Letter #3 – Opulence
Sunday, February 22nd, 2054, Rockham-Sakbir (ARES) Jail County
I have been thinking of you all night and day. I was calm and absent from all their questioning. They could not get to my core. I was wrapped up and securely fastened to the lingering feel of your love, lovingly tied up to the memory of your figure materializing in front of me.
The facility team lost their patience with me today. It is happening way sooner than I had hoped. I overheard the Head- Recruiter in charge of our transition say they would resort to more direct ways to break my resisting mind frame next week.
They say these things freely right before our faces. They always assume we cannot hear them, when we enter their machine. They are right but only partly. Most of us cannot, and they do not, but some of us can, and we do. That is why they cannot break all of us. They cannot brainwash us all, if some of us can see what is going on behind the curtains.
I am worried though. I have seen the effect of those “direct” methods on other recruits here. They call us their recruits, but we are nothing more than glorified lab rats, prisoners of the cruel ways of a war we do not want to be a part of. They chose us. They studied our individual profiles, and captured us by the dozen. They had no volunteers for the program. That is why the raids started. They are trying to break us in the wickedest way. Trying to make us feel for their cause. Trying to make us believe in them. Trying to pull us in with our consent.
They are using all the right tools too.They have done their homework, their research. They have carefully studied and protocoled their approach. They know their way in, and we are welcoming it. They are treating us and feeding us like kings. Slipping happy pills into these foods to render us subservient, and ready to listen. They make us feast on treats we have never tasted before. They are converting us through opulence. Not torture – that would be too costly and less effective. Opulence is cheaper, and more durable.
At first you can’t help being drawn in, it feels better than amazing. Then, little by little, the spell wears off, and you realize this life you are leading doesn’t taste anything at all anymore. Suddenly this feeling of loneliness, this lack of drive and purpose gets to you and you become conscious of the sparkling fakeness, the dazzling emptiness of it all. You see it for what it really is, a mascarade, and you are all alone, yet playing your part.
It is too late to get it back, they have got you cornered and strapped. You cannot give up your comfort. It has become an addiction. You are theirs now. You have enabled them to take control of your life, to shift all your focus to their ways. You serve their cause now, and in the process you have lost sight of everything that matters. The small things and the big feelings, that is all there really is. Your soul. You cannot have them anymore. All you have got is your comfort, and they have got all of you.
If you become conscious of the whole process, you cannot believe how dumb you have been. You cannot shoulder the blame. To be at peace with yourself, you reassess the meaning, the value of it all, and find comfort in your way of life – your very own comfort in their ways. You are ready now. They have got you all fired up, and you will fight for them. You are one of them.
That is when they call you in. They have got you cornered. You will not betray them now. It is your way too. You cannot leave this comfort behind you. They tell you it is at risk, and you need to protect it, fight for it. You believe them, and start training. They promise you peace. The end of a war, the fall of tyranny, so you kill for them, you take away lives with your own hand. Not their hand, yours. It is your hand that is tainted with the blood of the lives you ruptured before their time.
When you get hurt, unable to serve, when everyone else around you is dead, they bring you home, and offer you a medal. A distinction. They make you feel proud of what you have done. You are proud of it. You continue to believe in their way. You believe it is the right way, because if it is not, then, what you have done in their name – your name – is unfathomable. Unforgivable. You would sooner die than believe that. And you do.
You have not led your life. You have been highjacked. You have perpetrated their ways. You have never even been conscious of it. Still it does not change the fact that it happened.
That is how it works.
Most of us out there, we were starving. Once we get raided, deported in their trucks, all the way to this place, we got all the time in the world to expect the worst. Then, we experience this. Luxury beyond our wildest dreams. Most people would give up anything for this – even our highest held ideals. Imagine it all, in one place, free of charge. All you have to do is enter the program, and you can get it all – comfort, food, technology, entertainment, sports, girls, art, education, health care and even drugs.
They break us in the wickedest way. They make us want to forget all about our former lives. They brand their ideas as ours; they wave off their intellectual property rights, and offer us the privilege to stamp our name on it. Apart from the experiences in the machine, the lives they make us step into are the stuff of dreams. That is how it feels to most men around here. Especially the ones, who were not tied up to family or a special someone.
They don’t want to turn us into dumb shells. They want it all from us, the whole package. They want us to choose their way actively. Their endgame is to turn us into happily fulfilled war enthusiasts to protect ourselves, and our precious, however freshly acquired, way of life – i.e. their way of life. They invest in their project with all the means there are.
They bet it all on us. That is how certain they are to succeed.
I am worried about tomorrow. I am not sure whether either my body, or my mind will pull out of it. I have not seen any one of us, get out of there unscathed. They are all smile and happy pills on their way out. They do not question anything anymore. They feel like ghost shells. Unlike the ones who bow into it willingly, these recruits – the ones that underwent the more “direct” approach -, when they walk out of there, are nothing but mere shadows of their former selves.
I should not have resisted so hard at the session today. It is such a foolish move, a beginner’s mistake. I can play it over in my mind as many times as I want, it will not change the fact that it is too late now. What is done is done. I don’t know how to get out of this. I don’t know how to get back from that. I need to find a way to saddle back up on top of this sham – or at least get back one step ahead of them.
I cannot be in the dark. At least their machine sessions were a predictable, bearable, relatively harmless waste of our time – theirs and mine. This step is unknown. Likely drastic. I am positively scared.
I might not be there to write and read again tomorrow. So I am writing and reading to you while I am still in possession of all my might. Today.
Know I love you,
No matter what happens, remember it,
10.000 words in 30 days #Wattpad challenge.
Read it on Wattpad – Hailie Andersen’s A Pathway to Your Soul