Harry led me down the cracked sidewalk, past ten dilapidated homes.  I glanced at the sky, and realized the sun was almost down.  "We've got to be quick," I whispered quietly.

"A job like this takes a little more time, Ollie," Harry said loudly.  "It's just an old man's letter, but we've got to be careful."

"Do you even know how to whisper?!  You haven't even told me what this job is yet."

Harry laughed.  "All you have to do is move the message from that house to the library."  He pointed at the bluish-gray home in front of us.  "What more do you need to know?"

"Well...," I said quietly.  "I don't want anyone to get hurt."

"No one's getting hurt.  This is simply... a business deal."  He smiled.

I stared at him warily.  "What kind of business deal?"

"That, even I don't know."

He walked up the driveway, and carefully stepped on the small winding path to the front porch.  Following behind him, all I could think about was the patrols.  If any of the officers were out tonight, we'd be dead tomorrow morning.

Not dead as in 'a ton of trouble.'  I mean literally dead. Lifeless.  Deceased.  Gone.

The slightest offense will end up in the greatest punishment available.  It hasn't always been this way.  In the past, people could go to jail, or simply pay a fine.  Then, as Earth became overpopulated, the crackdown began.  The government's idea was that only truly innocent people deserved to live, and now the innocent people were the only ones alive.  The robots came in to ensure that the guilty ones were not.

When I thought of the robots, I shuddered.  I'd seen many of my own friends killed by their cold metallic hands.  Some of them tried to run, but robots designed to be faster and stronger chased after them.

There's no reason to give yourself up easily, even if the government says it's "honorable."  Unless there is evidence that proves, beyond a doubt, that the "criminal" is innocent at the scene of the crime, that person will be killed.

We're out past curfew.  The slightest offense... will end up in the greatest punishment available.  Crime is almost always suicide.


I knocked on the old wooden door.  From inside, we heard a raspy voice.  "Come in.  The door's unlocked."

The End

10 comments about this story Feed