually been fenced into that dirt lot, and others like them. They had been selected from the medical testing facility and were out of their minds. They were starved, occasionally sprayed with water from a fire hose that they surely drank to stave off dehydration. Some still fell victim to the desert heat, and when they did, their bodies fueled the food source. The people were caked in mud, and to our young eyes were monsters. Horrid, filthy creatures. As our busses pulled into the lot and the gates were secured behind us, the live corpses clamored over one another, their words incoherent, the stench unbearable as they pulled and climbed the bars. Each bus had a turret atop it and the busses parked strategically, out of the line of fire from one another.

I remember the silence within the bus, before the desperate howls of those outside became unbearable. As their bloodied fists punched and broke through glass, most kids shrieked, and shrunk toward the center of the bus, some plopping into the center aisle.

And then, only death.

An explosion of heavy shell machine gun fire burst from atop the busses, the vibrations jarring each of us in our seats. Colton was the only child who maintained his position by the broken window, while I tried to calm the mass of screaming kids inside. I saw our instructor, the driver, watching me in the oversized mirror, but I ignored him. I worked to quiet the children which must have seemed resilient and strong, but in truth, I needed them to stop, to maintain my own sanity. Once they quieted and the sprawling bodies outside the buses outnumbered those that were still upright and running toward the fences, I returned to the window behind Colton, kneeling on the seat. A group of kids remained huddled between our bus and the bus closest to us, their knees knocking in fear, in hunger. A voice came over the driver’s radio. “Clear. Now they know who lives in the Underbelly, that they’re not like us, just animals. The rest have no sustenance. They are of no concern. Return to class. Lesson complete.”

And another eruption of noise, a cacophony of cheers and elation burst within the bus. Children cheered the demise of those horrid beasts, what they believed a righteous end to a rotten existence. They reveled in the Elites’ poison that day, but not Colton. Instead, he scrambled into gear, and I quickly moved into the seat in front of him, blocking him from view of our instructor as he gathered the snacks we had been munching on and plastic water bottles. He took a cautionary glance my way and I nodded, seeing the instructor’s attention was elsewhere as Colton pushed the snacks and water out the hole in the window. They fell amid the bodies, and though we know those shaking children too had died, it had been Colton who had taken a stand against the Elites that day.

All of you reading this post, you belong to the same Legion as I. This is unacceptable, and fighting to ensure such field trips become extinct, fighting for human rights, for human lives is our calling. Until next time…

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

April 4, 2117

CLOVER, Clover, clover…. which is correct? Why use the term in this blog at all? Well, my lovely readers, you all belong to the same Legion I do. We are the true Patriots, working toward a goal of reclaiming democracy, securing freedom for not only ourselves, but every American. Once upon a time, freedom was a pillar this Nation stood proudly upon. I, and all of you, believe we will be able to stand proud once more.

So back to the question… why CLOVER? I’m sure that by now, you’ve heard the fables, the tall tales, the myth that is “CLOVER”. You know the ones, spoken in hushed tones, the storytellers always looking anxiously over their shoulders, warily casting glances at the security drones above before whispering, mentioning CLOVER, our very own white unicorn. Some say it is a brutal group of Military National veterans slaying the corrupt politicians leading our country further down the path of totalitarianism, socialism, poverty and ill will. Some say they are a rag-tag bunch of Medical Testing facility escapees, shoeless and throwing homemade explosives at any Elite they see. Others say they are immigrants, unlucky enough to have entered our segregated and broken country, defying our laws and seeking to stake out their own Orders, their own laws, their own government. Personally, I don’t know that I believe in mythological creatures, much less mythological factions.

However, you and I, and every other citizen remembers the propaganda, the paraphernalia strewn about major Municipals just a few years ago.  Braden James’ had just recently given the Orders for all Legion supporters to stand down, to assimilate into our Municipals, claiming it was to allow time to regroup. We all can also recall that on the heels of James’ orders, there were six brutal days that followed, days when Elite Compounds were destroyed, their members slain, when local politicians were found dead in their homes, when their banks had been robbed and electrical grids damaged. We all remember the ubiquitous four-leaf clovers that always seemed nearby. There were posters or spay-painted renderings of the image, or just the word in all caps adorning nearby walls, as if keeping a watchful eye. Was this a coincidence? Doubtful. Does it mean any of the myths associated with CLOVER in the time since are true? Unsure.

What I am sure of, is that this simple, four-leaf CLOVER has made the Elites wary. It has given us hope. It has taken on power, reverence and a sense of wonder. That is what I want this blog to serve as, a springboard of wild ideas, a new chapter where Legion members feel emboldened to belong. We are not alone. We are in this together. After all, if a four-leaf clover can incite so much fear in our enemy, real or not, I will fly under that banner. It is about time the Elites began to live in fear. Opening communication amongst ourselves is the first step in that process.

Going forward, I will share the Elites’ crimes with you here, making a record of the horror they spread amongst our midst. Please feel free to share your own, by adding comments and leaving feedback. Until next time…

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