Chapter 17: Prelude to Oblivion: The Dementia

"A loss for Human Freedom"


Sara Aisson was always proud of the fact that she was born on land, even if, due to her father, she had difficulty being accepted as a ‘land dweller’ by the rest of them. Her father, a powerful general in SL 16, the domed military city of Terrania, had always wanted her to move down there, "Where it was safe."

Bullshit, she thought, humans don't belong in the sea. She always felt living in one of those secluded cities was essentially like living in a prison, although the fact that those underwater cities did not require their military personnel to be nano-infused was an appealing fact for her. The Terranian states were relatively very liberal in the face of technology and Sara never discounted that, but being the free spirit she was, she could not live a life of confinement under any circumstances.

This was not her first time in this police station, but she was sure it would be her last. Things had gone horribly wrong and now once again, she was in handcuffs.

Sara had joined the resistance group, Human Freedom, when she was twenty-four. She had always felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility for E. Va's global dominance, even though she had no idea why.

Since her initiation into the organization, her encounters with law enforcement had frequently brought her to this fine establishment, but this one was sure to keep her a prisoner for the rest of her life. It was supposed to be a simple ED mission. Just another harmless act of E. Va defamation that the group was so good at, but some rookies got nervous and now three police officers were dead. As far as gaining public support went, this was definitely a loss for Human Freedom.

The last thing Sara ever wanted was for anyone to die. It was the very thing she thought she was fighting to prevent, and now this is where she was, on the verge of being locked away - confined until her death and at twenty-nine years of age, death was probably still a long way away.

She looked out the skylight windows. The sky was so clear, so blue, with the exception of puffy clouds that looked more like art than anything else. How could she have sacrificed seeing all of that again?

She thought of Sammy, her 7-year-old son she had not seen in 3 years. His father would not allow a rebel in his life, even if that rebel was the daughter of the infamous ‘Over-world Commander’. Now when will she get to see her son again? She hated Ranu for his conformist ways and dreaded to think that he would raise their son as another E. Va worshipper, but she believed she was of more use to the resistance than to any one person. Humanity had to regain its control. Master must be slave no more.

She studied her environment. Police officers were bringing in perps and suspects by the dozens. Among the many law enforcement toys like scanner bots and floating eyes, this precinct had the distinction of being one of the few that still employed the police dog. Sara secretly respected their continuous use of Earth related 'tools' amongst all the technology, but she knew all these dogs had to receive top nano-infusions, just like any other Californian law enforcer. They're not pure, just like the rest of these E. Va worshippers.

For some reason she could not understand, Sara began to notice a lot of scratching. It seemed like everyone was itchy and just not acknowledging it, they just continued whatever they were doing. She couldn't believe it. What the hell is going on?

It was difficult to tell what happened first, the ear-piercing scream, or the bashing of a suspect's head into a counter by one of the officers. The already busy room suddenly erupted into chaos. Cops and suspects started attacking each other with animalistic fever. The explosive flesh-ripping melee created a fine mist of bloody air that Sara found herself breathing before she could comprehend what was happening. She was watching one of the dogs rip the skin off a screaming man's arm.

"My keys... Grab them!"

The words came from her staggering, terrified looking arresting officer who was approaching her with his electric baton raised for a powerful blow.

"What's going on?" She was surprised that she was able to speak at all.

"Grab my fucking keys and free yourself! I can't control it!"

People we're being ripped to pieces. The most effective killers seemed to be the dogs; they were fast and agile. The human killers appeared more deliberate, but no less brutal. At this rate, it would not be long before those dogs were on her. It would not be long before this cop was on her.

The officer swung his baton down at Sara, “No!"

She instinctively dodged the attack while simultaneously reaching for his belt. She couldn't find the keys.

The cop swung again. Those batons were designed to stun their victims. A single connection would end everything for her. Fortunately, he seemed extremely clumsy, hitting her with his elbow instead while she continued to fumble for the keys.


"What the fuck is happening to me?" The cop was teary-eyed as he continued to try to hit the evasive woman.

Through all the chaos, Sara heard the distinctive 'woof' of a dog's bark that she knew was directed at her. There was no time for thought, she grabbed the cop's baton arm and used all her might to swing it in the direction of the bark. In the next couple of seconds, she saw the police dog jump onto a nearby table and leap for her - murder in its eyes.

Only inches from her own hands, the dog connected with the baton. It was instantly immobilized. Sara took the moment's advantage to push the officer out of the way and make a run for it. Living was her only objective. She liked it too much to give it up. Leaving became her first goal.

As she made her way to the exit, she sped past reaching hands from screaming bodies. She wondered if another dog was pursuing her. No time to turn around, she thought as she focused all her attention on the fast approaching exit. Surrounded by pandemonium, she would not be able to breathe until she was outside.

The sudden blow to her face and body sent the stunned Sara falling backwards. As she tried to pick herself up from the floor, she wondered how she could have been so stupid. A police station vet such as herself should have known the invisible nano-field lining the inside of the station would not let an unauthorized suspect leave. She had to either turn it off or get authorization.

Breathing would have to wait.

She turned to look at the violence unfolding behind her. It was mortifying. It seemed as if the attackers were being manipulated against their will. She could hear some of them begging for forgiveness and issuing warnings. She wondered why none of the officers were using their guns, preferring instead, to use melee objects or their bare hands.

"Ma'am, I think you should get out of here!"

A female officer was slowly approaching her. She also had her baton raised to strike.

Sara noticed the tears streaming down her twitching eyes as she carefully backed away. "I can't. I wasn't authorized to get past the field."

"Behind the counter, go there and do what I tell you."

"Please, officer... I don't understand..."

"Do what I tell you!"

Sara had never had so much adrenaline pump through her. She found herself leaping behind the counter. The officer was about 10 feet away and closing slowly but steadily. Sara tried to focus as the officer barked orders at her. She wondered if maybe somehow she had been drugged into believing the things she was seeing were truly happening. Maybe it was all a hallucination.

The cop was on the other side of the counter now. She gave Sara some final instructions before repeatedly swinging at her.

Sara felt like she was possessed. She had never been a fighter, but her desire for survival surprised even herself. She was able to input the final commands into the electron board, effectively yet silently turning off the invisible nano force field.

"You should be able to escape now,” the cop said, as she clumsily continued to swing at her.

Sara was too busy trying to time her escape just right to pay attention. It was going to require jumping over the counter and getting past the same seemingly crazed police officer that was trying to save her.

The cop swung her baton one more time. Sara grabbed the swinging arm and was just about to push her away.

"Please," Sara was startled to hear the police officer say, "My name is Maydene. Terachiyi, that's my son. Please find him and keep him safe."

In her moment of hesitation, Sara almost lost her grip on the arm. She recovered quickly and managed to make the cop hit her own body with it as she pushed her away. 

The unconscious officer fell hard. Sara took the opportunity to jump over the counter. As she landed and prepared to run out the exit and into the bright and sunny daylight, she noticed a most incredible thing - the unconscious cop started to get back on her feet!

Her eyes were shut. She was drooling from her open mouth and hunched over. She was unconscious and yet, she was standing on her own.

Sara didn't wait around; she got her ass out of there!


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