Twenty minutes later, I noticed a file hanging off his desk. I unintentionally glanced at his paperwork, and I became sick to my stomach, when I noticed that my name was on it, along with my personal information, and detailed notes of my daily activities. Above my name, the words “Under Surveillance, Threat to Hopeland Security” were printed.
“Be honest with me, Richard!” I shouted, tossing the paperwork at him. “What is this about?! You never cared about me! You were monitoring me the whole time!”
Richard wiped a tear from his eye. “That’s not true, baby. I love you. I had my orders.”
I shoved him. “Get away from me!”
“Don’t be like that towards me, babe. Listen, it’s not safe to talk here.” He led me into an underground bomb shelter. “Look, I’m putting my life in jeopardy by telling you this. I’m a CIA agent. I was ordered to put you in a federal re-education camp in Arizona.”
“Well, because of your wild political beliefs, and your immunity to H.K. Ultra.”
“How could you do this to me, Richard?” I sobbed.
“I never meant to hurt you. You mean everything to me. I’d lay down my life for you.”
Richard cried as I was escorted out of his apartment by two federal agents. “Tina Emers, you’re coming with us.”
I was taken to a facility, surrounded by barbed-wire, and armed guards. It appeared to be an abandoned train station. There were no medical personnel, and the backyard was lined with plastic coffins.
I was confined to a tiny room infested with bugs. I fought the restraints as the odor of urine, and feces overwhelmed me. I was tied to my bed 20 hours a day. Sometimes, they would strip me nude, and hose me down. My roommate, an elderly gentlemen, was chained to a crib. I pitied the old man. He weeped every night scared, and disoriented.
Amanda, the young girl in the cell next to me, cried out for her mother every night.
“Enough whining!” the guard shouted, as he dragged her out by the hair.
“Help me, mommy,” the girl sobbed.
The guard strapped her into a rotating chair, until she lost consciousness. After several hours, Amanda wouldn’t budge. I noticed that she had vomit on the corners of her mouth. I later found out that she choked to death.
I shivered violently as I was forced to submerge in an ice bath for days at a time.
My veins turned black as I was injected with deadly toxins.
Eric, one of the guards, who took a liking to me (one of Rick’s friends on the inside) stayed with me during the nights when my body was ravaged by fevers.
When I tried to relay a message to Eric, to give to Rick, I was forced into a chemically-induced seizure. I later found out that Eric was reprimanded for holding my hand during my convulsions.
A couple weeks later, I was strapped to a gurney. I trembled as a couple of men in military fatigues, measured my head, to fit me for electrodes. I squeezed my eyes shut, as I heard the buzz of the surgical saw against my ear.
“Sergeant Donnelly, report to base, STAT,” a voice called over the loud speaker.
“You’re lucky, honey,” the man said, “I was ordered to fit electrodes into your brain, to monitor your thoughts. If your viewpoints were unacceptable, I would be required to administer devastating amounts of electrical current into the frontal lobe of your brain. The boss says, you got a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I am required to keep you on a continuous loop of propaganda.
Rick downloaded the TQR browser. “I can’t take it anymore,” he sobbed into his cup of coffee. He threw his half-eaten Danish into the wastebasket. “Even food doesn’t taste the same. I don’t even know if she’s dead, or alive. I haven’t heard from Eric in days.” He wiped a tear from his eye. “I miss you, babe. Life’s not worth living without you.”
He logged onto the “Deep Web.” All kinds of warnings appeared on the screen. Rick bypassed ads for weapons, drugs, hitmen, and other graphic content, too brutal to mention. “I’m risking my career, freedom, and my life for you, babe.”
He stopped at a hyperlink, for a website dedicated to a radical militia, known as the “Freedom Fighters.”
“Wait a minute,” he thought to himself.
Rick posed as a member of the militia, to sneak into the compound, undetected, and changed my records.
“Come on, honey. You’re O.K. You’re being released,” an aging hippie, with long brown hair, balding in the middle, carrying a walking stick, escorted me out. “I’m Ron. I was friends with Richard. I’m afraid I have some bad news. I don’t know how to tell you this, but he was killed in a car bombing.”
“Oh, no,” I gasped, “I bust into tears. “Not Rick!”
“Calm down, sweetie. He sent you up with an apartment, and a job. He gave his life for you.”
“Hey, open up, it’s Ron!”
I answered the door, exhausted.
“Rick is looking for you.”
“He’s alive, and well. He had to fake his own death, in order to save you.”
That evening, I had an unexpected guest at my door.