Adam Ash

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Thursday, June 08, 2006



She woke up in her apartment, alone in her bed, a light shining in her eyes.

“Miss Trent!” a voice shouted.

Her eyes fought the light shining in them. She put her arm across her face to shield herself from the light, and saw a body standing next to her. She went cold. A man was here to rape her.

She heard voices. Men, not one man.

A hand gripped her under her armpit and lifted her.

“Get dressed. You have to come with us.”

She found her voice.

“Who are you?”

“Patriot Unit. Official business of the Bureau of Behavior Design and Management.”

Not the business of a Patriot Board. What could it be? The business of the Bureau was far more serious than the business of a Patriot Board.

“What do you want from me?”

“We want you.”


“You’re under arrest.”

“You must be mistaken.”

“You’re accused of a crime.”

“What crime?”

“You’ll find out.”

“What did I do? I’ve done nothing regarding anything.”

She could see the man’s face. He had a little wart right next to his left nostril, inside the fold of his nose against the skin of his face. It was lighter than his skin, and two hairs stuck out of it. It looked like an insect had landed on his skin and grown into it.

“Your accomplice has confessed.”

“What accomplice?”

“We’ve had our eye on your accomplice for some time.”

“I haven’t done anything.”

“Get dressed.” The man struck her across the face. She felt her lip bang against her teeth. “We’re not here to try you now. You’ll appear in court tomorrow.”

“What for?” There was blood on her tongue.

“Get dressed.”

She got dressed. They did not leave the room, but turned their backs while they waited for her.

The man hit her again when they walked out to the car.

The blow did something to her. It angered her. It shook her out of her depression. A small rebellion going on here. She did not know she was capable of such anger. It overshadowed her fear. She felt ready for whatever was coming. She thought to herself: how would a Blessed act if this happened? She wanted to act like a Blessed. She wanted to call on the mightier part of her to stand fast in this mix-up, flash her steel in the face of this battering ram. But she wished she knew what it was all about. Some Bureau mix-up, most probably. One heard about such things. Sometimes the wrong people got arrested, and there would be a whole brouhaha in the media, with the old Christians especially getting all fired up. They liked to find fault with the Men of the Gospel, although they were careful to always remain anonymous.

Computers could get things wrong. Identities could be stolen or transferred. Maybe she had been mistaken for an immigrant or a Jew. These sort of things happened. But why was this man hitting her? It was not as if he were an underground Muslim militant and she was being kidnapped, like what happened to Joshua Grant -- how they beat him up. The man who hit her was a Christian member of a Patriot Unit, and she was a Christian, too. They were both Christians. Christians did not hit other Christians like this man did. What possible reason could he have? What was she supposed to have done?


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