“It is 4:45 PM on June the Sixteenth. We are conducting an interview with Mr. Devin Moore, a suspected anti-patriot from the Goldstein Colony. Present, in addition to Mr. Moore, are officers Smith and Eno and myself, Director of National Police Axel Morgenthau. I have been conducting this investigation at the personal request of the President.
Mr. Moore has agreed to comply with our request to provide information regarding The Delivery, which is assumed to be an attempt by the rogue members of the Goldstein Colony, through the use of biological, chemical, or technological terror, to injure the National Police, the Federal Government or the Cartels or all of the above.
Mr. Moore has asked that his belongings be made available to him; in particular, a leather satchel containing several documents. Mr. Moore also asked for access to his multi-unit but that access was denied for security reasons on the grounds that, despite every possible precaution, it might be used as a triggering device of some kind. Mr. Moore did not protest.”
“Are you sure I’m not entitled to an attorney?” Devin asked sarcastically with his face turned in the direction of where he thought one of the surveillance cameras might be hidden. Both officers began fingering their pulse emitters.
“You are not entitled to one,” snapped the Director. “That remark and all others like it will be purged from all the record.”
Morgenthau continued. “My first question for Mr. Moore is: Are you Devin Moore who previously resided in the colony of Goldstein as recently as April of this year?”
“And do you have information regarding The Delivery?”
“I suppose…Yes, I do.”
“And what information do you have?”
“Well,” Devin cleared his throat. He had been mentally preparing himself for this moment. He knew there was not going to be any parole in the wilderness; NaPol didn’t do things that way. He had only two questions left in his mind. The first, where were they going to take him and would making The Delivery actually do anything at all.
He decided that this was his final opportunity to take a shot at Morgenthau and his thugs and have it memorialized. He began, “First I believe that you should be warned.”
“Warned of what?”
Devin pondered how he would answer. “Do you mind if I have a cigarette?” He asked.
“Smoking is illegal,” barked one of the nats.
“I’ve had about enough of these thugs,” Devin warned the Director. “Their attitude is starting to cloud my memory.”
“Get him a damn cigarette!” Morgenthau ordered. One of the nats left the interview room.
“Should we pause the recording until he gets back?” asked Devin.
The Director studied Devin’s stoic face. His eyes were like agates- flat, black and dead. They revealed nothing except maybe psychosis. He wondered if the hotwire procedure had damaged something in Devin’s brain.
Then Devin’s heart began to pound. It pumped a flicker of vitality through his weakened, corpselike body. This was going to be a fine moment, he thought. He would indeed go down in a fireball of hubris and vitriol. It would have been worth a death sentence if he could only leap over the table, grab Morgenthau’s face with both hands and pop his eyeballs in with the force of his thumbs. But that wasn’t going to happen. He would have to settle for vitriol.
The officer soon returned with a pack of cigarettes and dropped them on the table. Devin packed them, opened the box and placed one between his lips. He had not smoked since he was eighteen years old but the routine was familiar, comfortable.
“You never really get over smoking,” he remarked. “Man, I’ve missed these. Hey Stasi, I don’t imagine you remembered to bring a light?”
“Those things’ll kill you,” warned the nat as he lit the end of Devin’s cig. Devin inhaled the smooth, aromatic cloud deep into his lungs and held it there for a moment. The nicotine instantly rushed through his bloodstream and poured into his brain releasing its calming chemicals. He savored it for a moment while his dread disintegrated like blowing apart the spores of a dandelion. Then he rudely exhaled the blue smoke directly into the nearby nat’s face. The nat cocked his arm as if to backhand him.
“Easy, there,” intervened Morgenthau.
“I figured you guys would have completely eradicated these things by now,” Devin remarked.
“We have access to contraband. We are the police after all,” the Director replied. “Now back to the warning.”
Devin took another deep drag and dabbed the ashes into a small pile on the steel table while exhaling again in the direction of the nat.
“As I was saying, I want to warn you.”
“Warn us of what?”
Devin slumped in his plastic chair, positioning his arm on the rest so as to enable toking on his cigarette while expending only minimal effort. “I strongly recommend that you do not take any action against the Goldstein colony.”
“And why is that?”
Devin exhaled. “Because,” he flicked another ash, “it would be very, very, very bad for you and the rest of your thugs.”
“Your thugs. Your nats.”
“How so? Please elaborate.”
“It will be bad for you. That is all I know.”
“Then how do you know?”
“Because I’ve lived with them. I’ve worked for them. I’ve been at their meetings. I’ve overheard them talking about NaPol. Oh, don’t look surprised. They know you are coming and they will be ready for you. You really don’t understand how they think. You are not human to them. They think of you as if you were a thing, just as a doctor thinks of a tumor- a disease that must be eradicated without any empathy or bargaining. They’re very clinical about it all and they are very confident in themselves. In fact, you might even say that they are eagerly anticipating the ‘Liberation Event’ as they call it. They can hardly wait to get the procedure underway.”
“Get what procedure started? Start it how? Please elaborate for the record.”
Devin took another pull on the cigarette. The unaccustomed dose of nicotine was making him dizzy. He slouched in the plastic chair.
“The procedure culminating in your utter and total destruction,” Devin explained in a deep, calm voice. He exhaled again into the face of the nearest nat.
There was a long silence. Wafts of blue smoke slowly floated up towards the LED lights in the ceiling. The two nats looked at each other like they wanted to shrug their shoulders or something.
Then the Director started to chuckle. Then the two nats laughed in response. The laughs grew louder. They fed off each other, building on each other, inflating each other, louder and louder until they reached a crescendo. One officer doubled over. The other slapped him on the back. The Director’s cosmetically tightened, leathery face creased and scrunched and flushed. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes. Devin started to chuckle as well.
“You are a funny guy, Devin,” interjected the Director between laughs and while trying to catch his breath. “Absolutely hilarious. Please tell us, for the record, how a tiny colony of ten thousand rednecks could possibly destroy the most powerful paramilitary police force in the history of the world?”
Devin instantly stopped chuckling. His face became psychotically deadpan. The laughing of the others trailed off. The Director wiped his eyes with his kerchief that he produced from his suit pocket.
“Because they’ve infiltrated you,” Devin explained.
“What does that mean?” asked the Director, still wiping his eyes.
“It means that they’re inside NaPol. It means that your destruction, if you choose that path, will be an inside job. It means that everything is already in place. It means that once you attack them, there is no turning back. It means that…”
“They aren’t bluffing.”
“How do you know?”
“They never bluff.”
“Are you going to tell us about The Delivery or is this just a big waste of my time?”
“The Delivery,” Devin’s tone changed. “Yes, The Delivery.” He gathered himself, sat up in the plastic chair, and pulled his satchel up onto the table. He took another drag from the cigarette and flicked the ashes. “Are you ready?” He asked as he exhaled.
“Yes. Give us The Delivery?”
“Are you sure? Because once I make it, there is no turning back for you. The world will be changed.”
“Lay it on us, Devin. Change the world.”
“Ok.” Devin shuffled through his papers and pulled one out of the ream. He scanned it to make sure it was the correct one. It was as determined by the twelve signatures at the bottom. “Okay. I’m ready.” Devin cleared his throat again. “Are you sure you’re prepared for the consequences?”
“Give it to us. Give us The Delivery. I’m begging you. Pretty please, with sugar on top. Here, let me get on one knee and beg.” Morgenthau pushed his chair back and mockingly dropped to one feeble knee and folded his boney hands together.
“Are you getting all this on disk?”
“Absolutely. Seven cameras are recording your every word and move.”
“What will happen to the video?”
“It is streaming into the NaPol database as we speak. Carry on.”
“All right then. Here it goes.” Devin took another drag on his cigarette. He hoped for something to happen when he began reading but he had no idea what. Alarms? Explosions? Gunfire? Darkness? He was hopeful but not expecting.
“Get on with it!” ordered the Director.
Devin held the document with the twelve signatures up with both hands.
“Ahem. We the people of Goldstein hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Property. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
“Is that the U.N. Charter or something?” interrupted one of the nats.
“We, therefore, the representatives of the Colony of Goldstein, in Council, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of this Colony, solemnly publish and declare, that the Colony of Goldstein is, and of right ought to be a free and independent state; that it is absolved from all allegiance to the American Oligarchy, and that all political connection between them and the United States of America. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
“Get to the Delivery part,” interrupted Morgenthau.
“Signed by the Council of Goldstein,” Devin continued. “Then it goes on to The Delivery part… ‘Make no attempt to suppress the independence of the Colony of Goldstein. You will not succeed. An attempt by any foreign power to invade the borders of our colony by ground or air or cyber will be met with decisive, thorough, and total destruction. We assure you that we have this capability. You have been warned that the cost for you will be tremendous in terms of lives and assets. Do not expect that our response will be either symmetrical or employ restraint. We shall bear no guilt for the outcome of your decision to initiate force against us…”
“I’ve heard enough,” interrupted the Director. “We’ve read your manifesto. Tell us what it means. Is it a code? Is it designed to activate sleeper cells? Will there be a bomb? An assassination? What city? Who? When? Start giving me answers to these questions or this interview is finished. And if this interview is finished, you’re finished Mr. Moore. Do you understand?” One of the officers clenched his fists. Devin could hear his teeth grinding.
“I can’t answer those questions,” Devin replied still waiting in vain for the sirens or darkness or explosions or anything. “I’ve already come to grips with being ‘finished’ as you call it. I may not have your answers but I do know how they think and I will say this: they will not attack civilians so you don’t have to worry about dirty bombs or nukes or any of that. They are not savages or murderers like you jack-booted thugs. They will direct it all on you and I’m certain it will be spectacular. I wouldn’t want to be airborne or anything like that when it happens. Again, I’m not sure how they will do it. I’ve seen array towers. I’ve seen transmitters. They have technology that is vastly superior to yours- nanotech, fusion, AI, computers several orders of magnitude more powerful than yours.
While Amerika dedicated itself to your so called ‘zero growth’ economy, Goldstein was pushing the frontiers outward. They are always struggling to improve, to squeeze more out of a machine or a man hour or a resource. Their ‘greed’, as you call it, makes them tireless, industrious and brilliant. Their greed has put them far, far out ahead of you.
You Amerikans are short sighted and arrogant. When you see a man in the street, you take pity on him and put him on the dole because it makes you feel good about yourself. When Goldsteiners see a man on the street they see a resource to run a machine or computer. You make that man into a helpless ward. They offer him a job and a purpose and a life. You turn men into mindless drones. They turn men into artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs. They are far, far ahead of you in every conceivable way.
So you asked for The Delivery? I just gave it to you. It’s their Declaration of Independence. And it’s their one and only warning. Now you’ve been warned. Leave them alone or you will be destroyed.”
“For the last time, Devin, I want names. I want places. I want methods,” shouted Morgenthau.
“I don’t know those answers. I’ve given you a manifesto as you call it. The manifesto is The Delivery as far as I know. I was told to deliver it to you. I was told that if I came here that you would find me and all I would have to do is to read it out loud to you so that it can be recorded and verified that you received it.”
“How will they verify it?”
“Like I said, they are inside of you. I don’t know exactly how. They said they will know when you have received it and that is enough for them. They have ways. You have received it. Now do what you will.”
“Show this terrorist to his cell and make arrangements for rendition,” Morgenthau ordered. Then he leaned close into Devin’s face, plucking the dying cigarette from his mouth. “You, my friend, are going on a little trip tomorrow.”
Devin cavalierly exhaled a final blast of blue smoke right into the Director’s squinty eyes. “You don’t need to waste your time trying to scare me, Director. I know I’m already dead. The question is, do you?”
Chapter 14 Chapter 16 will be available Sunday
Goldstein Republic can be purchased here at Amazon