Silent Days: Part 1 (A Dark Future)
This patrolling was part of his everyday routine, with the exception of one day everyone had off, which varied from soldier-to-soldier. He would walk from the entrance of the caves, through different tunnels each week (as he alternated patrols through the tunnels with other guards) and through the many lines of tents and ramshackle wooden buildings. At each tent or building, he had to knock or call out (depending on whether it was a tent or a building) and make sure the people inside were at least fed and had immediate access to necessary supplies. If they didn’t, he would make sure food or supplies were brought to them. Sometimes he did it himself, but when there were many deliveries to make, he’d have to ask some of his soldiers to help him.
He soon made a stop at one of the tents in the tunnel he was patrolling that day. He called out and was let in.
“Do you need anything?” he asked.
The boy and his mother inside stared emptily at him and his scar that ran from his left ear to his chin. This was not surprising as even though it was fifteen years old, it still looked like a fresh cut. As he looked at the family himself, his eyes almost began to water, as they reminded him of the son and wife he had lost more than a decade ago.
“Yes,” said the mother. “Could you bring us some food? My son and I have been for days without any.”
He studied them again. With this, he realized just how thin the mother and her son were. Not only did they remind him of lost family, but here they were, bony, thin, and weak in voice. He wanted to yell out in anger as the people who had been patrolling through this tunnel the past few days had the audacity to leave this family here without food for days. Someone was going to pay.
“I will,” he replied, holding back his anger. “Just give me a few minutes to get to the closest storehouse.”
He walked down the tunnel and looked around again. It seemed as if the tunnels themselves were angry, as the lamps seemed to make violent, rigid shadows against the structures and stalagmite. Water ran down slowly and painfully along the walls of the cave and disappeared into hidden crevices in the ground and edges. It wasn’t long before he arrived at the closest storehouse about a half-kilometer or so down the tunnel and scanned his access card at the door then walked in.
The storehouses were locked to the public for various reasons, as it was possible anyone who had not taken the security oath could be a spy for the alien enemy. Many people he used to serve with ten, twenty years ago had turned over their loyalty from the International Organization of United Nations or IOUN, and became part of the foreign invader’s armies. The same could happen with just anyone who lived here, so access to the storehouse was restricted for this reason. Plus, it was possible in a situation like this, human instinct would take over, and people would get greedy.
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