1. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008

    Copyright Licensing Disclaimer:

    The novel "Lest ye be Judged" is an original ‘unauthorized, unpaid and not for profit’ novel of which the author has not received compensation in any form for its production.

    "2000AD, Judge Dredd, Eustace Fargo, President Gurney, Street Judges and any other part of the Judge Dredd Universe" are all copyrighted characters and themes wholly owned by Rebellion Publishing, Oxford, UK, who have not authorized, licensed or been paid for their use within this body of work.

    The header art background "Sci Fi Street" is a copyrighted work of art wholly owned by Andre Sutherland, of Berlin, DE (formerly Melbourne, AU), who has not authorized, licensed or been paid for its use upon the header art. All musical and audio works are wholly owned by the respective artists and/or production companies who have not authorized, licensed or been paid for their use within this work, and are listed in appendix-A6.

    The character "Mad Clown," no matter how realistic or similar to any other person or POTUS is simply a fictional character developed solely for this story. Any similarity is purely, somewhat, kinda sorta coincidental. No one could be that whacked out and be president of the United States. Could they?

    This work including the header-art is not to be reproduced or distributed in whole or part without the direct consent of the applicable copyright holding parties and the author of this novel, K2- U.S.A., April 03, 2018.

    ***Warning*** This fictional novel contains graphic depictions of; violence, death, genocide, murder, sex (both consensual and not), drug use and a significant number of expletives, vulgar terms and expressions. If the reader finds any of those fictional depictions too offensive to be exposed to, then they are advised to cease reading now. ***Warning***

    **Caution** This fictional story contains references to disturbing subjects such as; execution, murder, rape, various forms of sex, drug use, prostitution, torture, cannibalism, slavery, slavery of minors, starvation, disease, dehumanization, crushing poverty, totalitarian governments, dystopian societies, ecological collapse, nuclear weapon use and others. If the reader is unsettled by mention of such subjects, then they are advised to cease reading now. **Caution**

    Preface -or- My drivel as to how and why:

    Inspired by the 2012 movie "Dredd," disconcertingly drawn to "Ma-Ma," compelled me to write a short story or fan-fiction set in the seedier shadows of Mega-City One. Unfortunately, the short-story part did not exactly pan out.

    Hoping to do the movie justice, I began investigating background information regarding the characters, the world as presented and so on, in short order discovering 2000AD comics and Rebellion A/S, originators of all things Dredd. Overwhelming would be a fair description arriving to this party some forty years too late. Fortunately, during my research I stumbled upon the 2000AD forums and the gracious members there.

    My gratitude to the members of the 2000AD forum and those at Rebellion A/S is both deep and sincere. Without their invaluable assistance, my research would have been long and exhausting. Due to their help, the story evolved as it did though more truthfully revealed itself, the story already there.

    So again to the 2000AD forum members and those at Rebellion, my deepest thanks or as another might say, "Florix Grabundae!"

    With their help, I encountered a startling revelation. The Street Judge system in the series had begun in the year 2031. After some quick math (fingers, toes, clomping my foot and so on), it struck me that year was a mere thirteen away. After a bit more digging, I discovered that 2029 and 2027 had direct relevance, reducing that timeframe to a paltry nine years.

    Please do not misunderstand, I get it. It is a fictional story, set in a fictional timeline, established forty years ago when it was a possibility. However, I have always felt that the best stories were at least plausible. The question being; ‘what would cause the United States citizens and government to devolve to such a point, that they would willingly surrender their civil liberties in a mere nine years?’

    As said, the basis for the story was already there, particularly regarding what was not. How a young Harvard Law graduate, would find himself heading up a division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice was not too much of a stretch. What was inconceivable considering the events the existing story presented, was that the nation would accept the system he proposed. Street Judges.

    Perhaps even more confusing, was how that young U.S. Prosecutor, could in such a short time have the wherewithal, to become the nations top field duty law enforcement officer; holding the powers of an unquestioned judge, jury and executioner if need be.

    The current news supplied the mechanism for that national collapse. Help from the fine folks at the 2000AD forums supplied me with information for the end (or more accurately, what my ending had to establish to support their story’s beginning). That left everything in between, which thankfully the comic series had left mostly wide open.

    Unfortunately, here in America surrendering civil liberties is an unfathomable step back, and then it struck me.

    Why go back when you could go forward? The cycle of life, full circle and all that.

    This story’s clock did not stop at midnight, instead continuing into the darkest hours. What follows are those dark hours. Although we cannot turn the clock back to midnight, perhaps we can nudge it forward into the twilight before the dawn.

    K2- U.S.A., April 03, 2018.

    Enhanced Reading Options:

    >>Be aware: before playing sound effects (denoted by >> <<) and music that they may be loud<<.
    The sound effects and music are added into this work to help establish a mood in the reader. If you opt to listen to the sound and music files, you are advised to;
    ‘pause your reading, listen, and only once through, resume your reading’ in that they can be extremely distracting and will detract from the story if listened to otherwise.

    Five Historical Background Chapters (2, 10, 16, 21, 32) are scattered throughout the story (denoted by *** after the chapter name). The reader may peruse these chapters at any time without fear of them working as spoilers. However, if the reader would prefer to remain as ignorant as the characters, understanding and experiencing the world from their viewpoint, they should be avoided until finished with the story.

    Appendices have been added to help the reader fully understand all aspects of the story. The reader may review these appendices at any time without fear of them working as a spoiler. To do so will grant you the insight and knowledge of Rokka-Kae, the story’s protagonist. In contrast, the reader may opt to experience the story from the viewpoint of Cub, the deuteragonist. If so, chapter No.1: "Harvest Time," Appendices: A2-Glossary of the RCFG, Pastoral A3-Vocabulary & A4-Translations, A5-The 50-Year Plan to Victory; should be avoided.

    Glossary, Vocabulary and Translation Appendices have been included in this novel due to the extensive number of unfamiliar terms and words utilized throughout. The reader is strongly advised to print out the appendix pages for easy reference. They are as follows.
    A2. Glossary of the Restored Constitution Federal Government: Words, equipment, terms and definitions used by the fictional U.S. government of 2029.
    A3. Pastoral Pidgin/Slang Vocabulary: The unique words and their meanings as used by the citizens in the region the story primarily takes place.
    A4. Pastoral Pidgin Conversations Translated (by Chapter): Direct translations of entire lines of dialogue by chapter.


    What would it take for you to willingly give up your civil rights, your freedom, or those rights God given, self-evident, unalienable, that shall not be infringed upon?

    Would it be the threat of loss of life? What about agonizing torture or any other long-suffering cruelty that someone could inflict upon you? Naturally, those rights could be taken away by an irresistible force, yet what fate would inspire you to surrender them anxiously and when all said and done, be grateful that you had?

    Half a world away, over forty-years ago, a man peered into an electrified cage at two females who had suffered terribly and long. To terrorize them before he began his cruelties again, in a calm monotone voice he told them a sadistic truth.

    "You would be amazed at how malleable the mind becomes when a person is deprived of food, water and comfort. The terror and suffering however, I inflict for pleasure."

    A horrific prospect to be sure, though it does beg the question of how quickly would we relent when faced with the prospect of going hungry while suffering an unquenchable thirst. For some it might mean a day, others a week, a few perhaps a month. However, what if your expectation was forever?

    In a mere two years, the world had been brought to the brink of ruin. Industries that had been restrained to protect from that for a half-century, overnight found the established controls abolished. Like some great marauding beast free of its chains, the corporations supported by the politicians, whom they supported in kind, ran rampant over the face of the earth.

    And so, whether it was environmental cause and effect, Nature as a sentient being or perhaps God himself, they relented declaring, "so be it."

    Simply to survive, the people gathered only to discover those who had caused the loss of their world, the wealthy and politically powerful, were their only option to survive. Adroit at seizing opportunities for exploitation, the corrupt 0.1-percent had finally won, vanquishing the flawed concepts of liberty and democratic equality. Patronizingly, the plutocracy vaingloriously smiled upon the starving masses stating simply, "we will save you."

    Granted, at first it was difficult until systems could be put into place. Once they had been, the imperious sustenance filled hands of the new colossus extended toward the huddled masses; then paused waiting until they heard it.

    "Please! Thank you."

    That was nine years ago, now being 2029. With ninety-four percent of the population’s focus upon simply surviving another day, none remembered they had once lived another way.

    One however did.

    Table of Contents:
    ii. Warnings and Cautions
    iii. Preface
    iv. Enhanced Reading Options
    v. Introduction
    1. Harvest Time
    2. Crush of Humanity ***
    3. To be a Reaper
    4. Into the Land of Madness
    5. Horror Compounded
    6. To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
    7. Training Day
    8. With Furious Wrath
    9. Grappling with a Monster
    10. The Mad Clown ***
    11. Revelations
    12. Ever Deeper
    13. The Dancing Instructor
    14. Way of the Future
    15. Altered States
    16. Columbia Stumbled ***
    17. Let it Flow
    18. Respect da Choka
    19. Eeny Meeny Miny Ho
    20. Parking Old School
    21. Same Difference ***
    22. Another Day
    23. Onward to Eden
    24. Oasis of Humanity
    25. Hide and Seek
    26. Tin Can Alley
    27. Field of Steel
    28. Molding a Killer
    29. A Mother’s Wrath
    30. Tower Horizon
    31. Philosophy on High
    32. Policy of Erasure ***
    33. Racing the Tempest
    34. Finger of God
    35. Race to Infamy
    36. To be a Hero
    37. We the People
    38. American Atlas

    39. Clearing the Buffers ~ A Postscript

    Pre-Outro: Breathe by Télépopmusik


    Post-Outro: Disparate Youth by Santigold ~ The White Tiger Theme

    A1. Equipment of Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae (Rahk’kuh-Kay)
    A2. Glossary of the Restored Constitution Federal Government
    A3. Pastoral Pidgin/Slang Vocabulary
    A4. Pastoral Pidgin Conversations Translated (by Chapter)
    A5. The 50-Year Plan to Victory
    A6. Music & Sound Credits

    Reference Documentation ~ Not for Public Viewing:
    A7. Radio Traffic Conversations Complete (by Chapter)
    A8. The Sermons of Rokka-Kae (by Chapter)
    R1. Archival Film Footage (transcription) of Chief Justice Eustace Fargo
    R2. Chief Justice Fargo’s Last Conversation with Judge Dredd
    R3. Existing 2000AD Fargo/Dredd/Mega-City One/"Dredd-world" History
    R4. Propaganda
    (Saved Deleted Chapters)
    SD1. The Woo-Bar
    SD2. Knockin’ at the Woo-Bar
  2. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    Lest ye be Judged
    Reaping the Harvest ~ 2029

    1. Harvest Time
    2. Crush of Humanity ***
    3. To be a Reaper
    4. Into the Land of Madness
    5. Horror Compounded
    6. To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
    7. Training Day
    8. With Furious Wrath
    9. Grappling with a Monster
    10. The Mad Clown ***

    Harvest Time:

    "Like what you see? How about, now?"

    Fedder Todd barely gave the woman a second glance. He had seen this same show countless times before, cruising the maze of crowded streets of Philadelphia.

    ‘Perhaps it was Philly’ he mused, ‘who could tell anymore’ having been relocated six times since coming here. As urban sprawl turned cities into megalopolises, they merged continuing to grow. Grow so much in fact that for nine years city names and state borders had been eliminated. The I-95 corridor of overpopulated bloat referred to only as "MR1."

    Where he was and what it was called regardless, although Fedder had seen this exact same show before, for some reason with this gal something was very different.

    She wore the same tire-tread sandals that had become commonplace as people scrimped, saving every credit to soothe their vices having nothing but idle time. She even wore the same pastel poly-paper jumpsuit clothing that the "G’s" gave away by the armload; just so people would wear clothes, not run about naked.

    Her schtick was even the same. Torn down the middle to showoff her ample cleavage, when he took notice she ripped it slowly all the way down until the crotch was wide open. Her smooth cunnie brazenly coming into view as her breasts poured out shamelessly. No, there was something else about her; just down this one narrow street, he had already seen the same thing twenty times or more.

    "You have a wicked look about you chach, are you dancing on slide?" Fedder asked with a smirk in the lingo of the Eleventh’s-T ward, being in a Pastoral zone.

    "Chach" being the casual term for a whore, though really any woman here typically was to some degree. "Slide" the newest designer drug that gave you a feeling of sexual urgency, with just a touch of speed to make you anxious, plus a nice molly seeming narcotic smoothing.

    The woman did not say a word just smiling lecherously. Her lips pursed as she began lazily tracing a finger around her clitoris, slowly shaking her head no.

    "Come on now, you can’t fool me" Fedder continued. "You look just a little too needy to just be flopping for credits. What are you dancing on?"

    "Just call it a bad upbringing and an insatiable urge that just won’t stop. That and I’m new here. The Planters just made me leave that boring Ten-H ward." Her voice then taking on the exaggerated slow teasing tone of a young girl. "And I don’t have any friends here. Will you be my friend?"

    That was it. That was what was different about her, just what Fedder Todd was looking for. Not some cutesy, overly-bulbous, immature acting slut, but a new girl having ‘just’ been cast out of the Tenth; knowing nothing about the Eleven-T, her lack of use of ‘P-say’ or Pastoral pidgin confirming it.

    "Sure I will bitty chachia. How much to be your friend?"

    Slowly flaring out all ten fingers, the gal smiled sweetly verging on naughty. Anyone else he would have burst out laughing calling them a few names as he gave em’ a whack for being so greedy. With this one however it would not matter anyway. She could have said a hundred and he would have agreed.

    Wagging his finger for her to follow, she excitedly picked up her bag scurrying after him. Shoving and wriggling her way through the dense crowd, the half-naked woman found it difficult to catch up, the masses just parting for Fedder.

    Eventually, she was right up beside him grasping his belt. They breezed past a guard here, down these stairs then those, finally they passing through a number of steel doors. His secret knocks, mostly whom he was causing them all to open, ultimately passing through one final door.

    It had been filthy all of the way down into this third-level cellar, like running some maze to get here past all of those scary tattooed men. Inside she found it even worse. Fedder welcoming her to his home with the back of his hand. Falling face first on the squalid floor covered in garbage and rotting protein blocks, it took nothing for Fedder to finish ripping off her paper jumpsuit, tossing her bag to another equally violent looking man, barking out his orders.

    "Poke, see’d wut da chach has in da tote. Beedy, fire up da brand, mi got a slick slashtail. Now let’s see’d how randy ya is slash."

    Lifting up her head looking about the room, the gal could instantly see just how much trouble she was in. There were exactly nine men in the dark grimy little basement that she could see, lounging about high on whatever dope they used. All were sporting old worn firearms or large bladed weapons. Moreover, they were tattooed the same from their neck to waist.

    In addition to the men, there were four women. Two of them were passed out. The other two were bound over a table. One of them sobbed, babbling uncontrollably. The other however was in the midst of being brutally savaged by two men from each end.

    It was then that Fedder yanked the new gal up by her hair. Reaching around her waist, he brutally tried wriggling his fingers up inside her. Poke just a couple feet in front of them that moment oddly paused looking confused. Yanking a cigarette pack sized black box out of the bottom of her bag, his eyes instantly widened as he shouted.


    That exact same moment Fedder yanked his fingers out of the woman’s cunnie, bloody and screaming. The gal abruptly slammed her head back into Fedder’s mouth, kicking Poke in the jaw. Previously clumsy, she now moved with focus and purpose, her expression one of fury. Thrusting her hands into her bag, in an instant she yanked them back out, each holding a Lukdai Enforcer.

    Just that quickly the low harsh hum of magnets energizing followed by the sonic crack of projectiles racing out sounded. Fedder and Poke were dead. In mere seconds the other seven men had fallen as well, plus just for good measure, one of the passed out women who bore the same markings in ink.

    As the door they had entered through began resonating, hammered upon from outside, the woman instead walked directly to the two doors at the back of the room. Opening the cuff port on the first door peeking in found her abruptly closing it. Opening the second however, netted a bullet racing out with a shout.

    "Namoo Reaper! Mi gots fifteen wachas in here and a boomer! Harvest mi and im bote rot!"

    With a quick peek to confirm what he said, that he had fifteen women in there and a grenade, the Reaper did not hesitate. Sticking the barrel of one gun through the port, she fired. Instantly a dense metallic thud could be heard, as she spun round, crouching low against the wall. Women inside the room began screaming; just as the grenade went off, so did the woman who was just being raped.

    "What are you doing, Reaper stop! I’ve been here two weeks trying--"

    "Shut up and stay quiet" the Reaper cut her off. "I’ll be back."

    Without hesitation, the Reaper unbolted the door she had entered through, rushing out into the hall firing. For another three minutes the carnage resounded from outside, eventually becoming so faint, that she must have made it all three floors up to street level. Reappearing perhaps ten minutes later, the intense focussed Reaper now seemed exhausted as she cut the two women’s bonds then picked up the small black box speaking into it.

    "Class one harvest, stop. Murder, rape, narcotic sales, slavery adults, slavery children…"

    Though clearly agitated by the woman she just freed, the Reaper never stopped speaking into the box as the freed woman began raving.

    "Do you know how many weeks we worked on this case? You just killed them all! You didn’t even try to capture any of them. You just killed them without even giving them a chance! Are you listening to me? We planned on gleaning them you maniac! Worse still you killed all those women in there, you did that, it’s your fault they’re all dead now--"

    The woman continued to rant as her overwrought companion just sobbed. The Reaper just continued speaking into the box raising a single finger as though to say ‘wait.’ When finished, silencing the ranting woman.

    "…extortion, torture, stop, mark. Be quiet! I’ll deal with you when I’m done Gleaner."

    Mechanically as her slaughter, the Reaper began to mark each of the people she had killed, deemed guilty of the crimes she had noted. Placing the edge of the box on the dead person’s forehead, she would roll it as needed burning a barcode into their flesh. Between each person she would simply say "repeat." If their head were too damaged, she would find some part on them where the mark would be obvious.

    On the women that had perished due to the grenade, when marking them she stated something different. "Break. Collateral, stop, mark." The Reaper found the marking of them all so pointless, although, Central Command liked their statistics. After marking all of the dead, none simply wounded, the Reaper squat down by her bag discarding her sandals, beginning to dress finally answering the woman.

    "Two weeks huh? Two weeks being raped and sold gawd knows how many times. When exactly did you intend on gleaning them? They proved themselves up for harvest in thirty seconds, yet you spent two weeks getting your holes plowed. Did you like it, was that it?"

    "You can’t talk to me that way, I-- I’m a lawfully appointed Gleaner! We would have escaped, eventually. Then we would have a case and would also be able to find out where else the rest of the gang is based; but now they’re all dead because you would rather reap than glean, so we suffered and all of those women died for nothing! Worst of all those animals died senselessly without paying for their crimes!"

    Finally dressed, the Reaper without warning wheeled round grasping the woman by her throat driving her backward, pinning her to a column.

    "Are you really that stupid Gleaner, don’t you realize what we’re really doing here? Tell me something, what’s the average life span of someone you glean into labor on the walls or one of those new super-project things? Tell me!"

    The woman’s eyes went wide realizing she had pressed the Reaper too far, so quickly blurt out her answer.

    "One and a half years."

    "And what’s the longest any of them lived? Say it!" the Reaper roared back.

    "Just under three years."

    "And what’s the minimum sentence for someone you glean?"

    "Fi-- five years."

    "Five years. You see Gleaner; we’re both killing them. The difference is that I’m merciful. I get it over quick. You make them suffer languishing, working them until they drop. Who’s the maniac now? As to your precious information, let’s go get it. I left you one."

    When the Reaper began to pull the Gleaner toward the door, she tried to grab a jumpsuit lying on the floor yet the Reaper just shoved her forward saying, "Keep moving chach. You’re in the Eleven-T, no one cares."

    After a short walk deeper down the tunnel, it quickly became obvious that the Gleaner’s informant was just up ahead. Following the long smear of blood flanked by bloody handprints, in just a few more steps they came upon another similarly tattooed man, lying there grasping his thigh. When he looked up, it was not fear, pain or a wish for mercy that formed his words, more so his expression. It was an unadulterated hate of the inevitable.

    "Do it you fucking cunt! Fucking Reaper bitch, do it!"

    The Reaper instantly started laughing as she squat down in front of him, barely able to get her own words out from her amusement.

    "Wow! You really are a Renaissance man aren’t you. I haven’t heard those words in years. I am impressed. The Gleaner here-- oh, by the way, was she any good? Ehh, never mind. Anyway, the Gleaner wants to ask you a few questions. Now I know what you’re thinking; ‘why should you answer?’ Well, know what this is?"

    The Reaper pulled a small black "U" shaped unit with two metal prongs on its tips out of her bag, twisting the dial all the way up.

    "Ah, I can see it in your eyes. Yep, it’s an Agonizer now set to ten. You and I both know you’re going to talk. The question however is; ‘will you just answer us, or will I have to hit you with this a few times, then lock you up alone in a nice dark cell to dream on it for a few years?’"

    She could see it in his eyes, the pure terror at what she proposed. Everyone knew that one hit would leave you with nightmares about the pain, and supposedly after three, many people would lose their minds. He did not even answer her, instead looking to the naked Gleaner standing there who was clearly confused by what they had been talking about.

    "What! What do you want chote? Or do you want me to drain my sack in you some more? What? Ask!"

    "I uh, um--" the Gleaner began. "I uh, where are the other Suka-Seven war-rooms at? And uh, I’m not a chote, you got that?" The Gleaner stated trying to sound tough at the last, not liking being called the Pastoral-slang version of a ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone simply fucks.’

    The Reaper calmly remained there listening. The man did not hesitate running down a long list of gang hideouts, along with their very detailed locations. She seemed to grow sad however as he spoke. Toward the end, she was openly pouting or perhaps frowning when he finished. Almost sounding compassionate, the Reaper asked what was really a pointless question already knowing the answer, yet did so for the Gleaner’s benefit.

    "Okay, it’s your call. Do you want to be gleaned or reaped?"

    The man just looked up at her as though she had to be kidding. After slowly turning away, he spoke softly, humbly, hoping that she was serious.

    "Reaped, please."

    Instantly it was over without further drama or hesitation. Like a switch was thrown, without warning the Reaper’s mood soured. After a solid punch to the Gleaner’s mouth, she dragged her by her hair back to the room, to the first door she had peeked in earlier. Opening the cuff-port, she jammed the Gleaner’s face up to it, barking out her rage.

    "I came for them not you chote! Don’t you move. Keep your eyes locked on them until Salvage and the Planters arrive, or I’ll add another ‘collateral’ in my log. After that, I suggest you take up planting. Start with them."

    Cold and bitter, the Reaper lethargically walked out and up to street level. That is what she hated most about the current system. How it established conditions making it so children were bartered and sold like credits. That room alone held at least twenty.

    For the most part, the young ones were sold to people wanting to get out of the Pastoral zones into those "Fertile," never realizing that once past the gate their DNA would be matched.

    That little tidbit was kept quiet naturally; otherwise, they would quit coming. Twisted justice perhaps, once those that sold their children were discovered to no longer have that child in their care, they would be trapped in the very zone everyone fought to get out of.

    She didn’t even want to think of what might happen to those children just a little ‘too old.’ Although, due to the oppressive malnourishment, disease and environmental contamination, you would be hard pressed to tell who was or was not.

    She had been one of those Minor Citizens or "Mics," many years ago half a world away. That was the point she would always stop dwelling on it. Lips thinning, as her expression became stern. The Reaper knew thinking upon it too long would find her posting just outside one of the gates. There she would stack up parents like cordwood.

    Why they would not stop them beforehand she had no idea, though suspected that the intent was to maintain the illusion of a freedom, long ago lost. So they would come. Not just one or two, but by the hundreds over the course of a day through the gates.

    Junkies mostly willing to trade their own for dope, using their ability to breed like some cash machine. Yeah, they would be told that once their kid was back through they would be returned to them. They never were, everyone knew that by now. But still they came.

    Oh sure, there were those that were even worse, but no one came into these sections with Mics unless they deserved to be reaped. Gritting her teeth to drive the senselessness of it all, the Reaper harshly shoved her communication-set or "comms’" up to her ear reporting in.

    "Central… Thirty-eight for composting. Send Planters, perhaps twenty Mics for planting. Two Gleaners on station, get coordinates from my log."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379, units dispatched. Reaping harvest thirty-eight, twenty for planting.’

    ‘Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae, Central Dispatch… Go to Ward Ten-N Core immediately for debrief.’

    "Negative Central… Bath then recoup first. I’ll be there in eight hours."

    ‘Reaper-379, negative. Priority 2 debrief, you have thirty minutes based upon your current location.’

    Rokka-Kae sighed heavily before she answered. She was so very tired. It had been two days since she last slept, over a week since her last bath.

    "Central Dispatch… Negative, four hours then. I need sleep! Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Negative on the delay. Repeat, negative. Report to Ten-N Core immediately, out.’

    "Central… Roger, copy, affirmative, understood…" Rokka-Kae harshly repeated the same response her temper peaked. "En route to Ten-N Core Station via Eleven-T gate, thirty minutes doubtful, but will advise."

    Hanging her head softly shaking it, Rokka-Kae took in a deep breath before pushing into the dense crowd, muttering sarcastically.

    "Great… Just breathe, another wonderful day."

    The Order of Death by Public Image Ltd

    Crush of Humanity ***:
    The world had changed so much in Rokka-Kae’s lifetime, none of it for the better. The governments influenced by the Super Corporations or "Super-Corps" that secretly all but owned them; claimed that the earth had shifted on its axis.

    Though long forgotten and propagandized out of history, at the end of the "Mad Clown’s" reign, the truth of the matter was they had killed the world to obtain the power that they now had.

    Pollution alone had done most of the work in that to save pennies today, they’d sacrifice the planet having no concern for tomorrow. Profit and power their Gods, in the end poisoning the land, air and waters. Once the environment had begun to die Nature itself seemed to fight back, retaliating by ceasing its bounty to purge itself of the destructive organism, man.

    That was when the great crush began during what would be called "the Great Reckoning." People by the millions fled the withering farmlands and forests as the plants and animals began to die like some scorched earth policy instituted by Nature itself. Naturally, the seas followed suit.

    As rural and wilderness regions were evacuated, the cities swelled to a point of bursting. When they could no longer contain the pressure from within, like some great rotting beast they would swell then burst, spilling their contents around them over and again.

    Like some ironic joke, the federal government sent word throughout the nation. "Get to the Bos-Wash megaregion now or be cut off," claiming that they could no longer assist anyone beyond it. So they came. Came by the hundreds of millions inspiring someone to finally give what was happening a name; "the Gathering."

    Once the people filled the region, mankind was plagued with famine and disease. True to human nature, instead of naturally reducing their numbers, they instead endured. So the bloat continued.

    It was debatable if it was Nature or their fellowman that caused the mass die-offs however. When bellies were empty, all of the remaining food vanished. When plagues and diseases ran rampant, overnight there was no medicine or health care. Well, for the poor at least, and the poor almost overnight had swollen to 99.9% of the population.

    Indomitable as they were however, humans found a way. It was amazing what one could eat and survive. If that did not hit back at the natural order hard enough, they began developing natural immunities to even the most insidious of diseases. The government pressured by the masses compounded the problem, refusing to listen to the scientists and philosophers.

    As the nations quickly became welfare states, priority services like better housing, food and utilities were given to families. More so, the larger the family, the better the services. So, what did the people do in response?

    They bred. Bred like Rabbits that at least had the decency to become extinct. All just for a little bigger home, a drop more of water or one extra bite of food, let alone the extra money, that final aspect simply exacerbated the problem. With no work, their needs met, now having disposable income, instead of improving their lot toward self-sufficiency or their hordes of offspring’s futures, they turned to vice.

    More smoking, more drinking, more drugs, more sex, and the more they got the more they wanted. To that end in their infinite wisdom, the government had a solution. Ban smoking, drinking, drugs and recreational sex not seeing the possible assistance they offered in thinning the herd. Where the government failed the people, organized crime stepped in to help those in need.

    On it went as the invulnerability of humans, coupled with their bad decisions, caused their numbers to swell like spores pouring out of some toxic mold. When the region refused to become larger, humans even had an answer for that. It simply became denser.

    So it went, that is until Cletus T. Prusser, who ironically was the last person to hold office as the Secretary of Agriculture, though not surprisingly, the last appointee of the "Mad Clown," had his inspirational moment.

    Staring at an old painting hanging in his office as he often did now having nothing else to do, an idyllic scene of early Nineteenth-Century farm life entitled "Harvest Time," he was struck with an idea.

    The government needed to cultivate the cities just like a farmer did the land. The parcels should be considered fields. More importantly, they needed to view the populace as crops. The first step was they needed to determine which crops produced the highest yield, progressively separating them.

    Once done, areas the government wanted, where the wealthy lived or where established Super-Corp manufacturing existed, now called "Homestead" areas, forced the relocation of those considered part of the 99.9% elsewhere. The supposed logic being, that the 0.1% essentially supported the rest, no matter how much the balance contributed.

    As 99.9% of the population was relocated into the remainder of the region, they had to be further segregated into three types of sub-wards or "fields."

    Those that served in manufacturing or government services made up the first group. Those who had a family yet did not serve the government, wealthy or super-corps, essentially disemployed by the population relocation, formed the second. The final group, individuals not part of a family containing children, made up the last.

    To insure that order and protect it, each section would be walled off just like a farmer would leave a row of trees around a field to serve as a border or wind break. So the first great infrastructure project would be to erect these massive walls, prisoners used for labor.

    As expected, priority attention, goods and services were provided to the 0.1%. What was leftover was adjusted and distributed in an ever-declining scale throughout the various types of fields. Just like one would favor certain crops with better fertilizer and irrigation, the quality of food, distribution of water and other utility services was easy enough to calculate. The same applied to goods be they luxuries to even clothing, medicines and medical care.

    Naturally, the level of civility along with enforced poverty also followed suit.

    Though 99.9% were impoverished, enduring a lower standard of living than ever before, 56% lived at the very bottom. To that end, in ever growing rings or "fields" around the 0.1%, the fields and crops would be viewed thusly.

    Those fields and crops directly adjacent to the 0.1% were viewed as "Productive" fields to be maintained and well tended. Unproductive people or "crops" as they would arise, would be relocated into the next outer ring. As the population grew which it naturally would, fields would be annexed from the outer adjoining ring to make room for the growth and expansion of productive crops. So the nation or farm as it was now viewed, would flourish.

    It worked the same in the next ring of fields as well. Considered undeveloped, unproductive fields for planting, though containing crops with potential, it served as a buffer or "Fertile" zone. Crops from the first ring that ceased producing would be relocated there. Crops that failed to bear fruit as in have children, would be relocated to the outermost ring considered wild uncultivated fields or "Pastoral" lands.

    There was hope however for those in the outermost rings of fields, though those crops were considered expendable. If a couple could genetically prove that they bore fruit by producing offspring, they would be relocated to the Fertile ring. Finally, as more wards were needed for the growing population of that Fertile ring, fields or sub-wards would be annexed from the Pastoral ring, new walls would be built, and so on.

    Ultimately the distribution of "crops" worked out to be 0.2%, 4.8%, 39% and 56% respectively with each ring continuing to grow a field at a time annexing chunks from the next outer. At the last census, the land area verses population had shifted as follows: 17L/0.2P%, 21L/5.8P%, 39L/31P%, and 23L/63P%. To put that into perspective, the statistics stood as follows:

    MR1-Population Total: Population 417,000,000. MR1-Area: 22,304sq.km..
    Homestead Regions: Pop. 834,000 - 3,792sq.km. - 220p/sq.km. density.
    Productive Fields/Rings: Pop. 24,186,000 - 4,684sq.km. - 5,143p/sq.km. density.
    Fertile Fields/Rings: Pop. 129,270,000 - 8,699sq.km. - 14,860p/sq.km. density.
    Pastoral Fields/Rings: Pop. 262,710,000 - 5,130sq.km. - 51,211p/sq.km. density.

    Though the numbers suggest that Pastoral areas were densely populated, the reality was they were much worse. Albeit never openly stated, the people there were considered expendable. Food moreover water did not reach very far into the Pastoral zones, so the people wedged their way in as close to the walls as possible. In the end, population density in those wards reached up to 150,000, to even 200,000 people per square kilometer.

    Government, law enforcement and legal systems within the Homestead and Productive rings of fields remained the same. The Fertile rings of fields however, utilized a fast-track system for legal issues, basically martial-law, yet also had a significantly larger social service section to cope with all of the movement. That left only the Pastoral fields and how to deal with them.

    As the population grew and the available land shrank, coupled with the scarcity of goods and services, traditional, even martial law types of enforcement simply did not work. Crime ran rampant. Riots were commonplace. Wherein the government could not control the ever-growing masses, criminal elements had stepped in to institute their own forms of control, naturally waging war with each other.

    Communities had given way to gangs. As you might suspect, social services provided could not survive. In fact, the workers were all killed off over the first couple of years, never to be replaced.

    That condition had been anticipated in Cletus Prusser’s farming plan, even utilizing terminology to sound more agricultural, though in truth more Pastoral. Albeit frankly, agricultural terms were now such ancient history, that the connection was lost upon the masses.

    "Planters" were essentially the social workers that would shift or "plant" non-productive crops to the outer ring of Pastoral fields, referring to such people as "Weeds." They would also collect from the Pastoral ring new families, orphaned children, plus those children that ‘somehow’ found their way there, and replant them in Fertile zones.

    "Gleaners" worked exclusively in the Pastoral ring of fields. Their job would be to glean "toxic Weeds" from the uncultivated area, process them levying incarceration terms according to their crimes. Finally, controlling them as they were sentenced to hard labor on all public works projects such as new walls and the developing public housing in Fertile zones now having grown into "super-projects."

    Some of that work takes place in the Fertile rings. However, most work is performed in Pastoral zone’s adjacent wards to prep them for annexation. Essentially, everyone in the Pastoral zone was considered a criminal. Weeds could be gathered at anytime by Gleaners, simple daily living finding them guilty, ripe for harvesting.

    That left one final governmental group, most being contractors of a sort, though many of them had also been pressed into service. The "Reapers."

    Reapers worked exclusively in the Pastoral rings and were required to be escorted when in the Fertile zones. Their touted work in the wild fields among the Weeds was to eradicate or "harvest" the most noxious of them, or so it was claimed. How they did so and whom they determined was ripe for harvest up to them.

    Their mission in the new system had quickly evolved into something else, and that mission was about to change again.

    To be a Reaper:
    The young man had waited for hours in this disgusting ward; to what purpose he had no idea. In his opinion, he rightfully believed that he deserved more. After all, he had excelled at Harvard’s Law School, and by twenty-eight, he had been appointed the Federal Government’s Special Prosecutor regarding Street Crime and Gang Activity by the President of the United States himself.

    Now thirty years old, it made no sense to him why he should have to wait for anyone, let alone in a filthy almost hellish Fertile zone so close to a lawless one.

    Truth be told however, having moved to Washington D.C. now referred to as "Homestead Capital," right after law school, since the Gathering he had never left the Homestead zone. So, he was unfamiliar with such places. That in and of itself was not uncommon. In fact, most people in the Homestead and Productive zones did not even realize there were any other types, having no reason to go looking for them.

    What made him even more uncomfortable was that roughly an hour ago, six officers fully dressed in head to toe military combat armor, all heavily armed, had been hustled out the door near where he sat. The entire time they stood there, unable to see their faces, their posture and attentiveness to what lay behind the door screamed of a deadly threat beyond. That begged the question of; ‘if that threat was so urgent, then why weren’t they dealing with it?’

    Finally, the door’s handle rattled just before it opened. Instantly the six guards took up defensive positions, their guns leveled, bracing for an attack like a Rhino was about to charge through. Instead, someone who he instantly recognized stepped out, the Attorney General of the United States, Margaret F. Haff.

    "Slowly exit the room with your hands raised and stop!" One of the guards shouted out through the speaker in his combat helmet. His voice intentionally distorted, made deeper and menacing.

    What stepped out stunned the young prosecutor. What confused him even more, was how Attorney General Haff treated the person, even going so far as to roll her eyes at the guards though she said nothing to them.

    Extending her hand, she compassionately grasped that of the much smaller woman that emerged. Speaking softly, actually sounding humble, even grateful, Haff performed a deep bow until her forehead touched the back of the other woman’s hand, then lingered.

    "I cannot express the depth of this nations gratitude, more so my own. Thank you for what you are doing Kae."

    When Haff raised back up, she looked directly at the young man, speaking commandingly.

    "As you should have been briefed, obey Reaper-379’s orders without exception. Hopefully I will see you back here in a couple weeks."

    ‘Reaper-379… where?’ he thought to himself. More so, why were these officers on edge not realizing that it was simply standard operating procedure when escorting a Reaper into a Fertile zone.

    This woman was dwarfed by Margaret Haff who he knew stood at just under six-feet, and at six-foot two-inches, he found some of the officers topped him by a couple inches, yet this woman at five-foot five had them all clearly nervous.

    "I’ll be with you in a minute Cub, these boys!" Her shout of ‘boys’ along with a jerk causing the guards to lurch and stiffen fixing their aim, "…just need to get my jewelry on first."

    "My name is not cub it’s--" all he could get out before Rokka-Kae and the guards cut him off.

    "I know what your name is, now be quiet until we’re away from these ch-ch-ch--"

    As Rokka-Kae clearly was winding up to shout and jerk once more, one of the guards spoke harshly through the distorted speaker in his helmet.

    "Reaper-379! Stand still and be silent! Slowly, extend your arms fully pressing your elbows together, do so now!"

    Moving as though bored with all of this, Rokka-Kae extended her arms as ordered wherein immediately one of the officers fastened steel wrist cuffs on an ornate restraint to them. Cautiously stepping away moving around behind her, he yanked at a long metal band pulling her wrists to her abdomen, fastening it around her waist. Kneeling down behind her, he quickly fastened cuffs on a short bar to her ankles, securing the last portion attached to another bar to her neck.

    "Reaper-379, bend your knees, do it now! Lower, lower, now hunch your back! More! Reaper-379, tip your head back and remain still!"

    As Rokka-Kae bent her knees the seemingly solid bar between the wrist and ankle cuffs ratcheted to lock in that partial squat, as did the bar from her wrists to her neckband. They even went to the trouble to fit a spherical cage over her head, fastening it around her neck. Speaking as though nothing was different, she almost seemed to be ordering the guards about.

    "One of you grab my bag just inside the door. We need to go down to ordinance before you take me out. Oh! And you need to keep a couple guns on the young Reaper here. Once we get him outfitted you can restrain him as well."

    "Now see here! I refuse--" the young prosecutor began.

    "Reaper! Be silent and stand up slowly interlacing your fingers behind your head! Do it now or you will be harvested! Now!"

    The intensity of their order, more so the officers sudden fear as four of them turned their guns on him, caused the young man to freeze, his eyes wide, as he slowly obeyed.

    "But I’m--"

    "Be silent Reaper! Slowly, move behind Reaper-379. Move up against her until your feet press to the outside of hers! Place your hands over hers and remain in that position. Failure to comply immediately will result in your harvesting!"

    Once he had complied, the officers issued one more order to him.

    "Reaper, keep your feet pressed to Reaper-379’s and move as she does. 3-7-9, walk!"

    As they began slowly shuffling down the hall, Rokka-Kae comfortable with all of this began speaking to the young man as casually as if they were simply taking a friendly stroll.

    "Anyway Cubby--"

    "Reaper-379! Remain sile--"

    "Oh shut up or just shoot me then! How many years have we done this Chuck? Oh, and take the freight elevator, the other isn’t working again." At that point, a garbled mutter emitted through the guard’s speaker yet nothing more.

    "Anyway Cubby, you’re about to get a real education. Just relax for a bit and do as you’re told. You can get nervous once we’re through the gate. And quit rubbing your tooke on my back unless you intend on using it."

    Eventually, with the guards weapons pointed at them all the while, they made it to an elevator taking it down to the basement level. Once there, they shuffled their way to a room with a counter blocking the door, wherein immediately the situation took a decidedly strange turn.

    "Sala, give him my bag I need some ammunition and the cub here needs a few things." Rokka-Kae asked the guard carrying her bag.

    "Well, well, well, Rokka-Kae. It’s about time they caught you. Off to the electric chair to be barbecued, or are they just gonna make you swing?" The heavy older man behind the counter taking her bag from the guard teased her.

    "Well Ben, my guess is they’re going to do both and shoot me too. But you know how it is, after the autopsy they’ll put me back to work. But, such is the fate of an outlaw buckaroo."

    "You know Kae, you talk like my granddad. Nobody knows what any of that means anymore except me."

    "Oh!" Kae exclaimed. "Guess what I got called this morning? A ‘fucking cunt’ and a ‘fucking bitch.’ So you see, there’s three of us… Well, or was."

    "The only person who understands you and you shot him. Typical, I’d likely be next ‘except,’ I got you a little something that came in from the outlands."

    "Uh oh, well you better go way down in the bottom of my bag and get the things I brought you first. Three-- count ‘em three Penthouse magazines I found stuffed in a wall. Real old ones from the seventies."

    "No way!" Ben exclaimed as he fished around pulling out the contraband material. As he did you could hear a couple of the officers armor creak as they strained to get a peek to see what a Penthouse magazine was.

    "Anyway Ben, for myself I need ten-- no make that fourteen mags, visual and audible alerts, oh say eight each, and let me have four gyro mines. Now let’s see. For Cubby here--"

    "Kae, why don’t you let me get you a real sidearm, something with some knockdown power? I don’t know why you use those Sinese pieces of junk."

    "Well maybe because I’m a Sinese piece of junk. Besides that, each one of those little mags holds 150-rounds of 3.2x24 tri-metal, and the battery in each mag is good for 200 bees, so no jamming. Now let’s put on our thinking caps; 55-grains up to 4,500 feet per second, that’s a lot of energy. Plus being tri-metal, it will pierce armor, turn to plasma or fragment depending on what it hits. And, 3,000 rounds per minute when I need it is nothing to laugh at either."

    "Okay I’ll grant you that," Ben began, "and it’s as small as my antique Walther Q5-Match, but it’s not very intimidating looking. So fourteen, eight, eight and four. What did you want for the-- what did you call him, a cub?"

    "Yeah… It’s Cub’s first time out in the zone, so we had better get him some armor but nothing too obvious. Have any of that old first evolution riot armor, the more beat up the better? Also outfit him with one of your ‘Merican’ guns, something around 45 rounds a mag, six mags, and I doubt he can use steel so you better give him a couple stun batons."

    "Now just hold on a minute, I’m not--" the young prosecutor began.

    "Oh yes you are Cubby. Now get off me and strip." Kae corrected him.

    "I’m not going to--"

    "Reaper! Step back now and remove your clothing! Comply or be harvested!" One of the guards barked out in the intimidating tone of their speakers as two others pressed the barrels of their guns to the back of his head.

    "Better do as he says Cub. Old Chuck there sounds mighty mad. Oh hell! Chuck, I gotta’ go pee. Do you want to cut me loose or wipe me?" Kae added knocking some of the vinegar out of the guard’s commands, causing Ben in the back to laugh. The guard responding with a chuckle at first.

    "Hehe, 3-7-9 you just hold it."

    Though it was a bit of a process for the young man to remove his suit and get dressed in the unfamiliar, stiff riot armor, the guards eventually went through the same set of commands to shackle him exactly like Rokka-Kae. Once Ben had added what she asked for to her bag, they were ready to move out.

    Ben however at the very last had a confused or perhaps concerned expression wash over him when Kae said her farewell. Something just didn’t feel right to him, Rokka-Kae not ending their time with one of her silly colloquialisms, instead simply saying:

    "Thank you Ben. Live well my friend."

    Shuffling their way out to one of the rarely used armored vehicles used for people of importance or when Reapers were being transported, as the P.A. warned all outside, Kae and the "cub" now also chained to the floor flanked by guards just rode quietly at first.

    ‘Clear a path! Obstruction of an enforcement vehicle is subject to five-years gleaned! Clear a path! Obstruction of…’

    "What’s going on here, do you know who I--" Cub began.

    "Reaper! Remain silent or--" a guard began.

    "Oh give it a rest Chuck, we’re almost there." Rokka-Kae, cutting him off as well.

    "Listen to me Cub, and I’ll only say this once. You are not here to learn what reaping is, learn what it’s like in the Pastoral zone or anything you might imagine. You’re here to do one thing. Learn about me so well that you can guess what I’ll do next. You brought this all on yourself, so just sit there and be quiet. I need a minute to myself."

    Rokka-Kae rode solemnly the remainder of the tedious trip travelling the short distance to one of the gates pushing through the crowds. Rokka-Kae’s silence concerning the guards having never seen her so somber.

    Once they made it to the thirty-foot high wall that separated the Fertile and Pastoral fields, the truck backed into a spot and the door opened revealing something that the young prosecutor had never seen.

    There were four narrow aisles or "chutes" each separated by fencing. Their aisle was clear and unused. The next one over however was packed with people surprisingly wanting to go to the other side. In the third aisle, there was just a trickle of people being allowed into the Fertile zone. All of them looking haggard, beat-up plus many were injured. Finally, the far chute over had a steady stream of what looked like armored guards with prisoners moving in both directions.

    Shuffling up their aisle with the guards keeping their guns trained on them, Rokka-Kae’s jovial demeanor that had turned sour now seemed to be fired with rage. Each person or couple the next aisle over going into the Pastoral zone that carried or pulled along a child, Rokka-Kae seemed to want to rip apart as she’d lunge at them, slamming into the fence, growling out her threats and commands.

    "Go home! Go home now or die. You’re dead! Hear me dead! Turn back or be reaped!"

    Each time the guards would push her back with the barrels of their guns, though they never seemed to try to stop her before it happened each time. Ultimately they reached the end, slowly passing through a steel plate turnstile. Once unshackled, they moved to a second turnstile, forced to face it as though they were about to be shot. Rokka-Kae’s bag was tossed down at her feet, as from behind them they heard the distorted threatening voice of a guard one last time.

    "Good reaping 3-7-9. Don’t stay gone too long, be careful. I’ll see you when you come back."

    Rokka-Kae picked up her bag pushing at the heavy steel wall causing it to swing as they passed through. Once through, the young man was sure of it. He had just walked into Hell.

    Worst of all, a demon was his guide.

    Into the Land of Madness:
    The moment the turnstile opened into the other side of the massive wall, all of Cub’s senses were assailed like he could have never imagined.

    On the Fertile side, it was so crowded that vehicles had trouble moving through the old unused streets. Even walking through the crowds was an exercise in pausing and bumping. Here on this side of the wall, the numbers of people vastly exceeded that on the other as the sea of people seemed to fill every inch of ground, hung out of every window and leaned over every roof.

    Though it was hot everywhere year round since the world had supposedly tipped on its axis; here due to the vast numbers of people, high walls and buildings blocking the wind, it seemed twenty degrees hotter. Cub began to sweat from the heat let alone his already tested nerves.

    His own perspiration instantly cued him in on the musty smell of unwashed millions. Dust drifting everywhere, undoubtedly their stinking sloughed off skin. It was not just the smell of filthy people themselves, yet all that they generated. It smelled like an open sewer as it naturally would, in that he could see people up along the edge of the wall urinating, even defecating upon it.

    There was the rot of garbage, worst of all, that of decomposing human bodies, bloated, in varied shades of green. Stepped over or walked around, eventually they would flatten enough to be walked upon. Their gore ground down adding to the greasy dust. Smoke was everywhere, most of it oily and putrid along with the fumes that everything seemed to generate.

    Most of the people this side of the wall wore the pastel poly-paper jumpsuits that could be found in heaps everywhere. Many people wore sandals made from the treads of tires tied onto their feet with strips torn from other jumpsuits, that is if they wore any at all. Pink, green and yellow everywhere; though they were all the same, people had ripped and retied them attempting to grant themselves some semblance of fashion he supposed.

    Those entering through the gate were dressed in traditional clothing, nothing impressive, mostly old t-shirts, shorts or pants, and common footwear. That said, it quickly became evident why some people living here, wore a mish-mash of styles. As soon as they passed the gate, he saw a man and woman swarmed over and stripped, simply for what they wore by a mob of tattooed men.

    Confusing at first, Cub finally realized the din was so great he could barely hear. As he tried to fix upon one of a million sounds, finally one overpowered them all as he was given something to focus upon; the ringing in his ears becoming a clear voice.

    "Cubby, put these on now!" shouted Rokka-Kae jamming his gun, batons and belt into his gut.

    "My name is not--" as Rokka-Kae cut him off once more.

    "I know what your name is, now shut up and listen! Stay near me and watch what I do and do what I say instantly or you will die here. Do you hear me? Pay attention to ‘me’ now, not them!"

    Rokka-Kae yelled at Cub realizing how overwhelming someone’s first time in the Pastoral zone would be. Regardless, not even knowing what this was all about; he found it radically startling. In the brief few seconds he had looked around, Rokka-Kae had already put her own gun-belt, shifted her hand to her ear with her communication-set or "comms’ " in it, and began to speak.

    "Central Dispatch…" Kae began looking up to the large painted putrid-green Soviet font characters above the gate. "Close gate Thirteen-R inbound."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Thirteen-R inbound gate is now closed.’

    "You! What did I tell you! Go back home now! Go back or die!" Rokka-Kae instantly began yelling as she stormed through the crowd toward a young couple pulling along a child.

    Pushing and shoving her way through, the man and woman looked at each other, abruptly pulling the child in different directions. The man pulled toward the gate, the woman pulling toward the city. When her husband relented, she won the tug of war. In just a moment, she was already deeper into the crowd.

    Rokka-Kae did not hesitate. Drawing one of her pistols, she fired sending two rounds into the woman’s back, passing through the woman also taking down three others in front of her. In a flash Rokka-Kae was up on the child who fell with his mother, pinning him with her foot, stepping on his back as she shouted at the man.

    "Take him home now!" The man in a panic instead bolted. In an instant, Rokka-Kae had shot him also taking out a woman in front of the man in the process.

    "Cub! Grab him and hold him!" Kae shouted as she stepped off the child and turned shoving her way into the crowd once again.

    Cub however was in shock, so just stood there as Rokka-Kae pushed her way enraged toward another couple shouting at them. When they turned to run toward the city, she cut them down along with two other bystanders as well. Racing up to that child grabbing it up by one arm, she turned back toward Cub literally shoving the child at him as she spoke into her comms’.

    "Central… Gate Thirteen-R, sound the siren!"

    It was then Rokka-Kae noticed as Cub fumbled for the second child that the first child was already long gone, scooped up by someone in the crowd. Suddenly the low threatening growl of an air-raid siren began to rise sounding at the gate. Once up to speed its raspy wail was deafening.
    >>Gate 13-R Siren<<

    "Damn it Cub! You lost the first, hold this one tight!

    "Central… Cancel the siren at Gate Thirteen-R. Sound the horn three-cycles!"

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Horn sounding in three, two…’ >>Gate 13-R Horn<<

    Rokka-Kae yanked Cub’s hands off the child, trapping it instead with her knees and slammed Cub’s hands up to his own ears, quickly covering her own. Unexpected, more so stunning, a blare from a deep booming horn that shook Cub’s body to the core sounded. The resonant foreboding sound seemed to come from everywhere as though the horn of Gabriel himself was calling down.

    Instantly people dropped covering their ears in agony. Although Cub’s ears were covered, it was still so loud and resounding, that he was urged to do the same. The horn sounded for two more tones, each equally debilitating. The second the last blast ceased, Rokka-Kae shoved the child at Cub, instantly moving into action as the masses recovered.

    Reaching to the back of her belt, even though she had sounded both the siren and horn warning of a Reaper near, she heaved up into the air a small puck that just as it began to fall exploded generating a black spherical cloud of smoke. The final warning to all that could see it. A "Visual Alert" that a Reaper was harvesting.

    Cub just barely noticed what Rokka-Kae had fixed upon as she drew both of her pistols and began firing. Even the deafening noise had not stopped a group of six similarly tattooed men from attacking another couple, trying to pry their child away that they fought to keep. In a moment those men, the couple and three bystanders were down.

    A second later she was firing into the back of another pair of men pulling along a child. Then another woman carrying a child as she tried to flee toward the city, not the gate.

    Quickly there was a reply to Rokka-Kae’s slaughter. This group or individual began firing back at her with their old beat up weapons. It was amazing how far from their mark rounds would strike as they tried to kill her before she would turn on them in response. Bystanders all around Rokka-Kae, more so those people shooting at her falling by the dozen.

    In perhaps thirty seconds, it was over. Most of the people had fled, yet the ward was so crowded, that others who had not even been there began to flood into the area.

    Cub was in shock as he noticed Rokka-Kae approaching him having gathered up three children by their wrists; all but dragging them to him as she turned round looking for others. Already it was too late as the crowd had begun refilling the area obscuring any others there. Cub began screaming, though Rokka-Kae simply ignored him for the moment continuing her work.

    "What have you done! You murdered all of those people and you killed all of these children’s parents, are you insane? You’ll die for this Reaper! You just slaughter people without reason!"

    "Central Dispatch… Send three Planters through the gate to my location immediately. Four Mics for pickup, possibly others. Also send Salvage. Approximately thirty for composting, they’ll not be marked."

    ‘Affirmative Reaper-379… Planters should be through the gate and at your location in fifteen seconds, Salvage dispatched.’

    Almost immediately, a second voice from Central called over Rokka-Kae’s comms’.

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… How much longer should the Ward Thirteen-R gate remain closed, over?’

    "Central… Open Gate Thirteen-R in thirty seconds. Note Reaper 3-7-9 has arrived with the package intact and will not be marking and logging any harvest until further notice."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Package on station, logging offline.’

    "You’re insane, a psychotic killer!" Cub shouted just as three people in full armor rushed up, literally putting leashes on the children and began pulling them toward the gate with their weapons drawn. "You had no reason to kill those people, and whatever this is I’m done with it now!"

    "None huh? And if you’re done then fine, go. Enjoy living in the Thirteenth-R till you’re dead which will likely be in just a few minutes, but you can’t get back through the gate."

    "What do you mean I can’t get back through? I’m--"

    "I told you before Cub. I know who you are, in fact I know all about you. I even know about that little paper you wrote, your fancy speech and your big plans having no idea how the world really is… fucking Circus fool.

    "Anyway, unless you have a child of your own to take back through, or a child in the Fertile zone, or a pass, you aren’t going anywhere. Well I suppose you could go to the Q, M or S but I doubt you’ll make it, they’re worse."

    By that point, Cub was sobbing into his hands just as he began to retch and vomit. Everything that she had done was so pointless. Even now, as the gate opened, more parents with children were pouring in. Rokka-Kae just stood there a moment until he was finished, then yanked him up by his arm simply saying; "stay right next to me."

    Rokka-Kae leading him by his arm, Cub was in shock from this all being so overwhelming, that he did not even notice they already had to shove and wedge their way through the ever-denser crowd. What he did notice was that his ears rang and he had trouble fixing his eyes on any one-thing as everything seemed to be moving.

    Slowly he became aware that they had stopped, standing in front of a man seated at the base of a building with a number of plastic bags in a box. Rokka-Kae without a word bent down pulling a package out of it causing the man to instantly speak.

    "Na! Ya feed first. Two credits!"

    Rokka-Kae just laughed sneering answering him back only saying; "I don’t pay for what’s free old man. Rob someone else."

    "Boda, boda… Please!" the man shouted. "Im’ take ‘nother if ya na feed!" With that, he held up his hand showing that his ring finger was just a bandaged nub, his pinky long gone.

    "Who old man? Call him." Rokka-Kae responded, turning, looking out over the masses.

    Rokka-Kae had seen his signal. A simple rag tied to a string over a nail high above him. It was looped around his wrist no doubt to keep him from running as well. He must have tugged it a couple times when Kae noticed a stocky bald man whose face was covered with tattoos perked up and quickly approaching with a shotgun in his hand.

    "Which one cho--" was all the man got out before Rokka-Kae drew her pistol, sending a round into his forehead killing him, immediately turning back around not giving it another thought, squatting down.

    "Congratulations old timer! You’re now the proud owner of a food concession. Two credits huh? Well here’s fifty to start you off and you can do with him what you want." Kae spoke into her black wristband stating; "pay fifty," then tapping his band with her own, the credits instantly transferred as she stood up speaking on comms’ again.

    "Central Dispatch… Add fifty credits to my account."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Fifty credits added.’

    Still in shock from earlier, Cub was once more stunned. For no reason, this Rokka-Kae had murdered another person without cause and given away state monies.

    "You just kill anyone for nothing, and you just stole from the government to just give it away! You can’t just take credits like that, they’re not yours, they’re the government’s."

    "Did I?" As she reached up to her ear once more.

    "Central Dispatch… Add ten-thousand credits to my account for booze, cigs and chach."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Repeat your last transmission it was not understood, over.’

    "Yeah, maybe that was confusing" Rokka-Kae said looking to Cub who heard everything over his own earpiece.

    "Central… Correcting last transmission. Add one hundred thousand credits to my account. Repeat, add one-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero credits to my account, out."

    ‘Affirmative Reaper-379… One hundred thousand credits added.’

    "You see Cubby, you don’t know anything about this world. You’re here to learn just about me. However, contrary to what ‘they’ wanted, you’re going to learn about everything, yet that’s tomorrow. Right now, we’re going to eat our dinner, take a bath and then find a place to sleep. And since I’m too tired for a Woo-Bar, you can knock one out real quick or I can just do it myself."

    Cub stared at her with a stunned expression as they pushed their way along. He did not understand anything that she did past concluding that she was a murdering psychopath. He also did not understand why the government had not locked up this maniac by now, even seeming to support her actions. He didn’t know why he was here, and he didn’t understand how this place could be so out of control.

    Most of all however, Cub could not understand 90% of what Rokka-Kae said.

    Horror Compounded:
    As they pushed along, Rokka-Kae ripped open the little bag handing Cub two yellow blocks, each roughly two-inches square by one-quarter inch thick. Cub in his state of shock looked back and forth between her and them before finally slurring out his question.

    "What are these for?"

    "Oh yeah, that’s right. Where you’re from it looks different. It’s your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t worry though it’s the same thing you usually eat, just not as processed or pretty. Eat up, enjoy!" Rokka-Kae gleefully exclaimed.

    "My what? This, my, how-- How can this be all, this won’t fill me up?" Cub stammered, confused by what she meant.

    "Indeed… It doesn’t fillup anyone. Then again, that’s more than most get. So eat hearty!"

    The yellow square felt like plastic in his hand, wax in his mouth. Almost pungent tasting like old cheese, it had an aftertaste and smell like rancid grease having turned in the garbage. Simply to take his mind off earlier never having seen combat or death, Cub went back to a subject that he could understand. That being, the value of money.

    "I still don’t understand how you can take and give credits away like that?"

    "Oh, well you do it like this," as she spoke into her wristband. "Pay fifty-thousand," without warning reaching past him to his opposite arm, tapping his own band.

    "Are you mad? Take it back!" Cub shouted. "I’ll not be a party to your crimes."

    Rokka-Kae was tired. So tired in fact, that she decided to quit playing with him and just get this one thing off the books.

    "Listen to me carefully, and no questions. Credits mean nothing. They have no value, there is nothing tangible about them. They are just a number in a database somewhere and though where you’re from people ‘believe’ that they obtain power, influence or things with them, they really don’t anymore.

    "No one can buy better food or more of it. In fact, over the last eight years you have eaten the same thing you are now, it just tastes and looks different. Credits won’t buy you into a better zone, though they tell you they will. They won’t buy better clothes or anything... that…"

    Kae that moment stopped Cub by placing her hand on his chest, handing him her protein blocks stating; "Stay here against this wall, stay, do you hear me? Stay!"

    In a flash Kae had shoved through the crowd crossing the street into a gap between buildings so narrow, that he had no idea how she fit. Just a few seconds later he could hear the report of her pistol. Shortly after, listening-in as she called central making her way back to him.

    "Central… Note my location within one-meter. Send a bio-disposal drone to this location vertically. Eleven Weeds harvested, four Mics mercy, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Copy on the bio-drone, fifteen harvested. What is the elevation of the obstructions? Over."

    "Central… Uh… sixty-one, make it seventy meters, err two-hundred thirty feet, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Confirm obstruction elevation of 230-feet, over.’

    "Central… Affirmative. Vertical obstructions 2, 3, 0 feet, out."

    Just as she finished, Rokka-Kae walked up as Cub spit out his mouthful of food, throwing what was in his hands to the ground. Instantly it was ground up by the multitudes passing by causing Kae to grip him by his large chin in a rage.

    "You listen and you listen closely! All of your reflex ends now, this second! Money might mean nothing, but here simple things like a bite of food, a knife, a place to hide, a palm of clean water is everything. It’s life and death every second!"

    "You’re covered in someone’s blood" Cub mumbled. The whole left side of Kae’s head splattered, when she took her hand away, so was his chin.

    "Yes, and that’s a good thing. It’s not mine. We’ll make it to Wash-Down in a minute."

    "What did you mean by mercy?" Cub asked causing Kae to glance to his earpiece.

    "Oh… Well in this case it means to end someone’s suffering, and I know what you’re wondering. Yes I did, and no, nothing could ever heal them or make them right again. I know this for a fact, so just leave it at that. Turn down here."

    Turning Cub to the right, Kae guided him down a filthy open-air alley with an odd symbol over it. Rokka-Kae only said one word as she handed Cub a plastic bin, taking the tags from both hanging them around her neck. "Strip."

    "Are you crazy, there’s all these people here!" as he noticed that Kae and everyone else were stripping naked. "I’m not doing this. I’ll bathe at our room."

    "You will? How’s that considering only here and another place in the ward can you bathe. Well, that is unless you want to bathe at the water heads, ‘if’ they’re even turned on. So either strip and walk through with me, or walk all the way around this building to the other side and I’ll try to find your body after for composting."

    Grudgingly, Cub did as she insisted. Instantly feeling base or perhaps ashamed, especially when casually, Kae now naked handed him a spray-bottle, asking him to cover her back from head to heel with it. As he did, he was actually surprised at how she looked naked.

    Cub’s experience with women even at thirty was limited. He had focussed upon his career. Even still, most people in his circles waited until married for such things, or so he believed.

    Rokka-Kae’s skin was smooth without blemish. Though short, she was also rather lean not having typically feminine hips or a rounder bottom, built almost more boyish. Where she proved herself female, besides her obvious lack of a penis, were her breasts, clearly too perfect and much too large.

    After he sprayed down her back, reaching for the bottle Kae suddenly stopped, telling him to spray down her front and face as well, having remembered something. As Cub began to spray Kae’s front, he was horrified by what she did.

    First, she carefully reached up into her vagina with two fingers, gently pulling out a four-inch long by over two-inch diameter rubber hose. She next winced clearly prying and poking around her anus. Eventually, fishing out a two-inch diameter, quarter inch thick disk. Cub could not help but ask having never heard of, let alone seen such things. Rokka-Kae answered showing him while he sprayed down her legs.

    "Ah, birth control" which she laughed at. "Actually, they’re just old twentieth-century rape prevention devices. See inside?"

    Kae turned the black rubber tube so that he could see down it. Inside sat an "x" of razor thin blades. When she showed him the disk, upon touching the trigger, instantly an iris of blades closed tight. After washing them, she tossed them into her bin setting it on the counter, directing Cub to follow suit. Rokka-Kae growled at the attendant raking her nails over her belly first with him just nodding.

    "See that? Know what it means? Right, so make sure those bins make it to the other side with everything in them. Come on Cubby, let’s go."

    Curious as to what she was pointing at, Cub noticed that Rokka-Kae had scraped off what looked like melting skin from her belly; exposing a large tattoo of a scythe, vicious and ragged along the blade. It was only then he noticed that all of her skin seemed to be melting off as they walked through the long foot-baths. Kae encouraging him to shuffle his feet to scrub them on the thick brush like material below.

    The next room was rather obvious, reeking like the open sewer it was. The tiled floor along one wall formed a bench with ten-inch holes in it. The opposite wall instead dropped down forming a trough. A sickly green fluid washing down the wall to wash away any urine. Filtered then recycled, though how recently it had been changed out debatable.

    "Disgusting" was how Cub would later describe the next little chamber. Though neither made use of the left side, a narrow trough ran the length of that wall which had a high splash shield covering it. Down the wall and from one end of the trough to the other where the drain was placed, a tremendous amount of blue fluid flowed.

    From out of the trough stainless tubes rose with a slight swelling at the end. Blue fluid also constantly slowly flowed from them. When they were pressed down just ever so slightly, a significant amount would surge out of them. Kae told him flatly that they were for his backside if he needed such a thing.

    The other side she made use of however. Similar in design though with an inch and a half diameter sphere on top, an orange fluid ebbed out she claimed would sting your backside. Kae first pushed the nozzle down washing it off for a bit with her hand, then without any shame sat on it, raising up and down with it in her vagina to flush it out.

    Disgusting might be the word he used later, yet ‘horrific’ was his thought that moment.

    They next walked into a strange room likely akin to a now obsolete drive through car wash. Large brush rollers were placed at numerous angles to reach every spot. The rollers were constantly sprayed with a thick soapy fluid that never lathered.

    Though he did not realize it, all of that dirt, dead skin, sweat and whatever else along with the drained off fluid was filtered to be recycled time and again. They even had a horizontal brush to walk over for your inner thighs and genitals. Cub about jumped feeling like it was grinding off his cock and balls.

    Then came a simple hallway with sprayers washing you down. Cub commenting to Kae behind him, how people were having sex and even urinating in there. Kae just told him to keep moving as they were rinsed before entering another hall. There it felt like a hurricane from the wind nozzles produced to blow off then collect every drop of water from you. In that room, he was surprised to see more people having sex. When they exited it, they entered massive chamber akin to the court of Tiberius.

    There were two large pools. Kae nudging him down the space between them telling him; "don’t swim, it’s filthy." People were having sex everywhere. When he pointed that out to Kae, her response was even more disconcerting being; "No, they and that group are having sex, those others are being raped."

    Instantly men and women approached them prostituting themselves. Cub couldn’t understand why they would start to proposition him, going wide eyed pulling away until Kae stepped up beside him, now looking nothing like when they started. Before he could fully take her in however, trouble started.

    "Yaha, slick chach en slashy up mi squat. Credits pes romp pes bote mas gutcram ya!"

    Kae grabbed Cub’s arm pulling it to get him moving over the slick floor as she remarked upon their slang. Cub’s "huh?" urging her to translate.

    "Move quicker Cubby, we need to get to those broken tiles there. They sound like fucking idiots don’t they with all that nonsense. Oh, he said ‘hey, a new whore and a sissy-boy is in his territory.’ He wants credits or sex to let us pass. Either that or he and his friends will ass-fuck us or so he’s threatening. Don’t worry we’re almost there, move quicker, skate."

    "Why do you keep saying ‘fuck’?" Cub prodded.

    As he looked over his shoulder, his question caused Kae to chuckle responding "later," urging him along. Hearing a loud whistle from behind, Kae noted two others converging on them a little too late to intercept them, though it wouldn’t matter.

    What Kae was trying to reach was a simple thing. Just four tiles broken and missing leaving only the rough concrete below, a two-foot square that was enough to make a difference. That left two-feet on either side to pass around. Once she was on it, Kae maneuvered Cub behind her, stopped and turned.

    The three naked men were covered in similar tattoos just like most gangs. Kae didn’t hesitate taking a fighting stance as they slid to a stop on the greasy tiled floor. Kae’s willingness to fight didn’t mean anything to them, what did however were a few of her own tattoos.

    Just like on her belly though smaller, on each side of her neck the black scythe of a Reaper had been inked into her skin. Just like all Reapers as well, Kae had a large black barcode tattooed over the top of her left breast, above it was her call-sign in bold black characters, R-379.

    "Crammin Reapa chote! Cha got na banger now, charot slash!" The one who started all this called out.

    "Smash-cram da chote an chop ims hoots, mi gonna gutcram da slashy, gimme da steam!" another added as they each kept issuing threats in their Pastoral slang.

    Rokka-Kae didn’t even flinch as they’d lunge shouting, remaining as firm as a statue. For her, bathing contrary to many was a habitual part of her life; she had encountered this sort of thing many times in these places. Though in the past, not always to her advantage. Now however, she was a veteran of the baths. So as the men slipped catching themselves each lunge, she just waited, and they were about to make it even easier.

    As they continued their threats, no doubt hoping for others to join in, they had been passing amongst themselves an inhaler of "Steam." Basically, Steam was a significantly amplified speed. With each snort the world would seem to slow as their mind and body raced. Their faces were already red, veins bulging. When Rokka-Kae was sure they had worked up their courage enough, she taunted them in their own ridiculous slang.

    "Slurp mi crammers, mi gonna mash dem tookie-tookes."

    Kae could tell even what their order of attack would be. The quiet one would go first, the mouthy one second and she might not even have to deal with the third.

    When the first moved in, his fist already cocked, Kae just feinted. In his hyper-reflexive state, he tried to block, punch and jump back on the slick floor all at the same time. It took nothing more than a quick sweep of her leg, his own feet shooting out from under him, causing the back of his head to slam into the floor.

    Instantly the mouthy one tried to lunge. All he required was gripping his wrist while shoving his shoulder to the floor. His own feet shot out from under him, his face breaking his fall, although his elbow caught Rokka-Kae’s cheek.

    Kae rose-up beginning to say something to the third man, but it just came out a fractured mumble. It didn’t matter though. The third man just looked at her and screamed as he tried to run. Slipping and dropping twice before he finally knocked himself out. That’s when Kae turned trying to say; "that was easy" with the same garbled result.

    Cub recoiled in horror screaming out "what happened to you?" Falling himself right on his rump.

    Feeling her face, Kae started howling with laughter realizing her prosthesis had shifted. She tried telling Cub that it was alright, yet between it being out of place and her laughing, all she could do was help him up.

    Urging him on ahead the crowds of prostitutes, mashers and rapists approached them. By Kae just uncovering her face, they made it to the final room without trouble. Cub however was in a panic as he continued to yell asking her if she was all right.

    Kae planned upon removing it anyway, though she had hoped to spare Cub the experience. Now too late, once by the fountains to wash your teeth, Kae just carefully slipped it out. Making up 2/3rds of her upper jaw, her left cheekbone, lower eye-socket and the bones of her nose, it looked like some fluid framework of titanium with teeth set in it.

    As gruesome as the implant itself was, when it was gone, her face was a horror to behold as it sagged sinking in. Her eye even drooped without the support. Cub had to look away before he vomited. It was all Kae could do to wash out the pocket and the implant in that the sicker he got, the harder she laughed, though finally she got it back in.

    "There, all fixed. Are you all right Cubby? Sorry but I had to get my face back on. All pretty again."

    Rokka-Kae knew she wasn’t, but Cub was floored by her change in just the few minutes to walk through the baths.

    Her short slicked down hair was now a wild mess on top of her head, almost blocking her eyes. Though the shape of her face had been restored, she had a deep scar that ran from between her eyes, down her nose, one leg branching off running to her ear, the other cutting through both lips to her chin. That was only the beginning of her scars. Deep purplish grooves, red welts, white lines and shadowed dimples seemed to cover her.

    Where she lacked scars, Rokka-Kae made up for them with tattoos, though not as organized as the numerous gang-members he had seen. Dark black scythes on the sides of her neck like uniform collar tabs. The large one on her belly, along with the barcode and bold numeric designation over her breast, all to mark her as a Reaper he somewhat understood.

    Added to them she had a number of Chinese characters running down behind each ear with a line through each. She sported two larger ones on her left shoulder blade, a couple of tiny ones on her wrist, also finally one on her right buttocks. On her left outer-arm, she had row after row of numerous languages written with symbols beside each. On her right forearm, she had nine bold black slashes inked in.

    Along with the others, most appearing to be organized and placed where they were for a reason, she only had one that was ornate. Covering a large portion of her upper back, was an extremely detailed and artistic white-tiger fighting a dragon. Though killing would be a better word. The tiger’s rear claws had gutted it. Its front paws pulled and twisted at the dragon’s body and neck, its fangs having ripped out its throat.

    "Wha, what happened to you, how did--" Cub stammered out regarding Kae’s dramatic change.

    Rokka-Kae just put her finger to her lips shushing him. Once he stopped, she answered him as cryptically as ever.

    "Shh… This is what life looks like out to pasture. Anyway like I said, eat, bath then sleep, and I’m guessing I’ll have to do it myself, questions tomorrow. Now let’s get dressed and we’ll try to find a safe place to bed-down."

    To Sleep, Perchance to Dream:
    Any other day, Rokka-Kae would have preferred to sleep outdoors. Besides the fact that it helped ease the heat and meant fresher air, it was safer. It was bad enough waking up to some booby-trap for an alarm sounding; to have it happen indoors where you were essentially cornered was a recipe for disaster.

    This moment however, Rokka-Kae knew that she needed sleep, not being awakened every two minutes due to Cub jumping at every sound.

    Kae could tell that he was just as scared and confused as she would be if she suddenly found herself on another world. Perhaps worse than that, his supposed guide and protector in this strange new land likely seemed to him like the most terrible person in it.

    Realizing all of that, Kae decided to splurge and stay in one of those fancy hotels. Heck, since she had unlimited funds, why not stay in a nice one and get their best room so he could relax and she could finally get some sleep.

    Kae knew of such a place nearby. In just a few minutes, confirming that they had just bathed when she insisted upon a clean room, after transferring a whopping forty credits they walked up to the door.

    "What’s this?" Cub asked, glaring in concern at the door to the room.

    "What do you mean ‘what’s this?’ It’s our room." Kae answered, punching in the key-code opening the four-foot diameter door after peeking through the one-foot diameter, one-inch thick plexiglass window.

    "It’s huge!" Kae excitedly exclaimed. "I’ve never seen a bed this big here. Oh wow, its clean, and it even smells nice and-- oh my gawd! The air coming in through the vent is cool and filtered, and he said it’s sound proof!"

    While Kae raved on about the magnificent room, Cub looked on in stunned amazement once again. The door looked like the end of some deep-sea submarine’s decompression chamber. The mattress which just had a single fitted sheet covering it, was at best four-feet wide by seven-feet long. Filling the tubular coffin in both directions, the ceiling was all of four-feet above it. There was nothing else in it, and that’s when he noted Kae.

    Already her weapon belt, jacket, and crotch-high boots were off. She was just peeling down her pants when he asked what she was doing.

    "Taking off these dirty clothes of course. Just walking out there gets them covered in contaminants. I’m not messing up the room just to keep them on. Besides, I want to be comfortable. Why aren’t you stripping?"

    "I’m not getting in there, especially naked, especially with you! That thing isn’t big enough for one person let alone two. Enjoy your tomb, I’m staying out here."

    Though Rokka-Kae understood, she did have her own pride as well. She knew how she looked and how she must seem to him. Kae could even appreciate the vast culture shock he was experiencing, yet she had her limits.

    "Fine Cub. Enjoy the machotes then that hunt every hallway they can find. Just put your gun in the locker or else they’ll use it on you. Don’t go anywhere else and don’t bother me till morning."

    Tossing one of her pistols on the bed, Kae waited patiently until Cub had dropped his into the large drawer at the foot of the door, closing it, sealing herself in. She had been right about Cub unfortunately.

    As she tried to relax inside, clearing her mind of the past few days, Cub jumped, lurched and about broke his neck jerking it about from the many sounds of a violent land that never slept. On top of it all, it was hot in the hall, the air stagnant, putrid beyond imagination.

    It also took no longer than five-minutes for the first of what would be many packs of people to cruise through looking for victims out in the hall. Kae could hear the muffled shouts, though the room did indeed block out most of the city noise.

    In the midst of masturbating as she would when needing sleep, she peered out between her thighs to see Cub being tossed around just when she was getting ready to cum. In a rage, Kae lurched up and flung open the door.

    "Yaha! Ya machote crammin slashos! Shut the fuck up! I’m trying to get some sleep!"

    The four of them already had Cub, who was much larger and healthier than any of them, pinned up against the wall and were trying to figure out how to get his armor off as one of them pried at his credit band.

    Kae was so mad that buck-naked, she burst out of the small chamber even forgetting her gun, flailing so wildly in anger that they didn’t even notice her Reaper tattoos. Two of the men instantly panicked and fled. The other two let go of Cub, wide eyed putting their hands up though they were heavily armed.

    "Soso walocha, soso. Mi is jus gamebly pes a bitty romp am all" one of the men blurted out to trying to calm her.

    "Gutya!" Kae yelled back incensed. "Ya am tryin ta gutcram da bob slashy. Ratya pes mi chop ya tookies! And you Cub, get your fucking armor off and get in the bed or I’ll help em!"

    Kae just stood there with her hands on her hips fuming, waiting for everyone to do as told. The two men backed away saying "soso" or ‘take it easy’ all of the way out. Cub looking like some scolded child pouting began pulling off his armor, putting it in the drawer. Once he was done, Kae just pointed into the chamber. Once he had crawled in, she followed.

    Feeling a little defiled, more so foolish, Cub just lay there with his back to her. Having lived here so long, impossible to ever be alone, Kae didn’t think twice about throwing a leg over him and going right back trying to finish what she had started. After a few minutes however, now frustrated her quest for sleep soured having a routine, Kae thrashed sitting up.

    "Cub, roll over" Kae growled out.

    When he complied, though she looked at his cock a moment, from what she knew of him she wasn’t even going to attempt to have sex with him, knowing it would not be worth all the effort. With that, she grabbed his hand raising it up to about a foot off the mattress, straightening out his index and middle fingers, pointing them to the foot of the bed.

    "Damn, I forget how big you well fed Americans get" surprised at the size of his hands, the length and thickness of his fingers. "Hold your hand like that and don’t move, and no talking. I’m getting some sleep tonight if I have to kill everyone."

    Cub had no idea what she was doing as she maneuvered over him in the tight confines. Eventually, she ended up on her hands and knees, backing up as she reached under herself grabbing his fingers, aiming them toward her vagina.

    "What are you doing?" Cub blurted out in revulsion.

    "Shush! I said no talking."

    Finally getting the tips of his fingers right to her entrance, with a wriggle and a grunt she pushed back. In a couple seconds, Kae had sunk his thick digits deep into her vagina. Already slick and hot from her earlier attempt, it caused Cub’s expression to turn to one of exaggerated disgust. If he had not been in such shock from the day and now this moment, he would have never let this happen.

    "Ugh, its all hot and mushy inside, it’s crushing my fingers and your goop’s getting all over my hand!"

    "Cub! Quiet, I’m not going to tell you again, now stay still" Kae growled back.

    Contrary to how most would react, Cub looked more as though at any second he would get ill. At first as Kae just slowly rubbed her clitoris, reaching back under herself as she just very slightly slipped up and down his fingers.

    In just a couple minutes as her grunts and muffled expressions of "oh yeah, like that, oh yeah" grew, Kae had begun to rock back and forth to such an extent that she would slide out to his tips, to then abruptly impale herself back upon them. Her small bottom and thighs would alternately tense then jiggle as Kae lunged back toward Cub repeatedly. Suddenly, without warning it hit her.

    Kae unexpectedly ramped up her thrusts as she would proclaim; "oh yeah" each time she harshly bottomed out against his knuckles. Out of no where, Kae slammed back hard, fervently grinding her own fingers to her clitoris.

    Her vagina began gripping and releasing his fingers wildly as her torso arched up, froze, then recoiled down to the mattress. Kae’s cunnie ground to his hand as she shuddered, emitting a low guttural groan. When done thrashing, slowly her knees slipped back, her body flattening to the pad trembling and mumbling.

    Rokka-Kae lie there like that for some time until finally Cub asked; "Are you done now?"

    Kae in response muttered something unintelligible, finally slurring out; "yeah, you can pull them out."

    Cub was horrified. This moment, he was sure of it. Rokka-Kae was the most vile and gruesome person that he had ever encountered in his life.

    Cub just lie there staring at his fingers up in the air. They were covered in a slick slime. Worst of all, from even a foot away he could tell that they smelled. Not a strong or unpleasant smell mind you, just slightly musky, perhaps softly spicy, on the other hand possibly having a slight tangy scent to them. He just kept staring until finally he began twitching around trying to find somewhere to wipe them off.

    "What’s wrong now?" Kae mumbled out half-asleep.

    "I need to wash my hands" Cub replied.

    "No…" was Kae’s languid response. "I’m not going back to the baths, just wipe them off."

    Cub kept twitching frustrated, not wanting to wipe them off on the sheet, or the wall, especially not on himself, but froze when he saw Kae glaring at him from under her arm.

    "Damn it! Just give me a second" Kae grumbled.

    Letting out a long sigh as she rose, Kae slowly maneuvered back around grasping his wrist. Looking at him like he was an idiot, without warning she stuck his fingers all the way into her mouth, slowly suckling up them. Once to the tips, she did same one finger at a time as Cub looked on in shock. Finally just to shock him, Kae licked all of the way up them, slipped them back in her mouth and sucked them dry pulling them out.

    "There, they’re clean. Now go to sleep."

    Cub tried to sleep though his ragged nerves induced by the events of the day made it impossible. Well that and Kae had not cleaned off all of his hand. He could still smell her musky scent just inches from his nose. More than that, though she would claim to the contrary the next day, Kae did not sleep softly.

    She would regularly tense up tight, whine, mutter out pleas of "no," clench or shudder like she was in tremendous pain, and then she would cry. Not a sad cry mind you, yet a deep sobbing as though she was suffering greatly; other times as though she held deep regrets. Finally, somewhere late into the night the day having exhausted him as well, Cub went off to sleep.

    Urged to awaken as he often was over the past number of years, Cub could tell that it was already morning from the light streaming through the window at the end of the hall.

    What had awakened him was a deep ache in that his cock was hard and his testicles were drawn up tight. He didn’t need to urinate so it wasn’t that. It was just a common affliction of young healthy men that rarely masturbated. However, there was a bigger problem.

    Sometime during the night, in all of her thrashing Rokka-Kae had flung her leg over his abdomen. Her cunnie was pressed to his hip, Cub’s cock pressing to the back of her thigh, right at the crease of her bottom.

    Even worse as it often did, his cock had ebbed, seeping pre-cum in its aroused state; Kae’s thigh and bottom’s cheek were covered with it. As gently as he could, he wiped it off her thigh onto his belly. Just as he reached over her rump to gather that up, he noticed that she was staring at him.

    "Problem?" Kae asked.

    "Uh sorry" Cub uttered in concern. "I, I don’t know why it does that. I didn’t mean to--"

    "So, do something about it then" Kae cut him off answering back.

    "It will go away in a while" his response. Kae just looked at him as though he was stupid.

    "It’s okay. Do you want me on my back or on my belly?" Kae asked.

    "What? For what, why?" Cub’s confused response, causing Kae to just sigh.

    Rokka-Kae did not say a word, just glaring with a look implying ‘fine, she’d do it.’

    Sliding over Cub raising up slightly, she reached between her legs grasping his cock. Before he could say anything, she had slipped it into her cunnie, sitting back down on it to the hilt. It didn’t hurt, but the sensation made him shiver feeling like nothing he had ever experienced. Although instantly he became scared.

    "I don’t want to have a child with you. Get off me right now!" Cub all but screamed out in his panic.

    "Child? Who said anything about me getting pregnant? Wait a second, do you prefer men?" Kae asked, realizing the crux of all of his seemingly sexually immature issues might be that.

    "No!" Cub squeeled. "But this isn’t right, we’re not married and I definitely don’t want to have children with you, so get off me!"

    "Well okay then" Kae stated flatly as she squeezed with her cunnie gripping his cock, and slowly began to rise up squirming as she did, causing Cub with a horrified expression to shudder.

    Just as Kae neared the tip of his cock however, a mischievous smirk formed on her lips as she slid right back down to the base asking; "are you sure, or do you want me to keep going?"

    "Yes I’m sure!" Cub blurted out jumping like he had been hit with a jolt of electricity.

    Kae once more gripped his cock raising up again. At the last, she sank right back down to slowly grind asking; "you’re positive?"

    Cub’s entire body lurched causing his hands to shoot to her waist to try to yank her off of him. His expression was one of panic, more so repulsion as he once more barked out his demand.

    "Yes I’m sure, stop!"

    With a shrug, relaxing her cunnie as much as possible, Kae simply rose off him leaving his cock hard and twitching, right on the verge of ejaculating. What she mentioned however dealt with his problem reminiscent of the night before.

    "Wow, guess I was really wet, sorry. You better wipe that off."

    Cub looked as though he was now trapped. His hands would reach for his cock, stop then pull back away spastically in tiny jerks. His frustration was evident, and if he looked panicked and horrified a moment ago, now it was tenfold worse.

    "Okay fine" Kae stated sounding irritated. "But this is the last time, next time bring a towel."

    With that, Kae spun around without warning and just as deftly as the night before with his fingers, gripped his cock burying it deep into her mouth. Cub started to blurt out ‘what are you doing,’ but before he had a chance her hand wrung his shaft one way, her mouth twisting, suckling up the other to just as quickly do it all again.

    All it took was three solid strokes and Cub felt the unstoppable. Reaching for her hair to yank Kae off him, it happened. Feeling like nothing that he had experienced before, his entire body convulsed uncontrollably as his cock lurched. It felt like it was exploding as his first rush of spunk raced up and out of it.

    Worse still, his mind was in chaos unable to control his mouth, thought or body. With each throb and jet of cum he felt his control vanish, reflexively roaring with his ejaculatory release. Kae just continued milking his cock with her mouth and hand at the tempo his pulses set. When he would yield up no more, she drew her mouth and her hand up and off it.

    "There, all clean. We better get up and get moving. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day."

    Rokka-Kae opened the hatch sliding out. Cub knew that he wanted to tear into her for what she had just done, but somehow he could not find the words, let alone make his body work the way he intended. Cub had reasons for not having sex, though all of them seemed to have vanished this moment. He also felt violated and taken advantage of. So as he fixated on that point to focus his upset upon, he glared at Rokka-Kae’s back as she prepared to get moving.

    Sitting on the end of the mattress, her legs outside of the hatch, Rokka-Kae slowly twisted working each joint as she would wince, grunt and groan. Her head then lowered as she slumped. From her posture alone, Cub could tell that her expression was one of sadness and exhaustion, whispering out a complaint to herself.

    "Gawd I’m so tired…" With that, she drew in a deep breath. Letting it out with a sigh, softly whispering once again; "it’s just another day, just breathe" as she stepped out turning to squat down, pulling out the drawer slipping in her earpiece.

    "Cub, Cub! Snap out of it now. Get dressed, we have to go!"

    Training Day:

    "Central Dispatch… Note my location relative to the fertilizer convoy riot in progress. I’ll be there in three to four minutes."

    ‘Copy Reaper-379… Three to four minutes, will advise the convoy.’

    Rokka-Kae dressed in just under a minute, even loading up her belt adding two fresh magazines, a mine and another visual-alert. Cub’s unfamiliarity with his gear took a bit longer so she had him dress on the run. Slipping her bag back into the drawer, on her way down the steps she told her credit band to; "pay forty credits." On the way out, in mere seconds she paid for the room another night, telling the innkeeper to hold it.

    It was early so the streets were not as crowded as they would be come mid-morning. Rokka-Kae made better time than she expected, cutting through to her destination to get her closest to the targets considering the crowds there.

    A sizable crowd of three to four thousand people blocked four "Fertilizer" or food trucks, though the lions share of them surrounded the lead truck. Unfortunately because they had stopped, the crowd now filled the gaps between them. Before Kae could get the lead truck moving, she would have to deal with the three behind.

    Opening her jacket so her Reaper tattoos would be obvious, Rokka-Kae fought through the crowd banging on the second truck’s window, ordering it to move up even adding, "run them down!"

    Shoving her way to its front bumper, Rokka-Kae let out a short burst from her pistol then aimed it at the crowd roaring for them to move. As the truck began to roll, she kept it moving until it tapped the lead truck’s bumper filling the gap. The second and third trucks were even easier to get to do the same. All three being closed cargo vehicles to deliver the shipments, they offered the crowd nothing. The first truck was the problem being a "Spreader."

    The real source of the riot had little to do with the people crowding Spreader truck, or even the failure of the lead driver himself, but something else. Rokka-Kae however had to deal with the immediate problem.

    Fighting through the crowd who had surrounded the spreader chutes, fighting and clawing for the protein blocks and samples of meat that were just falling out on the ground, Kae finally made it up to the cab banging on the window.

    Looking inside she could see the problem in that they had given the job this day of driving the most important truck to a man so young he looked like a kid. His eyes were wide as he sat motionless not knowing what to do, panicked and locked up.

    "Turn on your audible!" Rokka-Kae shouted, yet she couldn’t even get the driver to look at her let alone answer, so she had Central patch her into comms’.

    "Central Dispatch… Patch me through to this convoy’s comms’."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… You’re patched through, go ahead.’

    "Lead spreader truck, this is Reaper-379… Look out your right window! Do it now!"

    Slowly the young man’s head turned. His eyes wide and mouth gaping in confusion.

    "Lead spreader truck… Turn on your audible, do it now!"

    Once the young man complied, instantly the loud audible warning began repeating over the loudspeakers. ‘Clear a path! Obstruction of an enforcement vehicle is subject to five-years gleaned! Clear a path! Obstruction of…’

    "Central Dispatch… Sound the siren this sub-sector for four cycles."
    >>Food Riot Siren<<

    Without delay, the wailing rise and fall of the air-raid like sirens began; warning all there that a Reaper was near and was about to harvest. A few grabbed what they could and fled, yet a number of people remained in front of the truck, as did a number of others far back near the buildings just watching.

    Rokka-Kae unexpectedly did something that shocked Cub standing far off to the side. Moving out onto the truck’s front bumper, she threw a visible-alert over the crowd at the front of the truck. Once it had exploded emitting its ball of black smoke, she saw exactly what she was looking for. Six of the men flanking the group in front ordered them to stay put. Those just watching from the sides pressured those six to keep at them.

    Still the large crowd fought over the small pile of food slowly dropping from the spreaders, so Kae acted. Drawing her pistols, she first let off a burst dropping four men far off to one side of the road, then turned doing the same on the other side.

    Instantly three of those flanking the lead crowd broke and ran. The other three however began to raise their weapons, and Rokka-Kae flatly shot them. Without hesitation the others in the front crowd bolted. With that Rokka-Kae jumped down to the street turning back to the lead driver.

    "Lead truck… Turn on your spreaders and leave them on! Convoy, all trucks roll on my mark and do not stop until you’ve reached your destinations! Mark, lead truck move now!"

    Like magic, the second the lead truck turned on its spreaders, food started flying off to the sides causing the crowd to disperse. As Kae backed away just as it passed, she caught something. Once the convoy had rolled far enough ahead, she walked over to Cub, the crowd following the trucks off to their sides.

    "What did you just do! You killed those men that had nothing to do with this! They weren’t the ones stealing food, and it was just food!" Cub yelled out, enraged at this monster Rokka-Kae.

    "Did I? Who should I have killed then?"

    "Well not them!" Cub barked. "They were just innocent bystanders. You just shot them down to make an example of them. Since you seem to have to just kill people, why not kill those stealing the food?"

    "Why, because the people taking the food are just starving. Those men I shot were directing the six in the middle to hold the gang together there to block the truck. In a few more minutes those starving people would have tore it open to get at the feeder bins, and then many of those people, only wanting a little food would have been killed by the gang."

    Cub looked confused starting to say something to argue, but Kae just stopped him.

    "Look Cub, there are only two types of people here, those trying to survive, and those looking to take advantage of the others. The gang would have waited till the innocent starving people stripped the truck bare. Then they take all of the food from those people, just so they can sell it back to them. Anyone who resists, they kill to make an example of.

    "How much will a starving man resist giving up the first food he has seen in a week? I saved all of those starving people that ‘you’ would have shot. I did that by killing ‘just a few’ of the killers. This whole riot was caused just so a few people could make money and buy their dope."

    "You can’t know that" Cub responded.

    "Ah, but I do. You seem to want to judge all these people and me, yet you have no idea about any of us, or what is going on here, or the world in general. So let’s find out how much you know. Strike one, oh, and here. Your meal for the day."

    Rokka-Kae stuck her gloved hand out toward Cub offering him the tiny morsel. A simple thing really, just a four-inch piece of freshly grilled rib. Hesitantly Cub picked it up reminding him of food he had seen in his youth.

    Lifting it to his nose his brow rose in surprise. The first cautious nibble had his eyes rolling as his mind reeled at the savory taste and the sensations it inspired. It was odd how such a tiny thing instantly shifted his mood; making all of the bad he had experienced in the past day, all but vanish. More so, replacing it with a joy and giddiness he could not remember ever feeling.

    "Oh wow, what is this?" Cub exclaimed as he began ravenously stripping the short piece of bone.

    "Well, that’s fresh meat. That’s how it is before it’s processed just simply cooked. Good huh?"

    Kae herself had only taken a pinch off her piece. That’s all she ever did, just one tiny bit only wanting the reminder of a time past, knowing the danger of enjoying this luxury on many levels.

    "So tell me something Cub, why don’t you give the rest of that to one of these people, I’ll give them mine too?"

    "What? No! I’m starving this is incredible!"

    "Well, what if someone stole it from you?" Kae asked.

    "They better be prepared to fight me for it" Cub stated feeling actually high. Though half joking, he half wasn’t.

    "You’re starving? Fight you for it? You haven’t eaten in just a day. These people haven’t eaten in a week, every week, for years. I thought just a moment ago I couldn’t know that, but that’s okay Cub. Here, have mine too. It’s too rich for me anyway."

    Though it knocked some of the joy out of his meal, Cub realized that she was right. Never the less he could not help himself from meekly taking her offered rib, quickly stripping it.

    "Stop. Look at that guy" Kae urging Cub to focus on a small man leaning against the wall.

    Dressed in a dirty paper jumpsuit, he seemed like a wisp of a man, short and lean. His cheeks and eyes were hollowed, skin devoid of tattoos though grimy. Most of all, he seemed to be nervous and twitchy.

    "What about him?" Cub asked finishing his second rib.

    "Should I harvest him or let him go, you be the judge" Rokka-Kae flatly responded.

    "Wha-- Why would you kill him, he hasn’t done anything wrong, leave him alone, what’s wrong with you?"

    Rokka-Kae had barely let Cub finish before she had drawn her gun, quickly advancing on the innocent citizen just minding his own business.

    "You! Weed, don’t move or you will be harvested!" Kae shouted out as she grabbed him by his collar pinning him against the wall as Cub yelled at her to leave him alone.

    "I’ve already made my decision about you Weed. Nothing you say is going to save you. Do you hear me? Nothing! I know what you did, I saw you. Go ahead, tell the dimmy here about your morning, you’re dead anyway!"

    As Rokka-Kae shoved the barrel of her gun to his temple, the man just sneered spitting while Cub yelled at Kae to release him.

    "Cramya Reaper. Cramya ya crammin slashote!" The man barked, wincing as he prepared for the bullet.

    "None of your P-say nonsense rot-macha, use the old words!" Kae snapped. "Tell him! Go to hell a man, not a cowardly liar!"

    "Fuck ya then Reaper cunt! I’ll tell the slashy just to watch im squirm. Mi had a good day! Found me a nice pair a oldies last night an tooked im credits den killed da old bastard an I cram her good!"

    "In the old words or I’ll have you gleaned after I use an Agonizer on you for a day!" Kae ramped up her threat.

    "I killed the old man an fuck his bitch, fuck her lots and broke her legs so she no run! Gutcrammed her all night, in da ass boy! Den I cut da cunt’s throat when I find mi a whore wid a Mic. Cut that slut throat and got me big credits then and been ‘hiiiigh’ on slouch all mornin after sellin the brat.

    "Thems was bad-uns, they pay big! Lookin for another now, gonna cut its tits off when I fuck it… Ya too late Reaper, everyday, years now, high and fuck, high and fuck I kill more than ya e’va did! Mi win!"

    Cub was pale, his exquisite meal ruined by this monster Rokka-Kae. She made everything bad. Worse still, each second she made him feel naïve and the fool. All while only showing him horror and the worst of mankind, the parts he never wanted to know about. Kae stepped back holstering her pistol, turning her back on the man as she spoke.

    "Run machote, charot ya da morrow. Da dimmy slashy say ya is free. Run!"

    Looking to Cub as the man ran off laughing, Rokka-Kae just shook her head. Cub was stunned that after his confession she just let him go. Kae however made it clear who had made the call.

    "Nice work Cub, you chose to let a murdering, raping, child slaving, thieving, torturing psychopath junkie go free. Well done, strike two. One more chance, just one, pick one. Pick me out a killer who deserves to be harvested before he does more harm."

    Rokka-Kae pointed out into the street that had already filled. Instantly she knew exactly whom he would pick as she bit her cheek to not grin.

    "That one! He’s a killer, but you can’t--" Cub pointing to exactly who she knew he would.

    The man stood a good foot above everyone else. His hair was cut in a mohawk and he was tattooed from the top of it to his waist. Angry looking, yelling in his booming voice for people to clear his path. Besides carrying an assault rifle, he also had a machete on his back, a large knife at his waist, wearing a nail-spiked collar and wristbands.

    "You, stop! Don’t move or you’ll be harvested!" Kae yelled as she rushed him, shoving her way through the mass of people, though she had not even drawn her pistol.

    The man’s eyes went wide as he dropped his rifle, abruptly backing to the wall looking terrified. Kae picked up his gun checking it, finding that it was empty of bullets, also seized and unusable. Handing him back his gun, Kae didn’t yell or threaten, Cub finally making it to them. The terror in the man’s eyes spoke volumes and Kae had seen it long before Cub had picked him out.

    "Cub here says you’re ripe for harvest Weed. He says you’re guilty, a killer and deserve to die!"

    "What? No, no I never killed anyone! Please, I just want to get to my spot, where I stay until the next morning. I didn’t hurt anyone, please! Let me go now, if they find me out they’ll hurt me!"

    "Who will hurt you big fella?" Kae asked.

    "The gangs, the, the everyone, I just want to be left alone, I never hurt anyone I swear, please, please I’ve got to go now or people will know where I hide."

    "Well? Go ahead Cub, shoot him…"

    The large terrifying looking man almost made Cub feel sick from all of his pleading. His tears, let alone the sheer terror in his tone and expression making it obvious that he fashioned himself to look this way, acting as he did, simply to ward off threats just long enough that he could go hide.

    He was a coward of the highest order for good reason in this land of maniacs. His life nothing more than doing everything he could think of to bluff his way through from one morning till the next. All just so he could slip out then back while most overslept from their crimes the night before. Too afraid to live because he was too afraid to die.

    "You made your point" Cub said softly.

    "You, run now… Push me and point your gun at me threatening to kill me then run. We won’t hurt you. Now go!" Kae tried to help the man, though his performance was less than convincing, too worried about running.

    Cub looked at Kae as though her only goal in this world was to humiliate him. Her ‘I told you so’ smirk seemed to confirm it. Clearly, she wanted to destroy everything that had kept him secure in his ignorance, insuring it was shattered. Though she had intended on working him gradually to a point of breaking, life here in this terrible place would force her hand.

    "Listen Cub. You want to judge all of these people and even me without understanding why things are how they are, and worse still don’t recognize… that… uh… Cub, stay close to me, we have to move!"

    Rokka-Kae for some reason slowly ceased her immanent lecture, having seen something far ahead that caught her eye. Cub looked seeing nothing of interest in the distance besides the swarm of humanity that filled the streets. His nerves were already on edge as all around them fights, robberies, rapes and even murders had occurred in plain view. All in just the hour they had been out of their room. Those however Rokka-Kae didn’t seem to care about.

    Her only interest seemed to be how much death she could inflict upon the seemingly innocent. More importantly to Cub, Kae was clearly hell-bent on destroying his innocence as well.

    With Furious Wrath:

    "Cub move! Quick we’ll lose them!" Rokka-Kae shouted as she shoved and pushed her way to whatever new abomination she had decided to inflict upon the masses of innocent citizens here. No doubt intent on humiliating Cub in the process.

    Rokka-Kae had already drawn each gun one after the other, carefully checking their ammunition counters. Keeping them in hand, she would point them at people shouting "move" just to get to where she was going. Suddenly she stopped looking at an open doorway. Sniffing at the air like some dog tracking by scent, she abruptly bolted into a four-story building, knocking three people over in her path.

    Once to the entrance, Kae lowered, clearly already prepared to start her senseless slaughter. Harshly hissing at Cub to stay close and low, Rokka-Kae began cautiously creeping up a hall filled with garbage.

    It was only once they were inside the building, turning down another hall, that Cub could hear it over the din from outside. A woman sobbing in anguish. A man screaming in agony to abruptly silence with a drowning gurgle. Worst of all, children were crying and screaming in pain and terror.

    "Stay low Cub…" Kae whispered as they crept along.

    Finally nearing an open doorway along the wall, Rokka-Kae dropped so low that her face almost pressed to the floor as she peered into it. He could see it in her posture as she stiffened then shivered in rage. Pulling back, she moved behind him pushing him down like she had been, urging him to peer inside like she had done.

    The second what was in that room came into view, Cub froze in horror beyond all imagination. In that one little room, countless abominations were in progress. The scene so savage that Satan himself could not have envisioned such atrocities. It was all he could do not to shriek, vomit or soil himself as he began shaking in terror and unfathomable revulsion.

    He screamed in his mind for his eyes to shut and his legs to run; yet, nothing worked. That’s when he felt Kae grab him by his belt. Yanking him back past the edge of the wall; it felt as though she had pulled him back from staring over the cliff into Hell. Like a demon herself, intent on corrupting his innocent ignorance into something as evil as she, Rokka-Kae began to whisper.

    "Kill em Cub, kill them all! Do it, you have to do it. Save them, kill them all and save them. Do it, kill em Cub, kill them now, do it now!"

    The image of the numerous inhuman obscene brutalities within that room burned itself into his mind. When he looked up on the verge of insanity to Rokka-Kae, he found himself perhaps even more stunned.

    He had expected that this barbaric monster, Rokka-Kae, would be would be glaring at him with an excited expression of unrestrained bloodlust. Instead, he found her on the verge of bawling. Her mouth contorted and brow raised in terror just as horrified as he. The tone of her words suddenly became just as obvious as her eyes, pleading with him to save her.

    "Cub, Cub, save them, save them now, kill them all, do it, kill them now!" Kae continued to plead.

    "I-- I just-- I just can’t I-- what? I can’t, I don’t…" Cub’s fractured and helpless response.

    Rokka-Kae stared at him but a second having pled for help, realizing that it wouldn’t come. Looking down in frustration, her jacket creaked as muscles strained, clenching her teeth to drive out her own anguish; then looked up in rage, her whisper growled out in fury.

    "If anyone comes down the hall either way, kill them or we both die. Stay down till I’m in and stay here!"

    Grabbing Cubs shoulder driving him to the floor at the edge of the wall, Rokka-Kae turned round on her hands and knees, hooking her foot over his shoulder to keep him there. From that second on, Rokka-Kae moved with purpose and wrath.

    Stigmata by Ministry ~ The Wrath of Rokka-Kae

    Heaving a visual-alert inside, forthwith there was an explosion. A black cloud of smoke filled the room, jetting out into the hall. Rokka-Kae instantly after cast in a gyroscopic mine and pulled tight to the floor. A moment later came the explosion that sent projectiles screaming through the wall just above them, almost cutting it in two.

    Without hesitation, Rokka-Kae raised up charging in. The deep hum of her gun’s magnets energizing foreboding, screeching like a banshee firing on full auto. After the first couple of bursts, the room oddly fell silent for just a moment, then just as abruptly, the carnage resumed.

    Along with the threatening hum and bark of Rokka-Kae’s Lukdai Enforcers, there also came a response. The sound of shotguns, pistols and automatic weapons firing as she moved from room to room. Screams and moaning, shouts and groans gurgled out in pleading or hateful final retort.

    Cub could not get the image of that room, or Rokka-Kae’s pained expression out of his mind. Slowly sitting up, he was unable to watch the hall, shaking uncontrollably just staring at the far wall.

    Suddenly, just down the hall from Cub, a man crashed through a door as vapor trails raced out following him. Quickly a second man joined him having been kicked, slamming into the wall crumpling on top of the other. In a furor, Rokka-Kae emerged.

    Stepping out into the hall, she no longer wore her jacket. The muscles of her back flexed jamming her pistols into their holsters. Kae deftly grasping the odd black curved pipes that had always hung from her belt.

    With a violent snap of her arms, curved blades telescoped out in three sections. Each slipping out from inside the one previous and she instantly went to work. As violent and slashing as the tattooed tiger upon her back, Rokka-Kae began wildly chopping away at the man laying over the other, then vanished up a stairwell.

    For another ten minutes the massacre continued with gun and blade as Rokka-Kae swept every room on every floor. No one was spared. There were no questions to be asked, or compromises to be made. There was only one possible outcome as Reaper-379 brought in her harvest. The black void of oblivion called death.

    Eventually it became silent. Not even the last shuddering gasps of those passing could be heard. The distant sounds from the street once more began to fill the hall. That is when Cub noticed Rokka-Kae’s feet near him as he slowly panned up to her eyes.

    The muscles in her stomach and arms were still flexed gripping her swords. Her breasts rising and falling from deep rapid breaths. Blood streaked her like the stripes of the tiger she wore, and her eyes glared at Cub with the intensity of a fury sated.

    Kae stood like that for the longest time. Without a word, unexpectedly dropping her swords, Rokka-Kae grasped Cub’s collar, pulling him into the next room. When he looked at the bodies that filled it, the blood and the destruction, how insignificant they seemed compared to these monsters in the act of living. Along with the eight men and three women deserving of her wrath were the others there.

    The rotten torso of a man stripped of all but his ribs and back. The remnants of a woman hanging by a single wrist, her head and a leg missing. Over the table lay the man who was being butchered alive and the other woman who was being mauled right next to him.

    They all seemed to matter little now. The fact that pieces of them were being grilled right there also now had little impact. As horrific as it was when it was happening, it was all so inconsequential compared to what he saw regarding the six children.

    Even now with them quiet and unmoving, Rokka-Kae having granted them "mercy," Cub still saw them as he had alive and suffering. That image ripped at his mind, shredded and hardened his heart.

    That moment, Rokka-Kae violently grabbed his hair turning his head to look just a couple feet before him. There lay her jacket and he could see in his mind what had happened in that spot just minutes’ before. With that, Rokka-Kae yanked away her armored leather shroud and barked at him not in rage, yet in pain.

    "Look at him… look! Do you see him? Do you see him clearly? Keep looking! Don’t you dare look away and burn his face into you mind. He’s your first. Your first, remember him… keep looking!

    "Long before I was sold to your people I had killed hundreds. I bore those faces for so many years, and then they all seemed to vanish once I was forced to serve your government. Since then I’ve killed thousands for you people, and not one face can I remember."

    Rokka-Kae that moment choked up stumbling over her words, yet with a growl she forced herself to continue.

    "You-- oh God… You asked; ‘how can I know that they can’t be saved?’ Because I know… I know! I was saved, saved by a Triad who couldn’t fix what had been broken. So I was cast right back into it when they realized I was ruined, a lost cause, spoilt goods. You can’t save them once it’s too late, never after only before… Look at him! He’s yours!

    "Over nine long years here I’ve saved thousands, ‘thousands’ of children before they suffered. Brought here by those that should protect them the most, all for credits or dope, or whatever other worthless thing they desire, and not one of their faces can I remember! Not one!"

    Rokka-Kae began openly sobbing as she spoke. Her pain obviously not due to her life, the situation or even what she herself had endured, yet something deeper that she carried with her.

    "Look at him, he’s your first face. I carry thousands with me, yet not one of them did I save… only every single one that I lost.

    "This one we share Cub, your first. Remember him? Do you remember him! I said to you, I begged you, oh God I begged you… ‘Cub, grab him and hold him.’ Do you remember, at the gate, and you-- you lost him… oh God I lost him, oh God… God! Okay, okay… it doesn’t matter now. Anyway… anyway, you remember him, he’s your face too."

    Cub stared at the small face consciously realizing that he would remember it for the rest of his life, and now on top of all else, he hated Rokka-Kae for that most of all.

    Rokka-Kae did not even speak as she pressed her jacket to Cub’s chest for him to take, grabbed his upper arm and pulled to help him up and out. Once to the hall, Kae spoke softly still whimpering.

    "It’s okay, really, it’s over. Go ahead and wait out front. Really, it’s okay."

    "Central Dispatch…"

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Clear copy, go ahead.’

    "Central I… Central, mark my location. I… Central, Reaper-379 is calling for a defoliant mission for this block. Send Gleaners for an estimated five-hundred to one-thousand, over."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You have called for a five to ten defoliant mission, confirm and wait for approval, over.’

    "Central, confirmed. Five to ten defoliant my location."

    ‘Reaper-379, Ten-C Command…’ a different voice began. ‘State your harvest and reason for defoliant request, over.’

    "Ten-C Command… An estimated eighty to one hundred for composting, sixty plus Weeds harvested, eight collateral, four--" Kae suddenly choked up, openly weeping on comm’s. "Fourteen Mi-- fourteen Mics mercy. Unconcealed unauthorized consumption of harvest, I suspect the directly surrounding Weeds are supportive or Crows as well, over."

    Rokka-Kae at that point forgot to release her ‘push to talk.’ As she waited for a response, she began sobbing and whimpering regarding not having saved the children. Simply to wipe her nose she finally released the button. Though they had not tried to respond during giving her time, Kae called them once more thinking they had not heard her response.

    "Ten-C Command… Did you need to have me repeat response?"

    ‘Reaper-379… Rokka-Kae, Central Dispatch… Report received and request granted. Salvage, twenty-Gleaners and stock trucks en route to your location, command has requested that you stay on station until their arrival, confirm, over.’

    "Central… Affirmative, on station until relieved. Sound the siren this location for sixty-seconds. I want everyone to hunker down and hold tight.
    >>Crows Siren<<

    Naturally, it was a lie. Rokka-Kae needed a moment as she felt the crash hit her after the rage. Everyday it was like this. Whereas someone knowledgeable might apply a psychological diagnosis to it, or another some lofty philosophical wisdom, to Kae it all boiled down to the result.

    She was just tired. So very tired of everything and perhaps even, life itself.

    Everyday she felt the weight of the world upon her shoulders, the crushing burden to sort through the good and the bad while wallowing amongst the discards. All Kae knew was that this world had to change, all of it. For whatever the reason, perhaps even her own sense of helplessness, she felt as though she was solely responsible to change it.

    Walking outside after picking up her swords, Rokka-Kae listlessly took her jacket from Cub as she passed, just as the siren sounded. Fortunately, one of the three water stations for the entire Thirteen-R Ward was just sixty-feet away. Once to it, Rokka-Kae sat on the concrete base to rest containers upon, wearily removing her belt boots and pants.

    ‘Just another thing to shock him’ Cub mused, as he stood watching her just a short distance away, then again, perhaps not. Although many people had cleared the street, as he panned around the area he saw no less than three people being attacked or killed, two being raped by individuals, another by a group. There were at least fifteen men and women openly prostituting themselves, plus easily thirty women and men so exposed or naked that Kae made no difference.

    Rokka-Kae began lethargically washing off her equipment and bathing in little fifteen-second spurts being all that the spigot would yield up. Cub noted the large force of Gleaners and Salvage personnel as they marched in, followed by five large tractor trailers and one garbage truck or "Harvester" as they liked to call them.

    ‘Clear a path! Obstruction of an enforcement vehicle is subject to five-years gleaned! Clear a path! Obstruction of…’

    Once they had stopped and the Gleaners had taken up stations, the public address system began playing an odd almost tranquil pastoral melody, as a happy and content sounding woman’s voice played over it in a repeating message.

    ‘Congratulations citizens of this block. Remain in your dwellings and await assistance. You have been randomly selected to occupy our newest rehabilitated housing. More and better food, water, clothing and luxuries await you in your new homes. Relocation workers are here to insure you receive your due reward. Your better life awaits you and is just moments away.

    ‘Congratulations citizens of this block…’

    As the Gleaners began escorting, though in most cases forcing people into the trucks, often at gunpoint, four fully armored officers came on the scene posting around Rokka-Kae. One of them approached her as she was bent forward just hanging onto the spigot thinking. In the deep distorted and threatening voice emitted through his speaker, he addressed her.

    "Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae… Stand still and do not move! Prepare to be cavity searched!"

    Kae’s back began rising and falling as she chuckled turning around, her response as she sat down just as direct.

    "Chuck, you asshole. I want a reach-around too."

    Stepping over next to her, the officer turned sitting down. Scooting close so that his armored shoulder pressed to hers, Kae’s head tipped slightly toward him, though neither said anything. Cub instantly saw this as his opportunity. He had been in this nightmare for almost twenty-four hours and he wanted out, so he approached them.

    "Officer! I’m Special Prosecu--"

    "Citizen! Halt or you will be harvested!" one of the guards commanded though his speaker as all three trained their guns upon him. "Maintain your distance resident of Pastoral Ward Thirteen-R. Failure to comply will result in your harvesting!"

    Kae just loosed an exasperated sigh as she rose. Naked as she was, Kae walked out through the guards to Cub asking; "What do you want Cub?"

    "I want out of this insane asylum and mostly away from you! They should just wipe this ward off the map and be done with it, you along with it. Tell them to take me back to my sector, now, I order you!"

    Kae just hung her head and nodded, lethargically walking back to the wall of guards, shouting to the one who had been sitting with her.

    "He says he wants to go home!"

    Instantly the sitting guard stood up, then in a formal stride marched past the guards and stood directly in front of Cub, firmly answering his demand through his distorted speaker.


    The guard abruptly turned walking back to Kae stating; "Ben asked us to come out here and remind you to look in the bottom of your bag." Followed by a garbled whisper trying to speak softly adding; "Don’t lose hope Kae, trust yourself as we do."

    By that time, the stock trucks were already rolling out, the Gleaners and guards following behind them. One of them on the way out shouldered Cub saying, "tiger cub, move!"

    Rokka-Kae just slowly walked back to her things, re-washing her feet before slipping on her crotch-high boots carrying all the rest. People had already begun to refill the emptied buildings. Shaking her head, Kae just nudged Cub saying; "come on, let’s get a little rest."

    Grappling with a Monster:
    The idea of being forced to lie next to this devil once again, had Cub seething with anger. Rokka-Kae however as she crawled in next to him locking the hatch, simply lie back loosing a sigh of exhaustion.

    Cub could not get the images of that room out of his head. Most of all, he could not get the face of that boy to vanish. So trying to push it aside, he focussed upon the rest of the gruesome spectacle. That only made it worse.

    Lying there, at first Cub would simply jerk in rage. Soon he would thrash to move into a different position, then mutter, and finally cast out two and three word sneering quips regarding Kae, this place, his predicament and so on. Rokka-Kae actually understood, appreciating his situation. That is right up to the moment he accidentally elbowed her while intentionally shoving her further over.

    "What is it?" Kae asked in an exasperated tone. Intending it more as a rhetorical question, just wanting to get some sleep and deal with her own anguish. "Go ahead, just spit it out and get it over with."

    With his back to her, Cub began to rant first on ‘how could she bring him here,’ or ‘why show me this or that’ and other little phrases. That evolved into how ‘she was the worst thing in this place, these were the worst people in the world, she was just like them’ and so on.

    Rokka-Kae just let him rant on, never mentioning his own continuously incorrect judgements, all up until he mentioned the cannibalism in the building.

    "You’re so much like them. I’m surprised that you didn’t grab yourself a foot to chew on in that hellhole, or would you have just preferred the man’s penis. Cooked or raw no doubt of little matter." Cub referencing at the last Kae’s defilement of him earlier by sucking his cock.

    "You should know after the size of the load ‘you’ pumped down my throat this morning, and I sure noticed how your preferred cut is rib" Kae lashed back.

    "There’s a big difference between animal meat and human. Or have you forgotten that after being out here so long!" Cub blasted back as he flailed to turn over glaring at her while she glared right back at him.

    Rokka-Kae started laughing at him like he was an idiot as she posed a slightly different possibility.

    "Oh, and what animal would that be then? A pig, a cow maybe, how about an elephant? When was the last time you ever saw an animal, in person? I bet it wasn’t any more recent than eight years ago. I told you. We ‘all’ eat exactly the same thing, it’s just processed differently or a bit more. There is ‘only’ one thing to eat… So ‘you’re’ a fucking cannibal like the rest of us Cubby."

    "You’re a liar, they’d never do that! Cub roared out getting even more upset. "You just think everyone is a savage like you people!"

    "I’m tired, and I don’t have the energy to waste my time on a kid with his fingers in his ears, so here it is. There are no animals left, there are no birds, fish, bugs or even plants. Hell, by the second year we had eaten all of the rats and cockroaches. It’s people, Weeds mostly. Where else do you think they get enough food to feed four hundred million just in MR1 alone? Grow up and get over it!"

    Cub was livid. Mostly in that he had never stopped to think about it and that was just one more thing this monster destroyed about his perfect world. That second his face grew red as he shook and when he could hold it back no longer, he swung his arm back to punch her yelling out; "I hate you!" The only trouble was, in the little tube there was no room. So, he slammed his elbow into the wall.

    "Bahaha!" Kae burst out laughing at his clumsy attack provoking him more.

    With that, Cub tried to go for her throat, yet Kae just grabbed his wrist. When he tried to rise up, he banged his head making Rokka-Kae laugh even harder taunting him. Subsequently he tired to knee her, only to find her leg cocked back, her foot on his thigh stopping him.

    For the next two minutes they grappled, the size of the space working to Kae’s advantage as Cub yelled cursing and calling her names. He wanted to punch her, kick her, hurt and even kill her.

    Eventually with Kae holding tight to his wrists, tying up his forearms with her own, her feet on his hips pushing him up, he tried slamming his chest into hers, then head-butting her, yet neither would connect. Finally, he tried powering her down using his weight. Her knees bent back and out to the sides, and Cub tried slamming into her abdomen with his own.

    From so much straining and emotion, uncontrollably Cub naturally became erect. When he could do nothing else desperately wanting to hurt her, he began to pull and push till the tip of his cock began to drag down the furrow of her puffy folds, fixing at the entrance to her vagina.

    "Cub don’t! Stop it and get off me! Don’t I’m warning you!" Kae shouted. Her tone more of fear or concern than harassment.

    There it was. Just what Cub wanted, she had tipped her hand. To hurt her… and if that would hurt her, he would do it. With one final violent lunge, Cub jammed his cock deep into her resisting cunnie. Kae loosed an injured grunt like her breath had been knocked from her, shouting at him in a panic.

    "Cub stop! Don’t! Get out of me now!"

    Cub was so enraged that is just what he wanted. Kae to feel pain, fear and helplessness like he had been. He wanted to hurt both her mind and body so with that he began violently lunging into her. Intent on doing her harm, to make her feel as vulnerable and weak as he had.

    "Like that whore? What, do you prefer women? Want me to keep going? You sure you want me to stop? You positive? Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, how do you like it now? Go ahead whore, stop me, do it, do it, do it now Cub, you sure, you positive!"

    Kae struggled and fought as best she could to get out from under him. Her thighs forced wide by his hips were unable to straighten trapped in the crook of his own and abdomen. Eventually the stress, slight pain and position made her give up resisting. Her feet pointed to the ceiling violently flopping each lunge. Between grunts, Cub smashing against her belly each thrust, she pled with him to stop.

    "Cub… uh, no stop! Uh… Cub, don’t uh, stop please! Please stop… uh, don’t do it you’ll, uh, you’ll regret, uh!"

    Cub hammered away yelling at her, repeating her same taunting from the morning and last night. His rage and desire to hurt her only made him keep going. The sensation of each lunge into her however, demanded that he do it again and again, faster and harder. Unexpectedly urging him to slam into her one last time, he was suddenly overwhelmed and exploded. Cumming in her, roaring out his orgasm.

    As he began to ejaculate, his body and his mind was out of his control. When his cock twitched out its last however, exhaustion and all of those long held back post-orgasm feelings hit him, and so did the reality of it all.

    He had compromised his values. Just had sex with this person he absolutely hated. Most of all he realized, he had just raped her. Instantly he began sobbing, collapsing on top of Rokka-Kae voicing his realizations.

    "Oh my gawd what have I done? I’m so sorry! You, you people have made me just like you! Oh gawd I’m so sorry, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to! What have I done, oh gawd what have I done…"

    As she caught her own breath back, Kae’s heels slowly lowered and crossed over Cub’s bottom as her hands began stroking his back. His words had not hurt her, neither had his attempt at violence. Though for all intents and purposes he had actually raped her with all its malice, even that didn’t bother her. Even the sex as hateful as it was had little effect.

    Knowing that Cub was actually a good man, Kae knew that he would regret his actions for all of the reasons he felt, and regret was not the point of all this.

    "Shh, shh… Relax Cub, it’s okay, really it is. Shh, shh" Kae cooed trying to soothe him. "I taunted you, I meant for that to happen and I’m glad you did it with me. Really, I tried to get you to do that, it’s not your fault."

    Kae really had not intended on provoking that response, though in reality it didn’t bother her either. Such a thing at this stage in her life was almost inconsequential. What was not to her was how this might shape him. Cub was here for a reason, so Kae thought quickly on how she could turn it to what her real goals were for having him here.

    "Cub, listen… You’ve been here for one day and you can see how much it weighs on you. These people here are no different than you, they really aren’t. The only difference between you and them, is that most of your life you have had choices and options.

    "They haven’t. They have simply shaped themselves to survive and live the best they can in the only world they have. Consider how you felt tonight, frustrated, angry, cornered… That’s their everyday."

    Cub sniffled as he tried to calm himself. Torn over the anger of it, and yet at this moment with his softening cock inside of her still, the incredible pleasure he felt during and even after. Never the less, what he had done or more why, would weigh on him longer than either expected. For the moment ashamed, he would try to apologize the best he could.

    "Are you alright? I didn’t hurt you too badly did I?"

    Kae had to bite her lip to keep from laughing, so just incase, prepared for it.

    "No, I’m not hurt… Even though you just got me pregnant."

    Cub’s head lurched up looking at her wide-eyed in terror. That moment Kae burst out laughing, and finally so did he.

    "Okay enough of this. Get up off of me, let’s go up to the roof and watch the sunset and we’ll talk."

    The Mad Clown ***:
    As Rokka-Kae prepared to reveal much of how the world now was to Cub, she was again forced to consider how the world once was and what had led her to this moment.

    This one conversation she realized would eventually lead Cub to choose a path, and of the many paths that he could choose, only one would make all that she had done in her life bear fruit. Any other path would find her life’s efforts, just like millions of others, wasted.

    How the world was now actually had nothing to do with Rokka-Kae. She had made a promise however long ago and fully intended on keeping it. Her promise had been made to the man who placed the ornate tattoo of a dragon being killed by a tiger on her back. To fulfill that promise, instead of being justifiably bitter, she had done many things she believed she would suffer for in the hereafter.

    Kae realized that to affect another’s heart strong enough to feel that same obligation took sacrifice. So, she had done those regretful things only to get one other person to fulfill the same promise to her. If that promise were kept, she would have to get another to make the same promise.

    Most importantly, if that last person also kept that very same promise, Rokka-Kae would have changed the world bringing it back toward balance, justifying all she had done, becoming Baak Fu, or the White Tiger.

    In contrast, the dragon represented the emperor or "government." Rokka-Kae knew she could never change or influence it from the outside, much of Kae’s life detached from typical society due to life circumstance. So, if she wanted to change a government, Rokka-Kae would have to do something that made her retch with revulsion.

    She would have to serve that government in that everyone knew, you had to be a part of the system to change the system. And so, though she had finally earned her freedom, she arranged to be sold into slavery once again, half a world away.

    It was the "Mad Clown" and all he was doing that inspired Rokka-Kae to give up her own freedom and she suspected possibly even her soul.

    No one believed that it could ever happen yet it had. The most powerful nation on earth, that essentially ruled all others and insured balance had elected a petty, vain, self-serving, habitually lying, ignoramus as their leader.

    As he dismantled the very core of humanity and liberty throughout the world, other nations reacted. Some followed suit, others saw it as a great opportunity to finally wrest power from that nation for their own selfish ends.

    Though the Mad Clown’s reign was short and he was only a fool, he had sent the world into a spiral down toward oblivion like a cigarette butt flushed down a toilet, and it all started some twelve-years ago, it now being 2029.

    The backlash in his nation was natural. The old guard’s foundations in racial hate and bigotry, financial manipulation, environmental disregard and iron grip on information and knowledge faced a final tipping point. For eight years, they fought to tip the world’s axis back the other way to fall once more in their favor. Finally, they found their champion, or more truthfully, their stooge. The Mad Clown.

    Desperate to prove himself as one of their peers, his sole goal frankly, the Mad Clown being greedy, incapable of foreseeing consequence, or perhaps not caring, caved and served anyone’s selfish whims whom he thought would serve his own. No request was too great. The Mad Clown being the puppet he was, instantly reversed all of the progress that had been made over the last forty-three years regarding environmental concerns.

    Reading directly from the script written by his puppeteers, "if it’s good for business, then it’s good for the nation."

    Whether to justify their own refusal or failures was of no matter. When the Mad Clown’s nation no longer took the lead, every other took advantage of it forgetting what truly powerful visionaries had always known. That; "it is not today that sets the mark of your life, yet what you accomplish for tomorrow."

    So "now" was the new battle cry of the nations. Nature that was still struggling to heal decided to fight back, with unwitting help from the Mad Clown of course.

    As that slow healing was ripped away like a bandage tearing off a scab, Nature lashed out in response as though intent on killing the fungus that infected it, man. As the poles melted, salty seas rose, fresh water mingling with it tipping the delicate balance. Whether too much or too little of no matter requiring balance, the fragile seas began to die and all within it.

    The currents changed shifting weather and ultimately the climate. Tropical zones pushed out against those temperate expanding; melting permafrost released more hydrocarbons than man was ever capable of, as now the Earth itself fought back as though grappling with Nature falling for its ruse.

    It would take just a couple years for much of that to happen, yet the Mad Clown had thrown the switch, or as he was rather fond of imagining, pushed the button.

    Speaking of which… When the people of his land had finally decided to question just who was pulling his strings, the Mad Clown’s jester finally said the word that he had been hinting at all along to distract the masses. War.

    Not a big war mind you, just a little one to put everything else on hold. As hard as he tried by insulting everyone else to get something going, it turned out that no one else was actually quite as mad as he was. So, he did it himself. He could not attack anyone else, as then everyone would be on to him. So, he simply attacked his own nation, planning to lay the blame on others.

    Just a couple little nuclear kabooms was his plan, in that the way he figured it, what good are they unless you get to use them; forgetting or not caring that his nation set the standard. To that end, a few other nations made use of their own dusty stockpiles. Though in contrast, did so for massive public works or industrial projects.

    Granted, the Mad Clown realized that he could not lose too many citizens, the last election too close as it was. So he figured he could claim ‘they’ were just bad shots. Hit one remote area away from man out in nature, perhaps light up four high above major urban areas for show… and he sealed the deal on Nature’s plan, being an expert on deals naturally.

    Unfortunately, impetuous as he was regarding all matters, the Mad Clown had not really thought out what he intended on doing. To be sure, Wyoming would be missed; but then again, it and the surrounding contaminated states only contained those annoying national parks and monuments that had been holding back industry.

    To be fair, the shows over San Francisco, Lake Michigan, New York and Atlanta were spectacular, yet who could Tweet about the marvel of it, since they caused the United States to instantly go black.

    Like dominos falling, the weather changed, followed by the climate, then the seas as all within them perished. Creatures that walked, crawled or flew fell. That which grew green or bore fruit withered... all but indomitable man.

    That’s when Rokka-Kae some ten years ago in 2019, made her decision to do something. Opportunity arising when the nation she long ago had been sold to, China, had decided that they would now wear the crown of world leadership.

    And why not? She was originally from the land of the Mad Clown anyway.

    Fortunately for her, she was quick acting in that soon the Internet and individual communications would fall as news and knowledge had to be controlled. Otherwise the masses could confer and revolt, and those books just had to go. It took a full year to make that journey happen. In that time, the shape of a nation changed more dramatically than anyone could have imagined.

    In short order, 55-million became 417-million, all flooding into the Bos-Wash Megaregion. The Mad Clown however had one final legislation up his sleeve to seal his fate. Boston was simply just too far away. So, he consolidated the Northeast Megaregion, condensing it to between New York City and Washington D.C. renaming it, MR1. Northeast MR too difficult to Tweet anyway.

    Oddly, he wasn’t re-elected in 2020, and that left only one question.

    With all of the plants, animals, fowl, fish, insects and even the last Twinkie gone… What would they have for lunch?
  3. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    Lest ye be Judged
    Reaping the Harvest ~ 2029

    11. Revelations
    12. Ever Deeper
    13. The Dancing Instructor
    14. Way of the Future
    15. Altered States
    16. Columbia Stumbled ***
    17. Let it Flow
    18. Respect da Choka
    19. Eeny Meeny Miny Ho
    20. Parking Old School


    Refusing to soil her pants with Cub’s "fallout" as she called it, nudity of little consequence here anyway, Rokka-Kae slipped on just her tall boots suggesting with as hot as it was, Cub just stick to his armored pants and boots if he felt the need.

    Just as they were about to close the hatch however, Kae remembered what Chuck had said. What she withdrew from her bag wrapped in a cloth made her literally squeal in surprise.

    Inside the cloth were four items. The largest was a fine bottle of Tequila. The second item Kae was actually more excited about. An olive-drab foil, vacuum-packed, nitrogen-filled, dipped in heavy-wax pack of cigarettes packaged as such to stay fresh for many years in a bunker. When Kae ripped it open, she about jumped up into the air with joy discovering them to be menthol. Along with them, they had two boxes of stick matches equally protected.

    Finally making it to the roof on the eleventh floor, fortunately her Reaper tattoos scaring those they met away, they found it as she expected. Just like most roofs in the city, it was crowded. Kae and Cub eventually found a spot on an air conditioner settling in.

    Cub spit out the Tequila the moment it touched his tongue, wondering ‘why Kae was drinking gasoline.’ As to taking a puff off a cigarette, he would not even try. Kae herself struggled with the liquor from it having been so long. After a couple coughs however, smoking hit her like going home. With the smoke curling up around her, Kae was in heaven.

    With Kae sitting infront of him on her rump, her heels and knees placed wide, splaying her netherlips, Cub dwelled upon the fact that just a moment ago, he had been ‘in there.’ Kae on the other hand had less lacivious issues on her mind, making him an offer. That being, now was the moment he could ask questions. His first question was obvious.

    "Why was he there?" Kae’s answer though cryptic was direct.

    "You’re here because, I made someone promise me something as we talked while I sat in my cage in quarantine. That promise, I’m going to ask you to make to me now as well.

    "‘When, not if, but when you realize what you have fought for and believed in all of your life, turns out to be wrong; that you not let pride, vanity or apathy keep you from trying to change it to what is right.’ Promise me now, and never forget it."

    Cub did not hesitate promising Rokka-Kae what she had asked. She then asked him to repeat what he was promising and promise again, and just for good measure, she had him promise a third time. Cub promised though at his age he had little understanding of regret, so the promise made little sense to him. Once he had, Kae continued answering why he was there.

    "Anyway, as I said you’re here to learn about me. Not the knowledge I have, how to do what I do, or anything like that. Just simply to know me well enough that you can tell what I’m about to do, and use that to your advantage just in case."

    His next question was somewhat less important being "In case of what?"

    "In case I don’t fulfill the very same promise I just had you make, that I made to someone long ago." Kae answered with a wry smirk.

    Cub then asked about the; ‘cannibalism she spoke of, and wondered if she was just teasing him.’

    "No Cub, I’m not. Your country’s president roughly ten years ago, the one no one will say his name, ‘the Mad Clown,’ caused a chain of events that destroyed the world. The earth didn’t tip on its axis, the five nukes that hit this country were your own, the very few that struck other nations were their own. In any case, the earth or nature I suspect decided to call it quits. So, everything except man is dead. There is nothing else to eat except dirt or us.

    "All food is made from people. They say once they’re processed down to their base compounds it’s not the same, but it doesn’t matter. If they didn’t process it, everyone would eat people anyway. In the end, everyone wants to survive.

    "There are only two reasons they don’t tell everyone. One, because then people would start killing each other off at will like you saw today. We call those types ‘Crows.’ And two, because then the government and corporations would lose their control over everyone. As it stands now, if you want to eat, you do as they say.

    "That’s why MR1 is talked about like it’s a farm. Because it is, and everyone is livestock. Few know because the Mad Clown put the people who destroyed this nation in power. Not so much just the land, yet they destroyed what your nation stood for. Maybe because he was just insane, maybe because he worked for another government, who knows?

    "Anyway, the first thing they did was ‘supposedly’ destroy your constitution, kill the press, shut down the internet and all private communications, and then even destroyed every book they could find. All supposedly for ‘the people and the nation’s own good.’"

    Cub’s next question dealt with something he really did not understand. "Why do you just randomly kill, and why does no one stop you? Oh, and why don’t you ever stop the crime going on?"

    "Because Cub, your country bought me, then brought me here like others just to kill. I guess they figured that Americans killing Americans might come back to bite em. That’s why most Reapers aren’t from here. Anyway, at first they just wanted me to kill to make room when the Fertile fields grew. Then they decided to have Reapers kill even more people so they wouldn’t have to provide as much.

    "The reason they just don’t kill everyone in the Pastoral zones, is because they use them like cattle for food. Plus they know if they did, then everyone would know and the people would revolt. That revolution would spread to all the zones realizing they’d be next.

    "As to crime, here in the Pastoral zones there is no real crime anymore, at least not by the rule of law. If murder were a crime, than all of the politicians and the wealthy would be guilty. They allow drugs and even supply the raw materials to make them to keep the people distracted, same with the open sex, prostitution, rape, violence and so on.

    "You see, the more chaos there is here in the Pastoral zone, the less chance there is of someone saying; ‘stop, this is the government’s doing,’ and rally the people."

    Cub was so surprised having built his career on the law, that he was almost more horrified by that answer than what these people here did. Though Kae did not say so, that is why he was really here.

    With that Cub spoke a little about what he had been taught, what he believed in regarding the law, then asked Kae about someone or something she had mentioned a few times. "God," in that there wasn’t any religion anymore.

    "Ah, God… Well, that’s the biggest question of all isn’t it? Tell me Cub, what determines right or wrong?"

    Cub’s answer was blunt and simple. "The law."

    "Who wrote those laws?" Kae asked in response.

    His answer to that was just as simple. "People. More specifically, the people in power."

    At that point, Kae presented him with something he had never considered, though she had already told him much of it.

    "Right and wrong is not flexible or able to change on a whim. What ‘you’ view as right or wrong might, yet that’s just your opinion, usually to suit your own wants. Is it right to kill?" When Kae asked him that Cub just shook his head no.

    "So then all of those people in power, who wrote those laws, yet then brought me here to kill, are all guilty. Just as guilty as I am for pulling the trigger."

    Cub stopped her right there, realizing that the people she had been killing were bad, and she was right to kill them. That is when Kae reminded him that; ‘those in power didn’t care who she killed. In fact, good or bad they eventually wanted them all dead. However, she didn’t do that for only one reason, God.’

    "If it is wrong to kill, or order a killing, then no law of man makes it right. Think of God as that inflexible judge who does not justify right or wrong based upon his whim of the moment. This is right, that is wrong, and he sticks to that. Since we all must answer to him one day, he expects that we try our best to stick to that too.

    "One of God’s many sons and daughters told the world the law above all other laws once. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

    "That law alone determines what is right or wrong. You come from the Circus-- err Homestead zone. Have you ever seen Reapers or Gleaners there? No. Because those very people that wrote the laws, that demand that I break them, won’t live by the secret laws they have me perform.

    "Live by and follow that law alone and you’ll do more right than wrong. Live by the laws of man, and you’ll quickly find yourself filled with regret. Anyway, we’ll talk more about God over the next few days. Let’s go get some sleep."

    As Kae stood up and began to walk toward the stairs, Cub realized he had a lot to think on. This moment it seemed like everything he believed in all his short life needed to be questioned. As important as all of that was, he could not get one thought out of his head.

    The image of his own spunk forming a puddle as it ebbed out of Kae. So, the other topics would have to wait.

    That night, although having other things on his mind, Cub could tell that the day bore heavily upon Rokka-Kae, as much as she might try to act like she just got over it. She would clench, whine, shudder, plead and cry in her sleep. Then it disconcertingly changed.

    She only murmured "the children" once, wherein she began sobbing and did not stop until morning. Cub was finally able to sleep himself, that morning awakened by another familiar problem.

    Pressing to the mattress trying to hide his erection, Cub discovered the more he pressed and shifted, the worse it became. ‘Just one last look’ he thought to himself, glancing to the shape of Kae’s bottom, slowly panning up to the side of her breast. As he stared at it and pressed down, he heard Kae’s voice.

    "It’s okay Cub. Really, I don’t mind."

    Cub tried to act like he did not know what she was talking about. Nevertheless, Kae just smiled encouraging him. "Really, it’s okay. Here, lie on top of me."

    Hesitantly, Cub moved over her asking repeatedly if she was sure. Her response was blunt and unspoken. Raising her bottom up, she reached between them softly gripping his cock guiding him inside of her. He tried to be gentle and move slow, but when Kae could feel him trembling with restraint, she began to move. The rest, just suddenly came naturally.

    Once Cub had crawled off her, Kae performed what was becoming apparent as her morning ritual. She did all of her little stretches at the end of the bed, ending with her seeming sad and exhausted as she whined to herself.

    "I’m so tired…" With that she drew in a deep breath, slowly letting it out with a sigh softly whispering; "another day, just breathe."

    Like a switch had been thrown, Rokka-Kae pressed her hands to the mattress, hopping out turning to face him. Beaming like it was the greatest morning ever, she encouraged him to get moving.

    The past two days had been just a warm up. Today however Cub’s adventure would begin. And if all went well, his education.

    Ever Deeper:
    Up and out early, Cub and Rokka-Kae began moving deeper into the Thirteen-R Pastoral Ward. Stopping at the water station she had used yesterday, as she mused about "how much cum" Cub made, she washed up. Cub wasn’t quite sure if he should feel embarrassed, or perhaps a bit proud.

    Already the buildings that Kae cleared yesterday had refilled. It gave Cub a chill to think about what had gone on in there. He wondered ‘how could these people not care’ in that, it was so obvious, the remnants of yesterday’s carnage he knew would still be there.

    Once Kae had finished bathing, they continued deeper into the "R" as the streets began to fill once more. About the time they had begun to need to nudge here or shove there just to walk, they approached a barricade manned by armed gang-members. The leader of the little squad, shouted at Rokka-Kae as they approached.

    "No Reapers allowed in ‘da M.’ Ya go back pes mas charot ya!"

    Rokka-Kae did not hesitate jerking her pistols as fast as an old West gunslinger. Their eyes went wide freezing where they stood. As Rokka-Kae and Cub neared then passed through, she gave the mouthy one a bit of advice.

    "Don’t tell someone that you’re going to kill them, especially before you have them in your sights. Now get out of my way."

    Backing into the ‘M’ until the crowd had filled in between them and the gang guarding the barricade, they continued on perhaps another half-mile ever deeper. Cub’s stomach was growling all the while. Kae chuckling as he would try to soothe it through his armor. Finally, she led them up to another man with a box selling those yellow blocks.

    "How much?" Kae asked. The man just sighing handing her up a bag. "No, really, how much?" She pressed him again.

    "Two? Uh one" the man responded causing Rokka-Kae to smirk.

    "Pay four" was her response into her credit-band tapping his. Taking one block, she handed Cub the other three.

    "Why didn’t you refuse like last time?" Cub asked, though he was hesitant to take a bite knowing what it now was.

    "Well, he’s not forcing another to sell them for him. Though he’s part of a gang, and though he might have stolen them from someone else, I don’t know that. Sure, they’re free, but he’s just trying to make some credits and when they’re willing to earn it through work, I pay them."

    As Cub nibbled away at the first block, voraciously eating the second and third, Rokka-Kae shook her head mentioning to him that; "out here in the Pastoral zones, you might want to think about rationing what you have until you need it."

    Rokka-Kae began turning down alleys, hesitating at cross streets, essentially, sneaking her way through M-ward. When Cub asked why, Kae told him that; "in certain areas we’re as much of a target as anyone else, and in others they’ll go out of their way to try and kill me. So, if I don’t want to have to kill someone, I sneak through."

    It was about then that they began hearing little pops of small arm gunfire echoing off the buildings, down the streets and alleys. As it grew closer just off to the right, Kae got on her comms’.

    "Central… What’s my location? Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You are at Thirteen-M-1-West. The structure west is adjacent to Thirteen-L-4-East, over.’

    "Roger Central… out." Kae finished up, looking to Cub.

    "Let’s cut through here. Stay close and watch our backs as we pass doors or halls."

    Cautiously opening the door, Rokka-Kae peeked around before moving inside. Clearly, an old office building, the wide halls were littered with garbage and anything else in there that had been rummaged through.

    Making their way almost to the front of the building, they surprised a man looking out the other side. Wheeling around caught off guard, he fired into the wall. Oddly, Rokka-Kae just stood there a moment aiming her pistol at him, until out of no where they heard a sound.

    A simple thing really, just a child asking something and then being shushed. The man’s eyes went wide in panic, not even trying to rack another shell into his shotgun. Instead, he tried rushing Kae to club her with it. Kae dodged him easily enough, cracking him across the cheek with her pistol causing him to fall. Rokka-Kae then made her position clear aiming her gun at his head.

    "Don’t move Weed or you’ll be harvested! I’m Reaper-379, who’s in here with you?"

    The man tried lying claiming that he was alone, though Rokka-Kae would have none of it. He then tried to negotiate with her, begging her to kill him yet please just let his family live. Rokka-Kae demanded that he tell her what ward they were from.

    His response was instantaneous. "Nine-V!"

    "You’re from Nine-V?" to which he nodded. "Well you’re in Thirteen-M, what are you doing here?" Kae asked.

    "We’ve been trying for two weeks to make the Thirteen-R gate. We-- I heard we would be relocated to a better zone without all of the gangs."

    Kae’s eyes narrowed as she gestured for him to get up, ordering him to show her ‘we.’ She also added for him to tell anyone else inside to put their weapons down or they would be harvested. Weaving through the hall, they finally made it to a corner room. Telling her that he had the only gun, Kae peaked inside quickly, hollering in.

    "Someone needs to clear a window to light up the room! Do it now, or I’ll harvest everyone in it!"

    Immediately there was a flurry of activity; pale reflected sunlight spilling out into the hall. Peeking back in through the crack between the door at its hinges and the jam, Kae finally gave the man a little nudge and they walked inside.

    Huddled into a corner were five-men, seven-women and nine-children. Rokka-Kae raised her gun pointing it at them, wherein they began to scream, yet mostly, they all shielded the children. Though she warned them, in Kae’s mind they had already answered as to what type of people they were.

    "Just so you know, if any of those kids aren’t yours by blood, they’ll be taken away from you and you won’t be let through." That’s when a woman stood up and pushed the two children she hid toward the others.

    "That’s fine, I just want to get them somewhere safe."

    Instantly the children started screaming and crying "no mommy," as she pulled away weeping herself. After a quick "mommy will always love you," she was out the door and gone to ease their parting.

    Rokka-Kae had seen this many times before, though there was nothing she could do about it. Some man, woman or couple that had found a child or taken over one from another adult, for whatever the reason, had raised them as their own.

    There were thousands upon thousands of children and adoptive parents throughout every ward of the Pastoral zones. The event had left Cub stunned yet also ashamed. Up to that moment, after the little he had seen, Cub assumed that everyone in the Pastoral areas was less than savage.

    "Central Dispatch…"

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Go ahead.’

    "Central… Send Planters to my location. Twelve-adults and nine-children for planting. You better also send a couple Gleaners along heavy. Respond with e.t.a.."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Roger, sending Planters with Gleaners-- Cancel last transmission... Reaper-379, stay on comm’s for Nine-E Command.’

    Rokka-Kae looked like she was on fire. Out of the blue she looked to Cub telling him to stay with them. Storming out of the room, he could tell that she made it all of the way to the street to insure the people in there heard nothing. Cub through his earpiece though heard it all.

    ‘Reaper-379, Nine-E Command… You are ordered to--’ a woman’s voice began.

    "Fuck you Nine-E! Put that cowardly cock-sucker McGinney on right now! Do you hear me you fucking cunt, put the coward on!"

    ‘You can’t talk to me like that 379! I’ll have you--‘ a male voice began shouting back.

    "Fuck you McGinney you chote, cunt… mother-fucker! Send the fucking Planters or I’m coming for you and I’ll kill every fucking chote that gets in my way until I get you! I’ve done it before and you know it! Who’s cock is Speer’s widow sucking now? Send the fucking Planters!"

    ‘Rokka I’ll have you--’

    ‘Clear comm’s! Nine-Core Command…’ Which after a brief pause they continued. ‘Nine-E Command, switch to SC-3… Reaper-379, await instructions…’

    Rokka-Kae ranted and raved. This was a common theme among a few of the ward sub-section commanders. Their opinion being at such times, that Rokka-Kae should ‘just do her job’ harvesting everyone there, instead of wasting resources.

    It was so prevalent that Rokka-Kae had literally requested a meeting with a commander named Speer. Bound up as she was, Kae still managed to stab him seven times with his own pen.

    ‘Reaper-379, Nine-Core Command… Planters and Gleaners inbound to your location. E.t.a. two to four-hours due to Weed congestion. If you can’t stay on station, have them hold tight. Oh, and 379, check your language in future traffic. McGinney is transferring to Salvage. Out.’

    Once Kae was back inside, she instructed the small group to wait and what to listen for before emerging. Never once did she let on in the least what had transpired, seeming happy as a clam. Once out the door, Kae was silent albeit clearly fuming as they moved into 13-L-4, and almost immediately into 13-F-16 having been right at a sub-ward four-corner.

    Cub could not restrain himself from asking; "did you really kill a commander?"

    "Not that many, just three…" Kae responded. "I guess I have a little bit of a temper, you’d think they would have learned after the last."

    "Speer?" Cub asked.

    "No, Speer was the second. He was just McGinney’s best friend, well… and his brother-in-law having married McGinney’s sister. No, the last one was some French-Canadian bitch by the name of LaChambere or some crap like that. She used to think she was real tough, so she’d every now and then come into the Pastoral zone and just start shooting people for a laugh. The fucking psycho…

    "Anyway, I brought nine-families, thrity-two all told through an entire section by myself because she wouldn’t send anyone. It took me a week. Anyway, when I got them there and left them with her, she had two of her guards line em up against the wall and shot every one of them.

    "I found out a few days later. So, I told her I was coming in with more and wanted to hand them off to her. Stupid bitch… I emptied a whole 150-round mag into her, then stomped what was left into grease. For a month after folks would end comms’ with me by saying ‘oh mop-boy!’"

    "I don’t understand?" Cub asked.

    "Oh, well… I guess when I got done stomping her with a bunch of Gleaners and guards at the gate watching, I must have hit my mic’ and said ‘compost that bitches, you better bring a mop.’ Anyway… well fuck me, guess who’s going dancing? Nope, you…"

    The Dancing Instructor:

    "Dancing? What’s that, and why is it most of the time you’re either using old curse words or speaking that gibberish the people do here?" Cub queried.

    "Well I guess I swear in that I had a poor upbringing. Those are common words for us less educated types. As to the gibberish, well that’s ‘P-say or P-speak,’ though you more eloquent folks, would call it ‘Pastoral Slang.’

    "I use that so when I’m speaking with them there’s no confusion. There are a lot of cultures with different languages here. They speak that way to give themselves a common-bond and way of communicating. As to dancing, you’ll find out."

    Though that was ‘all’ gibberish to Cub, one thing he noticed as the moved deeper into 13-F-16 was that oddly, the people had begun to gradually thin out. More so, the garbage seemed to be lessened tending to be more in piles instead of everywhere. On top of it all, the large buildings more reminiscent of an inner city had begun to become smaller. Even spreading out in places, though the open lots had been filled with shanties.

    What Cub also noticed is that the average person compared to the prostitutes and gang-members were more defined. Even he had no trouble placing them in their respective groups. Everything seemed less frantic, the hookers were definitely more aggressive, although smoother in their approach.

    Trying to get Cub to pick up the pace, Rokka-Kae suddenly shouted at someone up ahead.

    "Yaha! Teddy Brown! Mi knows ya see’d mi, now quit ya slap-footin! Teddy! You fucking squirrel! Quit running now or I’ll agonize ya!"

    It was relatively easy to pick out whom Rokka-Kae was yelling at. Once she had, a bunch of people on the street cleared a path between her and him, just in case, inspiring Teddy to abruptly stop and turn. At the same time, from off to the side a small group of four gang-members began yelling at Kae, mostly about ‘"Nof-G’s" not being allowed in their territory,’ though all said in Pastoral Slang.

    "Cub, grab that guy and hold him while I run off these clowns, go!"

    Unfortunately, just as Rokka-Kae shoved Cub forward, a fifth gang-member slipped past yanking out one of her Lukdai Enforcers instantly turning it on her. Cub holding onto Teddy didn’t know what to do. Teddy however seemed to know exactly what was going to happen saying; "Wacram… call da dumpster, dem crammers am rot."

    "Charot Reaper slashote! Mi got ya banger and ya up mi squat now!"

    Rokka-Kae just slowly turned, taking careful note of what the others who had called out to her were doing. Armed as well, they however seemed to be content to simply watch the showdown, tossing out encouragement for their compatriot in little taunts.

    "Rot da wacho-beech! Mash wa bob!"

    Kae just smirked slowly squatting, setting down her bag. Upon rising, she slipped off her jacket letting it fall to the ground. At that point she moved her hand slowly to her other pistol, twisted to the right and paused as though waiting to draw, even though the guy already had her own gun trained on her. Smirking, Kae pointed with her thumb to her "R-379" tattoo.

    "Ya sure ya want ta do dis machia? 3-7-9, ya flat?"

    Sounding to Cub it seemed like Kae was talking tough, as though her reputation killer wise preceded her, she actually meant it quite differently. Reaper-379 was known as a vicious killer to be sure, typically only of those that challenged her, did great wrongs and so on. To some extent, she was respected for showing some judgement and discretion in whom she harvested, often, cleaning up an area making it safer for everyone.

    Her warning was noted by a couple of the four as they tried to get their friend to back off. It was not that uncommon to find an entire gang wiped out by other gangs after stirring up Kae. Most had a grudging respect for her, realizing that she actually fought for the Weeds, not the Fed-Govs. So, it was better to get along than risk inspiring Rokka-Kae to shift her loyalties.

    "Cram ya slash, rot!" Shouted the young man as he pulled the trigger.

    With a look of surprise when nothing happened, he kept pulling it realizing it must be on safety or did not have a round in the chamber. Rokka-Kae just slowly drew out her other pistol, pointing it at all of his friends being the only ones with weapons that could hurt her, gesturing for him to come closer.

    "Now put it back" Kae said without the slang, even turning her hip so the holster was toward him.

    Hesitantly the young man crept closer, and at an outstretched arm’s length slipped her pistol back in its holster. Kae that moment growled out "closer, now look away, and don’t move."

    Wincing he complied not knowing what to expect. Kae reached to the back of her belt withdrawing her agonizer using her teeth set it to "1," just touching him with the prongs. Even at the lowest setting, the man instantly dropped, curling up thrashing for a good fifteen seconds.

    Unlike a Taser or stun gun, an agonizer would cause the same loss of muscular control, without the disorientation. The reason for that seeming loss of ability, was that it also cued in on nociceptors in neurons to induce horrific pain. Essentially, the victim would feel as though they were being intensely burned, cut, bones broken and so on all at the same time, all over their entire body. Bluntly, it just weren’t no fun… and the suffering was meant to be remembered.

    Replacing her agonizer and pistol, Kae picked up her things walking to Cub and Teddy, shaking her head the incident already forgotten.

    "Teddy, Teddy, Teddy… see all of the trouble you cause?" Kae teased, motioning them to follow her into a doorway.

    "I don’t get it" Cub said, "how come you didn’t get shot?"

    "Ah, well being electric guns they have a chip in the grip and I have a tiny chip implanted in the palm of each hand. They won’t work unless the chips are lined up. It also helps insure that I hold the pistol right. I’ll feel a slight buzz in my palm when they are. You might want to remember that if you ever get guns of your own. Anyway, Teddy… What cha holding today?"

    Teddy started feeding her a heap-load of lies and excuses. Kae pulled out what looked like a spray can and began painting over her various Reaper tattoos, just nodding and shaking her head all the while as though not believing him.

    "Annnnnnd anyway, or do I need my agonizer?"

    "Soso pessy walocha, mi jes gamebly wid ya" Teddy pled.

    Touching where she sprayed to see if the latex like makeup was dry, Kae spoke bluntly in English mostly for Cubs benefit.

    "Teddy, what drugs are you selling today, and no p-say for Cub here. I think it’s about time this young man knows what it’s like to dance-- err scratch that. What I really want him to feel is what it’s like to come down from a dance and want to dance more. What would you suggest?"

    "I’m not taking drugs!" Cub blurted out. "What are you trying to do, make me an addict?"

    "Hmm, well then, that is a quandary…" Teddy suddenly sounding like an Oxford graduate replied. "You don’t want Syco I suspect. It is just a wild trip yet no need after. Slouch and Steam he will not feel great after, although, you have to use them a while to feel the need. Probably the best one for what you’re wanting would be Slide, but then you know what that means."

    "Yeah, yeah I know. He’ll be chasing me and everyone else around, but I want to get this lesson over quick, I don’t have a lot of time and don’t want him a junkie after."

    "Woo-Bar time hehe! Da randy walocha be wantin da bobknob up in im gut!" Teddy teased.

    "I’m not turning into a dope fiend just because you think I should!" Cub blurted out, though Kae and Teddy seemed to not be listening. More so, they were speaking about him in the third-person with him standing right there.

    "Rattid" Kae joked back. "Im already been up in mi. Mi slacho mashed fa-eva and im so bob mi had ta take out mi face just ta give im da slobknob!"

    Teddy just burst out laughing, then shuddered, grimacing at the thought of her taking out her facial prosthesis just to blow him due to being so big. Cub was already looking terrified and getting more than a little agitated that no one was listening to him. All while Kae made some face like she was cockeyed and her teeth falling out.

    "Righto then, Slide it is. One or two? How horny are you?" Teddy asked wagging his brow at her.

    "Oh hell you know me, better give me twenty! How about two? One will be enough to give him a taste but I want him to itch after… and you better give me a Slouch and a Steam in case I get in a jam. I hate using them, but better to have than need, you know?"

    Cub all but screamed to be listened to shouting angrily; "I told you, I’m not taking any drugs!"

    "I heard you, and you are. Listen to me, you have an awful lot of opinions on these folks and why they do what they do in this zone. You don’t realize it yet, but for you to keep your promise to me you’ll have to understand them. Just relax, you’re not going to become a junkie. A sex fiend maybe." Kae winking to Teddy at the last.

    "Teddy, how much?"

    "Sixteen…" Teddy said with a wry smirk. Kae responded with a ‘bullshit’ expression of her own, yet said; "pay twenty" into her credit-band, tapped Teddy’s and they were gone.

    It made Teddy wonder though. Rokka-Kae was always either joking or mad, so why did her last glance seem kind of sad and like goodbye? ‘Oh well’ Teddy thought, ‘I’ll ask her the next time I see her.’

    Way of the Future:
    Walking deeper into Thirteen-F, Rokka-Kae remained topless as she continued testing her thick makeup occasionally used to cover her tattoos and scars. Cub all the while grumbled about her totally disregarding his thoughts on the issue at hand; let alone how she constantly went out of her way to prove him wrong, on all matters Pastoral.

    "I’m not going to say it again, I’m not taking any drugs" Cub finally stated flatly.

    "Cubby, you know… I’ve read your proposal regarding changing the current system of law enforcement and the judiciary. I even read a transcript of your speech to Congress. Though I know you stole the idea from history, I think it’s a step in the right direction. Full circle and all that."

    "What? How did you get a copy of that? That proposal was classified! Only the President and Attorney Gener-- Oh, now I get it! Haff is trying to show me that I’m wrong with all of this, and she broke the law showing it to you without you having clearance!"

    "No… no and are you sure?" Kae coyly quipped.

    "What in the hell does that mean?" Cub blasted back.

    "Careful Cubby, you’re starting to speak like me. Here, let’s sit down. C’mon, let’s continue our talk from last night."

    Sitting on a low-wall, as Kae would wave off the hookers a steady stream of people passing by, Cub had trouble concentrating. Not so much at the never-ending parade of people, that he had oddly already started to become accustomed to. It was the fact that Rokka-Kae’s breasts would rise, fall, expand and jiggle as she spoke gesturing with her hands.

    "Listen to me Cub… First off, I’m serious about your idea being a good one in the right direction. Margaret thinks so too, mostly in that we had this very same talk while I sat in that cage for a month on your docks some nine or ten-years ago."

    Suddenly this whole situation and talk of promises in Cub’s mind congealed into all being part of the same thing, though he still had to ask.

    "Attorney General Haff? She made you that promise?"

    "Well back then she was Navy Commander Haff, helping to build the new ‘Agricultural Farm’ system. She really believed in it, though it was the worst possible scenario anyone could imagine. I was just a slave they bought to do their dirty work. By the way, where does slavery fit into your laws? What about murder, cannibalism, occupation of a person’s home, due process and so on?"

    "There is nothing about all that, well except murder in the Homestead and Productive areas." Cub replied.

    "But there is. Just to save some time, I’ll tell you right now that the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Bill of Rights and all the books of all the laws ever written in this country still exist. Oh I know, they said that it was all destroyed during the Great Reckoning, but they weren’t. In fact, I’ve seen copies of them.

    "That was just an excuse to ditch all of the laws and rewrite them their way; so that the nation could do what it needed legally and in the process, shift the power from the people to just the government… and you know who runs it. You know, another one of those lies about law.

    "You see, the laws of government are what those in power use to justify what they want. Not what is right, fair or just.

    "That’s the amazing thing about the United States and the Charters of Freedom I mentioned. They were by a vast margin just and right, and by law, those rights could not be compromised or taken away. But they were… because the people desperate to survive, trusted the government to do what is right… for them. It didn’t work out that way did it?"

    At that point, Cub just sat there dumbfounded at what she was saying. It was as though everything that he had been taught and based his career upon was a lie. More so, it stole the thunder from his great idea to revamp the system. Cub just sat there, his mouth wide, as his gaze would shift from her eyes, to her mouth, followed by her breasts and back.

    Rokka-Kae’s long-winded sermons tended to have that affect on people. The distracted trance part, not her boobs. Well... maybe a little.

    "Anyway… When I left Hong Kong, the person I had made my promise to, slipped three books into my cage. The first was a ‘History of the World.’ The second was a ‘History of the United States up to 2016,’ and the last was a book on ‘All of the Worlds Religions relating to Philosophy.’ Margaret saw me reading them, we began to talk, and eventually we came to some realizations.

    "What your country was doing, what she was doing in fact, was illegal yet more so wrong. But, there was no other choice. I’m serious when I say that what they chose to do, and now what you’re proposing has been done before. That’s how your country, the greatest and most-righteous nation to ever exist came about, to fight those very same things.

    "Unfortunately, it all takes time and it can’t be done in big leaps. To really take hold it must be done in little steps. What Margaret was a part of had to be done, all of this. Yet it was wrong, and she has decided that ‘now’ is the time to make that change before it all blows up and goes to hell in a hand-basket. These people aren’t stupid, they’ll figure out eventually that they’re just cattle.

    "Just as I asked you to promise me; ‘when you realize what you have fought for and believed in all of your life turns out to be wrong; that you not let pride, vanity or apathy keep you from trying to change it to what is right,’ she is doing now. You’re proposal, more importantly ‘you’ are the next step. But…"

    Cub sat there hanging on edge waiting for her to finish. Kae however just began poking and rubbing her makeup, slipping her jacket back on though left it open, actually making her breasts look even more inviting mostly covered.

    "But what? What!" Cub blurted out.

    "Oh, but… Well you know what they say, ‘anything up to "but" is just bullshit.’

    But, you’re basing your proposed system off lies. This city, well this nation for the past ten-years hasn’t followed a single law they enacted. So if you’re basing what you do off of those lies, that makes everything you do just support them. Knowing what must happen to take that next step in your country’s ‘re-evolution,’ I made Margaret a deal to help her fulfill her promise.

    "I offered to help you do what you must, to make what you dream of doing really happen. Not just some lie, but for real. Yet! Only if I could teach you how to do what you will need to do, and really understand the law as it stands, how the world really is, and most of all, understand these people who will be entrusted… to you.

    "Would you say that you have been judging them fairly?" Kae asked, causing Cub to mutter.

    "Well no, I guess not."

    "Would you say what this nation is doing to its own people is right, and legal?"

    "No!" Cub stated firmly.

    "And would you say you understand why these people take drugs that make them do horrible things? Drugs supplied to them by the very government that tells you they’re illegal?"

    "No…" Cub muttered.

    "Cub, I won’t let anything in this world hurt you… ever. I’m going to save you. You’ll not be another face for me to carry. In return, you’re going to save everyone else, and one day keep your promise. You know, admit when you’re wrong and change it. Are you ready to try?"

    With that, Kae leaned toward him extending out a small nasal inhaler.

    "It’s your choice…"

    Prying his eyes off Kae’s swaying cleavage, Cub hesitantly took the inhaler looking at it.

    "Just stick it in your nose, push the button on the bottom and sniff at the same time.

    "Welcome to the Pastoral Zone."

    Altered States:
    Cub was so afraid he was trembling. Slowly he did as Kae directed, looking at her, waiting for the entire world to come crashing down. But it didn’t.

    "Okay then" Kae said standing up. "Stick that in your kit, it has three more shots in it and I’ll stick the other in my bag along with the other two and let’s get going. I’m hoping we can get to a place I know that is going to change all your opinions about these people."

    Cub just knew that any second he would begin murdering, raping and stealing to buy more dope, undoubtedly slipping into some schizophrenic nightmare of hallucinations. But after five minutes of moving through the gradually thinning crowd, he didn’t really feel a thing. In fact overall, he was feeling pretty good.

    Though hot in his armor, the sun felt good on his face. It felt good to be out walking and he was surprised to discover that he was feeling more comfortable here. Not like he wanted to be here, no one would want to live in this place. Just simply that he did not feel like every eye and gun was trained upon him.

    "You know," Cub began, "this part of the zone doesn’t seem anything like the R section. Why isn’t it as crowded?"

    "Well, the further you get into the zone the less goods you’re able to get like food, clothing and so on. So fewer people live the deeper you go in. You get fewer crazies too. They like to hang out as close to the gates as they can so they can pick off new Weeds planted here. That said, the gangs are much more organized the deeper you go in, but that can be good or bad."

    As they continued to walk on, Cub noted something else too. It seemed as though people were happier here. Back in ‘the R,’ everyone seemed to be angry or afraid. Here many of the people seemed to be smiling, almost friendly.

    He would look at this girl or that guy, and they all seemed to smile back at him. More than a few would wink or gesture for him to come over though he stuck with Kae. Some were even openly flirting with him by blowing kisses or tugging at their clothes to show him a little skin.

    "People are a lot friendlier here aren’t they? Happier too" Cub openly mused.

    "Are they?" Kae asked noting the two small groups of gang members doing all they could to slash each other to ribbons. The woman being dragged into an alley, the three whores stomping on the fourth, the two men chasing a third and countless other contradictory observations. "It’s not so bad here huh? How are you feeling?"

    "I feel fine, pretty good actually. I think your friend ripped you off though, that stuff isn’t doing anything."

    Distracted by the nude woman that began fondling her breasts, smiling at him as they passed, Cub’s toe caught a crack in the sidewalk causing him to stumble into Kae who reached back trying to catch him. Just as she did, out of that dark outfit she wore he caught another glimpse of her belly to her neck, Kae’s jacket still open.

    Her skin seemed to glow surrounded by that darkness. The contrasting flatness of her belly compared to the smooth gentle curves of her inner breasts seemed so magnificent that it struck him; he could stare at her breasts for hours.

    "Whew, it’s really hot. I wish my jacket opened up in the front" Cub stated as he just stared at Kae’s cleavage, tugging at his own armor.

    "Well, it’s not a good idea, but here. Let’s loosen it on the sides."

    Standing in front of him, it took Kae a minute to unclasp each buckle having to jerk at them to pull the straps looser. With each one her breasts would sway and heave. As more and more of her inner breasts revealed themselves, Cub felt compelled to see them fully and without thinking, he grasped the front of Kae’s jacket opening it and stared.

    "Cub… Cub! What’s up? Feeling okay? I notice you’re smiling a bit more."

    It took Cub a full fifteen seconds before he could raise his eyes to Rokka-Kae’s. Once he had, he just beamed instantly forgetting about her breasts, suddenly finding her face so fascinating.

    Cub felt like he could stare for hours at her eyes, looking like deep black pools. Her massive scar that ran from her brow to her ear and chin made her look intriguing, strong and unique. In fact, the more he looked at it, he suddenly realized she was absolutely beautiful. He desperately wanted to touch and trace the deep purplish lines. He then noticed her magnificent lips… her nose… and…

    "You look really pretty today" which made Kae laugh. "No, I mean it" Cub continued.

    "I do huh? Well let’s get up here to the water head. I think we both need a drink and to cool off a bit. Okay?"

    Cub just kept smiling, staring at her face so Kae grasped his hand pulling him along until he started moving. Once she let him go however, he did not feel as happy or perhaps secure. When he looked at her walking up ahead however, he found those good feelings swept over him again. That is when he took stock of other aspects of Kae he suspected that he hadn’t had time to notice before.

    Encased in her crotch high boots, Kae’s feet were actually small. Ever so slightly, they would swing out around landing somewhat in front of the other each step. In contrast, the thick rectangular pads over her calves, shins, and thighs gave her lithe legs a strong powerful look. As each foot was oddly placed toe first then heel, it forced her stride to become a strut. How her gate induced her hips to move however was captivating.

    Swaying… undulating… rolling… Kae’s hips and bottom smoothly swinging from side to side was irresistibly mesmorizing. Armored pads like on her boots, just slightly smaller than each half of her bottom’s cheeks covered them. Each opposingly rising and falling hypnotically; granting her rump a fuller, more shaped appearance.

    So it went with her fingerless-gloved hands, arms, back and hair bouncing with each step. Even the color of her outfit was magnificent. The greenish-brown mottled pads had a unique intriguing color of their own almost like camouflage, sharply contrasting with the black leather underneath and between them.

    "Cub, are you still with me?" Kae called back.

    "Yeah, say what kind of armor is that you’re wearing, it’s absolutely wonderful… the colors and the way the plates are raised up."

    Kae bit her lip to restrain her laugh yet played along.

    "Oh, they call it ‘Glow Hide.’ It turns out that certain animals at just the right range from a nuke-strike will make it. Basically, it alters the structure as it swells, chars the outside and then it all hardens making it almost impenetrable. The trouble is, you have to cut, shape and attach it before it hardens or you can’t work with it. There’s not much of it around."

    "It’s magnificent" Cub began making Kae laugh. "You look really good in it, it suits you perfectly."

    "Hehe, indeed… well thank you. Are you still hot?"

    "I’m broiling. I’d really like to take this off, maybe we should stop for a bit."

    "We will in just a few minutes, just keep moving and don’t use anymore of that nose spray just yet, okay?"

    "Can I look at your tattoo again while we walk, the big one with the dragon? I really didn’t get a good look at it this morning and I really wanted to."

    Rokka-Kae could already tell there would be no way they would make it as far as she wanted. Since it would not matter, having easily passed forty partially to fully naked men and women all trying to get the attention of potential customers just this block, Kae slipped off her jacket hoping it would help him stay focussed on her and not wander off.

    When just the top of her shoulders came into view, Cub audibly moaned so loudly that Kae could hear it over the chaos around them. By the time it was fully off hanging in her hand however, she could hear him softly moan and coo. He would mutter out some comment about her back or the tattoo, then moan again, over and over.

    Finally, they made it to the water-head with Cub only getting distracted twice by hookers coaxing him to stop. Each time Kae would pull him away, and finally reaching the water-head, Kae realized they would not be going anywhere for a while.

    "Great! No fucking water" Kae grumbled. The water-head not working.

    "Are those heavy?" Cub asked staring at Kae’s breasts transfixed by them as he moved closer, actually feeling drawn to the round orbs of flesh.

    "Yes they’re heavy. They hurt my back sometimes." Kae responded as she got on comms’, having more urgent issues to deal with at the moment.

    "Central Dispatch… What’s my location?"

    Just as Central was about to answer, Kae noted Cub pulling off his armored jacket, though after a brief look around she supposed it would be okay. Unfortunately as they answered he moved up behind her and started rubbing her back. That almost instantly turned into him reaching around her and hefting her breasts. Though naturally, right in the midst of her talking.

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You are at 13-F-4. The intersection to your northeast is the corners of F-4, A-16, B-13 and G-1.’

    "Roger Central… Patch me through to Infrastructure relative to my area.

    "Cub, I’m trying to talk here just give me a minute, we need wa--"

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Infrastructure… Go ahead.’

    "13-Infrastructure…" Wherein Kae rest her hand over Cubs to calm his squeezing of her breasts. "The water at 13-F-4 is not operating. Is it shut off for a reason or needing repair?"

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Infrastructure… Hold, transferring you to 13-Utilities, over.’

    "Cub, wait till I’m through to suck on--"

    ‘13-Utilities, go ahead…’

    "13-Utilities… the water at 13-F-4-- Cub wait! I don’t want my pants off now…"

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Utilities… Why don’t you want your pants off now? Over.’

    "Fuck! Damn it Cub! Just give me a second!

    "13-Utilities… the water at 13-F-4 is…" and that is the moment Kae just to get him to let her talk, began working to get her free hand down Cub’s pants "…not working. Can it be turned on or what is the closest location north of mine? Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Utilities… We’re turning it on now like Cub for ten-minutes, have fun, out.’

    "That’s just Super… Okay Cub, what is it you want? We need to get some water first though, okay?"

    "I just figured since it’s so hot you might want to roll your pants down some, I’m taking mine off." Cub replied.

    "No, don’t take yours off and leave mine alone, okay? If you have to, just open them up, but let me get some water first, I’ll just be a minute."

    Kae pulled her hand out of Cub’s pants and quickly opened her bag to pull out her canteen. Reaching up to the spigot she knew this was going to be trouble in that she would have to hold the valve open, only to have it quickly shut off. The spigot only flowing for fifteen seconds until you reworked the valve. It took all of two-seconds with Kae’s hands high before Cub unbuckled her belt and began working to open-up her pants.

    "Cub, just give me a minute, leave my pants alone" though naturally Cub didn’t stop.

    "You said open them a bit while you got water."

    Kae did not even bother arguing at that point. His mind would twist everything around to her wanting him to maul her. In just a few seconds, he had unbuckled her belt, unfastened the front and folded her pants down uncovering her from the thighs up. So with a sigh, Kae tried to put this into a bit of perspective for him.

    "Cub… Cub! Are you sure you want to do this here? You know you’re supposed to ask me first, not just start stripping me, and there are a lot of people around who are going to see this, right?"

    "Well they’re doing it, and they are, there’s a whole bunch of people doing it all around us and I really, ‘really’ liked it when we did it this morning and you’re just so pretty today and it’s so nice out--"

    "Cub…" Kae began then sighed. "Your call, we can go into an alley where no one can see, or you can just screw me right here in front of ‘everyone’, who will ‘all’ see ‘you’ having sex."

    "Do you think they’ll really watch? We can watch them at the same time too I guess, so here might be fun."

    Kae just shook her head and chuckled. It wouldn’t really matter, he was right about that. Undoubtedly there would be some watching just like he’d be watching them, though the idea didn’t excite her in the least. Nonetheless, realizing that this was going to be a long night, she stepped back a little straining to reach the spigot to keep filling the canteen. Parting her feet the best she could answering him.

    "Okay Cub, you can ‘do it.’" Kae knowing come morning, he would have more to deal with than a hangover.

    Columbia Stumbled ***:
    Though Shelly described it most eloquently in Ozymandias; the Mad Clown had surpassed that ruler’s vanity a thousandfold. And wherein the self-proclaimed "king of kings" works had been reduced to sand; the Mad Clown had left the world in ruins. Not just the cities, his nation, or all of civilization… yet the entire planet itself.

    Few if any remember now, and with no written history courtesy of the ‘Policy of Erasure,’ most people in MR1 believe that nothing had happened. The world had long been this way, perhaps forever. ‘Why’ they did not know, and when it had changed, if ever, they could not remember.

    Though it had.

    In twelve short years, an insignificant amount of time compared to the billions it took to sculpt, refine, grow, and evolve the Earth and all upon it, it had been brought to ruin. That is not truly fair however.

    Man had tested the world repeatedly over the last couple of centuries, albeit, they were simply little things. A wound here, a rash there, all leaving their marks as the scars remained. Lush bounty denuded to sand. Rivers of cool water now bleaching stone. Miraculous creatures forever gone. Majestic mountains reduced to rubble.

    Just like any entity however, they only spoke of a rich life well lived. The Earth would heal, reshaping its face ever constantly. Nature would mourn each loss, then revel in the next evolution. Granted, the temper of each was tested time and again, but they forgave and endured until roughly sixty years ago around 1970.

    The parasite, man, found many within that species embracing the wonder of Nature and the Earth. Not just a few mind you, yet many. The greatest surprise being, the one nation that had forsaken being one with the land, embracing commerce and industry above all else was the driving force. For the next forty-seven years they scrutinized and revised how they could accomplish what they wanted, while protecting the world in the process.

    Occasionally they would step back, but for the most part, they moved forward. They even advanced to the point that they began repairing the damage done. As other nations mimicked their path to industrialization, they found the land of Columbia and Liberty pressuring them to correct their disregard of the world as well; in the end, advancing technology and industry, so everyone won.

    All until 2017, dawn of the Mad Clown’s reign. It would be fair to say the next twelve years was all due to him.

    It is not actually fair to say, in that it did not take twelve years. It had really taken only four. More so, if you chose to discount the first two, wherein the poison had simply been swallowed, mankind having an opportunity to retch it up, you could perhaps even say that it had taken only a couple, yet that would be untrue as well.

    Though simply philosophical speculation, many suspected when it happened that Earth, Nature and perhaps even God had simply thrown their hands up in exasperation. If mankind wanted it dead, then so be it. Let it all end in one last shuddering gasp and be over.

    So what do the very beings that demanded and worked so hard to make that happen do? They reject their final prayer answered; mocking all that is wondrous that surrendered to them, and endured.

    In 2017, the Mad Clown became the conduit or perhaps the catalyst that many had sought. Throughout that first year he sowed the seeds of discord, hate and mistrust to make the world just as chaotic as his mind, fracturing up communities that sought change for the better.

    2018 was much the same, albeit the ties that bound humanity together had been broken, making it impossible to unify the people to alter the world’s course toward the inevitable.

    During 2018 was also when the super corporations finally struck. The Mad Clown had flung open the doors to them again, and this time they would reap all they could, as quickly as they could, before some do-gooder slammed them shut again.

    They would also do all they could to keep those doors open like some squatter to secure their permanent place in this new government. Truth be told however, the land of Liberty and Columbia were just a small piece of the puzzle. The balance being, all others around the globe, both super corporations and governments alike.

    Late 2018 and continuing into 2019 were the years of poison. With so many important restrictions lifted, the protecting agencies now only existing in name, countless ecological and industrial accidents occurred, the intentional violations outnumbering them by the thousands.

    The evident shift in the environment suddenly became obvious. Nature held on hoping for a reprieve in just a couple years. The citizenry however would not, forcing the Mad Clown’s hand.

    To be sure, before "the Black," the Mad Clown spewed his lies of wars immanent, although as said already, no one was quite as mad as he was. So, to hide his own misdeeds and even secure his place before being expelled, the Mad Clown made his ‘bigliest’ wish of all happen and pushed his button. "The much bigger and more powerful one, that works!"

    Four high altitude air-bursts over major cities for show, and one in the Rocky Mountains so that everyone would know what they were, and in an instant the Mad Clown was forgotten.

    Not the best plan mind you, but he definitely made his mark. With a bright flash, in just a few seconds from Canada down to Mexico, the land fell into darkness. The EMPs’ had been devastating to the infrastructure of man, but were not as fatal as one might expect.

    Cell phones would work, yet if the network is down and there is no place to charge them, they were considered simply dead weight. Most automobiles, boats and planes still worked as well. But, if you could not easily pump fuel, they are only good for ‘making out’ in. So it went with many things. One day they might work again, but with impatience being the rule in the "give it to me now" culture that the Mad Clown had fostered, they were discarded.

    The nuclear impact in Wyoming yielded up a much longer lasting legacy however. All of Wyoming and parts of Utah, Colorado, S. Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma were contaminated to some extent. Of greater importance however, was that the Yellowstone Caldera Chain had fractured. Sulfurous smoke and vast plumes of heat filled the air affecting weather and ultimately the climate.

    With the Mad Clown’s uninhibited use of the forbidden fruit came the truly devastating result. Many others also thought to themselves "why not," and so, they finally made use of those previously unconscionable plans. Oddly, none used for war, they nevertheless were used quickly before international condemnation ended the practice.

    Russia had long held the Northern Sea Route as their own. China had been building ships to stake their claim through the ice, but considering that the other guy had done it, why not make use of some of their old cold war surplus instead?

    With that, six or so "smallish" warheads were carefully set deep in the ice. With their button intent on making just a little crack, they opened up the passage for the foreseeable future. Granted, there was that whole sea-rise thing and other minor hiccups. But hey, it worked, and who wouldn’t prefer a three-kilometer wide passage instead of a couple hundred meters.

    Long live Chinese industry and the Peoples Republic!

    Additionally, if America could have its Panama Canal, why couldn’t India have one of its own?

    Striking a deal with the Burmese and Thai’s, they decided to open up a canal running straight across the Malay Peninsula just slightly north of Ranong. Before the tree-huggers and other eco-terrorists could hinder their plan for that essentially lifeless region, they decided to use a few nukes of their own to do the work. That and there were those pesky mountains east of the Kra Buri as well.

    They would be the first to admit that it did not all go to plan. The land did not just simply collapse into a trench, having kinda-sorta’ flung out to each side five miles. Still, it was only a thirty-mile long hot-zone that you had to pass through. A little bit of lead shielding in special cabins, and viola, take a nap and enjoy the ride until out on the other side.

    So it went, sixteen tiny inconsequential warheads all told, to make hay while the sun shined ended up being used around the globe. Some worked out fairly well, others not so much. This nation would strike a deal with that and everyone would win. In fact, some would argue that they brought peace. Bringing the people together for business, so what is the problem?

    The problem was, that no one had asked Nature, and brother, she was pissed. And so, the "Great Reckoning" began in 2019.

    Seas rose as fresh waters receded. The Earth shuddered and cracked and the heavens brewed up storms the likes of which had never been seen; flooding, drought, wildfires and deluges, sometimes all in the same place.

    In the end as far as America was concerned, the torrid or tropical zone expanded up to a line running from Los Angeles to North Carolina. The sub-tropics expanded to the Canadian border, and the temperate-zone was shoved clear into the arctic.

    Flora and fauna that thrived in cooler regions could not in that hot. The same went with the seas now diluted and simmering, the effects upon nature itself countless, yet our tale is about the American people.

    Minor shifts to the weather and environment could have been coped with, if not for the rapidly cascading effect they had inspiring the next to occur. What might have previously taken decades to happen, snowballed over mere weeks as the world turned into Hell, and you know well that idiom works out. Each change instantly inspired the next, it all happening at such a furious pace that everyone panicked.

    As people shifted to escape the disasters, lack of services, food and so on, they began to compress into a region from the Canadian border down to Oregon over to Virginia. Well, except within that hot-zone covering the center of the nation.

    That was when everyone from Central America began to flood northward. Somewhat contrary to the Mad Clown’s intentions, though naturally, if those ‘bleeding-hearts had just built his wall!’ But why dwell on stupid, anyway...

    Filling in regions recently abandoned, the push into California and Nevada was not given much thought. Besides few knowing due to "the Black," it would be easy enough to hold the line. Unfortunately, they began to push up into the mid-western states along the Mississippi into Missouri and Illinois. At the same time, there was an even bigger problem north.

    As permafrost melted throughout Canada, their flora and fauna perishing as well, the vast methane releases caused tremendous problems. Besides exacerbating the environmental issues by magnitudes, venting noxious methane, flares and finally a massive sinkhole forming across the continent drove the Canadian’s southward.

    Quickly America was being split in two. To that end, the government issued an edict stating that; "anyone outside of the Bos-Wash megalopolis get here now or risk being cut off." So they came, not just this group or that, yet all of them. No longer able to live off the land and government services unable to reach any significant distance, they either came or perished.

    The Canadian’s naturally weren’t going to be left high and dry; so as all of America converged on what would become MR1, so did the Canadian’s, super-corp. personnel, everyone from the Caribbean and a few scattered other places as well.

    And so, the "Gathering" had come to pass. That left only one little problem. What to do with 417-million people where there had once been only 55-million.

    There was no food, limited water, most of the population was unemployed unable to bring their businesses along or find jobs, and even if they had there were no raw materials, or people able to buy their goods.

    When the numerous plagues struck, actually not having as devastating of consequences as those in the past, suddenly there were no medical services, and the bodies could not stack up fast enough to keep up with the pace of their ‘disappearances.’

    Coupled with the Black, the Policy of Erasure insured that the people no longer had any control in the nation, unable to communicate and rally the citizens. Martial law was instituted, Cletus Prusser’s Agricultural System was put into effect giving the Mad Clown more walls than he could have dreamed of, and naturally the Mad Clown’s final gift to America was securing the wealthy and super-corporations place as the custodians of government.

    Though the Mad Clown had not been seen since late-2019, it was speculated that with one last grab of Columbia’s pussy, he was gone having moved to the better climate in Northern Russia.

    Cletus T. Prusser was also never seen again. After locking himself into his office for a number of months, when his gifts of hair, nail trimmings and other assorted pieces of him ceased being given in thanks to his secretary, the door was pried open and he had vanished.

    By 2020, the damage had been done to America, its government, all other nations and the planet itself. That left the question of "what now?"

    With the wealthy and super-corporations calling the shots, the government having no other choice except letting the country, though now really just MR1, fall into chaos, they conceded. Elections were still held but only those currently in government ran for the most part, and only they and the wealthy voted. The President, Congress and Senate survived, although the Supreme Court did not, and so the die had been cast.

    If you wanted to eat, have water and not be pushed out into what was now wasteland, you lined up and had your credit-band installed. You ate what they gave you, drank when you could, accepted where they told you to live, and buried your misery with sex and drugs.

    Granted, a number of politicians still believed in America, democracy, people’s rights and all that it promised, and they would fight for it to be returned, but for now just like everyone else, they would have to bide their time.

    There was one positive aspect however. The Reapers and their harvesting would be kept in the Pastoral zones. The people there the sacrificial lamb for the many, who were actually the least, and they would make due simply to survive.

    One day hopefully Columbia would rise again after her stumble. She would need help from someone, anyone, even an old wore out whore, to stand tall once again.

    Let it Flow:
    As Cub saddled up behind Kae, she had barely filled her canteen in time to set it down and grab one of her pistols to ward off the trouble that arose.

    While she began to be shoved, lurching forward with each of Cub’s aggressive thrusts; it wasn’t the gangs or the rapists, whores or other assorted perverts that were the problem. It was the fact that his jacket and hers, plus that they had a bag full of ‘lord knows what’ just far enough from them, that all of the thieves had perked up.

    Added to the problem of the thieves, since Kae had started the water flowing, enough people had noticed that a crowd had formed. They were getting more worked up by the second to get at one of the four spigots, simply to fill whatever they could before it was shut off again. An even bigger problem would be what would happen when it stopped running. Then, they would begin rioting.

    In a rush to get back out of the crowd, Rokka-Kae reached down prying Cub’s hand off her hip, wrenching off him. Having to shrug him off all the while, Kae snatched up his armor shoving it at him, grabbing her own jacket and bag pushing him back off to the side.

    Pawing at her all the while, they finally made it to a railing by some steps just outside of the crowd. Realizing that she would be hard pressed to control him, Kae just stacked everything below her, gripped the rail with one hand holding her pistol in the other, and stepped back to let him get it over with. Although, it would make dealing with the more urgent problem somewhat awkward.

    "Go ahead Cub, put it back in…

    "Central Dispatch… Patch-- uh, patch me through to-- uh, 13-Utilities, priority."

    "Cub, go easy for a minute-- uh. Okay?"

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Patching you through, are you in need of assistance, you sound in pain?’

    "Nega-- uh, negative Central… Just a-- big crowd" Kae responded as briefly as possible, though unfortunately Cub’s comments which had been a mutter, he now tried saying to her directly, naturally whenever Kae keyed her mic’.

    ‘13-Utilities… Go ahead.’

    "13-Utilities… Uh… priority reque-- uh-- request--" ‘you’re so hot inside, it feels amazing’ "…keep the water-- uh, on at 13-F-4"

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Utilities…’ as Kae heard laughing in the background over comms’, ‘state the nature of your priority request, be detailed and specific.’

    ‘Great!’ Kae thought, they’d drag this out just to get their laughs, likely having a good idea as to what was going on due to earlier.

    "13-Utilities… Threat of-- uh, threat of riot in--" ‘so wet and hot’ Cub chimed in, "my… uh vicinity, keep the uh--" ‘it’s so tight and slick in you Rokka’ "keep the water… uh, on!"

    ‘Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae, 13-Utilities… Restate the nature of your priority request. Is the water coming out wet or hot, or is the valve stuck being too tight?’ At which point before he let off his mic’, it sounded like he was calling from a comedy club. In the background, Kae could hear a number of people laughing.

    "13-Utilities! Just keep the fucking--" ‘oh Rokka-Kae, I’m, I’m--’ as Cub literally yelled out a loud groan. "Uh-- Water on!"

    When 13-Utilities tried to respond, she could barely make out what they were saying from all the laughing.

    ‘Reaper-379, 13-Utilities… We didn’t copy, repeat your--’

    ‘13-Core Command, clear comms! 13-Utilities keep the water on at 13-F-4 for another twenty-minutes. Reaper-379, keep your personal activities off comms’, out.’

    "Well fuck me!" Kae barked. Cub still deep inside her as he basked in an afterglow like could have never imagined, sweating over her back.

    "I just did, it was amazing. If I had known all of these years, and your tattoo seemed to move when I spurted in you. You treat me so good Rokka-Kae, I think I’m ready to go again" Cub responded sounding like some moon-eyed lover thinking she was speaking to him, and slowly began squirming getting ready to wind up again.

    "Wonderful Cub, what say we give it a rest a minute though first." Kae quickly pulling off him, turned around setting her hand to his chest to keep him at arm’s length.

    "But I--" Cub began as someone else joined in the conversation.

    "Ummm ya bobknob sessy machia, Patty romp wid ya pes da pessy walocha na wan ya."

    Having been screwing right beside a pair of prostitutes, when Kae pulled off Cub and tried to stop him, instantly one of them approached seeing his hard glistening cock ready for more.

    She was an extremely attractive black woman. Wearing a much too-tight, small-sized, pastel-pink paper jumpsuit that had the legs cut off high, the arms, back and much of the front cut out leaving it looking like a pair of hot-pants with suspenders.

    Her modest though well shaped breasts were fully exposed, as was much of her rich dark-brown skin. Her lips were full and other facial features petite. What was not petite however was the thick bulge in her shorts.

    Instantly Cub was enamored in his chemically amorous state. As sopped as he was with Kae’s wetness and his spunk that coated his hard cock, Patty had already reached out grasping his cock stroking it as she beamed up into his eyes. Cub instantly asking;

    "What did she say? She’s sooo pretty."

    Kae about choked not to laugh as she translated, though also tried to explain the situation.

    "Patty here says you’re a big-cocked sexy young-man, and she wants to have sex with you for credits. But Cub, Cub! Listen to me, she is actually a man, okay? A slashy." Kae looked to Patty shrugging implying ‘no offense.’ Patty not surprisingly had taken none, continuing to slowly stroke away at Cub’s pre-slickened cock.

    "Your lips are so full, that really feels wonderful, you look so happy!" Cub interjected.

    "Cub listen, she’s a man, okay? A ‘sissy-boy!’ Listen to me Cub. She’s a man, okay? Oh fuck it."

    By that time Patty had already dropped to her knees and was really working his cock with her hands, staring up at him with her most sultry of looks, she had begun licking her lips, and Kae knew there was no way to stop him.

    "Is she really going to put me in her mouth?" Cub asked Kae. Excited once more losing his concentration and reaching for one of Kae’s breasts.

    "Mmmm sessy baby, bote da way in. Patty give ya da best slobknob ya eva knowd fa four bitty credits" as Patty raised up her wrist with her credit-band on it.

    Kae thought about saying something to Cub once again about Patty being male, yet by that time Patty had already stuck his cock in her mouth and was working him like the professional she was. Cub instantly was moaning fixated upon her, so Kae just spoke into her own wristband saying; "pay six," tapping Patty’s band and with a wink from Patty, she really went to work. Kae figuring she could get their things together and straighten up in the process.

    As vulgar as it may sound, just off to the side as Patty sucked away and Cub writhed, moaned and groaned, Kae squat down and began wiping off and fishing out his ‘fallout’ from her own cunnie. Once through, she sparingly used some of the water to wash her vulva and hands off, and that is when she noticed Cub experiencing something new. Although, not exactly what she thought.

    From where Kae was, when Cub let out groan of surprise and sudden ecstasy, it looked to Kae like Patty had reached around and was plundering his anus with her fingers. Cub really seemed to enjoy it after the initial penetration, and in all of about five-seconds he roared out a crushing orgasm, and that’s when Kae saw it.

    "Oh no! What did you do?" Kae blurted out.

    Patty holding her jaw wide, her mouth filled looked to Kae raising her brow as if to say ‘what?’ Turning, then spitting Cub’s surprising sized load onto the ground. Still working his cock with one hand as Cub came down from his orgasm, when Patty looked up she found Kae looking at her in horror, pointing to her free hand which just happened to hold an inhaler.

    "Mi jes give im a gutshot, jes a bitty Slide. Make im pop-bob, mega pop-bob, im wan more den. Ya gots a gamebly randy machia now. Ya have gamebly, Patty treat. Po pessy walocha?"

    Patty winked at Kae thinking she had done her a favor having given Cub a "gutshot" of Slide just as he was about to cum, "her treat" even. Essentially, just as Cub was getting ready to orgasm she had slipped a nasal inhaler of Slide into his rump and given him a blast.

    Just to understand it, Kae had done it to herself once. The drug would hit you quickly and significantly harder, and it felt like the sensation was rushing out from that point. It was guaranteed to not only make any man or woman orgasm, yet you would do so like never before. It was an incredible experience, except, Cub now had a double-dose of Slide in his system.

    "Boda, pessy walocha wanna a bitty romp too? Mi slurp ya slick an gutshot ya ta a mega-pop."

    "Oh no thank you Patty" Kae responded, holding up her hands glancing to Cub. "I think Cub there is going to be about all the romping I can handle. Oh! Is there a Woo-Bar around here? Sorry but that’s what we need."

    "Ya, ya, a block ova an up a bit" Patty gesturing with her hands to state the direction. "Pes, ya flat?" Patty asking if Kae was sure by pulling out her rather impressive cock wagging it at her.

    "Ya, mi flat. Bada-bob, pes na-bada" Rokka-Kae responded as she began trying to get Cub moving.

    Respect da Choka:
    Putting Cub’s gun and belt into her bag, and having to wrestle him to get his cock in and pants closed now twice as doped up as before, Rokka-Kae groaned in self-inflicted exasperation.

    Forced to slip her arms through the handles of her leather duffel bag just so she could pull Cub by his waistband with one hand, carrying his armor with the other knowing he’d lose it, down the side street they went. Cub naturally in heaven.

    "Rokka, I’m so sorry, you were right. Everyone here, well at least in this ward, is so much nicer. You know if you’re still hot I can carry your jacket for you" Cub suggested trying to get Kae to remove her jacket again.

    "Cub, my first name is Kae. They just call me Rokka-Kae like you’d read it on a form. You know, first name last? Rokka, Kae Baak-Fu, so just Kae will be fine." It was actually a bit more complex than that, albeit since no one else understood, she certainly was not going to try to educate Cub in his state.

    "Anyway, so you’re having fun huh?" Kae asked trying to get him to stay focussed upon her and talk.

    "Oh yeah… That Patty woman was really nice, you know what she did though?"

    "No, what?" Kae asked, just dying to hear this.

    "She stuck her finger in me! Way up like you had me do you that first night. Well, not exactly the same, you didn’t have me put my fingers there, but I would if you wanted… It felt incredible! Oh, what man were you talking about?"

    "Well, everyone likes something up their backside. As to the man, I kept trying to tell you Patty was really a man, he just has breast implants like me from the old days. Anyway, he’s a man that likes living as… a...

    "Cub, listen to me! I’m going to make you stand somewhere and I don’t want you to say anything or turn around. I mean it!"

    With Cub stumbling, Kae quickly pushed him over to the wall of a building making him face it and backed up against him. Naturally, Cub began asking why wanting to turn around and so on, but Kae just harshly told him to shut up. With that she dropped his armor, put her hands on her pistols and lowered her head so just the top of it faced out.

    Unfortunately, the twelve or so men stopped not acknowledging her showing of respect and submission. Immediately they began hassling her, speaking all at the same time.

    "Yaha bitty wacha, wut ya got in ya tote?" "Da chach got im fancy skins too. Gimme dem skins beech!" "Pes da slash wanna cram, spy em hoohas. Fly us ya bob hoots knob-grinder, maybe we bote cram ya!"

    "Boda… na rumble, boda-boda" Kae responded begging them ‘no trouble’ submitting to their authority here.

    "What’s going on, can I turn around now?" Cub blurted out causing Kae to shove him into the wall growling out to him. "Cub, shut up and don’t move or you die."

    "Yamma, charot ya bote! Ya up mi squat, dis Choka King squat slash. Now gimme da tote an skins!"

    "Boda-boda, na rumble. Bob respect for da Choka Kings, bob respect… soso, boda." Kae responded to them offering up her submission once more, though when he lunged slightly she grabbed her pistols asking him to be "easy, please."

    "Ya crammin chote, mi chop dem hoohas an gutcram ya! Eva-one got bangers, na eva-one gots bees!" Another shouted out as he lunged.

    "Nono! Soso, soso… Mi jes wanna gets mi bob dimmy ta im flop. Im a syco grinder yacha? Okay?" Kae responded once more.

    "Cramya chote, gimme da tote! Who am ya, ya na Choka King so ya feed mas, ya bobyacha?" Wherein all of the men began either drawing machetes or raising their guns.

    "Nono, donya lift dem bangers… boda-boda, respect" as Kae crouched slightly gripping her guns tighter, tensing, feeling the electric confirmation buzz in her palms. On top of that, she had to keep Cub who had been muttering away, pinned as she continued. "Na rumble soso, pes do ya bobyacha, mi?"

    "Who am ya slash?" another yelled. Clearly not intimidated, just confused that she did not instantly do what they said.

    With that, Rokka-Kae raised one hand slowly to her ear speaking softly still looking down.

    "Central… In ten-seconds sound the siren, one-cycle my location." Wherein Kae slowly lowered her hand back to her gun, raised her head, crouching in a ‘quick-draw’ stance.

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Siren one-cycle, in eight, seven, six...’

    "Who am I? I’m Rokka-Kae… Reaper 3-7-9."
    >>Choka Kings Siren<<

    Just as she finished, the sirens began to wail. Nobody moved until they ceased. Standing there for a good ten seconds after with no one even twitching, all of the Choka Kings looked on edge, some ready to fight. Some though were clearly scared and like clockwork Cub spoke up.

    "Can I come out now? I’m like really horny…"

    Kae had an expression of absolute resolve right up until Cub spoke making her chuckle, yet she kept her gaze on the gang.

    "In a minute Cubby… Respect Choka Kings, ya squat, mi jes passin’ though, okay?"

    Partly at the comical nature of Cub speaking up, partly not wanting to go to the next level, one of the members slowly stood up and nodded, pushed and waved off the others saying; "Soso, soso… Yamma, respect Rokka-Kae. Rally Kings…"

    As some moved off, they would also state "respect." Others would just glare and still others looked relieved. Kae did not move until they all had moved away and finally, she turned around after picking up Cub’s armor.

    "Okay Cubby, having fun?"

    "No, you’re flirting with all these guys and I just had a wall."

    "Yes well, what say I take you somewhere really fun. Like the most fun place you’ve ever been, okay?"

    Cub just nodded and once more she began pulling him down the street, weaving through the people. After they turned north up the cross street, she saw their destination about halfway up the block.

    Unfortunately, bored and starting to come down just ever so slightly, the wall having distracted him, Kae did not notice Cub reach into his kit. In a flash, he had sniffed up another shot of Slide.

    Eeny Meeny Miny Ho:
    It was amazing how long a simple one block walk could take when you had to help someone unaccustomed to intoxicants.

    Oh Kae got it. Cub had never smoked, drank, taken drugs or had sex before her, or so she inferred. She sincerely appreciated those choices, even having often wondered how different her life might have been if she had avoided them. Though granted, she never really had much of a choice.

    Regardless, Slide was not as debilitating of a drug as it seemed to be affecting Cub. Sure, you would feel a little anxious from the speed-like enhancements, even a little lovey, moreover cuddly with the advanced MDMA-like smoothing. For the most part though, you would just feel an overwhelming urge to have sex. You would get that buzzy feeling in your loins and abdomen, plus feel a hypnotic pull from those whom you were attracted to.

    Although to be fair, everyone seemed to attract you. Moreover, even types of sex that you would have never considered enticed you, curious as to how it might feel or if it could soothe that itch Slide gave you.

    To some degree, Kae even understood Cub’s sudden disregard for the bad around him, viewing everything and everyone in a positive light. It was exciting enjoying your libido afire, feeling alive while not frustrated. Instead, your overall outlook was a positive anticipation since your inhibitions would melt away.

    Cub however was all but mauling Kae. He’d try to touch her here or there or speed up so her hand would slip lower into his waistband. More than that however, he acted as though it was a bad batch, having an excessive amount of the smoothing compound, excessively high perhaps the simple way of saying it.

    Finally, they made it though the crowd reaching the Woo-Bar finding it boarded up. In frustration Kae let go of Cub yanking at the door. At least they might have a place to spend the rest of the day, as they were getting nowhere fast.

    Jamming her fists to her hips, Kae literally stomped like some angry juvenile. It would have been so easy in a Woo-Bar. Essentially safe meeting places for people interested in a little mutual masturbation. No muss, no fuss. If you really wanted more, there was a nice padded area where you could toss yourself into a fleshy pile.

    "Damn it! Well Cub sorry to say you’re stuck with me. Oh well, you hate me enough that you can get your grudge-fuck on. We still need to find a place though first… Cub?"

    Rokka-Kae suddenly realizing that Cub was no longer trying to maul her. Whipping her head around trying to look over the people moving along the street, she finally caught a glimpse of his noggin sticking up higher than everyone else’s.

    Unfortunately, he was on the far side of the street. Shoving to get through the dense throng of people, really not the norm this deep into the Pastoral zone, Kae’s greatest concern was not what trouble he might get into, but that he might be gone before she could find him. Then she never would.

    Fortunately he hadn’t moved. Unfortunately, having seen his uncommon boots and pants looking as healthy as he did, a swarm of six gals ‘working’ had surrounded him. All trying to convince him who he should spend some time with.

    Two of the women were naked, three of them were topless and one had painted herself up with lord knows what. Every one of their hands was upon him. Those that weren’t slipping over his chest or back, had already opened up his pants and were working what should have been inside now outside. Meaning, he had four hands all wrestling for his dick.

    "Cub, Cub!" Kae shouted, distracting him enough to turn looking at her. "I see you found yourself some friends."

    "Kae!" Cub shouted. "Everyone is so nice here, a couple even speak English, they said my penis is the biggest they’ve ever seen!"

    "I know, they are all very nice and I’m sure they’ve never told anyone else that" Kae responded in a patronizing tone. "And they all actually speak English, don’t you ladies? They just speak P-say because it helps make the pack stronger. As to your cock, well, they would be the experts."

    "Ratya ya slashote, im mi randy machia!" one barked at Kae as another cued in on his name trying to coax him. "Cub, Cub, no remember, you want to go with me!" Instantly inspiring another to say; "Cub, ya na wanna dis slacho chote, ya wanna mi, grab mi hoots agin… Mmm soft an fancy yacha?"

    As each of them would try to convince Cub to go with them, each in kind would insult the others. No doubt just so she’d not feel left out, they’d all insult Kae as well.

    Within just a few seconds every one of them had rubbed his chest, back, even stroked his cock. Cub had been spun round no less than three times. His hands were placed on this breast then two others, that velvety cunnie, or that plump round bottom. To top it all off, now dancing on three-hits of Slide, Cub was in heaven. All except for one thing.

    With them yanking him here and there, Cub never had a chance to focus on even one part of them. In his inebriated state, he would have looked into just one pair of eyes for hours, stared at their lips, or gently rubbed his cheek upon their soft full breasts.

    Kae really did not think about it, though perhaps it was just old instincts from when she worked in the trade. So though sincere about what she said, what she did generated a much different outcome. Then again, perhaps it was nothing more than reflex on Cub’s part having been shaped by a strong woman.

    "Cub, Cub, look at me a second! Pay attention for a minute. Look into my eyes and focus. All six of these ‘ladies’ want to spend time with you, any way you want. If you want, pick one, two or all of them even, and I’ll stay with you to make sure you have a good time." Kae actually intending on keeping him safe.

    "So which gals do you like best?"

    Cub just beamed as though he had been given the world. Granted, in his condition you could have handed him a rock and he would have been thrilled. Nonetheless, he quickly blurted out his answer.

    "I like you best! I want to spend time with you" which actually surprised Kae at first.

    "Wha-- Cub wait, you don’t understand, now look at me. You can have sex, any way you want, with any of these gals you like best, so pick one or two, it’s up to you."

    "Okay!" Cub excitedly blurted out. "I pick you!"

    All at once, it struck her why he kept saying that. Rokka-Kae had a good ten years on him. She was beat up, scarred, course and intimidating. On top of it all, for good reasons he hated her. Kae realized that it was simply his focus, more so, the Slide talking.

    With that, she grasped his arms turning him to face all six of the gals. Instantly they put on their biggest smiles, posed this way then that, smoothed their hands over themselves, teasing their very best assets as Kae spoke clearly into his ear.

    "There you go Cub. Which one of these ladies do you like best? The naked one with the large breasts, or what about that real small one with the dark hair? Pick who you want to spend time with, just look them over and choose."

    Cub beamed taking his time scanning over the bevy of women before him. Sure, they all were here for his money, but for the most part, they were all young, smooth and clearly anxious to make any of his salacious dreams come true.

    Their smiles warmed him as their lustful expressions and pouts of desire tempted his long held resolve. He could see their exposed breasts swell with each breath as their nipples rose darkening, firming in anticipation of his attentions.

    Cub was slow and deliberate in his examination. His now freed libido coupled with three doses of Slide demanded that he linger and enjoy. Just as the women began to fidget, this all taking too long, Cub suddenly snapped out of hypnotic trance choosing one.

    "Okay, I’m sure of it! I pick you." not raising a finger to point nor even focus his gaze, still slowly scanning over them all.

    "Which one is that Cub?" Kae asked.

    "You" Cub flatly stated as he turned toward Kae, breaking his focus on the women smiling wide, beaming.

    Rokka-Kae was stunned gazing back up at him. As the women all began shouting various insults at Cub and Kae, "grizzled old wore out cum-ditch" being the nicest of them, unable to break her gaze with Cub, Kae simply in her lady like fashion, raised her middle finger at them airily saying nothing more than; "ratya."

    Rokka-Kae did not expect it, had not planned on it, nor even really understood Cub’s decision. After a long pause of staring at one another, Cub beaming and Kae looking confused, Kae figured that she was back to grinding concrete like she had years ago once again.

    With that, she took Cub’s hand looking for a place to spend the evening.

    Parking Old School:

    "You know Cub, this isn’t exactly a part of a Reaper’s job description. What made you want to spend your time with beat-up old me, I thought you hated me?"

    Rokka-Kae assumed that Cub was carefully choosing his words from the long pause before he began, but the words never came. Glancing back at him, finding his gaze fixed upon her hand.

    Mesmerized perhaps would be a better word. His eyes were wide and a goofy little smile graced his lips. When Kae looked to her own hand however, she realized that perhaps the contrast in leather and bare fingers with bands of steel around her thumb, middle and ring finger might be it. When she wiggled those fingers, Cub lit up.

    "Cub, please tell me that you didn’t take anything those women gave you. You act like you’re tripping on Syco."

    Cub didn’t even hear her she suspected, his locked gaze not even shifting. Shaking her head, she began looking for a place to stay to let him simply ride it out.

    As the people had thinned somewhat, so had the buildings. What had been large structures of offices, retail and manufacturing at one time over in the "R," had given way to smaller two, three and even single story buildings with parking lots beside them.

    A few of the buildings had been burned out from previous riots, though that didn’t keep them from being refilled with people. Some were packed with people having made small communities inside, gang-houses, and still others almost worked like businesses, typically offering collected and resold food, clothing, or even working like drug houses or brothels.

    In a few of the lots little shantytowns had been built. Definitely no where to go into, but the vast majority were filled with something quite different.

    Initially during the "Gathering," the people that flooded into this region brought as much as they could carry. No, they didn’t bring food or water, clothing to protect them from the elements, or tools to build and survive with. They just brought their junk. Their valuables, money, jewelry, paintings, antiques and their fanciest clothes… oh, and their guns to protect it all.

    Many also didn’t bring their trash in a more practical vehicle so they could haul even more of it such as a truck. No, they drove their most expensive cars, some even going so far as to rent, lease or buy some exotic sports car thinking they’d never have to return it.

    Once they arrived here however, all they found were roads choked with other cars simply left behind. So they would gather up all their precious bits of garbage that they could carry, shoulder their firearms and off they went leaving one more vehicle in the road.

    Finally the Army wised up blocking off every road into the region, and they got to work. Unable to take them far, they would simply push vehicles into this parking lot, old abandoned factory or field, and ultimately began stacking them. Not one or two deep mind you, four and even as high as eight vehicles high that Kae had seen.

    So it went. Kae and Cub would pass a filled building, a shantytown, another old building, a lot filled with stacked cars, another building, more cars, and so it went on both sides of the street as far as the eye could see. After about an hour of making their way through the ever-thinning crowds of people, Kae saw something that caught her eye.

    "Central Dispatch… What’s my location?" Kae called out on comms’.

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You are 137 meters north of 13-B-2 out of our control area, over.’

    "Roger Central… Initiate executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9 for your station, cease tracking, out."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… 3-7-9 tracking terminated until further notice, you are off our monitors, good luck and stay safe.’

    "Cub, are you still with me?" Kae asked.

    "Yeah, I’m getting really tired, and the people don’t seem as nice here and it’s getting ugly again."

    Kae held back her laugh with him coming down, deciding to hint at her point of all of this.

    "Well, not really Cub, you’re just not feeling those drugs as much now. It’s actually much nicer here. Anyway, hang tight for a minute and watch your armor and my bag. I just need to climb up on those cars a minute."

    With that, Kae scrambled up the vehicles stacked six high. The bottom three were crushed, yet as she poked around she found exactly what she was looking for. Checking it briefly, she was surprised to find that it was much nicer than she had hoped. Climbing back down, she began helping Cub up after hauling up her heavy bag and his armor.

    Once on top of the vehicles, Rokka-Kae opened the back door of one and told Cub to "be careful so you don’t fall, but strip off your armor so we don’t get contaminants up front and toss it in the back seat, then get in front."

    Helping him, well to be blunt pretty much doing it for him, eventually she was able to get Cub and all of his things into the vehicle. Taking one cigarette sticking it behind her ear, a couple matches in her teeth and her Second Skin removal spray wanting it off as it was already burning, she tossed in her bag. Stripping herself wanting to just relax a moment before settling in, she hoped that Cub would get bored and just crash. As she tossed in her clothes, he already appeared out.

    It was nice just being able to sit under the setting sun and feel a breeze blow over her. The smoke filling her mouth and lungs was calming, though all she could think of was how tired she was. This place had taxed her beyond her limits long ago. At this stage of the game, she just wanted to be somewhere, anywhere with no people and gently fade away.

    It would not be today however. Leaning back against the windshield just as she picked off the last of her Second Skin, crushing out her cigarette having smoked it right down to the filter, there suddenly came a tapping through the glass. Looking back to find Cub waving her in.

    ‘What now’ she thought as she crawled over the hood onto the next car, opened the driver’s door climbing in, and what a palace it was. An old Cadillac from the 70’s, the windows were intact and it was as perfect as the day it was abandoned. A nice wide bench seat already slid all of the way back covered in plush velour. Miracle of miracles, the battery had not drained so they could still open the windows and tilt the seats back.

    "Wow!" Kae exclaimed. "It’s like brand new, and so clean! What did you need Cubby? I thought you were sleeping."

    "Not me, I’m wide awake and you just looked so pretty out there and the sunset was so nice that--"

    Rokka-Kae immediately noted that Cub was a little ‘too happy’ again. A quick glance to his hand confirmed her fears cutting him off mid-sentence.

    "Cub, why? I thought you were sleepy" as she reached for the inhaler of Slide taking it from him, setting it on the dashboard.

    "Because, I just-- well this place is a nightmare and it makes it tolerable. You know, nicer. And besides, you told me you wanted me to do it. What does it matter anyway? You know, we can do it if you want to, like you said, it’s okay."

    Kae was so tired that she just smiled and sighed. Not so much tired from the long day, she was used to going two and even three days at times without sleep. She was tired of this place. It felt as though she had been on edge forever. The city and what went on there frankly having wore her down. Perhaps she was more tired of ‘it,’ though as she glanced down to take a breath she just chuckled. Cub was ready to go, so she thought fast simply to give herself a minute.

    "Okay Cub, we’ll do it again but I want to show you something first. Take your snooter and don’t put it into your nose like you have been. Leave it out a little and then do it so it won’t be as strong."

    With Cub already high, if she was going to have to do this she did not want him stoned. Doing as Kae requested, it peaked his buzz just a touch more.

    Deftly as an old pro, Rokka-Kae turned sliding over his lap facing him, leaning back the plush seat just a little. Setting her hand to his chest, she gently leaned him back. Once there, Kae slid up herself until the underside of his already full rigid cock pressed up between her slickened folds.

    When she asked him to close his eyes, Cub was confused but complied. That’s when she stunned him and even herself. Old habits perhaps, yet old hookers never kiss unless they’re with someone special. Kae didn’t think of Cub in that way, but knew every sensation was intensified on Slide. Slowly leaning in, as soft as a butterfly’s wings fluttering across his lips, she began to kiss him.

    Neither lustful nor urgent, Kae gently pressed her lips to Cub’s, barely moving at first. Beginning in line with his own, her head would tip ever so slightly, her mouth barely opening, to then drag her lips tight over his. Kae’s lips were soft and warm, her breath oddly sweet almost intoxicating itself.

    Cub did not realize it, but from the start, he had begun moaning. Her tempo and urgency slowly rose as her tongue flit over his lips, to then scarcely slip between them. Coupled with the Slide, Cub found himself in a paradise like he had never known.

    A simple kiss was so much more than he could have ever imagined. So much in fact, that it was a good fifteen minutes before he thought of anything else. When he recognized what else was going on however, it was all he could do not to cum.

    Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin

    Her nipples, swollen and firm, had been scrubbing back and forth over his chest all the while. At the same time Kae would squirm and grind. His cock was harder than he had ever known it to be, wedged tight, flanked on both sides by her slick velvety netherlips. Kae would slip up, shimmy, slowly grinding back down.

    Kae felt Cub tremble as his lips tensed thinning, choking back a moan knowing what was about to happen though they had barely started. Leaning back, staring into his eyes with a lecherous smirk, Kae then slid up toward his belly like a slow moving train riding a monorail.

    There it was, the tip of his cock just at the entrance of her glistening ebbing core. Without warning she slipped him inside pushing back until he could sink no deeper, then leaned forward whispering in his ear in a dusky low tone.

    "Cum in me…"

    Cub did not have to be asked twice; no matter what his mind wanted, his body demanded exactly this. With a roar his hips lifted off the seat as his head snapped back causing Kae to grind down, locking her toes under his thighs to pull tighter. Cub could feel every scalding jet rush up surging out into her. Each expulsion causing him to uncontrollably lurch up as if to thrust his thick seed even deeper.

    It was all Kae could do not to laugh. Not from amusement at his ungovernable convulsive trashing, but from the simple joy at having caused him so much pleasure, easily as rewarding as if she had orgasmed herself. Once Cub collapsed however Kae did not stop.

    Grinding slowly against his pubic mound in little circles, she gently urged him to not give into the overwhelming satisfaction sweeping over him. Be it his youth, the newness of it all, her urging or perhaps the Slide throughout his system, in just moments Cub’s hips were undulating up toward Kae. So now, she would let him explore as he was driven.

    Pulling up her right knee, she slipped her foot behind his bottom until her calve rest against his spine. With a simple pull Kae urged him to roll over top of her. Parting her legs even wider, she set her feet to the dashboard, her hands to the headrest pushing down against him and spoke once more with a growl.

    "Fuck me Cub. Move however you feel, you won’t hurt me."

    Cub’s languid Slide enamored eyes fluttered but a moment then narrowed slightly firming, seeming to question the validity of Kae’s offer. Pressing his left hand to the seat beside her shoulder, he raised his right slowly enveloping her breast and squeezed.

    Except for the tiniest curl at the corner of Kae’s mouth just past her scar, she did not move or even blink. His fingertips dragged over her soft flesh revealing her barcode tattoo, forming furrows as they converged upon her puffy areola. When they reached the hardened nub of her nipple squeezing, Kae’s eyes fluttered, her lips parted trembling and she cooed.

    That second, one of the violent storms that now ravaged the region rolled over them as torrents of rain began to fall. Kae smiled chuckling at the inevitable interruption. Setting her fingers to Cub’s lips to say 'wait,' she leaned out from under him reaching for the window’s controls, raising them. Pulling back under him after, when she looked up into his eyes the moment was gone.

    Be it the thought he had slipping away, or the Slide dancing in his mind confusing him from the interruption, Kae could tell that his animalistic urge had faded. With just the tip of his turgid cock inside of her beginning to soften, Kae stretched to reach around her own hips, firmly grasping his bottom. Raising her soles to the windshield, her toes began to climb. Once they reached the trim around the headliner, they curled to gain purchase as Kae pulled Cub into her violently.

    Surprised by her yank, Cub looked into her eyes with questioning confusion, so Kae would make it clear. The palms of her hands pushed his hips back, wherein her fingers would dig in, violently pulling him back, slamming inside her once more.

    There it was, just a glint in his eye, inspiring her to push then pull back again. Over and over each push then pull gaining in tempo and force. Cub’s hands slid to the seatback as his eyes took on a malevolent glare. When his lips canted in a wicked smirk, gripping the seat he thrust into Kae, slipping out of her hands.

    Each lunge was just that much more brutish. Each inspiring an urgent grunt as he’d thrust, only to be answered by Kae’s equally relenting. His pace and intensity quickly increasing and in just a moment Kae was overwhelmed.

    Heavy raindrops poured down by the thousands upon the roof, reverberating as though inside a thunderous drum. Each grunted, the seat groaned, their sweat slickened bodies slapped together sounding like a soaked rag being dropped on a hardwood floor again and again. Unable to stop it, Kae’s eyes rolled up and she began to mutter.

    "Oh, oh yeah Cub, oh yeah… fuck me, oh yeah fuck me, oh, oh yeah, oh, oh fuck!"

    Without warning Kae’s toes yanked from the roof, her legs spreading wide thrashing. Her chest thrust high and her breasts heaved. Kae’s taunt belly trembled as she began clawing at Cub’s hips intent on pulling him in to fill her void and hold him there. Cub refused.

    Cub’s own lust incensed, pressed his chest to hers pinning Kae to the seat while his abdomen pounded to her own again and again, driving his cock up into her to the hilt every thrust. Unable to simply bask in her afterglow, waves of ecstasy washing over her, Kae’s body reflexively surrendered.

    Her knees fell out wide to the seat as her feet violently flopped in the air. Kae’s mumbling now unintelligible had become but a murmur. Heavy lidded eyes unable to focus, winced as her constant moan was interrupted each thrust, the breath knocked from her. That’s when Cub felt the surge.

    The rush beginning in his gut and balls that demanded he drive into her one final time. Fighting to hold back the upwelling gush, he found it undeniable. Cub’s orgasm was announced with a resounding cry as every muscle in his body clenched, torrents of cum rushing up and out grinding into her.

    Kae simply collapsed. Arms falling to the seat, her feet dropping to each side. With each little thrust milking out his last, Cub’s cock would lurch jetting out each surge, finally dwindling to an ebbing, slowly lowering down upon her.

    Both were panting. Their skin so slick with sweat that they looked encased in glass. Remaining as they were when rutting, in no time their contented moans of satisfaction, slipped into heavy breaths of slumber.
  4. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    Lest ye be Judged
    Reaping the Harvest ~ 2029

    21. Same Difference ***
    22. Another Day
    23. Onward to Eden
    24. Oasis of Humanity
    25. Hide and Seek
    26. Tin Can Alley
    27. Field of Steel
    28. Molding a Killer
    29. A Mother’s Wrath
    30. Tower Horizon

    Same Difference ***:

    Three Stooges Theme by Columbia Pictures

    When the masses began to flood into the Northeast Megaregion, quickly the situation became unmanageable. Rural areas and suburbs surrounding the cities became logistically impossible to supply from the onset. To that end, people began to fill any and every space they could find. The closer to the city centers of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington the better.

    The real trouble began no more than a month into it. Constantly there were killings as people would try to drive the refugees out of their yards, garages and businesses. The roads were so choked with abandoned vehicles, people and even the little camps that they built, that no vehicles could get through to distribute food or water.

    In truth, that mattered little. Within two weeks, it was all gone. The dogs, cats, rats and even cockroaches quickly following suit.

    When the plagues hit, many unfortunately developed immunities. Of those that did not, there was no way to retrieve their bodies so they would just lie there. Quicker than expected, that did not matter for as soon as they would fall, they all would quickly vanish.

    It was about that time the "Mad Clown," constantly under attack by politicians insisting that he do something other than watch cartoons and golf, turned to his staff and secretaries demanding that they develop a plan. Granted, in retrospect considering the environmental and disaster relief issues, having dismantled the EPA and FEMA might not have been a good idea, but you have to eliminate government waste somewhere.

    The Mad Clown naturally was too busy, and since each memo for help exceeded his new ‘one-sentence limit,’ it would just be ignored. Unfortunately for him, Cletus T. Prusser took to the task of developing the "Agricultural Concept" to heart, presenting it to the Mad Clown. Since no one else would even return his calls, as suspected, no good deed goes unpunished.

    The Mad Clown issued his edict. Since Cletus T. Prusser had come up with the concept, ‘he’ would make it a reality. "Build my wall!" The Mad Clown shouted finally feeling vindicated, and with that, Cletus began to devise a plan.

    Cletus thought on it a little as he looked at a map, drawing a long ellipse that ran from Boston to Washington, D.C., forthwith running it back down to the president. It was a bad time since the Mad Clown’s show was just about to start. So beginning at Washington, being the center of the world since he was there, the Mad Clown began to consider Cletus’ map, naming off the cities as he went along.

    "Wash-ing-ton… Take a memo, we need to change the name to mine and put my logo on the White House. Ball-tee-more, Phila… Phila… Philly, New York--" just as singing started down the hall.

    ‘Ohhhhhh! Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous…’

    "That’s enough!" the Mad Clown shouted as he ran for the Lincoln Bedroom. "Get rid of the rest, there, I’ve done it for you! Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish sponge--" and that’s the last Cletus saw of him as the door slammed shut.

    ‘How difficult could this be’ thought Cletus? After all, he was the nations expert on agriculture having traded chicken-feet futures for years at the stock exchange.

    Adjusting the ellipse size on his map to exclude Boston and anything north of New York, he set to work with his pencil and ruler drawing a grid over the region. Unfortunately wanting to have 99-sections or less when he checked their size, he realized that each square was roughly 120 square-miles.

    At that point, he began working out the math after adjusting the shape of the new region to make it easier, deciding to divide it up working his way down.

    He split the whole thing up into four parts, each of those into ten, and those into ten, and after roughly a week of scratching his head, he realized that a square broken up into ten smaller squares didn’t work out, needing to break them up into perfect squares or 4, 9, 16, 25, etc.. So, he scratched that plan and started again.

    Redoing it all he soon realized that to get it down to a small enough size working from the top meant a lot of trial and error, all error in fact. So he started working from the bottom up.

    Considering the park size he lived next to in downtown Chicago, where he began his agricultural career mowing lawns, Cletus began. And so it went, again, and again, and… again. In the end, as the people starved, there was chaos in the streets, and civilization basically was ending waiting for his decision, but by sheer luck he hit on how it would be.

    The governors from many states, each in turn, would burst into his office and demand to know where everyone from their states would be located so they could all be together. Naturally the governors from the states within the designated area, all wanted to make sure their borders would be preserved, and so it went with each county, city, town and you get the picture.

    To top it all off, the Joint Chiefs wanted to insure that each branch of the military would have their own reservations, pretty much all told asking for double the size of the area that the president would allow for the whole kit and caboodle.

    Finally, the Super-Corporation C.E.O.s all began demanding to keep their properties preserved, the wealthy demanding the same. It was like providence. The answer had been given to him along with a number of substantial contributions into his retirement fund.

    What was most important to the Mad Clown? His personal interests and properties. So, to protect them, and having worked so hard on his "rings of fields" agricultural plan, the area would be broken up as follows.

    It would be called "MR1." Mostly in that the Mad Clown’s eyes glazed over when Cletus called it the Northeast Mega-Region.

    Next, he split-up MR1 into four sub-regions or "Sections." A large circle around Washington, D.C. that reached the southern edge of Baltimore, a thin section from Baltimore to Wilmington, a large bulge around Philadelphia reaching Wilmington’s northern edge and it would narrow down at Trenton, running up to Edison. Finally there was a large circle around New York City, and they got everything down to Edison.

    At that point not wanting to be yelled at by the governors, mayors and generals again, city, county and state lines were eradicated along with their governments due to the overlap. Sending out copies of his maps to everyone who was wealthy and all of the Super-Corporations, he asked them to circle their properties. Once they had, naturally adding just a bit more, he went back to work.

    Around each Fed-Gov, Super-Corp, or wealthy citizen’s property he drew a larger ring for the Productive fields, a larger one still for the Fertile fields, and one even larger for those Pastoral. The result was a map that had a considerable amount of undesignated land, with a number of rings overlapping... and that is the point he locked his door and was never seen again.

    A couple of weeks later, as his secretary exchanged his old dishes for new meals by leaving them outside his door, along with them were also the heaps of notes, and attempts at maps he had generated. On top of the pile, he added a single note, a lock of his hair and seven toenail trimmings.

    ‘I’ve done the hard part, finish this. XOXOXO Cletus.’

    Looking over Cletus’ scribblings, the woman who would never be named got to work using detailed satellite mapping. Seeing right off that the roads and highways of the region, let alone the various cities, didn’t typically run in an exact north-south configuration, she’d not worry about it.

    Starting with a reasonable size of a square, she built out from there a progressively larger grid using designators that would define them easily, and they resulted in the following:

    The entire 22,304 sq. km. MR1 region would be split up thusly:
    Grids: .125x.125km, .0156-sq.km., designated 1-16.
    Wards: 16 Grids make up a Ward, .5x.5km, .25-sq.km., designated A-Z excluding I.
    Sectors: 25 Wards make up a Sector, 2.5x2.5km, 6.25-sq.km., designated 1-16.
    Units: 16 Sectors make up a Unit, 10x10km, 100-sq.km., designated A-Z excluding I.
    Sub-Sections: 25 Units make up a Sub-Section, 50x50km, 2,500-sq.km, designated 1-9.
    Sections: MR1 is divided into 4-Sections, the number of Units and sq.-km. in a Section varies.

    Drawing a line from Washington to New York, she overlayed one Unit centrally over Washington, D.C., and simply began overlaying units centrally along the northeast line insuring that their north/south edges did not overlap. Once to that point, she laid in units east and west as needed, laid in Cletus’s four sections or sub-regions, drew in his little circles expanding all except the inner Homestead circles a bit more, then added one final touch.

    At each corner of a grid, and over each gate when they decided where they should be, a large number should be painted including ‘Sector-Ward-Grid’ designations. When she informed Cletus that she was done, he shouted through the door; "use ‘machine tool Vista-Green’ for the paint, it looks more agricultural, and take it to the president!"

    The color he demanded was a putrid yellowish green, almost institutional yet she specified it. Taking it to the president with him insisting upon putting his mark on it, he designated the font to be used and that they should be "yuge, as yuge as me!"

    Oddly, he had decided to use an old condensed Soviet Union font. So once the walls were erected, the gates set in place, and the ‘yuge’ Soviet font added at each Grid-corner in a vile machine green, on no matter what was there, be it a building, abandoned car, or the ground…

    One would have been hard pressed to tell if they were in the United States, or cold-war East Berlin. Nevertheless it was done.

    Finally, maybe, the people could eat.

    Well, almost. It seems that a pair of lowly Army privates, tasked with painting the numbers around what was formerly Dublin, Maryland was discovered doing the unthinkable.

    To confirm their position to do the job right, they would check their GPS units to be sure, check the Military Grid Reference System, that just happens to be the same as the U.S. National Grid system. Of course, there was that whole latitude and longitude system and so on.

    Perhaps one day the military would get smart and catch up. Then the people could eat.

    Unfortunately, just as with any democratic republic that is run like a kakistocracy, there never seems to be an end to the bad decisions. That left just one more last (for real this time) issue… thankfully.

    Pressured by the Mad Clown to rename Washington, D.C. after him, since they were eliminating names anyway, Cletus did as directed with not the best results. Once the Mad Clown vanished, the new President and Congress renamed the location "Homestead Capital." Naturally, that required all of the maps being recalled and replaced though paper now was in short supply.

    To 94% of the population however, it having once been named "-censored-ington," once the previous president was referred to as the "Mad Clown," the people came up with their own name which stuck.

    Oddly appropriate no matter the era, they simply referred to Washington, D.C., now Homestead Capital, as the "Circus." It seems that the Mad Clown’s legacy just wouldn’t die.

    Nonetheless, all the government now had left to do, was figure out how to feed the people.

    Another Day:
    Throughout the night, the loud reverberations from the torrential rain never seemed to end. Rokka-Kae slept as she typically did, even with Cub lying over and inside her. She would suddenly jerk, shudder, whine and weep, only on two occasions doing anything different.

    The first time Cub had awoken and as one would expect, he began moving slowly within her though he tried not to, or so he told himself. As he began to move just a little bit more, Kae’s eyes opened slightly, wherein she slipped a single hand to his hip and muttered; "it’s okay go ahead."

    Cub tried to move slowly. Kae however encouraged him to do what he needed, languidly murmuring for him to go ahead and cum, urging him on with both her hands and words. The second time she was awakened, at any other she might have been startled. With Cub gently moving inside her once more, she was reminded of where she was and whom she was with.

    Kae watched him the longest time, mostly in that he was staring at her. He would look over her body tracing her curves and hollows, wherein he began fixating upon this tattoo or scar, and finally he did something that concerned her.

    It was not so much what he did or where he was looking, yet how he did or more true, his expression. Gazing at the scars on her face, he had a look of fascination. Not one of curiosity, that would not have bothered her.

    No, he was looking over her scars from top to bottom like one would look over a newborn child, enraptured, caring and unable to look away. Kae observed him for a couple minutes hoping it was just the Slide in his system. When she realized it was not, she gave him something else to think on.

    Setting her hand to his chest, when he beamed she just smiled pushing him away. With a groan feeling stiff, she turned over, set her knees into the crease between the seat and its back leaning forward, then extended her bottom toward him on all fours saying; "Try doing it like this, see how you like it."

    Cub was intrigued doing as she suggested, slipping himself into her warm depths from behind. When he moved just a little too gently, making love instead of just fucking her, Kae put that even into perspective.

    Reaching between her legs, she began gently stroking his balls to encourage him. When that had not shifted his movements to something more base, she grabbed one of his hands pulling it to her breast driving back against him, speaking salaciously.

    "Do it Cub, fuck me. Fuck me harder, harder. Do it, yes do it, cum in me…"

    Once he had, Kae leaned the passenger seat back and laid him in it. To hopefully keep him in place, she stretched out over the seat long-ways, her shins over his legs telling him to get some sleep. Oh sure, he rubbed her legs while undoubtedly looking Kae over from head to toe, but he could not see her face and that she knew was critical. Shortly she went back to her dreaming as eventually, Cub did as well.

    When Kae stirred in the morning gradually working through her routine, she did not notice Cub’s attention regarding another thing that she would not have cared for, though he had. She’d groan, try to stretch, twist her back and crack it, working through all her joints loosing little grunts as she did.

    Finally, she would take in a deep breath, loose a long sigh whispering out; "another day… just breathe."

    Rokka-Kae would struggle to rise, and her expression after wincing at every movement would find her looking so sad that she might start weeping. Instead, she would grit her teeth and her expression would grow stern, yet the second she noticed Cub looking at her it was like a switch had been thrown.

    Instantly she’d smile wide with a glint in her eye, acting as if this was the best morning she had ever known. Then made some vulgar comment no doubt to deflect the topic from being her.

    "So you’re awake. Well I don’t know about your cock, but I’m going to be walking bowlegged all day. Anyway, lets get up and get moving, we don’t have far to go."

    Hustling Cub to get going, just as she expected he was lethargic, plus his mood had soured regarding this place, though sadly not about her. As Cub viewed it, this place had gone from bad one day, to nightmarish the next, then confusing and out of no where blindingly wonderful, back to bad.

    A light drizzle fell from the sky overcast in green, pink and purplish hues as it was such mornings since the Reckoning, although to the west you could see it was clearing. Once dressed, neither speaking during, they climbed down from the cars and began heading out.

    In Cub’s eye’s everything overnight had changed. Besides the humidity, wherein one would have thought that the heavy rain would have washed away the stink of this place, it had simply made it worse. Reminiscent of garbage in an open sewer that had fermented in the sun, it was all Cub could do to take in a breath.

    He had expected to see few people out, but the streets were already crowded. Every inch of available space, people had put out anything they could find to catch the rain. On top of it all, most were naked having used the downpour as an opportunity to thankfully bathe.

    As they walked along, Cub for the first time since arriving here took stock of the people. Everyone seemed to have scars, scabs, bruises and other old injuries along with those new. They were all uncharacteristically skinny, all of their joints were swollen and their bones were more defined.

    None of them smiled, even the hookers were already hustling, clearly never taking time off. Angry scowls, looking sad or lackluster deadpan expressions dominated everyone’s demeanor. This place was ugly, the people were ugly, it stank, was filthy and everything seemed beaten up and wore down.

    "I hate this place" Cub muttered.

    "It’s the same as yesterday" Kae replied. "Everyday is exactly the same here. Nothing to look forward to, the same things to worry about and be afraid of, every single day."

    "It wasn’t so bad yesterday" Cub heading her off before she responded. "And yes I know, it was the drugs. Say, didn’t you get a second one of those, the same thing?"

    "An addict already huh?" Kae responded.

    "No… Just it made this place tolerable and not so hateful and ugly, but I’m no addict, you said I wouldn’t become one."

    Rokka-Kae suddenly stopped grasping his arm, turning him to face her.

    "But you are, I lied." Cub looked at Kae in shock as she continued.

    "Oh, your body may not need it, but your mind is telling you that it felt good. That it made everything better, and that you had no problems after taking it. In fact, you’re telling yourself that yesterday was the best day you can remember, and if you do it again, today will be too.

    "Worst of all though, you know deep in your heart, if you do just one more snoot then you can get through today without losing your mind. You’re a junkie now, a Slide junkie… for a ‘damn good’ reason."

    "But I don’t have to do it!" Cub blasted back.

    "I know… but you want it. If you could get it and didn’t think I’d judge you, you’d do it. Tomorrow, you might not even care what I thought. That’s the point of you doing it. Now you understand how so many of these people will use that stuff as often as they can get it. Believe me, not having it after doing it a while will make this place seem a million times worse. So, what do they do then? Get more. That’s the point."

    "Well, they just need to limit how often they use it" Cub rationalized.

    "Limit it? Every day here is bad, you haven’t even seen bad yet. That place I shot up, you know the one. That place is just everyday here. I’m serious when I say you haven’t seen bad, or had to live it every single day, year after year or worse still, realize that there is no way out. You know you’ll be going home, this is their home, there is no way out… except, dope or something else to take their mind off it."

    "Well, they just need to find something productive to do, and the government should prosecute the dealers." Cub tried to rationalize.

    "Productive? Look around us" Kae pressed him. "These people are struggling and working their asses off just to have water. They also have to find food and not get robbed, raped or murdered in the process. As to the dealers… I told you, they get the stuff to make it from the government and corporations. That’s how they keep these people compliant. Each day that they get high, that’s another day the gov-corp fools stay in power.

    "See, you’d have me go after these people. It’s not these people, but then, you know that now ‘slick-Weed.’ Who’s going to go after the dealers? The real dealers, the politicians and corporations… you?"

    "Yes… yes! I’d go after them. If what I’m pushing for happens, I’d go after them!" Cub fiercely fired back.

    "Well then, I guess yesterday was a good one after all. Now you understand these people a little better. Anyway, come on let’s get moving, I want to pick up some food before we get to where we’re going."

    Though Cub dropped the subject, he knew that Rokka-Kae was right. He did want more Slide and realized that he had barely experienced ‘here.’ As much as he felt compelled due to his upbringing to blame these people for their own misfortune, he was smart enough to realize that perhaps, they hadn’t brought it on themselves.

    In just a couple minutes, Rokka-Kae and Cub came upon a long line of people extending a solid two blocks along the side of a number of buildings. At the head of the line stood a group of perhaps fifteen men and women that had crowded around what looked like an ATM, and it was only as they neared that he could tell what was happening.

    As the people stepped up, they would tap their credit bracelet to a metal half-sphere, causing four of those yellow protein blocks to drop into a tray. At that point however, the large group would force them to hand over two of their blocks that they would toss in a box. The next person would step up, and the whole scenario would just repeat itself.

    Rokka-Kae did not even wait in line, exposing her neck tattoo to the people at the head of it stepping in. Not surprisingly, the group or gang didn’t care, though the people in line grumbled. Punching in some number on the keypad, instead of four blocks dropping out, a door in front unlatched and Kae pulled out a twelve-inch cubed box filled with blocks.

    Handing the box back to Cub telling him to hold it, the gang was stunned. Especially when she did it a second time, inspiring one of the gang to grab her arm.

    "Where do you think you’re going chote, pay up" one of them blurted out not using pidgin. Kae just froze in place, slowly turned and glared as she spoke.

    "No… and don’t press me or I’ll take everything you’ve stolen from these hungry people."

    "Who do you think you are? We’re the Darth Vaders, you pay or else!"

    Rokka-Kae looked firm right up until he revealed their gang-name. At that point, she burst out laughing so hard her prosthesis almost shot out of her mouth having to cover her face. As they stood there surprised by her response, Rokka-Kae stepped back handing Cub the second box.

    "The Darth Vaders? Boy, are you just that young or that stupid? Should I come over to the dark side? Anyway, no. I’ll not tell you again" as she pulled her collar aside having to restrain her chuckle to firm up her expression.

    "We don’t care if you’re a Reaper chote, we’ve killed lots of Reapers. What are you gonna do against seventeen of us?" The young man lashed back.

    Kae took another step back crouching slightly. Cub instantly recognized what she was doing. So much so, that on cue she twisted just a bit from her knees to her shoulders to the right preparing to draw speaking.

    "What? Well, I guess I’ll harvest sixteen of you and leave the last one to negotiate with. Who wants to be number seventeen?" After a few seconds for her threat to register, a couple of them from each side backed away but nobody else was moving. Redirecting her comments to the people in line as she backed out into the street, Kae nudged Cub to move back as well.

    "All of you in line! Today is your lucky day! The…" snorting in amusement, "Darth Vaders are going to give everyone in line an extra protein block! If they don’t, then tell me when I come back through! And I’ll harvest, every… single… one! You, you were next, step up."

    Rokka-Kae stood there and watched as the first three people were each handed an extra block. She knew that once she stepped away the gang would go right back to stealing. She also knew that the people here would lie just to get Kae to rid them of the gang, yet none of it mattered. To a point, she knew that the gangs as parasitic as they were also brought order.

    Nevertheless, the incident was already forgotten as far as she was concerned as they walked away. She had better things to do, and righting wrongs was not why she had been put in this place anyway.

    Cub however couldn’t resist bluntly asking her; "don’t you ever get scared?"

    Rokka-Kae’s response was as vague as ever; "Cub I already told you, it’s just another day."

    Onward to Eden:

    "Oh hell I forgot" Rokka-Kae muttered.

    "Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Do you copy? Are you tracking me?" Kae asked on comms’.

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Central Dispatch… Affirmative. You are at 8-J-11. Welcome to P4-Dispatch over.’

    "Copy Central… Initiate executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9 for your station, cease tracking, confirm, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Hold for 4-Core Command.’

    ‘Reaper-379, 4-Command… State the reason for your request, over.’

    "Negative 4-Command… Review executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9, then confirm, over."

    It took a few minutes, but eventually 4-Command responded. Rokka-Kae refused to move the entire time, standing there waiting impatiently.

    ‘Reaper-379, 4-Command… Executive protocol H-A-F-01-379 for this station has been initiated. Request granted. Tracking terminated until further notice, you are off our monitors. Be aware, you are on your own, out.’

    Once dispatch confirmed that Rokka-Kae was no longer being tracked, she finally began moving.

    With each step heading north, Kae became happier and more excited. Moving into an older industrial area, Cub noticed that compared to where they had just been, the people had thinned to a point walking was easier. Turning left and heading up to the next street, just as they began to turn right onto it, Rokka-Kae froze where she stood clearly alarmed by something.

    With Kae just barely into the intersection, Cub stepped forward thinking to ask what was wrong, but even he noticed it. The street they were on had the same sized crowd they had been moving through. The street they were turning north onto, to the south, looked the same. Heading north however, except for a small group about halfway up against a building to the right, the street was absolutely devoid of people.

    Kae was clearly on edge, her good mood abruptly vanishing as she told Cub to follow her a different way. After passing that street, they turned north up an alley. Rokka-Kae had them zigzagging always keeping under cover from up ahead. Finally, she turned between two very old brick buildings, each three or four stories high, the space between them less than three-feet wide at best, the boxes making moving up it difficult.

    About halfway, Rokka-Kae stopped just under a convex mirror located on the southern wall, and handing Cub her box, she told him what to do.

    "Cub, here, take mine and squat down. If you see anyone, anyone at all the way we came in, tell me instantly."

    Rokka-Kae drew both of her pistols pointing them to each end of the alley, prepared to fire simply on a word. Slipping her foot into a missing brick at the foot of the wall, she oddly kicked a couple times then nervously waited. In perhaps a two minutes, Cub could hear a voice speaking though another brick sized opening just above Kae’s head.

    "Rokka-Kae? Is that a friend with you?" Kae just nodded staying focussed in the opposite direction of Cub. "The new way will be too hard to find, you’ll have to come in the front past them. The lower door will open with three knocks."

    "Cub, listen to me and focus, no questions. We’re going to move up this alley till its end. Keep watching behind and when we get to the end we’ll stop. When I say go, don’t run but move quickly. About fifty feet up you’ll find a steel door. Only the lower half will open so get low and as soon as you’re there, pound on it three-times. When it opens, move in as fast as you can, okay?"

    With each word Kae spoke, Cub became more scared. As soon as he nodded however, they started moving. Kae stopped at the end, waited about fifteen seconds finally saying; "go," and they quickly moved up the street. Rokka-Kae for the distance remained focussed upon the opposite side. They had just made it to the door as Cub squatted down pounding three-times on it, when a shout came from the other side of the street.

    "Yaha! Namoo wacha, donya namoo flat bobyacha! Who is ya?"

    The second they had stopped, Rokka-Kae performed her little squat and twist holstering her left pistol while raising the right toward the men; her position obviously meant to shield Cub. Instantly, the six-men began running across the empty street as the door opened. Cub tossing in the boxes scrambling in after them.

    Rokka-Kae did not hesitate as the men charged; instantly firing causing all six of them to fall. Just as quick, a hailstorm of bullets began raining down toward her from all directions as Kae dove through the door. As fast as she was, a number of rounds followed her in. Sounding like gravel pounding upon the steel, the moment she was through it, the door was violently closed from the far side.

    The gunfire was so accurate, that Rokka-Kae was hit three-times. The last two rounds slammed her into the wall and swung her leg around. Struggling to get up to all fours, Rokka-Kae glanced up at Cub clearly shaken. The second she noticed him looking at her however, she forced out a big grin and with her voice trembling, shouted at him due to the adrenaline.

    "Some fun huh Cub! Wanna do it again?"

    As Cub reached over to help her up, Kae harshly waved him off crawling away from everyone. Oddly, the two men there did not move except for one grasping Cub’s shoulder to suggest that he leave her be. Kae curling up into a ball in the corner shaking. No one said a word until she slowly began to stretch out. Wincing and cursing she slipped off her jacket checking a graze to her side.

    "Billy get the kit around the corner." A man said, his words then softened almost as though he was afraid to speak to Kae. "Kae, Kae… may I look at that?"

    "Holy-fuck am I dead? I can swear I hear Jesus talking to me!" Kae barked back trying to easy the tension, though her voice was still shaky and loud. Rokka-Kae then responded once more, correcting her pronunciation to the Spanish form of Jesus being ‘Hey-zeus.’ "Damn-it, wrong Jesus. Sure come ahead Jesus, I know you just want to look at my tits."

    "Everyday all day long. Welcome back Kae, like our new neighbors?"

    "Oh yeah, I already said hello to six of em… Ugh, fuck that stings. So how about you tell me about em while you stare at my boobs?"

    The man perhaps in his early fifties named Jesus, speaking with just a touch of a Spanish accent chuckled and began cleaning up and wrapping a bandage around Kae. As he did, he told her how the old gang in that building they got along with well, had been wiped out by another much larger gang.

    Perhaps two hundred strong all told, they called themselves the ‘Black Scorpions,’ supposedly their biker-gang’s name before the Gathering. They had pretty much wiped out both blocks yet couldn’t get Jesus and his people out. He knew they wanted this building, everything they believed it contained, yet mostly all of the people in it. Kae just winced, nodded and listened as she calmed herself, and only when he was through did she speak.

    "Okay, so do you think you can hold out for a few more days, like maybe three or four?"

    "Kae…" Jesus responded as though talking to a caring child. "We can hold out forever, it’s just life and remember, it’s not what you do."

    "Yeah, yeah… I keep saying it, yet I never seem to get around to doing what I’m supposed to. Anyway… Oh, that’s Cub there. Don’t let the monsters gobble him up too quickly. Speaking of which, we both need to change out of these first. Where are my clothes, you didn’t give them away did you?"

    As they began walking into the building, Jesus told her that her clothes were still there and that he had some that would fit Cub as well. Kae seemed to be getting more excited by the second until just as they topped some steps a shrill voice called out, causing Rokka-Kae to throw up her hands and shout harshly.


    "No! You stay there! You know the rules, no getting near me until I get changed. Now stay back!"

    There up the hall stood a single little girl. The second she shouted, kids seemed to swarm out behind her by the dozen, all whining and complaining about not getting to see Kae yet. Rokka-Kae virtually ran to a room in the opposite direction. She was in such a hurry in fact, that by the time Jesus and Cub arrived, she had already stripped off her things dropping them into a pile and was frantically going through suitcases.

    "Where did you put them? Come on, where are they?" Kae shouted out.

    Jesus walked directly to a suitcase on the opposite side of the room opening it stating; "Right where you left them" glancing to Cub. "She never remembers. Here Cub, let me find you something that fits."

    In a flash, Kae had slipped on a long linen skirt and a blue button-down men’s shirt which she tied up in front and before Cub could even get his gun off, she literally ran out the door and down the hall. Jesus just laughed shaking his head telling Cub to ‘take his time, Kae will be getting beaten up by the monsters.’ When they finally made it to where she was supposed to be, Rokka-Kae was gone.

    Looking into a room mid-way up that old factory’s hall, Cub was sure of it. Reaper-379 was nowhere to be found. What he saw instead made him tear-up.

    There on the floor sat Kae, swarmed over by perhaps thirty children ranging in age from perhaps four to twelve years old. Kae was beaming although crying the entire time. Hugging each child like it was her own that had been lost years ago and was suddenly found. At points, she would even have three or four at a time gathered up in her arms. The look of unadulterated joy upon her face was without question.

    Jesus just patted Cub on his back and spoke urging him away. "Come on Cub, how about I show you around. It will be a good hour at least before we can speak with her. I think you’ll like our home, have you been in the zone long?"

    Rokka-Kae was in heaven. As Cub took one last glance at her as he was dragged off, a thought struck him. That perhaps, this demon had turned out to be an angel instead.

    Oasis of Humanity:
    Cub was stunned as Jesus walked him around the entire massive old building. Though there were many people living there, perhaps one hundred all told, single men and women, orphaned children and whole families, it was by no means crowded. Families had their own rooms as did couples without children in some cases. Many of the single men and women opted however to live in dorms of a sort as did all of the orphaned children.

    What was even more surprising was that they had water. Not water tapped off of the city lines that might be turned off and on at a whim, yet a true deep well that a windmill on the roof pumped up into a cistern. From there it was plumbed back down to the various levels. Even the old employee locker room showers still worked, though only ran air-temperature water.

    There was a large recreation area like a gymnasium. It had the old factory hardwood floors within it, which had been hand sanded smooth and clean. There was a massive library, of public library proportions filling three large rooms. The real miracle however was on the roof. Taking steps up to it, when they emerged it was like being in Eden itself.

    Supposedly, all of the plants of the world had died and would not re-grow. Here on the roof flanked by four-foot walls heightened by four-foot tall heavy steel plates, there were countless types of plants growing and all of them were bearing fruit. There were beans, peas, tomatoes, and peppers. Stacked-up tires filled with layers of potatoes and even onions and garlic growing. The list went on. As it turned out, down in the basement levels they were even growing mushrooms.

    Everything that made up the world he had witnessed in the Fertile and Pastoral zones was contrary in this place, and when he thought about it, even in the Homestead zone. It was bountiful, they were educating themselves. Most of all, they all seemed to be happy.

    There was a large commercial kitchen area that served the old cafeteria which had been part of the factory. The list of accomplishments went on. After all of the good and the wonder, even the armory did not bode ill in that it existed to protect this place from those that would abuse it.

    Eventually, Jesus led Cub to what was the schoolroom expecting to find Kae there. What they found was the teacher chastising the children to not make fun of Kae as she was being punished.

    While the teacher continued the children’s lessons, there Kae was by the side chalkboards having to write one hundred times; ‘I will not take out my face in class.’ This bonafide killer, scarred up and barefoot, was scratching away with a deep exaggerated pout muttering and grumbling writing out her punishment.

    Once she was done, Kae continued her overacted show. Almost stomping, she marched to the corner taking a seat facing into it. The chair was so low and small that her knees were up by her chest. To Cub and Jesus, it was obvious. The entire scene was clearly staged for the children’s benefit. The children absolutely adored it, only endearing Kae to them all that much more.

    Finally, Jesus interrupted the class asking if he could ‘borrow’ Kae. The children protested, nonetheless the teacher agreed that it would be a good idea since Kae was not minding. As though on cue, just as Kae began to leave, the teacher turned her back to point out something she had written and Kae like some unruly child stuck her tongue out at her. The kids loved it.

    To Cub, Kae looked like a totally different person. She seemed so alive and at ease, happy to play the fool, simply to bring more joy into this place. As they walked, Jesus mentioned how he really wanted to show Kae something, yet to get there they would have to pass through the kitchen.

    Once into the kitchen area pointing out what they were having for dinner, found Kae and Cub both looking concerned. One of the women was mixing up some of the plentiful spices still found around the city into what was clearly ground meat.

    Kae instantly grasped Jesus’ arm whispering; "why didn’t you tell me it was this bad? We’ll head back out and get some more protein blocks."

    Jesus just laughed stating how; ‘they used those for other things now,’ and continued to urge Cub and Kae along as he grabbed a hand-generating flashlight. Down into the basement they went moving to a shallow area broken through the concrete. As it turned out, they had been digging down to gather more old soil encountering a very old brick tunnel even finding the door.

    Once inside, Kae heard something that definitely bothered her, but by all accounts, knew that it was impossible. With that, Jesus turned on the light and there they were, thousands upon thousands of rats. There were so many that it looked like a giant squirming mass of fur and bare tails. Instantly fearless Kae leapt back hiding behind Jesus just as he began casting protein blocks into the swarm.

    Unexpectedly, a rat dropped on Kae from the ceiling, and that was that. Kae frantically flailed slapping at every inch of her body, running from the tunnel screaming. Cub and Jesus howled with laughter at Kae’s reaction.

    When they finally found her, she was still spontaneously grimacing as she’d shudder. Still laughing they asked her if she was okay, Jesus trying to calm her explaining that; "it was just a rat," inspiring Rokka-Kae to explain.

    As it turned out, when she was very young, one of her owners had become angry with her and his solution was simple. He dropped Kae into a 55-gallon oil drum, poured in a bucket of table scraps and other garbage upon her, and topped it all off with roughly twenty rats and sealed it up. As he did, he warned her that there were only a couple days of food in there, and he would let her out in five.

    True to what he claimed, the rats devoured it all and then turned on her. After being bitten a few times, Kae realized if she would snap one’s neck, they would eat it instead. After a day of being bitten killing one at a time, Kae finally had enough. When the man opened the drum in five days, there sat Kae, cold and more defiant than ever; her legs buried in fourteen dead rats.

    It was a story of unimaginable cruelty that she spewed out like it was just a typical day. Jesus was both ashamed and saddened. Cub on the other hand seemed to be fascinated or perhaps enamored. Realizing that who he believed was some two-dimensional monster, was quickly becoming a well-traveled woman.

    Afterwards, Cub and Kae made use of the showers having access to soap even. Kae played with the children more, Cub spoke with the people living there. When it came time for dinner, Cub was once more stunned on many levels.

    Besides the feast of rat-meat made into seasoned patties and limited portions of vegetables, before the meal began, Jesus called for a prayer, asking Rokka-Kae if she would say it being their guest.

    As everyone grasped the hands of those next to them, Kae instead stood up, and with a bit of effort, kneeled down on the floor pressing her palms to one another bowing her head in supplication. Instantly, all of the children wanting to mimic her did the same bringing a smile to everyone’s face. Rokka-Kae then began in a clear voice.

    "Our God, we humbly beg you to hear our prayer. Thank you God for the blessings of another day lived. Guide us so that tomorrow we may live it well in service to you. Thank you for the bounty you have provided, and the guidance to raise it up.

    "We thank you for our community, friends and loved ones, and ask that you protect them, give them courage, and make them healthy and strong. We thank you most of all for having watched over us, and gratefully ask in the name of all your children, your prophets and saviors, that you accept our prayer. Amen."

    As soon as she was through, everyone agreed also saying "amen" except for Cub. He instead sat there staring in surprise that she would so willingly humble herself by kneeling and bowing. He was in awe of her words. Even more so, by how she said it in that she sounded so sincere and grateful. When she asked not only did she say "beg," yet she sounded like she was, and when she thanked God, the gratitude was deep and obvious.

    Unfortunately, Kae with a grunt stood up beaming, pointed to the children and called to them causing most of the adults to teasingly groan and complain. Each time Kae would ask a question, the children would repeat the answer along with Kae trying to out shout her.

    "Okay kids let’s help teach these oldies once again! What’s the most important law in the world?"

    ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!’

    "Right! And what’s the second most important law?"

    ‘Judge not, that you be not judged!’

    "Okay, but why?"

    ‘Because the judgements you make, you will be judged by!’

    "And?" Wherein several of the children fumbled and looked confused after, so Kae finished for them.

    "And with the measure you use it, meaning how often and how harshly you judge, will be measured to you… Meaning, your judgements of others, how you view them, and how you treat them after means you agree to be treated just the same.

    "Okay, what is most important? List them off in order!"

    ‘God, family and friends, our community, other people, then ourselves!’

    "Right!" Wherein Kae looked at Cub speaking directly to him; "And our government falls way below that.

    "Finally kids, what’s the forth law?"

    All of the children and even the adults looked to one another having seen this routine many times, yet there never having been a forth before. Kae just stood there as though waiting for someone to answer; though actually was waiting for someone to ask. Little Tim finally being the one, Kae’s answer simple.

    "The fourth law is, save the preachin’ for Sunday, let’s eat!"

    Rokka-Kae did not give what she had said a second thought past that she had meant it. She did not look for praise, nor had she tried to impress anyone. She simply spoke from the heart. When Kae caught Cub staring at her, perhaps it was his own starry-eyed expression or perhaps her own humility, but she just pointed at him, then down to his food winking, mouthing the word "eat."

    After dinner, though the children wanted her to play and she did as well, she made it a point to impress upon them that they needed to clean up first and she was right in there washing dishes with the rest of them. When Jesus asked if she would speak with him a moment, Kae once again set aside her own wants to do so. More than that, she made it seem to both the children and to Jesus, that what each of them wanted was most important to her.

    Surprising him with a cigarette and the Tequila, Jesus asked her opinions on what they should do. Should they move, attack, stay defensive or perhaps even see if the Planters would help them. Rokka-Kae was adamant on all counts. She would resolve this problem and he by no means should trust anyone, especially the government.

    Asking him to hold out four days at the most, she would be back, continuing on to impress upon him how by him letting her do so would help "her," doing all she could to make him feel as though he was doing her a favor.

    Finally, when Kae thought she would have some time with the children, Jesus mentioned to her that it was almost 7:30PM. Rokka-Kae’s eyes went wide and without a word, she simply vanished. With that Jesus invited Cub to join him and the others since he would not get to visit with Kae again tonight, so he might as well join the community during their weekly dance.

    Cub again was amazed. Here these people enduring the horrible conditions of the Pastoral zone were flourishing. They used a windup phonograph to play records, other times played instruments and sang. Everyone was smiling, dancing and having a good time. Jesus even pointed out to Cub how he had caught the eye of a number of younger women, and he would be glad to introduce him.

    When Cub declined, Jesus could see in his eyes and hear in his tone why. Cub was neither shy nor did he find them unattractive, he just frankly had his eye on someone else. So Jesus took him to where Kae was, taking the time to try and gently dissuade him.

    Sleeping with "her fatties" as she called them, Jesus had Cub peek through a door, wherein he had to really look just to understand what he was seeing. In a massive bed were two older women. Besides being likely as tall as Cub, they had to be the most obese people he had ever seen. Lying there naked facing one another, Cub was confused asking where Kae was, Jesus prompting him to look closer.

    Just barely peeking out, sandwiched between their massive breasts was Kae’s mouth, nose, eyes and forehead. Between their bellies up stuck a hand, and from between one of their calves could be seen one of her feet just sticking out past them. Odder still, Kae was not shivering, jerking, groaning or crying. What she was doing however was snoring like a sailor, and the wide grin on her face could not be denied. Jesus elucidating upon who they were.

    "From how it was explained to me, the gang that used to live across the street, found them here in this very room right on the brink of starvation. You’d never know it, but they actually barely eat. In any case, I guess whomever had been taking care of them had been killed during the Gathering. So the gang nursed them back to health and took care of them.

    "Kae a few months after brought about twenty of us here including myself, so, we began to help out. Kae kept bringing more people and a few others found their way, so the TreLobos decided that they’d move to the other building to not expose our people to how they liked to live. Gert and Fran there gave them the keys with their thanks."

    "I thought you said they were a gang?" Cub asked.

    "Well they were" Jesus replied. "Most gangs actually take care of their communities. They do what they do and sometimes that can be pretty bad. Yet, they seem to have a stronger sense of community and family than most people actually. Ask Kae about it, she can really explain it well. Look at her. You know… that’s the only time she sleeps peacefully. That’s why she ran off like she did, she’s always so tired."

    Jesus pulled Cub away, suggesting to him that since the dance was not of any interest, Kae had mentioned something she wanted him to read. Picking up a large book in the library, Jesus took him to a room of his own in that the single’s dorm area might be a little too hedonistic for his tastes, and pointed out a few pages that he might find of interest.

    The pages were exact transcriptions of the United States Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, collectively known as the Charters of Freedom. Cub mentioned how he knew them by heart causing Jesus to just smile and ask; "do you?"

    He suggested that Cub just read them since the book was from before the ordered mass burnings by the Mad Clown, and he might find some differences. Past that he stated he’d make him copies for when they came back, left him alone and bid him goodnight.

    Cub scoffed at the idea even though Rokka-Kae had mentioned it before. As he started to read however, instantly the documents revealed themselves to be totally different.

    Past the older phrasing, these documents ordered controls of the government and gave the rights to the people. Directly opposite of how the newer versions read. Some of the rights were retained, albeit in the newer documents it was very specific as to who would be granted those rights. Essentially, those rights were given to just the most powerful in the Homestead zones.

    That night, Cub read them a number of times, also thinking on Kae quite a bit and how differently he was beginning to view her. The next thing he knew, there was Kae standing over him waking him up, telling him to get dressed that they had to get moving. Cub only had one question.


    Hide and Seek:

    "Why?" Kae repeated making him wonder if she was mocking him. "Because we don’t belong here. You and I belong to the worst parts of this land. These people are part of the best. I come here and I brought ‘you’ here to remind us of why we live in the worst, and that is to fight for the best. Now come on, lets go."

    Janny and Bill at Jesus’ direction led Kae and Cub down into the lower levels again. There they began following a maze of old tunnels that linked up many of the buildings in the area.

    "Fortunately" Janny mentioned, "the building the Black Scorpions occupied was not connected. We found all of the exits and either blocked them off, or secured and camouflaged them."

    Once to the end, they handed Cub his own canteen and a small backpack, Kae’s already having been filled, plus a parcel of food of which they would not accept Kae’s refusal to take. Janny explained; ‘that each day at dawn and dusk over the next week they would be there, and to use a specific knock that Bill rapped out for them.’ After silently unlocking and opening the manhole cover, Kae and Cub slowly slipped out under a pile of debris, emerging inside a collapsed factory.

    Cautiously moving to insure they would not be spotted, eventually they found themselves emerging far down the block from Jesus’ and the Scorpion’s buildings. On Kae’s command, they ran to the other side of the street, the fact it was early morning helping considerably. After moving a block east turning south, Kae paused urging Cub to pay attention.

    "Cub, listen to me. It’s important that we get to the roof of this building without being seen. If we come upon anyone, and I mean anyone, you need to assume they’re a threat. Those stun batons we’ve been lugging around is what you’ll want to use. They’re safe as long as you’re not holding the grip, but if you are, don’t touch the top twelve inches of them.

    "Now this part is important. When you use them, don’t trust that they’ll stun the person. Use them like a club hitting them as hard as you can, preferably in the head. Just come down as though you mean to hit the ground, forget about their head being there, and keep hitting them with one then the other until they’re down and not moving. Lastly, ‘don’t’ worry about how bad you hurt them. Just look up and keep moving. Okay, let’s go."

    Snapping out one of her short swords, Kae began moving down an alley stopping often, always keeping to cover. Pausing at a doorway and looking in, Kae grabbed Cubs arm pulling at him to follow.

    Moving through what was clearly an old warehouse, Kae was both cautious and deliberate before she would proceed and in where she would move to next.

    Regardless, there came a point where Kae peeked into a narrow crevice moving past it. Cub had been nervously looking behind them so had fallen behind, and just as he approached the crevice, out slipped a man who instantly raised his shotgun toward Rokka-Kae’s head.

    Cub’s response was clearly one of reflex not intent. Afraid as he was, gripping the baton tightly with it pointed up, instead of striking the man he gingerly extended out his arm just barely touching him on the back of his head. Though just a light tap, instantly there was a loud deep sound like a fuse blowing, the man abruptly crumpled, falling into the back of Kae’s legs.

    Rokka-Kae wheeled around surprised, beamed at Cub stepping back to him whispering, taking his baton to demonstrate.

    "Good job! Thanks, you saved my ass, but just a little harder, okay? They’ll pop like that when something isn’t hit hard enough. There’s also mercury in them so when you swing, it flows to the tip and really bashes them. Here, do it like this…"

    Interested in learning, Cub paid attention only to be bluntly horrified. With the man lying there lifeless before them, out cold from the electrical stun, Kae raised the baton over her head and swung. Not just a tap mind you, she put so much force into it that her expression changed, clubbing the man’s head so hard that the baton sunk a good inch into his skull killing him.

    "See? Like that, good job! Here, help me."

    Kae literally beamed at Cub trying to praise his work, revealing in the process killing that man meant nothing to her. Dragging his body to the side covering it up, without hesitation they were on the move again.

    After the paradise of yesterday spent with an angel, Cub found himself right back in hell with the devil. What had happened was bad enough, but it was the stark contrasts from moment to moment here which made all of it bad. It was as though all of the good was simply there to torment you. Just to be a reminder of all you left behind.

    Finally making it to the roof, Kae gained her bearings and once moving to the edge, just peering over the parapet, she began using her comms’.

    "P4-Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Do you copy, over?"

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Central Dispatch… Affirmative, go ahead.’

    "Central, Reaper-379… Resume tracking, confirm when you have me."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You are back on our monitors, over.’

    "Central… Note my location and patch me through to command, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… You are at 8-J-6-2 northeast, right on the edge. Hold for 4-Core Command.’

    ‘Reaper-379, 4-Command… Go ahead, over.’

    "4-Command… Review executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9, re-confirm initiation, over."

    It took just a few seconds before 4-Command responded having reviewed the file yesterday.

    ‘Reaper-379, 4-Command… Executive protocol H-A-F-01-379 for this sector has been initiated. Go ahead, over.’

    "4-Command… Reaper-379 requests a Herbicide-Mission utilizing a Crop-Duster in roughly one-zero-eight hours. Confirm request received, over."

    ‘Uh you, uh--, Reaper-379, 4-Command… Repeat your request, over.’

    "4-Command… Reaper-379 requests a Herbicide-Mission utilizing a Crop-Duster in roughly one-zero-eight hours. Repeat and amend... Reaper-379 requests a Herbicide-Mission utilizing a Crop-Duster, with F-O-G, Fog, in roughly one-zero-eight hours. Confirm request received, over."

    ‘Reaper-379… I can’t authorize a Herbicide-Mission let alone a Crop-Duster, and certainly not Fog… I mean, I can’t--‘

    "4-Command… Patch me through to Federal Command for Section-3, I’ll wait."

    ‘Section-3 Command… Go ahead.’

    "Section-3 Command, Reaper-379… Review executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9, confirm when finished and initiate, over."

    ‘Reaper? Reaper-379… You do not have author--’

    "Section-3 Command, review and execute executive protocol ‘H-A-F-01-379.’ Do it right now or transfer me to D-O-J Homestead Capital!"

    After perhaps ten minutes, Section-3 finally responded.

    ‘Reaper-379, Section-3 Command… Executive protocol H-A-F-01-379 for this unit has been initiated. Go ahead, over.’

    "Section-3 Command… Reaper-379 requests a Herbicide-Mission utilizing a Crop-Duster and F-O-G, Fog in roughly one-zero-eight hours. Confirm request received, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Section-3 Command… Request received. Command asks that you reconsider due to the projected response, over.’

    "Negative Section-3 Command… Review H-A-F-01-379, confirm mission request."

    ‘Reaper-379, Section-3 Command… Affirmative, request approved. Herbicide-Mission via Crop-Duster with Fog authorized. State your target, over.’

    "Section-3… P-4 Central Dispatch for this sector has me on their monitor. Have them locate and fix the structure one hundred meters… correction, three hundred feet due west of me. There should be a street adjacent to the west. Review then confirm, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Section-3 Command… The structure has been located and files will be reviewed by Crop-Duster ordinance. What is your requested impact and Fog deployment, over.’

    "Section-3… Impact result is to be a vertical drop of the structure. Minimal collateral, any expected to be directed easterly. Fog is to be as tight as possible and stationary, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Section-3 Command… Confirming Herbicide mission via Crop-Dusting, vertical structure drop with minimal collateral directed easterly. Satellite is being re-tasked for Finger of God, stationary minimal placement, in approximately one-zero-eight hours. Advise as soon as possible regarding mission time to coordinate. Be advised, Fog request can only be maintained thirty-seconds due to pattern. I hope you know what you’re doing, this is going to be bad. Section-3 Command out.’

    "Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Terminate tracking me. Confirm, out."

    ‘Reaper-379, P-4 Dispatch… Tracking terminated until further notice, you are off our monitors, out.’

    Cub just stared at Kae the entire time. None of that made sense though he could guess that Kae had requested that the Black Scorpion’s building be bombed. Why she was waiting he had no idea, albeit, he’d not get a chance to ask as Rokka-Kae led them off the roof, and in no time they were headed northwest.

    As the Rush Comes by Motorcycle

    Tin Can Alley:
    Cub and Kae walked for the longest time without saying a word. Kae was used to the silence. Most people here preferred not to speak with her if they could avoid it. As far as they were concerned, she was a Reaper much like the Grim Reaper himself, seemingly randomly taking life. Their best course was to avoid her kind at all costs.

    Cub on the other hand had made his mark on this world using his sharp mind and eloquent tongue. Bothered by what happened with the man that he stunned, Cub considered broaching the subject with Kae, although something entirely different came out.

    "So, tell me about yourself Kae, I’d really like to know."

    "Okay," Rokka-Kae responded, "that’s what you’re here for anyway. Hmm let’s see. You’ve seen me draw my pistol, I guess it’s just habit because they’re so heavy, but I’ll always bend my knees a little and twist to the right to get some leverage. I’m not really fast but ‘decisive,’ so when you see me start reaching--"

    "No not that stuff. About you." Cub interrupted. "You know, where do you come from, what did you do before coming here and stuff like that. Oh I know, was that story about the rats true? I just really want to get to know you better is all."

    Rokka-Kae could hear it in his voice. It was not the words so much as his tone. The same tone she suspected that a young man would use trying to convince a gal that he was sincerely interested in her. That was just a guess having never formed any relationships of any note, though it seemed like a reasonable guess. If true, what he asked her was the worst possible thing to talk about.

    Then again, having some idea as to his upbringing, Kae figured the best answer to his question to hopefully resolve that potential hiccup, just might be the truth. So with that she just laid it out there.

    "Me huh? Okay, well you’re like what, twenty-nine, thirty maybe? Well I’m over forty years old. I’m not really sure how old, probably around forty-two or three.

    "So let’s see, me, hmm. Well, I was born in a place called Hak Nam that makes this place seem deserted. It’s over in Kowloon, or I guess you’d know Hong Kong better. Anyway, I guess when they started tearing it down it was about then that I was made a slave."

    "A what?" Cub interrupted. "Slavery is illegal."

    "Indeed…" Kae continued chuckling. "Regardless it still goes on, hell your country bought me from the Triads, so don’t go thinking that they’re above it. Millions in the world are slaves, real slaves."

    "What kind of work did they make you do?"

    Kae stiffened at his question, her casual expression instantly firming. Without a hitch though, she continued wanting to sully any positive opinions about her Cub might be forming.

    "Well, let’s not get into that. Let’s just say that the rat story besides being true would be one of the highpoints. Anyway, I guess it was maybe the thirtieth person or so who owned me. When he tried a second time to throw scalding water on me, I ended up killing him and just like that, I was free. So, not knowing how to do anything, I began sucking cocks to survive--"

    ‘What? You mean you had to become a prostitute?" Cub asked, the shock in his voice was perfect confirming to Kae that this was the right tack.

    "Well I didn’t have to, I suppose I could have swept floors or cleaned toilets if there were any jobs, which there weren’t, but that was about it not able to read or write back then, I never had any schooling. Anyway, I’d work strip-clubs and massage parlors, sometimes brothels though not for long, but mostly I’d freelance in bars. Really anywhere that I could make money by getting a man to stick his dick in me."

    Glancing at Cub, Kae struggled not to smile. She wasn’t feeding him some line, yet the look on his face, his stunned eyes and lips parted in astonishment, sealed the deal in her mind as to moving him in the right direction regarding her.

    "So anyway, I got really good at it, I mean real good. I could make a guy pop with my mouth in just a couple minutes, which is good money when he paid for an hour. Heck, once I got my boys," Kae continued grabbing her breasts through her jacket, "if I took the guy under me in my ass, another could fuck my twat while I jerked off and blew three others, and that left my tits meaning I could even wedge in a sixth. Big parties were kind of my specialty. Once I got pretty though, it all ended."

    "What do you mean by that?" Cub asked in a depressed tone, though he had started to wonder where they were at due to the odd change in their surroundings. More than that, with each step the people had begun to thin out until there were barely any at all.

    "Oh well, this guy one night said he wanted to fuck me in the ass while I lie flat on the bed. I was a little high on smack… that’s heroin by the way... so, I guess I didn’t pay attention to what he was doing like I should have. Anyway, he’s hammering away and I could tell he was about ready to cum and just like a switch, blam, lights out.

    "I guess he was some kind of psycho that liked killing whores just as he’d cum. In any case, he missed and just shot off half my face. That’s how I got my scar there and that fancy dental work.

    "At that point, I was pretty messed up. It took me about six months to recover though it still hurts all the time. But, there was a doctor in the slum I was living in that worked on me a bunch of times, a guy who made dentures fixed up the teeth, and there was another guy who was really good with working metal."

    "Is that when you came here?" Cub asked now looking sick.

    "Oh hell no, that was a long time after. I tried working smiles-tables after… oh wait; they don’t have those here. Where you sit under a table and blow everyone, but my face hurt too much. So I tried working glory holes with just my twat or ass, but bending over like that hurt too much too. So… I started using more dope until one night an old couple in the slum were frantic because their granddaughter had been kidnapped."

    "Did-- did you do it?" Cub asked, clearly afraid to hear the answer.

    "What? Don’t ask stupid questions. No I didn’t do it! What I did do was ask around knowing a lower class of people and found out who did. It was this Filipino guy named Eduardo. Anyway, I tracked him down and found out where he had her, and as it turned out six others, and I guess I just lost it. So, I beat him to death with a pipe. That’s when I guess it all started, I went a little crazy then."

    "Crazy like how?" Cub asked looking almost as disturbed as he did his first few minutes in the zone. Not only was what she was saying concerning him after that radical shift in his opinion back at Jesus’, yet they had moved into an area where shipping containers stacked three high were crammed into every space that didn’t contain cars, a building or home.

    "Well crazy like I had a lot of money… from sucking cock... So, I bought me a gun and I’d find out who was slaving and go kill em. I guess I went on kind of a rampage, hehe. Pretty soon a lot of the folks that had family taken, or were getting pressured by these thugs or that gang were coming to me asking for help.

    "Anyway, it was all pretty random until I ended up killing this Triad under-boss. Nobody liked him, they knew he was a pretty bad guy, but, they couldn’t have folks doing that. So, they sent a couple guys to kill me. As you can guess that didn’t work out so well."

    "Was that when you came here, to get away from them?" Cub pressed waiting for the ‘happy ending’ or upbeat moral to her story. Although, as he looked around and considered all he had seen in the past few days, he suspected that it had not happened yet.

    "No, I’ll get to that. Anyway… hmm, I say that a lot huh? I need to break that habit. Anyway, not that I was ever trained, but I started getting pretty good with guns, knives and so on, and after a couple more tries to bump me off, especially after I began retaliating and working my way up, various bosses starting giving me jobs.

    "I suspect they figured that if I got killed then they wouldn’t get blamed for it, and though they didn’t like it, I think they respected that I wouldn’t go after a guy just because they wanted me to. He had to be someone who hurt regular folks or kids."

    "Okay but who sent you here?" Cub pressed, causing Kae to laugh at his impatience as their surroundings shifted to a sight that was almost surreal.

    As far as the eye could see it seemed, there was row after row of shipping containers three-high wedged in right next to one another. Not simply hundreds, but tens of thousands.

    Perpendicular to the road on each side, there was what looked like narrow dirt aisle-ways. On either side of the aisle with their doors facing in, the stacks of containers would begin and he could not see the end of them. They had butted another row of stacks up against the second one, then another aisle and another pair of rows, and it seemed to go on forever.

    "Okay, well I did. Your president, that Mad Clown guy, was fucking everything up, not just here but everywhere. You people really had no idea how much you affected the world, though he fucked that up too I guess. Anyway, I was approached to go after him by a Triad supposedly contacted by the Chinese government. After I thought about it a bit and how much harm he was causing, I figured why not?"

    "The Chinese sent you here to kill our president?" Cub asked in shock.

    "Well initially, though I don’t know that for a fact, and really it was stupid. I didn’t have the skill to do it, I just had a lot of rage is all. Anyway, we did it smart and since your country had started hiring Reapers being just after the Gathering, we had the Triads sell me to your country. ‘Who’ by the way was more than happy to buy a slave.

    "The day I was shipped out I’ll never forget. The Mad Clown was so bad, that as I walked buck naked to that miserable cage, there was a gauntlet of representatives from a bunch of nations to see me off that I had to walk through."

    Cub for just a moment looked like some great realization had washed over him. As though the thought never occurred to him, that the nation he loved was so hated. It was that moment unfortunately his expression changed to one of pity, and out of nowhere he grabbed Kae’s arm and turned her toward him looking sad.

    "I’m so sorry you had to go through that…" Cub flatly stated.

    "What?" Rokka-Kae blurted out in confusion as Cub pulled her toward him to try to hug her.

    "I’m so sorry, I never realized."

    "Get the fuck off me!" Kae snapped as she pushed him back. "Don’t you dare feel sorry for me, what in the hell is wrong with you? You know I about killed you too don’t you?" Kae blurted out enraged by him taking pity on her.

    "What? Why kill me?" Cub asked, stunned by what Rokka-Kae had said, taking a step back and almost looking like she had threatened to do it now.

    "Why indeed. The better question however is, ‘who wants you dead?’ Remember, I’m just some dumb enraged whore that kills assholes that hurt others, and a slave at that. So you tell me, who would want you dead?"

    "Well, uh, well no one that I know of. I haven’t hurt anyone!" Cub fired out as his eyes darted about; biting half of his lip trying to figure out who would want him killed. Thereupon another thought raced into his mind as he began slowly backing up.

    "Is that why I’m here, are you supposed to kill me?"

    A little smirk slipped over Rokka-Kae’s lips somewhat tickled at seeing Cub squirm. It struck her that now would be as good of a time as any, so slowly she lowered her right hand toward her pistol, crouching slightly as she twisted to the right.

    Cub’s eyes grew wide as he took another step backward inspiring Kae’s eyes to narrow. That moment, Cub made his move. In a flash, his hands went up in the air and Kae just sighed rising back to standing.

    "Relax Cub, I’m just teasing you. I told you already. I’ll protect you no matter what, you’re the most important person in the world to me right now, so put your hands down. We have to turn here anyway."

    As Kae began walking up one of the dirt aisles between the rows of stacked containers, Cub held back just a little, unsure. Kae however was sure. Sure that Cub was not nearly ready yet. Worst of all, considering what she planned on doing, Kae wasn’t sure if he ever would be. Nevertheless, perhaps now was a good time to fill him in a little more as to his precious inner circle.

    "Cub, really, I was just playing with you. I tell you what. Let’s climb up and I’ll tell you about when things changed for me here because of you. Part of that being, who wanted you harvested."

    Waving for him to follow, Kae led Cub to a steel ladder and began to climb.

    Field of Steel:
    Though Cub had noticed, he had not really given much thought to this place. Once Kae began scaling a ladder, finally taking note.

    Each stack of three containers had two steel ladders with a tread-plate platform just as wide at the top. The first ladder led up to the middle container and the platform was welded there just left of center. The second ladder went up to the top container further out and over the first.

    "What is this place anyhow?" Cub asked.

    "Well right as the cities began to fill up, some Pastoral Planner got the bright idea of using shipping containers for housing. So they tossed a bucket and two blankets into each one, brought them out to wherever they could find some space and stacked them up.

    "The trouble was though, it made for pretty rough living. Besides the top one being an oven, it gets a bit old sleeping on steel. Then the killings started."

    "What killings?" Cub pressed.

    "Oh, just usual stuff at first, folks fussing, stealing and whatnot. But, when they stopped getting food and water out this far, people would find the door to their container closed and latched locking them in. Once they’d weaken enough, then whoever locked them in there would go back and finish them off. Why I always check first."

    Kae just pulled slightly at the latched door of the top container, quickly reeling back.

    "Whew, there’s one. Lets go back down and over one, we’re not going inside one of these death traps, but we have to open the door to climb up."

    Back down the ladder they went moving to the next stack, wherein she found the same putrid odor seeping from it. Finally at the third, Kae opened the door and with a bit of effort carrying her bag on her back, made it up on top of the container.

    "Cub, see if the blankets are still in there before you come up."

    With a shrug, Cub walked into the huge steel coffin and once his eyes adjusted, he saw two plastic packages in a bucket way to the back. Once there, unexpectedly he heard a loud bang, as it suddenly became dark from the door closing. With the bucket in hand he raced to the door finding it locked.

    Frantically shoving and banging on the door shouting the entire time for Kae to open it, when he let off it enough, Kae pulled up the rod and he was free.

    "You fucking bitch! That wasn’t funny!" Cub shouted at Kae who at first was unable to answer laughing so hard.

    "Well now you know why we’ll be sleeping up top. Good thing to remember Cubby. Your life can be over that easy. Come on now take it easy, I see your vocabulary is expanding. Toss me up the bucket and climb up, just go slow and be careful."

    Kae was still chuckling and Cub stewing by the time they got most of their gear off and into Kae’s bag, all except his gun. Though both of their jackets were off, Kae’s modesty as always lacking, Kae told Cub to leave his pants and boots on so he would not get contaminants on his skin. Walking him to near the edge by the aisle, Kae handed his gun to him.

    "Time you learned how to shoot this. It’s easy, just flip that switch down, and aim it at the container across the aisle. Hold it tight and just squeeze."

    A little hesitant, Cub raised the gun and fired. Standing wrong and holding his arm stiff, the moment the gun went off Cub stumbled backwards tripping on the corrugated steel landing on his rump. Kae naturally always the diplomat just howled.

    Once Kae had stop laughing, and once Cub had stopped cursing, mostly due to Kae telling him that he was starting to speak like her, she showed him how to hold the gun and what to watch out for. After perhaps ten rounds on semi-auto, she had him finish off the magazine on full, and finally they sat down to eat.

    As Cub ate, Kae smoked and she began to ask him a few questions first.

    "Let me ask you something. Before that riot at the White House, how many gangs did you see around it. In fact, how many crimes did you ‘personally’ see going on?"

    "Well none I guess. But I had all of the reports of all the crimes that were going on, and had a lot of first hand accounts reported to me, all of the statistics for all of MR1" Cub countered.

    "And yet… out of the blue some lowly gang leads a whole bunch of other gangs right up to the most heavily defended place in the nation, to supposedly kidnap or kill the most important politician in the nation. Why? For what? You’ve seen the walls.

    "Do you think that those gangs would have gotten through them? Remember, we’re not talking about ‘a wall.’ We’re talking about three walls where as you pass each, the force the government can bring to bear grows exponentially."

    Cub just looked at Kae. In one regard it made sense, yet he had seen the numbers. What frustrated him most of all, was how it seemed that so many cases resulted in not guilty verdicts. Even those after the riots, he had heard why and what the gangs had done to insure that, yet still it didn’t make sense on many levels.

    "Okay, look Cub. All of the gangs are in the Pastoral zones, all. Gangs like you find near the gates and like those Black Scorpions are pretty rare. For the most part, they’re a lot like that gang that was there before the Black Scorpions, the TreLobos, and perhaps even more so like Jesus and his people. There are hundreds of thousands of groups and places like Jesus’. Maybe even millions.

    "Most of the gangs though work like militias. Oh sure, they might run whores or dope, they might even shake down folks like those Darth Vaders" wherein Kae snorted and chuckled.

    "Anyway, most gangs are about community. So they take care of the community around them, and the community lets them do their thing and everyone wins. They’re really the ‘only’ law and government in the Pastoral zone. Which brings us to your speech."

    "But I’ve seen the statistics, and my speech? What speech?" Cub asked. "You’ve heard my speeches?"

    "Well I’ve only heard two. First that one about the police being beleaguered, the courts being a laughing stock and all that ending with reclaiming the land for the people. The second one after all those trials, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here, stand up and turn around for a minute. Pull your pants down just a little."

    Cub thought her request was a little strange especially when she started rifling through her bag. His first thought being, she was going to give him a ‘gutshot’ like Patty had done to him. Though tempting, not wanting to get used to that stuff, Cub clenched in preparation to refuse, and then he heard Kae speaking.

    "Class-four negative harvest, staring at my tits and ass, stop, mark."

    Cub’s brow scrunched up confused until suddenly he felt Kae set something the size of her cigarette pack to his butt-cheek causing Cub to instantly jump away falling onto the next stack of containers. His ass felt on fire, and if he had not felt the logger first, he would have thought she had burned him with a cigarette.

    "What the fuck did you do!" Cub shouted jumping up straining to look at the barcode singed into his skin.

    Kae on the other hand was literally rolling on the blanket laughing only able to howl out; "now you’re a statistic!"

    It took Kae a good five-minutes to stop laughing. Cub on the other hand was getting a little tired of being made to feel the fool by her since day one in this hell hole. In the meantime, she washed off his shoulders and back, added some first-aid ointment to his rump, finally begging him to sit down as she sat off to the side facing him.

    "I’ll just try to say all of this as simply as I can, otherwise I’ll end up confusing myself, and Margaret swore to me that after she’d explain all of this to you in detail.

    "The Pastoral zones are the only places there are gangs. Most people though, are just normal folks trying to survive. Fertile zones just have families in them, and people are shuffled from one zone to the other according to whether or not they have DNA matching children there.

    "I’d say it is a fair guess that you’ve only been to the Productive, Fed-Gov and Super-Corp zones, you know, the ones they call ‘Homestead.’ Okay that said. Courts, real courts and police and laws, they only really happen in the zones you’ve been in.

    "In the Fertile zone it’s my understanding that they have kinda-sorta police, but unless it’s something serious they don’t do much. Besides that, there it’s just martial law. The police say, you do. If you don’t, they just take you in and there’s no trial, it’s just you did this, here’s your punishment. Oh, and that punishment is a minimum of five years hard labor, and no one, ‘no one’ survives longer than three.

    "Finally, in the Pastoral zone there is no law and order except for the gangs. Planters move families into the Fertile zone, or kick non-families into the Pastoral, and pick up stray kids… who by the way, never, ever get back with their parents.

    "Gleaners are basically slavers. They pick up anybody for whatever putting them to work doing whatever they say until they die. Be clear on that, no one survives the minimum sentence."

    "Well but that leaves you, well and other Reapers. You’re the police right?" Cub finally getting a word in asked.

    "No Cub. A Reaper’s job is to do one thing, kill. Oh sure, it’s up to us to decide who, but every other Reaper I’ve met has been a sadistic psychopath, worse than the worst here. They call these people Weeds, and everything else they use some farming term for because they view them as a crop… as food.

    "The more a Reaper kills, the better as far as they’re concerned. And the ‘only’ reason they just don’t kill all the Weeds is, because then there would be no food, so the Fertile zone citizens would know they’d be next."

    Kae just sat there looking at Cub letting it all sink in. If you could cram every negative emotion into a single expression, that would have been Cub’s. After reading the U.S. Bill of Rights and other documents that Jesus showed him, he knew that something was wrong, yet never to this degree. Kae leaned over placing her hand on his chest, and began to tell him why he was here with her… partly.

    "So anyway like I said. I came here to try to get to that Mad Clown president. By the time I got here though, he was gone, and it became pretty obvious I was trapped in the Pastoral zone. So I either could be a Reaper, or quit and be food. The first year I had it a lot worse than you have. I was almost killed a bunch of times, raped quite a few, it goes on but anyway... so I threw myself into my work.

    "What I didn’t do though was just kill anyone. Only the really bad ones. Yes, people get killed collaterally, yet that’s just the nature of being here, and as you’ve seen when it comes to kids, I have a zero-tolerance. In any case, there was enough bad here that I made a name for myself, and pretty soon they have a mission I’m supposed to help on in the Circus sometime in 2027.

    "In the transport, I had a lot of time to go over the pictures of everyone they really wanted. Your president was one, you were another, and part of what they had on you was your first speech to Congress.

    "You see, your speech along with Gurney and a few others scared some folks. Mostly the wealthy, Super-Corp people and a few in the government getting kickbacks, so they decided to fix that little problem before you learned too much about what was going on and told everyone else."

    "That’s outrageous! Why are we wasting time here, we need to let Congress and the President know!" Cub shouted out.

    "Wait! Hold on a second!" Kae lashed back.

    "A lot of people know, and I only know all of this because Margaret filled me in. There just wasn’t any other choice supposedly. This place was all that Mad Clown’s legacy, yet if the people found out then it would be over, revolution. See Gurney was letting you find out for yourself would be my guess, at which point I assume he knew you’d want to do something.

    "Nevertheless, Margaret asked me if I would kind of mess things up a bit. So when they bussed in that P-Street Posse and those other gangs getting them past the gates, when chaos broke out, I’d hit a few to turn them this way or that, slow them down, take out the worst and that’s about all I could do.

    "I was captured like the rest of them, but I and a few others were pulled out of there before we talked about this paradise. Others like those gang members tried, the juries, who by the way were all plants by the Super-Corp people, would have set free no matter what. Otherwise, they would have killed those gang members instead before trial."

    Each little piece of information that Kae would tell Cub, found his emotions pinballing from one to the next. Anger, concern, fear, rage… none of them positive, and the longer she spoke on top of them all, an expression of hopeless pointlessness had slowly begun to dominate them.

    "So fast forward to your second speech, the one about Judges being out in the streets. If you came here just like I did, you would learn what was going on. All of that yelling about due-process and the rights of the people, they didn’t mean us people, but themselves. They knew that eventually you’d get around to them. Think about it…

    "Most of the problems and crime is because these people are suffering while they’re not. That whole issue with kids as passports? Gone once the Fertile and Pastoral wall is down, but then there is no hundred million-person shield. It becomes close to four hundred million pissed off starving people, and they’re all looking into the Productive and Homestead zones surrounding them.

    "More than that, it means no slaves, no food, no dope to keep people passive because they can’t make that much if it spreads… Oh! And no new army with all those kids that just disappear once the Planters get them. Margaret hinted at it once, but I’d bet they’re grooming them to be obedient stooges. A whole army once they get old enough in a couple years, nice and indoctrinated knowing nothing else."

    At that point Rokka-Kae finally stopped, or more appropriately ‘shut-up’ and just stared at Cub as he seemed to be mulling every bit of it over. Realizing that he’d be awake for a while, Kae suggested that he take the first watch in that the people out here would "eat them," and to wake her up if anyone came or when he became tired.

    Lying on her back staring up at the green tinted sky dusk approaching, azure skies a thing of the past, Rokka-Kae pondered on what she planned on doing, wondering if it would work.

    Her greatest concern however was not summing up all that she had been telling Cub, or even really if both of them could do what was needed. Her fear dealt with whether or not she was willing to seal the deal regarding her soul’s fate. As much as she hated the people here, she also loved them.

    Cub’s mind however was a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts and emotions. He believed what Rokka-Kae had been telling him now having seen it first hand, but over the course of just a few days, the focus of his rage and resolve had been brought into question. Now faced with a much bigger problem, that being, the system and those at the top that had abused it, he wondered if he was really up to the task.

    As he looked out over the vast unending field of corrugated container tops, the sky to the west lit up in hues of green, purple and pinks. Cub also questioned his opinion on this hybrid of a devil and angel shuddering and weeping as she slept beside him.

    His greatest debate at the moment being; when this was all said and done, should he just leave her here, or perhaps even stay himself, and then again, would she leave this place to go with him.

    Molding a Killer:
    At some point late in the night, Cub was awakened when his head struck the edge of the steel corrugations. Realizing there was no way he could stay awake any longer, and not liking the idea of being eaten alive in his sleep, Cub turned to Kae preparing to wake her.

    Just by chance being one of her still moments as she slept, as Cub looked her over he was compelled to hesitate just a moment, fixing her image in his mind. Lying on her back, she looked so peaceful. Her expression was relaxed though her face was streaked from tears washing away the ever present dust and smoke that filled the air.

    Kae’s facial features albeit scarred were pleasant, and as he panned down over her, it seemed the balance of her, just like her demeanor, was a collection of stark contrasts of a hard life lived.

    She was lean, her ribs showing as she breathed; yet, they seemed to terminate at a smooth flat belly and full round breasts. Kae’s stomach would rise and fall each breath, undulating like swells upon the sea. Her breasts grew and shrank as her chest expanded then relaxed; full and firm becoming soft and inviting. Her dark nipples looked puffy and swollen; though hard looking buds tipped them, urging him to suckle though he never had.

    Cub also knew that Kae’s skin felt like butter though it was tanned like leather; the perfection of the consistent tone had been defiled and corrupted by both scar and tattoo. Cub knew he had to wake her, yet as he reached over to jostle her, he could not help himself. Just one kiss he thought, to her soft full lips that had been split and scarred.

    He was not sure why he did it. Cub just knew that he wanted to and hoped that maybe, just perhaps, Kae might like him waking her that way. He could feel her breath upon his own lips as he moved close, gently pressing them to hers. His hand naturally finding a place to support him, its edge lightly pressing to her ribs as his fingers cupped her breast.

    Kae’s eyes fluttered open and she stiffened as her mind slipped from her dreams back into reality. Reflexively, she was urged to frantically begin flailing away with punches, kicks and whatever else she could do to repel her attacker. However, never sleeping soundly unless with her fatties, Kae had some sense of where she was, what was happening and who was kissing her, and that is what disturbed her most.

    It was not that Cub was kissing her, although she was not a fan of such intimacy, it was the manner in which he was doing so, even the way he was squeezing her breast. Both his kiss and touch were amorous instead of lustful.

    Kae would not have given the latter a second thought. Hell for all she cared, he could have climbed over her and slipped his cock between her breasts to get himself off. Well, as long as he mopped up the mess. This however was bad, very bad for many reasons. So instantly, Kae turned it lewd.

    Slipping her hand to his side, she rolled him over onto his back on the blanket. Raising up slightly, she looked into his eyes with a wicked smirk cooing out; "you need to get some sleep. Just relax, and don’t say anything."

    It took Kae just a few seconds to obscenely slather her lips and tongue down his chest, nip and suckle his nipples, to then continue descending lower as her hand worked at his belt and pants. By the time her mouth was at his abdomen, his cock was already out. Proving out her skills that she had bragged on earlier, in no more than two minutes Cub was erupting deep inside her mouth.

    "Now go to sleep, we have a long day" is all Kae said as she winced having to stand without her routine. All of that just so she could walk away across the containers before Cub tried to turn base sex into something romantic.

    That point was beginning to weigh heavily on her mind. She had wanted Cub to experience sex, enjoy it and even crave it so he would not judge the people in the Pastoral zone so harshly. That said, there was a big difference between those who could never find sex, and those who chose not to have it for pious or arrogant reasons. Kae believed that Cub fell into the latter group.

    The night passed by without incident till the sun rose lighting up the world in hues of lavender at first, slowly shifting to its yellowish-green cast. Kae soon after woke Cub and over the row of stacked containers they went.

    As they reached the end, it looked like they were entering a shelled out wasteland. As far as the eye could see it was flat. No vegetation, just baked soil and what had to be thousands of large blackened shell holes pockmarking the earth among the empty roads leading nowhere. What battle had been fought there, Cub had no idea.

    When Cub asked what had happened there, Kae explained that ‘over time, people had stripped the homes in subdivisions, burning whatever was left. Those craters were actually the basements and crawlspaces simply filled with the charred rubble.’

    Once they had climbed down from the containers, after walking up one of the barren roads in this desolate landscape, Kae noticed something setting her hand to Cub’s chest to stop him.

    "We’ll never outrun them, this is your chance. Draw your pistol and take it off safety. Better put it on auto too since you’ve not practiced aiming."

    When Cub looked where Kae was gazing, he could just barely make out what might have been five or six figures on the horizon angling toward them. He did as Rokka-Kae asked, pausing, furrowing his brow questioning her as to why.

    "Okay, so its some men running toward us, maybe they need help. Why shoot at them before we find out what they want?"

    Rokka-Kae chuckled. "Oh they need help alright, like helping us into their mouths, they’re fucking Crows, cannibals. You don’t have to kill them all, just drop one or two and we’ll be fine."

    "You can’t know that" Cub blasted back once more questioning her experience here. "Sure they may want to cause us harm, yet you don’t know otherwise until then. They’re not even shooting. So no, I’m not going to do it."

    Each second the men drew closer, now clearly eight as they had spread out. Kae looked up at Cub becoming more tense by the moment, so began rushing as she spoke in that soon they’d have their answer one way or the other.

    "Cub, do it now. Shoot them, do you hear me? Innocent until proven guilty is great in court but out here its life and death. They’re not shooting because they don’t have bullets, so shoot! The longer you wait the more of them will die. Shoot! Damn it Cub, shoot now, kill em!"

    Cub just shook his head refusing, even flatly stating "no."

    Kae at that point yanked his gun away from him having the much heavier round, and without hesitation she dropped to one knee, set her left hand to her right forearm to steady herself, took her time aiming, then fired.

    Two men in the middle of the pack were hit. One clearly killed outright, the other stumbling holding his belly. Instantly the group stopped. Two of the other men wheeled around charging the wounded man, sinking their crudely built battle-axes into him, chopping away until he was dead.

    Kae just remained where she knelt as the group of men began feasting upon the man the two had just finished, and that is when she rose up, pointing Cub’s gun at him.

    "I should kill you and leave you for those vultures. Don’t you ever question me! While you’ve been living in your pampered world I’ve had to live this everyday! Those men would have killed you then raped me until there was nothing left… and then eaten me alive once you were gone!

    "Now take the fucking gun and shoot one of them! How are you going to do what you’re proposing if you can’t even kill a murdering, raping cannibal. Now kill one!"

    Cub had no idea why she was so enraged. Oh he got that he was wrong, again, yet Kae seemed to take it personal that he would not kill someone. In a bit of a huff, Cub snatched the gun away from her pointing it, yet the shot never came. Rokka-Kae grit her teeth when he lowered it hanging his head, speaking before walking off.

    "Great… another fucking day. Relax Cub, it’s okay, really. Just breathe. Put your gun on safety before you holster it. We have just a little farther to go."

    Rokka-Kae seemed to be like everything in this place, even the place itself. Most of the time it was bad, horrible in fact. Then there would be these rare glimpses of something wonderful, and just like that, it would be bad again. Cub hung back for a while, muttering, kicking the pavement and the like. All until Kae made him come up by her, though she said nothing once he had until he spoke up.

    "Okay, I’m sorry. I get it, I don’t know anything about this place, I could have never imagined."

    Kae had to bite her tongue to not start lecturing him again. She had her reasons for wanting him to kill someone. Eventually he would have to kill, and if he would do it now she could help him cope with it and hopefully, when he really had to, it would be easier to do and live with after.

    "Seriously Cub, it’s okay. But you are-- never mind. Here, look up ahead, you can see where we’re going."

    Cub looked out ahead. Not too far in the distance there appeared to be twelve needle thin masts scratching the sky. Closer still, running the length of the horizon, there was a dark edge contrasting with the pale lifeless soil up to it.

    Cub knew why he did it, hoping that Rokka-Kae would see it as an apology and a promise to try harder, though that was not true. That was simply what he would tell her if she asked. His reason was actually much deeper and personal. Nevertheless, as they walked close their outer hands brushing, on the next grazing Cub softly grasped Kae’s hand and held it letting them swing in time.

    Rokka-Kae’s lips thinned as they tightened, and she glanced up at him to ask ‘what,’ already knowing the answer. As her eyes met his looking back at her beaming, Kae forced out a smile, grudgingly entwining her fingers in his, and walked on.

    A Mother’s Wrath:
    Cub was glad the distance was farther than he had guessed, prolonging that gentle moment embracing Kae’s hand. When they were perhaps three hundred yards out, the dark edge finally revealed itself.

    Strangely, it was a wall of stacked cars as far as the eye could see in either direction, with a single narrow opening they were headed toward. Rokka-Kae finally let go of Cub’s hand telling him to remove his weapons and to put them in his pack as she did the same.

    At fifty yards out however, Cub could finally make out six naked bodies arranged three to a side. All of them spread-eagle and upside down having been crucified that way, obviously meant as a warning. Cub began to question Kae about where they were going; yet, before he could say a word, there came a voice.

    "Who are you! Show yourselves!" The voice shouted out through an old conical megaphone.

    At that, Rokka-Kae grumbled unzipping her jacket. Pulling it open on the left side showing her Reaper tattoo and breast, then just stood there like that waiting for a response.

    "Not good enough! Remove your jacket and slowly turn around!"

    Rokka-Kae grumbled out something about ‘these fuckers’ as she thrashed out of her jacket slowly turning around. Once she had however, she raised up her fist and middle finger holding it that way waiting for them to say ‘come ahead.’

    "Keep your distance! Remove your pants and boots or, or… Or you will be harvested!" Wherein a chorus of laughter broke out from behind the wall as he continued. "Your partner too!"

    "You assholes!" Was Kae’s response met with another round of laughter, though as Kae began to remove her boots and pants she just looked at Cub and said; "well, come on, strip. These jerks aren’t kidding."

    One would think by now Cub would be used to the nudity of this place. The times previous however, he was too scared, mad, drugged-up or horny for it to matter that much. This time however, as they walked up to the wall with clearly twenty or so people beyond, he suddenly felt exposed and vulnerable.

    It was about that time he got a closer look at the bodies. Instantly realizing this was a bad idea.

    The six naked and crucified corpses upside down all had wounds, a few were even mutilated and all were at various stages of decay. The truly unsettling aspect however was that, each of them sported Reaper tattoos, and though he never knew what they were on Kae, the black tattooed slashes upon their arms he now assumed to be years of service stripes.

    "Well-well, Rokka-Kae. We are so very happy to have you back in our humble village, and how nice of you to return naked. You know, after you left the last time you could have put your clothes back on, but no matter."

    Though the man had a thick Spanish accent, he spoke English rather well. Albeit as Cub would discover, only when he chose to. Apparently, everyone else also spoke English from how they were laughing at his teasing of Kae. In return she gave back as good as she got, just not with quite as much wit.

    "Yeah, laugh it up chuckle-heads. Hardee har har! I see you got two more, how much fun did you have with 217?"

    "Ah si, 217 was-- uncooperative. He seems to have lost his head!" Wherein the small crowd of people laughed once again, no doubt at his head being decapitated. "194 though, she was more of a bitch than you, very unfriendly. Though they were all, right where you said they would be and right on time. Very prompt you Reapers."

    "Yeah that’s us, prompt and bitchy. Oh this is Cub by the way. How about-- uh..."

    Rokka-Kae had begun to say something, then noticed how a couple of the women were teasing Cub crudely, pawing at him to try and embarrass him more, yet as she began to continue, someone else started to pester him.

    A man even larger than Cub, Hector, had walked up and pushed one of the women out of the way as he began roughly shoving and pawing at Cub himself. Grabbing at Cub when rebuffed, Cub would slap his hand away, inspiring Hector to shove him. All the while, he spewed out vulgar obscene remarks to threaten and degrade Cub.

    In roughly ten seconds, it had become serious as Hector clearly intent on humiliating and scaring Cub, decided to get around to his point. After telling Cub that he wanted his dick sucked, he grabbed a handful of Cub’s hair, sticking a gun to his head. Rokka-Kae all but exploded.

    In a split second, her eyes grew wide enraged, dropping her things charging the significantly larger man.

    When she slammed into him launching herself upward, her knee caught him in the balls as the crown of her head slammed into his mouth and they went down. Rokka-Kae moved as though possessed, incensed and out of control. She had punched him twice before his back hit the ground. Once down, she really tore into him.

    Hector tried to block her strikes, hit back and defend, but Rokka-Kae loosed a maelstrom of blows from her fists, knees, elbows and head. As he would block this punch, a knee would catch his side followed by her elbow behind that deflected fist. Every limb of hers was flailing so wildly, seeming intent on killing him, that there was nothing he could do.

    The rest of the crowd just stood there watching and cheering. Cub had stepped back humiliated and shaken as Razza, the man who had been speaking with Kae, walked up beside him.

    Kae moved with a speed and fury that Cub could never have imagined. It was not until Hector’s arms fell out to the sides and he quit moving that Kae’s onslaught even slowed. Once she stopped and rose off him, kicking him for good measure, she then stormed toward Razza shouting and cursing still furious.

    "If any of your cock-sucking pussies try to hurt Cub, I’ll kill every one of you mother-fuckers! You got me Razza? Are you okay Cub? Don’t worry about it, it won’t happen again."

    "Si, si… Hector can’t help himself. He’s a lover and likes the men, though I think he’ll not be playing with the boys now for a while. You are a very angry woman Kae. You should make more love or maybe take a vacation, yes?"

    "You! You slut, I’ll kill you!" A younger gal perhaps in her mid-twenties shouted out behind Kae, already charging her; though a couple men grabbed her arms holding her back as Razza yelled at her.

    "No, no, is unfair with…" as he started waving his hands by his own neck, shoulders and wrists referring to the roofing nails sticking through her leather jacket at those points. "Remove it, be fair, they’re our guests!"

    "What the hell? Is Hector her man or something, what did I ever do to her?" Kae asked. Confused by the smaller and much younger woman as she began to strip just like Kae in a rage of her own.

    "Oh no, she is my woman." Razza replied as he smiled and winked at another gal standing near. "She is still very angry that you seduced me on your last visit. You are a ‘very’ naughty woman. She is very mad at how you made love to me."

    "What the fuck are you talking about? You had two of your goons hold me down while two more pried my legs apart, then you fucked me with me yelling for you to stop all the while! How is it my fault?"

    "Si, si, she knows this." Razza began, now smiling and making eyes at still another woman. "But she still blames you for being such a temptation to me and not resisting enough. Haley loves me very much, so she forgives me. She knows I can’t help it. You, not so much-- uh…" as he pointed for Kae to turn round just as Haley started to charge, now just as naked as Kae.

    Kae turned around just as Haley neared and suddenly Kae’s response compared to earlier was like night and day.

    Haley did not move as fast as Kae, she was not as skilled nor had as much rage. Kae in short order however was being pummeled. It was as though Kae was moving at quarter-speed. Even her punches did not have half the steam of earlier and no matter how she tried, she could not stop the smaller woman from beating her as easily as she had Hector.

    "She loves me so much, it’s very sad." Razza said to Cub nudging him.

    "What’s wrong with Kae?" Cub asked him. "She’s not even fighting like the same person."

    "Ah si well, she is not protecting her baby. You her tiger-baby, she would kill for you, yes? No one fight like a tiger-mommy for her cub, deadly. Ah! Si, Cub! Cub, tiger-baby, tiger-cub, yes? But you know this. Now she no protecting her tiger-baby so not fight so good."

    Out of nowhere, Haley caught Kae with a punch just right that besides knocking Kae to all fours, also knocked her prosthesis out and onto the ground. Kicking Kae in the side flipping her over onto her back, Haley jumped down on top of her, pinning Kae’s shoulders with her knees, then ground her twat to Kae’s deformed mouth.

    Kae thrashed and kicked to no avail. After a few seconds, Haley rose up with Kae’s prosthesis in hand holding it high over her head in victory, made a couple laps around Kae lying there, and finally tossed it to the ground skipping to Razza beaming.

    As Razza and Haley hugged, Razza naturally winking at another gal during, Cub rushed to Kae finding her on all fours trying to spit out the blood to without success due to her flapping lip.

    Remaining like that, pinching her lip so she could mumble out ‘water,’ Cub ran to his pack fetching his canteen. Once she had washed off her implant, she slipped it back in without a word. Though slightly bloody, bruised and battered, Kae seemed to not give the incident a second thought past commenting on Razza who was being coaxed away by another woman. Haley distracted being congratulated by others.

    "Razza… that slut. Come on Cub, we’ll stay by the water tanks tonight, it gets a little too wild in camp."

    Though Kae had helped them often, she was still an outsider and more so a Reaper. The community here long ago had seen what was happening in the Pastoral zone, separating itself and moving far enough away that the government would not waste their time with them. Though at first it was a struggle, eventually they had found a way, building for themselves a community independent from the government.

    Three armed men escorted Cub and Kae to where she wanted to go. They would not let them have any of their possessions, even their clothes to insure that they were unarmed. Although Cub was not impressed having come from a place where things like water were not considered luxuries, to Kae and more so anyone else in the Pastoral zone, this place seemed like a paradise.

    Like a scene from a ranch, there stood a tall windmill slowly turning away. That pumped up water from a deep well wherein it flowed into a large galvanized tank with a cover over it. Kae mentioning that it was their drinking water.

    The overflow dumped into a smaller tank perhaps twelve-feet in diameter by three-feet tall, and that was for bathing. Around the tank was a platform to stand upon so dirt would not be tracked into it. Anxious to get in herself, Kae took a moment to demonstrate ‘civilized bathing’ to Cub.

    Directing Cub to sit on a crate next to the tank, Kae dowsed him with a couple buckets of cool water and proceeded to scrub him down with a brush from head to toe. Cub squirmed at the seeming rough treatment, especially when she worked his feet, yet once she had finished and rinsed him off, finally she let him sit in the bath. After bathing herself and joining him, Cub hoped for some time to discuss the stressful day, but it was not to be.

    Seemingly on cue, others from the small camp joined them. Cub’s embarrassment being naked in front of others quickly turned into mortification. No one here seemed to have any modesty. Besides that, in short-order communal nudity turned into a full on orgy... or so Cub viewed it. Truth of the matter was, the people there simply used mutual bathing, the heavy petting more of a communal bonding.

    Cub and Kae being visitors found women pressing close beside them. Though there was plenty of room in the tank, the four women and two men for some reason clustered around them as close as they could. Kae could tell from Cub’s little jerks, blushing and tensing that as each of the women would lean toward him to speak, even across her to do so, they would touch him here or there as they made innuendoes all the while. It was then that Cub’s worst fear was realized.

    "Yaha, Rokka-Kae. A new guy came in from da outlands yesterday. Guess what im brought wit im?" One of the men stated.

    "Seriously, guess? Okay, uh, a dinosaur. No wait, hmm, a case of the clap. No, not that, hold on I’ll get it any second now, uh--"

    "Okay, okay… im brought in a billy and a bambi" the man replied chuckling.

    "Gutya! Bob gutya, that am a twistie! Ya is facin’ mi, bullshit! I’ve got a slick snooter of steam and one of slide to trade if ya ain’t."

    It was that moment to Cub’s upset, Rokka-Kae stood up, got out of the tank along with the man and without a word hurriedly took off toward the camp. The women did not hesitate crowding in close to Cub, even to the amusement of the other man there. Over the next twenty minutes until Kae’s return, Cub jumped and squirmed making excuses all the while.

    When Rokka-Kae finally did show back up holding a tin plate, she was so excited that she shouted for Cub to get out of the tank, yet he just sat there paralyzed. Though Kae knew what his problem was, when the man who had gone with Kae arrived she had to laugh. Showing the others there his prize of two inhalers, they all but leapt out of the tank crawling over Cub to do so.

    That is, all except for the last woman to get out. She had to rise-up from under the water first.

    "Cub, I said get out of the water. You can’t eat in there and don’t sweat it they’re gone now."

    "I, uh, in a minute. It, it wasn’t my fault!" Cub balked.

    "Relax Cub" Kae chuckled out. "You’re a big boy. You can do what you want and I’ve already seen it. Now get out, you’re going to love this, it’s not what you think."

    Hesitantly Cub raised out of the tub. His condition exactly as Kae knew it would be. What she didn’t care for is ‘why’ he was concerned. It was not his aroused state, the women only having time for more teasing than pleasing. It was the fact that Cub implied he had some sort of exclusive bond with Kae. Kae however decided that it would just be best to ignore it.

    "Eat some of this, and no, it’s not human." Kae urged Cub taking a bite from one of the four pieces of meat upon the pan before thrusting it at him.

    "What is it? This isn’t another of your tricks again is it? I don’t need another lecture at the moment."

    Hesitantly Cub picked up a piece sniffing then gingerly tasting it as Kae laughed. Refusing to tell him what it was, only that it wasn’t a trick. Hungry as he was, just like at the Spreader-truck Cub’s eyes rolled as a rush of pleasure swept through his body and mind. His body screamed for him to devour it all. Instead hesitantly, he began to hand it back to Kae. Rokka-Kae took just one more little bite, telling him to finish it all not being used to eating.

    Ravenously eating every bit, even licking at the plate, Kae chortled at his other problem quickly subsiding, telling him to walk with her to get some sleep. Leading him to the remnants of a small home, only the floor left, there upon it was a tarp covering a single sleeping bag.

    "I know its early, but we really need to get some sleep, so come on, lets get in" Kae suggested crawling into the bag leaving it open for Cub who slipped in behind her.

    No doubt just his elevated mood and the excitement of the day, Cub doubted he could sleep. With that, uncharacteristic for him up to this point, he began touching Kae by tracing the scars and tattoos upon her back. Kae lay there for a while hoping he would settle in, when he didn’t, more importantly continued in a gentle and caring manner, with her typical style she decided to shift it to something indecent.

    "So those sluts got you all worked up huh? It’s okay, just crawl over me and stick it in." Kae stated as she turned onto her belly raising her rump, parting her legs slightly.

    "I wasn’t touching you wanting that. Well I do, but I just wanted to touch you a little, maybe hold you a while. You know you never told me what this big tattoo means, this one right here" as he began tracing her tiger and dragon.

    Kae lay there with her rump raised for a few more seconds, hoping that Cub would just screw her and get it out of his system. When he did not, with a sigh she lowered, trying to explain what was a vast precept as simply as she could.

    "Well it represents yin and yang, well, kind of. The dragon stands for yang, East, males, government, order and control. The tiger stands for yin, West, females, the people, freedom and so on. You could even say evil and good I suppose, though it’s not really looked at like that.

    "Anyway, the tiger fights the dragon when the dragon exerts too much power or control to bring them back into balance. That’s really the crux of it I guess, back and forth to keep balance in all things."

    "But the tiger is killing the dragon on your tattoo. How does that mean balance?" Cub asked as he leaned in and kissed Kae’s back causing her to stiffen.

    "You sure you don’t want to just fuck me?" Kae asked. When Cub did not answer she just continued.

    "Anyway, it’s killing the dragon because when I was coming here, I felt like your government had to be destroyed. Well, your president anyway. In any case, it still has to change, a lot. That’s why I’m showing you all this, so you don’t become just another one of their ignorant stooges."

    "You know Kae…" Cub began then paused, "I was thinking. When I go back to Homestead Capital, I’d really like for you to go with me.

    "I mean, not that you’d have to stay with me or anything, but it would get you away from here and if you wanted you could help me, maybe even tell everyone else what has been going on. If you wanted to stay with me though, that would be even better."

    Kae said nothing simply looking away. Suddenly regretting that she had encouraged Cub to experience some things with her, she had never considered how it might affect him emotionally.

    Unfortunately, inexperienced herself with romantic attachments, realizing how bad it would all turn out, she knew that she had to just get him through one more day of listening to her. With that, Rokka-Kae once more fell back upon what she did know.

    "Well I don’t know about you, but I need to get fucked." Kae interjected, quickly wriggling out of the bag, positioning herself in front of Cub on all fours. "It’s up to you. If you need to knock one out saddle up. If you don’t, I guess I can get someone to do it in camp."

    "What? Well I… What do you want, my fingers like that first night?"

    "No, just get up behind me and press your cock to my ass. You’ll figure it out. Oh! And make it good and hard. You know, like that one time, go ahead. I need you Cub. Help me, fuck me hard."

    Suffice to say... Cub figured it out.

    Tower Horizon:
    Awakened long before dawn by a few nudges from Kae, Cub groggily roused finding two armed men standing before them holding their clothes, though he immediately had a greater concern.

    "Kae, I think I’m getting sick. My head’s soaked with sweat and I’m freezing."

    "Relax, you’re not getting sick. It’s just cold out and that’s dew on your head." Kae explained as she grunted and groaned going through her morning routine of stretches. This morning she felt extra sore. It didn’t matter if it was the hits she took or the ones she gave. It just seemed like everything hurt her of late.

    "What do you mean it’s cold out? It never gets cold" Cub blasted back arguing with her.

    "Cub, just give me a minute, okay? Believe me. It’s cold and that’s dew. Get your ass up and get dressed. You’ll warm up."

    As Cub did as Kae directed, she twisted, stretched, cracked her joints and took on an expression of exhaustion sitting on the edge of the platform. Perhaps it was her recent bout of smoking, but she had also acquired a morning cough. Once she had muttered her daily phrase, clenched her teeth standing up with a grunt and turned round forcing out a smile, her typical exaggerated cheeriness quickly turned sour.

    "Okay… just believe. Another day… Just brea-- Hey! Where in the hell are my clothes?"

    One man held Cub’s pants, boots and gloves. The other just held Kae’s tall boots and gloves, her pants and jacket missing.

    "Razza said you don’t get no clothes till you leave. We don’t trust you, and Razza says he likes you that way. Plus it will help your boy here to keep climbing."

    "You assholes," Kae began. "All my stuff better be waiting at the bottom or I’ll give you a beating that will make Hector’s look like a loving hand-job. Oh, and fill our canteens. We’re heading straight out after. Fucking Razza."

    Muttering all the while, each dressed in what they were handed to then be led by torchlight off into the darkness. Still shivering not sure whether to believe Kae or not, without his own jacket Cub soon realized that Kae was right. It was indeed cold out.

    "Kae, what’s going on here? It’s been hot since I moved to Homestead Capital. How come it’s cold here?" Cub actually a little disturbed by the temperature asked.

    "Well Cubby, for the past two years its been getting colder when the seasons change. You’d know that if you ever left the city. All those people generate a lot of heat, huh? Anyway, just hold all your questions until after we make the climb. You’re about to see something that few know about. Then it will all make sense."

    It took the group over ten minutes to reach where they were going. Though it was a nearly moonless night, in the torchlight Cub could finally see the first twenty-feet of their climb. A latticework of orange painted tubing made up the lowest section of a radio tower. Which one of the Roxborough towers he did not know, yet it wouldn’t matter in that they were all high, his shivering from the cold quickly turning to that of fear.

    "Uh, this probably isn’t a good idea in the dark is it?" Cub ventured.

    "Tiger-baby you’ll be fine" one of the women chimed in. "Once I get this harness on you, you’ll not be able to fall even if you wanted to."

    Perhaps Cub would be fine once climbing, as to this moment however, he was not so sure. The two women helping him into his harness seemed to spend more time pawing at his rump crotch and chest than actually hooking him up. Kae much to his chagrin on the other hand seemed to be laughing off the even more ribald mauling she was receiving.

    To be sure her breasts were pawed at, lifted and squeezed all while she kept telling them to forget the chest strap. It was when they began fitting her pelvic and thigh straps that she began to smirk, wince and finally get mean.

    "Get your finger out of my twat-- now get both of them out. Tom… Tom, don’t you do it! Get you finger out of my ass or-- Okay, you asked for it!"

    Scrunching up her face Kae bore down wrenching away as Tom trapped with his finger up her backside yelled while laughing. Once harnessed up however, and after Kae punched the Tom in the chest, she finally became serious pulling Cub over to the steel-ladder that vanished into the darkness above.

    "Okay Cub, pay attention now, this is serious. You like laws so here are mine for this climb. First off, you can only move one hand, or one foot at a time. Not a hand and a foot, just one or the other and you can’t move the next until you’re sure what you just moved is stable.

    "The second rule is, one of these safety hooks must be attached to something where it can’t slip off at all times. Now watch me, this is how you’ll climb."

    With that, Kae took one of her safety hooks latching it up as far as she could reach, around the side plate and over a rung. Moving only one hand or one foot at a time, she carefully scaled the ladder until the safety hook impeded her climb.

    At that point, she attached the second safety hook high above her again, released the first hooking it onto her harness, and only then, resumed climbing. Once she had reached the end of that leg, she attached both hooks to the same rung and showed Cub one final thing.

    "Cub now watch. Trust these things, you won’t fall as long as one of them is hooked up, and with both you can give your arms a rest like this" wherein Kae leaned back bouncing letting her arms hang free. "You also have a seat on yours, so you can even give your legs a rest. Just sit back and relax. You can’t fall, okay?

    "So remember. Just one foot, or just one hand while climbing. And always, at least one hook attached. Don’t bother looking down or out. Just keep looking at the ladder and up. I'll come down and you can go up first" Kae finished.

    "No! Razza said you first tiger-momma. He said it will give the tiger-baby something to keep his eyes on" one of the women blasted back, causing everyone except Cub and Kae to obscenely chortle.

    "What the fuck ever" Kae barked back not as amused. "Even that slut Razza should realize that I should be watching him."

    "Razza had a better idea" the woman answered back. "Hook this up to your back ring." The woman tossing up to Kae a long lead of rope with a carabiner on each end. "Now the tiger-baby can’t get away from you!"

    "Yeah-yeah. Just hook him up, we gotta get going. Just do as I said Cub, you’ll be fine just look at the ladder, not my cooch."

    Painfully slow would best describe Cub and Kae’s ascent, each leg a repetitive process of singular moves.

    First they would hook off high, subsequently unhook the lower-clasp and hook it to their shoulder-strap ring. Next, they would move one hand up a rung, a foot, the other hand and then the other foot rising all of twelve inches. They would repeat those moves two more times at the last moving their safety hooks again.

    All told, each foot of climb took them ten seconds, and though Cub did not know it, they had 1,100-feet to go.

    Cub did exactly as Kae had told him, especially after he could not help but look down. At only a hundred feet up, the people’s torches just looked like dots. At roughly an hour, both of them were tiring from their lack of food. Kae was finally able to get Cub to sit, and though just nerves perhaps, as he stared up at the silhouette of her backside, he changed the subject to something he had been curious about.

    "Why do you do all of that in the mornings?" Cub asked.

    "Why? Because I hurt. I hurt all the time from my injuries over the years. When I stay still, I stiffen up pretty bad. So, after I sleep lying there quiet and unmoving, I have to work out the kinks."

    "No, not that" Cub clarified, "and you don’t sleep quietly. Anyway, I meant you look all sad and then you perk up after you say that stuff. What does all that mean, ‘just believe, another day, just breathe,’ that stuff?"

    "Oh that… Well, when I was stuck in that cage all those months coming over here, one of the crew had an old CD-player that wouldn’t open. So, if he wanted to listen to music while down in the hold, he’d turn it on and the same thirteen and a half songs would play. Those were the lyrics to the first song on it."

    "Yeah okay, but why do you say it?"

    "Why? Oh… because I’ve been stuck in this hell for nine years. So I have to convince myself that I got through yesterday, and hopefully will get through just one more day. That and to remind myself to keep believing that there is hope.

    "Mostly though, just to breathe and not worry about the rest. I will say this though. The believing part was all just talk until I heard your second speech. Anyway, lets get moving. We’ll stop again later."

    It was a solid second hour before they stopped again as the world gradually began to light up before the sun rose. This time Kae after telling Cub to tie-off and sit, directed his attention far off on the horizon. Cub as usual questioned Kae as to what she was beginning to get excited about. Her answer just as vague as many of her responses being; "just wait for it, you’ll know it when you see it. You’ve never seen it like this."

    Cub sat there frankly bored, realizing that Kae wanted to watch the sunrise. He’d seen it countless times before, having little interest in the blinding orb that he was used to seeing popup from behind some building. In just seconds however his opinion quickly changed.

    At first low clouds far off in the distance began to light up in deep purples, lavender and splashes of red. Each second it seemed after that, the colors would intensify, brighten and ever so slightly shift their hues as the entire sky lit up before him; the sun still below the horizon illuminating the underside of the dense clouds.

    The shift from moment to moment was so dramatic, that after shutting his eyes for a few seconds before reopening them, he was instantly struck by how much he had missed from the sensational change.

    That second, the very edge of the horizon began to glow where the sun would rise. As its crown barely slipped past the edge, an explosion of light burst forth. Most notably, a green flash that marking the horizon’s edge, racing out away from the bright light caused by the recent changes to the atmosphere.

    For just a few more seconds, the image was spectacular beyond compare. As the equator of the sun rose over the horizon however, it took on that early morning greenish-yellow hue, and it was over.

    "Okay, we can go now" Kae blurted out cutting the moment, wonder and all of the emotion sweeping over Cub short.

    "What, why, what’s your hurry? I thought we came up here to see this?"

    "The sunrise? Naw, that’s just a bonus. We’ll look at the sun again once it gets higher. What we’re going to see puts that to shame, so come on. Lets get going we have about another 350-feet to climb."

    Cub just shrugged preparing to get moving standing on the rungs, making his fatal mistake, casually glancing down. At roughly 750-feet into the climb, the height instantly stunned him. It hit him so hard in fact, Cub could not move let alone speak as he gripped the rungs terror. Kae however had begun climbing, that is until she felt the tether between them pull taunt.

    "Cub, quit looking at the sunrise and let’s go. Cub, Cub answer me damnit!" Kae shouted out at the last finally leaning out, looking back down. "Oh great… Okay Cub, hold on I’m coming back down."

    With that, Kae moved back down the four rungs between them until her heels were just above his shoulders.

    "Cub… Cub! Cub! Look up at me now, do it now Cub! Turn your head and look up!" It took Cub a few seconds, but finally his head slowly pivoted looking up at her, his eyes wide in fear.

    "Cub, you need to answer me okay? What do you see? Cub, answer me now, what do you see?"

    Cub finally mumbled out a whispered "you," so Kae kept at him.

    "Yeah it’s me, what part of me do you see? Cub, answer me now!"

    It took Cub a few seconds to even begin to answer and once he had, Kae kept prodding him to look again, and again. Her words were harsh, and though comfort might have been the better tact, she felt it was important to shake him out of this quickly. Eventually he softly spoke out the response she was looking for so Kae made him say it repeatedly until he yelled it.

    "Good… Yes, that’s my ‘privates’ but don’t call it that. You can call it my cunnie, my pussy, twat, cunt, hell I don’t care, call it my cum-ditch. But don’t ever call it my ‘privates.’ That’s one thing it’s never been. Okay, now listen, keep staring at my what?"

    "Your pri-- your cunnie. I’m staring at your cunnie, okay, now give me a second!"

    "Uh uh. Keep looking at my cunnie, you know that place your big fat cock was inside of last night. You know, hot, soft, slippery, do you remember that? Keep looking… Remember, you can’t fall. You’ve sat there twice now without using your hands or legs and you didn’t fall. Now take one of your hooks and fasten off about at my knee."

    It took Cub a few seconds to move though finally, shakily, he did as she requested. Unhooking the other after a bit more prodding, Cub’s gaze shifting back and forth between the ladder and her cunnie, they resumed their climb. It was a good hour before they reached their destination.

    Once they had reached the elevation Kae was striving for, getting Cub to leave the ladder and sit on the small walk was a whole other chore. Eventually, they were both sitting there side by side looking out over the world westward, and though Cub didn’t understand why Kae had dragged him up here, she had a singular reason.

    That world had to end.
  5. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    Lest ye be Judged
    Reaping the Harvest ~ 2029

    31. Philosophy on High
    32. Policy of Erasure ***
    33. Racing the Tempest
    34. Finger of God
    35. Race to Infamy
    36. To be a Hero
    37. We the People
    38. American Atlas
    39. Clearing the Buffers ~ A Postscript

    Pre-Outro: Breathe by Télépopmusik


    Post-Outro: Disparate Youth by Santigold ~ The White Tiger Theme

    Philosophy on High:

    "Okay Cub, you’re hooked in so you can’t fall. Don’t look straight down, but look out toward the horizon, what do you see?"

    Still uneasy with the height, Cub looked out as directed. Frankly, to him it still all looked the same; the same wasteland of barren earth, dust devils, and remnants of homes that became almost non-existent just a couple miles out.

    "I see the same thing we’ve already seen, just less of it. The same dirt, sky, burnt out buildings, dust and the same green sky you always see on the horizon."

    "Are you sure?" Kae countered. "Keep looking. I know what you’re talking about, yet that’s not the sky, and that there way-out, isn’t a black cloud changing direction."

    Cub kept looking but it was so far off he could not tell what it was. He did notice the black cloud, but no matter how hard he squinted, he could not figure out why it moved like it did. Fed up with her vague mysteries and guessing games, Cub finally told her just to tell him.

    "Okay fair enough. That black cloud is a bunch of birds, hundreds of them flocking together. That green that you think is the sky, oh, maybe twenty miles out, well that’s plants. You know, grass bushes and so on. The world’s coming back. What we ate last night was brought in by a guy that had walked here all the way from Kentucky.

    "He said there are still a few people living out there. Most died years ago, but those that held on by finding food in homes are now finding game to eat. That was goat and deer we ate, that’s why it felt cold too, the climate is shifting back to how it was."

    "We have to tell people!" Cub blurted out.

    "No! We can’t tell anyone, do you hear me, no one. After I climbed up here at Razza’s insistence four months ago, I asked Margaret about travel in the outlands outside of MR1. She says no one goes out there. There is no point as far as folks in the Circus are concerned.

    "The government, hell even Margaret doesn't know about this, and you can’t tell them. The second they find out, the super-corporations will go take it all for themselves and destroy it again. Eventually people will find out, but each day that it gets a break without us the better. Look! Look down over there!"

    Cub looked though he couldn’t tell what it was moving around perhaps ten miles out, Kae guessed that they were a sounder of pigs, nonetheless there were animals even. Where they had hid themselves away and how they had survived was anyone’s guess.

    Next, Kae had Cub shield his eyes from the sun, moving his hand so it just blocked it. When you were close to it, the greenish-yellow hue shifted to a deep azure, the atmosphere just slightly thinner looking straight on.

    "Yep, when I saw all of this that’s when I knew it was time. For two-years I’ve waited. Really ten, but now it’s time for everything to change. This fucked up system, the people and your government, it’s got to end."

    "But you can’t end the government. It’s too powerful and it’s the only thing that brings order to all this chaos. Get rid of it and everything falls apart. You have to have law, law and order" Cub countered.

    "Do you? What if the law and the government is what causes the chaos all for its own selfish ends?"

    "Well you change it" Cub replied. "But you do it through legal means by order of law."

    "You know Cub, you asked about my tiger and dragon. I told you what they stand for, what I didn’t tell you is what my name means. Rokka-Kae Baak Fu. Rokka-Kae the White Tiger. I told you why I came here. To kill the leader of your government and tip the axis of the world back into balance. But I also told you that I made a promise, the same one you made to me.

    "So tell me Cub, what’s more important, the government or the people?"

    Cub started to answer then hesitated. Kae’s whole dragon and tiger analogy to force balance compelled him to think before speaking. All he knew and had been taught told him he should say the government, in that it is what held the people together. On the other hand, the whole point was the people. In this nation as he had just learned at one time, though not now, it was the people who were supposed to be in control.

    "But you have to have law" was Cub’s only response.

    "Government or people Cub? You read the real constitution, not that ‘trumped’ up one they bastardized. Choose, which?"

    "Okay, the people then… but you--" as Kae cut Cub off.

    "Yeah-yeah, you still need law. But you need just law, fair law, and the rights of the people must not be infringed upon. Those rights aren’t given to them by other men, they’re ‘God given.’ If you count on those in power to give you what’s naturally yours as though some privilege, then you’re just a slave.

    "Anyway, I told you already. I came here to change it but I made my promise, and you’re why ‘how’ I’m going to do it changed. See, I realized that I was wrong, and what I was going to do wasn’t right, or likely to fix anything. Your way, your judges out in the street thing isn’t totally right, but it’s a step in the right direction. The question is though, who are you fighting for?"

    Again Cub had to pause, quickly having an answer or at least the best one he could give.

    "Both, maybe neither. I’m not a politician and I’m not a revolutionary. I’m a prosecutor and a damn good one. I don’t know about or even care about politics. Granted, I don’t know the people like you do, but I’m trying, and I see that they’ve been wronged. All I know is that through the law you can change both. So if I follow the law, just and right laws, I can help both."

    "Okay, fine, so you believe in law. So the question is; do those laws apply to everyone, and I mean everyone equally, rich and poor alike, no exceptions?"

    "Yes" Cub’s blunt reply.

    "You better think before you say that. Remember, those in power wanted you dead. I told you, it’s the system as it stands that causes all the problems. Those walls do more than just separate people, which they don’t. They’re a prison built by the few to unjustly oppress the many.

    "Those few never have to answer for their crimes, and their crimes make anything that goes on out here in the Pastoral zones seem like Sunday school. So who’s going to do it, you?"

    "Yes… well or the people who are put in those positions--" Cub hedging answered.

    "Oh please!" Kae interrupted him brusquely.

    "Who is going to believe in what you’re striving for more than you? No one. Who in the Circus knows as much about the real problems here, the people, and how it really is as you now do? No one. Who knows more about the pitfalls of life like poor judgment, the grip of vice be it money, drugs or even pussy? No one!

    "If you want this to happen you can’t sit back in your plush office and ‘hope’ that the guy you put out here will discover what you now know. You’ll have to lead by example. The question is though; can you?"

    "Yes. I came up with the system, I know the law as well as, if not better than anyone" Cub’s curt retort.

    "That’s not what I asked you. I asked you if you can do the job. Can you judge fairly, can you apply the same law to everyone and not be influenced, can you use the law to help those oppressed?"


    "What about eradicating those unjust laws, the ones that reward the criminals and oppress the people. Do you have the guts to wipe them out and institute fair just laws?"

    "Yes, I’ll make that happen!" Cub blasted back on a roll.

    "Could you kill?" Kae’s sneering finisher.


    "I asked, could… you… kill?" Kae continued to goad him.

    "Yes, yes if I have to and it’s warranted. Yes, I’d be able to kill a person." Cub’s bold statement.

    "Anyone? Not just these poor Weeds, but anyone. You know, like those wealthy fat-asses, politicians, super-corp executives, anyone?"


    "Me?" Kae asked softly.

    "Wha-what? I uh, how can you ask that?"

    "It’s a simple question" Kae began as she turned facing him, setting her foot out wide causing her cunnie to splay open. Kae then seductively reached over, rubbing her hand up the unarmored portion of his inner thigh to his crotch.

    "Could you kill me Cub? The woman who has had your cock in her mouth, who will spread her legs on your command, who would do anything in this world to protect you. Could you kill me?"

    "That’s a stupid question. I’m not going to answer it."

    "Come on, you can tell me. Could you kill me Cub? Fuck me Cub, fuck me hard. Could you kill me if I tried to kill the president? Let me suck all my wetness off your cock Cub. Could you kill me if I slaughtered a thousand innocents? I’ll always protect you Cub, even with my life. What if I slaughter five thousand? Put it all the way in me and I’ll give you a gutshot. Could you kill me? Say it Cub, could ya, hmm, could ya?"

    "Stop it! You’re making me mad! Do you hear me, stop it!" Cub angrily shouted back.

    "Say it Cub, could you kill me? Could you kill me if you knew it would stop me from killing one innocent person?"

    "Yes! Yes fine! Yes I could kill you if you broke the law and deserved it! There, are you happy now?" Cub in a fury fired back at her filthy pushing.

    Rokka-Kae sat back with a smug smirk softly nodding. "Well then, I guess this wasn’t a waste of time after all."

    "Well I don’t find one bit of that funny, and I don’t like you putting me on the spot like that!"

    Rokka-Kae nodded her head looking down saying one final thing on the subject before changing it.

    "Well... if I ever do put you in such a position, I hope you’ll forgive me, most of all, forgive yourself, seriously. Relax Cub, just believe in what you’re doing and just breathe. Oh! And don’t forget your promise when that day comes."

    "Yeah, just breathe… uh huh. You have a simple answer for everything don’t you?" Cub still miffed replied.

    "Nope, not anymore. There’s nothing more I can show or teach you though you need to work on your draw, a lot, and think on the little cues I give when I’m about to fight.

    "Anyway, I was serious about what you’re proposing being nothing new. Warlords sole grip on power once it started to be abused eventually meant an emperor or king, and he’d have… Hmm what’s the word for your people? Ah, knights running around doling out justice by the rule of law. Once that was abused enough, the people rose-up and took over the governments.

    "Right now we’re at the warlord stage. You’re proposing being a knight. Maybe one day you’ll get the power back to the people."

    "Yeah that’s me, a knight in grungy armored pants staring at your breasts and ass and I have the brand to prove it."

    "Indeed you do" Kae responded chuckling. "Well, time for some real fun!"

    Saying that, Rokka-Kae much to Cub’s discomfort, stood up and walked to the end of the small platform. With the aid of a gaff and no small amount of effort, she pulled a steel cable to a hook on the platform. Once she had, Kae fastened a device onto it, which also took a bit of time, then urged Cub to scoot over.

    Grudgingly, once he had, Rokka-Kae hooked the device to his chest ring. Squatting down beside him, Kae gave the cable a nudge out of the hook and the weight of it alone yanked Cub off the platform. Cub screamed at first as Kae laughed, just hanging there out in space with the cable running down between his legs.

    "Fun huh?" Kae said laughing.

    "You fucking bitch!" Cub clearly not finding it as funny, his eyes wide in terror.

    After a bit of perhaps less than playful banter, Kae finally explained to him that he had to grip the handle and pull to let him descend. All Cub could imagine was that he’d just touch it and fall crashing to the ground. Surprisingly, once he pulled the lever enough, he began a slow steady descent, cursing up at Kae all the while.

    Rokka-Kae just laughed waving until he was a couple hundred feet down, and with a deep sigh, her expression changed to one of sadness perhaps. Sitting back on the walk, she took a long look out into the distance pondering or perhaps fantasizing how wonderful it must be in the outlands. No people, no concrete, just lush vegetation and healthy wildlife. Free and alone.

    By the second, Kae seemed to grow sadder. Finally with another sigh, she looked down past Cub to the ground and after staring at it a bit, a determined smirk slowly formed almost making her look wicked. When the smirk turned into a smile however, Kae reached back unclasping her safety hooks, raised her arms out to the sides, and with her eyes bright and beaming she began to lean over the edge.

    It was not a bluff. That moment feeling trapped, just twelve or so seconds and Kae would be free. Like providence, or perhaps more true to the point perdition, the fates had something else in mind.

    Be it the wind blowing her back or perhaps just the tower swaying, just as Kae felt herself about to go over something slammed her back into the framework with a jolt. The movement was so surprising that she grabbed a crossbeam, and in an instant, the moment was gone.

    "Yeah, right… Another day. Fine have it your way, I believe!" Kae shouted to the heavens.

    With a final sigh, Kae followed Cub down on her own cable brake. Looking depressed until she was perhaps fifty feet from the ground, there stood Haley with her hands on her hips glaring. Kae being the lady she was, naturally said hello back.

    Spreading her legs wide and up into splits, Kae began alternately smacking at her cunnie and flipping off Haley as she descended, shouting obscenities at the girl all the while.

    "Fuck you, you stupid little bitch! Eat my sopping gash you skanky cunt! Come play with me now! Hey, where you going? I wonder who Razza is sticking his dick in? Maybe I’ll make him eat my twat while Cub fucks him in the ass, you fucking child!"

    Haley stormed off fuming. Cub just shook his head at Rokka-Kae’s tirade of taunts as he slipped on his armored jacket, it not being one of her finer moments. Then again, it was likely not her worst. Razza however just took it all in stride knowing that Haley would be fixated upon Kae for days, leaving him to his other… diversions.

    "Kae, Kae, Kae… You must truly take a vacation. You are a very angry woman. Perhaps tiger-baby here should mount you again like last night. He was very vigorous and you make much noise, very loud. Like a Beatles song yes? ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah, like that Cub, oh yeah.’ Much of the camp came to see, but you did not know this, they are very stealthy."

    "Yeah? And fuck you too Razza. You asshole, slut, you… you…" Kae responded with another witty retort.

    "Si, is all true. Nonetheless, your boots and gloves please. We do so enjoy your au natural proclivities. Though you and I both know, you just desire me so much."

    Rokka-Kae began to bark something back, yet the other men and women there raised their guns chortling all the while. Kae continued her muttering though complied. Once she had removed every piece, the small group escorted them to the opening through the car wall, standing there laughing and cat-calling watching her walk twenty yards out.

    By that time, the small group having grown to perhaps twenty, all cast lewd taunts toward Kae. Having a good laugh at her expense, suddenly found Kae doing something they would have never expected. Squatting down and opening her bag, most of Razza’s group raised their guns knowing of her temper. What they never expected however, was her cruelty.

    Pulling out a cigarette, Kae lit it, taking a long exaggerated drag then slowly exhaled. The looks of astonishment were nothing compared to the moans of longing, Kae then twisted the knife. Pulling out the bottle of Tequila, she pulled the stopper to their audible moans and after filling her mouth, she just spit it out on the ground.

    "You know how it is, that first swig always burns a little!" Kae then taking another long pull.

    Replacing the bottle, Cub and Kae turned heading back toward the container-city to the sound of pleading for her to come back behind them. Rokka-Kae was beaming having ‘got them so good,’ yet she just couldn’t help raising her free hand up in the air, the cigarette clutched in it, her middle finger raised to the heavens as she shouted goodbye.

    "See-ya… Assholes!"

    Disparate Youth by Santigold ~ The White Tiger Theme

    Policy of Erasure ***:

    >>Ignorance is Strength ~ 1984 ~ Narrated by: Frank Muller<<

    For as much as the Mad Clown was at fault for the ultimate collapse of liberty, the nation, and the world itself; he was simply a spastic bumbling fool when it came to the manipulation of the masses.

    Some would arguably suggest, that the Mad Clown had himself been shaped by the steadily increasing machination shaping the minds of citizens in the United States, in that it was throughout his lifetime that it was most prevalent. By his presidency, the tools, methods and techniques had reached such a zenith, that to most; such control seemed to not even exist.

    Suffice to say, previous totalitarian states, be they violently oppressive, propagandizing, even those fictional to Orwellian standards, could not have imagined the depth of subtle controls and manipulations that had been instituted since computerization in the United States, let alone the balance of the world.

    Miniaturization, satellite observation, GPS-tracking and communication, cellular services, digital communications and countless other technologies, all aided those in power to finally be able to not only monitor and observe, yet manipulate and control the masses. The number of programs and secretive operations were vast. Worse still, where the governments fell short, private commercial and criminal activities made up the balance, often driving the technology and practices.

    Freedom if one was ‘on the grid,’ of which it was virtually impossible not to be, was now simply an illusion... and then the Mad Clown unintentionally ruined everything.

    Perhaps if the Mad Clown had not immediately made an enemy of every law enforcement and intelligence service in the nation; let alone simply taken the time to attend briefings and read reports; he might have discovered that the real keys to the hearts and minds of the citizenry were his for the taking.

    Instead, he insisted upon doing it his way, all while insulting and persecuting those who were there to help him. They in kind decided to simply let him bumble through his term, then be done with him.

    It was then however that the puppet cut his strings deciding to improvise. Something that he claimed he was best at, diverging from the script written for him by his masters.

    When Sammy Jenkin’s homework assignment, "the Eastern Bloc’s 50-Year Plan" (see appendix A5: "The 50-Year Plan to Victory") was posted online, the Mad Clown found himself bombarded with questions regarding the fantastical twisting of history. Like the iron willed dictator he knew himself to be, he panicked.

    Cue the Black...

    In an instant, the last 40-years of effort by intelligence communities round the globe regarding the United States, especially its own, was wasted in a blink of an eye. To be sure, their knowledge of manipulation had grown in that time, and all of the information and systems were still intact; however, what wasn’t were the self inflicted tethers of the citizens.

    As automobiles, computers, smart appliances, credit cards, cell phones and so on all suddenly became worthless hunks of metal and plastic, they were discarded. Most of them still worked, yet until the infrastructure was back up and running, energy and communications of primary importance, they appeared not to.

    More importantly, businesses were shuttered, stores quickly ran out of stock and you had to have cash to buy those goods, although banks had been the first to close. The only news available was that over transistor radios. Granted, most people asked, "what are those?" Nevertheless, it was accessible, sorta.

    Since the nation was now in a crisis, the Mad Clown instituted his first step toward martial law, one he had dreamed of throughout his term. That being, the elimination of all news broadcasts except those from the Emergency Broadcast System, and his own personal choice for news reporting, "Fucks News" (it wasn’t really called that, it’s just what Rokka-Kae called it among other less tasteful things).

    Within days, as every government, law enforcement, medical, social service, and disaster relief organization was overwhelmed, the environmental and natural disasters began ramping up with a vengeance. Everything was in chaos.

    Cue the Great Reckoning...

    Placing the nation under his control via the military, instituting absolute martial law under his kakistocracy, the Mad Clown realized that as things stood, he had little control over the people as scattered as they were. So, as they compressed northward, he then ordered everyone eastward. As you might have guessed;

    Cue the Gathering...

    It was then that the Mad Clown demonstrated his often self-touted genius at manipulating the masses. Proving out once and for all his level of education, many venturing that he was only equaled by Jethro Bodine, he began instituting his plan of action to cope with the current crises (that’s plural by the way, in this case meaning anything and everything).

    Believing his son’s junior high homework reading list was a collection of manuals on how to run a nation, he got to work, golfing, leaving his stooges to do the reading and the work. Naturally, their job would be to review the books then advise him. His job was to take the credit for those efforts.

    First things first. Those pesky Charters of Freedom had to go, granting him absolute power. Though they did not actually destroy them (unable to figure out how to open the protective cases), the Mad Clown claimed that they nonetheless had been due to "some really bad hombres."

    Before some wise-guy offered up a copy courtesy of any public library, the Mad Clown then took ‘Fahrenheit-451’ to heart, ordering that books were to be rounded up and destroyed. Not just some, but all, refusing to be outdone by some swastika-wearing madman with a bad mustache. His stated reason being, "he never had use for books, so no one else should."

    When the plagues struck, the Mad Clown proposed using the instructional manual ‘A Brave New World’ to solve their medical problems. When his own Surgeon General and all other Health and Human Service divisions informed him that was not practical, he fired them. When told that was not good enough, after firing that person as well, he offered up ‘Logan’s Run’ as an option since it would thin out all the old "un-pretty people that were so disgusting."

    That suggestion did have a few technical drawbacks however, one of being the synched palm-crystals. The Mad Clown however had an answer for that. Once they got around to actually feeding the people, eventually, they would just insist that everyone get a tattoo of their social security number on their forearm. As you might have guessed, he had no idea what was wrong with that.

    His next ‘bigly’ idea came in the form of a proper way to set up a government. ‘Animal Farm’ was the suggested manual, but it did not really make sense with all of those talking animals. Besides, all those cows, pigs and chickens just got him to thinking about how to federally finance McDonalds in that everyone was getting a little hungry.

    Having overheard someone making a joke taking it seriously, what he was sure of is that the political system of checks and balances had to end. That joke being, Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court was not actually 86, but was in reality only 53 and had a non-terminal form of progeria, hinting that the Supreme Court would outlive him. So, that was the end that irksome group of constitutionalists.

    It was about then that Cletus Prusser proposed his ‘Agricultural System,’ and the Mad Clown saw it as divine inspiration, having been just what he had imagined all along. More so, justifying his instructional manuals.

    AnimalFarm gleaning nothing more from it. Logan’s Run, eliminating those you no longer wanted, like the 94%. Soylent Green, waste not want not, and liking the idea of being Big Brother along with the blind obedience, toss in a bit of ‘1984.’ Best of all, more walls than you could shake a stick at, having been proven right with all those Mexicans flooding in due to the Great Reckoning. It would be paradise.

    And why not? The entire current situation was due to the greatest ‘Marching Moron’ of all.

    Placing Cletus in charge of instituting the Agricultural System, along with it establishing MR1, the new system of mapping and renaming Washington, D.C. to "-censored-ington," he was through. Time to collect his just due.

    With his work done, his child-sized hands grabbed everyone in his cabinet one after the other (‘his pussies,’ misunderstanding the word ‘posse,’ although, maybe not) saying goodbye. Turning to those wealthy bidding him farewell on the south lawn, he issued a final warning as he prepared to leave the country.

    "Just as I promised, the nation is yours! Just be careful that the ‘deep state’ doesn’t try and sabotage your efforts like they did mine!"

    The Mad Clown never did understand why they all laughed hysterically, or why those tattooed Russian thugs dragged him onto Marine One as he kept shouting "hey! Watch the hair pal!" Perhaps the first one to speak up as he flew off might offer some indication.

    "What an ass-clown! Deep State? We are the Deep State!"

    Now that madness had left the building, it was time for the professionals to get to work.

    Hard decisions had to be made to cope with the situation at hand. Instead of scrapping everything and trying to start over from scratch, they would make due with what they were left with and let it evolve over time. More importantly, historically it would be due to the Clown, not them. With that, those individuals actually in power considered the facts.

    417-million citizens compressed into roughly 8,611 square miles. Highway systems were currently unusable. Utility services could be restored rather quickly, but should they be? Collected food stores were extremely limited. Manufacturing in the surrounding region was limited, not so much in the regard of diversity, yet in the aspects of raw materials and volume capabilities.

    MR1 as a city-state was now a reality. Lower forms of government had been abolished. The Agricultural System was already being instituted, as was the system of mapping. Medical and social services were limited. Book collection had begun, people were being moved and sorted, and a special unit was already established to tattoo citizens ‘once’ they began to receive their first rations of food.

    It was decided that any extended martial law was sure to ultimately incite revolution. It was also decided that the military as a whole presented a long-term threat, though in the short term they might be useful. Further, unlike some nations wherein the military represented a privileged class, in the U.S. they were not as indoctrinated, being citizens first, suggesting which side they might fall upon.

    Government as it had existed could not continue. Checks and balances, division of government, separation of powers, debate, personal, city and state interests, all made difficult decisions requiring quick resolutions impossible to accomplish. Finally, there were the Charters of Freedom. Whether they existed or in what form, were not the problems.

    The fact that the principals the nation had been founded upon would be remembered, ‘was’ the problem. More so, the lifestyles that people had known all their lives.

    The list went on. Unlike the Mad Clown however, the wealthy elite and corporate leaders had included the heads of law enforcement and intelligence in their planning. During the first day of what would ultimately take only seven, after they noted all points of the situation, the next question was what to do about it. With a whisper to an aide who rushed out the door returning shortly, the response was unimaginable.

    Handing a stack of books to the Director of National Intelligence, he looked at them briefly, took a deep breath shaking his head and cast them on the table stating; "there is your answer." The Mad Clown’s "manuals."

    "Are you insane! This is no time for jokes" one of the others responded.

    "I’m not" he replied. "We have to do all that, make them want it, make them grateful for it, and make them forget. The Clown used those because he knew no better. We’re now forced to use them because we do know better.

    "Look, if we don’t feed the people, they’ll revolt. If we don’t contain them in a way to protect our interests, they’ll overrun them. If we try to run things like before, it will fail. If they remember the past, they’ll fight to get it back. We don’t have any other choice. So let’s make it work, then we’ll fix it.

    "Past that, I’m betting you like the idea of absolute power. So time we bucked up and ruled absolutely."

    It was then that a number of principals of psychological control were discussed. One of the more well known being; "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself." A misquote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, most likely a twisting of the "große Lüge" or Big Lie propaganda technique outlined in Adolf Hitler's, Mein Kampf.

    For the moment, that plan of attack would not work. It was fine for establishing some false ideology, yet you then had to maintain it. What they needed for the time being was constantly evolving chaos.

    "The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia," from George Orwell’s 1984. That would not work either. Any links to the past, even if it was being discounted, risked someone correcting it in the short term. What they needed was to erase the past. All of it, everyday. The past, even yesterday had to be wiped from the 94-percentile’s minds daily.

    The next suggestion shockingly was ‘to let them starve for a while.’ Recounting something he heard a Frenchman in the Philippines say to a victim once; "You would be amazed at how malleable the mind becomes when a person is deprived of food, water and comfort. The terror and suffering however, I inflict for pleasure." Knowing it to be true from their own interrogation techniques, that is how they would begin.

    The people would have to starve for a while. Disease, chaos, crime and barbarism would be the order of the day. In the meantime, the outrageous systems developed by the Mad Clown would be put in place and made to work. That would give those in power time to organize and develop the manufacturing and products to feed the people, ultimately even themselves.

    A few of the council set out to rewrite and alter the Charters of Freedom to make it seem as though MR1 had always existed, was all there was or had been. Naturally, the shift in power had to seem as though there was not one at all. Democracy would be reduced to only existing in name and even that would eventually be written out of the documents.

    The Restored Constitution would be a constantly evolving foundation. Changing to suit today, erasing yesterday and laying plans for tomorrow wherein it would all be erased again. In contrast, the structure of government, more to the point the people within it would actually be quite static.

    Since the Supreme Court had been disbanded by the Clown, Mad or Ass interchangeable, they would not re-institute it. Civil rights for the moment were a thing of the past. As to the Presidency, Senate and Congress however, they would remain with a few minor changes.

    The controlling party made up of the wealthy, corporate, intelligence and law enforcement leadership, would select the presidential candidates. For the time being, the current senators and congressmen could remain. They would vote for which presidential candidate offered to them they wanted, and then go about discussing whatever they wished although it would be of little consequence.

    When a number of senators and congressmen balked at the proposed change in government, more importantly the loss of state’s rights and their own influence representing a percentage of the citizens, those in power understood offering them an option. They could either remain in office doing what they could to help out, living in Homestead Capital... or, they could move to the appropriate Fertile of Pastoral zone of their choice, forever.

    As one might expect, they all opted to remain and continue the fight. The more they thought about it, they even reasoned that eventually they would be the driving force to reclaim their own authority, and thinking twice, it was not really like their representation was ignored.

    After all, when the Speaker of the House would say; "The chair recognizes the honorable representative from the great state of California," it seemed just like before, clearly acknowledging that the state and thus their authority still existed.

    As senators and congressmen would die or retire, new candidates from the Homestead zones would be selected by the council and offered as candidates. The house and senate would vote on them, just like it worked for the presidency.

    With issues of government out of the way, there were a few infrastructure points to deal with.

    As a few individuals would develop the walls, which would also evolve, change, grow and even ultimately shift locations. First off however, roads had to be cleared of vehicles, which was performed by military engineers. Another duty they were tasked with was the erection of walls along I-95 and those branching off from it into specific points in each region.

    Utilized for the transport of Productive zone goods and Homestead citizens, the point of building walls shielding those thoroughfares, was not so much to simply keep Fertile or Productive citizens out, yet more importantly to deprive them of having any knowledge of traffic. Otherwise, the more they saw would only raise questions as to the capabilities and efforts of the government.

    Other individuals worked on a less offensive way of identifying the people. Not so much that they cared about being associated with the Holocaust, just simply there were more advanced means by which they could not only identify the people, but track and monitor them, the credit-bands.

    Regarding that monitoring, satellites would be re-tasked for the purpose, and camouflaged identification readers would be placed everywhere in Pastoral and Fertile zones. Further, existing cellular locating towers would be utilized as well. In addition to the credit-bands, extensive miniaturized camouflaged camera and microphone placement would occur throughout. Over the span of just three years, over entire Fertile zones and populated areas of those Pastoral, there was virtually nowhere anyone could hide.

    How life had been, so it would remain in the Homestead zones. Productive zones would have controlled content communications, but otherwise, utilities would remain the same. Within the Fertile and Pastoral zones however, there was a radically declining scale in the reduction of services. Not so much due to an inability to provide them, simply that the increased hardship and loss of control would play on their memories of years past.

    Fertile zones would be provided with rationed water through typical plumbing that also included sewage service. Electricity would be rationed, appliances would be limited, there would be no telephones, albeit there would be radios. Eventually they would even be given smart televisions. They would be utilized for citizen monitoring within their homes and ultimately psychological manipulation.

    In Pastoral zones, there would seemingly be no electricity, natural gas, communications, even radio broadcasts or sewage. Water would be limited to communal heads intended to make water use difficult. More so, water service would be random and brief. Bathing would be in limited to communal areas. The enforced hardships had a purpose. Considering what the people would have to endure regarding the Agricultural System, if their lot were easy in other regards, then they would have opportunity to question the system itself.

    What Pastoral citizens would find access to were points for controlled prostitution, "Woo-Bars," which ultimately failed as government regulated entities, and drugs. Drugs would be manufactured in the Productive zones, then given to numerous individuals to distribute freely to organized gangs for their ultimate resale. The only effort required was the idiot-proof filling of inhalers.

    A side issue with any of the drugs was, they all also had a contraceptive effect. The people might have screwed like Rabbits due to them, yet it would not grant them their ticket into the Fertile zone by producing like them.

    In contrast to the hardships of lacking utilities, food and water, sex and drugs would be utilized to grant Pastoral citizen’s diversions that would waste time. It would also focus their drives and interests in procuring more and ultimately turn hours into days into years focussed upon something other than their past before the gathering. In time, all but erasing their memories of it.

    With declining scales of freedom, services, food, water, coupled with tailored diversions intent on distraction, finally enforced hardships utilizing starvation, exposure, violence and so on, work began to condition and brainwash the citizenry into forgetting. The intent being to force them to forget their previous homes, employment and lifestyles, forget how life used to be, forget how the government used to be run, and the rights they once had.

    Life was intentionally designed to be so difficult, that all of a Productive citizen’s focus would be upon keeping their job and lifestyle, lest they be moved to the Fertile zone. Those in the Fertile zones were to focus upon keeping their current standard of home, the quality and quantity of goods and services provided, and perhaps dreaming of better and more.

    In the Pastoral zones, every second of an individual’s focus would be simply surviving from one second to the next. Be it avoiding crime or violence, acquiring food or water, even finding themselves a safe place to sleep, have sex with some slight amount of privacy, or get high to escape their suffering for but a moment.

    In the first couple of years, propaganda was continuously broadcast in every zone except those Homestead. Productive zone citizens were constantly bombarded with suggestions and encouragement on how to be more productive and turn their employment activities into a form of recreation.

    Fertile citizens in contrast were conditioned through constant radio and ultimately TV broadcasts about goods that in reality they would never see. Though never told how they could obtain such products and services, they were made aware that they supposedly existed. Something akin to 24/7 advertising of products all to suggest that there is more out there, and it is available to them. All simply to get them to waste their time dreaming about them.

    Eventually, Fertile zone broadcasts ultimately shifted to re-educating youth in the beliefs and values of the RCFG. More importantly, to accept that the Fertile zone was the very best they could hope for, and to do all they could to keep their place there lest they once adults, find themselves in the Pastoral zone.

    Pastoral zone citizens in contrast had to endure what was essentially Orwellian standard broadcasts over loudspeakers placed throughout the zone. 24/7/365 they were bombarded with how they needed to be patient, how much suffering and hard work those in other zones were trying to bring back this minor necessity or that. How tomorrow to expect the water to be working everywhere, to then once again, discover it was not.

    After months of such broadcasts wearing down their hopes, the tactic then shifted. News about this or that would be broadcast, only to have something directly opposite stated tomorrow. Eventually, those shifts became so frequent that over the course of an hour the facts would change multiple times. Even before that shift however, the people just wanted the blaring noise to silence.

    After two long years of ever evolving and intentionally confusing broadcasts, the transmissions began to be garbled. Static and breaks in the sound seemed to indicate that the speakers were failing. All until ultimately, one by one, they all slowly stopped working. Naturally, they all still worked just fine. The point however was to get them to not want to have to hear it anymore, and then to be grateful for it.

    Other methods were utilized, like applying newsprint of nonsensical reporting on the supplied jumpsuits. It was intentionally so absurd that often by looking at one article of clothing you might find even three stories each contradicting the other. It even eventually found its way onto their protein blocks until finally even that stopped.

    The point of all of it was simple. Life was to be so difficult that they would forget and have no chance to hope for more. The news was constantly disappointing and then became ridiculous to get them to learn to ignore it. To not trust what was being told to them, any of it, and therefor not want to hear or see anymore of it.

    When the people ceased wanting to hear how conditions would improve in that they never did, it was then that they ceased trying to remember what it was like in the time before the gathering.

    One final aspect regarding the written history contained in books easily resolved itself. In a land where paper sits beside the right hand of the king while on his throne, the solution is simple. Just do not give those people in Fertile of Pastoral zones toilet paper. In no time the people were saying; "what’s a book?"

    In the end, the entire Policy of Erasure was not so much about erasing the past, yet erasing peoples desire to think on the past, hope for today, or even dream of the future. It was about erasing expectations along with the memories. To simply either keep what I have, or not suffer today was enough. And in time, life as it was, is how it had always been, and likely, how it would always be.

    Although the systems and policies were vastly more complex in all regards, wherein they were intended to simply be a temporary situation, ultimately those in the Homestead regions became complacent. Why should they make efforts to change the systems in MR1 in that their lives were better than ever. Most would never even consider going into a Fertile or Pastoral zone, and in time, many Homestead and Productive zone citizens even forgot that they existed.

    History just as in other oppressive societies would also constantly be rewritten; erased and changed, often for no reason except to do so. Recorded history and statistics for the time being were a hindrance to accomplishing what was required to maintain control. One aspect of that was simply planning for the future. If the day ever came wherein things changed, those in power wanted this era to vanish from recorded history.

    Not even the government or those in Homestead areas were immune to that constantly evolving erasure. They themselves discovered that reminders of the past brought with them regret. More so, their own moralities no matter how hardened one was, had to be tempered to inflict what they must (in the beginning) upon the masses.

    Some however did not forget the grandeur of America. Though the inner council selected candidates for office, every so often someone turned out to be not so self-serving. Once they became aware of what was going on, they would try to do something about it as though their office really mattered. Those who were rash and would openly inspire dissention on their own, typically found themselves deposed or vanishing.

    Some however were wiser. As those individuals learned what was happening, some would begin to play both sides working the system. Whether they truly remembered what the nation at one time stood for, or whether they simply had a conscious was debatable.

    However, discreet individuals would ultimately gather into secretive groups. One day perhaps if they could survive, Liberty and America might just rise again.

    Racing the Tempest:
    Cub was not impressed by Rokka-Kae’s antics in the least. Just like the tattoo upon her back, she was a swirling mass of contradictions; seeming to constantly battle herself as to which persona would dominate. One moment she was kind and the next cruel. She would preach about high philosophy and religion, the next second be spewing out vulgarities.

    The more Cub thought on it, he could not decide if she was just that well rounded or simply that fractured. On the other hand, perhaps she was actually no different than any other stable individual, except for the fact her emotions and responses were always at extremes. Unlike most people who tended to swing one way or the other on the spectrum just slightly, most of the time, Rokka-Kae would peg the needle one way, and without warning slam it back the other.

    This moment however it mattered little. Once they were a couple hundred yards out, Rokka-Kae began to dress quickly pointing off to the west.

    "Okay Cub, fun and games are over. That’s a hell of a storm rolling in and we’re going to have to push through it. In just a few minutes we won’t be able to see much, and that’s when it’s dangerous out here. That group of Crows was just one of many. If any spot us, they’ll come for us. When lightning flashes, just freeze then give it a second and move fast.

    "We’ll not see or hear them until they’re right up on us. So keep your gun in your hand with the safety off, but your finger off the trigger. If you spot anyone, anyone Cub, shoot them. Otherwise, they 'will’ kill and eat us. Okay?"

    Cub just nodded as Rokka-Kae slipped her arms through the hand loops of her bag putting it on her back, and they began a steady jog. Constantly throughout the run, Kae would swivel her head checking for threats. Just before the front of the storm hit them, she began speaking on comms’.

    "Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Do you copy, over?"

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Affirmative, go ahead.’

    "Central, Reaper-379… Identify and initiate executive protocol Hotel-Alfa-Foxtrot-0-1-3-7-9, then confirm, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, P3-Central Dispatch… Executive protocol H-A-F-01-379 has been initiated for this station, go ahead, over.’

    "Central, Reaper-379… Do not track me. Repeat, do not track me. Terminate tracking if already doing so, confirm."

    ‘Reaper-379, P3-Central Dispatch… Affirmative, tracking has been terminated, over.’

    "Central, Reaper-379… Contact Federal Section-3 Command, 4-Command, 8-Command, P4-Dispatch, P2-Dispatch, and 10-N-Core Command. Have them all initiate executive protocol H-A-F-01-379. Once they have confirmed initiation, have Federal Section-3 Command coordinate comms’ between all designated commands then contact me. Copy and confirm."

    For the next hour or more, Rokka-Kae was constantly on comms’ as they ran, setting up plans for the next two days in exacting detail. She was not only firming up plans for the Herbicide mission she called for, but also what would be the resulting ramifications due to it.

    Despite Cub not understand anything they spoke about, he nevertheless could hear the concern in their voices, the hesitation and in some cases even fear. From what he could gather, what Rokka-Kae planned on doing was not simply like stirring up a Hornet’s nest. It was more on par with stripping naked and crawling into one.

    Within minutes, the edge of the storm hit them. Out in the open, it was nothing like inside the safe confines of the cities. As the first powerful gusts of wind slammed into them, it brought with it a wall of dust so thick that you had to dip your mouth and nose down inside your collar just to breathe. You could only see ten-yards at best. Even that was limited to just brief split-second glimpses lest your eyes filled with grit.

    The sky darkened to such a point that it appeared to be just past sundown. Lightning flashed in the distance followed by deafening thunderclaps growing ever closer. Then the mud came.

    As dust raised met the leading edge of the rain, the wind was strong enough that it all turned to mud. In mere seconds, Cub and Kae looked as though they had wallowed in muck so thick that a quarter-inch covered them from head to toe, building up between the gaps and seams of their armored clothing.

    Relief from the mud came in the form of acidic rain; falling in torrents of drops as large as Robin’s eggs. The weight of a single drop of rain was enough to actually hurt, and once it started, it did not stop.

    Kae just continued on at her steady jog speaking into comms’ all the while. Regularly checking to insure Cub stayed with her, she constantly scanned all around them though visibility had improved to only twenty yards.

    In no time Cub’s muscles burned, he was gasping for breath and he had a serious stitch in his side. Still Rokka-Kae pressed on. At each blinding flash of lightning, Kae would abruptly slide to a stop. Her demand that he "freeze" not simply an expression.

    She would lock up in whatever position she was in, pause for three-seconds until she was sure the flash was gone and that there would be no other, then immediately bolt at a fast run so anyone who had marked their position would find nothing once they arrived there.

    When they reached the container-city, Cub believed they were safe and would finally find respite, though it would not be found. Having to shout over the howling wind and pouring rain, Kae explained to him that the cannibals would check areas of cover first. More so, there was a greater danger. With no trees, telephone poles or building remaining, the massive field of steel containers stacked twenty-five feet high became the target for much of the lightning.

    As they ran flanking field of containers, just up ahead a lightning bolt struck a row of containers with such force, that it sounded like a massive steel drum reverberating. Flashes of current leapt from one row to the next and for a brief moment the area seemed to glow. Kae mentioned the lightning regardless, just the sound of the rain on the hollow containers would leave you deaf if inside.

    Eventually they turned, passing the far southern edge of Tin Can Alley yet still they ran. It was only until they had passed it and put a half-mile between them that Rokka-Kae even slowed. When she did, Kae all but collapsed. Cub was hurting and winded like he had never been. Rokka-Kae in contrast, at ten years his senior, half his size, carrying triple the weight and coping with countless injuries from over the years, was in agony.

    Her leather clothing and bag being untreated, soaked up so much water that she carried an additional fifteen pounds or more. Kae’s lungs burned coughing violently. Her knees and ankles had swollen, her back racked with pain from the pounding to her disks. Beyond that, she just hurt, especially her face.

    Arthritis, scar tissue and damaged joints and bones are cruel reminders of a rough life lived. Once clear of the field, refusing to sit knowing the penalty for stopping, Kae continued to pace around Cub in a circle as she removed her bag reaching into it.

    "What are you doing?" Cub shouted at Kae in the pouring rain. "Should you really be doing that? I don’t feel like having sex" causing Kae to laugh though she was wincing constantly.

    "It’s not Slide Cub, it’s Slouch, an enhanced opiate. If you took it you’d just get high and sit on your ass like a zombie. I’m in so much pain that I won’t even feel it, it will just ease it some. If I don’t take it then I’ll lock-up for days, so just relax."

    With that, Rokka-Kae took a blast in her nose as she cracked and twisted every joint, eventually taking a second blast in the other nostril. At that point, Kae did something that Cub ‘was’ familiar with. Without hesitation, Kae slid her pants past her rump, reached behind and gave herself a gutshot. As stoic as she was, even that caused Kae to weave as she pulled a second inhaler out of her bag.

    "What’s that?" Cub shouted.

    "Steam, speed!" Kae responded, shouting over the rain. "Two hits of Slouch even as hurting as I am just starts to mess me up a bit. The third hit definitely pushes me over the edge, but I need it. Steam will take the edge off. Slip your pants down, you’re getting some too!"

    "I don’t want that, I’m fine" Cub responded. He was not. Cub was exhausted and hurting as well, albeit just like when he took Slide for the first time, his justifiable trepidation made him balk at her proposal.

    "I said take your fucking pants down! I don’t have time to discuss it with you, but we have a long way to go and I can’t have you quitting on me. So pull them down, now!"

    Grumbling, Cub complied as Kae first gave herself a gutshot of Steam, washing off the inhaler afterwards. Slipping around behind him, Kae out of view sprayed the last dose of Slouch onto the Steam inhaler so it would not be as intense, oddly reaching around Cub grabbing his cock, stroking it there in the downpour for just a moment.

    "What are you doing! I told you I don’t feel like that!" Cub argued.

    "Just shut up and wait for it!" Kae shouted back as Cub winced at the rude violation.

    The inhaler simply felt like a finger. The dose of Steam coupled with the minor smoothing of Slouch however, rushed through him like a hurricane. Instantly his cock hardened as the rest of him seemed to vibrate as the concoction raced through his system. His heart hammered and he felt like his hair stood on end, but he felt alive, excited and anxious.

    Still reaching around him, after withdrawing the inhaler and throwing it to the ground, Kae almost frantically jerked his cock. Within seconds, Cub felt an overwhelming urge to orgasm though could not as Kae expected, yet knew just what to do. Kae did not linger or pause. Instead, she moved faster and rougher as she began recounting each sexual encounter he had over the past week, in vulgar graphic detail.

    Within seconds, Cub was overwhelmed by an orgasm much different than he had ever experienced. Unfortunately however, it only made him want more. Kae to his chagrin, had other plans as she finished milking out the last spurts he could muster. Tipping his still hard cock up to his belly, she yanked up his pants then pulled up her own.

    "Why are you stopping, don’t you need it too?" Cub asked.

    "Need what, to cum? No. It hits me a lot different than you. Besides, I’m still hurting some. We just had to get that first one out of you or you’d be thinking about it so much we’d get nowhere. Now come on, lets go. We have to make it back to 8-J-6 before morning. You know, Jesus’ place."

    Without another word, Rokka-Kae began walking at a quick-pace avoiding the hard pounding of a jog. The rain continued to pour as the lightning lessened, heading back the way they had come. Once more, Kae had been right Cub realized. He no longer hurt and the exhaustion he felt was gone. In fact, he was feeling pretty good except for the weather and the fact that he felt a little anxious and a touch horny.

    "Say, I thought you traded that Steam you had for the meat we ate. Was that an old one you had?" Cub asked.

    "No. I knew we needed some food for the climb, but we might need the Steam at some point. So I traded two of the guys to get back the last two hits. Don’t worry it’s fine. They just sniffed it, they didn’t do gutshots."

    "Oh, I didn’t even think about that, what did you trade?" Cub continued prying.

    Kae hesitated a moment considering his demeanor of late, deciding once again that honesty would serve her ends better than catering to his inexperienced sensitivities.

    "My ass." Kae flatly stated. Cub didn’t have to say a word his confused expression speaking volumes.

    "Of the four guys that were going to share the Steam, I talked two of them into fucking me in the ass instead, horny bastards. It was so stupid of them the way they screw like rabbits back there. But hey, what the hell. If they’re willing to trade something they can’t get just to blow a load in my guts, who am I to argue."

    "You did that back at Razza’s camp?" Cub asked looking betrayed.

    "Yeah, just before I came back with the meat. It cracks me up how men love fucking a woman in the ass when a straight fuck or blow-job, hell even a hand-job I’d bet must feel better. Ah well, they both blew pretty fast and even gave me a reach-around in the process. So, we not only got eight rations of meat yet half our Steam back too. Enough talking, let’s pick it up a little."

    Although they had been up before dawn, Rokka-Kae kept them moving until they reached their destination near the secret entrance back into Jesus’. Kae often on comms’ the entire time.

    Cub on the other hand, actually found himself feeling cheated upon at Kae being so willing to let another man have sex with her just for drugs. Naturally, he never considered what ‘he’ had experienced recently. At first, it made him angry as he trudged along in the rain. Once he began to come down somewhat, he just felt hurt.

    It was well after midnight when they reached the collapsed factory, finding a corner out of the rain and away from the entrance. Both were exhausted. Confirming something that Kae had mentioned, in just that short distance, the temperature had already risen at least twenty degrees.

    Except for his head and his own sweat underneath, Cub was dry, all of his clothing water-repellent. Kae on the other hand was soaked to the bone. Except for the hard armored plates, the leather was soft, sopped and mushy besides being twice as heavy.

    Stripping off her clothing, Kae did not say a word hurting terribly since the Slouch had wore off. With that, she simply curled up on the dirty concrete naked with a grunt, in seconds falling fast asleep. Cub that moment however felt conflicted over everything. Just sitting there, staring at her back as she groaned out in pain and whatever she was dreaming about in her sleep.

    Rokka-Kae vexed him in so many ways. One minute he hated her, the next he lusted for her, and just a second later he would despise her. Not considering his current mood, he did not apply the positive emotions that he felt. It was about the time that Kae began her first bout of slumbering crying that Cub fell asleep. Oddly, having one last thought that Kae had instilled in him.

    Tomorrow would be another day.

    Finger of God:
    Awakened just before dawn by a small piece of the building finally giving way, falling to the floor, Cub groggily looked over to Rokka-Kae still sleeping. It had been another night of her constant shaking, nightmares and sobbing. As he looked at her now examining her nude form however, he noticed new problems.

    Rokka-Kae was covered in a thick greasy sweat that had been so heavy her hair still looked wet from the night before. Panning down her body, he could also see that she was shivering though it was hot here. Neither shaking or trembling like she typically would, Kae was shivering as though cold, then rolled onto her back in a sudden fit of being too hot.

    One side of her face was plastered with dirt from the grimy floor they had lain upon. Evidence of her crying obvious. However, her typically tanned face seemed pale, her lips were dry and she kept swallowing. Looking lower, it was not her breasts that struck him but the thick raspy gurgle that seemed to emanate from her chest. This day as well, she also looked oddly thin.

    He knew that Kae rarely ate. He had witnessed how she would always take just a little giving up the lion’s share to him. Today for some reason, it was noticeable. Her well-muscled shoulders oddly gave way to lean arms. Her ribs and hipbones were now obvious, as her stomach and abdomen sank in. When he reached her legs however, the damage from the run was startling.

    Lean thighs and shins gave way to swollen knees and ankles. Cub could tell that they were hurting her from how she kept softly flexing her feet and repositioning as though unconsciously trying to work out the pain. Slowly panning back up, somehow Kae always seemed to know he was looking at her, as if his eyes had a touch of their own. As usual, she did not hesitate saying so.

    "What are you looking at, you got a problem?" was all Kae could get out before suddenly lurching to her side, curling up in a fit of coughing.

    "You really need a few days to rest" Cub began. "You need food too and time for your joints to get better."

    "Make up your mind. Are you a lawyer or a doctor? Anyway, we don’t have--" her words cut short by another fit of coughing that left her spitting out globs of congestion right in front of her. "We don’t have a few days. I know I said two weeks but you’re a quick study. So congratulations! Tomorrow afternoon you graduate and get to go home."

    That hit Cub hard not expecting it. He had wanted out of this hellish nightmare since he arrived. Now presented with the prospect, he was positive that he did not want to leave, or more true to the point, leave Rokka-Kae.

    "Yes well, I’ve been thinking about that. You deliberately changed the subject when I asked you to go to Homestead Capital with me. So what would you think about me staying here for a while. You know, to learn more and maybe work on my draw?"

    "Oh my gawd!" Kae was just barely able to groan out before another fit of coughing hit her, seeming to be overheated, groaning to sit up wiping the sweat off her face with both hands.

    "Cub, you can’t… No! No, you can’t stay, I won’t let you stay. Hell I don’t want to stay, but I have to. I went through all of this for you… and you’re not going to piss it away by staying in this shit-hole! You going back and doing what you proposed is why I did all this! Two years of work, suffering and planning... you’re not going to waste it and I’m not going to do this again with someone else."

    "Okay then, go back with me." Cub responded. "Look, you need a rest, you need help, you’re sick and I’d really like… I really ‘need’ to spend more time with you."

    "Cub, if you’re horny, then just fuck me or whatever it is you want to do, but you’re going back."

    "No! That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m trying to say is--"

    "Cub, stop! Okay? Just stop a minute. Let’s get through the next two days and then we’ll talk about it. If you can’t wait then fuck it, the answer is no. I’m sorry, I like you too okay? But we have to get through two more days. Now go check to see if anyone is around, and be positive. Then go knock on the cover the way Bill showed us. Go! I have to get dressed."

    Grumbling all the while, Cub did what she demanded, taking a lot of time to carefully check before fetching Bill and Janny who had been waiting. Even though it had taken close to a half-hour, when they came back, there lay Rokka-Kae still naked and coughing. When she wiped the sweat off her breasts and belly, Janny pressed her hand to Kae’s head inspiring Kae to slap it away.

    "She’s got a fever." Janny said to the others.

    "Yeah so the fuck what? Just grab my things, I’ll dress in the tunnel."

    When Kae tried to move let alone stand, they discovered she could barely sit up. When they tried to help her she angrily thrashed slapping at their hands, coughed once more and leaned over muttering.

    "Believe… just breathe. Another-- fuck that. Just two more days and I’m through."

    Skipping her essential routine of cracks and stretches, Kae powered herself up grimacing, grunting all the while. Once to her feet, hunched over unable to lock her knees, every limb and digit held rigid though crooked, Rokka-Kae looked like some severely arthritic ninety-year-old. Nevertheless, she forced out an exaggerated fake smile stating; "good to go, lead on!"

    Rokka-Kae hobbled, clutching herself limping most of the way, constantly on the verge of toppling over. It took tremendous effort for her just to pull on her pants and jacket, her boots however were impossible. Once inside and to Jesus’ factory, that was the last Cub spoke to her for the remainder of the day.

    Rokka-Kae slept as some of the men and women bathed her down with cool rags. Others massaged every inch of her to even working some of the swelling out of her joints. The children were upset that they could not see her, yet even Kae that moment did not want them around her. Cub slept some, ate a little and bathed keeping clear of her to not make her madder. Eventually Jesus found Cub on the roof having something for him.

    The first items were just as he had promised. A complete set of the original U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights transcribed in exacting detail. When Jesus visited with Kae however, she told him to also give Cub a particular book of hers.

    A little pocket sized book, being just a small part of the Christian Bible, containing Matthew 5-7. Jesus’, "Sermon on the Mount." Along with the passages were also simple and direct explanations so there would be no misinterpretation.

    Cub however did not get a chance to even glance at it. Rokka-Kae appearing, standing there in her armor with her usual cocky smirk, looking for all intents and purposes like nothing had been wrong. The sun had just set, the greenish twilight fading quickly. With that, Kae handed Jesus her bottle of Tequila, most of it still inside, telling Cub that it was time to go.

    Though she was stiff and still limped, Kae with only an occasional grunt, groan or cough did her best to act fine. She had told Jesus that everyone needed to take cover until what was about to happen was over, just to be sure. And that he should tell the children to not let the noises scare them. Hesitating a moment, Kae rephrased the last another way.

    "Tell them Michael and Gabriel are going to run off the bad men… You’ll know why."

    Kae had planned on Cub taking cover as well, but realizing that they’d leave quickly after, she decided he could watch from a safe distance with Bill and Jan, waiting until he was sure it was over before meeting her out front. Handing him her bag, Bill handed her back in return something that he hoped would fit the bill of what she had requested. Something to shield her eyes. It was perfect.

    Bill presented her with the top half of a ‘positive-pressure welding-helmet,’ not needing the lower half. All black, it covered the top half of her head just above the tip of her nose, to the sides, just the lobes of her ears showing. The important part she needed however was the welder’s glass to look out through. Impossible to see out of unless there was an intense light, like the arc from a welding rod, it was definitely worthless at night, though Kae said it was perfect.

    As Kae slipped off one way to get to the alley they had arrived through a few days ago, Bill and Janny led Cub to a tall factory up the street where they could watch from the roof. They still had a good hour to go though it was already dark, so they all just bided their time and waited.

    As a flurry of radio traffic including a countdown began flooding over Cub’s comms’, Janny all of a sudden exclaimed; "oh my gawd, what is that?"

    Pointing up, among the stars on such a clear night, so high that it had to be above the atmosphere, there was a startling image that none of them had ever seen before.

    Four long beams of light covering a good portion of the sky. They had to be hundreds if not thousands of miles in length spread out over the western horizon, all converging on a single point, abruptly terminating. The beams were not constant, appearing much how light looks from the side when dust or smoke passed through it.

    Cub heard something over comms’ that made him slip his second earpiece in, instantly telling Bill and Janny to cover their ears.

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Dispatch… Red Harvest in 10, 9, 8, 7…’

    Rokka-Kae braced herself looking skyward softly pleading. "Please guide me as you see fit, my mind, my tongue and my hand…"

    ‘…3, 2, 1, Red Harvest.’
    >>Red Harvest<<

    Just as Red Harvest was announced the second time, something that had never been heard in this ward, slowly wound up with a growl until it became a deafening wail as the sirens began to sound. No one in this part of MR1 had ever heard them unless they had elsewhere. Bill and Janny looked terrified at the foreboding sound. Those inside the Black Scorpion’s building panicked, the sound new to most of them as well.

    Immediately it worsened. As the siren would slow dropping in pitch, out of nowhere the horn would sound. The sirens were deafening. The horn however was crushingly debilitating; blaring out sounding like doom’s arrival had been announced, four times all told. Cub then saw something he would have never suspected, and ultimately, heard something he would never forget.

    As the sirens and horn sounded, undoubtedly dropping the gang members to their knees in pain; out strode Rokka-Kae into the street between Jesus’ and the gang’s buildings. Once in the middle of the street, she slipped on her helmet, parted her feet and pulled back her shoulders almost standing at attention. In awe, Cub heard something new over comms’.

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Dispatch… Fog in 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Finger of God.’

    Cub saw it come down, albeit taking but an instant. First, a red beam of light, perhaps a HeNe laser, marked a spot in the middle of the Black Scorpion’s roof. A split second later came the point of it. The laser used to compensate for refraction and aim, as without warning a beam of bright light hammered down from the heavens to the earth below.

    Having been dark, it was absolutely blinding; seeming even brighter than the mid-day sun. Covering an area at best a hundred yards in diameter, it looked almost solid from all of the smoke and dust in the air. The light was so intense that a vapor began to form around it like a fog from the dramatic shift in temperature. Even more foreboding, it generated a low throbbing hum, no doubt for the same reason.

    The second it came on, Cub had to shield his eyes it was so bright, although he was out of it. Rokka-Kae however stood deep within it. When he forced himself to look, the heat from the light must have caused her wet clothes to begin to steam, generating a mist around her.

    ‘Reaper-379, P-A activated in 3, 2, 1, go ahead.’

    Seeming to come from all over, ominous and reverberating, Rokka-Kae had been patched through to a public address system that he had never heard before. Like the guards that had escorted them, her voice had been altered to make it sound even more threatening. The pitch of her voice much lower, the resonance growling.

    "Members of the Black Scorpion gang, residents of Ward J-6. This is Reaper 3-7-9, Rokka-Kae, the White Tiger. You have been found guilty of numerous crimes against the citizens of this Ward. Lay down your weapons and exit the building peacefully and you will be gleaned. Comply within fifteen seconds, or you will be harvested."

    It was almost to the second when Rokka-Kae ceased speaking that the countdown which had started at "30" ended.

    ‘…4, 3, 2, 1, Fog terminated.’

    The second the blazing light ceased, the blinding darkness rushed in to replace it. Cub could barely look at Kae in the light, yet now he could see nothing making the night a thousand times darker, as though cast into oblivion. What no one saw, was Kae that moment casting off her helmet running for cover. Just a couple seconds later the gang responded to her command.

    "Cramya Reaper Chote! Rot ya slash!"

    Instantly gunfire erupted from every hole turned into a gun-port, window and door of the Black Scorpion’s building. Still alarmed, overwhelmed by the siren, horn, Rokka-Kae’s voice, the Finger of God and now blinded by the darkness, they seemed to shoot everywhere except where she had been standing. Kae however was already in the alley, back on comms’.

    "P4-Dispatch, 3-7-9… Patch me through to the Crop-Duster."

    ‘Copy Reaper-379… Go ahead.’

    "Crop-Duster do you copy, over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Charley-Delta-34… Affirmative, what are your orders? Over.’

    "C-D-3-4, Reaper-379 calls for a Dark Harvest. Repeat, 3-7-9 calls Dark Harvest."

    ‘Roger Reaper-379, ordinance away. Dark Harvest impact in 14, 13, 12…’

    Rokka-Kae did not know why she did it being so close to this all being over, she just couldn’t help herself. As the front of Jesus’ building and the street was peppered with bullets, Rokka-Kae suddenly flung off her jacket and ran right back into the middle of the street where she had been, raising her arms out from her sides, her grin wide and beaming.

    ‘…2, 1, Dark Harvest. Have a good night. Charley-Delta-34 is off station.

    Cub could just make them out as they passed by the low moon. Three rings of eight elongated-silhouettes each streaking past, crashing into the center of the Black Scorpion building’s roof one after the other. A split second later, they detonated one after the other in rapid succession. The ground floor first, immediately followed by the second and finally the third.

    A bright flash and explosion accompanied each. Except for the glass of closed windows, no debris left the building. A moment later, each of the floors collapsed from the bottom to the top and finally the roof. Every bit of it fell inside, leaving three of the four external walls mostly intact, the back one being easterly, blown out behind.

    Rokka-Kae’s mischievous smirk slowly slipped into a disgruntled scowl, dropping her arms, shaking her head. Walking back to her jacket putting it on, she lazily turned walking back toward the now gutted building, then paused. With a wince she yanked a small shard of glass from her cheek and another from her upper breast, then proceeded inside.

    Jesus and a few of his people slowly emerged from his building. Cub, Janny and Bill rushed down to get to the street themselves, as Rokka-Kae in the distance emerged with a man’s arm and another’s head.

    It was a gruesome spectacle as little pieces of the building continued to fall inside of the three walls. Rokka-Kae at first using the head, placed the exposed neck to the wall and began writing five-foot tall characters in blood. When the head would yield up no more, she used the arm, squeezing up from its fingers to its bicep. When done, what she had written was obvious. Bright-red bold block characters, looking black in the night.


    Tossing both extremities back into the collapsing building, already four bio-disposal drones were descending into it. Rokka-Kae seemed exhausted, or perhaps disappointed and sad, walking directly toward Jesus. Despite not able to hear what she said, Cub in the firelight of the building, parts of it burning, could just make out Jesus’ expressions.

    First a caring smile that slipped to confusion, then sadness and finally pleading. As Rokka-Kae turned away, he grasped her arm causing Kae to brusquely shrug it off her, throwing up her hands in refusal.

    Harshly spinning round, Kae stormed toward Cub grabbing his arm wheeling him around, heading southward down the street. When Cub looked back one last time to the small community that had turned perdition into paradise, he saw one last thing.

    Lowering his face into his hands and dropping to his knees, Jesus wept.

    Race to Infamy:

    "Why did you write that back there, and what’s wrong with Jesus?" Cub asked.

    "Don’t worry about him or those people they’ll be fine. Why did I write that? Hmm… Well let’s just say; every hero needs a villain. Now come on, we have a long run until dawn, things are about to get hairy."

    "Hairy? What? Why don’t you ever speak English" Cub quipped back.

    "Hehe, fair enough, that’s even from way before my time. Things are going to get really bad, real fast. We have to make it back to 13-R before dawn. So let’s go.

    "Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Am I on your monitors? Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Dispatch… Affirmative, we are tracking you, over.’

    "Dispatch… Contact P2-Central Dispatch and have them resume tracking me and have them contact 10-N-Core. Reaper-379 is calling ‘stockyard.’ Repeat, Reaper-379 calls stockyard, confirm."

    ‘Reaper-379, P4-Dispatch… Clear Copy, Reaper-379 calls stockyard, confirm, over.’

    "P4-Dispatch, Reaper-379… Stockyard confirmed, out."

    "What does ‘stockyard’ mean" Cub asked.

    "Well… Stockyard means you might get to see one more thing. ‘Your’ laws in action. Sound good?" Kae responded emphasizing "your" with a sneer.

    "Well it’s about time. Law is just what this place needs."

    Rokka-Kae forced out an exaggerated sarcastic smile and though they had only made it three-hundred yards from Jesus’, out of nowhere she began to weave stumbling, dropping to her knees balling up, her face in her hands pressed to the ground.

    Five steps later Cub finally noticed. By that time, Kae’s back was heaving. When he raced up to her however, shouting out asking if she was all right, Kae instantly responded back.

    "Get the fuck away from me!" Kae screeched out. Yanking her hands away from her face long enough to flail at Cub. He could see it was contorted in anguish, streaked with tears from sobbing.

    It took Rokka-Kae five-minutes before she would even uncurl. Ten before she even tried to stand to no avail, appearing as though she did not have the strength. Finally, she looked around in a panic, at first growling out at Cub, then begging him.

    "That girl, the one with her tits out, there with the three men" as Kae pointed across the street. "Take out your gun, and bring her here now. Cub please, do it, I need you to do this now, please!"

    Cub did not understand why Kae needed her, or why he needed his gun, so he just walked over to them. As he began talking, instantly the men began shoving him back and forth and had already drawn knives preparing to stab him.

    "Charot ya slasho machote! Who am ya ta be--"

    The man never finished as the back of his head blew out. Another spun around, his upper-arm shattered from rounds fired out of Rokka-Kae’s gun. The first man was so intent that his arm continued its motion; the knife in his hand stabbing into one of Cub’s trauma-plates. The second man also lunging dropped his knife and the third man ran.

    "You chachia! Live or die? Either way I get what I want!" Kae shouted.

    The woman instantly threw up her arms as Cub wide-eyed, grasped her arm stumbling from shock, walking her to Rokka-Kae.

    "Gimme a slick Slide, Slouch and Steam. Don’t lie, I know you have them. Now!"

    The woman opened her waist-pack and thrust a handful of inhalers at Kae. Kae rifled through them until she found what she wanted, grabbing the girl’s wrist speaking into her own credit-band.

    "Pay 20," tapping the girl’s band telling her to run. The girl bolted as instantly, Cub perhaps more angry with himself for not listening to Kae began to apologize. Kae however just thrust up a hand to silence him.

    "Just wait damn it, be still a minute."

    Fumbling with the inhalers trembling, Kae stuck the Steam in her nose and sniffed. Her trembling turned into a shiver as she grit her teeth, suddenly seeming confused. Juggling the three inhalers, her mind a whirlwind not from the drugs, but the crash after the combat she always felt. Sticking two of the inhalers in her mouth, she was barely able to slip down her pants beginning to reach around, yet paused.

    Sticking that inhaler in her nose she sniffed and quickly calmed. Finding the first inhaler she held it just outside her nose and sniffed. Even still, the second blast of Steam hit her hard enough that she grasped her chest but she still was not done. The second inhaler she moved to her behind, giving herself a second dose of Slouch. By that point, she seemed to calm some although to Cub’s surprise, she withdrew the last inhaler of Slide from her lips and took a snoot of that as well.

    Nodding as her lids fluttered waiting for it all to settle, Kae looked up to Cub and finally smiled.

    "It’s okay Cub. I know this place is strange to you, but just like I would rely on you to get along in the Circus, you need to trust me here."

    "Can I ask you something personal?" Cub meekly queried.

    "Sure Cub, go ahead." Kae responded, calming by the second.

    "Are you addicted to those drugs?"

    Kae started laughing, though not in her usual condescending way, answering.

    "No-- Well maybe, just like I said you are now. Cub, I’m old. I hurt all the time and there are a lot of things happening this moment you don’t understand yet. All three together is just too much. So to get by, and to not be so harsh with you, I took the drugs. I can cope with the pain and being tired. What I can’t deal with is what just happened and is going to happen. But no, I’m not a junkie. I rarely use them.

    "Okay? Please help me up. I need your help carrying my bag. Would you, please?"

    Cub did not hesitate yet there it was again. That night and day contradiction that was Rokka-Kae. Throughout the night, they kept moving, although now it was Kae who slowed them. They moved through the Wards of Sector-8 with little difficulty. By Sector-13 however, the number of people had increased so much that their progress began to slow significantly.

    Those people not moving around would literally lie down on the street. Some areas were so dense that you were required to step over them, though just before dawn, they found some relief. Looking down a side street, Kae noticed what in recent years was a rare sight, a Combine with some armored troops around it.

    Pushing their way to it, just as they approached Rokka-Kae opened her jacket so her Reaper tattoos were visible. Wherein citizens were harshly turned away, without hesitation the troops stepped aside allowing Kae and Cub to pass, the seriousness of this moment quickly becoming evident.

    The Combine being heavily armed and armored along with the troops was startling enough compared to what he had seen in this place. When they turned down the cross street, the true gravity of the situation revealed itself.

    There were garbage trucks with front-end loaders on them Kae called "Scoop-Trucks," other garbage trucks Kae called "Harvesters" and "Stock-Trucks" like he had seen taking all of those citizens away.

    Along with the vehicles were the people. Those from Salvage were wearing biohazard suits, numerous lightly armed and armored Gleaners with their mass-restraints and a few heavily armed soldiers. Kae and Cub passed through all of them with ease, people actually parting, making a path for Rokka-Kae. All until they reached one group of Gleaners.

    Out of nowhere, one of the women began shouting at Kae. Those around her quickly backed away from the woman. Those behind her almost ran to get out of the way.

    "You! You’re the reason this is happening you murdering maniac! We could all get kil--"

    "I told you to become a Planter" was all Rokka-Kae said before she shot her. No one said a word.

    Eventually, Cub and Kae made it to the border of Wards "M and R." Rokka-Kae grunting every step led Cub up to the roof of a four-story building. Once there, she ordered everyone off it lest they be harvested, calling Dispatch hoping that they could rest.

    "Central, Reaper-379… How long do I have before they reach me? Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, P2-Central Dispatch… E.T.A. four hours approximately, over.’

    "Affirmative Central, out.

    "Okay Cub, I’m giving you a job, a real job. Use your gun. You don’t have to shoot it, but point it at least. Keep this roof clear. I need some time to collect myself and sleep, okay?"

    Cub did as she asked seeing how much pain she was in, clearly looking decidedly unwell. Kae’s hair was matted and she was slick with sweat. Sure it was hot out and they were both sweating, but this was something more. Her face was pale and she had rings under her eyes. The rattle in her chest had not improved, nor had her coughing.

    Watching from afar, Cub noticed that Rokka-Kae apparently expedited her custom for when she needed sleep. Leaning back sitting in a corner, Kae once more pulled out her inhalers, shimmying down her pants a little simply to make them loose.

    Once she had, slipping her hands inside the front of her pants, Kae gutshot herself with what had to be Slouch from the way she seemed to melt. Setting it aside, she slipped another into her pants, planted her heels and gutshot it as well.

    Almost instantly, her head lurched back as her chest rose then heaved. Supported only by her shoulders and heels though sitting, she violently shuddered as her mouth gaped, gurgling out a loud groan. Slowly lowering back down as brutal aftershocks caused her to lurch and shudder spastically, Rokka-Kae quickly fell asleep, her hands still down the front of her pants. Whether she had even withdrawn the inhaler of Slide or not, he did not know.

    What he did know is that neither the opiate nor her orgasm did anything to help her bad dreams. In fact if anything, they seemed to worsen as she would jerk, shudder and cry. Whatever she was enduring however, except for the times he kept others off the roof, oddly the gun helping, Cub kept his gaze fixed upon her.

    Rokka-Kae would get her sleep, and though Cub had many reasons to loathe her, as Cub watched her, he daydreamed of Rokka-Kae and what if?

    To be a Hero:
    Over the next few hours, Cub rehashed what he had experienced and seen in the Pastoral zone, and to no small degree, the broad sweeping aspects of Rokka-Kae. Reflecting, Cub realized if about nothing else, Rokka-Kae was right regarding his ignorance of others.

    His life experiences had been sheltered, narrow and focussed. For the most part, he had fixated upon his own life path and opinions, disregarding all others. He had much to think on, too much for just a few hours of contemplation. So, there came a point where he set the broader picture aside, and simply focussed upon the moment.

    One aspect of that moment, was that the noise that had been growing from the street below. There was the usual din of 13-R, yet it had shifted somehow. Seeming to have a sense of urgency or perhaps panic about it. That change in the tone and tempo caused Cub to look over the edge, down to the street.

    There below were the usual dense crowds, yet something was different, then it struck him. They seemed to be swarming. Each minute, just a little bit more, they seemed uneasy and unsure as to where to go or what to do.

    Contrary to what he had seen when at street level, the people were now moving one of two ways. Instead of heading in this direction or that, there seemed to be a push toward the inner edge of the Pastoral zone, toward the wall and the Fertile zone.

    He also noted that people were unsure of where to go. Instead of keeping to a single direction until they reached their destination, they would go this way then turn back and move from side to side as though looking for a way out.

    That moment a distant explosion caught his attention. Just barely audible, it never the less made him look far up the street, perhaps a mile or more seeing something that truly stood out. No one at all.

    Here below and for roughly a mile, the people continued their swarming and indecisive tracts. As he panned along that length, the farther north he looked where he and Kae had come from, Cub noticed that the swarming intensified with each block.

    Eventually, it was obvious that those toward the head of that swarm were fleeing from the void. They would run this way or that, cut down side streets and into buildings, only to then pour back out and move another way trying the next place they could find.

    Behind them, there was the startling gap or void. Not a single person could be seen for a block’s length up the street. Through the dense haze, it was difficult to be sure; it looked as though beyond that point there was a solid mass of people as far as the eye could see.

    Thinking to ask Rokka-Kae about it, as he glanced to her, he noticed that she was already awake. Twisting and wrenching her joints, stretching out each leg one at a time she would grunt and wince, then go right back moving that joint again.

    "Would you like for me to pull your boots off and rub on your legs like they did at Jesus’?" Cub asked her.

    "No thank you Cub, that’s sweet of you" Kae’s stunning replay. "If I take my boots off now, I’ll never get them back on. You could help me up though… please."

    As Cub approached, he saw it once again. Rokka-Kae taking on that brief depressed expression, afterwards, loosing a sigh whispering out; "just believe, breathe. Just one more day."

    Disconcertingly, helping Kae up was more of a process than usual. First, she had him help her to all fours. Trying to joke between her grunts, asking him if he; "needed to knock one out real quick." Cub pulled her up to kneeling and finally to her feet, wherein she leaned against him for a good minute before letting go.

    Walking to the parapet looking up the street herself, Rokka-Kae called out on comms’. This time, perhaps more than any other, Cub was confused by what he heard.

    "Central, Reaper-379… Are they still moving toward my location? Over."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Affirmative, E.T.A. thirty-minutes, over.’

    Frustration instantly filled Kae’s voice and tone.

    "Central… Hasn’t anyone engaged them yet? They’re already passing Combines, why isn’t anyone doing anything? This could have all ended easily!"

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Negative, they have not been engaged. Orders came down from Homestead Capital. Plow the Field. They’re waiting until they reach you then--‘

    ‘Clear comms’! Repeat, clear comms’! Federal Sub-Section-5 Command… P2-Central Dispatch, cease all unauthorized traffic immediately and patch us through directly to Reaper-379!’

    ‘379, Colonel Sutton, F-S-S-5 Command… You are ordered to take your position and "Plow the Field." Repeat, you are ordered to Plow the Field, confirm and comply!’

    "But if you just engage them now--" Rokka-Kae began before being cut off.

    ‘379, confirm and comply! You called for the Herbicide Mission knowing damn well what would happen and then you called Stockyard. Homestead wants to significantly increase the harvest. So get your bought and paid for, lazy, slave-ass down there and do as you are ordered for once. You don’t get choices, you do as you’re told.

    ‘So confirm and comply, or I’ll have you and that trouble making idealist you’re with harvested first! Confirm now!’

    Rokka-Kae’s face was already scrunched up, tears flooding over her cheeks as she tried to restrain her anguish, though did not do quite as well with her rage. Kae grit her teeth, growling out her response with a qualifier.

    "Confirmed… Then I’m coming for you Sutton... You cock-sucking cunt-- mother-fucker! I’m killing you next! Do you hear me? I’ll kill you and every fucking bastard you spawned you…"

    Though Rokka-Kae ranted for another minute into comms’, Cub could tell that they had instantly closed the link from the static. Once Kae had finished her tirade, she collapsed to her knees sobbing against the parapet.

    For three minutes, Kae continued to wail in anguish. Finally, she slowly pulled her hands together clasping them, and though Cub could barely make out what Kae said, she had begun to pray.

    "Oh God… God! I beg you! I beg you with all my heart and soul to please, please stop this. I know I made it happen, yet I saw no other way to change this place. I beseech you, I beg you to have mercy on them. Show me another way, there has to be another way to make this happen! Make me suffer in their stead, anything, please God, please…"

    Rokka-Kae remained like that becoming silent as she wept, waiting for inspiration or some divine act to change what was about to happen. Ultimately she began nodding. Whether having received an answer of "no," or perhaps none at all being her answer, she finally unclasped her hands as her face took on an expression of resolve asking sincerely, then agreed bitterly.

    "Please, please ease their suffering and grant them peace. Take them unto you and embrace them. Guide my hand to only take those you deem, and insure that their passing is swift and painless. I beg you to cleanse them, heaping all of their sins and transgressions upon me. So that ‘I’ may bear their burden making it my own, to carry with me when what I have sown is reaped and I stand in your judgement. Amen.

    "Okay then, so this is it, there is no other way. Another day, just fucking breathe."

    As Kae slowly stood, she seemed to find strength though flinched all the while, inspiring Cub to meekly approach her. Kae’s expression was firm and full of resolve as she looked out up the street once more.

    "Kae… I-- I don’t understand. What’s going on, aren’t they rioting?"

    Through her scowl Rokka-Kae forced out a tiny patronizing smile, telling him to look and listen. There was a mass of people so dense, that every inch between the buildings on both sides, found them packed shoulder to shoulder for as far as the eye could see.

    On the fringes and up front, you would see small explosions, violence as people were attacked, smoke from gunfire, albeit most of the mass of people were just simply moving this way. Most of them, with one fist high in the air pumping in solidarity, as he listened.

    There was a low chant by thousands that sounded like millions they kept shouting repeatedly.

    "In Philly no more! In Philly no more! In Philly…"

    The chant would change to other phrases; all of them blunt and defiant though he noticed something else and could even see where it was coming from. A cart was being pushed by a number of men and women. Upon it were stacked a number of large speakers. Men at the rear continued cranking away at what had to be a generator.

    Blaring out of those speakers a single song played continuously, over and again. "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John.

    He could see some of the crowd was rioting, actually, not all that many. Others clearly were protesting, though the vast majority was simply marching in solidarity. Singing and even dancing as though this was all just some massive street-party; one wherein for a moment, they could set their suffering aside, bond with one another and be happy.

    When he looked back to Rokka-Kae, he found her adding long stocks or wrist braces to her pistols that would lay high up over her lower-arm. She had already removed the audible and visual alerts from her belt, replacing them with gyroscopic mines.

    Once she had slipped her pistols into their holsters, she began wedging the butt end of magazines between the armored pads on the front and outsides of her thighs looking like spikes. Sixteen all told with those in her guns, a staggering 2,400 rounds of high velocity hate.

    Rising up, Rokka-Kae looked to Cub sternly issuing her order.

    "Stay up here. If anyone comes up here, shoot them for your own safety. Anyone, especially the Fed-Govs."

    "But I don’t understand, if they’re just protesting why do anything?" Cub asked. With each word in response, Rokka-Kae became more enraged.

    "Why? Why? You heard him. If I don’t, you die. I made all this happen. This was my plan as I saw no other way. These other stooges, these fuckers... simply think that I did all this just so I could harvest. Only Margaret knows otherwise. I hoped for a different way, I prayed for a different way, but there is no other way!

    "I’m doing this to save you! To make your dream happen, it has to happen. Now, not later, now gawd damn it! Do you hear me, to save you-- No, that’s wrong. I’m doing this to save them, those people out there. They can’t bear this any longer, it has to change. So I’m going to try and save them through you!"

    "You’re going to kill the soldiers?" Cub asked hopefully, causing Rokka-Kae to snort laughing sneering at him as though he was some foolish child.

    "No Cub, I’m going to kill them" Kae pointing to the crowds growing closer. "I’m going to kill them, to save all of them, there is no other way."

    "Just refuse!" Cub blurted out.

    "I can’t, it’s too late this is the way" Kae growled back in response.

    "Then I won’t let you, I’ll stop you" Cubs forthright rejoinder.

    When he said that a wicked smirk swept over Rokka-Kae’s face and she spoke bluntly.

    "Good Cub, good! Do it, stop me, stop me now." Kae’s eyes growing wide in excitement. "Take out your gun and shoot me, do it now!"

    Cub just shook his head puffing up as he spoke. "No, I’ll-- I’m going to hold you here until it is over."

    When Cub said that, Kae’s fury returned with a vengeance. Her eyes took on a slant of rage, teeth clenched together as her lips pulled back baring them when she spoke.

    "No you’re not… Shoot me now or I’ll shoot you" Rokka-Kae responded, squatting and twisting as she gripped her pistol. "Do it Cub, do it now. Save them Cub, do it! Do you hear me, shoot! Save them Cub! Save me! Shoot me gawd damn it! Shoot!"

    "Kae, please. Let’s just leave, I, I really care for--" Cub began before being abruptly cut off.

    "Shoot me mother-fucker, you fucking cunt, shoot me, save them! You told me, you said that ‘you would kill me if I killed an innocent person and deserved it.’ Well I did! You saw me just a few hours ago, a fed-gov stooge no less, and now I’m going to kill more!" Kae screamed out urgently furious.

    Cub just shook his head crossing his arms behind him as he took two steps back.

    Rokka-Kae instantly looked as though all of the fire and fury slipped out of her. Shaking her head in disappointment, she spoke slowly, softly, shrugging out of her jacket, letting it fall to the roof.

    "That’s okay Cub, I understand, really, it’s okay, seriously, just breathe. This is how it has to happen I guess."

    "What are you doing? Your armor?" Cub voiced with concern.

    "What? Because when the day comes I meet my God… I will do so with my heart bare to him, honest and unhidden. When I die, I die like this. Stay up here."

    As Rokka-Kae pushed past him, Cub once more asked her what she was going to do. Rokka-Kae’s answer blunt, calling back behind her.

    "I’m for the first time in nine-years going to do what your government, ‘your’ government, brought me here to do. Watch Cub. See what a Reaper is really supposed to do. I told you, every hero needs a villain. Be a hero."

    Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

    We the People:
    A moment later Rokka-Kae was gone down the stairwell. Cub realizing that it would be pointless to try to stop her. Racing to the edge of the parapet looking down onto the street, the block of emptiness had already reached them. Rokka-Kae finally emerged below and after rummaging through a pile of garbage, she moved out into the middle of the empty street.

    Once there, Rokka-Kae bent down on one knee and clasped her hands together. Cub could tell that she was praying once more. When she had finished, she hunched over low pulling a ragged tarp over herself, and Cub heard Kae’s voice on comms’.

    "Central… On my command, sound the sirens in Wards L, M, N, Q, R, and S. Keep them screaming until I say otherwise."

    ‘Reaper-379, Central Dispatch… Clear copy, L through N, Q through S, awaiting your command.’

    In just a couple more minutes, the crowd had reached the tarp Rokka-Kae was under. Some moved around the lump as others stepped on it, the people kept chanting, those on the fringes looting and burning, and the music kept playing as the people danced and sang.

    When the crowd had passed Rokka-Kae by perhaps a hundred yards, the mass of people extending back forever still pouring forth, Cub heard Rokka-Kae once again on comms’. The people were so close to her that he could hear their voices, singing and laughter.

    "Central, Autumn Harvest! 379 calls Autumn Harvest now!"
    >>Autumn Harvest<<

    In the distance, Cub heard sirens begin to growl up to their shrieking wails, finally reaching where they were at as they began to sound. The threatening lament was terrifying causing the vast majority of revelers and protesters to panic. Turning every which way, the street so packed they could barely move. Unfortunately, it was too late.

    Without warning, Rokka-Kae sprung up from under the blue tarp casting a gyroscopic mine high above her head. Instantly the people next to her drove back against the crowd trying to flee, forming a ten-foot clearing around her as shouts of "Reaper!" sang out.

    A split-second later, just as the gyroscopic mine began to fall, it exploded. At a twenty-yard radius around Rokka-Kae, behind a number of people, in an instant everyone fell. Six bodies deep as the projectiles screamed out in a perfect ring, far out around her dropping everyone. From that one mine alone, easily three hundred people had been killed leaving many others wounded.

    Where Rokka-Kae stood now looking like a bulls-eye, she had already drawn her guns and in a perfect spin as graceful as an ice-dancer, wheeled round firing on full-auto. It took just over three-seconds to empty both magazines, 300-projectiles all told. Each one racing out at such high velocity, that it took out three, to even four people deep in the densely packed crowd.

    The term "Reaper" was never more appropriate than with Rokka-Kae. As she spun, the people fell like she had swung some vast invisible scythe and they were simply stalks of wheat; falling en masse like a wave wherever she pointed.

    That’s all it took. With just that much, the riot, protest, march or party, whatever you’d like to call it, had broken. That was enough. The end of it and no one would resist or fight back. Those that had passed her fled, finding Gleaners waiting to force them into slavery until their deaths. Those who had not, pushed back against the sea of people to no avail.

    Simply breaking up this assemblage however was not the point. This was the reaping of a crop, and the harvest, was to be brought in.

    Rokka-Kae’s spent magazines had not even hit the ground by the time she slammed her guns down over two more on her thighs, raising her guns once more. Again, she spun round with the same devastating results.

    The projectiles fired out of her weapons were moving so fast, that a part of them had turned into incendiary plasma, giving the appearance of laser beams; as she in one turn dropped another six hundred. The spray of blood in the air made it look like Kae was walking through a red fog.

    With her arms held straight out from her sides, the recoil though compensated for would drive her shoulder blades together causing her body to violently shudder. Every muscle within her was swollen and flexed as she pushed out the guns. Her feet placed wide and her legs crouched just to be able to hold her position as her torso twisted.

    By that time, the street behind her was empty, as was each side. Perhaps a thousand or maybe even twice that number of bodies littered the street. The concrete and buildings painted red with their gore.

    Cub then heard other weapons in the distance, down side streets and far behind the crowd being fired. Unique weapons different from Rokka-Kae’s, yet unlike those used by government personnel, as other Reapers drove the crowd back into that one long street.

    Rokka-Kae then shifted her tactics. Now advancing on the crowd, she was in a squat of sorts. Kae would swing one leg forward bringing that side’s gun to bear with it sweeping the crowd. First one gun, then the other. The sound from the projectiles raced out so fast that they generated a grating scream like a banshee. Still Kae kept advancing.

    A gruesome twist to it all, the cart playing the music continued to blare out its joyful song in sickening irony, making the whole scene just that much more surreal.

    One sweep of her arm would bring down 300 people or more all falling where they stood. In a flash Rokka-Kae would eject that magazine, slamming her gun to that thigh loading another mag, while her other arm would sweep the crowd from the opposite side, driving them all inward.

    Over and again Rokka-Kae would step and fire, step and fire again. All the while advancing not around, yet on top of the heaped up bodies that filled every inch of the street.

    By eight magazines, 1,200-projectiles all told taking out no less than two up to even four people each, left at least 4,000-citizens lying there dead or wounded. The crowd had pulled back so much that Rokka-Kae had trouble advancing over the bodies; so she slowed them once more.

    Casting a gyroscopic mine deep into the crowd, in an instant a mass of people fell in a perfect circle perhaps thirty yards in diameter.

    With the barrels of her guns glowing like steel just yanked from a smelter, unable to control both any longer, Rokka-Kae thrust one into her holster causing it to instantly light afire.

    Rokka-Kae would sweep the crowd dropping another three rows of people holding the gun with both hands. Then she would advance, stumbling and tripping as she moved over the bodies as she would slam another magazine into it, and sweep them again.

    After firing three magazines worth out of one gun, Rokka-Kae swapped pistols firing the other. After three magazines from that gun however, she cast out her last gyroscopic mine, dropped the empty magazines from both guns slamming them to her thighs loading up her last two, but oddly, holstered them and slowly stood upright waiting.

    Cub after watching the slaughter from above for a couple minutes, the whole event not lasting more than four, had run down the stairs to try and reach Rokka-Kae and beg her to stop. When he emerged in the street there was not another person standing except Rokka-Kae.

    Bodies covered every square inch of concrete. Blood ran in the gutters and had painted the buildings. As he tried to make his way to her, stumbling over the mass of bodies, he realized that many of them were simply severely wounded or were dying.

    Cub tried shouting to Kae as he approached, barely able to hear his own voice over the sirens just starting to wind down. More so, the wailing lamentations of those suffering lying in the street made it impossible to be heard. Just as he neared carrying her jacket and bag, three other people emerged from cross streets, one from up ahead of her.

    Clearly, they were all Reapers, evident by their tattoos. Three of them were smiling, perhaps even laughing. They were all armed and armored with much different equipment from Rokka-Kae, none of it though was common or government issued all being contractors. It was then that Cub heard something just barely over comms’. It made his heart sink, urging him to pass-out.

    ‘This is Central Dispatch, we have satellite estimates coming in. Reaper-408, 2,800. Reaper-086, 3,500. Reaper-253, 2,600, Reaper-195, 3,200. Reaper-3-- Reaper-379, 6,700. Gleaner collection, 15,800. All other Federal personnel, 1,000 harvested.’

    Glancing up to Rokka-Kae, Cub noticed something that few others would have. As two of the other Reapers scoffed at their tallies, another remained expressionless and the last congratulated Rokka-Kae, she slowly twisted to the right crouching, as her left hand raised up to her comms’. Cub instantly knew what was about to happen, yet he could say nothing paralyzed in shock.

    "Central Dispatch, Reaper-379… Adjust your numbers. Reaper-379, 19-thousand, 8-hundred… and four."

    In an instant she turned and fired. Gunning down the four Reapers in a single pass, then walked over to them, sweeping them again just to be sure. In just a few moments able to see on satellite and determine their status from their credit-bands, a new voice responded over comms’.

    ‘Roger Reaper-379… Confirmed. Harvest estimates for Reaper-379 stand at 19,804. Repeat, Reaper-379, 1-9-8-0-4, out.’

    Cub slowly turned round dumbfounded. He could already see Salvage workers moving through the mass of bodies looking for wounded.

    Each one wore portable air-compressors on their back. When they found someone injured, they would place a gun shaped device called a "Bolt" to the person's head, a hose running back to the compressor and fire. The captured bolt gun would drive into the person’s skull with such force they would instantly drop. Still alive of no matter, just as long as they were not moving was the point.

    Gleaners were loading up those uninjured by the hundreds into Stock-Trucks to be charged and sentenced to hard labor as slaves until they perished. Harvesters and Scoop-Trucks had also moved in. Where convenient, they would use the Scoops picking up ten to twenty bodies at a time, alive or dead of little consequence.

    Where Scoops could not be used, four Salvage workers at a time swinging meat-hooks into bodies, would lift and carry, finally chucking them into the back of Harvesters.

    By the time Cub turned back around, Rokka-Kae was on her knees upon the ground sobbing inconsolably. From the spray of so much blood in the air pumped out like a fine aerosol, when Kae had been firing it looked like a red mist or fog. Now however, she was covered in so much of it that buckets of blood could have been poured upon her and it would have been no different.

    "Why?" Was all that Cub could yell out not understanding any of this, inspiring Rokka-Kae to twist around. The blood washed away from her cheeks by her own tears, answering back in amazement as she sobbed.

    "Why? Why what, kill these psychopaths? Because, each one of them would have killed you! They’re worse than any of these other people by a long-shot. They butcher and slaughter because it gives them pleasure. That one there, literally jerks-off on the ones he slowly butchers.

    "I killed them because you can’t or won’t! And each one you’ll have to face once this all changes. Why do you think Razza had those bodies, that’s my doing for you!"

    "No, why?" as Cub waved his hand over all of the other bodies. "They were just protesting, most of them just having fun. Why them?"

    "What do you mean why them? Because this is what ‘you people’ make me do!"

    Kae glanced up to his earpiece, snapping at him to push it in and listen. Cub did as she said and he was sickened. Countless dispatch stations, command groups and numerous other government services were all calling Rokka-Kae regarding the tally, stepping all over each other’s transmissions.

    ‘Outstanding work 379!’ ‘Best harvest ever!’ ‘Bout time 379, you made up for nine-years quick!' ‘Productive composting will be working overtime, well done!’ ‘Great hunting Rokka-Kae!’ ‘Keep going, you’re almost at 20,000!’

    It went on and on, the government units congratulating Rokka-Kae, whom had yanked out her own earpiece and thrown it. Cub looked like he was about to vomit, blurting out his confusion driving Kae into a rage.

    "But this doesn’t make sense, I don’t understand, it’s not like with those Black Scorpions."

    "Don’t tell me you don’t understand!" Kae fired back. "What I did back at Jesus’, is exactly why this happened! I could have walked into their building and just killed them. But I made a big show of it to make this happen for ‘you!’ Just like this was for you!

    "That show made these people stand up and pull together like American’s are supposed to when fighting a tyrant, and they hadn’t even revolted yet.

    "Read the papers Jesus gave you! It was exactly what they are supposed to do, ‘by law,’ yet you fuckers stripped them of their God given rights. In your second speech, you even said it. ‘The law has failed us!’ Not the old laws, the real laws… but the new laws! The laws you cock-suckers replaced them with so you could eat your own and feel proud of it!"

    By that time Rokka-Kae had stood up and began advancing on Cub furious, enraged. Her arms flailed pointing at him or at this or that. Blood slinging off her hands and breasts as they’d lurch and sway.

    "You said; ‘our nation is being destroyed by the principles you once held dear,’ but it’s not! It’s being ripped apart by the laws and principles that you mother-fuckers put in their place to abuse and oppress these good people!

    "You also said; ‘you needed good men and women to administer retribution fairly! Out of the courts and into the streets!’ Well here they are, and this is how you fucking cunts repay them for being the only good and just and true American’s there are!"

    Cub had begun to stagger backward. Not so much at Rokka-Kae advancing, but at so many realizations crystallizing.

    "I asked you, I begged you to stop me! I planned all of this knowing exactly what would happen so you could be a hero and the people would embrace what you proposed and end all of this! Yet again, you refused to shoot! Did you look at their faces? Look at them… Look at them! I told you, ‘everyone you lose is yours to carry forever.’ Well every one of these is yours!

    "You said you could kill me, yet you didn’t! I have to carry them too, all of them! Yet hopefully, if you can ever grow up and become a man, then I’ll have saved hundreds of millions of others!

    "You could have saved every one. You could have saved me… Me! Do you know what I get when this is all said and done? I get an eternity in hell! Hopefully alone, suffering torments and damnation! And that cunt Satan can’t punish me a thousandth as much as I will myself!

    "I did all of this, and will suffer forever just so you can make happen what you dream of and hopefully save these people! But you can’t save them can you? You’re just like them. The cunts at the Circus and all of those wealthy spoiled cock-suckers!"

    As Rokka-Kae ranted, two groups of six-guards each, heavily armed and armored like the men that escorted them in the Fertile zone arrived. Six of them surrounded Cub and began to lead him off as the other six surrounded Rokka-Kae. When they began to be separated, Kae tried to burst through them to get to Cub, yet they grabbed her, forcing her to the ground ramping up her rage to a screeching fury.

    "Cub! Cub! You go back to the Homestead Cub and kill them all! Do you hear me? Kill all of those wealthy cock-suckers and politicians that made me do this, that hurt these people! Kill them all Cub, kill them! Save these people you mother-fucking… get the fuck off me gawd damn it! Kill them Cub! Kill them all! Kill them!"

    As Rokka-Kae screamed out her hate, Cub was all but dragged away leaving the Pastoral zone behind. The whole while he sobbed, and for the moment, the only thing he could think of was how could he save Rokka-Kae.

    American Atlas:
    That night back at 10-N-Core in the Fertile zone, Cub experienced luxuries that no one from those areas and especially those in the Pastoral areas had ever known. He stood in a hot shower for over an hour. Had soap and shampoo to use, a washcloth and two large soft towels.

    Most significantly however, he was able to do so alone. His privacy was respected, and he was able to dress in clean clothes before encountering anyone.

    When he finished with his shower, Cub was given more food than he had eaten over the entire previous week. The food was also of the quality that he was accustomed to back at Capital Homestead. The finest and most thoroughly processed that the super-corporations produced. Although truth be told, now that he knew what it was, it didn’t quite taste the same.

    Cub was also supplied with other luxuries that people in the Pastoral zones, 63% of the population, could only dream of. A toothbrush and paste, combs and brushes for his hair, toilet paper and a toilet to sit upon. Cub had available to him all of the water that he could drink, old stocks of soda, liquor reserved for only Homestead personnel, though even it was typically rationed. He was even offered more food if he wanted it.

    That night Cub had a bed to sleep in. Not some twin sized pad in a tube, yet a true full sized mattress with sheets, blankets and pillows. The lights in the room were electric that ‘he’ could turn on and off at will.

    Cub had a telephone in case he wished to call someone in any of the Homestead areas. He even had a television that offered numerous channels. Current Homestead news and programming, also an "on-demand" feature that let him play virtually any program that had been produced before "the Black," even pornography.

    Cub had access to the new secure Internet allowing him to do all of the things one would have been able to before 2019. Granted, it was not as vast as it had been previously, though the trolls had been eliminated.

    At one point, Cub was asked by one of the guards if he would like any form of drug available or any women or men for any sexual proclivities he might have. When Cub balked at such being illegal, the guard looked at him as though he was a fool only saying; "Illegal for who?"

    The night before, a medic had performed a brief check of Cub’s health. The next morning he received a thorough examination. He was given a few injections to deal with any diseases he may have encountered, supplied other medication, nutritional supplements, antibiotics, anti-fungal creams and so on. The list went on, not surprisingly contrary to the only form of medical care in the Pastoral zone. That being, a damp dirty rag and time.

    Dressing in what was some kind of blue, high collard uniform supplied to him, noting points for insignias to be added, he hesitantly put on the belt and pistol supplied with it. Cub was then ready for his meeting with Attorney General Haff. With constant pleases, thank you, sirs and misters, let alone being called by his name, Cub was graciously escorted down to the office he had seen Rokka-Kae first emerge out of.

    There waiting was Margaret F. Haff, the Attorney General of the United States, or now as more commonly called, the Restored Constitution Federal Government, or "RCFG." Despite her being welcoming and gracious, Cub could not help but feel reserved in his responses knowing how secretive she and President Gurney had been before he came here. More so, having learned the dirty secrets that Rokka-Kae had so openly shared, along with them her cautions.

    Instantly Cub realized that his sense of caution was justified. After greeting and welcoming him back, Attorney General Haff right off asked him some very specific questions.

    ‘Had Rokka-Kae given him any documents or books?’ to which Cub responded that she had not. She then asked; ‘what was at the locations that Rokka-Kae took him to when she was off their monitors?’ Adding that Kae was not as clever as she thought, in that Cub had still been tracked.

    Cub nodded and smiled now in his element; a turn of a phrase, or spinning of facts his weapons of choice.

    "You know Rokka-Kae. Though I’d prefer not to elaborate, it all being rather embarrassing, let’s just say that she has strong proclivities toward narcotics, perversions and criminals. For some reason, she thought that I would find it all, and those sorts of people enlightening."

    Knowing how well Margaret did know Kae however, Cub continued.

    "That said, Rokka-Kae is rather respected among the Weeds" as he intentionally used the derogatory term. "Surprisingly, there are pockets of what are actually good people. I believe she was trying to impress that upon me."

    Cub’s simple addendum was enough, confirming that Margaret would not have to send troops to investigate those areas, though she did correct him.

    "Yes well, she ‘was’ respected. As far as the Pastoral citizens are concerned, Rokka-Kae is a genocidal mass-murderer now, clever girl. It would be impossible to send her back into the Pastrol zones without her being quickly killed. So, she will never live there again.

    "In fact, last night a number of the people that were gleaned have been returned to the area. They were informed that it was Reaper-379 working alone, against orders, that had that one building bombed and slaughtered all of those people.

    "Tomorrow however that story will change. More Weeds will be released and they will tell how it was not Reaper-379, but Rokka-Kae that did so. A week from now more will be released. They will tell how it was not Rokka-Kae, yet some individual known as the ‘White Tiger.’

    "In a month’s time, no one will remember Reaper-379 or Rokka-Kae. More importantly, her association with the RCFG will have been erased from memory. Perhaps most important of all, in all of the Pastoral zones throughout MR1, the accounting of the White Tiger’s slaughter will be told, yet we’ll talk more on that in a bit.

    "In any case, knowing how forthcoming or perhaps indiscreet regarding information and state secrets Rokka-Kae is, do you have anything that you would like to ask or that is troubling you?"

    Cub couldn’t help but blurt out the first thing that popped into his mind asking; "Is Rokka-Kae alright?"

    "Kae is perfectly fine. To be sure, the events of yesterday will trouble her for the balance of her life, yet that can’t be helped and if you didn’t notice, she’s a big girl. She won’t accept any help regarding it. Did Kae by chance tell you anything that she didn’t want the RCFG to know about or perhaps show you anything surprising?"

    Cub almost sneered in his response, intent on not disclosing anything about Jesus’ or Razza’s.

    "Past her penchant for running about naked, cursing and her sexual inclinations, nothing that I can think of. However, I will tell you this. She mentioned how she has been killing Reapers. So if you have any missing from this area, that would be why."

    Cub did not even flinch as he said that. Understanding how critical it was that the improving ecosystem be left alone. He also knew that he had to give her something, and after yesterday, it was obvious that Reapers were considered expendable.

    Over the next five hours, Attorney General Haff and Cub spoke of many things. Each were forthcoming in some regards, in others they were guarded to even secretive. Both of their ‘poker-faces’ so well honed that neither could tell what was the whole truth, and what wasn’t.

    Cub’s concern for Rokka-Kae however had not relented in the least. Though they had parted at a difficult moment, Cub had formed a bond with the swirling mass of contradictions and extremes known as Rokka-Kae.

    Perhaps simply masculine fantasizing about ‘fixing things,’ Cub imagined that in time he could help her cope with her life to date. More to the point, that he could make it all better and give her a fresh start.

    Although even Cub was unable to label his own affections, never considering that it may simply be nothing more than the bonding of two people in a difficult situation, first experiences or whatever; Cub never the less was drawn to her.

    Perhaps more importantly, he felt that she was his senior or superior in so many ways. Not in a dominating and subservient sense, just simply that she had lived so much more life unsheltered, thus knew things that he hoped never having to experience to learn them.

    Beyond that, he had seen a side of her that he felt and even believed no one else had ever seen. He knew that her fury was driven by compassion and caring. He also knew without question that her life meant nothing to her compared to any other. She was intelligent, so much so that she was entirely self educated. Rokka-Kae could be tough yet sensitive, strong yet intentionally weak. She was open, honest, faithful, resolved, uncompromising when required, albeit yielding when needed.

    Though Cub found Rokka-Kae’s unrestrained extremes not to be the ideal tact, he did find that all of her qualities were worth ‘considering’ modeling one’s self after. Perhaps above all, it would be her sense of truthfulness and freedom, both personal and as a matter of principle, that defined her.

    In the end, she had not only been a guide throughout the Pastoral zone, yet one regarding humanity itself and just possibly, a guide and model for one’s self. Naturally, with considerably more restraint.

    For two hours Cub and Margaret Haff discussed his adventure, what he had learned, and how it might have altered his original Street-Judge proposal. An experienced and intuitive attorney and prosecutor, Cub kept his cards close to his chest.

    As they spoke, except on minor points, Cub intentionally projected his previous ideals and ignorant morality. He could see that Margaret was testing him to discover how much Rokka-Kae had influenced him. Partly as well, after his discussions with Kae, he had learned that no one else was quite as forthcoming, and in fact, they could be outright deceptive.

    For the next two hours however, they firmed plans to change the system, alter and perhaps eradicate the Restored Constitution, and even how to play the political game to push it all through Congress. Everything had fallen into place. Rokka-Kae, Margaret Haff, President Gurney and many others of whom Cub would never know of, had all carefully, discreetly prepared for a single moment, and now it was here.

    Each of those individual components of this plan had been set up like dominos. Now all it would take is for the first domino to fall, yet it would require that it be pushed the right way. Like a pendulum, the axis of the heavens could either continue its swing resulting in ultimate catastrophic revolution, or it could be stopped and pushed back the other way; bringing the nation back to fair order, in a direction toward its restoration and previous glory.

    Though that change was only imagined and subsequently planned for over the last two years, oddly it had been initiated by a single conversation between a newly arrived slave, naked in a cage, and her keeper some nine years ago.

    "Where did you get those books 379, they’re contraband here?" Navy Commander Haff asked the small woman.

    "These? Oh, I brought them with me from Hong Kong. These three little books have changed everything that I ever believed. It’s all so clear now. Why don’t you take them? I’ve memorized them already, so I’m giving them to you" the slave said sweetly as she slid the books through the bars, though left her hand atop them.

    As Commander Haff reached for the books, the slave much to her surprise reached out grasping Margaret’s wrist. Margaret’s eyes went wide in an instant expecting to be attacked. Instead, the woman slipped her hand into Margaret’s softly holding it, and in a gentle tone, her eyes filled with the joy of enlightenment, spoke seductively with restrained passion.

    "The Buddha said; ‘We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.’ You’ll find that in there. My name is Kae, enjoy them."

    That one moment inspired hundreds of others between the two women. They would speak of philosophy, history, politics and religion. When the slave intuitively recognized that the pressures of the changing world were bearing down upon her keeper, she would urge her to unburden herself, as Kae would simply listen. Other times, special times, the slave fell back upon older skills, soothing the woman’s body as well as her mind.

    In the end, Margaret Haff was not sure if she had been seduced by the devil, or perhaps found her own enlightened angel. In either case however, she did not care. Embracing each moment as she herself grew and evolved.

    One aspect that Kae had spoke of Margaret brought up as well. All over MR1 there were numerous "Mic Farms." The children there now treated as orphans, were being "educated" as the first native generation of MR1. Margaret suggested that there instead of the few military forces left, or especially Agricultural System officers being utilized to fill the roles for the new judges, that Cub might find more ‘malleable’ candidates for years to come.

    Margaret never learned of Cub’s original transcriptions of the nations founding documents. Cub however would transcribe them verbatim, a number of times. Each of those copies placed in case he ever needed them, and it was arranged so that if something would happen to him, they would be distributed to many potentially sympathetic individuals.

    Eventually, they came back around to the situation with Rokka-Kae. Cub had his own ideas on the matter, being, to take her with him back to Homestead Capital. Attorney General Haff however informed Cub that that was not going to happen, outlining what would. Cub stunned could not believe what he had just heard.

    Instantly their conversation turned heated and emotional. Both Cub and Margaret revealing a bit more in the process than either would have liked.

    "You’re not listening to me counselor!" Margaret scolded. "This has to happen today. Kae planned this all years ago after hearing you. She has waited for you… and this moment. Enduring out there in that hell of which you only saw the tiniest glimpse of, waiting for everyone and everything to be in place and ready. Especially you."

    "Look, you people need to slow down a moment and think. Let’s get her to Homestead, then--"

    "No Eustace! I told you what is going to happen. Kae wants to--" As Cub cut her off once again.

    "That’s what you think she wants! I’ve spent over a week with her, getting to know Kae better than anyone. Look, her help will be invaluable, she--"

    "What makes you think you know her better? I’ve known her for nine years. There are likely hundreds of people out there, thousands possibly that loved her. But now they hate her, and those that don’t know that everyone else will rip her apart and eat her." Margaret blasted back.

    "That is ‘exactly’ why she needs to come to Homestead Capital with me… and I do know her better. We’re closer than anyone else, and call me Cub."

    "Why because you laid between her legs? What makes you think you’re the only one? Oh yeah, yeah, just like that, oh yeah… and your name isn’t Cub, it’s Eustace. Besides--" Margaret said in a sneering tone.

    "Don’t you fucking make fun of her like that! I know she sleeps with a lot of people, I don’t care, and I know what my name is!"

    "Listen to yourself!" Margaret lashed back. "Now listen to me! I’ve been with her since she came in yesterday and stayed with her until you and I met. Who’s idea do you think this is, mine? This, all of this, and what she wants you to do is ‘all’ her idea. This is what she has planned for the past two years.

    "Now is the time! All of those people died yesterday for this moment, for you! For you to be able to change things. Eustace, Kae believes in you so much. She told me that you and her were going to nudge the axis of the heavens back toward center. Not fix everything, yet move it back in the right direction.

    "She said; ‘Eustace, not myself is the way of the future.’ She also wanted me to tell you that; ‘she gave you a villain so you could be a hero. To forgive her for not staying with you, and for you to forgive yourself.’ This is how I fulfill my promise to her, and how she fulfills her promise. This means more to her than anything."

    "But there has to be another way!" Cub pled.

    "Eustace, there is no other way. For months now I’ve tried to think of another way, there isn’t! Nevertheless, this is what she wants. She said it herself; ‘she wants to go home.’ That’s what she says, exactly that, home. You’ve heard her, she’s tired, she hurts. Kae can’t do this anymore, it’s killing her slowly, a little at a time. Let her go."

    "I can’t, not yet. You two just haven’t thought hard enough. Maybe if--"

    "Enough!" Margaret yelled. "Be clear on this, it’s now. Either you will make this happen, this thing you dreamed up, or someone else will do it! Who do you think Kae wants running this program of yours, looking over the people she loves? Colonel Sutton, maybe McGinney?"

    "No but--"

    "But nothing! Eustace, we’ve been round and round. Kae trusts you because I trust you. Gurney isn’t going to make this thing happen unless I’m in on it. The question is though, is it going to be you or someone else who does it. Be absolutely clear on this, it’s happening today, either with or without you.

    "Kae was a little more cunning than we gave her credit for. She used my executive protocol only to be initiated to protect you to order that bombing, worse still, with Fog. Everyone across MR1 saw it. She knew the Weeds would all pull together realizing that the RCFG was a little more capable than we’ve let on. So now we’re cornered.

    "As it stands, either your system comes to pass, no matter who accepts that role, or it’s revolution. Two-thirds of the population rising up against the rest, in no time that will swell to four hundred million enraged citizens against twenty-five million! If that happens, it doesn’t matter who wins. It will all be over for everyone.

    "Kae figured it out alright, knowing those filthy Weeds better than the rest of us. She even laughed about it when she told me last night. So now, we have no choice. It’s either your way, or the end of everything!

    "Past that if you don’t believe me, Kae’s been waiting just outside the door. Ask her. But make your decision before you leave."

    Upon hearing that Rokka-Kae was just outside, Cub was out of his chair and to the door just as Margaret finished. Pausing, glaring at Attorney General Haff hatefully, he then burst through the door finding Rokka-Kae on the other side.

    Rokka-Kae sat on the very bench he had been on when he first met her. Oddly, she was unrestrained leaning on the shoulder of one of the guards, who odder still was not wearing a helmet.

    On the floor were three cigarette butts crushed out, a forth burning in her hand. Slowly sitting up, Rokka-Kae sighed glancing at Cub out of the corner of her eye, then turned to the guard dropping her last cigarette.

    "Anxious, isn’t he?" urging the guard to just softly smile. "Chuck, get that to Ben for me please. Thank you my friend."

    The guard stood up taking her bag, nodding at Rokka-Kae answering her softly. "Travel well Kae," saying nothing more as he turned and walked down the hall.

    "Kae, listen--" Cub began moving toward her.

    Rokka-Kae slowly rose with a wince and a grunt never looking to Cub; only granting him the briefest glimpse of the scarred side of her face before she turned her back to him speaking to herself at first.

    "I’m so tired, so very tired… okay, just believe. Welp Cub, I think today I’ll head over to 14-S and see if I can stir up some trouble. Who knows? Maybe I can better yesterday’s harvest."

    "Kae wait, we need to--"

    "We don’t need to do anything. You need to do what you planned and save these people. Oh! And remember your promise."

    "Kae look at me! I need--"

    "Cub please! I have nothing more to show you, nothing more to tell you. Please just let me go home!"

    At that point, Rokka-Kae on the verge of bawling, tipped her head forward and shrugged off her jacket letting it slip to the floor behind her. Kae’s bare back facing him, her tattoo of the dragon and tiger seeming to grapple as her curved back and shoulders softly heaved refusing to look at him.


    "Oh Cub, I’m so tired. I hurt so bad all the time... and I can’t bear another face, please!" Kae pled, trying to restrain her sobbing. Her face scrunched tight in anguish. "I believe in you Cub. I’m begging you to let me go home. Just believe in yourself… just breathe and let me go."

    Cub’s head also tipped forward as he choked down his own sorrow. His eyes squeezed tight as he fought back his tears and his lips trembled restraining his whimper. It was then out of nowhere; Cub took on a look of stern resolve.

    His brow firmed and his lips turned down into a scowl so deep and defined, that it would not be seen upon any other for a half century. Slowly raising his head, Cub spoke deep and firm though graveled trying to maintain his composure.

    "Rokka, Kae Baak Fu, also known as the White Tiger…"

    Though she never opened her eyes, suddenly Rokka-Kae’s face lit up with an expression of absolute elation, sobbing in relief. Her arms slowly raised out from her sides as her shoulders pulled back. Her head tipping rearward looking to the heavens. Kae’s arms and shoulders softly lurched as she wept with joy. When Cub spoke, her expression shifted to one of pure rapture. As though looking into the face of God himself.

    "You have been charged with numerous crimes against humanity of which the penalty is death. How do you plea?"

    Rokka-Kae took in a slow deep breath as her enraptured expression turned to one of ecstasy, and in a clear confident voice, answered with a single word.


    And so, with a bright flash and a single sharp report… the era of the Street Judge had begun.

    Clearing the Buffers:
    Much earlier that morning back at Homestead Capital, the data input logs from the night before, flashed one last time as their buffers were cleared to begin another day. Fitting perhaps in that is how Rokka-Kae viewed it. A recorded history of her was of no matter. Her legacy everything. Kae’s promise had been fulfilled and perhaps best of all, Rokka-Kae could finally rest.

    00: U.S. Dept. of Records: Data Entry:
    01: Initiate: USDOJ Street-Judge Program; Executive Action Protocol…
    02: Addition: Reassign: Fargo, E.-SPFSCUS to: USDOJ-SJP-001…
    03: Addition: Log: Case No.:SJ-001:0001A:091429; Apprehend; Perp: Doe,Jane-0001…
    03: Amend: Log: Alias: White Tiger, Female, 43-est., 5’-5", 120#-est., Numerous Tats-Scars…
    04: Addition: Log: Case No.:SJ-001:0001C:091429; Charges; Mult.Counts: Homicide, Rape…
    04: Amend: Log: Narcotics, Human Trafficking, Theft, Credit Fraud, Cannibalism, Pandering...
    04: Amend: Log: Prostitution, Terrorism, Torture, Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide…
    05: Addition: Log: Case No.:SJ-001:0001J:091429; Judgment; Guilty All Counts…
    06: Addition: Log: Case No.:SJ-001:0001S:091429; Sentence; Immediate Execution…
    07: Addition: Promotion: USDOJ-SJP; Recommend SJ-001:Fargo, E. to: Chief Judge-SJP…
    08: End…
    00: U.S. Dept. of Records: Data Entry:
    01: Delete: All-Data: R-379; Reaper-379; Rokka-Kae; Rokka; Kae; Baak-Fu…
    02: Delete: All-Data: Contractor P.O.: U.S. Pastoral Reaper Program-No.:R-379…
    03: Delete: All-Data: Accounts Payable: USPRP:No.:R-379…
    04: Delete: All-Data: No.:R-379 Point of Origin: No.:R-379; Hong Kong; FOB-Origin…
    05: Delete: All-Data: No.:R-379 Delivery-Quarantine: NAVSUP FLCN NAVSTA - Norfolk, Va…
    06: Delete: All-Data: No.:R-379 Delivery: NAVSUP FLCN NBC - Philadelphia, Pa…
    07: Delete: All-Data: No.:R-379 Delivery: SpecOP:2027-17, Harvest; POTUS; WHUS, List-7...
    08: Delete: All-Data: No.:R-379: Logging; Supply; Fund Transfers; Notes…
    09: Delete: All-Data: Executive Protocol; EP-HAF-01-379…
    10: Delete: All-Data: USDOR: DE:…
    11: Initiate Erasure: Execute-execute-execute…
    12: End…
    00: U.S. Dept. of Records: Data Entry:
    01: Search: R-379; Rokka-Kae; EP-HAF-01-379; DE:…
    02: Query Results: No files found…
    03: End…
    04: Connection Terminated…

    Pre-Outro: Breathe by Télépopmusik


    Just as had been planned, having captured and executed the mass-murderer White Tiger, Eustace Fargo overnight became a hero to the masses within the Pastoral and Fertile zones. Whether luck or perhaps by design, the White Tiger’s protégé "Cub," was never seen again. Most suspecting that Judge Fargo had killed him as well.

    To what degree Prosecutor Fargo’s experience in Philadelphia’s Pastoral fields impacted him if at all, was to be seen. Just like the citizens that lived there, more pressing concerns bore down upon Eustace, as the weight of a troubled nation was laid upon his shoulders.

    Memory is a funny thing when busy living. Regret the curse of old men. Perhaps one day if he even looked back, Eustace would remember his promise.

    As that villain the White Tiger might have phrased it; "the dragon of government and order had won this round," knowing it was actually the tiger that brought balance. In time, the corrupt and falsified ‘Restored Constitution’ was eradicated and the new system of Street Judges would bring justice back to the nation. That tale however is for others to tell.

    As the dominos of change finally began to fall, rapidly sweeping changes occurred throughout MR1. The water was turned on in the Pastoral zones and left on. From that simple act alone, the change in those regions was palpable. Immediately after, the walls began to come down. When the walls between Fertile and Pastoral zones fell, all of the crime and dissention they had inspired vanished along with them.

    Just as had been predicted, what had once been a prison on outside of those walls, quickly turned what was inside into a fortress, and ultimately into a prison itself, as 400-million surrounded the few. No longer would the people stand by and suffer, as the few dictated to the many.

    Overnight the Agricultural System was abolished. Reapers were ordered to turn themselves in immediately for reassignment (though actually, psychological assessment and pacification), or face ‘terminal judgment.’ Gleaners were retained as Corrections officers, albeit stripped of their authority to make arrests. Sentencing was also addressed to insure survivable levels.

    Planters were re-tasked as the social workers they were meant to be. Ultimately their authority rose to only falling below that of the Street Judges. Their work was considerable needing to integrate Fertile and Pastoral citizens, while restoring equal services throughout.

    Ultimately it was decided that there was still a need for minor citizen restricted or "Mic-Free" all adult areas. In those areas, simply taking a child there was considered a greater crime than even murder. Justice swift, unforgiving and terminal.

    One of the greatest concerns; ‘where would raw materials for food production be acquired,’ very quickly resolved itself. Areas previously neglected except for reporting by Reapers, now found citizens requesting and ultimately demanding collection of the deceased.

    Driven by the citizens themselves, who were making all efforts to improve their situation, the greatest problem ultimately became responding to their requests quick enough. As a result, processing and production of food and ultimately all products shifted from Productive zones to those throughout.

    It was also discovered that due to some obscure sub-section in the laws of the Restored Constitution, throughout the last nine-years the deceased from Fertile, Productive and Homestead zones had not been utilized. Considered barbaric to eat humans, Pastoral citizens considered less than, the class structure abuses, bias and prejudices of the old system fell as now, everyone was the same… Whether human or as potential food debatable.

    Ultimately, without the protections of the spurious Restored Constitution, the walls both of concrete and prejudice collapsed. Citizens of what were previously Homestead and Productive zones, fell under the new system as well. How much power and wealth they would retain was to be seen, as soon their authority would become inconsequential as the people discovered a new option. The North American Frontier.

    Though no doubt too soon for Nature’s liking, reports of communities outside of MR1 that had endured since the Great Reckoning began filtering in. Along with them unfortunately came the realization that the ecosystem and environment had stabilized in 2026 and had gradually been shifting back to pre-Great Reckoning conditions.

    Nevertheless, it would take years before the government would investigate hoping to capitalize on the resurgence of Nature’s bounty. By that time, it was too late. Despite the conditions and standard of living having improved within MR1, enough people, roughly 60%, left the region and began repopulating previously abandoned areas.

    Those pioneers now having exclusive access and control of the natural and mineral resources of this great land soon resulted in a dramatic shift in power and wealth, and America began to flourish once more.

    Virtually every city, town and home throughout the nation had been left intact. The people as said when leaving took what they deemed valuable and nothing more. Areas were repopulated, sometimes by the very individuals that had left them. Once utilities had been restored and they wiped away a little dust, it was almost as though the last decade had never happened.

    In the end, the historical accounts of the Mad Clown, the Black, Great Reckoning, the Gathering, even MR1, as city and state names were re-instituted, especially the era of the Agricultural System, would be rewritten and deleted time and again due to the continuing Policy of Erasure. In less time than one would think, not one person would remember that it had happened at all.

    Most people simply wanted to move on. So, they set aside their memories of suffering, replacing them with hopes for the future. Those few that did remember, particularly individuals privy to the secrets of the Agricultural System and defilement of the Charters of Freedom would quietly, carry that shame to their graves.

    Regardless… One day, be it days or years unknown, time a curious thing; in another difficult place, during other difficult times, a girl was born.

    While playing, pretending to be some imagined made-up creature she was asked; "What are you doing, and why are you always in fights and trouble, concerning yourself with the problems of others?"

    Her response was nonsense using some made-up word. With a shrug however, she answered bluntly.

    "I don’t know why… Anyway, I’m a tiger."

    Post-Outro: Disparate Youth by Santigold ~ The White Tiger Theme

    by K2 เสือขาวเล็กน้อย
  6. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    Lest ye be Judged
    Reaping the Harvest ~ 2029

    A1. Equipment of Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae (Rahk’kuh-Kay)
    A2. Glossary of the Restored Constitution Federal Government
    A3. Pastoral Pidgin/Slang Vocabulary
    A4. Pastoral Pidgin Conversations Translated (by Chapter)
    A5. The 50-Year Plan to Victory
    A6. Music & Sound Credits


    A1. Equipment of Reaper-379, Rokka-Kae (Rahk’kuh-Kay):

    (2) ~ Lukdai Industries Co. Ltd.: Lukdai Enforcer-II:

    Ventilated Rail Gun, w/550gr.-Combination Solenoid Ass’t. Feed/Counter-Recoil Bolt,
    Radial Progressive Full Lgth. Muzzle Brake, Gyroscopic stabilization and recoil dampening.
    Custom Fit Grips w/MCT-chipped personal safety interlocks, non-ambidextrous,
    Optional Removable Mid-Length (9.0"/228mm) Over Forearm Brace Stabilizers.
    No External Safeties, 3,000P/min.-max., 1P/3P-.3A/.25A/.5A/FA Vertical-Slide Selector,
    Selectable Variable Rate of Fire, Programmable Variable Velocity 3,000-4,500 F/S.
    37oz.-E/63.3oz.-F ~ 1049g.-E/1795g.-F, 26.3oz./746g. Full Magazine Weight.

    Single use SCB-200/3.2-150 Magazines w/2-LED counters (opposing).
    Self Contained 200-cycle Battery, 150-projectile capacity, 5-column chevron ~ 5x30-120-Incl.
    3.2x24 tri-metal KE-Projectiles, DU+CsRb+NIB, 200.0-cu.mm./3.56g/55gr., AP-SSF-KP
    3,000F/s ~ 914M/s ~ 2,000P/min. maximum, 1,098.9ft.lb. ~ 1489.9nm(j) testing only
    3,500F/s ~ 1,067M/s ~ 2,333P/min. maximum, 1,495.8ft.lb. ~ 2,028.0nm(j)
    4,000F/s ~ 1,219M/s ~ 2,667P/min. maximum, 1,953.7ft.lb. ~ 2,648.8nm(j) mean
    4,500F/s ~ 1,372M/s ~ 3,000P/min. maximum, 2,472.6ft.lb. ~ 3,352.4nm(j)
    Armor Piercing – Self Sharpening Fragmentation – Kinetic Plasma Generating

    Glow Hide ~ Processing:

    "Glow Hide" is made from thick dermis bovines, killed at a particular range from a thermonuclear blast. Resulting from a precise combination of heat and radiation exposure, that must be removed, gleaned, and worked (cut and formed) within specific time constraints.

    Though the exact calories (heat), and coulomb/kg or roentgens is not known, what is known is as follows. The flash must convert the epidermis to ash and the grain layer of the dermis must experience a 1.6-2.4mm char. The hide must remain intact upon the carcass continually irradiated at fallout levels for 10-16 days, though the ideal harvesting time is between 12-14 where it swells and thickens 3.6-5.4x.

    Once removed from the carcass and out of the radioactive area, remaining flesh (meat and fat) must be carefully scraped away. The item cut to final shape, thinned (flesh side) if required, fastening inserts added, and formed to shape within 3-days wherein the pad sets, no longer able to be worked.

    The grain layer will continue to thicken and harden 1.8-2.6x below the char. The corium layer will continue to expand in thickness up-to 3x and provisions must be made for the expansion along the edges (cuts typically made –30 to the flesh side). The green hide must then be allowed to season for an additional 5-7 days, wherein the transformation-process is ceased and the hide tanned in a common chromium-sulfate solution.

    The resulting grain layer should be virtually impenetrable with a surface hardness of Rockwell "C" 57-61 though remains semi-elastic. The lattice of the corium layer will compress, distribute, absorb and dissipate impact retaining its elasticity and spring-back up to 38%. Beyond that limit the lattice will remain permanently compressed. Exact energy absorption figures vary to such a degree that a range of data cannot be established.

    Rokka-Kae’s Glow Hide Armored Leather Clothing ~ Custom Manufacture:

    Rokka-Kae’s clothing is made up of black leather articles enhanced with Glow Hide trauma plates having a natural dark greenish-brown mottling, consisting of:
    A. Fingerless gloves extending 2" above wrist, w/3 .5"-wide x .38"-thick GH-strips over the hand-back from the knuckles to -.5" from the wrist.
    B. Waist-length +3" jacket w/6-black 1"/w strap & cam-buckle closures and a 2.5" mandarin collar. GH-trauma plates are all .63"-thick and shaped as follows:
    Back; Large symmetrically opposite plates shaped and sized matching her shoulder blades, "8" shaped plates running down the spine sized to match vertebrae (1W x 2L), 8"w x 6"t plate centered over liver, 3-1"w ribs between shoulder and liver plates, 4-1"w heart side extending around the torso under breasts.
    Front; Trapezoidal breast shaped plates from clavicle to below her breast, form fit, vertical center edge along closure, parallel top and bottom. The ribs from the back set below the breast plates, and two 3"x6" plates rotated horizontally either side of navel.
    Arms; Inverted trapezoidal plates cover the sides of the shoulder to mid-upper outer arm. (2) 1"x8" strips over outer-forearm.
    C. Waist-height +2" pants, form fit not requiring a belt. (2) 2x2-snap 2" waist-band closure on the sides with a heavy zipper from the waist to inseam central to abdomen. .5" thick trauma-plates include (2) opposing triangular plates over the abdomen, and (2) plates inverted half-heart shaped pads shaped as, though smaller over gluteus muscles.
    D. Crotch-height –2" boots, (6) rearward of outer-seam cam-buckle closures (for tightening). .75"-heel, .38"-soles, shaped to match the foot. GH-trauma plates are all .5"thick: Singular rectangular shin-plates extend loose +3" to cover kneecap. 3"x5" plates calf plates. (6) 2"x8" plates make up thigh protection equally spaced around thigh with the inner thighs left uncovered. Plate spacing matches the width of pistol magazine butt thickness.
    E. Leather opposing holsters, rest over outer-thighs extending 3" into boots. (2) 1" thigh-straps, 2.0" belt rests low on hips. Cam-buckle closures for straps and belt.

    (2) ~ Telescoping Thai Dha-Shay Sword ~ Custom Manufacture:

    12-inch gently curved knurled aluminum oval-tubular grips house a 3-section, 22.5-inch x 1.25-inch telescoping blue/spring steel dual-leaf blade.

    Each 11.5-inch section extends 7.5-inches past the following with the remaining 4-inches captured between the leaves of the following section for attachment. Each section is made up of two leaves resulting in two opposing chisel edges with the tip section forming a single edge. Squeezing together the leaves at their trailing end and slipping them back past the catch point, then rapping the butt of the grip to slip them back into it manually performs retraction.

    Though considered an inexpensive and disposable weapon, the blades may be re-sharpened indefinitely until reaching the alignment/catch grooves. Although the blade may be progressively extended (7.5, 15, 22.5") to be utilized as a knife or shorter weapon, there is no provision to retain the trailing pieces to prevent their extension past the spring pressure.

    A2. Glossary of the Restored Constitution Federal Government:
    Agonizer – A stun gun like device that targets nociceptors in neurons to induce intense pain.
    Audible Alert – Small puck shaped device that emits a siren and/or horn sound to warn of a Reaper harvesting.
    Bio-Disposal Drone – Aerial drones utilizing a combination of biological acids and bacteria to rapidly decompose bodies in areas too difficult to collect them for composting.
    Black, the – The resulting catastrophic collapse of America’s utility infrastructure due to the nuclear EMP effects of four high altitude detonations initiated by the Mad Clown.
    Bolt – Captive bolt gun used by Salvage crews to finish wounded individuals collected for composting. Though claimed to "finish"/kill those it is used upon, they are rarely used properly and tend to just stun the victim long enough to get them into a harvester.
    Chute – Aisles at wall gates, taken from "cattle chute."
    Combine – A heavily armed and armored, turreted, wheeled vehicle used in Pastoral zones to transport government personnel. Also may be used to harvest large crowds of people via a turret-mounted mini-gun, 30mm cannon and various other types of lethal force weaponry.
    Composting – The recycling of human bodies into food products.
    Credit – A singular monetary denomination without any tangible value.
    Credit Band/Bracelet – A black RFID/NFC/GT/CN-Voiceprint enabled bracelet that permits close range Radio Frequency IDentification, Near Field Communication for Credit transfers, Geographical Tracking, and Cellular Network transfer of information. Once they are split or removed from an individual, they become permanently disabled.
    Crops – Citizens within MR1, although, the term is typically only applied to Pastoral zone citizens, though in a declining scale Fertile and Productive zone citizens.
    Crop-Duster – Various aircraft used in the bombing of an entire area (building, block, grid) with chemical, explosive or incendiary aerial weapons.
    Crow – A person who openly practices cannibalism.
    Defoliant Mission – The Gleaning of an entire area (building, block, grid).
    Erasure, Policy of – A complex, ever evolving system of historical alteration and erasure of facts and history. The intent of the PoE is to alter history to such a point that it becomes irrelevant, and cause it to be so confusing that citizens become apathetic regarding it.
    Feeding Station – An automatic food dispensing station, triggered and controlled by credit bracelets, much like an Automatic Teller Machine. Also called "troughs."
    Feed Wagon – Derogatory term used by government employees for a Spreader Truck.
    Fertile Fields/Zone – Areas reserved for unemployed families’ w/children, government facilities and personnel serving the Fertile and Pastoral Zones except Reapers.
    Fertilizer Truck – A food transport and distribution truck in the Pastoral zone.
    FOG – Finger of God, a multiple satellite array for the reflection of sunlight illumination.
    Gate – The point of pedestrian passage through a zone wall typically made up of four chutes.
    Gathering, the – The mass relocation of all United States, Canadian, Caribbean and various citizens and refugees to MR1.
    Gleaner – An individual tasked with arresting Pastoral Zone citizens to press into labor.
    Gleaning – The arrest of a person from the Pastoral Zone to be pressed into forced labor.
    Great Reckoning, the – The moment or tipping point of total global ecological collapse.
    Grid – .125x.125km, .0156-sq.km, designated 1-16.
    Gyroscopic Mine – A thrown puck sized radial projectile mine. When thrown the gyroscopic aspect insures a horizontal deployment of the projectiles that are stacked in three rows about its circumference. Trajectory/elevation sensing to detonate the moment it changes course at the apex.
    Harvest – General term for people in the Pastoral Zone as a potential food product.
    Harvest, to – To kill a person(s) by a Reaper.
    Harvested – Person(s) killed by a Reaper.
    Harvester – Cleaned and re-purposed garbage trucks used for the collection of bodies.
    Harvesting – The killing of people in the Pastoral zone.
    Herbicide Mission – The killing of everyone in an entire area (building, block, grid).
    Homestead Capital – Formerly Washington, D.C..
    Homestead Zone – Areas reserved for the government, super-corporations, or the wealthy.
    Horn – An audible warning in Pastoral zones of a Reaper in the area harvesting which sonically disables those in range.
    Logger – Small cigarette pack sized device for logging information and branding a generated barcode into a corpse’s skin.
    Mad Clown, the – 45th President of the United States from 2017-2020 (2019).
    Mic – Minor Citizen, anyone under 18 years old. Unverified (not in the custody of a DNA matching parent) Mics are sent to a Mic Farm.
    Mic Farm – Orphanages for unverified Mics. Once a Planter has taken a child to a Mic Farm, parental custody is irrevocably lost. The Mics are then re-educated for future deployment.
    MR1 – Megaregion-1, 22,304 sq. km. region between and including Washington, D.C. to New York City.
    Pastoral Fields/Zone – Areas reserved for unemployed individuals without children.
    Pickers – Obsolete name (though still used by some as a joke) for Salvage.
    Planter – Individual tasked with the relocation of adults and children between zones.
    Planting – The relocation of adult citizens and children between the Fertile and Pastoral zones.
    Plowing the Field – Sometimes called "Turning the Field," meaning to harvest everyone possible within a designated area.
    Productive Fields/Zone – Areas reserved for families and individuals employed in the support of the government, manufacturing, or the wealthy, along with manufacturing facilities.
    Protein Block – A yellowish waxy block of food. The sole nourishment given to those in the Pastoral zone. The daily ration per person is four 2x2x.25" blocks, though few ever receive that much.
    Reaper – An individual tasked with the killing or "harvesting" of Pastoral Zone citizens for population reduction and composting.
    Reaping – The killing of person(s) by a Reaper.
    Restored Constitution Federal Government – The all-inclusive government of the United States and its citizens since September 14, 2019. Since that date, martial law has been in place and all other state, city, etc. government bodies disbanded.
    Salvage – The government division tasked with collecting bodies for composting. Initially referred to as "Pickers," after enough bad jokes were made the name was changed.
    Scoop Truck – A Harvester with a front-end loader used for the collection of numerous bodies.
    Second Skin – A pigment matched concealing spray on makeup. Opaque, capable of filling depressions and having the texture of real skin, only able to be removed with a specific solvent.
    Section – 4 Sections divide MR1 with dividing lines at Baltimore, Md., Wilmington, De., and Edison, Nj.. The number of Units, Sub-Sections and square km. in a Section varies.
    Sector – 25 Wards make up a Sector, 2.5x2.5km, 6.25-sq.km, designated 1-16.
    Siren – Air raid sirens utilized in the Pastoral zones to warn of a Reaper in the area.
    Spreader Truck – The lead truck in a food delivery convoy that provides an audible warning and physical deterrents to clear a path for convoys. They also provide encouragement to keep the path clear by casting protein blocks and freshly grilled meat forty feet to each side. Also see Feed Wagon.
    Stock Grid – A vehicle passage area through a wall. Though simply the smallest part of it, a stock grid is a fatally high voltage steel grid to drive over, a tunnel long enough to house any vehicle used, with heavy steel doors at each end.
    Stock Truck – Large slat sided trucks utilized to transport large numbers (up to 200) of Pastoral Zone citizens without seating.
    Stockyard Operation – Funneling and sometimes even driving Weeds into a specific area for harvest.
    Stun Baton – Like stun-batons of old wherein a capacitor discharges along the top 12" of length incapacitating their victim, they are no longer fragile and designed for impact. To enhance the effect and shift the balance to the head, mercury shifts from the butt to the tip during the swing increasing the delivered force 200%.
    Sub-Section – 25 Units make up a Sub-Section, 50x50km, 2,500-sq.km, designated 1-9. Typically disregarded for mapping and communication purposes.
    Trough – See "feeding station." Derogatory term used by government employees.
    Turnstile – Utilized at all pedestrian traffic gates to restrict traffic one way. The turnstiles for citizens are singular and of a tubular steel labyrinth design. Reaper turnstiles are used in pairs with space between them and are of armored steel plate. Reapers will not be given their armaments until they have passed through the first to insure they have no access to people in Fertile Zones.
    Unit – 16 Sectors make up a Unit, 10x10km, 100-sq.km, designated A-Z excluding I.
    Vehicle Audible – Repeated warning over a P.A. on a vehicle for pedestrians to clear the way being: "Clear a path! Obstruction of an enforcement vehicle is subject to five-years gleaned!"
    Visual Alert – Small puck shaped device that explodes emitting a black cloud of smoke to signal that a Reaper is in the area.
    Walls – Also referred to as "Wind-Breaks." The 30’ high bare vertical walls surround the outer edges of Productive and Fertile zones separating them. Walls separating the Fertile from the Pastoral zones have armed guard towers and walks atop them, their gates are armored and impenetrable. Further there is only one gate per Pastoral Ward, and they are routinely closed. Those individuals from the Homestead and Productive zones may travel to any other. Those from the Fertile zones may travel into the Pastoral zones, yet those in the Pastoral zones must remain there.
    Ward – 16 Grids make up a Ward, .5x.5km, .25-sq.km, designated A-Z excluding I.
    Wash Down – Large public automated baths in the Pastoral zone.
    Water-Head – Concrete columns with four spigots for water distribution in the Pastoral zones. There are typically only three water-heads per Ward (6.25 sq. km.) for the entire population and are routinely turned off for water conservation.
    Weeds – Derogatory term used by government employees for citizens who live in the Pastoral zone.
    Woo Bar – Government built centralized businesses for prostitution that have been re-purposed as masturbation and sex bar/clubs.

    A3. Pastoral Pidgin/Slang Vocabulary:
    P-speak/P-say/Peep-speak – Pastoral Pidgin/Slang
    Bada – thank you, thanks
    Banger – gun
    Bees – bullets
    Beech – bitch
    Bitty – little
    Bob – big, a lot, large
    Bobknob - big cock
    Bobyacha – absolutely clear/straight/understand
    Boda – please
    Boda-boda – begging-please
    Boomer – bomb, grenade
    Bote – both, all
    Chach – female whore
    Chachia – young female whore
    Charot – you’re dead, threat to kill
    Choka – pussy, generic soft term for
    Choka Kings – Pussy Kings, 13-B/C gang, translates as "studs, skilled lovers"
    Chop – cut off
    Chote – (insult) diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks.
    Circus – Homestead Capital, formerly Washington, D.C.
    Cram – fuck
    Cramya – fuck you
    Da – the
    Dancing – doing drugs
    Dimmy – idiot
    Donya – don’t, don’t you
    Dumpster – Body "Salvage" truck. Essentially a garbage truck used for just bodies
    Eva-one – everyone
    Facin’ (face-ing) – lying, telling a false tale
    Fa-eva/eva – for’ev’er
    Fancy – fancy, nice, high quality, expensive
    Fed-Gov/G/Feddy-G/Nof-G – New Order/Restored Constitution Federal Government
    Feed – give, pay
    Flat – sure, firm, positive
    Flop – Home
    Floppin – having sex for money
    Fly – show
    Gamebly - fun, just playing
    Gimme – give me
    Grinder – addict
    GutCram – ass fuck
    Gutshot – taking drugs rectally
    Gutya – bullshit
    Hoots – breasts
    Hoohas – huge breasts
    Im – gender neutral he, him, her, she, more common than Ma or Wa
    Jes – just
    Knob – cock/penis
    Knob-grinder – cock addict, slut
    Knockin – male masturbating
    Ma – he, him
    Macha – man
    Machia – young man
    Machach – male whore
    Machacha – young male whore
    Macho – older man
    Machacho – older male whore
    Machote – (insult) (male) diseased old pervert molester
    Malocha – gentleman
    Mas – us, we
    Mash – wreck, destroy
    Mega – huge, biggest, hardest, most, etc..
    Mi – I, my, I’m
    Na – no
    Namoo – order to not move, stay still
    Nono – warning
    Pack – gang, group, brother/sisterhood
    Pes – or, maybe, if
    Pessy – pretty
    Po – why?
    Pop – orgasm/cum, ejaculate
    Rally – let’s go
    Randy – horny
    Rattid – shit (as in an exaggerated ‘sheeet’)
    Ratya - fuck off
    Respect – humble respect, submission, humility, admiration
    Romp – sex
    Rot – dead, die
    Rotim – killed him/her
    Rotims – killed them (plural)
    Rotya – killed you
    Rumble – trouble
    See’d – see/saw
    Sessy – sexy
    Shot – dose of drugs
    Slap-footin – running
    Slappin – female masturbation
    Slash – cunt
    Slacho – old vagina
    Slashia – tight young wet vagina
    Slasho – old queen
    Slashote – (insult) loose old dry vagina
    Slashtail – sex slave
    Slashy – sissy boy
    Slick – new, fresh, clean
    Slide – sex drug
    Slobknob – blow-job
    Slouch – opiate like narcotic
    Slurp – eat pussy
    Skins – clothes
    Smash-cram – rape
    Smashote – rapist
    Smoker – very attractive woman or man
    Snooter – nasal inhaler for drugs
    Snoots – inhaling drugs nasally
    Soso – easy, take it easy, relax
    Spy – look
    Squat – Turf/territory
    Steam – enhanced speed
    Steel – bladed weapon
    Syco – hallucinogens
    Tooke – little dick
    Tookie-tooke – tiny dick
    Tote – bag, pack, parcel
    Twistie – a lie
    Up mi – on my, in my
    Wa – her, she
    Wacha – woman
    Wachia – young woman
    Wacho – older woman
    Wacram – oh fuck
    Walocha – lady
    Wanna – want
    Woo-Bar – masturbation and sex bar/club
    Wut – what (softened)
    Ya – yes, you, yours
    Yacha – understand?
    Yaha – hey! Greeting to get someone’s attention
    Yamma – yeah man, yah-mon

    A4. Pastoral Pidgin Dialogue Translated (by Chapter)
    1A. "You have a wicked look about you chach, are you dancing on slide?"
    You have a wicked look about you whore, are you high on the sex drug?

    1B. "Come on now, you can’t fool me" Fedder continued. "You look just a little too needy to just be flopping for credits. What are you dancing on?"
    Come on now, you can’t fool me ‘Fedder continued.’ You look just a little too needy to just be prostituting for money. What are you high on?

    1C. "Sure I will bitty chachia. How much to be your friend?"
    Sure I will little young-whore. How much to be your friend?

    1D. "Poke, see’d wut da chach has in da tote. Beedy, fire up da brand, mi got a slick slashtail. Now let’s see’d how randy ya is slash."
    Poke, see what the whore has in her bag. Beedy, fire up the brand, I have a new sex slave. Now let’s se how horny you are cunt.

    1E. "Namoo Reaper! Mi gots fifteen wachas in here and a boomer! Harvest mi and im bote rot!"
    Don’t move Reaper! I have fifteen women in here and a grenade! Kill me and they’re all dead!

    1F. "What? What do you want chote, or do you want me to drain my sack in you some more? What? Ask!"
    What? What do you want ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks,’ or do you want me to drain my balls in you some more.

    3A. "…and quit rubbing your tooke on my back unless you intend on using it."
    …and quit rubbing your little dick on my back unless you intend on using it.

    4A. "Na! Ya feed first. Two credits!"
    No! You pay first. Two money(denominations)!

    4B. "Boda, boda… Please!" the man shouted. "Im’ take ‘nother if ya na feed!"
    Begging please… Please! ‘the man shouted’ He’ll take another if you don’t pay!

    5A. "Yaha, slick chach en slashy up mi squat. Credits pes romp pes bote mas gutcram ya!"
    Hey! A new whore and a sissy-boy in my territory. Money or sex or we’ll-all ass-fuck both of you!

    5B. "Crammin Reapa chote! Cha got na banger now, charot slash!"
    Fucking Reaper ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks!’ You don’t have a gun now, I’ll kill you cunt!

    5C. "Smash-cram da chote an chop ims hoots, mi gonna gutcram da slashy, gimme da steam!"
    Rape the ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks’ and cut her tits off, I’m going to ass-fuck the sissy-boy, give me the enhanced speed.

    5D. "Slurp mi crammers, mi gonna mash dem tookie-tookes."
    Eat me fuckers, I’m going to destroy those tiny-dicks.

    6A. "Fine Cub, enjoy the machotes then that hunt every hallway they can find…"
    Fine Cub, enjoy the ‘diseased old pervert molesters’ then that hunt every hallway they can find…

    6B. "Yaha! Ya machote crammin slashos! Shut the fuck up! I’m trying to get some sleep!"
    Hey! You ‘diseased old pervert molesters’ fucking old-queens! Shut the fuck up! I’m trying to get some sleep!

    6C. "Soso walocha, soso. Mi is jus gamebly pes a bitty romp am all"
    Easy lady, easy. I am just playing maybe a little sex is all.

    6D. "Gutya!" Kae yelled back still incensed. "Ya am tryin ta gutcram da bob slashy. Ratya pes mi chop ya tookies!"
    Bullshit! ‘Kae yelled back still incensed.’ You are trying to ass-fuck the big sissy-boy. Fuck-off or I’ll cut off your tiny dicks!

    7A. "…Go ahead, tell the dimmy here about your morning, you’re dead anyway!"
    …Go ahead, tell the idiot here about your morning, you’re dead anyway!

    7B. "Cramya Reaper. Cramya ya crammin slashote!"
    Fuck you Reaper. Fuck you you fucking ‘loose old dried out vagina!’

    7C. "None of your P-say nonsense rot-macha, use the old words!" Kae barked. "Tell him, go to hell a man not a liar!"
    None of your Pastoral pidgin nonsense dead-man, use the old words! ‘Kae barked.’ Tell him, go to hell a man not a liar!

    7D. "Fuck ya then Reaper cunt! I’ll tell the slashy just to watch im squirm, mi had a good day! Found me a nice pair a oldies last night an tooked im credits den killed da old bastard an I cram her good!"
    Fuck you then Reaper cunt! I’ll tell the sissy-boy just to watch him squirm, I had a good day! Found me a nice pair of old-people last night and took their money then killed the old bastard and I fucked her good!"

    7E. "I killed the old man an fuck his bitch, fuck her lots and broke her legs so she no run! Gutcrammed her all night, in da ass boy! Den I cut da cunt’s throat when I find mi a whore wid a Mic. Cut that slut throat and got me big credits then and been ‘hiiiigh’ on slouch all mornin after sellin the brat. Thems was bad-uns, they pay big! Lookin for another now, gonna cut its tits off when I fuck it… Ya too late Reaper, everyday, years now, high and fuck, high and fuck I kill more than ya e’va did! Mi win!"
    I killed the old man and fucked his bitch, fucked her a lot and broke her legs so she can’t run! Ass-fucked her all night, in the ass boy! Then I cut the cunt’s throat when I found me a whore with a child. Cut that slut’s throat and got me big money then and been ‘high’ on opiates all morning after selling the brat. They were bad-ones, they pay big! Looking for another now, gonna cut its tits off when I fuck it… You’re too late Reaper, everyday, years now, high and fuck, high and fuck I kill more than you ever did! I win!"

    7F. "Run machote, charot ya da morrow. Da dimmy slashy say ya is free. Run!"
    Run ‘diseased old pervert molester,’ I’ll kill you tomorrow. The idiot sissy-boy says you are free. Run!

    12A. "No Reapers allowed in ‘da M.’ Ya go back pes mas charot ya!"
    No Reapers allowed in ‘the M-ward.’ You go back or we’ll kill you!

    13A. "Yaha! Teddy Brown! Mi knows ya see’d mi now quit ya slap-footin! Teddy you fucking squirrel! Quit running now or I’ll agonize ya!"
    Hey! Teddy Brown! I know you see me now quit your running! Teddy you fucking squirrel! Quit running now or I’ll ‘use the agonizer’ on you!

    13B. "Wacram… call da dumpster, dem crammers am rot."
    Oh fuck… Call the Salvage truck, those fuckers are dead.

    13C. "Charot Reaper slashote! Mi got ya banger and ya up mi squat now!"
    I’ll kill you Reaper ‘loose old dry vagina!’ I have your gun and you’re in my territory now!

    13D. "Rot da wacho-beech! Mash wa bob!"
    Kill the old-bitch! Destroy her big(time)!

    13E. "Ya sure ya want ta do dis machia? 3-7-9, ya flat?"
    Are you sure you want to do this young-man? (Reaper) 3-7-9, you positive?

    13F. "Cram ya slash, rot!"
    Fuck you cunt, die!

    13G. "Soso pessy walocha, mi jes gamebly wid ya" Teddy pled.
    Easy pretty lady, I’m just playing with you ‘Teddy pled.’

    13H. "Woo-Bar time hehe! Da randy walocha be wantin da bobknob up in im gut!" Teddy teased.
    ‘Masturbation sex club’ time hehe! The horny lady is wanting a big-cock up in her ass! ‘Teddy teased.’

    13I. "Rattid" Kae joked back. "Im already been up in mi. Mi slacho mashed fa-eva and im so bob mi had ta take out mi face just ta give im da slobknob!"
    Sheeeit ‘Kae joked back.’ He’s already been inside me. My old vagina is wrecked forever (now) and he’s so big that I had to take out my facial-prosthesis just to give him a blow-job!

    17A. "Ummm ya bobknob sessy machia, Patty romp wid ya pes da pessy walocha na wan ya."
    Ummm you big-cocked sexy young-man, Patty (I) will have sex with you if the pretty lady no wants you.

    17B. "Mmmm sessy baby, bote da way in. Patty give ya da best slobknob ya eva knowd fa four bitty credits" as she raised up her wrist with her credit band on it.
    Mmmm sexy baby, all the way in. Patty (will) give you the best blow-job you (have) ever known for four little credits (monetary denomination) ‘as she raised up her wrist with her credit band on it.’

    17C. "Mi jes give im a gutshot, jes a bitty Slide. Make im pop-bob, mega pop-bob, im wan more den. Ya gots a gamebly randy machia now, ya have gamebly, Patty treat. Po pessy walocha?"
    I just gave him an ‘anal dose of drugs,’ just a little sex drug. (It) Makes him cum-big, massive orgasm, he’ll want more (sex) then. You have a fun horny young-man now, you have fun, Patty (my) treat. Why pretty lady?

    17D. "Boda, pessy walocha wanna a bitty romp too? Mi slurp ya slick an gutshot ya ta a mega-pop."
    Please, (does the) pretty lady want a little sex too? I’ll ‘eat your pussy’ clean and (give you) an ‘anal dose of drugs’ you to (make you) orgasm (the) best.

    17E. "Ya, ya, a block ova an up a bit" Patty gesturing with her hands to state the direction. "Pes, ya flat?"
    Yes, yes, a block over and up a bit ‘Patty gesturing with her hands to state the direction.’ But are you positive?

    17F. "Ya, mi flat. Bada-bob, pes na-bada"
    Yes, I’m positive. Thanks-a lot, but no thanks.

    18A. Respect da Choka:
    Respect the Pussy:

    18B. "Yaha bitty wacha, wut ya got in ya tote?" "Da chach got im fancy skins too. Gimme dem skins beech!" "Pes da slash wanna cram, spy em hoohas. Fly us ya bob hoots knob-grinder, maybe we bote cram ya!"
    Hey little woman, what do you have in your bag? The whore has herself quality clothes too. Give me those clothes bitch! Maybe the cunt wants (to) fuck, look at those huge-tits. Show us your big tits slut, maybe we’ll all fuck you!

    18C. "Boda… na rumble, boda-boda" Kae responded begging them ‘no trouble’ submitting to their authority here.
    Please… no trouble, begging-please ‘Kae responded begging them ‘no trouble’ submitting to their authority here.’

    18D. "Yamma, charot ya bote! Ya up mi squat, dis Choka King squat slash. Now gimme da tote an skins!"
    Yah-mon, kill you both! You’re in my territory, this is Pussy King (skilled lover) territory cunt. Now give me the bag and clothes!

    18E. "Boda-boda, na rumble. Bob respect for da Choka Kings, bob respect… soso, boda."
    Begging-please, no trouble. Big respect (acknowledgement of authority) for the Pussy Kings, big respect… easy, please.

    18F. "Ya crammin chote, mi chop dem hoohas an gutcram ya! Eva-one got bangers, na eva-one gots bees!" Another shouted out as he lunged.
    You fucking ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks,’ I’ll cut off those huge-tits and ass-fuck you! Everyone has guns, not everyone has bullets! ‘Another shouted as he lunged.

    18G. "Nono! Soso, soso… Mi jes wanna gets mi bob dimmy ta im flop. Im a syco grinder yacha? Okay?" Kae responded once more.
    No-no (warning)! Easy, easy… I just want to get my big idiot to his home. He’s a hallucinogenic drug addict understand?

    18H. "Cramya chote, gimme da tote! Who am ya, ya na Choka King so ya feed mas, ya bobyacha?" Wherein all of the men began either drawing machetes or raising their guns.
    Fuck you ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks,’ give me the bag! Who are you, you’re not Pussy King so you pay us, (do) you absolutely understand?

    18I. "Nono, donya lift dem bangers… boda-boda, respect" as Kae crouched slightly gripping her guns tighter… …as she continued. "Na rumble soso, pes do ya bobyacha, mi?"
    No-no (warning), don’t you raise those guns… Begging-please, respect (acknowledgement of authority) ‘as Kae crouched slightly gripping her guns tighter… …as she continued.’ No trouble easy, but do you absolutely understand, me?

    18J. "Who am ya slash?" another yelled as they were clearly not intimidated just confused that she didn’t instantly do what they said.
    Who are you cunt! ‘another yelled as they were clearly not intimidated just confused that she didn’t instantly do what they said.’

    18K. "In a minute Cubby… Respect Choka Kings, ya squat, mi jes passin though, okay?"
    In a minute Cubby… Respect (acknowledgement of authority) Pussy Kings, your territory, I’m just passing through, okay?

    18L. "Soso, soso… Yamma, respect Rokka-Kae. Rally Kings…"
    Easy, easy… Yah-mon, respect Rokka-Kae. Let’s go Kings…

    19A. "Ratya ya slashote, im mi randy machia!" one barked at Kae as another cued in on his name trying to coax him. "Cub, Cub, no remember, you want to go with me!" Instantly inspiring another to say; "Cub, ya na wanna dis slacho chote, ya wanna mi, grab mi hoots agin… Mmm soft an fancy yacha?"
    Fuck-off you ‘loose old dry vagina,’ he’s my horny young-man! ‘one barked at Kae as another cued in on his name trying to coax him.’ Cub, Cub, no remember, you want to go with me! ‘Instantly inspiring another to say;’ Cub you don’t want this old-cunt ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks,’ you want me, grab my tits again… Mmm soft and extra-nice understand?

    23A. "Yaha! Namoo wacha, donya namoo flat bobyacha! Who is ya?"
    Hey! Freeze woman, don’t you move-(emphasized) understand-absolutely (rhetorical, command)! Who are you?

    29A. "Okay, okay… im brought in a billy and a bambi" the man replied chuckling.
    Okay, okay… He brought in a goat and a deer ‘the man replied chuckling.’

    29B. "Gutya! Bob gutya, that am a twistie! Ya is facin’ mi, bullshit! I’ve got a slick snooter of steam and one of slide to trade if ya ain’t."
    Bullshit! Big bullshit, that is a lie! You are lying to me, bullshit! I have a new nasal inhaler of speed-drug and one of sex-drug to trade if you aren’t.

    34A. "Cramya Reaper Chote! Rot ya slash!"
    Fuck you Reaper ‘diseased wore out cum-ditch that everyone fucks!’ Die you cunt!

    35A. "Charot ya slasho machote! Who am ya ta be--"
    I’ll kill you old queen diseased old pervert molester! Who are you to be--

    A5: The 50-Year Plan to Victory:
    The Mad Clown had a singular, firm, unshakable policy regarding any response to any question or when making any statement. "Lie."

    If the Mad Clown made a statement about any failure or success of his own, he’d lie. Spoke about any success or failure by any other than him, he’d lie. Respond to any question, he’d lie. Give his opinion on anything, he’d lie. Respond to being caught in a lie, he’d lie. Offer as a retort to being called a liar, he’d lie. It went on regarding any subject, under any conditions, whether good or bad of no matter. He would always, under every circumstance, without hesitation, lie.

    Some argued that his habitual lying was an act of pure genius. As the Mad Clown put it; "I think that would qualify (me) as not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!" Perhaps it was an act of genius, although others would argue the actions of a Cluster-B sociopathic personality disordered individual. Whether he simply could not help it, did not care, intentionally meant to do so as some tactic, or it was simply the mad antics of a deranged fool, it was of no matter.

    With him constantly lying, just as the backlash would begin, he would tell another lie, then another. Ultimately, by the time someone would get around to challenging him on the initial lie, it was already ten other unrelated lies later. In the end, as people tried to keep up to finally pin him down on one lie, with such chaos it was like dancing barefoot on a hotplate.

    Nevertheless, from the Mad Clown’s first day in office until his last-- he lied, or as it was referred to in his administration, presented "alternative facts." Naturally, according to the Mad Clown, all unfavorable news regarding him was "fake news." That is of course except for the groups where he garnered all of his information from... well, and the cartoon channels.

    A detailed review of his time in office and incessant contradictions, though confounding, is required to fully understand the chaotic scope of his time as President. As noted in: USDOR-P45:<<<Access:TERMINATED...

    00: U.S. Dept. of Records: Data Query: Extraction:TERMINATED...
    01: DQ:ET -- ***Warning -- Information Classified***...
    02: DQ:ET -- **REDACTED**: slated for *erasure*...
    03: DQ:ET -- USDOR-P45:001 - P45:36,853: designated *non-history*...
    04: DQ:ET -- USDOR-P45:001 - P45:36,853: marked for *expungement*...
    05: DQ:ET -- USDOR-P45:001 - P45:36,853: slated historical replacement *none*...
    06: DQ:ET -- 45th POTUS ******-****-*****: designated *non-person*...
    07: DQ:ET -- **REDACTED**: initiate *erasure*...
    08: DQ:ET -- ***Classified Information -- Warning***...
    09: End

    ...Access:RESUMED>>>any subject, under any conditions, whether good or bad of no matter. He would always lie.

    Though the Mad Clown was proven time and again to be corrupt, to have lied and been guilty of a number of illegalities, nothing ever came of it until Sammy Jenkins submitted his 8th grade creative writing assignment.

    Tasked with writing a short paper wherein a historical event was to be discussed, then applying an opposing outcome; Sammy instead posed an alternative history from the beginning, failing to follow the very specific assignment. Only receiving a C+ for his effort, regardless his paper posted on the internet as he sought sympathy went viral, and mere days later, America went black.

    Sammy posed that the greatest ideological, military and political tactic ever devised and executed, was that of the former Soviet Union, ‘Red’ China and all other communist bloc nations, designated simply; the "50-year plan."

    Having noted the ever increasing gap between East and West regarding all issues; military might, geopolitical influence, financial resources, technology, industrial and agricultural advancements, etc.; select individuals within the various communist inner-parties developed an infallible plan, or so they believed. Few were made aware of the plan in that efforts to defeat the West had to seem sincere to insure the ruse.

    Initiated in 1969, Stage-1 began with what was known as the "20-year plan." Essentially, it would be business as usual, East vs. West much as history played out. The only exception to that being, along with typical day to day espionage activities, a number of sleepers and moles were placed for Western recruitment slated to be utilized in Stage-3.

    Tasked with finding and ultimately grooming potentially sympathetic or simply corrupt individuals, of the thousands of active agents, only a few ever yielded up any candidates of consequence. Two women, both ultimately working the same man, fostered a relationship that was exactly what the party had hoped for, or so they thought.

    Stage-2 was the "3-year plan." Once again, the historical record is accurate, filled with hard fought for minor wins to appear legitimate, overshadowed by significant losses, expenditures and espionage; the path intentionally leading to collapse.

    Government coffers were depleted, the governments themselves organized internal revolts against themselves, desire for change was voiced, all that and more culminating with the singular act to insure their victory of the Cold War. Surrender. We give up, you win, you were right, we were wrong, please help us. So, the West being good winners did exactly that.

    Thus began Stage-3, or the "3x9 to Victory" to play out in three 9-year stages over 27-years.

    Stage-3:1-9 would find the participating nations fracturing up, their governments, economies, societies and citizens in chaos struggling. It also meant freedoms for the citizenry like they had never known, however, also the responsibility and difficulties of being self-reliant. It was only natural that many would emigrate to stable Western nations to supposedly do just that.

    During that stage, there were only two primary goals. That a number of the various immigrants establish themselves in Western nations, legitimate or criminal of no matter, and establish means of revenue generation. The second goal was for the individual Eastern Bloc governments to repair relations with the West, to rebuild their own credibility as an equal international policy voting voice.

    The less obvious aspect performed more discreetly than any other, was the agitation and encouragement of chaos throughout the world. Individuals would be manipulated into deepening their resentment of the West, ultimately finding inspiration to act against the citizens of those nations. The goal was simple. To inspire such fear in the Western citizenry that they would gladly sacrifice their freedoms for security. In doing so, the result was much like driving animals into a killing zone.

    The payoff being, when the final stage would be enacted, as many individuals as possible would be affected and influenced. More so, it then made their own societies more like the previously oppressive communist nations. When the ideological shift would occur, the leap from one system to the other would be minimal, accepted, and embraced.

    Stage-3:2-9 was to be solely utilized for technological procurement, advancement, and revenue generation. As significant portion of those efforts focussed upon shifting manufacturing from Western nations to those East, more so shifting the West’s buying of goods and services. To insure that shift, Eastern nations would initially open their borders to Western manufacturing, and procure the vast majority of their raw materials from the West to make the trade shift seem equitable.

    With a seeming open door in their nations regarding manufacturing, cheap labor abundant and made even less expensive than their third-world counterparts, the manufacturing and monetary shift was palpable. Along with that came vast technological advancements. Trade secrets were intentionally leaked and infringed upon, electronics and software development of particular interest.

    One final aspect of this stage was to insure dramatic financial swings. During this time with their newfound wealth, investments would be made in the West in both private and government arenas. Ultimately, buying up vast swaths of the West be it loans, lands, businesses, or competing entities.

    Stage-3:3-9 was when the last 41-years of effort would all come to fruition. Racial and religious hatreds would be peaked, though less internally than on an international level. In fact, for a short period beyond their control, internally views shifted dramatically toward harmony. So the old guard’s hates and bias was then targeted and encouraged.

    Propaganda and disinformation now generated by seemingly Western based individuals and entities would run rampant. Secrets of the Western governments would be exposed, and after years of chaos in the form of religious fanaticism, the Western citizenry would simply be wore down, more willing than ever to embrace religious, nationalistic, racial and cultural hates and bigotry.

    Elections the world over would be influenced, and if unable to place their own now influenced puppets in seats of power, they would instill those corrupt. The plan worked flawlessly, mostly regarding the core of Western leadership in all aspects. The United States.

    Placing their people in the various seats of power, round the globe long standing Western governments and their relations with others would be dismantled. In the U.S. one could easily see all aspects of the government, the nation and the values they held dear immediately and irrevocably picked apart, tore down and discarded. Within one year between 2017-2018, a century’s worth of advancements and protections were eliminated.

    As those puppets would encounter the expected backlash, safeguards were put in place to help them bide their time until their work was done. Unfortunately, the Mad Clown being the braggart he was had a difficult time playing his part. One day he would be friends with this government in the East, the next day not. It was all a ruse naturally, just simply not as discreet as the East would have liked.

    To that end, chaos ensued within Western governments as the custodian of that system tried to destroy it. It was one of those safeguards noted in Sammy’s homework that was the kicker.

    Sammy predicted that along with other minor conflicts and miraculous resolutions, one above all others would be utilized to insure finalization of the 50-Year Plan.

    The barking small dog of North Korea would finally grow teeth. Out of nowhere, their rocket and nuclear weapons programs would advance by leaps and bounds virtually overnight. As fear would spread among the weakest of citizens, strengthened by digital efforts in the form of propaganda and warnings, the Mad Clown would act, or more truthfully, over-act.

    He would froth and threaten placing all nations on edge fearing an ultimate showdown round the world, as sabers rattled from every corner and out of every nation. Then just like that, North Korea would surrender, just like their communist cousins had so many years ago.

    The Western nations would celebrate the Mad Clown, finally putting to rest old grudges, and with that, the East would have the time they needed to reach 2019. Now it would be the West’s turn to surrender given no other options on virtually every front. We give up, you win, you were right, we were wrong, please help us. So, the East being good winners, would do exactly that.

    Unfortunately... The Mad Clown panicked. And so... Four days after Sammy’s paper was posted on the Internet, naturally debate ensuing, the United States went "Black."

    The rest, is simply non-history.


    A6: Music & Sound Credits:

    The Order of Death by Public Image Ltd

    Album: This is what you want… This is what you get.
    Original Release Date: July 6, 1984
    Label: Rhino/Elektra
    Copyright: 1984 Elektra/Asylum Records, Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. © 1984 Elektra/Asylum Records.
    YouTube post by: Justas Belevičius

    >>Gate 13-R Siren<< by K2

    >>Gate 13-R Horn<< by K2

    >>Food Riot Siren<< by K2

    >>Crows Siren<< by K2

    Stigmata by Ministry ~ The Wrath of Rokka-Kae
    Album: The Land of Rape and Honey
    Original Release Date: October 11, 1988
    Label: Sire/Warner Bros.
    Copyright: © 2004 Warner Bros. Records. Manufactured and Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing.
    YouTube post by: Radio Anarchia Rock

    >>Choka Kings Siren<< by K2

    Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin
    Album: Led Zeppelin.
    Original Release Date: January 12, 1969
    Label: Atlantic Records
    Copyright: © 1969 Atlantic Records Group.
    YouTube post by: Led Zeppelin - Topic

    Three Stooges Theme by Columbia Pictures
    Original Release Date: 1933
    Copyright: © 1933 Columbia Pictures.
    YouTube post by: lionel230580

    As the Rush Comes by Motorcycle (Gabriel & Dresden Chill Mix)
    Album: As the Rush Comes
    Original Release Date: August 5, 2008
    Release Date: July 24, 2012
    Label: Positiva/Virgin/Ultra Records, LLC
    Copyright: © 2005 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd.
    YouTube post by: mkbf86

    Disparate Youth by Santigold ~ The White Tiger Theme
    Album: Disparate Youth
    Original Release Date: February 14, 2012
    Label: Atlantic Records
    Copyright: 2012 Atlantic Recording Corporation for North & South America © 2012 Atlantic Recording Corporation for North & South America
    YouTube post by: sarczix

    Ignorance is Strength ~ from 1984 by George Orwell
    Novel: 1984
    Original Release Date: 1948
    Copyright: © 1949 Estate of Sonia Brownell Orwell
    Recording By: Recorded Books Inc.
    Recording Copyright: © 1986 Recorded Books Inc.
    Narrated By: Frank Muller
    Editing By: K2

    >>Ignorance is Strength ~ 1984<<

    >>Red Harvest<< by K2

    Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John
    Album: Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
    Original Release Date: May 19, 1975
    Label: MCA Inc./Island Def Jam
    Copyright: 1975 This Record Company Ltd. © 1995 Mercury Records Limited
    YouTube post by: sydlivy

    >>Autumn Harvest<< by K2

    Breathe by Télépopmusik
    Album: Genetic World
    Original Release Date: May 21, 2001
    Label: Capitol Records/EMI
    Copyright: © 2001 Capitol Music Group
    YouTube post by: Zenstep
  7. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    This version has had some minor subsequent edits (phrasing, dropped words) made to it, although since I cannot make them here, the updated version can be found at the WRIST site.

    Hush....an alias
  8. Hush

    Hush Happy Hhedonist

    Jul 21, 2008
    As said an updated version can be found at WRIST

    Hush....an alias