When a democratic government turns into a socialistic police state, all hell breaks loose. A charismatic leader, attempting to create a utopia, fails to take the price of utopia into account. Fails to realize the high cost of a perfect world. So join me and see perfection from a slightly different angle. Witness firsthand the cost that others failed to realize.
I was running for my life.
I don't think I've ever run that fast; I don't think I've ever needed to. They were on to me, and all I could do was run.
I turned down an alleyway. Big mistake. At the end was a tall chain-link fence. There was no way I could get over it. I was trapped. There was no escaping this time.
"We have a warrant for the arrest of a Mr. Patrick Freeman. The charges against you are conspiracy against the New Order and various other high crimes. Punishable by death." I have been waiting to hear those words for a long time now. I turned around, and, at the end of the alley, stood three or four Peacekeepers. They were equipped with full riot gear: shields, body armor, tear gas, stun grenades… all just to arrest me. My reputation precedes me, I suppose.
I didn't even try to resist. It was useless. There was no way I could take them all alone. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground, and then, everything went dark.
I woke up in a cold, damp, dark, prison cell. The walls were solid concrete with various tally marks all over. None of the tallies went above five, and most of them didn't go above three. It smelled like somebody had died in here, and, well, somebody probably has died in here. The bed, if you could call it that, was a foot-thick slab of concrete with no pillows, blankets, or any hint of comfort. The door was, you guessed it, solid concrete. All in all, five-star accommodations. I would highly recommend it. I got some sleep while I still had the chance.
I didn't even close my eyes for three seconds before the door burst open and three guards entered. Two of them looked like your average Joe, you know, normal sized, but the third guy was huge. I don't think that amount of muscle is healthy. I mentally gave them all nicknames: Joe, Steve, and The Hulk. "Time to go," The Hulk said, grabbing me by the arm and pushing me out into the hallway. I thought about how many of my friends had also walked through this hallway. Too many, I decided, yet not enough.
"Dead man walking!" a guard shouted, opening the door to the arena.
That familiar feeling of bloodlust filled the arena. The arena was a baseball stadium at one point in time, but since the New Order took power, they converted it into a venue for execution. There was a wooden platform in the center, complete with a podium so New Order officials could give their little speech. And, of course, there were the gallows, the ghastly apparatus that the New Order used to execute many innocent people; my friends. Almost everyone was around to watch them die. To watch them squirm just before going limp. I, too, watched them die. Every single one of them. It served as a cold reminder of what, and why, I was fighting. It was all too familiar, yet so foreign.
On this special occasion, however, a few things were different. For one, the audience had filled the arena to capacity. Television cameras covered every angle, despite the fact that execution was a routine thing these days. Everybody wanted to watch the death of a revolutionary, or, as they saw, a traitor and a saboteur. The audience screamed for death, and the New Order will give it to them. I fell to my knees in awe. These were good people once. How can one man drive such good people to become complete savages? I broke down and cried. It was all more than I could bear.
"Get up!" The Hulk roared, kicking me in the stomach. The other two guards dragged me to my feet. I made my way up the stairs.
Then, Mr. All-powerful himself, Fidel Neman, stepped up to the podium, and the crowd went nuts. He wore his standard burgundy suit, and his haircut was as unattractive as ever.
"Ladies and gentlemen!" he announced, dramatically, "Today, we cut off the head of the snake that is the resistance! Today, we silence those who wish to sabotage all that is good in the world! Today, we have our vengeance!" If there was a level of applause above "thunderous applause," this was it. I could not believe it. He said all of about forty words, and they just ate it up. I tried my best not to break down again.
Then, he read the charge, "Patrick Freeman. You are hereby charged with destruction of public property, disturbing the peace, evasion of New Order surveillance, corruption of youth, and conspiracy against the New Order, and are thus sentenced to death by hanging. Do you have any last words?"
"I do. Long live the spirit of Liberty upon which this great nation was founded. Even my death cannot snuff out that spirit that still lives today in every human being in this arena. Long live the true Spirit of America! It will never die!" I said.
"We'll see about that. Let the execution begin!"
This was it. The hangman bound my hands and feet and led me up to the gallows. He was dressed in a midnight black, tattered robe that covered him from head to toe. The robe had blood red spots all over, to add to the grim reaper effect. The constant chanting of "Kill!" echoed through the arena. Nobody dared to be silent. Nobody dared to speak out. I didn't blame them. They had all witnessed the price of rebellion. The risks of revolution. The hangman put the rope around my neck. I never thought I would become a martyr. The hangman put his hand on the lever.
Wait, I'm supposed to be providing an introduction here, not providing the details of my public execution…
Let's go back a little bit…