What I want to know is who is in. If you’re in, just turn your milk carton upside down, and we’ll count you and be in touch with you. Pass the word.”
She rose abruptly and left the table, taking a square nutrient bar and her allotted murky glass of water from her tray and left the lunchroom.
A few minutes later, Carrington and Rush—a big supporter and friend for both of them—walked down the middle of the room as Carrington dictated to him the name of each one choosing to be a part of their scheme. Within a couple minutes, their census was done. Over fifty percent of the scientists and workers had announced their desire to break out.
Carrington smiled, remembering their interlude earlier.
“She’s quite the planner,” Rush said.
“Among other things,” he answered and grinned some more.
When Melanie turned the corner of the hallway leading to their apartment, she knew she was up shit creek without a paddle. Two security guards, and not the usual dumb kind, were waiting for her.
“Please come with us, Mrs. Reid,” said the larger of the two.
“Dr. Reid, please. I think I earned that title.”
They said nothing, both glaring at her.
“Would you at least tell me where you’re taking me?” Her heart was thumping. She knew she had been caught. She thought the plan would work great because only a few even knew it was her idea to conduct the census at lunch break.
“We’ve been ordered to take you to the brig, ma’am.”
“What? For what?”
“Dr. Reid,” said the shorter of the two, although he was still two inches over her, and she was nearly six feet. “Please don’t ask us any questions. We have a job to do. Someone will check in with you regarding the reasons why you’re in the brig.”
“Just wanted to know what rights I have.”
“Dr. Reid, you should know by now that you have no rights. So I’m asking you one last time to be quiet.”
She may have been stubborn as a mule, but she wasn’t stupid. She didn’t say another word.
A couple floors below Residences was the brig. It was a small prison, with about thirty jail cells, almost half-filled. But unlike what she suspected of most pre-Event jails, this one looked fairly clean. They walked past several of the cells, and she prepared for the indecent catcalls which naturally would come from men who were locked up and now saw a woman parading into their domain. But there wasn’t so much as a peep from any of the inmates. In fact, the prison was so quiet, it was downright eerie. They must be scared about what might happen if they spoke up. Note to self: say nothing !
They stopped at her cell and she took note of the number. Oh, great, lucky 13 . She stepped in without a complaint then the larger of the two guards closed the cell and both left her.
She thought about all she did and said. She was very careful about everything. Where had she messed up? Glancing up, she saw a man standing in front of her cell, watching her. He set down the chair in his hands, positioned it precisely facing her and sat.
“Dr. Reid, I am Lunder Gufstafson, Security Director for Bios-2. Do you know why you are here?”
Oh crap, here it comes. You committed insurrection. You’re a traitor. You’re getting the death penalty . “Ah no, I’m afraid I don’t.”
“Come on, Dr. Reid, make it easy on yourself; admit to it and I promise we’ll go easy on you.”
“Okay, fine. I’m sorry. I knew it was wrong. But, I can’t help it…”
“It’s tough being separated from your husband, isn’t it?”
“Ah… Yes,” she stuttered, forcing herself to not say anything further which might betray her.
“Well, we of course understand why you and your husband would break the rules and find ways to be together.”
Oh, thank God, that’s what he’s talking about .
“But, rules are rules, and we have to make an example out of anyone breaking the rules. So you are going to stay here for another few hours to give you time to contemplate the
Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman